Groupon's "leaked" copywriting guide...

14 replies
I guess no one taught these guys the "rules"...

Think of yourself as an objective, confident, albeit totally unqualified and frequently blatantly ignorant voice speaking at a panel you shouldn't have been invited to.
Haha.

This document was supposedly leaked internally... (Although I get the feeling there's a PR ploy behind this).

https://docs.google.com/View?id=dmv9rbh_2g92x4scj&pli=1

And it goes very much against the grain of what most of us are taught about writing copy.

Definitely works for them though. They've been doing great. I personally check their app on my Iphone daily. The personality of the copy is a big reason why.

Humankind has been playing with fire for years; now we can harness the bronzing essence of the fiery sun in a gentle mist, proving once and for all our dominance over the weak, inanimate solar system.
It goes to show you what a little personality in marketing can do for a business.

-Scott
#copywriting #groupon #guide #leaked
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    This one was funny:

    Repetitive use of the imperative. The reader doesn't want to be told what to do, so don't fall into the trap of "try the burger..then try the desert...finish it off with a glass of wine."

    Instead, just describe those things without insisting that the reader do anything in particular. If they like how you describe the burger, they'll figure out on their own that the burger can be enjoyed by drinking it.
    Funny, how? Like a clown?

    Does Groupon amuse you?

    Is Groupon gonna have to choke a bitch?



    * I award myself extra points for the Goodfellas/Chapelle Show Mashup
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Makes for interesting reading but it also reminds me of
    the J. Peterman catalog style of copywriting. They
    break some rules to get more attention but I wouldn't
    apply this to any broad spectrum of copywriting.

    If they find this style successful with their audience
    then I'd say, 'go for it'. Still it shows that you can
    sometimes break the rules and still do well, even
    though I'm convinced that you should know the
    rules that you are breaking in the first place.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    I wouldn't
    apply this to any broad spectrum of copywriting.
    I wouldn't either. Just thought it was a pretty interesting "how to" guide for their writers. It does go to show, that humor CAN have a place in copy, if it's pulled off right.

    I award myself extra points for the Goodfellas/Chapelle Show Mashup
    Haha.

    I'll allow it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Collette
      I dunno... I check their deals every day, too, but I rarely read the copy.

      The writing just works too hard to call attention to itself. Reminds me of the stuff you mostly hear at fiction and poetry 'open-mike' nights.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
        Originally Posted by Collette View Post

        I dunno... I check their deals every day, too, but I rarely read the copy.

        The writing just works too hard to call attention to itself. Reminds me of the stuff you mostly hear at fiction and poetry 'open-mike' nights.
        Exactly. I think what they fundamentally do right is in their offer.

        They appeal to a basic human desire. Simple.

        You're not opening their emails to be sold on how a burger can make you more attractive to women.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
          i saw this in my email a few minutes ago...


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          • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
            Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

            i saw this in my email a few minutes ago...


            I had a feeling that this would be an issue for many business owners. It's probably the worst way to start a B2C relationship.

            You cheapen your brand, whilst attracting people that only care about how much they can extract from you.

            Nasty and cold.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    i saw this in my email a few minutes ago...
    That doesn't surprise me at all.

    The other day I saw a 1 hour massage for $20.

    It was heavily discounted, like 60-70%.

    On top of that, half of the sales go to Groupon. So the spa was only making $10 for each massage.

    And over 100 people bought.

    After paying employees and overhead they'd clearly be in the red.

    Their resources are going to be stretched thin accommodating all of these massages that they're losing money on.

    And the only way they're ever going to make up for it is to convince enough of those people who bought for $20 to come back in and buy for $50 or $60 or whatever the real price was.

    Sure it's nice exposure for the business. But unless they have a killer sales funnel in the back-end to monetize those leads it's probably not worth it.

    Even if they do have a great back-end it's going to be a big challenge because they're targeting bargain shoppers in the first place.

    Google Has A Bid To Purchase Groupon For $6 Billion
    Wow.

    I didn't know that. I knew they were big but not $6 BILLION big. That's crazy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by Scott Murdaugh View Post

      Wow.

      I didn't know that. I knew they were big but not $6 BILLION big. That's crazy.
      It's "old" news... last week Groupon walked from the deal. Not bad for a company that started at $0.00 two years ago.
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      • I'm not so sure these complaining businesses appreciate what they are getting.

        30 years ago my family owned a small (6 store) pizza chain in florida. And even back then it cost $100.00 in advertising to get one new "regular customer." The number today is probably a bit higher.

        Back in those days we would pay approx. $2K per month for a company to put fliers on doors. We lost our asses on the coupons in those fliers. But still the net/net was worth it.

        We also advertised on the Home shopping Network (when it was still just a local Clearwater TV channel). Back in those days you'd buy something on TV, then drive to their "mart" and pick it up.

        One of the deals they offered businesses like ours were HSC dining certs. Basically they would sell $20 gift certs to our restaurant for $10. Our end of that? Zero.

        It was all being done to pay HSC for the commercials they ran for our pizza places. Again... we lost our asses on those certs. But the net/net was still worth it even though the average "regular customer" would spend maybe $40 per month with us.

        So... unless these businesses tested the net/net (which you know most won't) I think the 42% are not seeing the big picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdmiralGloom
    Big G slowly taking over the webosphere
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    I think what you're saying,Vin is you have to consider the lifetime value of a customer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Collette
      A lot of businesses think their marketing ends with the coupon.

      They don't understand that whoever answers the phone when their coupon-customer calls, is marketing for them. Whoever opens the door for their coupon-carrying customer comes in, is marketing for them. Whoever delivers their pizza to the coupon-holding customer, is marketing for them.

      Every contact with a prospect or customer should be viewed as "marketing", but so rarely is. The coupon is just a way of getting your prospect to open the door to a possible relationship.
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    • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      I think what you're saying,Vin is you have to consider the lifetime value of a customer.
      Don't talk that kind of blasphemy in this forum.



      Regards,

      Angel
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