Denny’s Daily Zinger: Vistaprint’s Bait-‘n’-Switch Scheme
I design my own business cards—and print them on glossy stock.
For months, I watched the Vistaprint TV spot offering 250 Business Cards for $10, with free shipping.
Okay, I thought, I'll try these guys. Two reasons:
- My time, glossy card stock and toner equals more than $10 for 250 cards.
- I can do a column on how Vistaprint makes an offer with textbook follow-up that lands repeat customers and lifetime value.
I copied down the Vistaprint Web address and here's what happened:
- I came to the Vistaprint landing page offering 15 percent off on custom T-shirts, plus "WEEKLY SPECIALS."
- I saw no reference to the TV offer of 250 premium business cards for $10.
- I clicked on "Business Cards/Premium Business Cards."
- The offer: 250 business cards for $20, with no mention of free shipping.
Where I come from, this is called "bait-'n'-switch."
Takeaways to Consider
- Maybe this bait-'n'-switch scheme works for Vistaprint.
- It pissed me off. I will never again trust Vistaprint.
- If you run an ad anywhere, online, on TV, off-the-page or via direct mail, do not send the prospect to your generic landing page.
- Set up a satellite landing page that reprises the offer with a warm welcome from the CEO, a photograph and a real signature.
- Always make it easy-peasy to order.
- If I were CEO of Vistaprint, I'd send 250 spiffy business cards for $10 and test a surprise welcome gift of a personalized T-shirt. With a personalized thank-you and welcome letter.
Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Basia Christ writes, "I read the book in two days … I couldn't put it down! It is fun reading filled with resources, anecdotes, and although I have an MBA in marketing, I learned much more from your book than many of my classes." Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at firstname.lastname@example.org.