An Irresistible Offer From National Geographic
I love off-the-page ads. Richard Thalheimer (Sharper Image), Lillian Vernon and John Peterman — all launched great businesses with small ads offering a single product.
My favorite venue to see these wonderful relics of direct marketing's glorious past is Parade where a delicious offer for National Geographic caught my eye.
[See the image in the media player.]
Gorgeous offer: $15 for 12 issues — a saving of $56.88 under newsstand.
Textbook Correct Off-the-Page Order Form:
- All needed information and easy to read.
- Plenty of space to write in name and address.
- URL for those of us who prefer digital ordering.
- Low price of $15 vs. $71.88 newsstand in boldface.
- $56.88 saving in boldface red.
- In bright red: "BEST OFFER, 2 Years, 80 percent off newsstand!"
- Not gummed up with demand for credit card info.
- Bill-me option.
- Request for email address.
- Mail address if you want to send in the coupon.
In short, perfectly simple and simply perfect!
Isn't a Bill-me Dangerous?
Rip-off artists could send in the coupon, receive two or three issues free and never pay.
Bill-me says, "You read Parade. We know you are honest. We trust you."
- A bill-me is an impulse sale.
- Putting somebody through the Mickey Mouse business of filling in credit card data in tiny mouse-type is a pain in the neck. It forces you to think through: "Do I really, really want to spend money for this thing?"
- Omitting the credit card data leaves more room to tout benefits.
- More to the point, bill-me has surely been tested by these direct marketing professionals. No doubt a bill-me brings in more responses and is more profitable.
- What's the rip-off if payment not received? Peanuts. Two or three issues of a magazine and a billing series. A few bucks.
National Geographic's Unfriendly Back-End
I was going to take advantage of this terrific offer and went to the website: www.ngm.com/sprsavings