Famous Last Words: Pricing Questions
Question #2: A while ago, you had an article on an expensive ad intended to solicit leads for purchasing fine art prints. I think that you wrote [because] the call to action was simply to generate a sales lead, it was OK that the ad didn't include specific pricing info. I've inferred from this that direct marketing where the call to action is to sell a commodity should have the price listed on it. Is this a safe assumption? Is "Save 50%" alone as good as "Save 50%—only $25" or "Save 50%—was $50, now only $25" copy? If we're talking about a product with a price point, which most people should be familiar with, does that change the importance of the price appearing on the copy?
With products or services that are high-priced, and/or highly complex, lead generation is probably the way to go, rather than trying to close the sale with a one-shot effort. Get a response, and then do an elaborate and expensive snow job on the follow-up effort(s).
In the words of Seattle guru Bob Hacker, with lead generation, "The more you tell, the less you sell. When you say too much, you often create reasons not to respond. The goal at each step of a multistep sale is to get to the next step."
With a lead generation effort, you do not want to get into the nitty-gritty of features and price. All you want is a reply. Get into this other stuff in the follow-up(s).
Incidentally, according to Hacker, if you spend too much on the initial lead generation effort, you are guaranteed to lose money; you can never recoup.
In your question above, you mentioned "Save 50%" as a copy technique. A general rule is that the offer of a percent discount is far weaker than a dollar amount. You cannot put a percent in your pocket or pay a bill with a percent.