“The right offer should be so attractive that only a lunatic would say no,” said the great marketing practitioner of the 1930s, Claude Hopkins.
So why would the folks at Gevalia Kaffe permit $168 to show up on a subject line to a stranger in the middle of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, implying this is the amount I will have to pay to take advantage of this offer?
By my count, five people missed this gaffe: copywriter, copy chief, designer, agency account executive and Gevalia product manager.
And it is my bet that all are probably experienced with online technology but inexperienced with direct marketing—the result of management “saving money” by offering buyout packages to senior creatives and letting the little nestlings spread their wings.
My advice to agencies and marketers would be to offer a seasoned freelancer a small monthly retainer to eyeball copy and design, which would most certainly catch an error such as this.
P.S. I just received another e-mail with the following subject line: “$168 Coffee Lover’s Promo From Gevalia—Just $28.90! (Includes S&H).” The copy was too long, so $28.90 did not appear. Duh …
Denny Hatch is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter, and author of the online newsletter, Denny Hatch’s Business Common Sense. Visit him at www.businesscommonsense.com or www.dennyhatch.com, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.