Tuesday, August 05, 2003

August 5, 2003
It was good to be back in the office. Had a good day yesterday catching up on the status of our October issue (at the printer) and our Best of The West issue (steaming to completion) and our movie issue (Allen Barra is doing a great piece on the Alamo movie due out December 25).

Had lunch with Carole at China Joy ($10 cash).

Got a massage at four, came home around six, swam laps, got some good ideas in the pool. Very hot out, but I enjoy it.

Went to bed early and read about circulation “dry testing.” Marketing is so crazy. This company wanted to test a mailer for a product that hadn’t been made yet. The FTC gets real upset at this and so the company’s lawyers wanted to put the line “this product does not exist” on the mailer. Of course the creative team fought this and believed it would kill the results. So they came up with this line:

This offer is contingent on a sufficient number of orders being received.

This one line of copy not only worked but it increased the response by 15%. They couldn’t believe it and tested it again but the numbers held. Ultimately it was used on every single mailing and the response on everything (even products that had been in the lineup for five years) went up 15%.

“Choosing the right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug.”
—Mark Twain

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