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I want my MTV

If the subject line of this email resonates with you, chances are you're at least as old as me.

And that's why the masthead of the magalog I got in the mail that I'm about to break down for you is so genius...

But there are some things going on with the promo that could be shortcomings as well.

We'll go over all that in just a sec. Just to be clear, the promos I typically look at are not MY promos.

They're ones that have landed in my email inbox or, in decreasing regularity, in my actual physical mailbox.

And unless I've seen it reappear multiple times, I usually have no idea whether it's a super-successful control...or a one-time test that bombed. The promo I'm talking about today is one I haven't seen before, and I have no idea whether it's working.

Even if it's working well, some of my suggestions may be able to greatly improve the results.

So let's take a look at this CBD promo and see what all the "controversy" is about!

We'll start with the front cover of this nicely designed, 24-page, 4-color, 8 1/2 x 11 self mailer...


If you were more than a mere child in the 80's, you may recall the MTV slogan, "I want my MTV". It's even a refrain in one of my favorite Dire Straits songs, "Money for Nothing".

So this masthead reading "I want my CBD" will definitely resonate with most "baby boomers". But I feel like there's a problem overall with this front cover. It's trying to zero in on two somewhat competing dominant emotions: hope and anger.

The primary copy and images are hope-focused with the dramatic testimonials and visuals. Yet they're competing against the anger that's being agitated by the copy about the government wanting to cut off the prospect's access and way overcharge for their CBD.

It would be much stronger to put the primary focus on ONE dominant emotion--and for health promotions in general, hope is much more effective than anger or fear.

Some other issues: in general, testimonial headlines and cover copy don't work as well as something directed directly at the reader. There's no "you". It's about THEM.

We are hopelessly self-centered creatures, so speaking TO the prospect generally works better. (While there are always exceptions, I've learned this again and again through countless tests).

There's also the issue of this feeling very generically about CBD, versus some special product with a unique mechanism. CBD is further along the market sophistication continuum than just being able to shout "CBD stops pain". They need to demonstrate instead that this product does it faster, easier, more effectively.

They do that later in the promo, but all of that should come much earlier. Let's take a quick look at page 3 of the promo, which you see once you turn the page...


Okay, NOW we're getting to some "you"-focused copy here. There's a continuation of the anger/fear thread that their access may be cut off soon. (However, this is never fully leveraged as a way to build urgency for ordering. It's more about agitating and hoping to resonate that way with the prospect.)

The lead opens with testimonial after testimonial. In the first 9 pages in fact, there's little to no "you" copy except in the sidebars. That's because pages 4 through 9 are mostly devoted to agitating about the horrible Big Pharma/Paid-for-politicians/Wall Street elite/Uncle Sam.

Now I realize there's a lot more of this truly putting CBD access at risk vs supplements (I personally know of someone in another country who's behind bars for simply possessing a CBD product), and it can be effective copy to use strategically.

But this feels like too much "preaching to the choir" versus using this valuable real estate in the promo to introduce and position what it is about this CBD product that makes it superior (i.e., set up why others don't produce these kinds of dramatic results...and how this solution fixes that).

Finally, around page 8 we're getting to something besides screaming about "pharma bros" and government bureaucrats...


Man, by this point I'm so tired of the ranting, and there's been hardly a word in the main letter copy about how do I get that relief you teased me about on the front cover and at the beginning with all those testimonials.

Halfway through page 8 there's copy about how they're giving away one million bottles of their CBD product for free. Okay, now you're talking! At this point I'm wondering why this wasn't played up more earlier.

But before I can really absorb this "new idea", we're back to the ranting about the big, bad government and Big Pharma.

I feel like the first 8-10 pages of this promo could be completely reworked. I don't think I'd touch any of the sidebars--they're great--and the graphics and visuals are top-notch and eye-catching, meaning they get the copy read.

However, in the pages to come there are two other pages I think could make for much stronger front covers, with a few tweaks. Plus there's some great copy (albeit too short) about this product's unique mechanism that could really make this product stand out and generate far more orders.

There's also the issue of how the Million Free Bottles offer is initially presented, then seemingly dropped from the face of the earth, only to turn into a typical "spend nearly $200 and you'll get your free stuff" kind of offer.

Since there's a lot more to get into with this promo and I've shared several valuable lessons with this breakdown already, look for Part 2 of this issue of "What's in Kim's Mailbox" tomorrow!

And if you haven't had a chance to shoot over your most *burning* question to me yet, click the link here and let me hear it! Answers will be forthcoming later this week in my next issue of Copy Insiders.

Yours for smarter marketing,

Kim

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