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Let's be "blunt"...

One of the hottest categories right now in the supplement market are CBD and hemp products. And for some reason lately, I'm on multiple mailing lists that are sending out CBD and hemp product magalogs every week. (Maybe it's because I bought some CBD dog treats to help my mini-goldendoodle Pearl chill out when she was with us on a recent trip to the beach?) In any case, I can't tell so far which of these magalogs I've received are proven controls, since I keep getting different ones for the same products. But I thought I'd share one of them with you today, as there are some takeaways you may want to test with your own products or promos. So let's get started! The magalog I'm going to share with you is from Medici Quest. I've gotten several different magalogs from them over the past few months. In fact, I broke down one of them with the masthead "I want my CBD!" earlier this month (you can find it here on my blog). But this particular magalog had a very "blunt" message right on the front cover...

Definitely, this stands out. But unless I'm already interested in CBD or product-aware, am I going to open this? Maybe, because it's so unusual...and the price is right! Now, in general I don't advocate selling your products on the basis of price. It's much more profitable to differentiate your product from the competition and build up its value, so that by the time you reveal the price the prospect believes it's worth paying more for. And in the tight-margin world of selling to cold traffic, especially via direct mail, convincing prospects to spend more is key to hitting break-even or better. Normally, that's done not just with a higher price point, but with incentives to spend more to get the AOV (average order value) up. They do encourage bigger orders--but in a different way than the usual approach. I'll get to that in a moment. Since I'm focused on the offer-oriented positioning here, I'm not going to go through the 23 other pages of this magalog. However, it's interesting that the "guts" of the promo seem almost identical to any of their past promos for CBD products. This one is selling Hemp Gummy Bears. I will show you a peek of the opening spread on pages 2-3. It's the first thing you see when you turn the page, and there's no mention or connection the the pricing angle on the front cover. It immediately introduces the product (another "rule" broken) and presents a big promise...

This two-page spread immediately presents the product as an alternative to CBD, with a headline that seems to contradict (and maybe confuse) the copy on the front cover that reads "CBD $19.95".

However, the copy below clarifies that this is an alternative way to take CBD, so it's basically presenting it as the same thing, but better absorbed since it's broken down more slowly. So it's starting right up front with its unique mechanism, being in the form of gummy bears.

The rest of the copy throughout the promo is all about CBD and could be about pretty much any CBD product. It's writing to an audience as if the stage of sophistication is still relatively early, yet the front cover assumes immediate knowledge.

I'm finding all of it rather contradictory, but perhaps it'll work to both product-aware and product-unaware audiences simply because it stands out.

Here's one more page from the magalog--it's the all-important order page...

It's not until this order form, on the second-to-last page of the promo, that the $19.95 price point so prominently displayed on the front cover is mentioned again. It's presented as a $20 savings per bottle, and there's no limit on how many bottles you can order at the price.

What I find "contrarian" here is that there's no increased discount to encourage you to buy, say, 3 bottle or 6 bottles or even 12 bottles. I would imagine there's not a lot of additional margin to play around with. But there's also not the potential confusion of presenting too many options, or inadvertently limiting how much the prospect might want to buy.

Take a look at the "SALE Price Chart" about two-thirds of the way down, smartly placed right next to the payment info. It "does the math" and shows the price for bottle quantities from 1 to 10. This is a great way to suggest ordering more and making it easy to do so (ALWAYS make it as easy to order as possible!)

And with the $19.95 price point, it's convenient that the highest price point shown is just under $200 (the $199.50 for 10 bottles). It also includes the copy "Add just $19.95 for each extra bottle" to encourage orders beyond 10 bottles.

One of my past clients, Healthy Directions, has used the single-bottle pricing to simplify its order form and encourage multiple bottle orders. But this order form page handles this much more deftly, in my opinion, by showcasing the totals for each bottle quantity while still keeping the offer simplified.

A few other quick comments about the order page shown here. For one, the guarantee is enhanced by offering an extra $10 beyond what they paid if they decide to return the product.

This extra $10 copy only appears on this page. It doesn't appear anywhere else the guarantee is mentioned in the promo. This is either a test or a missed opportunity to really dimensionalize the guarantee and complete removal of risk.

The other thing I want to point out is the company is adding more revenue/pure profit by offer "rush order" processing for an additional $2.

If this is something you can do (promise same-day processing) and the customer values it enough to pay extra for it, then by all means offer it. But if you process all of your orders the same day, it seems a bit "scammy" to offer the chance to pay $2 extra for something they're going to get anyway.

There's also a picture of a friendly-looking female phone representative with copy suggesting a cross-sell offer for CBD cream. This could be one way to encourage people to call-in their orders (and increase AOV) that's worth testing.

Since this isn't a promo I wrote, I don't know the results of this creative and offer structure. But I think there are some intriguing and potentially "testable" ideas here you may want to borrow from.

So go forth and test away!

Yours for smarter marketing,

Kim

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