What's in Kim's Mailbox?
In my recent survey, many of you RAVED about my copy breakdowns. I plan to keep doing them going forward. I'm also hoping to offer a new program where you can get an in-depth peek at breakdowns of my own successful promos at some point soon.
But in the meantime, let's take a look at this promo that landed in my mailbox while I was away in sunny LA a few weeks ago (just thinking of the temps in the low 80s and sitting out by the water in Marina del Rey makes the current cold-weather gloom outside DC more bearable!)
It's a 16-page "issuelog"-look magalog from Soundview's Advanced Bionutritionals supplement company. They're one of my long-time clients. I wrote my first control for them in 2004 and have written at least 17 more for them since. So I'm quite familiar with their voice, style, and target audience.
And I'm especially familiar with the product featured in this magalog I received. It's "Advanced Memory Formula" and I wrote the control this magalog beat. (I take this memory supplement, too, and feel sharper than ever.)
My control had been running for more than 8 years (you can see the front cover of it here), and I'd updated it at least a few times as the formula changed over time. After its long run, it had definitely fatigued...but it even had a brief comeback last summer. Who knows? It may rise from the dead again.
But in the meantime, the heir apparent I've been getting in my mailbox for months is this very well-done promo. Let's take a peek at the front cover...
It's a straightforward main headline, but it makes use of "Nobel Prize-winning" (which I think should only have one hyphen) to add instant intrigue and credibility. Anytime you can tie a supplement ingredient or health discovery to a Nobel Prize-winning researcher (which you can do more often than you may think), it's a great thing to highlight in your copy.
The lead opens with an intriguing first sentence and a story that pulls you in and keeps you reading. I also like how it immediately pulls in the doctor and showcases his leadership and personality, in a very subtle way. It also helps to have his smiling face and a caption with his name and MD title adjacent to the first paragraph. You know exactly who's talking and it builds trust and credibility to overcome skepticism.
I also want to highlight those great bullets in the faux "table of contents" in the left column. It's interesting how they immediately broaden out the appeal of the product to people who may not feel they have memory problems or that this is for them. Weight gain, muscle weakness, stress, and anti-aging are all touched on here--all of which are "hot button" problem areas for this older market.
Okay, let's take a look at page 2. Here I want to highlight the use of studies in the copy...
I've circled the 3 different "study stories" that are on this page (there are many more throughout the promo). These studies not only provide proof, they demonstrate the benefits the product can give you. It's all how you write the copy.
This is not just a dry recitation of study results. They're written in a conversational way. I can attest just how challenging it is to do this when you are looking at a full-text study written in scientific language. One must Google the names of the tests mentioned in the studies to find out what they involved...like mice swimming through a maze.
There's also the dramatization of the study results. Rather than just say "NGF blocked and slowed down brain shrinkage", it adds in "What they found amazed them". Or in the mice study, "What's really amazing is". If you report a dramatic study result,never just leave it there...dramatize it with, "That's right! In just 3 weeks!" or "That's pretty amazing!" Or follow the examples of what you see done here.
All of this copy is worth reading and studying (if you haven't bought a product off an Advanced Bionutritionals direct mail promo, I encourage you to do so. That way you'll start getting this highly valuable "junk mail" in your own mailbox! The code in the yellow box on this promo is AM8601 so call 1-800-791-3395 and use that. For $39.95 you'll get a bottle of this great memory supplement and an instant swipe file. I'm not on commission here, just trying to help out!)
Let's take a look at one inside page so you can see the subheads and how it's organized...
Throughout the promo the different ingredients are introduced and "romanced", one by one. I love the design of the "Brain-Boosting Superstar" boxes and how the testimonial inset boxes are done throughout the promos (this has all the hallmarks of top magalog designer Rob Davis).
There's another well-done "study story" here with a dramatic result dramatized accordingly. Also note how this copy stays compliant. I'm sure the study was done on people with dementia or Alzheimer's, but you can't say that (even if you have a study to back it up). Hence the use of "patients who had severe mental decline".
Great subheads also abound on this page and throughout the subhead. You could just skim through all of the subheads and get the gist of the story and be sold. I like the one I circled a lot because in my long-running control for this product I had a very similar subhead that said "cuts 12 years off your brain age". This makes it even stronger by adding "Stanford scientists prove..." before it.
Again, anytime you can "borrow" credibility from Nobel Prize-winning researchers or respected institutions like Stanford and Harvard, or prestigious publications like JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), be sure to feature it in your headlines, subheads, and graphics.
We're going to wrap up with a look at the last page of the close copy, which does an excellent job of dimensionalizing the guarantee and future-pacing the results...
At the top of this page, you can see how it's featuring the "best deal" 6-bottle option in the close copy (we talked about this in one of my breakdowns last week). But what I want to focus on here is the use of the "Down-to-the-Last-Pill Guarantee".
I like how it breaks it down two ways: the benefit you'll see in the first 3 weeks, and the continued benefits beyond that. It sets it up that this is a product you'll want to take for a long time, which not only helps with reorders (where the $$ is made), but with boosting the average order by encouraging them to buy more now.
Many a new control has been won simply by including sales copy that encourages bigger orders. You could have a lower response but higher average order, and be the victor, depending on the company's objectives.
Do not be stingy with your guarantee copy in your close. This is a perfect example. Practically the entire page is devoted to complete removal of risk. It spells everything out, while also future-pacing how that "best deal" 6-bottle offer is going to allow your body time to feel the full effects. It's brilliantly done.
And, of course, restate that big beautiful guarantee in a certificate-like guarantee box, since there are plenty of scanners out there who only read stuff like that. Do this on your online sales pages, at the end of your VSLs, or anywhere online you sell, too.
Yours for smarter marketing,