Why is this promo working like "gangbusters"?

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

What's in Kim's Mailbox?

Those of you who enjoy my promo breakdowns are in for a treat today.

That's because I'm going to take a look at one of my current controls. And we're going to see if we can figure out why it's working.

This supplement control has been working well for a while...I wrote the copy back in October of 2017. Originally it was for a direct mail "issuelog"-style magalog.

The first time it mailed against the previous long-running control, my new promo beat it handily.

And once it started being used online as a long-form sales page, it also kicked butt.

Okay, perhaps I'm keeping you in suspense, so let's take a quick look at the front cover of the "hard copy" promo I received in my mailbox last month.

It's the same promo I wrote in October 2017, but about 4 months later (February 2018) I created this test cover which also went on to work like "gangbusters"...

Some quick thoughts here...

1) It looks valuable. It's masquerading as a medical journal, rather than looking like "junk mail".

2) There's the mention of the prestigious institution MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the pre-head, with a big promise and speed of result in the headline.

3) The subhead flushes out the benefits, helping to call out specific prospects and problems while casting a wide net.

4) It opens with a head-nodding statement that acknowledges right off that a) they've probably heard of this already, and b) if they don't know about it, they don't feel stupid because we've started with the 4 magic words "As you may know" (and those who DO know feel smart!)

5) It mentions "Nobel Prize-winning discovery" early on in the copy. (Use this in your headlines, leads, emails, and other ad copy prominently and it's always a winning copy strategy...shockingly, it's not overused yet.)

6) Then there's a surprise...a problem they haven't heard of...something that inspires curiosity and opens a loop the prospect needs to read further on in order to close ("But there's a problem you may not be aware of...")

7) This problem ties directly into the unique mechanism of the product--which via its unique design is able to solve the problem of raising nitric oxide levels fast. Right away, the copy is creating curiosity about and desire for this solution to the problem I just set up ("A new discovery is changing all that...")

8) It ends with a "cliffhanger" that doesn't reveal the answer or solution on the front cover, but encourages them to turn the page and keep reading.

9) And if that doesn't get them inside, those sizzling bullets in the faux "table of contents" in the left column should do the trick. Each one was crafted to feature a different benefit of the product...with the idea that at least one of these is a compelling problem or wish to be solved and will call out the right prospect.

Now, let's take a quick look at the original version of this promo that I wrote. From what I've heard, it either rotates with this version or is used as the control whenever it's rolled out via direct mail. (Both versions are also used online). Here's that original front cover...

All the things that I pointed out as working in the first cover we looked at are happening here as far as looking valuable, mention of "Nobel Prize" prominently in subhead, and those curiosity and benefit-laden bullets.

But in this version there are some other things I'm doing that are making this work. The main headline dramatizes the anti-aging benefit in a way that hasn't been overused and is in the prospect's own language. It's also posed as a question to make it more believable and seemingly more incredible, vs. just stating it as a fact.

The opening line sets you up to hear a story and opens a loop. Then the proof for the main headline is piled on, by dimensionalizing testimonials for the product and demonstrating the array of benefits the product delivers (the main ones being energy, memory, and blood pressure).

And at the end of the first page, there's that "cliffhanger" again, forcing the prospect to turn the page to read further.

There's a LOT more that's working in this promo. Over the next few days, I'll expand more on it as there's plenty for you to learn from it. (I also plan to have a VERY special offer for you, so you're not going to want to miss it!)

But just in looking at these two front covers, there are plenty of lessons to be gleaned. (You can click here if you want to see the front covers or first pages of nearly 3 dozen other successful control promos I've written!)

Stay tuned for more on this highly-successful control tomorrow!

Yours for smarter marketing,


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