For the DM packages, I see
many ways to make these stronger, which we
could outline in a critique for $1,500 per package. If the
client wants us
to rewrite the packages based on our critique suggestions,
credit the $1,500 critique fee toward the $6,000 copywriting
fee, so the
cost would be only $4,500 per package for copywriting.
For the ad, I recommend we test a 7 X 10-inch version of the
control ad vs. a new 7 X 10-inch test ad. We could supply 2-3
test concepts in a copy platform memo for $750. If the client
picks one and wants us to write the test ad, we would credit
the $750 toward the $3,500 copywriting fee, so the copy
for the test ad would cost only $2,750.
A sample DMP critique follows:
Mr. RJB. — Copywriter/Consultant
TO: John Client
RE: Critique of Money Laundering Alert mailing
Overall, this is a solid mailing that could be made even
critique is designed to help you accomplish this
Your topic, money laundering, has a strong dramatic appeal.
It’s newsworthy and is connected with the fear of loss and
Although your package is aimed at professionals, not the
I would still consider bringing in this news and interest
(See my page-by-page comments below).
You define your three audiences as bankers, lawyers, and law
officials. Perhaps you should test lift notes speaking more
each of these three groups. Law enforcement officials, for
quite different from bankers and lawyers.
Your outer envelope is designed to look like personal
You lose that advantage by putting the Alert Global Media
name in large
type in the upper left corner of the front of the envelope.
the upper left corner put in plain type the following:
Nikolas xxxxxx, Editor
Money Laundering Alert
xxxx Brickell St.
Suite xxx, North Tower
xxxxx, FL 33131
Ideally the newsletter name and address should be in plain
and the editor’s name in typewriter type (Prestige Elite)
above it. See
my package for Strategies & Forecasts as an example; I
can send a copy
if you need one.
Another small point is the letter typeface. I like the
Courier font (I think
that’s what it is) better (easier to read on a personal
level) than the Times Roman, but I don’t feel it’s terribly
critical. If you want to test them, go ahead. My page-by-page
comments correspond to the pages in the Times Roman
What’s the size of your list? Have you tested this letter
personalization? Maybe you can get away with eliminating it
The current headline reads as if you get $100 discount for a
offer or NO discount and free tapes for the 2-year offer.
make clear that the 2-year subscribers get a BETTER discount
$100 for 1 year) PLUS the bonus tapes. Also, unless Intriago
known, naming him in the headline is not a selling point.
And you might
want to consider a more appealing title for the tape set,
Your Bank (and Yourself) Against Illegal Money Laundering
Fines and Jail
The headline and lead are competent. But they are also flat
unexciting. My instinct says this topic gives your audience
(raises their emotional state), but the package doesn’t hit
button. Law enforcement officers, for example, might
thrill of closing down a laundering operation. Bankers might
they are being used and are therefore open to personal
Use specifics in your copy— "facts, figures, stories, case
For instance, a lead based on a real story might begin this
Blow, a VP at AnyBank, didn’t expect federal agents to be
waiting at his
desk to arrest him for money laundering when he walked into
last Monday morning. But that’s exactly what happened.
Or, you could lead with the story from the June 1999 issue
on Pakistan’s former prime minister having to pay $8.6 million
in fines. The idea: If a king, president, or queen can be
prosecuted, you can too.
As for statistics and specifics, instead of saying
laundering can lead
to severe penalties, give specifics: "fines of $100,000 per
more; jail sentences of 2-3 years; etc." whatever the facts
Also in the first paragraph, help the reader visualize the
instance: 6,000 agents from 15 federal agencies [name two or
now crawling through bank statements, monitoring your
watching your home.
In paragraph two, add this sentence after the first sentence
ending in 30
states. "Is yours one of them?"
In the third paragraph, rewrite slightly as follows so you
end the lead
sentence with contains 13 new provisions to the Bank Secrecy
you name them all?
I do like the knowledge you display on page 1 concerning the
examination procedure and the new crimes strategy act. But
either tell the reader something useful about these in your
offer to send them details in a free bonus report.
I like the positioning statement in the third paragraph
about MLA being
the most quoted and reliable source. Is it also the only
laundering monthly newsletter aimed at the banking community
consumers? If so, add that to the positioning
We give ourselves a lot of praise. Do we have testimonials
subscribers who support our claim that we tell them what to
do so they
can avoid problems? Does any subscriber say we helped him or
out of court, avoid expensive litigation, clear the bank’s
good name, or
win in court and avoid fines and jail?
Again, we refer to more inside knowledge of regulations
Casablanca, KYC). We tease the reader but don’t pay off. If
give specifics in the letter on what these mean to them,
maybe we should
pay off and discuss these topics in the premium.
Can you name a big financial institution or government
agency that uses
MLA in a training program? What do they say about its
If MLA is the first step for your protection, what are the
steps? Be careful. This implies that MLA is an incomplete
How do we get the inside information on what US federal
doing? What are the information sources we scour? We should
editorial and research story a bit to show readers how and
why MLA can
get stuff they won’t read elsewhere.
On pages 2 to 3 you list 6 features MLA provides. These
might read better
if we gave them names instead of numbering them. For
example, #5 on
essential documents access could be named - MLA
Archives or something
similar. Number 2 on federal agencies could be named -
Bullet points could be stronger and more specific. For
fourth bullet point, talk about one specific bill (name it)
general statements of details of important bills.
Similarly, for the list of articles at the bottom of page 3,
rewrite them as more engaging bullets rather than just
article titles. On the fifth item, for instance, I might say
like, "How money laundering destroyed the lives of 64,000
law-abiding citizens on this tiny tropical island."
Also, no need to list the dates or issues for the articles.
This has the
negative effect of reminding the reader that these articles
run and therefore he won’t be getting them as a new
As with the headline, the 1 vs. 2 year offer is a little
Rewrite to make clearer. See my earlier comment on the
Make the guarantee terms more specific. What happens if I
have a 2 year
subscription and cancel after 14 months? Do I get ALL my
Just a refund for the unmailed portion of my subscription?
Or no money
back? Is this a lifetime or time-limited guarantee?
To get paid and avoid deadbeats, add a note to the bill-me
says, "Premium shipped upon receipt of payment."
I notice you have a book on KYC. Perhaps this or some other
material should be offered as a premium for 1 year
subscribers. Two year
subscribers would get whatever the 1 year people get PLUS
the tape set.
You might also take one of the copy points from the sales
create a short premium around it. Example: "13 New
Provisions to the
Bank Secrecy Act ˆ and What You Should Know About Each."
Then offer it
as a quick-response bonus if they order within 10 days.
Reference the bullets to the tape and side (Tape 2, Side B),
this case, they will be getting every piece of information
If the live seminar was expensive, state the price and
compare it to the
price of the tapes (in this case, FREE!).