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EZ Trim #1

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Date: 12/15/99

To: Client Company: From: Roger Dextor for Andrew Linick, Ph.D./Bob Bly 

Subject: Critique of EZ Trim Consumer Direct Mail Package

 

OVERVIEW:

I rate this package a 5 on a scale of 1 through 10, with 10 being great. On the plus side, the brochure tells a persuasive story, although, as outlined in my critique below, I feel it is missing some elements (clinical proof, ingredients, formulation).

On the minus, side, the sales letter could be much stronger. And, in the package, there is some lack of clarity as to whether the face cream is a bonus or a second product to be purchased. This can be easily fixed by separating the two: the brochure discusses EZ Trim only, and the buck slip discusses the cream only.

 

OUTER ENVELOPE:

The blind envelope makes sense. It keeps the fact that we are selling weight loss confidential, and an overweight prospect might be sensitive about others knowing she is getting such a mailing. Why not use Dr. Kathy’s letterhead for the outer envelope?

I would suggest a third-class stamp rather than a bulk rate indicia. Or, you can use a personalized weight loss indicia to make the envelope look more official and not junk mail.

I also think a teaser envelope is worth testing. Add a handwritten teaser line above the window, "Act within 15 days to receive your free $36.00 gift*."

You need credibility to make a person take action by sending in his or her money. The return address should make the impression of solidarity and prestige, such as The Weight Loss Research Center of America. Or it can be on the doctor’s letterhead.

 

REPLY ENVELOPE:

Test a #9 business reply envelope. The order form does not fit in the current smaller

reply envelope without folding.

 

ORDER FORM:

Put a certificate style border around the order form.

Identify which of the offers (1, 2, or 3 months) is the best by labeling them good, better, best.

How much cream is given as a premium? It just says "FREE NuSource Cream." Is this a full size jar or a sample bottle? How many ounces?

Eliminate the NuSource Set. It just confuses the reader.

Get rid of the NuSource Cream panel on the order form. Talk about the NuSource Cream only in the buck slip.

Include what the value of the Nusource gift is. Would recommend under 4 stars: $36 NuSOURCE Cream—yours absolutely free!

Consider adding a box as follows in place of the current NuSource panel:

Please fill in information blank as to how quickly you desire to lose weight.

I would like to lose_______pounds in 15 days. I would like to lose ____pounds in 60 days.

I would like to lose_______pounds in 30 days. I would like to lose ____pounds in 120 days.

 BUCK SLIP:

I love the scientific description, quantified benefits (reduce wrinkles up to 18%), and graphs that give so much credibility to the cream. This is needed (and is missing) in the brochure describing EZ Trim. Without some of this same proof, people won’t readily buy the main product. This is a rare case where the premium is sold more effectively than the product!

 LIFT NOTE:

Good but hard to read. Have an artist go over the lettering with a pen to make it clearer, or recopy it in slightly more legible handwriting. Would use a powder blue or golden-rod paper to brighten the mood up as grey is not very cheerful to read. Plus, black ink on these colors will read more easily.

 SALES LETTER:

First off, this letter needs a face lift. Because it’s coming from a physician, I would make it two color (blue sparingly) instead of one; use monarch size classic laid stock or

equivalent in an ivory buff. The letter should be personalized. There should be a reply device on the final page. We prefer a six-page letter instead of four due to the reduced page size.

I would use a photo of the doctor on the upper right hand side of the letter, looking straight at you. The reader will actually be reassured seeing a picture of the doctor writing to them. She should look the professional she is, stereotypical even in a white jacket with a stethoscope around her neck or slung around her shoulders.

Assuming it’s a six page letter you might want to run some small thumbnail size head shots of some of the people who have successfully used the product down the side of the letter to go with the testimonials in the brochure. This reinforces what is said throughout the letter, piling up benefit after benefit.

Writing a letter in all upper case type makes for difficult reading. Would use upper and lower case in a serif font, with all caps for emphasis only. Besides, for a doctor writing, it’s too in-your-face and lacks professionalism. I don’t believe any doctor would use this format to reach patients.

"Nationwide campaign" and "weight loss campaign" mentioned upfront and in the very first paragraph is not "doctor speak," and is it really what this whole thing is about? Not really. It’s just a small part of what is desired: immediate orders as in cash up front. After all, this is supposed to benefit the reader.

And I don’t like the use of the word turbulent. Good word, but don’t feel it’s appropriate in this context. To me it connotes violence, disorder and agitation. Vigorous might be a better choice "at a vigorous or fantastic rate."

But rather than that whole "regarding" thing, etc., which is like a headline before the greeting, and instead of the first paragraph, I would suggest something like:

"Dear Friend, You’ve been selected to participate in an important weight loss program which may forever change scientific perception as to how weight can be lost."

The use of the word "paid" is confusing and misleading. What the reader may receive are two gifts: Nusource cream premium with order, and a second gift when they mail in their comments (testimonial) about the product after using it.

How about the concept that allows the reader to receive the value of a dollar for every pound lost month after month. So if someone loses 10 pounds, they’ll receive a $10 coupon money voucher which can be applied towards the purchase of more EZ Trim or other related products, such as more Nusource cream. This is a great incentive or motivator to follow through on using the product and buying more, and an inexpensive way to receive the always needed terrific testimonial. Instead of "Sincerely" use "Towards better health" or something of the like. The doctor"s signature should be signed in the second color using a blue felt tip pen.

The P.S. should mention readers should reserve their free gifts by calling within 15

days. Example: Don’t forget to request your free gifts by calling 1-800-4EZ-TRIM™

( 4 3 9. 8 7 4 6 ) .  

BROCHURE :

Pop out left top corner triangle more . As is , doesn’t stand out enough . And add a dollar value to the NuSOURCE Cream . ( As discussed earlier under ORDER FORM . )

Inside headline crossing inside bottom page : change the word eloquent to "real."

Within the layout we would add, scattered here and there, a few thumbnail photos of the persons who have written the product endorsements.

As in the sales letter, there is nothing in this brochure that tells the reader what the EZ Trim product is, what the active ingredient is or what makes it work. What does it contain? You should give ingredients and dosages, showing a blow-up of the package label. And then go into details about each ingredient and its proven efficacy in weight loss.

This brochure just says that all the ingredients are ‘organic’ and ‘natural.’ (Isn’t the dangerous phen fen natural?) If the product is phen fen-free, this is a positive and should be mentioned. Are there any limitations, for believability? Most of the copy here pertains to the gift of Nusource and not the product you’re asking the reader to buy. Remove all cream copy from the brochure and just talk about EZ Trim.

On the back of the brochure, the $60 value of both gifts is buried. This benefit should be part of the back page headline, something like: Yours free! Gifts worth $60.

‘The E-Z Way vs. Traditional Dieting’ (by doctor’s photo): Here ís this doctor looking like a glamour gal. Instead she should look professional with an expression of concerned caring (not necessarily smiling), again having a stethoscope draped over her shoulders wouldn’t hurt.

Both paragraphs by the photo should be related back to EZ Trim by way of simpler explanation. "The E-Z way eliminates forever all ideas, all the different methodologies that you’ve considered vital towards losing weight. Why? Because EZ Trim burns away fat before it sticks to your body. You are dramatically curtailing the process of gaining weight."

The doctor’s copy rambles. Possible copy to include: "The special blending of these unique, all-natural herbal ingredients into just the right portions, comprising of (more benefit copy here) . . . EZ Trim has been used for thousands of years by Polynesian natives and even in the Far East by the ancient Chinese. They know that using EZ Trim, fat is rapidly processed or destroyed in the body before it can be stored. Independent tests (introduce a chart or graphics here) have verified this."

If you have any test results on EZ Trim, here’s the place to reveal them. If not, you

should describe the major ingredients, with evidence (clinical or anecdotal) that supports the claim of the ingredient being a fat burner. Cite any studies that give quantitative evidence that the ingredient helps people lose weight. Give the source (e.g., ‘an article in the prestigious Journal of Metabolic Studies’).

You have to tell readers what it is they are buying. The lack of this detail is in my opinion the major barrier preventing this piece from being successful. (Be sure to add a copyright © 2000 to all the pieces including the 4-page brochure and an order form because each piece needs to stand by itself.)

We would add an order form to the back of the 11 x 17, 4-color brochure. This makes it easier for someone who receives the brochure as a pass-along to order.

 

MISCELLANEOUS TIPS AND ADVICE:

• Always include address and phone number on every piece in DM package in case part of package becomes lost or misplaced.

• Mail order marketers know their sales can double when they add a toll-free number and major credit cards accepted to all their components in the package. To increase orders up to a third, add an 800# with an extension # (acts as a key code) to each piece as a reminder for easier ordering.

• Add  a "™  after  EZ Trim™ . Adds   credibility and enhances perceived value .

• Consider sending the product to a known celebrity and/or organizations that can use and endorse the product . The addition of such an endorsement to the package is priceless .

• As far as features are concerned, we would highlight important product features that set your product apart from your competition. A section or paragraph on how it works can include the results of any tests that demonstrate the superiority of the product or its individual ingredients.


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