Fundamental flaw contest – my response form critique and winners announced!


I want to thank everybody who took the time to post their suggestions as to what they thought was the “fundamental flaw” in Ron Sheetz’s response form.  In case you missed this article, you can check it here:

It’s refreshing to see so many smart marketers reading my articles.  There was a lot of good feedback regarding ways to improve this response form and congratulations to Scott Kirby, Alyson Lex and George Burroughs for reading my mind and figuring out what I thought was the biggest mistake Ron made with his response form.

Before I share that answer, I thought I would share a few other ways Ron can improve his response form, so in classic David Letterman style, here are my


Top 10 Ways Ron Can Improve His Response Form…

10. Do a better job of outlining benefits of the product.

9.  Do a better job of describing the individuals on the product and why I should care about them.

8. The eye-flow of the entire form could be better (e.g. subheads, arrows, etc.).

7. No caption under product image – captions under images are one of the highest read parts of a marketing piece, so it’s important to use this real estate to say something important.

6. Mixing two different CopyDoodle styles – I would prefer to see Ron using one style (e.g. Tom doodles) and not mix and match handwriting.  Plus as Brenda pointed out in her answer, the way they are situated on the form almost has them reading “Risk Guaranteed!”

5. Give more ways to respond.  Phone, web sales site and fax covers all the bases.  The more ways you give prospects to respond, the higher the response.

4. The deadline is too small and should be more attention-grabbing and prominent.

3. No testimonials!  Even if this is a new product, there should be testimonials from advanced previewers.

2.  Paper color – while ivory is not a bad choice, history shows that a color like goldenrod typically out-performs white or ivory paper.  Personally, I try to use goldenrod or something similar for all my inserts.

And the #1 fundamental flaw Ron made (which amplifies a number of the aforementioned issues) is…

1. He did not use the second side of the page!  I cannot harp on this enough, but any time you are wasting valuable real estate like a second side of a sheet of paper, you’re not doing everything you can for maximum response. 

Had Ron used the second side he could have designed his form to have better eye flow, insert better and stronger copy, add testimonials, more graphics, etc.  There’s really no excuse to not use the second side of this page and one should seldom leave such valuable real-estate unused.

Being a “Monday morning quarterback” is quite easy and the mistakes Ron makes on this form are common and I would venture to say WE ALL have made similar mistakes.  The point of these articles is to show you even when you think you’ve done everything right, there’s typically something you’re missing (many times something quite obvious, but difficult to see).

I would challenge everybody reading this to have systems in place to double-check everything you are sending out.  Be it a mastermind group, a marketing assistant or somebody whose input you respect.

As I said before, overall, Ron deserves a round of applause for doing everything he is doing and doing it quite well.  Thanks Ron and if you ever need quality video work for an event or marketing project, contact Ron.  You can see two of his web sites at or


I’d also like to hear from you!  What are some smart ways you’ve take advantage of real estate like a second side of a page, the back of an envelope, or even your product packaging to deliver better marketing content?  Leave your comments below!

About Mike Capuzzi

I'm a speaker, author and high impact marketing strategist for business owners and sharp, aggressive entrepreneurs looking to get to the next level in their business. I'm also the the inventor of the world-famous CopyDoodles. CopyDoodles are the world's largest library of handwritten fonts, hand-drawn doodles, comics and more designed to grab attention and boost your marketing results!


  1. jonathan drake on September 28, 2012 at 2:11 am

    you should run one of these weekly.

    I would either pay for the results
    similar to but
    for how to improve.

    You get the collective suggestions then you put them in order.

    I liked your both sides but also learned a ton from the other “losers” (which my guess was one of)

    (do comment fields have two sides?)

    • Mike Capuzzi on September 28, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Hmmm…. I like that idea. Wanna send in the next example for me to critique 😉

  2. Carolyn on September 28, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Excellent example and critiques. Keep them coming!

  3. Maria on September 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Good stuff, Mike. No matter how we long we’ve all been marketing, a reminder of the fundamentals is always beneficial.

    • Mike Capuzzi on September 28, 2012 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Maria! Often times I write these articles to remind myself of what to do too!

  4. Edwin Soler on September 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Mike, I’m about to send my first ever catalog out in the next week. Can I send it in after I send it? It’s going to a test list of close to 140 and then eventually to 1,200+ addresses. Thanks.


    • Mike Capuzzi on September 28, 2012 at 11:16 am


  5. Alan on September 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

    This is extremely helpful Mike as it points out how important it is for us to continually sharpen our marketing axe! Thanks you.

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