A Good Marketing Idea Done Wrong

If I have one vice, it’s a good cigar, which is why I am a subscriber to a cigar magazine (yes they have magazines for everything).  Anyway, my annual subscription is up for renewal and the magazine sent me a special offer in the mail to renew.

To be honest, I was on the fence about renewing, but when the outside of the envelope teased me about a free gift if I renewed, I did what it suggested and opened it.  Mind you they just overcame two huge marketing hurdles.

First, they got my attention (and I am just as fast as anybody else to dump mail into the recycle bin unopened) and second they got me to open the envelope.  Do not gloss over either of these challenges.  Most direct mail fails because the marketer did not do a good job of getting attention and getting the piece opened.

Anyway, back to my renewal story. As I read the letter, I quickly looked for the free gift they promised.  If it was a good one, the likelihood of renewing would be much higher.  However,  I was quickly disappointed.

While the free gift was obviously a high quality gift it was targeted at a golfer (it was some sort of golf multi-tool).  Not being a golfer, I immediately rejected the offer in my head and have yet to renew my subscription.

Unfortunately for this magazine, they got me to the five yard line, but they did not get me across the goal line.  Their free gift strategy was very smart and one that is not used as much as it should be.  In this case, one little tweak could have made it a whole lot better.  Want to know what it is?

Give the reader the option to pick from three gifts!

Allowing people to choose their free premium is a proven response-booster.  Any incremental cost in having to provide two additional gifts is quickly offset by the increase in response.

Had the magazine allowed me to choose a gift that was not a golf gift, but say, a cigar-related gift would have resulted in a renewal.  But since they only offered a golf-related gift and I am not a golfer, stopped be dead in my tracks.

So the take-away is whenever you offer a premium gift – give your readers the choice of multiple gifts instead of forcing them to accept only one choice.

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at BiteSizedBooks.com.

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