I’d like your thoughts on whether or not this type of copy strikes you as legitimate or a gimmick

| May 8, 2014 | 6 Comments

gimmickThis post is a quick follow-on to my earlier post on special, time-limited discounts. I looked over several of the emails I cited and a cursory Internet search — here is a collection of the reasons given for creating or extending time-limited, special offers:

  • My warehouse guy just found another box…
  • My accountant says I’m nuts for continuing this…
  • We made a mistake in our copy and got the date wrong…
  • Since the response has been overwhelming…
  • The servers overloaded so we decided to extend the deadline.
  • When the deadline arrived the line was just too long to get in, we had to continue.
  • The last time we made this offer we sold out in x minutes xx seconds…

I’d like your input and answer to a serious question — Do you believe this kind of stuff?

I’d like to know if you share my reaction to statements like those above. When I read stuff like that I cringe. It’s possible the statements are true, but more likely they are fabricated to make it seem there is great demand or a scarcity of product or services being offered. I think these statements are close to being a scam and are disingenuous. The temptation to write them is great, but they just don’t read as being sincere or genuine.

What do you think? Do statements like those above bother you, do you like them, or do you read right through them and really don’t care? Why?

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Category: B2B Copywriting, Copywriting Skills

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  1. Aaron says:

    They come across fake. I don’t ever read past a line like that. But I’m not a compulsive buyer; there may be others who are completely taken by language like this. It must work on somebody or they’d stop using it.

    • Jim Logan says:

      Thanks for the thoughts Aaron! I agree.

      I wonder how effective it is, especially compared to how successful it could be otherwise? What I mean by that is the technique is standard copy fare: create a sense of urgency… part of a long taught copywriting formula.

      I’m sure it works on some, but can’t help thinking it turns more away.

  2. Hi Jim,

    I’d read it as disingenuous. But I’m sure it works on a good chunk of people.

    There’s probably a more honest way to create urgency.

    Having said that, I have to admit, I do miss those Crazy Eddie commercials just a little bit.

  3. Yeah, old Crazy Eddie was classic. :) Someone should make a movie about the guy.

    Incidentally, there are plenty of clips of those commercials available on youtube.

    Watching them is like opening a time capsule from my youth.

  4. gerry.yampolsky says:

    What a load of garbage. But there are plenty of people who swallow this stuff, we call them mooches. When I was a university student – back when dinosaurs ruked the earth – I worked in telephone sales. 20% of the people always bought, the trick was to turn 80% of your time hitting the 20%. I could tell within 10 seconds if I had a live one on the line.

    We sold reliable products, but they were slightly overpriced. However, of those who bought, more than 90% would buy a second time.

    Never underestimate the lowwest common denominator, and never forget that between NY, LA, Chicago and St Louis, there are a lot of trusting kind and gullible people out there.

    • Jim Logan says:

      This is interesting: “…of those who bought, more than 90% would buy a second time.” That’s my experience too.

      As others noted, the fact is the language I noted above (disingenuous or not) motivates a segment of the population to action.

      It rarely fits well with my client-base, but there’s no doubt it works in a variety of markets — Internet marketing, lifestyle business, and a variety of information products immediately come to mind.

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