Sometimes it’s fun – and profitable – to use a marketing gimmick.
I believe in the John Kerry microphone malfunction about as much as I believe in the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. At first I did, but with a few days’ observation and thought, I concluded Kerry’s mistake was intentional.
It was a way to get a position and statement put forcefully into the market that could not be done simply and straightforwardly.
Not long ago, Gold/VIP Member Jeff Kaller mailed a mountain of postcards driving people to call – the wrong number. Followed by mailings apologizing for and correcting the mistake. And getting better than ever response.
Another client, who shall remain nameless, sent out a sales letter and registration form for a very pricey event to his best customers, with the dates, place and price missing. Nearly 70% called to inform him of his mistakes: some irritated, some trying to be helpful. This put 70% on the phone with his three telemarketers, who closed half during the calls; net 35% registration vs. best ever prior sign-up rate from same customers for comparable events, 15%.
I recently had a client test it with the dollar bill letter…Copy says: “As you can see, I’ve attached a real, crisp, new $1.00 bill to this letter…” However, to 25 of the 50 sent, he attached a $10.00 bill. To the other 25, a $20.00 bill.
Only two called to report he was mistakenly attaching bigger bills, and offered to send theirs back. No one else mentioned it. But response was 4% better than when same letter was sent with the dollar bill attached. What does that mean? Maybe something, maybe nothing.
Joe Sugarman gave discounts and rewards to people who found the most mistakes in his ads. The technical term for this is: involvement.
My “Mr. X” is a gimmick. The contest is a gimmick. Or are these ‘hooks’? A fine line.