The Levison Letter


How to make them an offer they can't refuse 

May, 2015


The Godfather knew how to get what he wanted.


If you didn't accept his offer you'd wake up with a horse's head in your bed.


How I wish I had a motivating tool like that. I'm sure a thoroughbred's head tucked under the covers gets a lot more attention than a webinar invitation.


Never mind. If you think creatively and test carefully, you can come up with offers that work beautifully . . . and without the bloodshed.


Let me give you an example.


A while ago, my copy of Forbes arrived in the mail. I shook out the four blow-in cards (those annoying little cards that tumble out of magazines) and saw that Forbes was running a subscription test.


All four cards offered the exact same terms but they were expressed very differently.


Below, you'll find my summary of the offers. (I have stripped out all the selling language so you could look at the offers in their purest form.)


NOTE: if you do the math you'll see that all the offers below work out to about the same dollar amount: $59.95 for a one year sub. $79.95 for a two year sub. Here are the offers:


Card #1:


Cover Price: $4.99

YOUR Price: $1.54


Card #2:


Save 53%!


Card #3:


Cover Price: $129.74

Your 1 YR Cost: $59.95

You Save: $69.79


Card #4:


It's like getting 14 Issues Free


Which offer did best? I have no idea, although if I were a betting man, I would vote for "Save 53%!" The beauty of the four-way test, of course, is that it doesn't depend on anyone's guess. The marketplace provides the definitive answer and all Forbes has to do is roll out the test winner.


This begs the important question, what should you test?


Here are three significant variables, you should consider testing:


1. The offer itself.


As Bob Stone, the dean of the direct response business put it, "The propositions you make to customers can mean the difference between success or failure. Depending on the offer, differences in response of 25%, 50%, 100% and more are commonplace."


2. Your list.


Rather than mail (or email) to everyone on a single list, rent the minimum number of names on a few lists and test an identical offer, etc., with each one. Once you've selected the winning list, you can roll out in force.


3. Your creative/copywriting.


That's where I come in. Persuasive copywriting, a knowledge of direct marketing best practices, and the ability to get prospects to act make a tremendous difference. HERE'S PROOF.


The take-away message this month? It doesn't always make sense to "go with your gut" and make key business decisions based on instinct alone. If you possibly can, do some testing up front and then make them an offer they can't refuse. Or better yet, let me make them the offer.


Give me a call at (415) 461-0672 or send me an email, and let me quote on copywriting your next email, landing page, sales letter, you name it. Let's go to work!

How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Visit my Web site

Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

Home | Free E-newsletter Subscription | Testimonials | Clients
Back Issues | Articles | Consultations | Books | Contact Info

© 2015, Ivan Levison & Associates. All rights reserved.