Monday, 21 July 2014

What if your 50k Customers, PAID newsletter subscribers or members, were ZAPPED?

How would your life be if you had 50 thousand PAID subscribers to your publication, subscription services or membership?

With huge deposits of cash pouring in each and every month.

Absolutely like clockwork.

Life would be pretty rosy, right?

But, what happens if your subscriber rate, tanks, crumbles, suffers a heart attack... what then?


And what happens if you resurrect the publication, but now, the subscriber rate and the publication is perceived as just another commodity amongst a bunch of commodity publications?


The Rosengarten Report had, in it's peak to 2008, over fifty thousand paid subscribers to its restaurant and food guide publication.


It was the bees knees.

The publication was hailed by James Beard (Google him) as the best written food publication in the world.   
If you were lured into the publication, you'd want to eat it the page it was printed on.

The publication was THAT good.

But why?

Here's the secret ingredient.

The recipe for their success.

Now I'm not 100% sure of this but much of the content was written by Gary Bencivenga, the best copywriter (salesman in print) in the world at that time - he's retired now.

Some of his special reports and written pieces for the company were devastating masterpieces in persuasion, gluing you to the spot, making your tummy rumble and your taste buds drool. 

David Rosengarten suffered major health problems and the publication closed down for a number of years.


Now, with health of the owner better, there's an online version of the non paid for newsletter.

It came out late 2012.

Sadly, It's NOTHING like the original publication.

It's weak.

It's lacklustre.

For me, it's instantly throw-away-able.

How so?

The writer.

They've gone cheap.

They've slayed the golden goose and have not replaced it with the same money producing, customer attention readership magic that a communication-in-print-specialist like Bencivenga could create.
Instead, they've hired some 3rd or 4th rate communicator whose skill is in creating a 'so so' experience for the reader. 

What tells us the experience isn't a great one? 

A few examples; 

I'm not raving about it.

I'm not hailing the positives.

I'm not drooling over the screen, not googling the recipes, not hunting down the recommended suppliers, not becoming a member, not itching and eager to to wait for the free online newsletter publication version to drop into my inbox. 

And look, we all know good writing, incredible persuasive and compelling writing when we read it.

The difference in the quality of writing in this newsletter probably amounted to some really sizeable numbers.

The Rosengarten people didn't do much except hire mediocrity with a CAPITAL M.

What kind of written communicators have you engaged? 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

TomTom Twittery & Tomfoolery

Seen or heard the incredibly dumb ads for TOMTOM's navigation systems?

There's around 30-45 seconds of stupid, soap opera type drama, which has NOTHING to do with the TOMTOM system. The call to action, the response mechanism for the listener to make the next move, is woefully inept, pathetic in fact.

Now let's watch the sequence at play here;

Company hires ad agency to create the ads and promotions.

Ad agency has their creative bods let loose on the deliverables.

The 'creative' gets done.

It has to get signed off.

And that's either the client has to agree everything or agency is given license and authority to create, deliver and SEND without any other conversation.

So, the ad piece, the script, the promo piece has had to have gone through the fingers and brains of a number of people BEFORE it gets the green light go-ahead and within earshot of the prospective customer.

Oh dear.

There doesn't seem to be any kind of standards being adhered to here, except BAD ones, by many in the people chain.

It's a mystery as to what kind of 'checklist' questions the ad agency creatives, go through.

Here are a few checklist questions to help those hapless souls; (and others who may be in that same situation)

1. What do we want this communication to do? (what is our most wanted response?)  

2. Does the communication piece do that? (Does it fall in line with the answer to question 1?)
3. What in the communication piece do we need to chop that doesn't match up to question 1?

Those 3 simple questions will help create much cash-flow and SAVE many a promotion from being an almighty, fatal flop. (Of course, this'll only be true for those with open ears and having the ability to adopt, adapt and apply what works)   
(It can also MAKE and SAVE, jobs!)