Marketing is how a business turns money into more money. So anything (and I mean anything) that blocks that particular process is bad. Unfortunately, even some of the best copy can fall flat on its face when other critical elements of the campaign aren’t right.
Non Copy Sales Killer #1: Unrealistic expectations
Many first time users of marketing services providers can have unrealistic expectations. Unless what you are doing is totally pathetic, it is unlikely that working with a marketing consultant us going to yield hundred or even thousand percent improvements in your response rates. They do happen but they are the exception not the rule.
In some ways, we are our own worst enemy promising too much and presenting our absolute best client success stories as proof that we are as good as what we say.
However, the copywriter who doesn’t try and understand the clients expectations and manage them is responsible for getting themselves in trouble here.
There are probably a library of successful campaigns that have been shelved because they didn’t measure up to expectations while their owners went on to look for something better. If it’s a winner, it’s a winner even if you are unhappy with the results.
Non Copy Sales Killer #2: Bad Timing
To me, bad timing can kill sales of the best copy in two ways. The first is when something happens that is distracting your market from your otherwise fascinating marketing. For example -the promotions mailed just before the September 11 attacks on the world trade centre bombed many of them were know winners.
The second form of bad timing is when you know there is a seasonal tie-in Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Australia Day, Valentine’s Day etc. Through poor internal management you don’t get your campaign out the door in time. Not good when you cut a promotional cycle short and fail to get full use out of a well written campaign because you can’t get organised. I can give you good copy, but if it isn’t in your markets’ hands when they are thinking about the tie in, you are missing out on the results.
Non Copy Sales Killer #3: Mis-underestimating the market.
When you have a good idea, test first and then roll out. Just because you think something will work doesn’t mean it will.
The copy could be 10/10 but you need to test before you roll out. There is an old trading saying, “cut your losers short and ride your winners.” Testing is how you follow that rule in marketing without betting the farm.