KABOOM!
Your Promo Bombed …
Is It the End of the World?

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
– Vince Lombardi

AWAI Wall of Famer Rick De Lima has literally gotten a few bloody noses – and more – from competing in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Kenpo Karate.

But according to Rick, “When you get beat up, you just bounce back. When you do that, you start to develop the mental toughness required for success.”

Bloody noses aside, Rick’s also written a few “bombs.” This is despite being a successful copywriter who has written promos for some very well-known internet marketers and copywriters … promos that often doubled his client’s sales.

Imagine getting that dreaded call from a client …

“Your promo bombed.”

Immediately, you feel the urge to hide under your desk for the next few weeks.

You start to doubt yourself and question your abilities as a copywriter.

It happens. But as Rick says, “When you fall off the horse, you’ve got to get right back on.”

So if you ever receive that dreaded call, don’t worry.

Here’s Rick’s advice for getting over writing a “stinker” … and coming out on top.

  1. Don’t hide. Once you’ve gotten the bad news, don’t avoid your client. Instead, be proactive. Look for solutions. Tell your client, “Let’s work together here. How can we fix this? What can we do to make this better?” This might mean re-writing the headline and lead, or taking a closer look at the offer.
  2. Offer to write another letter. If the package was a HUGE flop, and it’s a client you’d really like to get more work from, here’s what to do. Tell your client, “It’s really important to me that you get a winner. Let me try one more time. It won’t cost you a thing.” This builds goodwill, and shows your client that you really do have his best interest at heart. After all, he probably spent a lot of money testing your letter. Some clients will go for this. Others will not. If they don’t, it’s okay. Everyone goes through this at some point in his or her career. At the very least, you can say you handled the situation with a high degree of professionalism.
  3. Learn from the experience. Do your best to identify the factors that caused your promo to lose. Was the “big idea” off? Did you include enough credibility and track record? Did you promise the right kinds of benefits? Take notes and learn. This way, you won’t make the same mistakes again.
  4. Don’t get discouraged. Realize that every copywriter – even the world’s best – write a rotten egg once in a while. Remember, writing just one control out of every three promos puts you in the “A-level” category. Use the experience to become a better, tougher, more knowledgeable copywriter.

Writing bad copy is not the end of the world. It’ll actually make you a better copywriter and a stronger person.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: December 17, 2008

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