Jordan Ogren

October 13, 2021

It's okay to push people away. It's not okay to do this.

I generally get along well with others. But I do have my fair share of tiffs.

But no matter the size of the tiff, I would never wish this on someone:

Their livelihood resting on their ability to sell used cars.

God, that would be anxiety-inducing.

You are selling to people who hate you for selling to them. And you have little room to differentiate your used cars from the used cars down the road.

How would you sell enough cars to make a living?

Maybe resort to direct mail?

That’s what a local car dealership did. They have a repo event coming up where they sell CHEAP used cars and thought some direct mail could help. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. 

Why? Look at this garbage:
First off, horrible design. It screams sketchy and untrustworthy. Sadly, design is what we visual creatures consume first before we can even read any text. 

Second, the structure is off. What content do they want me to see first? It all jumps out at me, which means I get nothing from it. Pick what is most important and have that as a clear headline.

Third, it’s written by the owner of a morgue. There is zero life in the copy. I wouldn’t even buy from this direct mail ad if it sold the Krabby Patty Secret Formula.

So, Jordan, how would you improve this ad? I thought you would never ask.

Without changing any design (for time and constraint purposes), here is my revised copy:

“Waiting for the perfect opportunity to get your next car? Here it is:

Receive the biggest discount we’ve ever given on used cars by coming down to X Autos on October 4th-9th.

How can we afford to give away these cars for basically *free? Repo baby (and trade-ins, lease returns, and pre-auction cars).

Before we send the cars to the auction, we wanted to give you the chance of a lifetime to find your next ride at the lowest cost. 

Interested? Find more details around financing and the event times inside the brochure.”

While that won’t win a Pulitzer Prize, it flows better and gets them further into the direct mail piece.

The quickest way for your mail to end in the garbage is when you fail to hook me. When I don’t see the value prop in 5 seconds, I’m gone.

I don’t care about the time, date, or loco if the event isn’t right for me. So please don’t waste my time. Let me know right away if this deal/event is right for me.

The same is true for your business.

You need to slap that USP (unique selling prop) upfront when marketing something. And I would recommend having that USP be a filter for the right customers.

It’s okay to push the wrong people away. But it’s not okay to fail to pull the right ones in.

Marketing Insights ⚔️
  • Tell me right away if your product or service is right for me (If you’re looking for a fractional CMO who will do what you want, swipe left. I’m not the one.)
  • Know the order of the content (flow) in which you want them to read (put the important shit up front — times and loco can wait)
  • Hire a designer who knows what they are doing to design your marketing (it will help you build trust and stand out from shitty marketing, like this one)

While I am notorious for finding faults (half-empty kind of guy), I try to find good things. I believe we can learn from both teardowns and buildups (buildup = explaining why something worked). In future emails like this one, I want to include buildups and teardowns. 

First, I would love to get your opinion on which brings the most value to you: teardowns or buildups, and why?

I look forward to your feedback to help improve this daily newsletter. 

🧠 + ❤️ // JO