I saw an offer the other day, on the web of course, something with a normal price of $495.00 knocked down to $19.95. I thought to myself that nobody would ever buy something offered with that patently absurd insult to intelligence.
But I’m pretty sure people do. I learned that the hard way.
I once decided to overrule a direct mail marketing expert, who I had hired, and send out a direct mail campaign for a software product priced at $100 instead of $99.95. He was a real expert too, but I thought I knew my market, and my customers, better than he did. I didn’t.
And spam? Every so often I wonder how spam still exists. Who can be so naïve as to click on those emails and buy the stupid stuff the spammers offer? Is there anybody left? Obviously the answer is yes, because the spam keeps coming. So somebody buys it, right? Or else it wouldn’t be worth sending?
I can answer my own question (in the title here): yes, they do. It’s annoying, really, but they do.
It turns out that promoting something with “special offer” language still works for some people. You don’t get me, I’m afraid. I always assume that’s just hype. And my advice to you is that they shouldn’t get you either.
“Special offer” means to me that they couldn’t think of anything else to put in a headline.
But then, what would I know? I’m the one who once decided to go to print with direct mail pieces offering something for $100 instead of $99.95. “That $99.95 baloney is insulting,” I said, to the direct mail expert, back in the heyday of direct mail marketing. “Let’s call it $100 so they know we’re up front.” Bad idea.
And what happened, of course, is that the response rate went down to less than a third. Live and learn.
So, keeping that in mind, if you look at the search results shown here, “special offer” is up there 29.9 million times (no, not 30 million, just 29.9 million). So it probably works.