How many times have you said to yourself, “so what’s the catch?”
Sometimes it’s a response to something someone says – something which is just too good to believe.
And sometimes it’s purely because the totally unexpected happens. For example, you are standing on a street waving down a taxi and then someone – a complete stranger – pulls up and offers you a ride. Instant reaction – “what’s the catch?” That’s happened to me on several occasions in different countries.
Then of course, there’s the sharp salespeople, the one’s who tell you everything you want to be hear and give you untold assurances that all will be OK (in Australia, some use terms like “she’ll be right cobber” which always worries me when used in certain contexts).
When it comes to Internet marketing, we are seeing all sorts of offers doing the rounds today and because of the hype involved, we invariably say to ourselves – “Ok, so what’s the catch?”
Often the promotional email copy or video tells a story even before you see what the offer is.
Here’s a couple of examples:-
1.) “Your cost is zero…zip…zilch”
I’ve seen this term used several times and on each occasion, there’s been a catch – a hugely discounted offer or “all you pay is shipping”.
Neither of these equates to zero, zip, or zilch. The author clearly needs to go back to school to learn what those words mean.
Now I have no problem at all in paying for shipping (or the full product price if it is something I want), but I refuse to do so when someone has used words like the above in their copy.
2.) “My good buddy …”
Now that may be a correct statement, but when you receive ½ dozen emails all starting with the same line and the subsequent copy is the same as well, then you know that it’s an affiliate offer.
Ok, it’s not a catch in the strict sense, but the use of this term implies that there is a level of exclusivity which is not the case at all. (Exclusivity can be a strong motivator for some.)
3.) Once it gets taken down, it will never be available again …
In some cases, this claim is genuine and only a limited number of copies are ever released, whereas in others it is a clear scarcity tactic, another copywriting trick.
The problem is that too many Internet Marketers have made their limited release products available at a later date as a Bonus or freebie and so now almost every time I see that statement, I think to myself that it’s just a sales trick.
OK, again not a catch in the strictest sense, but it certainly gets you thinking “here we go again”.
There’s no need for fancy copy like this to try and pull in readers / potential buyers.
Copy such as the above – and many more – get me thinking “so what’s the catch” even before I look at the offer. I am sure I am not alone.
Feel free to share your pet peeves below.