What Olympics and Phelps teach about copywriting…

What can you learn about copywriting from the Olympics?

A lot – especially copywriting strategy.  In this copy clinic you’ll learn how the Olympic Effect can harm or help your copy.

This article was inspired when I looked at one of the many campaigns on Google Adwords I’ve got running.

Here are the stats before the Olympics –

6634 impressions, 224 clicks, 3.37% click though, 31% conversion.

Not too bad.

Now what what happens when the Olympic Effect

6117 impressions, 167 clicks, 2.73% click through 18% conversion.

The Olympics slashed results in half. They took a  pretty good campaign and crippled it. Not very sporting of them!

Here is the lesson: As much as possible you want to avoid running marketing and copywriting campaigns if you are going to be competing with big national and international events.

Case in point…

I had a client that had pre-tested an expensive direct mail promotion for a big ticket seminar. All the test pointed to a $3 million dollar pay day within two weeks of roll-out.  So, he dropped $400,000 on the campaign and launched it. The very next day everyone woke to the news that the first Gulf War had launched. His $400,000 when up in smoke. Poof. Gone.

Hurricanes, floods, pestilence and wars are brutal on direct response marketing results.  So, to the extent you see a major national news story coming your way, you should proceed cautiously. Of course, you can’t always see the storms coming. But if you do, be ready to pull your campaigns until they pass.

But major news events don’t have to be bad news for marketers and copywriters. Instead of trying to fight the forces of nature and news cycles, you can use them.

There is no better way to boost your results than tying your headlines and themes into major events. In the “old days” this was more difficult because there was no ability to get direct mail or a radio or TV commercial produced before the moment had passed. But in today’s digital age, quick acting marketers and copywriters can seize on these events and surf them rather than be slammed on the beach by them.

So, if there is a major event raining on your parade, or a storm cloud on the horizon, either pull back your campaign,  or pull out your surf board and harness the power of the coming tidal wave.