Subscription coupons - how to close the sale

The ending is the most important part of a subscription promotion. Most copywriters say it’s the headline because this is what gets read first. Next, they say, comes the PS because this also invariably gets read.

But for me, it’s the coupon, because it contains the two most important elements of any promotion — the offer and the price.

When you’re trying to sell something, the most difficult part of the sale is to ask for the order — to ‘close the sale’. This is what the coupon does.

It’s not that it’s hard to ask someone for money. Most of us have to do this often enough. But it’s hard to do it well. When we come to close the sale, we do it badly because all the faults of the sales message that preceded it reveal themselves.

Most publishers recognise an effective sales pitch because they hear it from their advertisement sales staff.

And you will see good editorial almost every day. But few publishers have a good copywriter on their staff — someone who can bring in orders with a written version of the verbal sales pitch — someone who can ‘close the deal’.

When you are writing a sales letter, it’s the coupon that has to close the sale for you. And the coupon is what the reader will turn to immediately after scanning the letter you’ve written. He or she will want to know: “What’s the deal?”

This is why, when creating a subscription promotion, I always confirm the contents of the coupon first. I ask: “What kind of offer are we making?” It concentrates the thought processes into that all important question and keeps the copy relevant.

When you next create a coupon make sure you repeat your offer and summarise the benefits a subscription will deliver to the reader. Don’t expect him to read every word of your promotion to discover the facts himself, because he won’t.

Click below for a template for your next subscription promotion. Obviously, it doesn’t show what offer or price you will make for your publication, but fill that in and send it to me for comments and advice:

coupon small for any title May 00.jpg

If you go to the website, they have softeware that guides you to producing effective copy:

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