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Bizarre Copywriting Blunder

by Pete Godfrey · 15 comments

Bizarre Copywriting Blunder

You see it often.

In the papers, in Google AdWords; we see it in all media categories.

It’s wrong.

It’s silly.

It causes ill will.

And it’s downright bizarre.

So what is this insidious copywriting blunder?

Well it’s the old “Bait and Switch.”

This is where advertisers get you in on one thing and then sell you on another.

One old example is the newspaper ad with “SEX” as the headline.

When you begin reading the ad, it says something like this,

“Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about…”

They probably think they are being clever.

They probably think this trickery will get more sales.

Trouble is, the opposite is true.

Let me explain…

If there is a disconnect between your ad and your sales message, your sales will nosedive. It’s that simple.

For example, I had a member who contacted me about his marketing.

He was desperate.

In a panic.

His conversions so dreadful even the most ardent happy-clapping optimist would get an ulcer.

He’s Google AdWords campaign was working a treat and sending a lot of traffic to his sales page. But when they got to the sales page they weren’t buying.

What the hell was going on?

I told him to chill, take some deep breaths, and we’ll work it out.

I looked at his ads and looked at his sales page and the answer to his conversions problem was obvious.

You see…

The ad implied getting a job in an exciting industry.

The sales page was selling a course in this exciting industry.

Instant disconnect.

The folks going to the website thought there were jobs on offer and then discovered they had to shell out money and do a course. Complete disconnect.

The lesson is a simple one in ALL areas of your marketing.

Your message much be congruent right the way through the whole process. You can’t promise one thing and then deliver another.

Frankly, this is the quickest way to piss a lot of people off.

Business success is all about you building a real relationship with your customers so they keep buying for many years.

You can’t do that with the old “Bait and Switch.”

Love to hear your thoughts on this.

And oh, by the way, if you want to discover how to market your business effectively and with integrity, without resorting to “Bait and Switch” trickery, then come along to my FREE Customer Appreciation Workshop in Brisbane or Sydney.

No shenanigans revealed at these workshops. Just proven, reliable and ethical ways to grow your business.


Pete Godfrey

Wizard of Words

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Leonie Gully June 28, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thank you for the heads up. I have always felt uncomfotable, and at times downright decieved, when seeing this bait and switch type of advertising.
AS for congruency of message…and avoiding the disconnect…. that is one of the biggest take-aways from your mentoring that I have picked up..
This lesson alone made a HUGE difference to our business once we found our true voice that our target clients responded to.


Pete Godfrey June 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hey Leonie, love what you are doing at Moon Haven and my wife Elita loves your products as well (i do too). You are building a real community in your business based on trust… and your customers can really feel that you actually care. Well done!


Josh June 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

The one thing I hate most in this world is being lied to… That’s exactly what bait and switch is… Saying one thing but doing another.

All types of relationships today are built on trust. If you lie to me once, that trust is gone and you’ll never get it back!

You’ve never done that to me pete.. Everything you say you will do happens exactly like you said it would. That’s what I love about you man… (as well as your hugs and late night calls)

A genuine desire to help people… with no trickery or deceit

Awesome message buddy, love ya work!



Pete Godfrey June 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hey Josh, and yeah, we sell, and we sell with emotioncharged benefits, but we don’t lie and try to pull something over the customer… doing so may get sales, but you will never build a real business this way.


Brian Cassingena June 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Even the gurus aren’t immune Pete, you may have also gotten the same email which said “NOTICE: Fiverr Compromised”, making me think of the ever present hacking threat, but when I open the email . . . seems to be just the name of some kind of Fiverr related product? Only a tiny thing . . but a disconnect all the same, at least for me.


Pete Godfrey June 29, 2012 at 5:14 am

Yeah I get what you are saying Brian and yeah mate I’m on a lot of list. I write a lot of emails in any given week…for my own stuff and for my clients… it’s a medium I really enjoy. One BIG element is the subject line and I use various ones to get attention and get the email opened. But here’s the thing: It’s not about fooling anyone. In your email you must quickly tie the subject line in with your email message. If there is no connection you fail…


(Mo)Nika Mundell June 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Hey Pete,

I don’t do bait and switch for the same reasons you don’t. You’ve got to be authentic and like Josh said, I too hate being lied to. Even worse is the feeling of deception you get from these stunts.

I love how you bring these “techniques” forth into the open and back it up with a killer story. You are truly a wizard of words. Love your work xxx


Pete Godfrey June 29, 2012 at 5:16 am

Hey thanks Monika… and yeah, gotta have a story right?

PS. Looking forward to catching up at my Customer Appreciation Workshop!


John June 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

You see this more and more…Thank god there are people like you Pete and your students that continue to write with integrity.


Pete Godfrey June 29, 2012 at 5:17 am

Cheers John… yes I sell stuff, yes I will use every strategy and technique in my copywriting arsenal to get the sale (it would be a crime if I didn’t) but I have never used the old bait and switch. There are too many other ethical ways to get a great result…cheers man


Konrad June 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for another great article Pete, which teaches and reminds us of what not to do and what to do. I wish I was able to attend your Customer Appreciation Workshop so I could Thank you! for what it means to be taught,coached and encouraged by you. You give one broken bodied man Hope and Guidance on some pretty dark days, I felt I had no future………. and blamed myself……… for not doing better at school and that I had to do back breaking work as a punishment for not being a good scholar.You have helped me ditch the thought that kept me enslaved to the never ending story in my head of “No Future” I know if I keep following the formula you keep guiding with, control that little voice we all have and focus on my outcome and KEEP taking ACTION!!! I will make it.
Thanks for what you do Mate!


Pete Godfrey June 29, 2012 at 5:18 am

Konrad, you’re smashing through the barriers mate…


Greg Blain June 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

Thanks Pete. Good advice. I think your picture of the “Free Beer” tells the story very well.
PS. I’ve been practicing my copywriting for my business…one day I’ll work up the courage to show you a sample of it!!


Pete Godfrey June 29, 2012 at 8:31 am

I eagerly await the day Greg….


Chantelle Mader June 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

Your awesomeness is showing again, Pete! Great reminder to be brutally honest and open with people…that acts like a magnet in a world of deception 🙂


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