Turning Downsides into Benefits: Good Email Marketing

Mission Trip to Louisiana
March 10, 2014
Viral Email Marketing Example from Grandma
March 12, 2014

I recently received an email advertisement that reminded me of the importance of turning downsides into benefits in your marketing.

As the old expression goes, this is about turning lemons into lemonade. Here’s how it works…

Think of the top “problems” regarding your product. What are the main objections or things that your target market might not like about it?

In some cases, you simply have to overcome those objections. However, in some cases you can turn those problems into benefits. By turning it into a benefit, you can automatically overcome the objection before it even becomes an objection.

In this example, I received an email advertising houseboat rentals at Lake Powell. Apparently, Lake Powell is at its lowest water level in many years, a fact that might be alarming for would-be vacationers.

But instead of apologizing for the low water levels, they turned it into the primary benefit, dubbing it the “NEW” Lake Powell: A Paradise of Discovery.

Email advertisement example

They’re combining this creative re-branding with a compelling offer, and a “reason why”. After all, a compelling offer isn’t nearly as compelling unless there’s a good reason for it.

Email marketing example

Next, they’re packing several benefits into their sales copy, mostly related to the low-water situation. Here’s an important point: these are real, legitimate benefits.

Many years ago when I was in retail sales, I heard phrases like “polishing a turd” and “putting lipstick on a pig”. That’s NOT what I’m talking about here. I’m not talking about using dishonesty, deception, or false advertising. I’m talking about looking at the positive instead of the negative.

In the case of Lake Powell, it’s a great example, because the benefits of the low water level are very tangible.

Email advertisement

Like many good advertisements, this one fits pretty well with the classic copywriting formula (AIDA):


Of course the real test of any marketing piece is whether it WORKS, and I have no idea what the results of this advertisement were. Regardless, it was a good reminder of some things for me, and I hope you were able to glean something from it too!

As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

Have a great day!

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