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Marketing is the process by which a company turns money into additional money. So anything (and I mean everything) that obstructs that particular process is terrible. Unfortunately, even the best copy might fall flat on its face if other crucial aspects of the campaign aren’t in place.

Non-Copy Sales Killer #1: Unrealistic Expectations

Many first-time users of marketing service providers may have unreasonable expectations. Unless what you’re doing is entirely terrible, working with a Smart Circle marketing expert is unlikely to result in hundreds or even thousands of percent increases in response rates. They do happen, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

In some ways, we are our own worst enemy, offering too much and presenting our absolute best customer success stories as proof that we are as good as we say.

However, the copywriter who fails to comprehend and manage the client expects to blame.

There is most likely a library of successful ads that have been shelved since they did not meet expectations while their owners moved on to hunt for something better. Even if you are dissatisfied with the outcome, if it is a winner, it is a winner.

Non-Copy Sales Killer #2: Poor Timing

Lousy timing, in my opinion, can kill sales of the best material in two ways. The first is when something happens that distracts your market from your otherwise engaging marketing. For example, many of the promos mailed right before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center were known winners.

The second type of terrible timing occurs when you are aware of a seasonal tie-in, such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Australia Day, Valentine’s Day, and so on. You don’t get your campaign out the door on time because of inadequate internal management. It’s not good when you cut a promotional cycle short and fail to make full use of a well-written campaign because you can’t get organized. I can provide you with good material, but you will miss out on the results if it isn’t in your markets’ hands when they are thinking about the tie-in.

Non-Copy Sales Killer #3: Underestimating the market.

When you have an excellent concept, test it first and then roll it out. Just because you think something will work doesn’t imply it will.

The duplicate may be perfect, but you must test it before releasing it. There’s an old trading adage that goes, “cut your losers short and ride your victories.” Testing is how you follow that rule in marketing without risking everything.