Advice for The New York Times from a Direct Response Copywriter (Part 2)

In my last blog, I critiqued a direct mail piece The New York Times sent me. The piece was trying to get me to subscribe to their "weekender" package: the newspaper delivered to me on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday plus full digital access.
I gave the piece a 2/10.
My recommendations to improve the piece.
  1. Sell New York not the New York Times. A friend who lives in New York once told me, "New York is where the most talented people in the world come to be the best." It's the city with leaders in every field. I'm interested to know what they're up to. The benefit: discover what the most incredible people are doing so you're ahead of the game when it comes to ideas and the practical application of these ideas.
  2. Streamline the offer. Make it all digital with an upsell for the printed version.
  3. Emphasize the apps and tell me what they do.
  4. Give me something FREE from the vast reservoir of content. The 10 greatest people in the Arts in New York and what you can learn from them...10 greatest bankers...10 greatest budget restaurants...let me choose. "See what you can get when order today."
  5. Get your direct marketing boots on. Guarantee. Take no risk...your credit card will not be billed for 14 days so you get a free look. Cancel anytime. COME ON! WE'RE TRYING TO SELL SOMETHING! This offer only good until XXX so sign up now.
  6. Get some testimonials related to the theme...from actual subscribers who don't live in New York City.
I just looked their site and look at all the juicy content on this page. Package it. Give it to me when I subscribe.
But overall, I would sell the city and access to it...not the newspaper.
Oh--and use a great story to start the piece...
But most of all, use a proven direct response approach to selling subscriptions. This code was cracked a long time ago.
The core offer from the offending piece once again. Extremely underwhelming.

    I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. For a free direct response copywriting checklist, go here