Direct Response Copywriter Critiques Google's Direct Response Package for Places

Google has regularly sent me a card with $100 of free Google AdWords spend. I like it because it's DIRECT MAIL and proof that even the most advanced and famous companies recognize the power of a marketing tactic that started, according to legend, in the 13th Century.

OK--let's take a look at the package.

This box arrived by UPS...yes...Google uses direct mail.

The goal here is to get business owners to use Google Places. I won't go into why but Google is really motivated to boost its Places product. Here's an article I found.


Basically, Google wants four outcomes...

  1. Finally put Yellow Pages under and get that money
  2. Get people to spend more time on Google, and not Facebook...especially when it comes to business pages
  3. Mine the local advertising market even more...
  4. Become your website

There was a lot to like about this direct mail piece...unless you are Yellow Pages.

Delivery. By had to sign for it. Superb. Expensive...but impossible to ignore. Plus it came in a box the size of a small turkey. Again. How can you ignore that?

Benefit headline on the brochure. There are over 40,000 businesses in Charlotte...get noticed on Google. Not very grabby...

Overall, I thought the body copy was a bit confusing. Google Places is a mystery to most business owners (as is all of SEO and AdWords) so I would have made it easier to understand.

All graphic designers note: Google uses black type on a white background. Apple uses black type on a white background. Both companies measure response and make a lot of money.

Offer...$100 in FREE Google ads. But what sort of ad?...thankfully there's a number to call. In fact, the CTA is to call.

In a brochure within the folder, Google offers all sorts of "stuff" to get you to promote Google places...pens...fortune cookies...toothpicks...yes--toothpicks.

Interesting headline..."You're already doing a great job. Make sure you get noticed." Hmmmm.

Rookie direct response copywriting mistake: asking a question the reader might not know the answer to...ARE YOU EASY TO FIND ONLINE?

In a time when companies rarely send large-scale big budget direct mail packages, this one was epic...although confusing.

One final's cool that companies can add photos, videos, etc. to their Google Places page but I think it's a huge mistake to rely on user generated content, which is notoriously easy to rig. In fact, this line of copy reveals all..."Encourage customers to rate and review your business."

I would have made this piece more educational.



I'm a direct response copywriter and my site is here.