Copywriter Falls Prey to the 'Bait and Switch'

The wonderful lady who ran the local coffeshop I used to frequent is moving. She's always in a great mood and I got to know her quite well. So I went to get her a 'thank you' card today. I absolutely refuse to pay ridiculous amounts for cards (it's the thought that counts) so I went straight for the '99 cents' section in the card store.

When I went to pay, it turned out the card cost two dollars.

"But it was in the 99 cents section," I said. "In fact, it was right in the middle of the 99 cents section."

"It's two dollars," repeated the sales assistant.

The classic bait and switch. And I fell for it. In a card store run by a big company...Hallmark. I expected more.

My local shopping center includes eight stores where I can buy cards and related 'stuff' and I'll be going to those from this point forward.

When I tell people I'm a direct response copywriter and I detail what I do, many people think I'm in some type of 'rip off' business. A business that would use 'bait and switch' tactics.

One of my personal copywriting rules is to be clear, truthful, and straightforward. There's NEVER a time when it's appropriate, or useful, for a competent copywriter to lie in order to convert. Plus it's not ethical.

I'm writing to build trust and 'bait and switch' destroys trust.


On another note, here's a headline from my local newspaper's website.


Oh for an 'R' and some competent copy editing.

I believe that grammar and spelling are extremely important for the professional direct response copywriter. Again--some readers are going to stop reading when they see a typo. Let's remember, we're in direct response to maximize response and it's our job to use every technique and tactic to achieve this goal--including solid grammar and spelling.


I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting CopyOr contact me here for a direct response copywriting quote.