Here are the answers to questions posted earlier:
1. When you’re deciding on the form your product takes, you’ve got to put Operation MoneySuck into action. The question asked was about whether to create a single book combining both “101 Ways To Prevent Carpal Tunnel”, and a remedy for the problem once you have it.
The answer lies within your market, and within the goals of your campaign. The actual question concerned the possibility of eroded credibility if the “prevention” side of the product didn’t work. Which, of course, would necessitate the need for the remedy.
In general, it’s tough to sell anything that has to do with prevention. The old adage is: People won’t spend a nickel to prevent something… but will give you everything they have to fix something important once it’s broken. It’s especially true in health matters.
So, applied to this specific question… you will have a hard time selling the prevention part of the book, alone, anyway. So, if you’re keeping the remedy as your backend, you may not have a very large list to sell it to.
In other words, it’s not Operation MoneySuck to even consider splitting this product up. An experienced marketer would know that the real salesworthy product was the remedy. The prevention stuff is actually more of a bonus.
And you should look for something else to use as a backend.
I realize there are tons of books out there selling prevention. I have books on stretching and yoga and resistance training, all because I used to have a bad back. But I bought them AFTER I had the bad back, not before. Though they present themselves as prevention, in reality they are part of my attempt to fix the problem. (By the way, I finally fixed my bad back with a regular exercise regimen — weights, cardio, the works. And lots of stomach work, which is the key to a strong back. Writers have chronic back pain, because we’re sitting all the time at the keyboard. We’re suckers for expensive chairs — I have an Aeron monster, with a dozen settings for lumbar and recline — and all sorts of things that attempt to get around the problem without resorting to exercise. None work. You gotta haul your ass to the gym.)
So, to sum up: You look at what your market will pay for. Then you create your product to appeal to that. Logic has no place here.
2. Does it matter if your sales letter is printed on both sides or not? I don’t know of any definitive tests on this. The reason so many long copy letters are printed on both sides, however, is cost. One extra page can put your package over the ounce limit for first class, and that instantly bumps your cost per piece.
That adds up when you’re mailing in the truck-loads.
The holy grail for many mailers is a lightweight paper stock that is still opaque enough so you can print on both sides and not affect readability. I remember writing a penny letter for a client that worked so well he began dropping hundreds of thousands of pieces a week. There was nothing they could do about the weight of the penny… so they found super-light paper. And they even tested the glue holding the coin. They were able to slap the cent on the 12-page letter, plus a reply envelope and order form (and one or two lift notes, as I recall)… and still get the whole mess under an ounce.
I was deeply impressed. The glue weight made the difference. (And no, I don’t know what they used.)
Side story: Another client had tremendous success with a dollar bill letter I wrote. But they resented mailing so many bucks… so they decided (without consulting me) to just print the image of a dollar bill on the first page.
Sales plummeted, but they never told me what they did. They just reported back that “yer letter ain’t workin’ no more.”
If postage is not a problem, I prefer to print on one side of each page. But it’s not a major consideration.
Test, and let me know what you find out.