Bob Bly Direct Response Copywriter Official Banner

An Ode to Logic

April 16th, 2008 by Bob Bly

Copy has to make logical sense, so readers may be a bit confused by the direct mail promo I received today from Ode magazine.

The order card gives two choices. You can select either “payment enclosed” or “bill me.”

But in all-cap red letters, the copy says “DON’T SEND MONEY.”

If I am not supposed to send money, why are they telling me I can enclose payment?

I think what they MEANT to say was something like “You need not send money now. We’ll bill you later, if you like.”


Or do you see absolutely no disconnect between “payment enclosed” and “don’t send money”?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 at 11:14 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

57 responses about “An Ode to Logic”

  1. Bill Perry said:

    I’ve been studying hypnosis and stuff for a few years.

    Depending on HOW the thing is layed out, they might have been going for a state of confusion to try and bypass the critical factor. Or they could also have just FUBAR’d the thing.

  2. Sean said:

    I would think they meant do not send cash. They want you to send check or money order to spare themselves from liability in case the envelope got lost in the mail. Clearly what they intended was lost in the copy. They thought they were saying one thing (whatever that was) and they ended up saying nothing at all.

    I’m sure most people would elect the “bill me” option (if the confusing copy didn’t turn them off altogether).

  3. Trisha Bartle said:

    Maybe they mean that you shouldn’t send cash? That’s confusing, though.

  4. Brandon W said:

    I think it’s confusing. My best guess would be that they mean “don’t send cash”, but I don’t believe people equate the term “money” with “cash” these days. It’s something someone should have caught and fixed.

  5. Bob Bly said:

    Sean: They do NOT mean not to send cash. The order card says not to send “money.” They are encouraging you to take the “bill me” offer instead of enclosing payment with order.

  6. Jodi said:

    It seems illogical to me. Why would they prefer the extra time and expense of billing someone, not to mention waiting longer to receive payment?

  7. Philip McLean said:

    Instead of saying “Payment enclosed”, they could have said “I’m convinced! Here’s my payment”.

    They probably tested mailings with and without the “bill me later” option and found that they got enough extra orders to justify the expense.

  8. Bob Bly said:

    Jodi: the standard offer in selling magazine subscriptions is the bill-me offer. Even with a large percentage of those who order cancelling or just not paying, it is more profitable, more times than not, than a hard offer asking for payment with order.

  9. Bapes said:

    I deffinitely think you should never send cash

  10. Elizabeth Adams said:

    Hello, Bob …

    From my experience in running a direct-mail operation out of the basement of my home for many years, if there’s one thing I know about, it’s how many ways there are to interpret what you say on your order form!

    No matter how carefully — how precisely! — I worded my order forms, there was always *somebody* who got it wrong and messed it up.

    That said — and bearing in mind that the language you’re quoting here is open to interpretation — my best guess is that when they say, “DON’T SEND MONEY,” they mean, “DON’T SEND CASH.”

    But dey shuda sed what dey ment!

    Regards, Elizabeth …
    Guide to Writing Headlines

    P.S. If, as you say, the standard in the magazine industry is to send out a “bill me” offer because it’s been proven to bring in more subscriptions than a “pay me” offer, and if that’s the sort of offer they meant to send out, then you would think they would *not* have said “You can select either ‘payment only’ or ‘bill me.'” You would think they would have provided only one choice, “Bill me,” and then used the word “payment” instead of the word “money” in their all-caps red-letters caution, “DON’T SEND PAYMENT.”

    But like I said, you just wouldn’t believe how many ways there are for people to misinterpret what you say in your order forms!


  11. Bob Bly said:

    Elizabeth: The standard offer is bill-me, for which a standard copy line is “Send no money now,” which means do not enclose payment with order — cash, check, or credit card. They decided to add a “payment with order” option, not realizing it logically conflicts with “Send no money now.” Someone should have changed it to “No need to send money now; we can bill you later,” but they overlooked it.

  12. Jodi said:

    Bob, what I meant to say was not that I didn’t see the appeal of “bill me” but that it seemed odd that they would ONLY want the bill me option – and have no interest in immediate payment.

    I agree with your initial opinion. The ‘send no money’ should be removed and the card should offer two choices:

    1) payment enclosed (get the money now)
    2) you can bill me later

    Apparently the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet when I wrote my original reply. That will teach me to post things at 7:17 AM!

  13. Michael said:

    I think they probably meant “Do not send cash.”

  14. Michael said:

    Ack! How stupid is that!? I should have read all the other comments before I wrote comment #13. I would have realized that nearly everyone else said what I said.

  15. Bob Bly said:

    Michael: Trust me: It does NOT mean “do not send cash” but pay with credit card or money order instead. It means it is not necessary to send payment with order because they will bill you later.

  16. Michael said:

    Ah, I get ya, Bob. It does seem confusing, because my first thought on reading it was that they didn’t want the prospect to send them cash.

    I’m wondering…how effective is “bill me later” as part of the response mechanism as opposed to only offering immediate payment options (i.e. send a check, give us your credit card number and sig)?

  17. Elizabeth Adams said:

    Well, Bob, I guess it just goes to show that you can’t be too careful … especially on the order form!

    I guess they didn’t have what I used to keep handy: a nine-year-old boy.

    If you ever want a no-holds-barred assessment of your most cherished passages, show ’em to a nine-year-old boy! They’ve got built-in B.S. Detectors!

    I remember one time I started a letter off with the word “we” and my nine-year-old said, “Who’s we? The king and queen?”

    He was amazingly quick at math, too. He would have picked up on that boo-boo on the order form in a flash.

    Regards, Elizabeth …
    Create Quality Sales Pages with CSS

    P.S. I’ve found that the only way I can reliably spot things like this in my own work is to read it slowly out loud to myself. Vocalizing the words on the page seems to force my eyes to slow down and really *look* at what’s *actually* there instead of what my eyes trick me into *thinking* is there.

    Maybe that’s what happened in this case. Maybe whoever proofed the copy just sort of slid over that bit about the payment without actually seeing it. It is *so* easy to do!


  18. Erik Sherman said:

    Could it be that they were trying to create an unconscious sense of getting something for free as a way to increase response rate? (Of course, whether that panned out, and whether the people they induced had a high fall through in payment, would be another question.) Or maybe they were testing a different response card?

  19. Lawrence Rapko said:

    My dream retirement would involve a awesome log cabin in the mountains. Who needs a beach?

  20. sweater said:

    Your extremely individual net web site is like your personal spot to the World-wide-web where by it is possible to produce your communication to hundreds of 1000’s of your viewers. This is a spot exactly where your viewers could get for you, as effectively. Fundamentally, there are actually five principal great good reasons that you just ought to generate your individual web web-site in your affiliate advertising enterprise:

  21. Genevieve Berreth said:

    Can I simply say what a aid to seek out somebody who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know how one can carry a problem to mild and make it important. Extra individuals have to learn this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre no more widespread since you undoubtedly have the gift.

  22. Matthew Susswein said:

    Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style and design. “Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.” by Harold Bloom.

  23. Mohamed Kleinert said:

    Hi There! We adores your awesome blog many thanks and please carry forward

  24. Roy Luxenberg said:

    I like the helpful info you supply to your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here regularly. I am fairly sure I’ll be told lots of new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the following!|

  25. Lucina Kordsmeier said:

    At this time it appears like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  26. Benedict Patocka said:

    What i do not understood is in truth how you are not really a lot more well-favored than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You understand thus significantly in the case of this matter, made me in my opinion imagine it from so many various angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated until it’s something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. Always handle it up!

  27. Arcelia Keetan said:

    cheap car insurance for new drivers under 25

  28. Takako Harmening said:

    I?m impressed, I need to say. Actually not often do I encounter a weblog that?s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the difficulty is one thing that not sufficient individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very joyful that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for one thing referring to this.

  29. Suggested Browsing said:

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from most recent news update.

  30. CHATLINE said:

    Thanks for your publication. I would also like to say that the first thing you will need to perform is determine if you really need credit score improvement. To do that you must get your hands on a duplicate of your credit rating. That should never be difficult, considering that the government necessitates that you are allowed to receive one cost-free copy of your actual credit report every year. You just have to ask the right men and women. You can either find out from the website with the Federal Trade Commission and also contact one of the leading credit agencies directly.

  31. iraqi dinar rv guru said:

    Thanks a good deal for the efforts to possess had these issues with each other on this blog site. Mary and i also quite much appreciated your input by means of your articles with certain issues. I recognize that you simply have many demands within your schedule therefore the reality that you simply in fact took the highest level of time as you did to guide folks really like us through this article is actually highly valued.

  32. best indie film cameras 2011 said:

    Thank you so much for providing individuals with remarkably special possiblity to discover important secrets from this web site. It can be so fantastic and as well , jam-packed with amusement for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your blog the equivalent of three times per week to find out the new stuff you have. Not to mention, I am just always fulfilled with all the terrific tips you give. Some 2 areas on this page are truly the most efficient we have ever had.

  33. Trinity Code Review said:

    Hello. Cool article. There’s a problem with the web site in internet explorer, and you may want to test this… The browser is the market leader and a huge portion of people will pass over your wonderful writing because of this problem.

  34. plantar fasciitis Phoenix said:

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for newbie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  35. watch dogs free download said:

    Many thanks for being my own tutor on this matter. We enjoyed your current article a lot and most of all favored how you handled the areas I widely known as controversial. You’re always extremely kind to readers really like me and help me in my everyday living. Thank you.

  36. True Religion Kids said:

    I am delighted to learn this web-site.I want to thanks from your time for this glorious read!! I positively enjoying each tiny amount of it and i have you bookmarked to find out new stuff you weblog post.

  37. steroids said:

    interesting article but I’m not sure if the author is correct here.want ot learn about our website you should visit our website we are the top leader in the interest industry of online information and planning of ph@rma stuff, go to us

  38. penis enlargement exerice said:

    Fantastic article. I had been reviewing frequently this web site and I am influenced! Extremely helpful facts precisely the last stage 🙂 My spouse and i deal with this sort of details a whole lot. I had been looking for this type of information and facts for your pretty long period. Appreciate it and finest of luck.

  39. Sheldon Crnkovich said:

    Several thanks I ought say, impressed together with your internet site. I will post this to my facebook wall.

  40. Jennette Egnew said:

    “Hey, thanks for the article.Really thank you! Much obliged.”

  41. Rolf Jarrell said:

    That could be the 64000 problem. There appears to become far too considerably of dissonance among the polls. Rasmussen has Romney routinely ahead (albeit by a smidgen) and NBC/WSJ gives Obama a massive five position margin. What offers? And it seems to generally be counterintuitive that Obama leads Romney in Virginia nonetheless tralis in Colorado! What offers? Poll are all above the map and they might not be meaningful till two weeks before the election.

  42. Corwin said:

    We all immediately recognize the flat snoot, wrinkled face, and large expressive eyes of the loveable Pug. The Pug breed’s roots can be tracked back to Imperial China in 700 B.C., during the time of Confucius, when the breed wa, the breed quickly became a popular lap dog among the aristocracy. A Pug named Pompey is even credited with alerting Holland’s William I, Prince of Orange, to an assassination attempt by Spain. Over time, pugs have been the favored breed or both royals and celebrities—from Napoleon and Queen Victoria to Andy Warhol and Rob Zombie.

  43. candy said:

    This blog was really great, never seen a great blog like this before. I think I’m gonna share this with my friends. mapquest driving directions

  44. Shop ECS said:

    Shop from ECS which is best Shoes brand in Pakistan. We are giving premium quality product which are cost-effective.

  45. Chinyere said:

    Chinyere is best Pakistani clothing brands. Check chinyere cloths collection online today.

  46. evden eve nakliyat izmir said:

    Evden eve nakliyatta guven ve kalite bir arada. istanbul izmir evden eve nakliyat izmir evden eve nakliyat istanbul izmir evden eve nakliyat evden eve nakliyat izmir

  47. Highway Fashions said:

    Find out the latest dresses of the wania collection online in Pakistan. Highwayfashions offers the latest dresses of the wania collection online in all over at reasonable prices. Order your favorite dresses from Highwayfashions.

  48. Royal Leafs said:

    Royalleafs is one of the best cannabis store online. You can find online plenty of Cannabis products such as Cannabis pre-rolls, raw and milled flowers, drinks, and accessories such as bongs and vapes of the highest quality at Royalleafs.

  49. Mike Rooney said:

    Thanks for a wonderful share. Here is the great example related to you blog.
    The Warriors Vest

  50. Andrew Mark said:

    Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.
    Fubar Arnold Schwarzenegger Leather Jacket

  51. iHost VPS said:

    iHost VPS offers Windows Remote Desktop VPS solutions, enabling users to access and control their Windows-based virtual servers remotely. This service empowers businesses and individuals to work efficiently from anywhere in the world, providing a secure and convenient way to manage their resources.

  52. BabyBoxShop said:

    A baby present is a thoughtful gesture to commemorate the arrival of a sweet little one. Discover a wide selection of baby presents designed to make both parents and babies smile. Find the ideal gift to mark this special occasion.

  53. iHost VPS said:

    Seamlessly access your virtual workspace throughCheap VPS remote Desktop . Enjoy the convenience of remote access to your applications, files, and data without straining your budget. Manage your server with the convenience of remote access, allowing you to efficiently control and maintain your resources from any location.

  54. BSNS Consulting said:

    As a leading provider of Business Consultancy Services in Pakistan, BSNS Consulting is your trusted partner for achieving sustainable growth and success. We understand the local business landscape and offer tailored solutions to address your specific challenges. From market analysis to strategic planning, our consultancy services are designed to unlock your business’s full potential.

  55. We Buy Dead Stocks.. said:

    Conveniently sell your computer scrap with We Buy Dead Stocks, your computer scrap buyers near me. We understand the importance of data security and environmental responsibility, ensuring your electronic waste is handled with care and professionalism. Get competitive pricing for your surplus assets today.

  56. Ginkgo Retail said:

    Ginkgo Retail is an innovative domain poised at the intersection of streamlined ecommerce and efficient order management solutions. It serves as a dynamic platform catering to businesses seeking comprehensive, user-friendly systems for their operations. With a focus on seamless integration and accessibility, GinkgoRetail offers an advanced Ecommerce Order Management System, empowering businesses to navigate, track, and optimize their processes effortlessly. Its robust features include Ecommerce Order Management System PDF
    functionalities, ensuring clear and concise documentation throughout the entire order lifecycle. GinkgoRetail stands as a pioneering domain, redefining the standards of intuitive, tech-driven commerce solutions.

  57. Ginkgo Retail said:

    A Headless Order Management System is a backend system that handles and processes customer orders in a headless e-commerce architecture. In this setup, the front-end presentation layer is decoupled from the order management system, allowing for flexibility and customization in how orders are managed and fulfilled. This approach enables seamless integration with various sales channels and devices while ensuring efficient order processing and fulfillment capabilities tailored to the needs of modern digital commerce.

Leave a Reply