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EZ Trim #2

CCA/DN Creative Review:    EZ-TRIM DM     18 Jan. 2000


(1) Having tested many diet packages, I am in agreement with the closed-face outer, however I would use a more medical cornercard . Something to the effect of:

Medical Offices of

K. Santoriello, M.D. (I would not spell out name to avoid gender pre-determination)

(2) Either a Bulk Rate stamp or 3rd class meter is preferable to the pre-printed indicia. If using a pre-printed indicia, I would suggest having my designer come up with one that looks like a meter, with stamp effect.

(3) I’m not sure that "teaser" copy would enhance this piece. It could be seen as too "promotional" if a FREE GIFT were touted on the outer. Doctors don’t send FREE GIFTS. I might try a very medical teaser, such as:

Clinical Test Results Enclosed (Funky typewriter type)

(4) Ideally, I’d love to test a double-window outer for this package. Many doctors today use double-window outers to send patient statements. This allows for personalization and is bound to be opened.



(1) This should definitely be a #9 and not a Monarch size. Any size that makes it difficult to insert the order form suppresses response.

(2) The "teal" color does not look professional. I would stick with black and make this look more clinical as well. Instead of ORDER DEPARTMENT (very promotional) I would use a return address line of DISPENSARY or PRIORITY PROCESSING. Something to give it more dignity.

(3) I would add a Stamp Effect to create more of a sense of urgency.

(4) I don’t understand why anyone would ask on the CRE "Is your correct name and address on the order form?" They fill out the order form. It’s not personalized. I found it confusing.



(1) I don’t usually like to call this an order form. It seems more professional if it’s a REQUEST, or REQUISITION, or DISPENSARY ALLOCATION DOCUMENT. Anything that tells me this is a professional, proprietary health product helps.

(2) I would make the form look more like a Pharmaceutical Form than a piece of promotional literature. Half the order form is devoted to NuSOURCE Cream and looks like an FSI ad. This is distracting, at best. I would separate the Premium from the actual order form and create an 8 ½ x 7 single-fold order form. By opening up the size of the form we could highlight the savings up to $79.80 considerably more. 80% of the people do not have 20/20 vision. Right now the bonus savings are nearly impossible to read. Printing it on 8 ½ x11 and doing a chop-and-nest for the premium buckslip would work as well.

(3) I don’t like the use of the color RED in this form. I find it distracting and, again, not professional looking. I’d probably go with a different color and do some screens on the order portion.

(4) I would have checks or money orders payable to GMC and not General Merchandise Corp. – GMC sounds like GNC (General Nutrition Center) while General Merchandise Corp. sounds like Japanese importers of chintzy stuff.

(5) I would make the SHIP TO: portion of the order form an actual shipping label. It’s a chore to have people fill out this information, so why not make it more plausible by stating that this is the RUSH SHIPPING LABEL for your shipment?

(6) There NEEDS to be an FDA disclaimer on this form. Period.

(7) The Premium offer is very confusing. I get NuSOURCE cream with a 1 or 3 month supply of diet pills. I get NuSource Alpha-Hydroxy with 2 month supply. One is worth $24.95 and the other is $34.95. Confusing? Perhaps it would be better to state they would get $25 bonus with 1-month order, $35 bonus with 2-month...and $60 bonus with 3-month. This bonus approach makes more sense and a $60 bonus on a $99.95 order makes me think I’m only paying $39.95 for a hundred bucks worth of diet pills because the other stuff is FREE.

(8) I don’t recommend asking people how much they want to lose. A large percentage of mail-order diet buyers are not even overweight. This I know for a fact. Many are compulsive dieters who panic when they are 8 pounds overweight. Many of the buyers I studied were younger women obsessed with being thin, not the severely overweight women many of these programs focus on.



(1) The benefits are buried in the copy. The headline should be BRIGHTEN DULL, TIRED-LOOKING SKIN BY 60%.....FREE! Based on the average age of diet product buyers, brightening skin should be more important than reducing wrinkles. Once you’re that old, you don’t care as much if you are overweight. I’d also play up the SOFTNESS and SMOOTHNESS angles. Very important to ALL women.

(2) On the flip side, the charts are ok, but why not headline this side with NuSOURCE WORKS LIKE SKIN CREAMS COSTING UP TO $139...AND IT’S YOURS FREE* (* with 2 or 3 month supply of diet pills)

(3) Why is there a reference to "squint lines" that MEN get?



(1) Impossible to read. Should be re-written in legible hand.

(2) Should be edited to allow for bigger handwriting.

(3) I’d take the liberty of deleting Store Hours and other extraneous information from Traci’s letterhead. Too busy.

(4) Change color screen to something more cheery than gray. Use a warm color. Pink always works well, or light lavender.



(1) Ideally, this should be personalized.

(2) Is there a reason why the subhead states "Dr. Kathy Santoriello is licensed to practice medicine and resides in the state of North Carolina"??? This is a real STOPPER and makes me question the authenticity of the letter, as does the "GO TO PG. 2, etc." footnotes. A doctor might say (cont’d.) or (over,please), or (continue on other side) but not GO TO PG. 2.

(3) I would never use all upper case type on a letter, nor would I use the typeface used in this promotion. It doesn’t look real, professional or worthy of consideration. I wouldn’t go to a doctor who wrote in ALL CAPS. Nor would I believe what they have to say. It’s the typographic equivalent of "shouting".

(4) I also have learned NEVER to begin a sales letter with a "yes" or "no" question. If they say "no", the promotion ends right there!!!

(5) Being "paid" for helping participate in a study is not clarified and brings confusion in right up front. I’d state that we’ll reward you with free gifts for participating – gifts valued up to $70.00

(6) I would not promote the "Be on TV" aspect. Women who used to be fat don’t necessarily want national TV exposure for their embarrassment. I’d rather take the opposite approach – we don’t advertise on TV to keep our promotional costs down and pass the savings on to you. We prefer having a doctor write to you about this incredible MIRACLE OF WEIGHT CONTROL!

(7) I would keep the letter at 4 pages. I don’t believe doctors have time to write 6-page letters. If they do, they must not be good doctors. I’d incorporate some of the anecdotal testimonials into the doctor’s letter. THIS LETTER ALSO NEEDS AN FDA DISCLAIMER.

(8) I would have much stronger benefit copy in the P.S., and perhaps use it to bring in an 800# for ordering. When people make a life-changing decision, they want to take action right away. An inbound toll-free number would be good here.



(1) The cover graphic design is weak. The headline should scream out:

"I lost 75 pounds in just months...and you can too!"

(2) The triangle burst in the upper left corner does not pop at all, and assumes I know all about NuSource. I don’t, if this is the first piece I read, which it often is. Why not pop out boldly $70.00 IN FREE GIFTS JUST FOR TRYING E-Z TRIM!

(3) I question the reference to the parent company on the front panel. First of all, it makes me wonder why you put it there. I would move the photo of Dr. Santiorello (and get a more medical looking photo) and the comparison of E-Z Trim to Traditional Dieting on the front cover and move reference to the company to the back panel, again calling in GMC instead of General Merchandise Corporation. I don’t buy nutriceuticals from a knick-knack company.

(4) This entire brochure tells me far more about the Premium than the Product. While Thermo-Slim seems to have an overdose of testimonials, this brochure doesn’t play them up enough. And the word "Eloquent" is weak (and few people really know what it means). THESE POWERFUL TESTIMONIALS SHOULD CONVINCE YOU THAT E-Z TRIM WORKS! That’s what grabs me by the collar and says "buy me".

(5) The whole layout and choice of colors makes me NOT want to read this brochure.

(6) The narrative style of this brochure, with Kari’s story, seems more suited to a letter than a brochure. Perhaps consider having Kari author the letter and the doctor author the brochure, or at least skip back and forth between Kari’s narrative and scientific verbiage referring back to Kari’s comments.

(7) Could also use some charts, graphs and even some bibliography or reference list.

(8) The brochure, too, needs an FDA DISCLAIMER and an Extraordinary Results disclaimer (Your results may vary....etc.)

(9) I am not a firm believer in going into too much detail on ingredients. The mystery of a "magic bullet" always helps the sale, and "serial dieters" are very aware of the common diet ingredients, like Chitosan, Chromium Piccolinate, Guar Gum, Apple Pectin, B6, Psyllium Husk, etc., but I do think you need to discuss how the interaction of the ingredients accelerates weight loss – perhaps even do a call-out box on "Thermogenesis".

(10) Since the brochure talks about cousins getting slim together, it is the natural place for a pass-along order form and the 800# we discussed as part of the P.S.

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