It looks good… but is it rotten?

I take my sayings seriously. In fact, I really do eat an apple a day. Our refrigerator in the garage is loaded with soda and beer… and apples. But in our Ohio winters, what looks like beautiful fresh fruit sometimes goes bad without us realizing it. Only after you cut into it do you see the brown streaks and mush at the core.

Your marketing is like apples in February.  Slogans, taglines and headlines are at the core. So how fresh and firm are your messages? How solid is the language you’re sending out in your persuasive push for more business? Has your goodness gone bad, without you realizing it?

On his recent blog post, “How would you rate this headline?” (, Bob Bly shares what seems like a pretty good headline for outer-envelope copy… that is, until you consider the intended audience. And once you consider the audience, you see that it’s actually a pretty lame choice of words. The company sending it invested thousands and thousands of dollars in a campaign that will most likey fall short – all because of a repulsive (yes, I did say repulsive) line of copy, causing the letter to be ignored and discarded. 

So take a close look at your marketing message, no matter how insignificant you think it may be – from envelopes to postcards, from letterhead to email signatures. See how attractive your taglines are to the people you want to do business with.

And if you’re surrounded by “bad apples” and lame messages, maybe it’s time for a fresh approach.