Ted Ligerty, 2006 Olympic gold medalist, alpine skiing (and 2010 hopeful) needs a new copywriter.
I read his letter seeking donations for one reason: the lead was so bad, I thought it would make a good example of what NOT to do in a direct mail piece. I was right.
The lead was so bad I said - literally, out loud - "WHO CARES?!"
The offensive sentence:
If you had to guess, what would you say the most important time of the year is for a competitive alpine skier like me?
Do I care? no
Is it clever and/or crafty? no
Do I want to read more? no
Even before the letter failed, however, Ligety's list failed to deliver. Why did I get the fundraising plea? It's a mystery.
Am I a skier? no
Have I donated to the Olympic committee (or any related entity)? no
I haven't even entered a contest (that I know of) vaguely related to the Olympics.
Copywriting fails for a lot of reasons. In this case, it wasn't very good and it wasn't sent to the right audience.
Sorry, Ted, 'sno good.