When I first saw the headline in today’s online Tennessean, I thought it was being purposefully funny: “Men’s pants half off: The dangers of discounting.” But no, it wasn’t a cautionary tale about being careful with your marketing copy in a down economy. It was, in fact, an article about why you should be careful not to discount your prices too aggressively.

Pants Half Off

So it is left to me to write the article about FOR GOD’S SAKE BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR MARKETING COPY. Because you likely don’t really want to conjure up images about men’s pants being halfway off them, and some related images to what happens after the pants come all the way off, if you’re just trying to sell some jeans or twills. Unless, of course, it’s a purposeful ploy to capture some attention, a la the way the Barenaked Ladies named their band. (Hint: name of band on bar marquee . . . )

So what are the lessons here? Nothing earthshattering, just some basics that won’t even cost you money to implement:

  • Pay attention and don’t let deadlines short-circuit a thoughtful review,
  • Get some sleep, or at least take a real mental break, before you approve marketing copy, and
  • Routinely read things from outside your area of interest and expertise, so you will be more sensitive to the broader culture in which your marketing copy will be read.

And really, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Jennifer Alvey is a freelance writer and editor who lives for unintentional double entendres. They make life worth savoring. Have one to share? Email Jennifer at jalveyATwordsolutionsDOTbiz.