top of page
  • Writer's pictureKevin Lim

Audible Tricked Me! (And I’m glad they did.)

[Copywriting and marketing tips from a freelance copywriter‘s blog]

Note: If you haven’t heard of Audible, it’s a popular platform that sells audiobooks. And I’m one of their many, many users.

As a professional freelance copywriter, you’d think I should be immune to every sales trick in the trade.

Well, Audible obviously didn’t think so.

(They also probably don’t know I’m a copywriter. Or that I live in Singapore, a rabbit at home, or… well, anything else about me. They do know my email address and credit card number though, and that’s all they needed to get me.)

A week ago…

About a week ago, Audible emailed me an enticing offer. 50% off every title in my wish list! How awesome is that?!

So I hopped over to their site, felt tempted to buy a whole bunch of stuff – then looked at the promotion’s end date and realised there was still a week to go.

“Ah, lots of time to think this over!”

So I put on my procrastination pants and decided to mull over the potential purchases before spending my money.

If you do sales or marketing for a career, you already know what usually happens next.

Your prospect thinks about your deal for 5 minutes, then conveniently forgets all about your beautifully planned promo… till it’s too late.

And you’ve lost a potentially big sale.

But Audible didn’t let me forget

This is where the genius of Audible’s simple but effective campaign showed its brilliance.

Rather than spam me with another “Hey remember to check out our sale” eDM, or a typical “Only 48 hours to go!” email with a huge countdown clock to get your heart pounding (note to email marketers: mega-sized countdown clocks are no longer that exciting.), Audible did something else.

They gave me a present.

This is what showed up in my email.

Notice a few things about this particular eDM:

  • They didn’t send me a “audiobook”. They sent me a “present” – maintaining some level of mystery as to what this “present” really was. (Even though I was 99% sure it was an audiobook. There was still some suspense that got me keen to find out.)

  • There was a simple but obvious call to action. A coloured “Open your present” button.

  • Also note that the copy was warmly written (perfect for the Christmas season), and contained just enough text to get your eyes reading till that you spot that button (that they really want you to click on).

  • Bonus info: Free gifts (even unsolicited ones) often invoke the law of reciprocity – which makes it more likely recipients will want to “give” you something back in return. It’s a proven psychological theory that’s really quite fascinating. If you’re keen to learn more, it’s covered in detail in the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini.

Once I clicked on that button to receive my present (turns out it was an audiobook after all!), I was at their website and reminded that the “50% off everything in my wish list” sale that was going on.

And I was also reminded of how little time I had left to make my purchases and save money!

5 minutes later…

So much for saving money.

And that folks, is one way you can get people to happily spend more with you.

Merry Christmas everyone! (Or rather, happy Christmas shopping!)


[For more copywriting and marketing tips, bookmark my blog at]



bottom of page