Somewhere in California — deep inside Apple’s ‘spaceship’ HQ — I believe there is a hidden room.
Aside from Tim Cook and a few other high-level Apple staff, nobody knows of the location of this room.
(Or even that it exists at all.)
In fact, some suspect that the entire reason Apple built a whole new HQ was actually to conceal it.
On the door of this room, in giant font, are four simple letters:
And inside this room lurks one of the most awful secrets imaginable about the brand everyone loves …
I’m getting ahead of myself.
If I don’t tell you how I learned of this room, you probably won’t believe anything I say.
So lean in, and I’ll tell you the story of how I made this terrible discovery …
(You lean in really close, right up to my face.)
Uh, that’s … way too close.
(You lean back a little.)
*ahem* Thank you.
So, the other day, my Apple Watch Series 3 went on the blink.
The workouts kept crashing, the rings wouldn’t close, and so on.
“So what?” you say. “Stuff like that happens.”
Well, Frederick, I will tell you ‘what’.
I have RELIGIOUSLY refused software updates on this thing for about 18 months.
“See!” you interject. “No wonder it’s broken, you idiot.”
No — hear me out here.
One time, I did an update, and the watch went haywire, because the new update was buggy.
Thankfully, the next update fixed the bug.
But that day, I swore I was done with getting ‘new’ features that do nothing for me, and instead would stay content with my current level of functionality.
My idea is simple:
If I never update the software, no bugs should ever be able to appear, since the code doesn’t change.
And, that idea has been correct …
… for the last 18 months.
But today, somehow — DESPITE my watch having been in a state of firmware self-quarantine for the past year and a half — it’s contracted its own form of ‘virus’.
Here’s the thing:
My watch isn’t the only product this has happened to.
Almost every single Apple product I’ve ever owned has done this at some point — started being buggy WAY after it was last updated.
It’s the same for all my friends.
And I’m sure it’s the same for you, too.
Thus, my conspiracy theory is this:
There is a secret department at Apple called the C.R.A.P. Department.
… yes, that’s the name … why are you smirking? I’m telling you a serious story.
Anyway, as the name implies, it has one job:
To carry out Apple’s “Customer Repurchase Assurance Program”.
And here’s the way I imagine it:
Inside that C.R.A.P. Department room, there is a bunch of guys with huge overhead monitors.
They’re tracking every single Apple user in the world … and how long they’ve had a functioning Apple product for.
And as soon as one person crosses the limit, it sets off an alarm, and the team respond:
“Howard, you’d better come look at this … Peter from Dallas has been using a second-hand iPhone SE for five years!”
Howard walks over and looks at the monitor.
“Oh man, that is NOT good. Steven, you and I both know that that thing was only designed to last him two years, max.”
“Should we take him out?”
And then Howard and Steven flip open a box, and press a giant red button.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Dallas, Peter’s old iPhone SE just started freezing up.
He taps at the screen, annoyed, but it doesn’t respond.
“Well, I guess I have had it for five years … and I deserve something new,” he shrugs.
And off he goes to the Apple store to buy himself a brand new iPhone.
That’s how the Customer Repurchase Assurance Program works.
And before you ask, this isn’t even about that news that broke a couple years ago about how Apple were throttling the performance on older phones for battery’s sake.
No, if anything, I believe that was a well-planned PR stunt to PRETEND to ‘expose’ this phenomenon … while secretly keeping the existence of the C.R.A.P. Department hidden.
But I know the truth.
And now, so do you …
Okay, so what does all this have to do with your copy?
I can think of many things, but I’ll tell you the simplest:
You shouldn’t rely on cheap ‘gimmicks’ to get your customers to come back.
i.e. the whole schtick about “open loops”, clickbait headlines (that DON’T pay it off in the copy), and any other ’tricks’ you use to get people to read.
Instead, focus on one thing: selling in a way that people actually like being sold to.
Apple is actually pretty good at this. (You enjoy reading their sales pages, right?)
And as it happens, so am I.
(Oh, hey there. Didn’t expect to see you here so far down this email …)
So, would you like my help doing that for your business?
You could always set up your own C.R.A.P. Copy Department instead …