How Not to Advertise

Shea Homes owns Highlands Ranch, which is a massive community in the county where I live. Shea also builds most of the new homes in Highlands Ranch.

Apparently, Shea is trying to drum up some home buyers. So they sent me an email with a headline that says:

“Shea Homes Value for an UnLimited Time Only”

Then the body copy says:

Shea Homes Value Can Be Yours Today. As one of the nation’s most respected builders, Shea Homes’ character is built on honesty, integrity, and quality. While many are playing pricing and incentive games, we deliver competitive prices, unbeatable value, and exceptional designs. Hurry, for an UnLimited Time, Shea Homes Value Can Be Yours Today.

Who is the genius who came up with this?

First of all, there is no offer. Nothing specific is being sold at all.

Secondly, the offer (which we’ve already established doesn’t even exist) is for an unlimited time. There is no urgency whatsoever.

So for as long as you want, you can take advantage of an offer that doesn’t exist.


This is a clear example of how NOT to advertise.

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Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

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