Mattress Marketing Put to the Test

Keeping the spirit of the agreement

Quick disclaimer – While 95% of the posts on my website are relevant to copywriting, this one quite possibly falls into the 5% that aren’t. It’s about a “mattress plan.” And while I’ve written for mattress companies in the past, this post is about something that a popular author/blogger wrote regarding a particular marketing strategy mattress companies use.

Who among us doesn’t love a bargain? Even the wealthy appreciate saving money whenever possible. But how far should you go? What crosses the line when it comes to saving money?

I recently read a blog post by someone who’s a bestselling author that talked about what he called a “Mattress Wealth Redistribution Plan.” He described a legal ploy he’d been using to avoid paying for a new mattress. While his specific example was about mattresses, similar strategies could be applied to other products and retailers.

mattress copywriter

Mattress companies use a marketing strategy of try-it-you’ll-like-it to attract prospects to their brand.

Because competition is fierce in the mattress industry, mattress companies – such as Casper, Purple, Amerisleep, Nolah and Spindle – offer a free trial of their mattress. It’s the mattress industry’s equivalent of handing out teriyaki chicken bites in front of the Chinese restaurant at the mall.

The free trial is typically 100 nights (3+ months), but in some cases can be a full year. Of course, the mattress company hopes you’ll be satisfied and keep the mattress.

You might be thinking, “Yes, I’ll probably end up keeping it because re-boxing and shipping a mattress sounds like an enormous hassle.” But it’s actually pretty simple.

You call the mattress company on or near day 99, and they send someone to your house to pick it up. There’s no pickup fee, shipping cost, or restocking charge. The mattress company will refund the full purchase price to you.

copywriter for mattress companies

Marketing mattresses is difficult. There’s a plethora of companies and often no discernible difference between products.

What happens to the returned mattress? It’s either donated to a local shelter or charity or it’s resold to a third party as a gently-used mattress. Meantime, you’ve moved on to your next free-trial mattress.
So, as the blogger explained, “Everyone wins! And you can keep doing it forever, or at least for a very long time, by trying out different mattresses from competing brands.”

He said he’d been getting free mattresses every 100 days. “It’s been working out just fine. So far I’ve returned three mattresses and will be returning my fourth soon. It really does seem to work in everyone’s favor.“ As for the mattress company, the blogger felt they would win too since in reality not everyone returns their mattress after the free trial.

Something about his plan kept me up that night. He was justifying behavior I felt was unethical. Even worse, he was encouraging his subscribers to do the same. I sent him the following email.

copywriter for mattress companies

When writing a marketing offer, you want to consider how consumers might use — and abuse — it. 

Hi C.G.,

I enjoy your posts and have read all your books. This is my first time writing you.

Today’s post left me with a sour taste in my mouth. While the mattress companies offer the free returns, you surely know that what you’re doing is not what they intended. It’s not within the spirit of the offer.

As someone who advocates for small businesses and entrepreneurs, you can appreciate that encouraging people to game a company’s offer hurts that business financially. Now perhaps you can rationalize that they’re actually big businesses and can absorb the loss, or that their offer does often result in sales, so they come out ahead. You can even feel good about the mattress being donated to a homeless shelter, but that’s a donation the company didn’t intend on making.

Bottom line, you’re still causing the business to take a loss. How many losses can they absorb before they either pass along the extra costs to consumers or go belly up?

I generally like your ideas, but this one is borderline stealing. In my opinion, it just doesn’t pass the smell test for honesty, integrity and fairness.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Susan Greene


mattress copywriter

Fortunately, most people don’t take advantage of generous marketing offers and those offers can result in conversions.

CG replied:

Thanks for the note, Susan – I appreciate and respect your views! 

All   best   always,



What do you think? Should CG be promoting this type of behavior? Would you participate in a “Mattress Wealth Redistribution Plan?” Write me via my Contact page.

Contact Susan Greene

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Really sends the message home – POW!

Wow! Sounds great! I’d call that a wrap. Thank you so much for bearing with me. This was well worth the effort. Really sends the message home – POW!

Corey Hooper
Creators Bounty
Lighthouse Point, Florida

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