Gary Halbert: Listen, if you people would stop slurring my reputation.
Michel: Oh, there we go. Let me just mute this phone right now. We are in presentation mode and…
Gary: Just one second.
Gary: Caleb, it's on mute now. Nobody can hear you. Go ahead.
Michel: I muted the entire call because we're expecting over 1,000 people on tonight's phone call and I didn't want to get too much feedback because whenever there's so many phones going at the same time it's just crazy. But, let me just say welcome to everyone on tonight's call.
This is the second call with none other than the great Gary Halbert, my mentor, my friend and the king of copy, the prince of print. Gary, you know, he's more than just a mentor and a copywriter extraordinaire because — and I don't want to go through all the introductions that I did on the last call — but I want to give you a little bit of a heads-up.
If you didn't listen to the first call, in Gary's words, you're insane. Because Gary revealed some of the most powerful copywritingstrategies on that very first call and in fact, you know, Gary and I had a chuckle on the phone the other day about that, about tonight's teleseminar because some of the feedback we received from that very first call was pretty fascinating and some of it was pretty outrageous.
Ninety percent of the emails that I've got for example on that call was pretty good — mind blowing even. People were raving about it. They couldn't believe we were giving this teleseminar out for free. But there's a small minority — 10 plaintiff unfortunately — that were pissed off. They didn't have a clue. They ranted about you know, Gary going on tangents and stories and such and never really getting any content.
Well, I have to tell you this right now. And I have to laugh about it, too, because people who didn't get it — and with all due respect to everyone on this call regardless of where they're at with their copywriting skills — they're the people who unfortunately, will never be able to get it. They'll never be able to write really good copy. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.
The power of what Gary taught during that last call was not in exactly what Gary said — although he delivered a lot of great content — but the biggest lessons you could pull from it — or what I pulled from it — and I guess you can say it this way — it's not the message — it's not even the messenger. Like comedy — it's all in the delivery.
Now, I'm not talking about theatre and stories and such although that was a big part of it. What I'm talking about is how Gary drove his point home. How he got his points across. And about the choice of stories. What exactly he said and why he said it to you in order to drive those points home as well as the understanding of human psychology and human nature and that's one of the most critical points in copy and something that I see missing a lot in most of the sales letters that I see today.
Once you do get it, though, you'll be able to understand not only how Gary writes his own copy, but you'll be on your way to writing world class copy yourself. So, if you can — and you should — if you haven't really heard the first call, go ahead and listen to it. But if you have, go back and listen to it again and again and again. I'll tell you right now — and this has actually happened to me — you'll get stuff on the second, on the third and even on the fifth time of hearing that call.
And, so, anyways, that's enough of an introduction but before we go on, a little bit of housekeeping.
The last time that we've done this call and we have introduced this call to you so that you can actually go online and download and hear it yourself, we've gotten a few emails from people who said they couldn't download it. Well, I got to tell you, my server was crushed. The traffic was just horrendous and because of that and because my host was just absolutely wonderful — and I'm being sarcastic here — people had a hard time downloading the call. This is gonna happen again. Please try again a little later.
You will eventually get them and I do apologize and what I plan on doing for the second call and probably for the other call, too, is to open up my mirror server so that it can take some of the load from the first one. The second one is I asked you to send me some of your questions. Some questions were pretty long-winded.
What I want you to do is to be as brief and as specific in your question as possible. Rather than giving me some long story about where you come from, where you're at and how we can save your life. We don't want that kind of stuff.
The second thing is tonight is about copywriting. We might talk a little bit about, for example, Internet marketingbut a lot of questions were about Internet marketing and this is not what this call is about. It's really about copy. Um, but we do, I can introduce a few things and I'm sure Gary will introduce a few things.
The third and final thing is we don't do critiques. People have sent in questions by actually sending me their headlines, their copy and some of them actually forward sales letters and I usually forward some of these questions to Gary and some of them I didn't because I thought it was just too absurd of a question to ask. We are not gonna do critiques although we can give you a lot of good ideas based on some of the questions we have had.
So please be specific and you can send your question — even right now as we speak if you would like — at [email protected] And we've got tons of questions already so we might not be able to go through all of them and even if you send your question now I might not have a chance to answer that and have Gary answer that but what I can ask you this is that if we do have some time we will go through a lot of these questions right now and Gary promised me he's gonna actually answer questions tonight.
At any rate, if you have don't know Gary, you're going to be in for a treat and for some of you, you're in for a heart attack. So, that's all I can say. Without further ado, please welcome my mentor, Gary Halbert.
Gary: Thank you, thanks Mike. Listen, I, too, received a lot of feedback from that last call. In fact, hundreds of letters and overwhelmingly they were positive and some of them were negative. Obviously written by losers and some of them were negative that pointed out some things that I really was negligent in and that I could improve.
But before I start answering questions, I am going to read one response to you that I just got today. And the subject is almost arrested. Gary, I was listening to your call recorded with Michael Fortin while driving to a client from Tampa Bay to a recently discovered distant planet of at best questionable value named Winterhaven.
I was pulled over by an unmarked little car with it's light pretending to be a big car. Anyway, I quickly concluded it was indeed the state police and wondered what the hell I had been doing. The officer told me he noticed I was laughing uncontrollably and talking in my vehicle but he couldn't see anyone else in my SUV so he was thinking I had some people — probably Cuban immigrants — in the back of my truck.
The facts are I was simply listening to your recording that I transferred to my IPod. I was laughing my ass off and making notes into my cassette tape recorder since I have not developed the talent for driving at 80 miles an hour and writing at the same time. True story. No ticket. Policeman verified my explanation by listening to my IPod for maybe ten seconds and while he could not understand why I was laughing so hard, he did understand that I was on my way to a client.
Thank you for the great information and entertainment on that program. Your remarks about Gary Bensavanga, Jay Abraham and John Carlton should be memorialized. All the best to you and those you love. And that was from a guy named Steve Polit. But, that put a nice, I enjoyed that, thinking about that letter.
But, I want to start right off by clearing away three or four questions and a very valid criticism of something I did on the last call. One of the things that I, there are two things that I said and then because of my advanced age and dementia I started rambling and didn't clean them up.
And one of them is what would I do if I had to make a million dollars in a year or I would be shot. And the other question was what is the thing that you have to do to prove that you are worthy of being a copywriter?
To answer those questions in, well the first part of the question in a fell swoop, it's necessary for me to read you something and then I'm gonna explain something to you that should light a fire under some of you. And I'll just start reading, I'll read this and then I'm gonna explain the really significant things about it. Free book reveals… how to win at online poker especially Texas Hold'em almost every time you play.
Do you like to play online poker? Would you like to discover how professional card sharks are able consistently to win hundreds and often thousands of dollars almost every time they choose to play? Would you like to be so good at online poker that you never had to work at a regular job again? If so, this will be the most important message you will ever read.
A small, privately owned publishing company — O'Dowd Publishing — has just released a brand new book that blows the lid off and reveals the little known but lethal techniques pro players use. Sub head — To sucker amateur players out of almost all their money.
Here's just a few of the incredible secrets you will learn when you read this free book.
When are the three best days to play online poker. These are the three days most people have a lot of fog in their minds which makes it easier, much easier, to take their money away from them. When are the best hours of the day to play online poker. Believe it or not, there are three hours out of each day when beating the other players is as easy as falling off a log.
What days and what hours should you never play online poker. These are the days and hours the real card sharks come out. Why not just make sure they are not playing before you begin. How to win even when you have weak hands. Most serious poker players would sell their souls for this piece of information.
A certain way to bluff which will fool even very smart players. How to scare amateur players — the only kind you want to play — so badly they will fold even super strong hands. Three secret tips which make winning at Texas Hold'em almost a sure thing. A step-by-step formula developed by two Swiss poker players for winning at Texas Hold'em. By the way, they have both made more than half a million dollars by using this unique system.
How to set a betting trap which will cause every other player to lose their money and lose it to you. How to sniff out scared players and bully them into losing all their money. How to double dip — play in two games at the same time and double your winnings. The very best way for a low limit player — someone who doesn't have much money to start with — to build a huge bank roll by playing online poker.
How to fake out all the other players and make them believe you have a stronger or weaker hand than you really do. How to develop almost X-ray vision to see through instantly and how to cultivate a canine sense of smell for sniffing out any player who is trying to bluff. How to remove the luck factor from online poker.
When you play online poker properly, it is no longer a game. It's a business and a very profitable business. There's a lot more you will learn from this book and it's easy to get your free copy. All you have to do is call my voice mail and leave your name and address. As soon as you do that, I'll send your copy of my book, How to Win at Online Poker Almost Every Time You Play, and I'll send it to you immediately by first class mail.
Remember, when you call you will not get a live person. You will get my voice mail and you will hear me, Caleb O'Dowd, saying, “Hi. This is Caleb O'Dowd. Thank you for calling to get a free copy of my book that reveals how to win at online poker. Just leave your name and address after the beep and I'll send the book to you immediately. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly and please spell out for me any unusual words in your name and address. Okay, here's the beep and thanks again for calling.”
That's all there is to it.
Make the call. Leave your name and address and you'll get the book almost immediately. So, call now while it's fresh in your mind. 1-305-whatever number.
All right. Now. I'm going to tell you this is the first part of what I would do if I had to make a million dollars in a year or one of my children would die and I'm gonna explain the reasons why. All the copy that I just read to you fits very, very legibly with a very prominent headline in a quarter page space of a newspaper — a quarter page.
Now, a quarter page is known as an SAU which is a standard advertising unit which means that you can buy it at remnant or stand-by space which is 90 percent off what you would normally pay. Now, what that means is that I can buy a thousand circulation for this quarter page ad for $4.00. In other words, I can put it in papers or a single paper with 100 circulation for $400.00.
Now, the second thing is I tell them that they are not going to get a live person when they call. They're going to get a recorded message. That is very important; because people are much more comfortable calling to get a recorded message than they are to get a live person because they're afraid if they get a live person they are going to get a high pressure sales job.
The second thing I do, I don't know where I'm at now, the third thing or whatever, is that I tell them what they are going to hear when they call. Hi, this is Caleb O'Dowd. Thank you for calling to get a free copy of my book, etc., etc. so by the fact that I tell them this is what you're going to hear and that is in fact what they do hear increases their comfort level.
Now, all of this is a process of taking the fear out of a sale and if you have something to sell that people want and have enough money to buy what you have to do to sell it among other things is take the fear out of the transaction.
Finally, you'll notice that I said to call 1-305 whatever and that's known as a POTS number which is plain old telephone service which means I can buy that for $7.00 a month and it will take up to 35 calls at the same time without anybody getting a busy signal and this is not like a television commercial where, you know, 5,000 people call at the same time. This would be running in different newspapers and so the calls will be scattered out.
Now, this is a lead generating ad and if you'll notice it's a very hard-working compelling lead generating ad. And I believe that it will generate good prospects at as cheaply as you can develop them. Now, what's going to happen after they make that telephone call is that they are immediately going to get a free book but it's really going to be a 20 or 30 page book that gives them really, really good information and then segues into a sale, a sales letter of why if this is of interest to you, then you should have my course.
Now, I haven't priced it out yet but, you know, it's going to be a minimum of $97.00 and probably considerably more. Now, once you have that name there is no name in all of direct marketing that is more valuable than a gambling system name. That is the single most valuable list of names you can get. They're more valuable than any other type of names. And you just about can't rent them at all.
If you ever find a list of gambling system buyers that you can rent, you can almost be certain that they are only up for rent because they are ten years old and the owner of the list has sucked every last cent that he could out of them because he's mailed them 300 pitches.
So, that is, that is the formula, the most foolproof formula that I know and the truth is at $4.00 per thousand you can test that in a circulation of paper of say 50,000 will give you the answer and that's $200.00 and you're just not gonna get much cheaper than that. If you don't have $200.00 you need to take a second job until you do.
Now, another thing about this is that when you do this what you do is you count up the responses you get and that will tell you, that will go a long way in telling you how to design your product.
First of all, if you get three, four, five, six, seven replies, what you want to do is abandon the project. And it's important that you fail fast and that you fail cheaply. However, if you get 400 or 500 replies, you divide that, those replies, into how much money you spent to get them.
Let's say you got 400 replies and you spent $400.00 to get this in front of 100,000 people then you're buying leads at a buck a piece and that means for sure you have a gold mine because if the first offer you make doesn't work then the, you'll just keep going after it and after it until it does work. That is, I hope answers a question and the next thing I want to tell you is that that ad was 50 percent written by me.
The other 50 percent of it was written by a young man I'm mentoring named Caleb O'Dowd who comes from the Town of Limerick, Ireland. And I had him do the research on this and write the bullets and I worked him like a dog for about three weeks and he furnished me with everything I needed to polish that off and I think Caleb O'Dowd when he came over here from Ireland to work with me — and believe me, I charge a lot and he had to pay a very dear price to do it — this guy had never — he's listening to this call right now in the next room — he had never even seen a direct mail letter.
They don't have them in Ireland. There is no direct response industry in Ireland. He had never pulled a direct mail letter out of an envelope but he is on his way to becoming a world class copywriter. I can guarantee you that and he has the number one prerequisite for becoming a world class copywriter and that is he is obsessed with it.
You know he works so hard that I have to slap him upside the head every once in a while and say, “Hey, Caleb, it's time for us to get a cup of coffee or something.” But if you want to ever get in touch with a future star or you ever want to inquire what it's like to be mentored by me — and I'm not soliciting people to mentor because I hardly ever do it.
This is only the second time I'm doing it. I'm gonna give your email to the people and what he's gonna write you back is he's going to tell you that, “Well, I learned a lot from Gary Halbert but he is a bastard to work with. He just tortured me.”
Anyhow, he's always bitching about it. He really does. He just constantly bitches about you know, I mean not about the work — he's a hard worker but the way he perceives me as mistreating him and I just perceive it as teaching him.
But here's his email. It's [email protected] I'll repeat that. [email protected] and I will tell you this guy is going to be for hire and he is good enough that I am actually doing this project with him and spending my money on it and his brother is coming over to help us and his brother's name is John and he, guess who he was? He was Michael Dell's right-hand man. And so this is really a good guy that you're gonna want to know.
Now, I have only mentored personally one other person and I got a letter from him. And I have to read that to you, too. And it says, Gary, will you let the world or on your teleseminaron Thursday know that your first officially trained student a/k/a Dave Allard has written and is currently enjoying a 31 percent response rate on a self-marketing letter. It is very original and he appreciates your ideas a lot more than Carlton ever will.
I don't know where he got that. You don't have to tell him I said that. Also, a podiatry client David is working with is enjoying a 6 percent response rate and 100 percent conversion to appointments.
Lifetime value of these lost patients is over $168,000.00 in three short weeks from a non-sales oriented newsletter. Two really hot lists being worked by really one hot newsletter. I'm gonna give you his email address, too.
He is up and doing work right now. I've read his portfolio. He's worked for 13 clients and I just think that in this business it's important to know the good people and his [email protected] That's [email protected]
I would like to recommend that the people on this call understand that it is important to dialogue with other like-minded people because basically if you're a copywriter or a direct marketer it is a lonely, small world out there.
And I want to say something more, a little bit more, about that. When I did this first teleseminar, Mike, I had no idea who you were. And I have since read the sales letters that you have written for people and they blew me away. I mean I thought I knew every killer copywriter in the world and I didn't. I didn't know you and I can tell you this I'm gonna steal a lot of your ideas and letters. I mean because they are truly that good.
Michel: Thank you.
Gary: Now, and I mean that sincerely. I, you must know I don't pay compliments easily.
Now, I'm gonna clean up another thing that a question that was asked and I rambled on and I'm gonna try and stay focused. I'll lose it about 20 minutes from now I want you all to know that. The drugs will start kicking in, you know, and then but uh, but I said how do you tell if you're a real copywriter worthy of the name and I'm gonna tell you exactly how.
You have to get the SRDS book. I think everybody here — the SRDS mailing list book. I think everybody on the call knows what that is. That tells you about the mailing lists and you have to go through and pick the market you're going to work yourself. You pick it. Then you order 5,000 names from a list broker. Okay, now let's suppose that you have picked golf.
Michel Fortin is a certified digital marketing expert and renowned copywriter who specializes in a unique combination of SEO, CRO, and UX to improve traffic, leads, and revenue for his clients. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless wins, generating in excess of $300 million in sales and results that have broken many industry records. He has worked with thousands of businesses ranging from individual entrepreneurs to enterprise-level multinational companies. He's the author of two top-selling books and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.