Gary: Then you go out to a library or a bookstore and get ten books on golf and outline a product based on the ideas you got from those books. I remember one book I really liked had a simple title said, “The Secrets of Perfect Putting”, but anyway you outline your book then you write a direct mail letter as though your product actually existed.
Then you mail 1000 letters out of that, you have to rent 5,000, but I often rent 5,000 and test only 1,000, and if you get enough money back that the arithmetic says that you have made a profit doing this and you did it with your own money then you are entitled to call yourself a copywriter.
If you cannot do that you are defrauding people when you hold out your shingle as a copywriter who knows what he is doing and can work for other people. It is because; just think about this, everything was under your control.
From the selection of the list, to the creation of the product, to the sales letter, to price, everything, and if you can not do it when everything is under your control how are you going to do it when a client dictates to you what you have to say? So that is the real acid test of whether you are a copywriter or not.
Now. I am going to do something that I really find offensive and that is I am going to answer these questions. This first question asked all three of those so I answered all three of those in and says. Okay, now here is the next question that I have in my hand.
Is there an update on the old AIDA formula? AIDA for many of you that might not know stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and if so what is it? The answer is no, there is no update that I know out of that. I do not know of a better formula than that. There probably are a few other things, I mean, I think you could put proof in there or something but the answer is no, there is not an update on that formula.
Okay, now this guy, I am not going to mention his name, because he offends me. I want to tell you what he has said, “You are asking me to give you time out of my life, why? When I or any other person is dying we cannot recall to get back the hours of our life. You have not shown why anyone should listen and give up any time out their life to another online marketer's call.
Are you going to pay them for their call? The current trend of online calls is not showing any value at all and yes, there are sometimes recorded and offered or sold subsequent to the calls, big deal. In fact, the time I have spent typing this email maybe just another waste of my time. The payback is you have to read it.”
Well, you know, I think this guy is frankly despicable. Here we are offering something completely free and offering something valuable and he is still bitching.
I want to tell you something, and I want all you people out there to listen to this. I can tell who is a great marketer when I visit in their home. You know what I do? As soon as we get comfortable I ask them if I can see their library, and I was talking to Michael Fortin the other day, and he was telling me, you know, he spent half a million dollars for his direct marketing education, and you know, I spent probably more than that.
I would buy books when I couldn't afford to pay the electricity or they were turning off my water, and whenever you hear somebody whining about buying information just get them out of your life because if they are whining because “Oh I had to buy something” you know what? You should buy something.
If you pay $500.00 and get two good ideas out of it you have got your money's worth, and stop being such a pussy, and such a crybaby, and stop whining. You know, if you want to get this done and you want to do it you have got to pay the price and that is all there is to it. I was talking to Mike, Mike how much, I will ask you, how much have you spent for your direct marketing education? Mike: Oh half a million dollars.
Gary: How long did it take you get as good as you are?
Mike: Twenty-five years.
Gary: Okay, where there is a lot of people in this hall who want to get it for $2.50 and get it in three hours. Guess what? You people all suck.
Okay, now, and I am going to answer his questions anyway. Is there a huge difference in mail order verses direct mail assuming you use a targeted audience? I do not even know what that question means but all I know is that if you mail order, I guess if he means newspaper advertising or magazine advertising, newspaper advertising is difficult because there is so much waste circulation because such a small fraction will be in the market for any such other thing. Magazines can be very targeted and direct mail is very targeted.
So, no, there is no difference, at least no difference in copy.
Now here is another question. How is this for a headline to an ad looking for people who are fed up with their job? Are you suffering from job dissatisfaction? Actually that is a headline that sucks and I will tell you why it sucks. Because it is cute, because it is tricky, you know, this guy is really proud that he has come up with job dissatisfaction.
Okay, here is another question, now we are starting to go into other people's questions so I am going to be kinder and gentler here. Another person: Oh, what a surprise. Original speaker: Everybody will hang up as soon as I do. At one of our entrepreneur boot camps I had you speak at many moons ago you had everyone get out a couple of blank pages and you dictated the sample letter, complete with lots of blah, blah, blahs.
For some reason, I do not have that in my files anymore, and it might be a good thing to do on your live seminar, and that is from Mark Stallard, an old and dear friend of mine. Mark, if you are listening, I think what you are talking about is the dollar bill letter and if all else fails write a dollar bill letter and here is the copy again.
Dear Friend: As you can see I have attached a nice crisp one dollar bill to the top of this letter. Why have I done this? Actually there are two reasons.
One, I needed some way to make sure this letter would catch your attention. Two, and secondly, and since what I am writing to you about can help you make a lot of money or help you save a lot of money I thought using a dollar bill as an eye catcher was a good idea.
Anyway, here is what it is all about; and then we go into all the blah, blah, blahs of what it is all about. Now the rest of the formula for that is after you send that dollar bill you wait a few days until they have had time to get it and then you call them, and you say hi, this is Mark Stallard, I am just calling.
I sent you a piece of mail and I just wanted to make sure you got it. You will remember it if you did because there was a dollar bill attached to the front page of the letter; and at that point something very important is going to happen.
You are going to get your first yes nod. You won't be able to see it on the phone, of course, but somebody will say yeah I got that I got the dollar; and then you are going to say well I wanted to check because, you know, you can not be too careful when you are sending money in the mail. Is not that right; and he's going to go yeah, you could not be too careful; and then you are going to say “Well, you did get the letter, the dollar was intact and you have had a chance to read it?”, and then you will get your third yes, nod; and if you cannot take it from there you should get out of marketing. You know.
So first I want to say Mark was glad to hear from you again but I think that is the answer to your question. By the way, Mark reminded me of a quote of mine, which is one of my favorite quotes, especially since it is mine, “Nothing is impossible for a person who refuses to listen to reason.” Okay. This is Gary, looking forward to the call tonight.
Question: We are doing split gate, I do not know what that is, but the radio station they run spots and we show up and do training and split the total revenue. I guess that is what it is. We are shooting for 500 people at $59.00 each. Not sure how to make the spot stand out in the glut of other average commercials. It is talk radio.
They volunteered to create the spot but I know radio stations are awful at the creative and I thought you could add some spice to it. Could you address this tonight?
Yes I will. The best thing you can do to make your spot stand out is avoid all bells and whistles, all music, all trickery, and everything, and it just should be a voice, probably a male voice, talking, explaining what it is all about, and the main thing is you do not want to detract from your message, and the trickery, and the music, and all that stuff detracts.
If you are not going to use, something that is equally as good as a male voice is a female voice from the south, a southern accent.
Now I am going to tell you all a secret that almost nobody knows and it is this. If you run a full-page ad in a newspaper you should budget, at least some of the time, $3.00 per thousand. Like if the circulation of the newspaper is 100,000 then allow $3.00 for each thousand so $300.00 and on the day the newspaper comes out you should pay $300.00, these are rough figures and not exact, to a radio station, and by the way when you buy radio commercials there is only two kind of stations you want.
Country music and talk radio; and that reason for that is that is the only radio that people are actually listening to. All the rest of them, they might be bouncing along to the music, but they are paying attention to this, and what you should do with that is you should advertise you advertisingand say, “Are you interested in losing weight, if so read the Miami Herald today, look for the page that says NASA Scientist Invents New Way to Lose Weight.”
Now, by the way, you can do that on television and if you are buying a 10 seconds spot on TV, which is about all you can afford these days, when the day your newspaper comes out somebody should be standing there with the ad, in front of the camera, showing them the ad and say, “Are you interested in losing weight, look for this page in today's Miami Herald. A NASA Scientist Reveals a New Way to Lose Weight.” That is called advertising the advertising; and while I am on that I will tell you another trick.
Newspapers are so huge today that I have ran ads that came out in newspapers where to find my own ad I personally had to go through it seven times looking for my own ad, and as a general rule, if you are running in newspapers, if you can manage it, always run on a Tuesday because you want to run in the skinniest paper there is.
Now here is a big trick when you are running in fat papers. Advertise the advertising with little one-inch ads in other sections of the paper; and you say, “What to know a new way to lose weight invented by a rocket scientist? See page 74 in the C section.” Sprinkle those ads throughout the newspaper that will get people to go to a section that they would not have gone to normally.
Okay? Let us see what else we have got here. One, do you Gary Albert know when to write short copy and when to write long copy? Are there objective criteria for making the determination? Anything you can describe? Any source material to read or listen to or is it all a matter of guts, guts, and experiment?
You know, what you really should do and all of you are suffering from this, is I suspect most of these people here do not know what a world class swipe file is. I would guess that you, Michel Fortin, have thousands of examples in your swipe file, as I do. Michel: Oh yeah.
Gary: And you should look at small ads, and you should at long ads, and you should be writing them out in your own handwriting till it is embedded on a neuro basis.
Second question. What do you do to make sure you write good copy about something you consider disgusting? For example, I hate gangster rap but if a guy wants to me to sell a gangster rap training course how can I (a) quickly get up to speed on the subject and (b) get in the frame of mind that lets me write copy so good that I might even change my own feelings about the subject?
First, I think you should avoid, unless the wolf is at your door, writing about things that disgust you. It is hard enough to make all of this work by writing things that you are passionate about.
But if you have to write about gangster rap, which I hate too, then what you want to do, is you want to read hip hop magazines, you want to talk to the people who play it, you want to talk the people who listen to it, what the biggest thing that people fail to do, I saw a great picture on the Internet the other day that somebody had been able to capture a complete picture of an iceberg, the part above and below the water, the conditions were just right.
But David Oglebee was asked one time, what was his long suit in advertising, and he said it is research, and I will tell you something, everybody that is good in advertising, that is their long suit, research, and you just got to do the research and that is all the way there is to it.
Three, is there a quick way to find the starving crowd you often talk about when a customer who does not yet have customers of his own? Well, first of all, if you can you should avoid working for people who do not have customers of their own. But I do not know how, you know, this question indicates that you and your client are going for it backwards.
In other words, a product or service has been created and you are going out to find the market. That is absolutely backwards. What you want to do is find the market and then create a product or serviced to service that market.
Briefly, the primary features and functionality of the Stack Tee are one, the capability to stack multiple tees together, which make it easy to adjust the height of a golf ball for any kind of tee shot.
Two, it interlocks making it easier to carry a stock of tees in your shirt or pocket.
Three, it is made out of a polymer material with a lower surface hardness than did hard birch wood tees and it will not damage, scratch, or leave paint marks on expensive thin face drivers.
Four, it is designed to minimize the kinetic energy lost from a club tee interaction weighted only a third of the standard wood tee.
Five, it functions as a standard tee holder and can be used to adjust the height of wood tees.
Five, it is golf course friendly made from a biodegradable polymer material that can easily cut or vacuum by lawnmower.
I am not a marketing guru but what some people consider a technical geek PhD. engineer. By the way for you that do not know PHD stands for Piled Higher and Deeper, but I try to keep my head out of the clouds and I have common sense.
I plan to send out a flyer discovering feature, functionality, and samples of the Stacked Tee to all the U.S. dealer/distributors of golf equipment and the golf courses. According to my research approximately 500 billion golf tees are consumed annually. My question for you is what is the best way to market this new product? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Thanks for the invitation I look forward to your feedback.
This guy has really put some effort into trying. So the first thing I am going to say, although it sounds discouraging, I am going to follow up with something not so discouraging. This does not have any sex appeal or sales appeal for golfers whatsoever.
John Carlton is the master at marketing to golfers and here is what they want. They want to hit longer, straighter, drives off the tee. You know, tee shot. That is the number one appeal. This is a very weak appeal.
But having said that, I think if you find people who distribute products to places that sell golf equipment that this is going to be an excellent adjunct to the line that they carry and that you should maybe put that in their line. But you are never, I should not say never because who I am to say? I said when I saw Star Wars, the movie, that it would fail, but you are not going to sell that at a profit via direct marketing. But I think you maybe can sell it as a distributorship and I wish you the best of luck on it.
Okay, here is another question. I would like to hear your insights on the differences in writing fascinations, by the way a fascinations is a word some people use for bullets, for an information product, such as a book, report, or newsletter, verses a physical product such a vitamin, gadget, etc.
The answer is there is no difference whatsoever. For the information product it is much more direct than some unique knowledge will be revealed verses the physical product, which has specific benefits but they are not teased the same way.
I would also like to hear your thoughts in the difference in creating magalogs verses other types of direct mail. First of all, he is on the wrong track in thinking that the creation of bullets differ from how you should go about it differently from a physical product than you should an information product. That is not true, and the best way to learn to how to bullets is go to the Gary Albert Newsletter.
You all know it, it is www.thegaryalbertletter.com click on view newsletter archives, and find the envelope that says Let's do the Twist, and you will get a free education on how to write bullets.
Now he also says, I would also like to hear your thoughts on the difference in creating magalogs verses other types of direct mail, and here is what I would like to say about this. If at all possible, avoid creating magalogs. They are used by the biggest mailers in the world.
I am working for one of the now and some of the source material is the magalog they use; and so much work goes into creating a magalog, and so much expertise, and not only the writing, and also the layout, which you just about have to have a layout artist do it, that really and truly all the great writers I know, me, Scott Haynes, I don't know about you Mike, I do not know if you do that, John Carlton, everything, somebody has a magalog job and they insist on it being a magalog, we turn the job down, and I will tell you the truth, a tear sheet mailing or a hard hitting direct mail letter will beat the magalog everyday. But magalogs are way too much work to be worth the effort.
Okay. Hi Gary, what is the best time frame to follow up on prospects by phone after sending them postcards? Okay. Number one, really folks do not send the postcards. It is just a little bit cheaper than sending them a killer hard hitting sales letter; and I want you all to get something straight in your head.
It is not how cheaply you can do it, it is how much of a return you can get on your investment. I would bet you that this person mailing postcards to get leads, I will bet you that she would make more money if she would send FedEx Letters and follow them up.
Now, actually, but to her specific question is about the time frame. Who knows when a postcard is going to get there? I would wait about five days, I guess, if I were sending postcards, because someone had a gun to my head. But it is much more predictable if you send a Federal Express package, it is much more impactful, and it is going to be much more profitable if it is well written, and if you send a first class letter you are going to make a lot more money too.
You know, I mean, I do not even know what a postcard costs because I never send them. Do you know how much they cost Mike?
Michel: No I do not.
Gary: Yeah, I mean I do not think very many really top marketers would even know what they cost, but everybody wants to do this because it is cheap. You should stop thinking about cheap and stop thinking about return on investment. I remember in the early days of the Internet guys crowing that they were able to make a telephone call for free on the Internet. Took them 18 hours to do it. Well, if you think 18 hours is free then you do not have the right mindset to even be in kind of business.
Another example of that is, I went to the Rolling Stones Steal Wheels concert and I took a bunch of people with me, and I paid about $300.00 for each of the tickets, and we sat in the second row center. I mean I could reach out and touch Mick Jagger. The people in front of me were bragging how they had got their tickets for $35.00 but they had also had to camp out for a day and a half.
Well, I guess I was the fool because I thought my time was worth more than three or four bucks an hour of laying in a sleeping bag in the rain.
So, that leads me to an extraneous comment. There are a lot of people, a lot of ways to beat people at direct marketing, competition that are not thought of. One way is to outwork them. Another very easy way is to out spend them. There is a lot of time you will find a real cheapskate person with a scarcity mentality that will be moving so slow, you know the biggest difference between winners and losers? Losers focus on the perils of defeat. Winners focus on the rewards of winning. So if you focus on, gee what could go wrong here, and all that, probably something is going to go wrong.
Okay, here is another one.
Another person: I just want to add one little thing Gary.
Gary: No, no, this is my call I do not want anybody interrupting me. You **** out here Pee-Pee. Gary Albert, what a creep, you know realize how many people you have on this call with no sense of humor whatsoever? These people should be working at McDonald's and maybe made to eat dog food. Go ahead Mike.
Michel: I should not recite the first response you ever given me after I had written to you. But I just wanted to add that the only exception I have found, and the reason why I know this, is because I have actually written copy for Michael Kimble and Michael is the big shot in the postcard industry, and the only postcard that I have ever worked with that had worked really well are oversized, wall-to-wall, dense copy size postcards.
Gary: Yeah, but Mike.
Michel: And with an offer and with an actual call to action, and a response devise attached to it but not the tiny weenie postcards. I am talking about an oversized either letter or even legal size postcard and it is dense copy, it is like a whole sales letter on one postcard or on both sides.
Gary: It is worth a try, anything is worth a test, you know; and that sounds like it could be made to work you got it.
Here is one. I have an opportunity to do direct mail with another company sharing all expenses. Our customer demographics mirror each other. Same age, income, sex, education, occupation, etc., comprise the same material niche identical. Different products. One product hearing aids cost between $2,000.00 and $8,000.00 with a huge markup. While the other, bone density testing cost only $50.95 with a $30.00 markup. Two letters will be sent within the same envelope. Questions, how effective…
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.