North of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
First, I would like to respond to all of you
who have so generously given marketing materials to Cathy
Perkins. She now has a treasure trove of marketing
information larger than mine, and I suspect, larger than
many other professionals in direct marketing. I'm sure she
will study all this and benefit greatly from it.
From time to time, I publish on my website a
piece of work I have created for a client. I do this for a
couple of reasons:
1) I want to "showcase" my work and provide
it to you as something you can study for educational
2) Another motivation I have is by
publicizing what I've written for a client sometimes will
get that client more business. And if it's a client whose
product or service I believe in, I like to see that happen.
After reading the letter I wrote for the Surgery Eye Centers
of Tennessee, a lot of my readers emailed me to the effect
that if they ever did need an eye operation, they would go
to Tennessee to have it done. Others wrote me that after
reading what I wrote about Dr. Patterson, they almost wished
they DID need eye surgery so they could go and be treated by
Another thing I've started doing which my
readers don't know about is... I no longer just deliver my
direct marketing copy to a client and assume they will
exploit it properly. What I do now is, I send my work with a
cover letter telling them...
Why And How
They Should Use
What I Have Created!
I think all of you know about Agora
Publishing. They are one of the largest success stories in
direct marketing. That's true for both on-line and
off-line marketing. Agora sends out very informative
messages called "Early To Rise" and I think everybody who
reads my newsletter should also be reading "Early To Rise".
Just type in "Early To Rise Agora
Publishing" in your search engine and you'll find the link
where you can sign up for this valuable and free
Having said all that, I now want you to know
Agora Financial Publishing in Baltimore, Maryland recently
hired me to create a direct mail piece for a publication
they have titled "Options Hotline". I just finished that
piece and delivered it to them yesterday. It's a 16-page
sales letter. And, when you are finished reading this
newsletter, you can download it and read it for yourself.
I'm doing this for a number of reasons:
1) First, by letting you read the letter, I
am NOT giving away any of Agora's proprietary secrets. You
could not "steal" this letter if you wanted to. It's Agora
and only Agora who has Steve Sarnoff and the incredible
financial service he provides.
2) I think publishing what I wrote for them
in my newsletter will get Agora some extra business. The
letter describes an amazing financial service I think some
of you will want to have. You need to remember though, my
sales letter will not be used by Agora until it is proofread
and checked for accuracy. But I think as it stands now, it
is 99.9% ready to be mailed.
After you read it, I'd love for you to send
me any comments you may have about this piece of work. If
you want to send a comment, please send it to
OK, before you download and read the sales
letter I told you about, you should know I am working on
this project with a guy who works for Agora whose name is
Greg. He seems to be a savvy and a guy easy to work with.
Before you read the sales letter I sent to him, I'd like you
to read the cover letter about this project which I also
sent to him. I sent it by both fax and email. Here's my
cover letter to Greg:
Attached to this fax (and later in an email), is
the finished copy for the "Options Hotline"
I'm taking a chance here. I am sending you the
promotion the way it SHOULD be mailed.
However, I'm almost certain you (probably
because of your supervisors) will not mail this
promotion the way I have presented it to you.
Everybody will snivel, whine and bitch about a
sales letter in this fashion. "Oh My God!"
everybody will say, "this is going to cost a
fortune to mail."
Well, compared to what you regularly send out,
that's a correct statement. But, if you would at
least test the promotion as I have delivered it
to you, I'm almost sure you will find it to be
the most profitable promotion Agora Financial
has ever mailed.
You don't know very much about me. But, if you
would ever read my newsletters on my website (www.TheGaryHalbertLetter.com),
you would discover why it is the most widely
read online marketing newsletter in the world. I
don't know what it is today but, my recent Alexa
rating was 1610.
When I first started in this business, I wrote a
361-word one page letter to sell a family crest
product. I broke every direct marketing rule in
the book when I strategized that letter. People
actually laughed at my pathetic attempt to write
a sales letter. But very soon after that letter
was mailed, it was grossing the equivalent in
today's money of one-third of one million
dollars... per day. And, that letter with
modifications was mailed for more than 30-years.
That's how I started. Since then, I have written
more direct mail winners than I can remember.
Often, my biggest problem when I write for
clients is to get them to at least test what I
Here's what you need to know about mailing this
kind of a direct mail letter with a $1 bill
attached to it. My guess (and it's a very
informed guess) is, this letter will bring
back 700% more gross dollars than the best
control letter you have ever mailed for "Options
Agora is a great direct marketing company. No
one can argue with their monstrous success. And
I realize Agora has utilized many of the very
best copywriters in the world. But, I'd like to
suggest to you what they have not used is a
great direct mail strategist... someone who
focuses not only on writing great direct mail
copy... but also... direct mail strategy.
The way your mail is structured now, much of it
is not delivered. And what is delivered, an
enormous amount of it is never opened. And what
is opened, only a very small percentage is
The "Options Hotline" promotion I am giving you
with this cover letter will achieve almost 100%
delivery by the Post Office. It will be opened
by almost 100% of the people who receive it. And
it will be read by almost 100% of the people who
It's pretty obvious to see why this will work so
much better than what you usually mail.
"But what about the bothersome logistics of
preparing a mailing like this?" you and your
superiors ask. Greg, I can tell you this... I
personally have created promotions that required
more complicated lettershop endeavors than this
particular promotion. And, I was able to
outsource it easily and to get 125,000 of those
letters mailed every working day of the week.
Let me tell you about just one of those
promotions. I created it for Health Laboratories
of America located in Phoenix, Arizona. It was,
I believe, the most widely mailed diet promotion
in history. The letter worked so well, we almost
couldn't find a list that wouldn't pay a profit.
Eventually, after years of mailing tens of
millions of pieces, we finally ran out of lists
we could mail to at a profit. So you know what
We got the file of everybody who had a driver's
license in the United States. Then we did a
computer program that did a simple calculation
based on the height and weight information
contained in that file. This enabled us to "kick
out" all the porkers who had a driver's license.
We mailed millions of those letters to those
porkers at a very considerable profit.
By the way, that file, when I last checked, had
a universe of 160 million names.
To hell with it. I know you guys are not even
going to test my promotion. But hope springs
eternal. And I thought before I did anything
else, I would give it to you the way it SHOULD
Then you can discuss it with the "powers that
be" and when they tell you there is no way in
hell they are going to test this promotion, I
will rework it (it won't take much) and give it
to you in the much weaker, lame-ass format which
will keep everybody in their comfort zone.
By the way, this promotion does, of course, need
to be proofread by you or some member of your
staff with an eagle eye to make certain I
haven't accidentally written something that is a
Anyway, please email me at NoSexGary@aol.com as
soon as possible and let me know you're not
going to even test this promotion. A prompt
reply would be appreciated.
Gary C. Halbert
"The World's Most Modest Copywriter"
P.S. As you know, Mark Ford here in Florida has
a brilliant mind. Why don't you run this
promotion by him before you summarily refuse to
Well, believe it or not, within minutes of
having sent that cover letter, I got a response from Greg.
Here's his response:
Thanks Gary - I
printed it out and I'll read this bad boy... I
pretty much make most of the decisions here, so
I think we'll be able to mail this beast!
And here's the reply I sent him:
I want you to stop reading my newsletter
here... and instead... download and read the sales letter
for Agora. It's very important you do it in this order. You
see, after you've downloaded and read that letter, you need
to come back to my website and continue reading this
newsletter. That's because I want to give you some more
information and ask you a few crucial questions.
Click on the link below to read the 16-page
Agora Publishing letter for their product, "Options
Agora Options Hotline\07-28-05 Letter With Table.pdf
*** ONLY AFTER
YOU'VE DOWNLOADED AND READ THE 16-PAGE SALES LETTER SHOULD
READING HERE ***
Well, I hope you found
the 16-page letter you just read both interesting and
In any case, here are a few facts I think
you should ponder: We are now living in the most uncertain time
in the entire history of the country... if not... the world!
By this time next year, there may be peace
in Iraq. Or, the violence may continue to escalate (as many
analysts believe) until it is such a mess, it will drain our
country of so much money and resources, it could trigger a
national bankruptcy. Or maybe the situation in Iraq will be
something in between.
I just don't know. Neither do you. And
nobody else knows either.
And what about the price of gasoline? Maybe
it will be $10 or more a gallon (it already is in some
countries). Or maybe it will drop to a $1.25 or less per
Again, I don't know. And neither do you. And
neither does anybody else.
Same thing with the economy in general. A
year from now, things may be just rosy. Maybe everybody will
have a job and plenty of money. Maybe not. Maybe there will
be a 30% unemployment rate and most people will be
struggling just to survive. Maybe it will turn out to be
something in the middle.
And what about terrorism? After 9-11 and the
London subway bombings, we've learned anything is possible.
Maybe they'll blow up the Statue of Liberty or the stock
exchange building or the two nuclear power plants just south
of Los Angeles. Maybe nothing will happen.
The point is...
Nobody In The World Can Now Predict
The Future With Any Degree Of Certainty
Which brings me to another couple of crucial
questions you should be asking yourself.
First, do you think you will ever be able
to write copy as good as the recent examples of copy you've
read on my website?
Secondly, do you even want to expend
the time and effort to get as good at writing copy as I am?
My suggestion to many of you is the answers
to both of these questions should be a loud, resounding
You see, it's unlikely you will ever be able
to write copy as good as me. (I love to use bad grammar.)
The first reason is, I am a natural born
copywriter with a unique gift for it. I conceived my first
mail order project when I was approximately 9-years old.
Many of you are too young to remember this but before
television and in the early days of radio there was
something you could buy called a "crystal radio". This
little gadget was made of (I think) some kind of
non-precious gemstone like quartz that would vibrate to
radio signals. It had a little wire thing that hovered over
it. If you manipulated it around just right, you could
actually listen through headphones to an occasional radio
All the kids I knew and many of the adults
wanted a crystal radio. If you knew how, you could make one
of them yourself. But, of course, most people didn't know
how to make one. So my very first mail order idea was to go
to the public library, read up on how to make a crystal
radio, digest it into an easy-to-read information product,
advertise and sell it through magazines like "Popular
Science" and "Popular Mechanics".
Of course, this did not come to pass. After
I Was Only 9-Years Old
Much later, when I got out of the Army and
moved back to Ohio, someone suggested I go work for the
Cuyahoga Falls Police Department. I had no interest in that.
After three years of risking my life as a military
policeman, I never wanted to experience violence again.
Instead, I went to work for a company on
Main Street in Cuyahoga Falls called Economy Savings and
Loan. It was owned by a parent company called Capital
Finance Corporation. Economy Savings and Loans made loans to
people who couldn't get a "standard" loan from a bank. As
expected, many of the loans Economy Savings made ended up
A large part of my job was collecting money
from people who were behind in their payments. I was really
good at collecting the money. One time a guy who was a
magician "disappeared" owing us money. I located him on a
cruise ship off the coast of Portugal and sent him a message
about his debt. Picture this: Here's this magician who has
done a "disappearing act" from the United States and is now
aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Portugal when he
receives a call to go to the radio room... where... there is
a telegrammed message for him to
the effect he should pay the debt he owed to the Economy
Savings and Loan.
Another time, I wrote a collection letter
and had it mailed to every one of our dead beat customers.
That letter, if memory serves me correctly, collected more
delinquent money in one day than all of the company's
efforts for the last five years.
After that, I wrote a letter for a
collection agency called Financial Adjustment Service. This
company was to be owned by me and two of my friends. Alas,
the company never got off the ground. But that early letter
I wrote (with no training whatsoever) was a virtual
It wasn't too long after I stopped working
for Economy Savings and Loan that I discovered the world of mail
order and direct mail... and... as the saying goes...
The Rest Is History!
The point is, I was born good at
writing copy. Or at least, I became good at it soon after I
learned the alphabet. That's probably not true of you. You
were probably born with other gifts which I do not possess.
Not only was I born with the gift of
persuasive articulation, I also "nourished"
that gift throughout the years. And, I continue to nourish
it to this very day.
Most of you reading my newsletter, quite
frankly, do not have this natural gift... and even if you
did, there are not enough years left to live to nourish it
to my level of competency.
Can you imagine trying to compete against
Lance Armstrong in a bike race? He was born with a genetic
advantage which makes his heart and cardio vascular system
more than twice as efficient as the rest of the world's
most gifted athletes. And he has nourished that gift by an
almost impossible regimen which includes six grueling hours
of training per day.
Can you imagine deciding it's your goal to
beat Tiger Woods at golf? Well, you'd certainly have your
work cut out for you. First, Tiger was born with the exact
mental and physical attributes required to play great golf.
And, if I'm not mistaken, he's had a golf club in his hands
since he was 3-years old. And even though he is the best
golfer in the world, I'll bet he still continues to practice
more than any of his competitors.
Can you imagine having a goal of becoming
wealthier than Bill Gates? I can't even begin to think of a
way to intelligently attempt to achieving that goal.
Having said all that, you are probably
thinking I am conceited about the gift I have for writing.
You are dead wrong. Many people who've had the opportunity
to personally watch me work have marveled at how good I am
and they are insanely jealous of me. But I can tell you, if
you lived inside my mind and body... that jealousy would
fade away like a Key West sunset!
I think a lot of gifted people feel that
way. Someone desperately wishes they could play music or
sing as well as the star on stage. But that star, at the
same time, may be suffering from suicidal thoughts, anxiety
and feelings of worthlessness.
Listen, I don't want to ramble on and on
about this so let me get to the point: You may never be able
to ride a bicycle like Lance Armstrong. You may never play
golf as good as Tiger Woods. You may never become as wealthy
as Bill Gates. You may never be able to play a guitar
like Dickey Betts. And... let's face it... you'll probably never
be able to...
Write Copy As Good As Gary Halbert!
That being said, you probably CAN learn to
ride a bike, CAN hit some golf balls, CAN make some money,
or CAN write copy good enough to have some fun and
maybe even make a little profit.
But when it comes to writing copy, I have a
message for all of you who can afford to follow this one
If you need copy written, and if
you can afford it, you should hire ME to do it.
You're insane if you don't.
Even if you have the potential of becoming
as good as me (which is very unlikely), who knows how your life and the world is
going to change in the time it takes you to develop your
skills to the level I have achieved.
For much, if not all of my career, it's been
impossible to hire me. I simply didn't want or need any more
money. But that's not true right now.
I just received an email from a guy who was
cheated out of money he's owed for ad copy he wrote for a
car dealer. He asked me if I had any suggestions as to what
he should do.
I wrote him back saying I personally have
been cheated out of about 2-1/2 million dollars in the
recent past. Some of this money was flat out stolen from me.
Some of it was lost because I entrusted incompetent (but
non-criminal) people to handle some of my affairs.
In addition to that, the IRS has taken an
interest in the last seven years of my tax returns. I think
I'll be okay with them and that I don't have anything to worry
about. But when you are dealing with any governmental
agency, you just never know. Anything can happen.
In addition to that, there is a tiny handful
of people to whom I would like to repay money they lost
because of a suggested investment idea they got from me. I
don't have a legal obligation to repay this money to these
people. But my conscience bothers me. I just hate it
whenever people lose money by "betting" on me. But I am human
and sometimes it does happen.
Not only that, I think it's time I socked
away some money to prepare for my "golden years". It's a
funny thing but, I seem to be somewhat of an optical
illusion. Not long ago, I was on stage in front of
approximately 200 people who didn't know me from Adam. I
told them I was going to give one of them a valuable prize.
To win this prize, they had to guess my height, my weight,
and my age.
Well, when I averaged up all the answers, it
turned out the average guess of my height was exactly right.
It turned out the average guess of my weight was 29-pounds
less than my actual weight. And when averaged all together,
they had guessed I was 15-years younger than my actual age.
The truth is, it doesn't matter how young
and thin I actually look to other people. The
calendar and scales don't lie.
Holy cow! I think I'm starting to slip into
a "senior moment" and let this tale get away from me. Even
so, before I
wrap it up, I want to tell you one more little story.
I know a doctor who lives in Omaha,
Nebraska. He has made two financial fortunes in his
He made both of them because of me and my copywriting
Some time ago, in the not-too-distant-past, just before I
was beset by a horde of demons from hell, I announced I
wasn't going to be taking on any more clients. You know what
this doctor did? He paid me three times my normal fee...
just to have me "on hold" to work on a promotion for him
which didn't even exist yet! Well, he has finally discovered
what he wants to work on and I am now creating the marketing for
Look, if you can afford me and you need some sales
What you should do (once again, if you can afford
it) is hire me while the "getting's good". I have
a sneaking suspicion this door won't be open for very long.
For one thing, I think after Agora tests the letter you downloaded
and read, they are going to want to "own" me. Well,
nobody's ever going to own me. (Except Sirian, of course.) But
if the price is right, I will be available for an "exclusive
Secondly, every one of the few times in the past
I've announced I was willing to take on some clients, the response
was so overwhelming... the window of opportunity to hire a great
copywriter such as myself... didn't remain open very long.
I don't think it will this time either.
Hey, go read that letter I created for "Options
Hotline" again. Then sit and think: Do you really want
to put in the time, effort and energy to be able to write a
letter such as that? Maybe you're broke and you don't have a
choice. I understand that. But, if that's not the case, you
should be contacting me via my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)