North of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
Most good direct response copywriters
have a "swipe file" of headlines, bullet points, sales letters,
reply envelopes, coupons, etc.
But what most copywriters don't realize is, they
should also have a swipe file of...
I'm going to start the rest of this newsletter
by telling you some interesting facts... and then... I am going
to show you how you can use interesting facts to make a lot
OK, here are 12 interesting facts:
- If Jell-O is hooked up to an EEG, it registers movements
virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult.
- On average, a Twinkie will explode in a microwave in 45
- 100 shares of McDonald's stock worth $2,250 when it was
first offered in 1965 was worth more than 1.4 million dollars
30 years later in 1995.
- The original package of M&M's contained brown, yellow, orange,
red, green and violet colored candies. The red ones were taken
out of the mix in 1976. This is no tbecause they contained
red dye #2. It was because company officials were afraid customers
would think it did contain that dye..
- The dollar sign is a combination of the letters "P" and
"S", which is the abbreviation for pesos which was the principle
coin in circulation in the United States until 1794. After
that, we began marketing our own dollars.
- Most American currency contains micro-printed messages to
prevent counterfeiting; for example, on the $1 bill, there
is an owl in the upper left hand corner of the numeral "1"
and a spider hidden in the upper right.
The phrase "United States of America" is camouflaged within
the label of Benjamin Franklin's jacket on the newer $100
- A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
- The man who commissioned the Mona Lisa refused it.
- Sunglasses were first worn in 15th century China. They were
used by judges to conceal their expressions while presiding
- Erich Segal, the author of "Love Story" was also one of
the screenwriters of "Yellow Submarine".
- In the movie, "It Happened One Night" Clark Gable peeled
a raw carrot with a pen knife and then munched upon it as
he attempted to teach Claudette Colbert how to hitchhike.
That scene inspired Warner Brothers to give Bugs Bunny his
signature carrot chomp.
- According to the film's animators, you'll see 6,649,952
black spots every time you watch the movie "101 Dalmations".
All those facts came out of a little book by David
Hoffman titled "Who Knew?" and subtitled "Things You
Didn't Know About Things You Know Well". There are many
other interesting facts in this little book and I highly recommend
you get it and add it to your library.
Of course there are hundreds of books containing
interesting facts at your local bookstore. Almanacs are the
first that come to mind. But, there are many others and you
should have a collection of them.
One of the primary ways to use interesting facts
in your copy is to use them to segue into your selling message.
"Segue" basically means "making a smooth transition from one
part of a presentation to another". Remember the formula for
sales success is AIDA. Attention, Interest,
Desire and Action.
That means, most of your sales letters should
contain a printed headline to catch Attention.
The headline should be followed by a salutation
and then something interesting which captures the readers's
And then, of course, you go on to whet his Desire
for what you are selling.
Finally, you motivate him to Action to buy it.
Now, let's have a little fun. I'm going to take
those interesting facts and use them in a way that segues into
a selling message. Here we go:
If Jell-O is hooked up to an EEG, it
registers movements virtually identical to the brain waves
of a healthy adult.
I mention this because I just returned
from a seminar of so-called "web master experts". And
I think if you hooked-up their brains to an EEG machine,
their brain waves would be inferior to the brain waves
of plain, ol' Jell-O.
It seems to me, none of them knew anything
of real value about enhancing website profits. Like the
few secrets I am about to reveal in this letter:
use this verbiage to sell a course on increasing website
On average, a Twinkie will explode
in a microwave in 45 seconds.
This is, I believe, less time than
it takes for a prospect to go ballistic when he or she
is put on hold or into "voicemail hell". Only stupid marketers
allow this to happen. If you sell anything that people
can order by phone, you need to know about some of the
secrets in my new book called "17 Magic Ways To Turn
Incoming Telephone Calls Into Massive Amounts Of Money".
intro for a book promoting proper telephone salesmanship
100 shares of McDonald's stock worth
$2,250 when it was first offered in 1965 was worth more
than 1.4 million dollars 30 years later in 1995.
That sounds great, doesn't it? But,
if you had held on to those same 100 shares for another
eight or nine years, you would find them to be worth only
$2,478. This is an excellent illustration of why timing
in the stock market is everything.
For a book
or course on investing in stocks
The original package of M&M's contained
brown, yellow, orange, red, green and violet colored candies.
The red ones were taken out of the mix in 1976. This is
not because they contained red dye #2. It was because
company officials were afraid customers would think it
did contain that dye.
This illustrates the fact that very
often people's perception of what is true is more important
than what is actually true. That's why you need to read
my new book titled "The Secrets Of How Successful People
Look, Dress And Act".
a pitch for a book teaching how to look and act like a
The dollar sign is a combination of
the letters "P" and "S", which is the abbreviation for
pesos which was the principle coin in circulation in the
United States until 1794. After that, we began marketing
our own dollars.
Right now, a real peso (used as Mexican
currency) is only worth about nine American cents. And
you know what? Most Americans earn so little compared
to what they should be earning... they might as well be
getting paid in pesos.
And that's a shame because, with just
a few simple secrets, anyone with average intelligence
can increase their income dramatically. Here's how...
For a product
teaching people how to make more money
Most American currency contains micro-printed
messages to prevent counterfeiting; for example, on the
$1 bill, there is an owl in the upper left hand corner
of the numeral "1" and a spider hidden in the upper right.
That's all very interesting but, you
know what? Most Americans have to spend their money so
quickly after they get paid, they have zero time to examine
their cash for interesting little embedded images and
messages. And that's because most Americans are living
from paycheck to paycheck... when... they could easily
be making more money than they ever dreamed possible.
good way to start a sales letter about a product that
teaches people how to make more money
A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
Even though that may be interesting,
a dime won't buy you much these days. On the bright side,
I've got a book containing 150 pages which costs only
a dime per page... but... each one of those pages reveals
another remarkable secret about making more money than
any sane person could possibly spend!
way to start a pitch that has something to do with your
" money-making product
The man who commissioned the Mona Lisa
That man was just one of the millions
of people who know the price of everything... and... the
value of nothing.
He reminds me of the people who think
they are getting a bargain when they buy a cheap air purifier.
Actually, it's just the opposite. They are NOT getting
a bargain. You see, after you factor in the extra cost
of electricity to run an inferior air purifier... and...
the fact it doesn't work well at all to keep people free
from impurities that set off allergic and asthmatic reactions...
it's not a bargain at all. It's just down-right cheap.
That's why I want to tell you a few
facts about the new ionic air purifier sold by Sharper
For a sales
pitch for the ionic air purifier... which is, by the way...
a great product.
Sunglasses were first worn in 15th
century China. They were used by judges to conceal their
expressions while presiding over court.
That reminds me of a very important
fact you should know when you are negotiating to buy something:
The more interested a person is about buying something,
the less excited they will try to look about wanting
to buy it.
In my new course, "Negotiating Yourself
To Wealth" I reveal...
For a book
on negotiating tactics.
Erich Segal, the author of "Love Story"
was also one of the screenwriters of "Yellow Submarine".
That's not as surprising as you might
think. You see, a really good writer can write equally
well on a multiplicity of subjects. And good novelists
usually come from a background of non-fiction book writing
or newspaper and magazine reporting. These are people
who learned in their previous occupations (writing for
another medium) how to keep readers interested in their
But don't worry, even if you never
wrote a newspaper article, short story or novel in your
life, my new copywriting course will teach you...
For a product
on how to write better copy.
In the movie, "It Happened One Night"
Clark Gable peeled a raw carrot with a pen knife and then
munched upon it as he attempted to teach Claudette Colbert
how to hitchhike. That scene inspired Warner Brothers
to give Bugs Bunny his signature carrot chomp.
This just goes to prove you never know
where a jackpot idea is going to come from.
But, there are ways to turn your mind
into a high frequency antenna which is virtually always
alert for facts and ideas that can be turned into a financial
goldmine. Let me explain...
For a product
which has something to do with money making.
According to the film's animators,
you'll see 6,649,952 black spots every time you watch
the movie "101 Dalmations".
I don't have to watch that movie to
see black spots before my eyes. All I have to do is listen
to John Carlton attempt to make an interesting speech
on marketing and my vision blurs and I start to hallucinate.
That's because I see the correct way
to market things so much more clearly than John... that...
when he's speaking, it scrambles my mind.
true, of course. John's a great teacher of marketing.
But it would be an interesting way to have a little fun
and for me to start one of my
newsletters, wouldn't it?
All right. That should be enough for you to get
the idea. Now I'm going to give you some more interesting facts
and I'm going to suggest YOU use these facts to lead your readers
into a selling message just as I have done in the above examples.
This first one is a doozy. It's NOT from the book
I mentioned earlier but, believe it or not, it is true.
If you can use this interesting fact to start a selling
message, I would be very interested in seeing what you came
up with. Remember, the idea is not to come up with something
cute... but... to come up with something that is valid and will
lead to a sale. Anyway, here's the first of the interesting
facts I want you to work with:
There is a small Roman Catholic church in Murtosa in Northern
Portugal and it is the only Roman Catholic church where
it is acceptable to drop your trousers so everyone in the
church can see your naked rear end. The reason? The local
saint, St. Gonacalo (a colorful 13th century priest) has
a reputation for curing hemorrhoids. All you have to do
is show up at the church, show his statue the affected region,
say a prayer and, according to the locals, the pain disappears.
here's 14 other interesting facts for you to work with:
ostrich cannot fly but it can outrun a race horse.
eye is bigger than its brain.
that made the movie "Casa Blanca" expected the movie to
be a box office disaster. So they kept the budget of the
film so low, the plane used in the background of the final
scene was a small cardboard cutout. To give it the illusion
of being full sized, the producers hired midgets to portray
the crew who prepared it for take off.
Monroe developed her signature walk by hacking off the heel
of one shoe.
ever see the name "Alan Smithee" in the credits of a movie,
it means the real director considered the movie so crummy,
he didn't want his or her real name to be used.
sound the knife in the movie "Psycho" made is actually the
sound of a knife stabbing a melon.
have striped skin, not just striped fur.
of cricket chirps you can hear in 15 seconds plus 37 will
tell you the current air temperature.
hats are actually made in Ecuador.
is the longest word in the English language that can be
typed using only your left hand.
Batman comic books, only Batman and Robin live in the Wayne
Mansion. In the Batman movies however, an elderly woman,
Aunt Harriett, also lives there. This is because producers
fear two bachelors and a butler living together might make
people think they have homosexual overtones.
of Crayola crayons is so familiar, it is one of the most
20 recognized scents to adults. It ranks up there with coffee
and peanut butter. The smell of Crayola crayons is so soothing,
that sniffing them has been proven to lower blood pressure.
"Atari" was chosen so customers who bought their products
would think it was based in Japan. It was actually based
in Northern California.
||On the average,
we forget 80% of what we learn on any given day.
Okay students, start writing your own sales letters.
Remember to begin with "Dear Friend". Then, make the intro paragraph
one of the Interesting Facts you've just read. That will be
followed by the second paragraph which is your segue into your
sales letter. That's your homework for this month. And shame
on you if you don't get right down to it.
Now, I'd like to finish up some "housekeeping"
First, many of you want to know how to order my
book "The Boron Letters". That book is featured in the newsletter
inside the envelope icon called "Disaster Insurance". In that
letter, I told you how to get my book by calling a voicemail
phone number. Unfortunately, when I initially put that newsletter
up on my website, I had the wrong voicemail number. But, that
issue has since been corrected. I suggest you skim through "Disaster
Insurance" again... and... if you would like to have a copy
of "The Boron Letters" (which contain perhaps the most concise
and valuable direct marketing lessons ever printed between two
covers) call the correct number, which happens to be (305) 866-3613.
You know, I receive a barrage of e-mails every
day asking me what books and courses I recommend on marketing.
So, starting with my next newsletter, near the end of each issue
I am going to enclose a link you can click on to learn about
another direct marketing information product that I enthusiastically
Now here's something else: I've developed a minor
obsession with having a high Alexa ranking. A major part of
the Alexa ranking is how much traffic goes to your website on
a daily basis. So, I want to have a lot of people going to my
site every day and here's what I'm going to do: Every day (right
after I publish the next edition of this newsletter), I am going
to send everybody on my mailing list a one-line e-mail message
saying something like "Click here for today's Halbertism". These
will be pearls of wisdom. Some created by me, some "pinched"
from other people or books, some inspirational, some just funny,
and so on. But the idea is to give you a way to start your day
with a bit of knowledge, inspiration or humor to enrich your
If you don't like this idea and don't want to
receive e-mails about my precious Halbertisms, please let me
know via e-mail to NoSexGary@aol.com
before I write my next newsletter.
OK, that's it for this issue. I, for one, am extremely
happy 2003 has come to an end. I truly wouldn't want to live
it over again.
Gary C. Halbert
||"Student of Facts for
Fun and Profits"
Please don't forget to re-read "Disaster Insurance".
I consider it to be one of the most important pieces
of writing ever written.
Copyright © 2004 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights Reserved.