South of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend &
I've been working long, hard hours these last
And don't be jumping to conclusions thinking,
"Aha! I knew his stock system was a lot of work."
Because, my friend, you'd be dead wrong.
I've been working long, hard hours teaching my
students my stock system. You know, there are only so many
hours in the day and to teach each and every one eventually
takes its toll on you. Even if you enjoy doing what you're
So this month, I've decided to lighten my own
load of writing my newsletter. I've decided, being the male
chauvinist pig that I am, I want to share with you some keen
100 Reasons Why
It's Great To Be A Guy!
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
Movie nudity is virtually always female.
You know stuff about tanks.
five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
Monday Night Football.
You don't have to monitor your friends' sex lives.
Your bathroom lines are 80% shorter.
You can open all your own jars.
Old friends don't give you crap if you've lost or gained
cleaners and haircutters don't rob you blind.
When clicking through the channels, you don't have to stall on
every shot of someone crying.
Your ass is never a factor in a job interview.
your orgasms are real.
beer gut does not make you invisible to the opposite sex.
Guys in hockey masks don't attack you.
don't have to lug a bag of useful stuff around everywhere you
understand why stripes are funny.
can go to the bathroom without a support group.
Your last name stays put.
can leave a hotel bed unmade.
When your work is criticized, you don't have to panic that
everyone secretly hates you.
can kill your own food.
garage is all yours.
get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
see the humor in "Terms of Endearment."
Nobody secretly wonders if you swallow.
never have to clean the toilet.
can be showered and ready in 10 minutes.
means never having to worry about your reputation.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can
still be your friend.
Your underwear is $10 for a three pack.
National College Cheerleading Championship.
None of your co-workers have the power to make you cry.
don't have to shave below your neck.
don't have to curl up next to a hairy ass every night.
you're 34 and single, nobody notices.
can write your name in the snow.
can get into a non-trivial pissing contest.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
Chocolate is just another snack.
can be president.
can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger seat.
Flowers fix everything.
never have to worry about other people's feelings.
get to think about sex 90% of your waking hours.
can wear a white shirt to a water park.
Three pair of shoes are more than enough.
can eat a banana in a hardware store.
can say anything and not worry about what people think.
Foreplay is optional.
Michael Bolton doesn't live in your universe.
Nobody stops telling a good dirty joke when you walk into the
can whip your shirt off on a hot day.
don't have to clean your apartment if the meter reader is
never feel compelled to stop a pal from getting laid.
mechanics tell you the truth.
don't give a rat's ass if someone notices your new haircut.
can watch a game in silence with your buddy for hours without
even thinking 'he must be mad at me.'
world is your urinal.
never misconstrue innocuous statements to mean your lover is
about to leave you.
get to jump up and slap stuff.
wax never comes near your pubic area.
mood, all the time.
can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look
never have to drive to another gas station because the one you
just pulled into is just too skeevy.
know at least 20 ways to open a beer bottle.
can sit with your knees apart no matter what you're wearing.
Same work... more pay.
Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
don't have to leave the room to make an emergency crotch
Wedding dress $2,000; Tux rental $100.
don't care if someone is talking about you behind your back.
With 400 million sperm per shot, you could double the earth's
population in 15 tries... at least in theory.
don't mooch off other's desserts.
you retain water, it's in a canteen.
remote is yours and yours alone.
People never glance at your chest when you're talking to them.
ESPN's sport center.
can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
Bachelor parties whomp ass over bridal showers.
have a normal and healthy relationship with your mother.
can buy condoms without the shopkeeper imagining you naked.
needn't pretend you're "freshening up" to go to the bathroom.
you don't call your buddy when you say you will, he won't tell
your friends you've changed.
Someday you'll be a dirty ol' man.
can rationalize any behavior with the handy phrase, "F*@# It!"
another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you
might become lifelong buddies.
Princess Di's death was almost just another obituary.
occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
never have to miss a sexual opportunity because you're not in
think the idea of punting a small dog or cat is funny.
something mechanical doesn't work, you can bash it with a
hammer and throw it across the
shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
Porn movies are designed with your mind in mind.
don't have to remember everyone's birthdays and anniversaries.
liking a person does not preclude having great sex with them.
Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with, "So... notice
There is always a game on somewhere.
Go ahead and say it, "Gary, You Pig!"
Whether male or female, I know there was at least one
statement mentioned that made you howl.
Now, I must say, I feel better having said all
that. And having said all that, let's move onward to what this
newsletter is really all about.
Do you ever wonder how much time you have
before you absolutely have to get your fulfillment
package shipped to a customer? Do you know the two
types of ads governmental agencies are always on the lookout
for? If you want to use a testimonial which you "bartered"
for, do you have to mention that in your advertising? I think
these are valid questions which my readers should be well
aware of. Thus, I now want to share with you some keen insight
The 17 Things You Absolutely
Must Know If You Are
Involved In Direct Marketing!
1. Your product must be
shipped within 30 days of receipt of the order... unless your
offering states a different period... or unless you send a
delay notice. But that "delay notice" can't just be any ol'
nice personalized letter from you. Oh no! It must be in the
form required by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission; better get
to know those initials well if you're dabbling in direct
marketing) informing the customer of the delay... and...
offering the option of a refund... and... you must enclose a
postage prepaid envelope to facilitate a request for their
refund. A violation of this one rule alone can subject you to
penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
2. There is a difference
between guaranteeing all participants will be successful...
and... guaranteeing a refund if they are not. A guarantee all
persons will be successful may be fraudulent because,
obviously, all people will not be successful. Hell,
they may not even lift their finger and do anything! But the
governmental agencies gave us a way out of this one: A
guarantee of money back is not fraudulent... provided it is
3. If a guarantee is
subject to specific conditions, those conditions must be
clearly divulged in the offering.
4. Yet, simply offering a
guarantee does not save a fraudulent ad. If your ad or letter
contains fraudulent misrepresentations, the fact you bothered
offering a money-back guarantee is no defense.
6. It seems hard for me
to believe, but some folks actually send their proposed
advertising to the postal service and other regulatory
agencies to review to see if it passes muster. If you fall
into this category beware, their silence cannot be construed
as approval. All you will have accomplished is to be
absolutely sure the offending piece comes to their attention.
6. There are some
products which, if you sell them, make it a virtual certainty
you will be scrutinized ("Big Brother" is watching).
While it may be possible to sell these products honestly, it
is almost certain you will be challenged. So, unless you're
extra careful, try to stay away from cures for baldness,
breast enlargers, weight-loss programs involving magic pills,
work-at-home envelope stuffing programs, cures for illnesses
such as arthritis, chain letters, and chain referral or
pyramid schemes. As I said, they aren't necessarily illegal,
but tread lightly.
7. If you use
testimonials in your advertising, you must have copies of the
testimonials in your files. Also, if you provided
consideration for that testimonial, you must disclose that in
your marketing piece.
8. You cannot whisper the
truth and shout a lie. If you try to mention inconspicuously
or in a very carefully-worded but otherwise misleading fashion
(whispering) the actual truth that the customer must actually
do something to be successful in your program... but... you
later state with greater emphasis (shouting) in the same
advertising that no work or effort is required... the ad will
be interpreted to have made the claim no work or effort is
required. This is because the advertising piece must be read
as a whole. The authorities will consider the main
message of the advertising piece to be false.
9. Not that I think my
subscribers would ever do this, but still, I must warn you...
the postal service is engaged in cracking down on opportunity
advertising... especially... envelope stuffing programs.
10. In the postal
administrative courts, there are cases which indicate having
an "Opinion Letter" from an attorney is not a defense. But
that isn't true in all cases. In a criminal case or any other
case where a monetary penalty might be imposed, the fact you
sought legal advice may have a bearing on the issue of lack of
criminal intent or good faith. It could also affect the
decision of government attorneys as to whether or not they
should file criminal charges.
11. Under the Lanham Act, a
consumer who was injured because of mail fraud can bring a
class action on behalf of other injured consumers to get
refunds for everyone.
12. Judges of the Federal
Courts come from a socio-economic class where they don't think
highly of diet ads, opportunity ads, and other "flamboyant"
ads which are written in a National Enquirer style.
Even though the law states the burden of proof is on the
prosecution... in reality... it falls on the defense.
13. You can be found guilty
of mail fraud not only for what you say in your ad or
letter, but also for what you imply. Implied claims are
those things you don't come right out and say, but what an
ordinary reader would read into the ad.
14. Big Brother says the
point of civil mail fraud cases is not to put the
operator out of business (and we all believe Big Brother,
don't we?). The point, they say, is to obtain a cease and
desist order or a civil consent decree which stops you from
making similar fraudulent statements in the future. Your goal
ought to be to negotiate the terms of a consent decree. The
outcome should be restrictive enough to satisfy the
government... but... not so restrictive as to prohibit you
from running advertising which still pull orders. Hear me well
on this point: The attorney's role is critical. Your
"family" attorney, real estate attorney, divorce attorney,
personal injury attorney cannot handle this case for
you. You've got to hire an attorney who has marketing savvy...
he must understand what it takes to write an ad that will pull
orders. He'll be the one who can guide you as to what you can
give up to appease the government... while still... keeping
you in business.
15. Even though cases for
mail fraud may be filed civilly, they are more likely to be
filed as criminal cases. The reasons are: (a) Failure to
deliver the product; (b) Failure to make promised refunds; or
(c) Lottery or chain referral scheme.
16. Another reason you must
hire a marketing-savvy attorney is due to the fact postal and
FTC cases are not handled like ordinary lawsuits. Most
attorneys make the mistake of Answering the Complaint, gearing
up for discovery, and "act tough." In some cases, the tough
guy approach may be proper but... in almost all cases... the
best approach is to at least try to get together with
the opposition as early as possible with the hope of working
out a win/win solution. The outcome will allow you to continue
to operate your business with minimal government interference
while still protecting the public. I cannot emphasize it
enough: The attorney's role is critical because he must
understand not only your needs but also the goal of the
government. Remember, judges generally react badly to mail
order advertising... and... the mail fraud laws are so broad,
it usually is easy for the government to get a victory. The
main objective of you and your attorney is to avoid large
penalties and a court order which could prohibit you from
operating profitably in the future.
17. Whether the case is
filed civilly or criminally for mail fraud, statutes now
permit the government to seize real and personal property,
including bank accounts which are used in a mail order
business or which are traceable to the proceeds of a mail
order business. Such seizures can be made without notice and
may result in total forfeiture of such assets to the Federal
Now just because I shared these "warnings"
with you doesn't mean you have to be paranoid when you start
writing your letter or ad. The key to writing good copy
is to sit down and write. Write like a madman. Spill your
guts. Let it flow freely. Don't think about Big Brother or any
other negative factor. It's just you and your customer. Don't
think about spelling, hyphenation, grammar. These are things
you can take care of later.
Then, after you've gotten it down on paper...
then... you go back and if need be, clean it up a bit. Are
some of your phrases and words too harsh? Too soft? Too bland?
Are you too ambiguous as to what you are trying to achieve?
And if you're one of those people who have used a computer for
this project, did you not only do a "spellcheck," did you
actually sit down and read it yourself? You know, the old
fashioned way? You'd be surprised at the typos that a
spellcheck will let by. I once read the words "doe snot" where
it was clearly supposed to be "does not." And while I'm on the
subject of proofreading, the absolute best way to proofread is
to read it aloud. Turn off the radio, the television,
the wife, the kids. Go find yourself a quiet place (your
bathroom will suffice if all else fails) and read it aloud.
Then, after you've cleaned it up... then...
you go through your checklist. Do I have an outstanding
headline that'll grab their attention? Is my introductory
paragraph going to whet their appetites to continue reading?
Does the body tell them everything they need to know about the
product? Did I include testimonials? Did I take all the risk
factor by giving them a money-back guarantee? Are the ordering
instructions perfectly clear and easy to follow? Did I put in
some type of "code" so I can keep track of which list or
publication pulled best? Did I mention how long my customer
should wait before he receives the product? Did I write Gary
Halbert and tell him how much I value all the information he
shares with me?
Then, after you've added those items you might
have previously omitted... then... go back and proofread it
Then, after you've made the final
corrections... then... give it to someone else to read. If
they say, "Wow, I gotta have this!" you know you have
yourself a winner. And then, my friend, you drop your sales
letter in the mail like hotcakes or get your ad to its
publication via Federal Express.
Go for it. Do something. Get your lazy ass in
Gary C. Halbert
P.S. Help me out
here guys... tell me what you'd like me to write about in
upcoming issues. Or send me "100 Reasons Why It's Great To Be
A Gal!" (Like, are there 100 reasons?)
cannot take credit for writing "100 Reasons Why It's Great To
Be A Guy!" since those trinkets were passed along to me. Do
you know what that now means? I also can't take credit for
being the male chauvinist pig you thought I was!
Copyright © 2002 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights