South of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
This issue is a continuation of my last issue.
Let's go over what I had to say in that issue:
1. Y2K problems are going to disrupt our
economy and create massive financial devastation.
2. As this happens, millions of people are
going to lose their jobs and/or businesses and join the ranks
of "the scared shitless."
3. It is hard to get people who are scared
shitless to part with their money.
4. Therefore, you should make as much money as
you can... and... you should do it
5. The best way to do this is by using direct
6. The first step toward direct mail success
is to order the SRDS mailing list book and read the
descriptions of all the mailing lists available for you to
7. As you read these list descriptions, you
should be on the lookout for big lists of PWM's which stands
for "Players With Money."
8. PWM's are the easiest people to whom you
can market quality products and/or services.
9. If you don't already have a high-priced,
quality product or service, you should create an "information
10. You create this information type product by
having an expensive seminar and recording it on audio and
11. After you've finished creating the product,
you should write a long-copy, direct mail sales letter which
will induce PWM's to purchase your info product.
12. Your info product should be very high
priced and you should only let people buy it by check and you
should insist all checks be postdated by 30-days.
13. Doing this will likely triple your
refunds... but also... it will likely triple your
14. When you do the arithmetic, you will find
this method of selling to be much more profitable than
the normal "payment-with-order" method of doing business.
15. It takes balls to do this.
Still with me? Good. I was going to stop
writing if you weren't.
Mushing on: Look, I said doing business this
way will likely triple your refund rate. But, I did not
say it has to triple your refund rate. And, what we are
going to do in this issue is examine various ways we can keep
your refund rate as low as possible.
First and foremost...
You Need To Have
A Great Product!
A great product doesn't eliminate refunds but,
it sure as hell cuts them way down. More than anything,
creating a great product is a matter of doing a lot of work.
If it would normally take 40 hours to create the type of
information product you have in mind...
consider putting 100 hours into the development
of your product!
Do you have any clue how much work I put into
the writing of each issue of this newsletter? Of course you
don't. By the time I'm finished writing it, it reads so
easily, it seems like I just "dashed" it off. Not true. The
easier something is to read, the more work was put into the
writing of it.
If you care, you'll try to get every nuance
Remember in the last issue when I referred to
you as "Fishface"? Before I settled on that appellation, I
thought about referring to you as "Buckwheat," "Asshole,
"Dork," "Numnuts," "Yo-Yo," "Friend," "Neophyte," "Student,"
and dozens of others.
But "Fishface" just seemed to fit, didn't it?
It was just derogatory enough for you to know it truly was
Gary Halbert writing to you... but... it had a flavor of
"tongue-in-cheek" humor to it that reassured you I really do
have affection for you and I'm trying the best I can to help
Incidentally, peppering these newsletters with
"Buckwheat," "Fishface," "Numnuts," etc. dramatically enhances
the learning experience. Those words are like a little "mental
pinch" that keep you more alert, create a little "emotional
jolt" and, liven up whatever message I'm trying to deliver.
But don't you try this. It's dangerous.
Especially with new customers. I only use this as an example
to help me explain... how... the more work you put into your
writing, the more valuable the results will be.
Don't copy me. In
fact, don't copy anyone. Concentrate more on content
than delivery. If the content is there, you can "farm out" the
job of putting it into words. However, without good content,
the best writer in the world can't produce a first-class
You really can't make a silk purse out of a
Remember the Antin brothers? Their newsletters
were such a blatant knock-off of mine, it dramatically
weakened the perceived value of them to nearly all their
Not only was their newsletter a knock-off, it
was a bad knock-off. I don't hate those guys. I
actually like them. But, reading their newsletters caused me
pain. It made me...
Not only should you have a quality product...
Deliver It Fast!
And, by fast, I mean fast! Use next
day morning Fed Ex. Don't be an anal retentive like Mike
Goldstein (Hi, Mike!) and think you are adding to your
bottom-line by saving the $10.00 or whatever over what it
would have cost you to deliver it by parcel post or UPS
What you are doing here is sowing "money tree"
seeds. All smart people value time way more than money.
Give your PWM quality... and... give it to him
Nothing is as overlooked by today's marketers
as bonding. Get up close and personal
with your PWM customers!
Call them the same day you get their
order and thank them for doing business with you.
Call the day after they receive their product
and make sure they got everything.
Here's a trick I learned from Sam Kendes, the
most sour-faced man on earth. (Hi, Sam!) Check it out: You
keep an atlas of the United States beside your phone. When you
are talking to a customer from say... Akron, Ohio... you find
out where Akron is in the Atlas (there'll be an icon of a
bowling alley where the city is) and you say...
"Hey, I notice you're from Akron. Isn't that
right near Barberton where Gary Halbert grew up?"
Look, if you do a little research, you can find
out something interesting enough about the city (or a nearby
city) where your PWM lives to get a conversation going.
This is an example of bonding.
Want another? You don't? Well, to hell with you
then. I'll go ahead and tell you a little about my trip to Rio
last year. First of all, there are seven women for every man.
The women are all highly sexed and they will... WHAT?
Oh, you do want another example of bonding? I'm sorry.
I must of "misheard" you.
OK, you wait until a week has passed since your
customer received your product. Then you call him and tell him
you just received a shipment of what may be the world's best
putters and you are sending him one free. No strings attached.
(This assumes you are selling an info product about golf.)
Then, do it.
A week or two later, send him a totally
unexpected, expensive gift like a large, hard-bound book that
is a guide to the best golf courses in the world.
Bonding. It works miracles. And, the best
bonding technique in the world...
Is To Sincerely Care
About Your Customers!
More ways to cut refunds...
Integrate A Celebrity
Into Your Product!
It's harder somehow to "stiff" Ernest Borgnine
than it is to stiff you... an unknown, anonymous stranger. By
the way, your celebrity doesn't have to be a star of stage,
screen or TV. It could be the mayor of your town. Or maybe the
police chief. Offer to donate $5,000 to his favorite charity
if he will introduce your product on video.
Hey, now here's a really neat trick:
Let's say your info product has to do with playing better
golf. Have one of your golf pro's (preferably a "name brand"
golfer like Chi Chi Rodriquez) send a personal letter to your
customer referencing his town and the golf courses near him.
Imagine getting a letter from Chi Chi that says...
Dear Mr. Everett,
I don't know if you've ever played the Fairlawn
Divot Course on Market Street. But, since you live in Akron, I
thought maybe you play there once in a while.
Anyway, if you ever do play there, watch out
for the 11th hole. It's a par three, dog-leg-left and it's
only 140 yards. But, since the wind there is almost always
coming straight off the tee, the tendency for most golfers is
to "underclub" the hole.
Usually, for 140 yards I use an eight iron but,
when I'm playing Fairlawn Divot, I always use a seven iron on
that darn 11th hole. Also, etc., etc., etc.
Notify Your Customer Of
A Really Valuable Gift He
Will Receive Two Weeks From Today!
If you've been following the time-line I've
outlined... this is... one full week after the date his check
Hey, you never heard stuff this good
from any other marketing guru, now did you?
Damn, I'm good. You know, when God made me...
I Think He Was Just
Oh shut up, you humorless twit. Would you like
for me not to be arrogant? Gee, then I could write
vapid shit like Hershell Gordon Lewis or Jeffrey Lant. Oh,
excuse me, that's DOCTOR Jeffrey Lant!
Now, there's a true case of "arrogance
without substance." Strip away the initials after this
idiot's name (which is all he's got to credentialize himself)
and what you've got left is a virtual parody of
professionalism. Call this guy often and tape the
conversations. Then you'll have a product you can sell to
people who create sitcoms and need tapes to play when they
need to create a laugh track.
Hey, can I be bitchy or what? Mama always told
me I had a highly developed feminine side. For what it's
worth, I think DOCTOR Jeffrey Lant has a very highly
developed "feminine side."
Enough. It's no fun to go after this guy. He's
too easy a target.
Focus Halbert, focus! I can see all you
readers out there waiting for my next morsel of wisdom. In my
mind's eye, you look like little baby birds looking up at me
with beaks open.
Never fear. I love you all. I really do. So,
let's see if I can drudge up another "worm of wisdom"? Hah!
How about this one?
You Form A Bond
With A Hungry Banker And
Make Arrangements For
Him To Give You
"Expedited" Check Cashing!
When your customers postdate their checks 30
days, they won't write "last day to cancel payment on check
to Video Golf Instruction" on their calendar or day timer.
People are careless. They don't play "heads up" ball with
their personal lives. Don't you be sloppy! As they used
to say in the MP's, "You need to
'snap shit' in all your business affairs."
Anything else? Lord, I could run on forever
here. So, I'll give you one more morsel in my never-ending war
to try and get your pathetic mind in gear.
Your Receivables To
After you've got some history selling your info
product, there are plenty of people (thousands) who would love
to have you assign your postdated checks to them. Let's say,
using what you've learned in this letter, you're able to
reduce your refund rate to 15%. Let's say your factor gives
you 70% of the value of checks. That's a great deal!
But why? We were talking about a 30% refund
rate... and now... by using a factor, once again, we are only
collecting 70% of our gross sales. But, there's a BIG
difference. You see, now...
We Are Getting
Which lets us expand our business much, much
Aw, forget it. G'wan back to
Gary C. Halbert
P.S. I may write the best newsletter...
but... I don't write the only really, really good one.
If you're not reading Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Marketing
Letter, you should be. He's got some brilliant
observations. It's good stuff. (Even though he stole it all
Just kidding, you dummy. You can (and
should) subscribe to Dan's letter by calling (602) 997-7707.
P.S.#2 Would you like to hire me to speak in
front of your group? I'm not a cheap date... but... I
really deliver! If you're interested, call (305) 534-7577
and leave a message for Theresa (my Godsend) to call you back.
That's it for this month. Go out and
get'em, little fishie. Maybe the swim will be all upstream...
but... succeed or fail, just making the attempt makes you a
man in my eyes.
Copyright © 2002 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights