Bonus Material From None
Other Than Parris Lampropoulos.
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Dear friend and
Let's do the twist!
You know, I've been writing this newsletter since 1986 and
I've written a number of issues on how to write copy. However, there's
at least one important area I haven't covered... and... at
least to my knowledge, it hasn't been covered in other
newsletters or books on how to write copy. What I'm referring
to are known in the profession as "bullets." Bullets are
little one line statements of what you'll learn about in the
book the copywriter is trying to get you to purchase or some
other product he's writing about. Bullets are usually preceded
by a dot or an asterisk (the bullet) and they look like this:
you must ask when you rent a car to get the
lowest price humanly possible!
- How your military record
you extra Social Security money!
- The single
ever discovered to sell a house... and... sell
- How you
can legally tape any telephone call you get
collection agency... and... how to use that tape to scare the
of them... and... even use it (legally) to make them
pay you a big
And so on.
Listen, many of the most successful ads running today are
nearly all bullets. Often there's a headline and then maybe
two or three (or even just one) paragraph to preface
the bullets. Here's an example of such a one paragraph
troubled by prostate problems? If so, you may be
interested in a new book just released by
XYZ Publishing. Here's a small
sample of what you will learn
when you read this book:"
course, there are bullets, bullets and more bullets followed
by ordering instructions. Let me tell you something: Many
times a person will read an ad or a direct mail letter
containing dozens and dozens of bullets and... he'll order
just because one of them appealed to him. A
long time ago (I think it was clear back in the '70s) I was
doing some work as an outside consultant for Entrepreneur Magazine and
I was writing an ad for one of their reports or something and,
out of a tremendous amount of bullets there was one hidden in
the copy that caused calls to come in for months and maybe
even a year later. Here is that bullet:
- FAKE COCAINE:
a legal substitute that fools almost everyone!
bullet referred to was a small part of the literature in the report
or whatever it was in and, I'm not exactly sure who was
responding to that particular bullet who would be reading
literature from a magazine like Entrepreneur. Come
to think of it, maybe it was entrepreneurs... only
just those who were doing (or wanting to do) something illegal.
Had I to
do it over, I probably wouldn't have included such a bullet because
I sure don't think it attracted the target audience we were
hoping to sell. But, this tawdry example does illustrate the
pulling power of a single bullet even if it's buried in a
this issue with the words "Let's do the twist!" What I
meant by that is, when you
write bullets, you've got to take the facts about the product
you're trying to sell and present them in a way that "teases"
the reader into wanting the full scoop. Now listen, when I say
"twist" I don't mean distort! Your bullets
need to be 100% truthful but you need to
twist the way you write them so the reader gets a teasing
glimpse of a particular benefit for what you're selling which
makes him hungry for the rest of the story.
bullets is a real art and I don't have a magic wand that will teach you
how to do it. The only way you'll acquire this skill is
through a lot of practice. However, what
I can give you are examples of how
it's done... and... give you those examples in such a way I
bet it will be very illuminating for you. So then, here's
Gary's attempt to give you a few "aha!" experiences on the art
of writing bullets. The way I'm going to do this is to give you a
number of real life examples taken from an ad for a book.
First, I'll show you what it actually says in the book and then
I'll show you the "teaser bullet" written to correspond to
that section of the book.
says in the book:
ask how long a property has been on the market, and when they find
out the home has been on the market a long time they smell
blood. What's more, many buyers wonder what's wrong with the
property since it hasn't sold yet. They have second thoughts
about bidding on such a place, figuring if nobody else thinks
the property is worth what the seller is asking, why should
they? As a result, the seller can no longer get the kinds of
offers he would have gotten in the past... if your home has
been on the market for a long time, you may want to consider
taking it off the market for a little while. When you put it
back on, you can honestly answer it's been on the market a
How to sell your home faster by taking it off the market!
What it says in the book:
"The real estate brokers who come to view your home are in
essence competing against each other for the listing. And
those brokers who have been around for a while have learned
from experience that very few new sellers are prepared to hear
the truth about what their homes are worth.
"So rather than risk alienating you and losing the listing to a
competitor, most brokers will tell you what they think you
want to hear, rather than what your home is really worth.
"After a broker has secured the listing, he'll work hard on it
for months, gradually getting you to lower your price further
and further until finally the home is sold."
- A dirty little secret
many real estate brokers hope you never find out!
says in the book:
interior designer has used your home to make a personal
artistic statement, that's great while you're living there but
don't expect it to translate well when you're trying to sell.
Rather than overdecorating or overrenovating, try to create a
neutral canvas onto which a potential buyer can project his
- Why adding improvements to your
home can lower its value!
says in the book:
"Make closets look larger by removing items that can be stored
elsewhere. Arrange the remaining items in a neat, organized fashion.
Brighten dark, dull closet mwalls with a coat of paint."
- Something crucial
(and unusual) you must do to every closet in your house before
you show it to a would-be buyer!
says in the book:
"If you want to be extra aggressive, one thing you can do is to offer
brokers a higher commission. Better yet, offer a cash bonus to
the salesperson making the deal. (This tactic works best for
"You may find the idea of giving the broker extra money
distasteful, even outrageous. But look at it this way: while
the couple of extra thousand dollars you're parting with is a
minute portion of the selling price, it's a huge portion of
the salesperson's fee. Since it takes just as much work
to sell an inexpensive property as it does an expensive one,
why not give the salesperson a reason to work as hard to sell
your property as he would one that was a higher price?
Besides, if he's a good negotiator he'll be squeezing that
extra couple of thousand out of the buyer (or more accurately, the
buyer's bank!) anyway."
- The single best investment
you can make when selling your home!
says in the book:
"Another technique that is very effective in selling the
hard-to-sell home is for you to provide financing for the
buyer. If this sounds unconventional or makes you feel
uncomfortable, remember that back in the late '70s and early '80s
when interest rates were in the high teens, seller financing
was more the rule than the exception. And if the banks
continue their trend toward tight money, it may become the
rule again, no matter what interest rates are. So if you're
one of the sellers who doesn't need all the cash, you may use
seller financing as a way to make the deal more attractive."
- How to make sure your
buyer gets financing despite the credit crunch!
says in the book:
"Nine out of ten homeowners today are operating under a
terrible misconception that is costing them a great deal of time and
money. I call this misconception the 'fallacy of time.'
"The fallacy of time is the belief that in order to get top
dollar for your home you must stay on the market a long time
in order to hold out for the highest possible
price. "In fact, the
reverse is true. The less time a home sits on the market, the higher
the price it's likely to bring. Homes that sell for above-average
prices almost always sell quickly. And homes that sit on the market for
a long time almost always sell for much less than they would have had
they sold quickly."
- What the "fallacy of time"
is... and how falling for it can be hazardous to your health!
says in the book:
"And if you
live in a state where real estate brokers aren't allowed to draft
sales contracts, make sure your attorney doesn't drag his feet
with the sales contract. In virtually all home sales, the
contract of sale is preprinted form that the attorney or his
paralegal can fill out in a matter of minutes. Remember that
you are paying your attorney a significant sum of money; it
is not unreasonable for you to expect him to send the contract
out that day. And make sure the contract is delivered by hand.
I can't tell you how many times deals have been held up
because the attorney put the contract in the mail."
- Why you should never
mail a contract... and what you should do instead!
says in the book:
is a scientific fact that the human nose becomes impervious to a
smell after it has been exposed to it for just a few minutes.
Just because you can't smell an odor doesn't mean that a buyer
first entering the home won't smell it. Pay special attention
to the litter box and any other possible sources of odors in
the home. Keep fresh air circulating by opening the windows
or running the air conditioner. And you may consider providing
a pleasant scent with fresh flowers, potpourri, or scented
candles. If you really want to pull out all the stops, you can
try old tricks such as baking bread, boiling cinnamon, or
putting a drop of vanilla on a lit lightbulb before
- What you should do to
the lightbulbs in your house that can dramatically help you
Are you beginning to get the idea? I could go on and on with
more examples but, really the best way for you to get the
"knack" of writing bullets is to read bullet-laden ads and
then, order the book or product the ad is selling and study it
till you are proficient in spotting the "source" of
the bullet. All the above bullets are taken from an ad I wrote
for a book titled Sell
Your House Fast. Here
are the rest of the bullets of that ad:
- Seven questions you
should immediately ask a real estate broker before you even
consider letting him list your house!
- How to overcome the
single most difficult aspect of selling your home!
- How to get more
than your asking price! (You'll be amazed when you learn this!)
- What colors you must
never paint your house if you want to sell it fast!
- 3 strategies for
selling hard-to-sell properties!
- The single best way
ever discovered to sell a house... and... sell it fast!
- How to make sure
your lawyer doesn't kill the sale!
- How to get a
"selling edge" even 9 out of 10 real estate brokers don't know
- Why you should never
even think about having an open house!
- 5 deadly mistakes
most homeowners make when selling their homes and how to avoid
- Advice many attorneys
give that is absolutely wrong!
- Why you should almost
never rent your home!
- 2 clauses you should
almost never put in your contract of sale!
- What you can do if your
home is worth less than what you paid for it!
May I suggest something? Why don't you order this book and see
if you can find the text in the book from which I extracted
these bullets. The book is dirt-cheap and this will be an
excellent learning experience for you. Not only that, it's the
best book I've ever found on the subject of selling a house.
And listen: Another crucial part of an ad or a direct mail
promo is the ordering instructions. They have to be crystal
clear! So, to help you get an idea of how to do this aspect of
your promotions, I'm reproducing below the ordering
instructions I wrote for this book:
this book help you? Will it help you sell your house fast
(within 30-days) and, still get top dollar for it? Here's how
you can find out without risking a single penny. Go ahead
and order the book by mail. Keep it 30-days and read it and
check it out. Then, if you are unhappy with it, send it back
and the publisher will return your entire payment to you
quietly and without question.
that... you can even post-date your check or money order by
30-days. If you do this, the publisher promises and guarantees
not to deposit it for at least that amount of time. Then, if
you decide to return the book, the company will send back your
uncashed check or money order with no questions asked. You
order, write your name and address and the words "Sell Your
House Fast Book" on a piece of paper and send it with your payment of
$10.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling (total $12.00) to:
Pathfinder Marketing 5839 Ponce Ct.
San Jose, CA 95120
book will be sent promptly by return mail. If you have
any questions, you can call (415) 858-7583. Checks and money
orders should be made payable to "Pathfinder Marketing" and it
is not a good idea to mail cash.
Well anyway, whether you order the book or not, I hope what
you've just read has given you some insight into how to write
bullets and ordering instructions. You know, copywriting, when
done well, is extremely easy to read but brutally hard to
write. Writing is, I believe, the hardest job in the world.
Especially if you do it right. And copywriting is
the most difficult form of writing. When you're writing a
novel, a short story or a non-fiction book or article, you can
get away with a little slop.
Not so with copywriting. There... every word... has
But don't despair, you can learn to do it. And, when you do,
you can work anywhere in the world and the payoff can be
I'd like to conclude this issue by telling you a curious
story. Not long ago, an officer from the third largest bank in
the U.S. spent two days in Key West with me trying to get me
to create their advertising. He was flabbergasted when I
refused. He said the bank had ad agencies standing in line
to "pitch" the bank into being allowed to handle their account.
He was a nice guy, very sharp, and, when he left he
understood, I believe, why I couldn't work on such an account.
You see, what the bank wanted was more of the "same ol', same
ol'." They run full-page ads in places like the Wall
Street Journal with a
picture of a guy in a rowboat and eight words saying something
BANK: The Power To Make A Difference!
checked with Nancy Jones and the cost of running just one
full-page ad in the full circulation of the Wall Street
Journal is $114,605.28.
Can you imagine that? Paying that much money to print eight
words having no selling power whatsoever? Think about it: That
comes out to... $14,325.66 Per Word!
It's curious to me. I bet Nations Bank has some of the
sharpest executives in the world. I bet they watch every penny
of their costs like hawks. I bet they measure everything from
currency fluctuations to the square foot cost of each building
they rent or buy. I bet when they make a loan, they learn
everything about the buyer right down to the maiden name of
his aunts. But, on perhaps their most important expenditure of
all... their advertising... THEY OPERATE BLIND! I've never
even seen them offer a booklet in their advertising so theycan at least
"semi-measure" the pulling power of their ads.
But then, sometimes, I think it's me that's stupid. Just
think, if I handled accounts like this and charged the
standard 15% like ad agencies do, I could make $17,190.79 just
for writing a lousy eight words every time they run an ad in
Oh well, it's just not my bag. What I like to do is write ads
that make huge profits for my clients. I don't always succeed
but often, I put more work into writing one ad than a
conventional ad agency does in doing 10-years of work for one
of their institutional clients.
Do you have
a project for which you need advertising written? If so,
I strongly urge you to learn to write the advertising yourself
or else hire a real copywriting expert to do it for you.
Someone like me.