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 right away!

5.  The best way to do this is by using direct mail.

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 rent.

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 type" product.

10. You create this information type product by having an expensive seminar and recording it on audio and video tape.

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 sales!

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 exactly right.

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 you.

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 product.

You really can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

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 readers.

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...


For Them!


Not only should you have a quality product...

You Should

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 Ground.

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 now!


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 is cashable!

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

Showing Off!

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.

Consider Selling

Your Receivables To

A "Factor"!

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

Our Money


Which lets us expand our business much, much faster.

Aw, forget it. G'wan back to "Baywatch."


   Gary C. Halbert
"Modesty Personified"



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 from me.)

     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.



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Copyright 2002 Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.