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EXECUTION Copywriting Challenge May 2018 (Join me)

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Joaquim, May 1, 2018.

  1. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    @Joaquim, @Late Bloomer, great set of notes. Looking forward to more. Thank you.

    :clap::
     
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  2. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks! I'm familiar with Porter's 5 Forces, but I never before considered how it relates to advertising.

    I do know there are several personality types I'd like to work with, and who would enjoy working with me. There are several business situations I'd like to help, where I could make a difference. There are several tasks I can do, that are worth paying for. There are several ways I could explain that, which could be emotionally engaging to those I'd like to have as clients. But I don't know which combination is most likely to have the most appeal. My only way to find out is to do some immediate, very small scale tests. I don't have the resources of the agency Collier worked for, or that ad writers like Gary Halbert and Dan Kennedy built into their fees and budgets, to take a month to interview hundreds of people before writing a killer ad. I have to start with what I've got, and refine it as I go instead of a detour for lots of quantitative research & analysis.

    Your little questionnaire there is helpful for me to think things through well within a day, as best as I can, without that giant detour. This is the kind of idea sharing I came to the forum to find! :smile2:
     
  3. Late Bloomer
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    Reading notes ( and personal applications ) from Dan Kennedy's book "The Ultimate Sales Letter"

    Intro: Greg Renker points out that the same techniques Dan discusses for typed, printed letters, also work on TV.

    Dan likes to complain about the Internet. I wonder if he ever took a break from all that complaining, to write an entire book about how classic direct marketing techniques apply online? Did someone else write such a book?

    "Before you start writing"
    • Knowing your own business, product or service, and customer, is a huge advantage. If you brought in another copywriter, they'd have to spend a lot of time learning about this.
    • Formal education isn't needed, but ability to collect and review good examples and relevant notes for this project is very helpful.
    • Get something good enough. Don't worry if you only get one part good enough, you can copy and paste all the good parts later.
    "Get into the customer"
    • Mostly emotional: what keeps them awake, makes them angry, frustrated, eager with desire, influencing their decisions?
    • Also their context: trends they have to deal with, is someone else selling something to them and how's that going for them?
    • Visualization skills help here.
    • Address the reader's priorities, not your own. Use their language, not your own.
    "Get into the offer"
    • Put each feature and benefit on an index card.
    ( Gary Halbert talks more about this... with a stack of cards about your offer and customer, and another stack of cards with classic headlines and proven advertising language... flip through them both together, saying Hmmmm? until a connection lights up in your mind. )

    "Create a damaging admission and address flaws openly"

    ( This is important to me. I should list everything I dislike and am no good at, then exaggerate it to drive away people who care about it... and better attract my best business matches. For example, if you want someone who'll help you play office politics, you shouldn't put me on your team, etc. )

    "Get your sales letter delivered"

    ( Gary Halbert also talks about this in more detail. What a huge amount of extra work and loss. How much better to use email, where instant deletion is so much more environmentally friendly that throwing the brochure into the landfill ! )

    "Get your sales letter looked at"
    • Good point that you need to deliver what you promise, so if the outside or headline proclaims it's Personal, New, etc., you'd better fulfill that in the message without gimmicks.
    "Get your sales letter read"

    Dan at his best! A collection of timeless headlines, prestige words, items to add for the mass market, and tips for building credibility for professional services.

    "Beat the price bugaboo"

    More of Dan at his best, with apples to oranges comparisons, production cost, ignoring total price for monthly payments, and problem-stirring formulas!

    "Review winning copywriting techniques and tactics"

    More of Dan at his best! You only need a few great techniques. Intimidation/fear of missing out. Appeal to ROI. Appeal to ego. Guarantees.

    ( I wonder if there's something I can do for "refund and keep the premium." Maybe claim a price for an informative newsletter for me, which is free for a year just for someone giving my service a trial? )

    "Write the first draft" ... no need to try to make it perfect, just get something on the page.

    "Rewrite for strategy"
    • Copy is NOT too long to those who find the topic interesting and meaningful to them!
    • Everyday readability matters, standard English doesn't. [ My English teachers would've used their red pens on this comma splice. ]
    • Multiple reading paths, yes sequence, teasers: tricks of the trade.
    "Rewrite for style"
    • First paragraph is an extended headline. Entertainment vs. humor. Sensory details. Impactful words. Personal style.
    Dan's brief discussion of personal style, fits in the "Individuality" chapter in "Scientific Advertising," about the persona and tone of voice of the apparent author of the advertisements.

    "Answer questions and objectives"
    • Include: a direct answer; objective plus social proof; restatement of the guarantee.
    ( This has been a worrisome area for me. I need to write out ALL the concerns, gotchas, issues I can imagine prospects having... toss out hte ones that are only emotionally driven in me, not really about others... and then go all Dan-credibility to demolish the rest! )

    "Spark immediate action"

    Seven specific suggestions from Dan that can make any offer more compelling to act on NOW. ( Can I find a way to add them all? )

    "Check the checklist" but Dan doesn't offer one, I'm not sure what the point of this one page chapter was.

    "Use graphic enhancement." Sure.

    "Rewrite for passion! Edit for clarity!"

    The headline alone here is enough to help me identify two different types of mindset, requiring two separate passes to improve the text. Great specific guidance. ( This chapter alone could be worth the whole book for me! )

    "Compare your draft for examples"

    Makes sense but I might have forgotten to do this if not for Dan's reminder here.

    "Pretest"

    Good examples. ( Gary Halbert mentioned he would chat with folks at the bar. "I'm trying to see if this advertisement makes any sense or if it's confusing, what do you think?" )

    "Bring your letter to life" Huh? Pointless filler chapter?

    "Change graphic enhancements," "Edit again." Okay, Dan.

    "Mail a mock-up." Still valid in the Internet era, for example does your mail system discard part of your html formatting?

    "The cool off" of 3-5 days. ) No, I wanna publish and get buyers NOW! Waaah! ;-) )

    "Get second opinions" including Dan fishing for clients himself. Maybe I should put a $150 value on my initial consultation, and offer a coupon to make it free?

    "Give it the final review," "go to press," "mail!" Short chapters for people who love logistics.

    "The most versatile tool of all"

    GREAT Dan material about integrating sales letters into a larger marketing campaign, including referrals.

    "The million-dollar sales letter secret: the power of a sequence"

    Dan at his best. Dan points out that "Georgio" keeps after prospects just like a collections agent.

    "High-tech sales letters" - a very brief look at what was new technology way back when...

    "About contacting the author" and "recommended reading list" - Dan got better at hyping his own whale-hunting efforts in his later work.

    Looks like Caples is next on the reading list.
     
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  4. Late Bloomer
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    I happened to pull up the Collier book before Caples.

    Notes (and personal applications) of "The Robert Collier Letter Book."
    The text is in the public domain, so your version might have different page numbers.
    This is a long book so I'll make notes in sections. Here's part 1.
    Next part might take a bit longer, as I got kind of bogged down in the second half.

    Intro & chapter 1
    • Copywriting can bring in huge successes in business.
    • Even for people who aren't social successes in person.
    ( Collier had to pay for printing and postage; can I succeed with these approaches FOR FREE using outbound email and inbound social media to connect with great buyers quickly? )
    • Conversation is already ongoing in the reader's mind about what HE wants. Join it to succeed, or interrupt it with the irrelevant to get kicked away. The bait is whatever he ALREADY wants to gobble up FOR HIS OWN REASONS.
    • For many people, much of the time, a few prime human emotions are foremost in their minds.
    ( Some of the examples seem very quaint, old fashioned, irrelevant, not emotionally exciting to me at all. But, I'll keep reading to see if the principles are timeless, and to see if there are other examples that still have something special for modern audiences. )

    Chapter 2
    • Decide on the feeling and outcome you want for the reader to experience, BEFORE you start writing.
    • The feeling he MUST HAVE what I offer, or can't rest until he does what I'm urging him to do.
    • When it is action you want, go after the emotions every time!
    • A book ignored for 15 years may be a huge sales success with a new promotional campaign that appeals to the EMOTIONS!
    • "Appeal to the reason, by all means. Give people a logical excuse for buying that they can tell to their friends and use to salve their own consciences. But if you want to sell goods, if you want action of any any kind, base your real urge upon some primary emotion!" ( We still see this with cars, for example, with logical "excuses" about efficiency, safety features, cargo space etc., when the real selling point is how we feel about them and more importantly how they help us feel about ourselves.)
    ( I looked up an inflation calculator. $1 in Collier's day is equivalent to about $25 today. But the psychological principles haven't changed a bit! )

    Chapter 3
    • The reason news is popular is because people want a change, something more intense for their EMOTIONS. ( The intellectual cover story - that all the events are actually important and relevant to their own lives to know right now, today, it couldn't wait - is obviously not true! For example, one could be a well informed voter, even actively writing letters to one's Senators on many issues, by using just one morning a month to catch up on what happened lately in politics. If you don't have a political career, all the scandals and cover-ups and retaliation from day to day, don't actually affect you enough to make it meaningful to stay upset all day and stay through more ads between all the arguments. Even a big bad policy change usually takes half a year or more to get "rushed" through a bureaucracy, so it doesn't actually matter if you deal with it this very hour or a couple of weeks from now... except to the advertisers on the news! If you want a great example of emotional hooks getting people to read a long message, just look at the newspaper or newscast! )
    • If you can directly connect with the ongoing mental conversation about the reader's goals and wants, do so. If not, distract him with something newsworthy and exciting and then you have a chance to connect up what you have to say with his own affairs.
    • p 22 "You've got to have more money" paragraph could be used as is, for MJ's books and forum!
    • p 23 "Last week ... 300 men... Don't you think it's time that salary raise was coming your way?" could be a good paragraph I could rewrite for marketing consulting.
    • p 25 We've enclosed a check... if you want to buy more you can... Maybe I can use this with a "discount coupon" for initial consultations, rather than making them free?
    • Once you have a strong appeal that works, THEN play with formatting.
    Chapter 4

    Now we're getting into more appealing stuff!
    • Word pictures + gentle leading from one to another. The mind thinks in pictures. The most powerful pictures are the ones the mind made up from a description you provided, involving the reader's own imagination. ( I need a specific metaphor or image for each technical thing that I mention to customers... no buzzword! )
    • Add one picture at a time, starting with something the reader is familiar with.
    • "Put life into your descriptions - life, and when possible, a smile."
    • p 30 Laundry: "... to be at its best ... should be (handled) carefully and skillfully. Many discerning (buyers) entrust their (item) to The Company. In it, the constant thought is not "how quick" but "how well." But with all our care, we do save time for you, too." This could be used for things other than laundry, for example, web or software design.
    • p 31 Self deprecating humor in real estate: "Let us send you book about it. It is a very nice book, and not too much exaggerated." Ha! This line could still work.
    • p 31 "You get the full benefit of every atom of gas" could be used today for a fuel efficient car.
    • p 32 Plum cake and turtle soup and cakes and cheese and bacon stories are like the J Peterman (is that the spelling?_ catalog. I wonder if this is where he got the idea?
    • p 33 "The eating of them makes a man realize how fond he is of all his relatives - well, practically all." Ha!
    • War stories examples... the emotions of history.
    Chapter 5

    p 39 Persuasion is when you find the motive within the reader, and stir it to overcome his inertia or cheapness.
    p 39 Six prime motives: love, gain, duty, pride, self-indulgence, self-preservation. Love is always the strongest motive. ( I've some some different lists of a few primary motives. I think the specific list doesn't matter so much, just that we're targeting these kinds of primary emotions in our copywriting. )
    p 43 Perhaps the busy businessman delegated this to someone who screwed it up... "plausible deniability" or "saving face" opportunity is always a good idea when dealing with "Mr. Big!"

    Chapter 6
    • Start with a free trial until you have the proof of lots of customers and testimonials.
    ( Could I offer a one week free trial and then get paid well? )

    Chapter 7
    • Give a push forward without seeming to. Start with something simple: just come in and look, no obligation. Just give it a test drive. Now let's see what kind of trade in we could offer on your old car... Don't decide now. Try it then decide.
    • Yacht sale: news about construction; invitation to party... I think big-ticket real estate, etc. could be sold this way?
    • By through mail if it's even easier than going to the in person store as well as less expensive.
    Chapter 8
    • Closing needs to include call to action and reason you'll lose out if you don't order now. be specific in the exact numbers explaining why dawdling means totally missing out. tell him exactly what to do. ( Gary Halbert was the total best-ever master at this. )
    Chapter 9
    • Six essentials of a sales letter: opening, description, reason why, proof or guarantee, penalty, close.
    • Mining examples: quantify specific advantage to certain buyers, so it's no longer a commodity. If this can work for even trainloads of coal, how much more for our custom designed products and services?
    • p 57 "Remember, no saving - no cost. But if we save you 25%, we get your contract. Is it a go?"
    • GREAT story about constant analysis of why their product is more cost effective.
    Chapter 10
    • 6 month trial, $25/week draw in 1913 (that would be about $3k/month today) and 5% commission on sales through mail.
    • Harvard Classics examples. p 73 purpose of letter # 1 is to winnow out those few who can sold the value of this idea.
    Chapter 11
    • First sale might cost 10 to 50%, follow ons to existing customer should cost no more than 5 or 10% because you've already proven what you say. A low initial price can still be an order, that builds customer confidence so you can sell them something else more expensive.
    Chapter 12

    p 91 "An old dodge" can still make money today.
    1/3 of revenue lost to returns, cancellations, nonpayment. That seems high to me?

    Chapter 13

    This book is a gold mine of REASONS WHY to make a special offer.
    p 112 We have so few we can't sell them as usual but we can give them away with an order.
    p 118 Sale of damaged sets so profitable that new ones were sent when damaged ones were sold out.
    p 121 "The one constant factor in selling is human reactions. We seldom try to sell merchandise. We sell ideas.... The wording counts for little. It is the way you copy the idea back of the successful letter that counts."
    p 129 Review of reviews - the different sections would make a good blog today.
    BRILLIANT point - choice of free bonus can select for a particular type of buyer, in a mass-appeal offer!
    p 134 'Did you know?' list could definitely be used today. In fact I've gotten sucked into lots of clickbait presented in this very format!

    TO BE CONTINUED
     
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  5. Joaquim
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    Joaquim Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Quick update after week #1:

    Because it's been very busy I still haven't finished Cashvertising. Will finish any day soon.

    Will definitely have a look at the Porter's 5 Forces, never heard of it.

    Thanks @Late Bloomer for the awesome notes. Love how structured they are and how in depth they are!
     
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  6. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Michael Porter is a business school professor and business consultant who came up with a systematic way to analyze competition within an industry. Here's a summary.
    Porter's five forces analysis - Wikipedia
    If you want to get into these ideas more, there are plenty more articles you can find with a web search. Porter wrote some books to explain the framework in detail, with examples. Most business libraries should have them.
     
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  7. HelpAndProsper
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    HelpAndProsper Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I've read Breakthrough....Great stuff.....
     
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  8. Late Bloomer
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    It would take more than 30 days to really go through all of these books carefully. I think we should continue the challenge on the basis of going through all of these books, sharing our notes and thoughts, most importantly how we can apply what we learn to our current work... whichever month that happens.

    I finally finished the Robert Collier Letter Book, with many more pages of notes. So many marketing lessons here IF you can see how to adapt what he did back then, to what you'd like to do now. I would recommend reading this book AFTER Breakthrough Advertising by Schwartz. Schwartz explains how to categorize the different purposes of advertising such as getting initial orders, or overcoming jaded reactions for repeat purchases. Collier's many letters would make more sense with that framework already in mind.

    Lots of typos in this scan.

    Collier includes sales letters for some positive thinking books. The letters say the books explain how to awaken the inner giant of the unlimited subconscious mind's power.

    In another letter, Collier mentions that the 21 volume set of tutorials is too detailed, so here's the most condensed get to it quick version in only 7 installments.

    Tony Robbins titled his psychology books "Awaken the Giant Within" and "Unlimited Power," and followed up his 20+ installment audio series with a 7 audio series of the most important highlights. Either Tony or someone on his marketing team was familiar with Collier's work!

    Rather than comment on many of the letters, I'll highlight a few of the timeless principles Collier stated. That's still a lot of material.

    "The point would seem to be that if you can tie in with what people are thinking about and interested in, you can sell anything. And that the particular form that your letter takes is far less important than the chord it happens to strike."

    SELL TO KNOWN BUYERS. If you have something new to sell by mail, sell it, if you can, to those who've already bought SOMETHING by mail.

    "You see, the product is of minor importance. There was scarcely a man in the whole place who did not know more about raincoats than I. But it was not raincoats we were selling. It was an idea - in this case, the idea that by specializing in one grade of coat, one cloth, one style, and making it in every conceivable size, we could not only save you money, but give you a better coat and a more perfect fit than you could get at double the price in stores. We did not need to know anything about coat manufacturers to convince you of that. All we needed to understand was human reactions to certain ideas, and these are what we studied."

    "Notice how readily the idea adapts itself to overcoats, just as though it had never been used for anything else. That is my experience of most basic ideas. If they are good enough for selling one product, they can be adapted to selling almost any other product."

    "For here is a strange fact, which has held consistently throughout all my experience in selling my mail: If you offer one article you will twice as many orders as if you offerd a choice fo two or more articles!" ( Gary Halbert confirmed that decades later. )

    "The best mail order buyer is one who has already bought other products by mail, and it is ideas that sell goods - not mere descriptions of the goods themselves. Ideas are the only things that count."

    p 217 Even if you have a good reason for the bargain, you still have to add lots of good reasons for the quality.

    "We tried pictures on the letterhead and found that the old mail order letterheads, of which so much fun is made, showing the picture of the founder of the business, have a sound psychological reason back of them, and frequently increase orders anywhere from 5-10%."
    "We tried everything - metered mail against stamped. Precancelled stamps against plain... Pen signatures against facsimile.... Black ink against purple and blue and red..... And the trend of all the tests seemed to be that anything which tended to make your letter seem more personal added appreciably to the number of your orders." ( Gary Halbert also confirmed this decades later! )

    "These were just a few of the tests we made. There were literally hundreds of them. A book could be written about them alone but by the time it came out it would be of little value. For the fascinating thing about this selling by mail - the thing that makes impossible for any man or set of men to know all about it - is that it is continually changing. What you learn today you must unlearn tomorrow. You have to keep trying - and testing - and then just when you reach the point where you can arise and state with authority: you can do, that you cannot, along comes some darn fool who knows none of the rules and sells a million on the very plan you said could not be worked!"

    Results are unpredictable and can go up and down at any time. "And yet, properly run, there is no safer business on earth. You need never risk anything but the cost of a test. ... for instance, when ( something to sell ) was offered to us, we didn't need to say: "All right, we'll gamble on that," or "We can't afford to risk that much money." No, what we said was: "Give us a 60 day option and we'll find out!" So we gambled the cost of a couple of tests, found that we could sell so many sets to each thousand names, multiplied that by the number of names available, and knew just what to safely contract to do.
    There was no manufacturing cost, no inventories to worry about, no commitments. If the test had been a failure, we would bought enough to fill the orders received and been out nothing but the small cost of the tests. If that had not been available would would have returned all money received, notified those who ordered that circumstances made it impossible to go ahead with the project, and closed the matter. Is there any other business where future prospects can be forecast with such certainty and at such small expense?"

    "The real profit in selling by mail lies not in the first mail but in the succeeding ones. If you cannot sell a second product to the people who bought your first one, then there is something wrong with your methods or your product."

    "Beware of the letter that everyone admires for its cleverness. It may bring you a great deal of praise - but few orders. The good letter is one that leaves your reader hardly conscious of the letter itself, so interested is he in doing the thing you want him to do."

    "We all like to feel important. Anything that raises our ego, that makes us feel more necessary to the general scheme of things, is sure to please us. The cleverness in ( letters with this appeal ) lies in their ability to feed our vanity, without making it too apparent that this is the real purpose of the letter."

    "While most people lack the courage for real leadership, few there are who do not long to be looked up to, as being a bit above their fellows. Organizers of Lodges and Clubs realize this predominant trait in human nature and capitalize it to the fullest degree. And publishers have not been backward in giving their readers the chance to become Founders or Charter Subscribers or Members of some more or less exclusive group."

    "There is no one best method of approaching your reader. And no one knows all the successful methods. But experienced advertising men have learned a number of ways that work well in a large majority of cases and unless you know better ones, it pays to use these tested methods. They go far towards taking the guess out of advertising. You have seen numbers of advertisements, for instance, starting - Give me five minutes, and I'll give you this or that. So successful has this approach been found, that it has been put among proven order-getters. Why not adapt it, then, to your offer? Here is the way we used it for one client..." ( A brilliant paragraph because the commentary about sales letter is itself selling that you should make sales letters like this one! )

    "The one things that should always be borne in mind is that it is not merchandise you are selling, but human nature, human reactions. The movie people have found that people always respond to certain motivations, so they have their guaranteed laugh producers, their guaranteed methods of turning on the tears, and so on..... In the same way, you can take an approach that has successfully sold a set of books, and with very little change, adapt it to selling shoes or socks or luggage or any one of a thousand other products and be just as successful in disposing of these!"
    "The Give 5 minutes approach, for instance, used in one of the foregoing letters. You can use it to sell a relief for Athlete's Food, as in, Give me 5 days, and I'll give you relief from itching feet. Or a new dance step, Give me 15 minutes and I'll give you the secret of dancing to the new slow-time music. Or a new car, Give me 5 minutes and I'll give you a new sensation in riding comfort."

    Ranking of how to get your letter opened. If you don't have a headline on the outside, make it look like a personal note. "As to the motives to appeal to when you have won the reader's attention, by far the strongest, in our experience, is Vanity. Not the vanity that buys a cosmetic or whatnot to look a little better, but that unconscious vanity which makes a man want to feel important in his own eyes and makes him strut mentally. This appeal needs to be subtly used, but when properly used, it is the strongest we know. Next to it perhaps, is the is premium or "Gift" idea - starting your letter with the gift of some unimportant article, to lead your reader on to the buying of your real product."

    Have an idea file.

    To get inquiries write the shortest letter that will get interest. To make sales write as long as letter as you need to discuss everything about the offer.
     
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  9. Late Bloomer
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    I would like to see someone else do a review or key points collection from the Whitman and Schwab books and from the Boron Letters.

    I'd also like to see someone find out exactly why Gary Halbert was sent to the minimum security prison camp, where he wrote the Boron Letters. From what Dan Kennedy mentioned now and then, I have the idea that Gary was convicted of taking people's money and not shipping them what they ordered in time, or maybe of misrepresenting a stock investment? Seeing his friend go to prison made a strong impression on Dan, who always advises his audiences to very carefully follow every detail of the letter of the law, and to just get out of any business where that's hard to do.
     
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  10. Argue
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    @Late Bloomer, thanks for updating the thread with new notes.

    The Robert Collier book is a gem. But wow, the typos in the PDF is crazy. Listened on audible and it was good. I didn’t take notes tho.

    Anyway LB, how much time do you take to read a book? Are you scanning/speed reading? Or do you carefully read each page? I’d like some tips.

    I’m not gonna lie, some of these books are putting me to sleep lol. Scientific advertising was very boring to me but very insightful. It was painful to get through... so I just read the summary for it.
     
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  11. Late Bloomer
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    Great question.

    Study skills are skills we can learn, just like anything else. The advantage is, they make it easier to learn anything else.

    I'd already read or skimmed most of these copywriting books. So for this current challenge, I am going through each page with a notebook handy. I'm glad for that, because I'm finding so many ideas I can adapt and use for myself. I always put the date and topic at the top of each page of my notes, or each new file. Sometimes I take notes by hand, sometimes I use a note taking program with tabs for multiple text pages, so I don't have to see clutter on the computer.

    I am always asking, is this an advertising appeal I could use now? If so, how could I adapt it for my business? What is the lesson for today? Could I use this to help other companies with their marketing?

    Oh, they gave a free one week trial of a travel bag for those who sent in a postcard. Could I somehow let people send me a postcard to get a free web site for a week? What other products could include a dozen organizer pockets, so there's a place for everything?

    So this other business collected leftover, overstocked dresses into their showroom. Is there something I could collect as overstock at half wholesale prices, and display at discount retail for a profit? Could I do this online without needing a storefront?

    This next sales letter said (politely, discreetly), if you're a know it all jerk don't waste our time, but if you're willing to learn we can sure help you. Would I like to have a web site that implies that only people of superior intelligence and open-mindedness are good enough to buy from me?

    The way I like to learn something new, is to get several top rated books and skim through them quickly.

    I pull out a big stack of books from the library or bookstore shelves, and pile it up on a table. For each book, if there's an introduction, I'll fully read that, the table of contents, and the first chapter, to let the author set up their theme. Then I'll skim with a quick look through pages to try to get the overall main ideas. I fully read a random page here and there to check out the style, and to find if there are diamonds of brilliance throughout the book. I'll repeat this quickly with several books.

    If some authors seem to not know what they're talking about... or I just can't get into their writing style... or their stuff seems good but not relevant... I push aside those books.

    Within an hour or two, I've gone from two dozen "hmm, maybes" to about four, "these look like the best!"

    When there are some themes that it seems just about everyone talks about, I pay attention when those come up. (For example, every great master copywriter talks about the importance of testing and how they run tests.)

    If there is someone who seems to really have a clue AND they're a contrarian, I pay some extra attention to their argument. They might just be a wacky outsider with weird ideas. But they might also be a very insightful person, who noticed important truths that everyone else overlooked.

    Fortunately with copywriting, the themes of human nature, emotional appeal, organizing your message, testing everything, are timeless. There might be something in a book from 1917 that makes the light bulb come on for you. The very same point might be found in a brilliant blog post or video or podcast from last week, that's what made it finally totally make sense to you.
     
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  12. Joaquim
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    Joaquim Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Great notes again @Late Bloomer. You put a lot of value in this thread! Thank you for that.

    Haha I asked myself the same question as @Argue.
    It seems like you're a very good and quick reader.

    I finished Cashvertising and will make tomorrow a readable version of my notes.
    Currently reading Ultimate Sales Letter. Will have to do my best to still accomplish the challenge, will have more time now though. But the amount of knowledge I'm gaining is insane. Actually the whole book Cashvertising can be seen as notes. Full of golden nuggets and very comprehensive.

    I also agree with reading the best books about 1 topic in a short time frame. Otherwise you risk to forget some important things that you should link to each other.

    Never heard the story of Gary in prison, will dig deeper into that.

    Taking notes is actually the hardest part for me, it slows me down.
     
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    Late Bloomer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Looking forward to your notes! It does slow you down, but it makes you think more carefully about what you read, and save your ideas for use in the future. That puts the material much more deeply into your mind.
     
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  14. Joaquim
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    Joaquim Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    CA$HVERTISING summary:

    Simply one of those books that should be on your desk.
    I may even say that you only need to read this one book to see your sales go up. You get all the knowledge you have to know and it’s so easy to instantly apply it.

    That being said. You won’t become an expert with just reading this book.

    4 chapters:
    1. The Essentials
    2. 17 Foundations on Consumer Psychology
    3. 41 Techniques for Selling Anything
    4. Summaries, checklists + added tips
    1) THE ESSENTIALS
    Your ads should touch one of the following categories of desires. If possible you want to touch on the primer biological category (LF8), when not possible you should touch the secondary desires (9HW)
    • The Biological Life-Force 8 (LF8):
      • Survival, enjoyment of life
      • Food & Beverages
      • No fear, pain and danger
      • Sexual Companionship
      • Comfortable living conditions
      • To be superior, winning, keeping up with the joneses.
      • Care and protection of loved ones.
      • Social Approval
    • Nine Learned Human Wants (9HW):
      • To be informed
      • Curiosity
      • Clienliness
      • Efficiency
      • Convenience
      • Dependability
      • Expression of beauty and style
      • Economy
      • Bargains
    Desire = type of tension you feel when a need isn’t met.
    Tension -> Desire -> Action to Satisfy the Desire

    Get in the mind with Mental Movies (created by words)

    2) 17 FOUNDATIONS:

    1) The Fear Factor: Fear always Sells.
    2) Ego Morphing: Hone in on characteristics that society considers being desirable.
    3) Credibility: Use symbols or images commonly associated with authority or respect -> so prospects won’t do their research and take action much quicker.
    4) The Bandwagon Effect: Put equal effort into telling your prospects how buying your product makes them (aspirational), keeps them (associative), or helps them show the world that they’re not a part of a particular group.
    5) The Means-End Chain: They buy your product for what it will do for them tomorrow, not for what it does today. Positive end results.
    6) The Transtheoretical Model:
    1. Pre-contemplation: Ignorant of Existence
    2. Contemplation: Aware
    3. Preparation: Thinking about buying from you. Needs more benefits
    4. Action: Prospects takes action
    5. Maintenance: Part of their everyday lives. Become part of your community
    7) The Inoculation Theory:
    8) Belief Re-Ranking: Change Their Reality. Appeal to either emotions like fear, humor, or guilt, or to the consumer’s intellect.
    9) The Elaboration Likelihood Model: Adjust Their Attitude. Peripheral makes it feel good, but Central Processing makes them PREFER you.
    Two Routes:

    1. Central Route (When thinking is needed) - Persuading using logic, reasoning, and deep thinking.
    2. Peripheral Route (No serious Considerations by prospect) - Persuading using the association of pleasant thoughts and positive images.

    10) The 6 Weapons of Influence: Shortcuts to Persuasion. CLARCCS
    1. Comparison: The power of your peers. Bandwagon effect.
    2. Liking: “You like us, you should do as I say: BUY!”
    3. Authority: Credibility.
    4. Reciprocation: You get something and you’re compelled to purchase something from them in return
    5. Commitment / consistency:
    6. Scarcity:
    11) Message Organization: Organized and Well-Structured. Simple is better, but simple isn’t necessarily easy.
    12) Examples vs. Statistics: Use examples, they are less mental effort to process
    13) Dual Role Persuasion: Comparison ads don’t have to be about bashing the other.
    14) Repetition: “People don’t start seeing your ad until you run it seven times”. Run the same ad over and over.
    15) Rhetorical Questions
    16) Evidence: Prospects must, must, must be convinced that what’s in ‘your bag’ is worth more than the money you ask for it.
    17) Heuristics: Long ads > Short ads. “There’s so much copy in that ad, there must be something to it!”


    3) 41 TECHNIQUES:
    1) Simplicity: Write so people can understand. Short sentences and short words make reading easier.
    2) Benefits: Benefits, no features! WIIFM: “What’s in it for me?”
    3) Biggest Benefit In Headline.
    4) Scarcity.
    5) 22 Psychologically Potent Headline Starters: FREE, NEW, NOW, FINALLY, LOOK…
    6) 12 Ways To Lure Your Readers Into Your Copy.
    7) Use circle-shaped ads.
    8) Never use light words on dark background.
    9) Crush Your Competition With Extreme Specificity .
    10) Ogilvy Principle: Start body copy with a Drop Initial. Massive oversized letter. Always run pics with captions!
    11) The Psychology of Typefaces: Sans-Serif for online (Arial, Verdana) and Serif for print (Helvetica).
    12) Hire a real graphic designer.
    13) The Power of Questions.
    14) The "Granny Rule": Rapport, Personal, Simple and Personal.
    15) The Psychology of Social Proof: Testimonials.
    16) The Guillotine Principle: Put a photo of someone’s head in your ad. It’s warmer, a more personal feel and you’re a real person.
    17) Powerful Visual Adjectives.
    18) Directing Mental Movies
    19) Make it easy to take action and then ask for action
    20) Unique Selling Proposition: What makes you standing out!
    21) Buy Your Own Island: Buy a Half-Page Island.
    22) Authority Positioning: Become an authority in your industry.
    23) A Sales Letter in Survey's Clothing: Ask questions about how they feel about your product or service, what they think about your prices, etc…
    24) Pictures: “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
    25) Grab 'em With Grabbers: Little items you attach to the top of the first page of your sales letter. (Dollar bill,..)
    26) Long Copy vs. Short: Long outsells short.
    27) Offer Testing: Vitaly important to test different offers. Tweak.
    28) Survey Power: Best way to find out what people want? Ask them.
    29) Editorial Energizers: Make it look like news stories.
    30) The Coupon Persuader: Use a simple broken, coupon-style line around your ad.
    31) 7 Online Response BoosterS
    32) Multi-page Your Way to Success
    33) Guarantees that Guarantee Higher Response: Offer the longest and strongest guarantee in your industry.
    34) The Psychology of Size: Bigger ads attract more attention.
    35) The Psychology of Page and Section Positioning: Makes no difference.
    36) The Fantastic Four..
    37) Consumer Color Preferences: Blue > Red > Green > Violet > Orange > Yellow
    38) The Psychology of Pricing: Odd pricing suggest greater value, Even pricing (prestige pricing) is perceived as higher quality.
    39) The Psychology of Color: Words should be Black and / or White.
    40) Wrap Your Ads in White: Use lots of white space. Attracts more attention.
    41) Give Yourself a "Cleverectomy”: Sell the benefits, do not try to be clever. In advertising, it’s never clever to be clever.

    Some of these techniques speak for themselves, other needs some explanations.
    But I really recommend you reading this book, it's impossible that it won't help your business.
    And it's impossible to get all the nuggets into this summary.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018 at 4:23 PM
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  15. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks a lot Joaquim. Most of your notes make perfect sense, but I do have a few things I wonder about.

    I wouldn't agree with him that all of these are learned, that none of them are innate in personality, if that's what he meant. But that theoretical psychology point really doesn't matter. I would totally agree that wherever these wants come from, a lot of people have them and will spend a lot of money to get more fulfillment.

    What is the theory? The mentioning the title of the theory builds up antibodies, so you don't need to get infected with the theory itself? :playful:

    I don't get what this means.

    Huh??

    LOL A new kind of paper cut for the head line

    Huh?

    Missing the list?

    Is this about print or online?

    Your ad should be elastic, invisible, made of rock, and on fire?

    I think you did a great job! Thanks again!
     

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