7 things you’ll learn in Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Sales Letter”


Saint Paul

I was browsing my bookshelf the other night, looking for something to start.

(I have more unfinished books than I have fully-read books. Not every book is worth finishing, I’ve learned… though many I plan to return to… I think…)

Now, I noticed my slightly neglected Dan Kennedy section. Dan is a prolific and accomplished copywriter and businessman who has recently fallen ill.

I pulled down my worn copy of The Ultimate Sales Letter and Continue reading “7 things you’ll learn in Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Sales Letter”

Your Guarantee… to Fail?

Give them some rope!

Saint Paul, MN

I’ve been hearing a lot about ecom drop-shipping stores trying to pivot to full, reputable brands.

Part of this is because Fbuck’s advertising algorithm is, apparently, punishing the all-hype ads that drop-shippers are known for.

I came across two ideas recently that play directly into this.

Would you like me to share them with you?

Because even if you’re not a dropshipper, these might apply to you or your business.

(And I’ll wrap with a story of my own dissatisfaction. But first…)

You would? Ok here goes…

One idea comes from Gary Halbert, a well known direct-mail king.

(Oh, by the way, read a review of Halbert’s book The Boron Letters here—
https://www.persuasionreadinglist.com/10-things-youll-learn-in-the-boron-letters-by-gary-c-halbert/ )

Anyway, Halbert suggests (but not in the book) offering a money-back guarantee on your products.

Not for 30 days.

Not for 60 days.

Nope. Halbert suggests a full year, or even many years.

How is this good for your business, you might ask?

Customers want to feel safe in their purchase. The longer your money-back guarantee, the more time they think they have to feel safe…

…and the more time they have to forget to take advantage of your offer!

Give them enough rope to hang themselves, as the saying goes.

The other idea comes from Drayton Bird, an old-school advertising pro from the UK.

Drayton suggests that people want to be a bit sneaky.

They want to get everything for free… to pull the wool over your eyes… think they’re getting away with things.

But they won’t necessarily act on that.

If you let customers think they might have the opportunity to take advantage of you, they’re more likely to buy your product.

And with a good product, and good service, and happy customers… in  the long run, they won’t take advantage.

In fact, they might become repeat customers. And you have a reputable brand.

And repeat customers are where the real money lies. It’s harder to make a new customer than it is to sell again to a satisfied customer, after all.

Now, here’s my experience with feeling ripped off with a guarantee.

A few years ago I took an online course to help start my own online business.

The class offered methods to research your market, find a problem, create your own online class to solve that problem, ways to advertise, options for outreach…

I was sold. Who doesn’t want their own business that could grow as fast as I could push it?

I dropped $2,000 dollars from my grandpa’s inheritance to take this 6 week course.

And once I was in, I had access to all of the material for life. Because of course, most new businesses aren’t going to be stackin’ cash after just 6 weeks.

There was, after all, a 30 day money back guarantee — if I could show that I did all the work involved.

To be honest it was comprehensive and quite a good class. I learned a lot, and PRL came out of it — though this isn’t exactly stackin’ cash either.

The problem with the course was— there was no way for me to wrap up this course in the 10 weeks that included that guarantee, much less the 6 weeks the course was “expected” to take.

There were hundreds of hours of video to watch. Work to do. Things to read. Planning and straight up thinking. Plus my day job and family time had demands as well.

The course even says as much, that it might take some time to find a profitable business idea.

In short, the guarantee felt designed to ensure there was no way to get my money back.

I’m not making excuses. It was my choice to purchase the course.

And honestly, I didn’t want my money back. Like I said, I learned a lot and I continue to apply what I had learned.

What irked me — still irks me — and has prevented my from ever buying another course from this person — was the impossibility of that guarantee.

If you want happy customers, repeat buyers:

make your offer as favorable to your customer as you can.

Peace out!


When the Power of “You” FAILS

With Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, it only makes sense that they expand their Prime service and deals to the grocery chain as well.

If you have a Whole Foods in your area you may have received this flier:

"You" is a strong marketing words, as are "Yes," "Special," and "Deal."
“You” is a strong marketing word, as are “Yes,” “Special,” and “Deal.”

Notice the use of a very hot marketing term: You. Continue reading “When the Power of “You” FAILS”

If most people fail to meet their goals, why would they have good advice? (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 8)

Last week on PRL, we discussed Hopkins’ career in medical advertising. After seeing all the cash being made by his own advertising efforts, Hopkins gets interested in his own profits.

Chapter Eight, Hopkins is recruited to work at Liquozone, a failing company selling another medical tonic.

Liquozone was Hopkins' own medicine company after he and investors really spent $100,000 to buy the product rights for the US market.
Liquozone was Hopkins’ own medicine company after investors really spent $100,000 to buy the product rights for the US market.

Against the opposition of his friends, Hopkins takes the job. He is to be paid no starting salary. He reasons that if most people fail to meet their goals, why would they have good advice? Tweet This

Hopkins creates a new scheme for Liquozone, where six bottles are available for $5, guaranteed to work. Again, he has a druggist sign the paperwork for the guarantee, lending authority to the tonic.

Light through the ear? Because yeah, druggests have the best reputation. Image by Arallyn, Flickr, By-CC-2.0
Light through the ear? Because yeah, druggists have the best reputation. Image by Arallyn, Flickr, By-CC-2.0

“I had a proposition which no reasonable person can refuse.” Hopkins insists that a salesman should remove all attempt of protecting himself in a deal. Make an offer that the buyer should not reasonably refuse, and the sale is easy.

Vague facts never sell as well as specific claims. Image by Arallyn, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Vague facts never sell as well as specific claims, such as the price of Liquozone. Image by Arallyn, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Within one year, Hokpins has enough sales to turn the Liquozone company around with a large profit.  The advertising lesson learned is “ask a person to take a chance on you, and you have a fight.  Offer to take a chance on him, and the way is easy.” Tweet This

Medical Claims My Eye (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 7)

I am blown away at the number of medical commercials on TV these days (in the US). They’re a huge portion of the evening broadcast. You can’t watch network television without being warned of ED.

What's the TV suggest today? Photo "Television" by dailyinvention, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
What’s the TV suggest today? Visual Messages play a large part in our receptiveness to an advert. Photo “Television” by dailyinvention, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Did you know that advertising pharmaceuticals directly to consumers is the most common way people receive health communications? It’s true. No one is suggesting the viewers get off their asses to exercise. There’s no money in advertising the health benefits of zucchini — unless you’re the Food Network!

No one wants to hear the bad news of health issues. Instead, we’re fed commercials of attractive actors frolicking in a meadow. The visual message is Happiness, even as the voice-over suggests the medicine might cause exactly what it’s trying to prevent. Everyone is interested in a sunnier life.

Apparently, these ads are an improvement from what was published 100 years ago. Continue reading “Medical Claims My Eye (My Life in Advertising: Chapter 7)”