Advice from a World-Renowned Copywriter (Robert Collier Letter Book, Part 1)

I’m sitting at the dining room table, hand writing some of the sales letters from the Robert Collier Letter Book while my licorice tea cools off.

Robert Collier Letter Book, 6th Edition, with the library punch card
Robert Collier Letter Book, 6th Edition, with the library punch card

Collier was a direct mail writer, successfully selling all kinds of products during his career, including jewelry, tires, books, and clothing.

Hand writing successful sales letters like these helps to slow down and focus your brain, while Continue reading “Advice from a World-Renowned Copywriter (Robert Collier Letter Book, Part 1)”

Just Give Away all the Library Books!

I just finished reading the Saint Paul newspaper.

It seems our mayor wants to do away with library fines.

New fines, old fines, all of the fines… out the door.

Here we are, a society that can’t accept enough responsibility to iron a shirt…

and now we’re removing one of the few driving forces that encourage people to return books on time?

I think it’s… ridiculous, pandering, expensive… and… after thinking it over…

possibly a great idea! Continue reading “Just Give Away all the Library Books!”

10 Things I Learned from “Nudge” by Thaler and Sunstein

Most weekends, my wife and I make it a point to write out a dinner menu, spend an hour shopping, and prep for some dinners in the upcoming week.

It’s not the way we’d prefer to spend Sunday morning. It doesn’t matter. We know that having the menu ready and the food in the house is going to massively increase the chances that we will enjoy a home-cooked dinner.

"Mmmmm, Burgers!" by m01229, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Restaurant food is always ready to please! “Mmmmm, Burgers!” by m01229, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

The ever-present alternative is restaurant food. I love restaurant food! It’s cooked, it’s salty and fatty and delicious, it’s exactly what I wanted, and I can get it brought right to my front door! Continue reading “10 Things I Learned from “Nudge” by Thaler and Sunstein”

What is your Cash really worth? The Law of Diminishing Returns

We’ve all been asked to donate to our favorite causes.

School events, charities, public radio, and politicians have all asked for our cash. They each promise the biggest bang for our buck.

Politicians ask for small donations not because it makes a large difference, but because you'll remain consistant. Image "Bernie Sanders - Caricature" by DonkeyHotey, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Politicians ask for small donations not because it makes a large difference, but because you’ll remain consistent. Image “Bernie Sanders – Caricature” by DonkeyHotey, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

How about you, have you donated small amounts of cash to any politicians? Continue reading “What is your Cash really worth? The Law of Diminishing Returns”

10 Things I Learned from “The Appearance of Power” by Tanner Guzy

I was in NYC a few weeks ago. The color of the season is Army Green. Everywhere you look in NYC, people are wearing Army Green.

I don’t own much Army Green. I don’t like how I look in most shades of green. I tend to avoid green all together (except on Thursdays. Honestly.)

Instead of Army Green in NYC, I wore a white collared shirt, a blue jacket, and grey slacks all weekend. I also had a grey sweater. I wanted to pack minimally and still look put together. I think I did alright. I wasn’t on-trend with that Army Green, which is something I try to avoid anyways.

Maybe you’ve heard the term, “The Clothes Make The Man.” How we present ourselves packs an enormous visual punch. It sets an impression, for better or worse, every time someone sees you. Continue reading “10 Things I Learned from “The Appearance of Power” by Tanner Guzy”

The Ten Dollar Guarantee I Won’t Return To This Restaurant

Within 5 minutes of sitting at our table, our first waiter spilled a full glass of white wine onto the lap of the man next to me. The waiter apologized to Stan, bringing towels.

But never a new glass of wine for Stan’s partner.

"Overflow." by Ben Seidelman, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
“Overflow.” by Ben Seidelman, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

And it gets worse. But let me back up for a moment. Continue reading “The Ten Dollar Guarantee I Won’t Return To This Restaurant”

How to Please Your Customers:
Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising Wrap-up

My new boots came in the mail. They were far too small. I felt like a kid again and my feet had grown over the summer.

These boots had everything I wanted. Leather, waterproof, and insulated, I expected to keep them for years. But of course, they had to fit right.

Winter Boots are a necessity around these parts. Image "What's Down There?"by James, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Winter Boots are a necessity around these parts. Image “What’s Down There?”by James, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Luckily, the online retailer made the exchange simple and free. I mailed the boots in to try a second pair, and I waited.

It was going to be a cold, snowy Thanksgiving in Wisconsin.

Continue reading “How to Please Your Customers: Hopkins’ My Life in Advertising Wrap-up”

Three Ways Steam-Powered Automobiles Changed Advertising (My Life in Advertising: Chapters 10 and 11)

This is the 10th part in a series covering the current PRL book selection, My Life in Advertising.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Over 100 years ago, steam-powered automobiles were a novelty to many and a luxury to the few who could afford them. With time, the technology improved and the cost dropped.

We’re in a similar situation with Tesla and other high-end vehicles. And their ad methods haven’t changed much in those 100+ years. Continue reading “Three Ways Steam-Powered Automobiles Changed Advertising (My Life in Advertising: Chapters 10 and 11)”