These are my personal notes of concepts, ideas, golden nuggets and more from one of the best - if not the best - copywriters of all times, Gary C. Halbert.
This site is a work-in-progress and I'll continually add to it as I go through Gary Halbert's material.
By no means is this article meant to be 100% complete nor accurate.
I simply try to help you to become a better marketer and better at copywriting to ultimately make more sales.
This is what Gary Halbert was all about - making (more) sales in a professional, authentic, and extremely effective way.
“You don't sell people what they need, you sell them what they want!”
Notes From Gary Halbert's Direct Marketing Secrets Seminar
The 1h and 10min long video is available on YouTube:
If 100 equals success, 99.9 of that in direct marketing is "getting the sale".
The 1 big question: How can I sell my product on a cost-effective basis?
If selling is the number one thing you have to concern with, the number one question you have to begin with, is: What is it that I'm going to sell? (what to sell)
What you want to sell ideally, is
- a superior version
- of a book or other information product
- that is already selling well
- with superior advertising.
It simply costs too much to be a pioneer when the road has already been paved.
You find good-/best-selling books through (repeatedly) appearing ads.
Example (suggested) book titles:
- What To Do About Arthritis Pain
- How To Pick-Up Girls Instantly Anywhere In The World
- How To Negotiate And Win No Matter Who You're Up Against
- 57 Proven Ways To Lower Your Golf Score
- 27 Secret Ways To Melt Off Body Fat Hour-By-Hour
- Latest Facts On How To Cure Prostate Problems
- How To Flatten Your Stomach In The Fastest Way Humanly Possible
- How To Get What The US Government Owes You
These are proven appeals.
Never ending concerns of people. (evergreen niches)
You don't sell people what they need, you sell them what they want!
Don't try to be logical (smarter) about selling.
“Become a student of markets!”
Gary C. Halbert
Gary on Selling Formulas
First step: Get your selling presentation on paper.
Then: Transform/reform/adjust that sales letter into "delivery systems".
The people of America sort through their mail while standing over a wastebasket.
Make up your mind about the true delivery (rate) of your message/sales letter.
Make your messages (appear) personal.
Never use teaser copy, never use bulk mail.
Selling is like seduction. It's NOT rape!
Seduction works best if there's a little foreplay.
It's not about HOW you ask for the order, it's about WHEN you ask for it!
The dummies (in direct marketing) ask for it on the envelope.
Make your (direct mail) look personal, from one human being to the other.
Gary on Print Advertising
Be the reporter.
Write a review of your book that looks like an article.
Ads that have an editorial-like look get 500% more readership than ads that look obviously like ads.
Ordering instructions are crucial parts of your advertising.
Study great ordering instructions.
Running Small Space Display Ads That Generate Leads
Don't use classified ads.
Generally, you want your lead-gen ads to be display ads.
“The people who are non-prospects aren't gonna read three paragraphs of your ad.
The people who are geniune prospects for your product want to know every damn single detail about it as long as it is still relevant.
Don't worry about long copy as long as it is still relevant.”
Gary C. Halbert
Gary on His Newsletter Publishing & Advertising Appeal
““You make a major, material, magnificent difference in the profitability of your marketing efforts by re-positioning your product and your advertising appeal.””
Gary recommends reading this book: E. Haldeman-Julius - The First Hundred Million
The unique way he was selling his books was that people really bought what they wanted to buy.
Some of the best (-selling) titles are:
- How to [...]
- Secrets of [...]
- The art of [...]
- An amazing way to [...]
- Now at last [...]
Gary on The Newsletter Business
The most difficult form of information that you can sell.
The people who buy newsletters are the most intelligent, dedicated, and real-players in the world.
Why? Because the people who don't buy newsletters don't understand that success is a process, not an event! (but they want "the miracle answer" right now; that's not what you get with a newsletter; they don't want it parceled out month after month; they want to buy one $10 book to "make it rain money")
You have to be an expert in your field; don't "fake" a newsletter.
Put personality in your newsletter, and take a stance. (and talk/write like you would at the bar, after two drinks, cutting through the crap and being authentic, real and direct. Put your personality in it!)
Gary on How To Sell A Newsletter (In A Way That Works Very Well)
Give away something valuable/premium that people can keep, even if they cancel/refund their trial subscription to your newsletter.
That premium is related to the newsletter and contains the "immediate, magic, genie-type" answer that people are looking for.
That way you satisfy both wants/situations! (the "immediate gratification/looking-for-an-answer-part and the on-going, professional education part)
Selling Formula: Give away a premium (that you can keep in any case) + trial purchase of your product
“You should think of yourself as building a relationship, not (just) making a sale.”
The first sale is the most unprofitable one you'll ever make.
Think long-term, think LTV: Lifetime clients, subscribers, seminar-attendees, etc.
Not just one-time buyers.
Satisfy your customers and deliver more than they expected! (It's very rare and because of that easy to (positively) surprise your clients, they will, therefore, buy over and over again from you)
Astonish your customers!
“Astonish your customers with the quality of your service and your dedication and your product!”
Become an opportunity detective.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make in selling is that they forget to ask for the order.”
I hope you enjoyed my notes above.
Let me know in the comments below if you picked up other/more golden nuggets from Gary Halbert and I'll add them here.
Thanks for your help!
Your Online Business Dude
Hi – I’m Tim, an online marketer from Germany and the founder of Online Business Dude. I run a couple of websites, and I openly share what works when it comes to starting and growing online businesses. I specialize in value-first and results-focused content marketing. I live, eat, and breathe free/organic and paid traffic generation, list building, and email marketing. If you need a helping hand with your SEO, SEM, PPC campaigns, list building, or email marketing efforts, simply let me know. Stay awesome!