Overdeliver by Brian Kurtz

These are my personal book notes on Overdeliver by Brian Kurtz: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing.

If you like what you read here, do yourself a favour and buy this book.

Plus: If you'd like to put the concepts and principles from Overdeliver into action, make sure to Claim Your Free Copy of the Online Business Blueprint (PDF) here.

Let's dive in.

“Marketing isn't everything...

It’s the only thing.”

Table Of Contents

  • Foreword By Jay Abraham
  • Introduction
    • Chapter 1: Overdeliver
    • Chapter 2: Original Source
    • Chapter 3: How Paying Postage Made Me A Better Marketer
    • Chapter 4: List Building & Rfm
    • Chapter 5: Offers
    • Chapter 6: Creative & Copy
    • Chapter 7: Multichannel Marketing
    • Chapter 8: Customer Service & Fulfillment
    • Chapter 9: Continuity & Ltv
    • Chapter 10: Playing The Long Game
  • Further Reading
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments
  • About The Author

From The Introduction

“In the end, our success all came down to becoming experts on our lists, building deep empathy with our audience, and knowing the market better than anyone else - and doing all this long before we ever tried to figure out the best offers and the best copy.”

We learned that to create a company that was truly transformational, the list (again, we’re talking about real people here) has to be an obsession.

[...] the principles of direct response are both eternal and essential.

I’ve been in some form of the direct response business for nearly 40 years, seeing the same principles work across all channels, offline and online.

I often say that marketing isn’t everything... it’s the only thing. That might sound like I only care about selling and making money, but it’s just the opposite.

When marketers understand what they’re doing at the deepest level and act with integrity and purpose, their work becomes a vehicle for bringing positive change into the lives of the people they serve.

“It’s all about getting in front of the people who need you most.”

All the advertising you pay for, regardless of the medium, should be measurable, which is why direct marketing is so powerful.

It’s the only way to get a specific return on your investment - every time you run a campaign, there has to be some way to measure it.

9 Fundamentals To Keep In Mind

  • Be Involved in All Your Marketing Efforts, Even If You Outsource Everything
  • Marketing Is Not Evil
  • No One Spends Enough Time on Lists
  • Customers Refund Transactions... Not Relationships
  • Credibility & Transparency Trump All
  • Always Think Direct Marketing
  • Use Your Personal Brand in Your Marketing When Applicable
  • Advertising Opportunities Are Now Infinite
  • Never Rely On A Single Marketing Channel

“Marketing your product, especially when it is mission based, is about serving your customers, not taking from them.”

From Chapter 1 - Overdeliver

Everything in business (and life) is not a revenue event, but everything is a relationship event.

I believe learning how to overdeliver is at the core of real success in direct marketing (and dare I say, in all aspects of your life).

The Four Pillars Of Being Extraordinary

  1. Outwork Everyone
  2. Possess Insatiable Curiosity
  3. Surround Yourself with Smart People
  4. Help Others First

From Chapter 2 - Original Source

To become a world-class marketer, to master the art and science of building businesses for a lifetime, you must first and foremost be a student - a student of human psychology and of the core principles of direct response marketing.

  • Core Principle #1: Marketing Is About Psychology
  • Core Principle #2: There’s Nothing Wrong With Shortcuts
  • Core Principle #3: Use What’s Already Working
  • Core Principle #4: Swipe Files Are Your Secret Weapon
  • Core Principle #5: That New Thing Might Not Be So New

From Chapter 5 - Offers

“The right offer should be so attractive that only a lunatic would say "no".”

Claude Hopkins

  • Choose niches where you can go a mile deep on your offers rather than a mile wide
  • When you choose your niche, make sure it fits with your "superpowers" and that there is ample reason for people in your audience to listen to you
  • Survey your audience when developing your offers
  • Sometimes your audience will help you develop additional offerings over time
  • How you sell is how they will respond
  • Your offers don’t all have to be original. (Look at the assets you already have that could be repurposed, or look at buying the relevant assets if that makes sense for you.)
  • Use bonuses and premiums to overdeliver even more on your best offers (and they should all be world-class)
  • Make sure you test all your offers, provided you have the volume to generate statistically significant results.

In Closing...

Remember, your list, the people on the receiving end of your business, is the most important asset you will ever have.

​Treat those people with the care and respect they deserve.

​Make them great offers that will truly serve them.

Invest in the world-class creative that will communicate those offers in ways that will resonate with them - as individuals - as much as possible.

Run your campaigns by the numbers, measuring everything.

Be committed to the fundamentals of direct response, never being afraid to dig deep into the original source material, where it all came from - it will only make you a better marketer in the future.

Always keep RFM and LTV top of mind.

Protect your business by diversifying and using multiple channels; invest heavily in your customer support and fulfillment; and always overdeliver.

And finally, be in the game for the long run and play fair. You’ll sleep better, and you will be richer for it in every way.


This concludes my personal book notes on Overdeliver by Brian Kurtz.

What an incredible read. Thank you so much, Brian!

My book notes only covered very small parts of Brian Kurtz's book, so if you like what you read, please buy the book.

Stay awesome,

Your Online Business Dude

PS: Want to Start and Grow Your Own, Highly-Profitable, Scalable, Fun and Reliable Online Business? Claim Your Free Copy Of The Online Business Blueprint (PDF) Here.

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