Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Great Father, Entrepreneur, and Copywriter...In Prison?

That's exactly who Gary Halbert was and where he was when he wrote 25 personal letters to his son teaching him about how to make millions of dollars with his easy-to-understand and yet profound business and copywriting techniques.

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers in the world!! For this special day, I wanted to highlight a great father and some great lessons he has taught his son that helped him to be successful as well.

Gary wrote 25 personal letters to his son, Bond, that contains many business / marketing / copywriting ideas that made him millions of dollars and became one of the greatest copywriters. Each of them is fairly long, and to save you time and help myself remember all the lessons, I am going to summarize the key lessons and benefits from each letter. Be prepared to be blown away while learning -- that's how Gary does it. 

  • After about 40 mins of exercise, your brain will produce hormones, like beta endorphins and norephinphrine, that will cause you to feel less pain and therefore feel good -- a positive natural high. ^_^
  • Take a break on Sunday to let your body rest
  • The letters have dual purposes: teach his son about life / business / marketing / copywriting and as notes for writing a book later [Amazon]
  • Fasting normalizes body functions and help you become self-disciplined in other areas of life.
  • Gives your mind and body a rest.
  • Fruits have a lot of nutrients
  • Details about a mouse called Crackers [Note: It's a writing lesson in disguise]
  • Re-iterate: Exercise makes you feel good for the rest of the day -- less tension / anxiety.
  • Eat vegetables, eat six meals a day is better than three, and eat variety of food groups.
  • Outlines details/timings for his book based on these letters
  • Don't depend on others as that creates an excuse for failure
  • Have lean (not excessive) muscles and appear strong as women will like that and it is useful in general.
  • Strong arms earn respect from other men -- provides natural defense.
  • Don't appear or be weak or you will be easy picking for others.
  • Strong enough to avoid fights without loosing dignity...with big strong arms.
  • #1 big secret to making money: Be involved in what excites you!
  • Hire the most enthusiastic person and not necessarily the most qualified
  • First and most important, be a student of the market: Learn what people want to buy
    • Products, techniques, copywriting are important too but comes later
    • How to find out what people want to buy? From what they already buy -- not what they say, but actually do, buy.
  • What advantage do you want when selling burgers over competitor? Hungry people
  • Constantly lookout for groups of people (market) that are starving (hungry for a service or product)
  • Know your specific target market and sell to them to have better return on investment. The best market is your own satisfied customers.
  • Target your market based on recency (most relevant), frequency, and unit of sales.
  • How do you get people to buy? Easy: sell people what they want to buy.
  • How do you find out what people want to buy? Easy: Observe existing sales/ads from others

  • Tired? If little, keep pushing to reach new heights. If too much, rest. Prolonged tiredness = not productive.
  • Truth is determined not by how people use their mouth but how they use their wallet.
  • Keep pulse and always be aware of your market to gain insights into new opportunities
  • Lots of money can be made during people's emotional moments: new baby, new house, celebrations
  • Personalize to your customers to improve relevancy, which means more sales.
    • Use more personal words and specific info about your customers
Letter #10: Steps to create a Direct Mail promotion (product)
  • When emotional, go exercise or do anything else.
  • Steps to create a DM promotion (product):
    1. Know your market
    2. Scope to your specific market and understand the problems
    3. Learn and be aware of existing solutions
    4. Come up with better or new solution
    5. Implement
  • Send a bag of dirt to get customers curious and read your copy
  • Grabber must be relevant to copy, or customer will feel tricked.

  • Include specific details to make copy more personal / connect writer & reader
  • Include instructions so it is easy for readers to follow along to next page or action
  • Use guilt and more personal reply envelopes to induce higher reply rate
  • Limited time offer has better reply
  • Get your "no" customers to write you and it might turn into a "yes"
  • If customer knows you are selling something, they might not read. Hook them first, then sell.
  • Personal reply letter is better than business reply letter as it induces guilt
  • Get customer's attention with relevant grabber
  • Provide detailed visuals to customer about the benefits of your product
  • Re-iterate: Make customer desire your product first, and sell at the end and not too early.
    • If customer thinks it is another ad, they might not read further.
  • Compile everything you need on hand for your product
  • Take notes of useful ideas when reading -- "nudget notes"
  • Writing formula: AIDA
    • Attention - Get customer attention
    • Interests - Get customer interested in the product/service
    • Desire - Make customer desire your product/service
    • Action - Compel your customer to take an action that sells your product/service.
That's it for now as it took a bit longer than expected to write the summaries. If you want to see summary for the rest of  the 10 chapters (great copywriting lessons in detail!), make some comments.

For more copywriting, I also highly recommended The Definitive Guide to Copywriting [quicksprout].

While the summary above is good to remember the key lessons/benefits from the Boron letters, if you haven't already read the letters, you must as they provide much more color and depth that will help you learn and be able to properly leverage them to make yourself millions of dollars. ;)

Read the rest of the Boron letters at or buy the book on

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