The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert

Rating: 9/10

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High-Level Thoughts

Likely the only copywriting book you’ll ever need. Fantastic, and extremely readable.

Summary Notes

  • Write down your goals, and go over them every day, not just once a year
  • Rely on your own strength, not someone else’s compassion
  • A support system is like a garden, and you always need to be on the lookout for weeds to pull.
  • The money is where the enthusiasm is. Please remember this! Remember it also, when, in the future, you need to hire someone. Always look for the most enthusiastic person, not necessarily the most qualified.
  • The best list of prospects is always people who have bought from you before
  • Therefore, truth, my good son, can be determined NOT by how people use their mouths, but rather, how they use their wallets.
  • After the initial copy dump where I pound out all my thoughts for a sales letter on a keyboard, I re-read whatever I wrote and apply the “so what” test.
  • And the lesson is that when you get stuck or emotionally jammed up one of the ways to get yourself unclogged and flowing again is just to keep moving. Run. Walk. Jog. Write. Do the dishes. Or whatever. But don’t sit around waiting for a flash from Heaven.
  • Make yourself a collection (a “swipe file”) of good ads and good DM pieces and read them and take notes.
  • And, while I’m on the subject, it just occurred to me that I should tell you that another additional way to achieve this bond of intimacy and immediacy in your letters is to describe where you are and what you are doing as you are writing the letter.
  • One key question every business owner should ask is “how can I make it so ordering is even easier.”
  • Now, if I were to continue writing this letter, I would use words that would make my reader “picture with pleasure” that beach in his mind. Before I was finished, he would be able to feel the sand in his toes, smell the fresh tang of the salt air, drink in the stars with his eyes and feel the warm friendly sun on his back.
  • Marketing greats like my father and other top copywriters usually keep a power word list. Those power words begin to seep into their conversations as well as their copy. But you don’t want to just use their lists.

AIDA

  • By formula, I mean you should work within a proven sequential outline like AIDA. What does AIDA stand for? It stands for ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, ACTION. So, to make it clearer your letter should:
  • First, get his attention
  • Naturally, we must get our readers attention before he can become interested in and desirous of our offer. Getting attention is CRUCIAL.Bag of sand at top of letter
  • Second, get him interested
  • How do we do this? Well, let’s start by feeding him interesting facts. Like how much money there is to be made by investing in Maui real estate. By telling how much sand (cubic tons) is on the beach where we got the sand in that baggie. By telling how this is one of the best beach front investment opportunities in Maui. By telling how many pretty girls there are around. By telling the specific kinds of fish you can catch right off the beach. Etc.Another simple way to get a reader interested is to tell their story by telling your story with the problem your solution solves.
  • Third, make him desire what you are selling
  • What we do to create desire is we describe the benefits our prospect gets if he buys our product or service.
  • Fourth, Compel him to take whatever action is needed to get whatever it is you are selling.
  • And, above all, tell him to do all this RIGHT NOW! TODAY! Tell him what he will get if he hurries and tell him what he will lose if he delays.‍
  • Now, here are a few other tips on how to write good copy or, as a matter of fact, “good anything.” Use simple common everyday words. Use “get” instead of “procure.” Write short sentences and short paragraphs. Use “transition” words and phrases to make your writing flow smoothly. Do you notice how I use transition words and phrases such as the following?
  • Here’s a little something: You can make your copy easier to read by the judicious use of parentheses. For example, if you want to tell people that your offer is good anywhere in the U.S. (except Alaska) the proper use of parentheses, as I just did, makes the copy easier-to-read, easier to understand and provides a little “eye relief” for your reader.
  • He is absolutely right about reducing options, which is different from packages and back-end products. Ideally, you want to offer first-time buyers three price points.
  • The Cheapo Option Which Has What You Need
  • The Deluxe or Mid-Priced Option With Some Bells and Whistles
  • The Supreme Package With Prestige Service
  • The Cheapo Option Which Has What You NeedThe Deluxe or Mid-Priced Option With Some Bells and WhistlesThe Supreme Package With Prestige Service
  • Interviewers decide in the first 40 seconds. And, I further believe that we unconsciously spend the rest of our so-called decision-making time not really making a decision after all, but instead, searching for justification for the decision we have already made.
  • The point is going that little extra mile to add professionalism goes a long way in every aspect of marketing and the line keeps moving. Just stay one step ahead.
  • Please remember this word: HALT. HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, and you should never make a decision when you are any of those things. What should you do? What I did. Write, run, walk, talk, jog, etc.
  • What is that mistake? The mistake is finding or developing a product FIRST and then looking for a market to sell it to. This is backasswards. You Must Always Find A Market First… And Then Concentrate On A Product!
  • And now, we’re going to talk about believability. Believability is one of the top most important ingredients of good MO & DM promotions. One way to increase believability is to give exact details. Instead of “most car owners” write “77.6% of all car owners”.
  • I like to offer video testimonials whenever possible, and I will write out the main thing I want them to hear in a quote directly below the video like so.

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