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I Almost Flunked English But Went On To Make

Millions of Dollars Writing Sales Copy

By Joe Sugarman

The Guinness Book of World Records listed Joe Girard as the "World's Greatest Retail

Salesman" for 12 consecutive years. He holds the singular distinction of having sold an

average of six cars a day over his career. Recently, Joe Girard told me:

"Joe, I can sell in person to individuals in a personal way – in fact, I can sell more cars

per day than anyone else. Yet, I can't do what you do -- you sell millions of products to

masses of people through the sheer power of print."

Salesmanship in Print

When you look at it from Joe Girard's perspective, it's hard to deny the awesome power

of writing good sales copy - which I call "salesmanship in print" -- a power that anyone

Miilllliion Dollllar Emaiills

© 2001 Surefire Marketing, Inc.

can take advantage of. You don't need good looks, a charming personality or even great

intelligence. In fact, you don't even have to pass English.

This is why it baffles me when people desperately rack their brains trying to find ways to

make money -- when the greatest opportunity is staring them right in the face. What's

even more mystifying is that those very same people, when presented with ingenious

approaches to writing copy that sells, take the skill for granted and don't use it to make

personal fortunes for themselves.

Flunking English

Not many people know this, but I almost flunked English back in high school. In addition,

I don't know many big words, unlike the rest of my advertising and marketing colleagues

-- and my writing style is quite unsophisticated to boot. Yet, by learning to incorporate

into my sales copy all the things about how the human mind reacts to certain words and

phrases that I've learned over the years, I have made millions of dollars for myself.

The most important lesson you must remember is this: If you learn nothing else but the

proper use of psychological principles in writing sales copy, you will always make more

money than you'll ever need.

The Million-Dollar Grapefruit Farmer


f you're one of those people who believes that you're not a good enough writer -- and

that you couldn't possibly learn to write ad copy that sells -- I want to tell you the story of

a man who attended one of my seminars. This man was a grapefruit farmer who had

never written sales copy prior to attending my copywriting seminar. In fact, he

expressed his doubts that he would get anything at all from the copywriting lessons he

learned. Yet, by the end of the seminar, he was able to write direct mail copy to sell

grapefruit by mail which, over a period of ten years, has earned him millions of dollars.

Success Leaves Clues

For many years I specialized in "space-age" products, and my claim to fame was in

building and selling "the better mousetrap" -- from state-of-the art smoke detectors to

chess computers to new-fangled calculators -- and more recently -- to BluBlocker®

sunglasses. But you don't need a space-age product to make a million dollars. In fact,

that is the downfall of most people who enter the marketing field. They find a product, fall

in love with it, and try to get the market to buy it. With an unproven product, you could

lose a lot of money in the process.


nstead what you should do is find a product that's already selling well -- and use

compelling copy to sell it better.

Harmonize with the Marketplace

One of the psychological principles I describe in my book, "Triggers," is simply this: Your

product needs to harmonize with the marketplace.

Here's a tip that you would definitely find useful: When you're looking for a product to

sell, go to the library and flip through the back issues of magazines -- particularly the

Miilllliion Dollllar Emaiills

© 2001 Surefire Marketing, Inc.

tabloids. Note those mail order ads that are running week after week, month after

month. There's only one reason why those ads keep running -- they're making money.

Those products are already proven to sell well -- they've demonstrated that they

harmonize with the marketplace.

Even if there are many companies that are already competing in those product

categories (example: weight loss, hair restoration, and wrinkle products, etc.), don't

worry. If you apply good copywriting guidelines, your marketing efforts will fare better

than those who are making money, despite their poor sales copy.

"Splish Splash I Was Takin' A Bath"

Take a clue from Bobby Darin, a popular singer of the '50s. Darin was a young singer in

New York who, for a long time, tried unsuccessfully to break into the music business.

He would go from record company to record company trying to convince them to

make an album of him singing popular jazz oldies. He was rejected.

So one day, Darin sat down and wrote a song that fitted or "harmonized" with what the

public was buying at the time. What was popular at the time was good old rock and roll

sung by black artists -- it was called the Motown sound.

The song he wrote was called "Splish Splash" and the words started out, "Splish splash,

I was takin' a bath/ 'Round about a Saturday night." It had a good old Motown rock and

roll sound -- and it became a smash hit, selling millions of copies.

Darin recognized what the market wanted, and he created something that harmonized

perfectly with the prevailing market. From his earnings, he himself produced a record in

the music genre that he really loved -- popular jazz oldies. His song, "Mack the Knife"

went on to become a multimillion-selling single and made Bobby Darin famous.

To summarize, you must first have a product that harmonizes with your market. If you

haven't made a substantial amount of money from your marketing efforts yet, sell only

products or services that have a ready market -- this is the path of least resistance.

Afterwards, with the money you make, you can blaze new trails with other products of

your own preference.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Joe Sugarman, the best-selling author and top copywriter who has

achieved legendary fame in direct marketing, is best known for

his highly successful mail-order catalog company, JS&A, and his

hit product, BluBlocker Sunglasses. Joe's new breakthrough

book, "Triggers," reveals 30 powerful psychological triggers

that influence people to buy what you're selling.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Miilllliion Dollllar Emaiills

© 2001 Surefire Marketing, Inc.

How to Hypnotize People into

Reading Your Sales Materials!

by Joe Vitale

On a sunny, warm day in August, 1996 I kneeled over the grave of P.T. Barnum and had

one of the most remarkable experiences of my life.


had begun researching the famous showman in order to write my forthcoming new

book, There's a Customer Born Every Minute (to be released in October, 1997). I had

visited the Barnum Museum, the Historical Library in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and met

with Barnum scholars, biographers, and collectors of his writings. I wanted to visit

Barnum's grave and pay my respects. Little did I know that the incredible, magical

experience would change my life forever...

Recently I went online to hunt for old books by some of my favorite authors, this time I

went after anything by Robert Collier, mail order advertising genius and author of such

classic books as The Secret of the Ages and The Robert Collier Letter Book.


typed in his name at one of my favorite book search engines (which I'm going to keep a

secret as long as I can), and to my amazement several new (to me) titles came up. I

stared wide-eyed, my mouth open, as I saw that someone had two copies

of a magazine Collier edited in the late 1920's called "Mind, Inc." I couldn't believe it. I

immediately grabbed the phone, called, and bought those magazines. A few days later

they arrived.


opened the brown package, my heart racing with excitement, and nearly drooled as I

slid the little paperback sized magazines onto my desk. They were well worn but intact. I

thumbed through them and marveled at my find. Here were new articles by one of my

heroes, my mentor, a man who changed my life not once but twice with his books. I felt

like a happy child on Christmas morning, getting the gifts he longed for and needed


As I looked over Collier's magazines, something shifted in me. I saw an advertising

technique at work that seemed hypnotic in power. I had one of those "ah-ha!"

experiences great inventors write about. I held one of the issues in my hand and read

the back cover. Collier had an ad there that began --

"How can I tell if I am working aright?" many people ask. There is an easy, simple rule.

With it in front of him, not even a child could go wrong. Just ask yourself one question. If

your answer is "Yes." You are on the wrong track, and you will never make much

progress, until you get off it and on the right track.


f your answer is "No," then you are working in the right direction, and you have only to

keep it up to attain any goal you desire.

That question is the basis of the Lesson in the next issue of "Mind, Inc." If you are

looking for a road map to guide you through the mental realm, send for it!

Miilllliion Dollllar Emaiills

© 2001 Surefire Marketing, Inc.

Did you catch what Collier did?

Let me give you another example. This one comes from Collier's editorial in the opening

pages of the other issue I found:

Dear Reader: Twelve years ago, the three examining physicians at the head office of

the Life Extension Institute made a thorough physical examination of the writer. They

had him hop and jump and do sundry things to stir his heart into action, then they

listened with their stethoscopes and nodded knowingly to each other, finally gathering in

a corner to whisper earnestly together, with many a meaning glance in the writer's


The upshot of their conference was a solemn warning against all forms of violent

exercise. The heart was dangerously affected, in their opinion. Tennis, horseback,

swimming -- all these were taboo. Even running for a street car was likely to result

disastrously. If the writer wanted excitement, he might walk (as long as he did it

sedately) or crawl about the floor on all fours!

That was twelve years ago, remember. A few months back, he had occasion to be

examined for life insurance. The examining physician knew of the Life Extension Institute

findings, so he asked the Head Examiner of his company to check his report. The

Head Examiner came, made the same exhaustive heart tests as the Institute and put

away his instruments with a chuckle. "When you get ready to pass out," he said, "they'll

have to take out that heart and hit it with a rock to make it stop beating. Work, play, do

anything you like in reason. The heart can stand anything you can!"

What made the difference? Perhaps the following lesson may give you an indication."

Collier did it again! Did you catch his method?

Collier told you just enough to intrigue you, to get you hooked, to get you interested --

and then he stopped!


n the first example he cleverly trapped you into wanting to know the question he kept

referring to. But he never told you the question. He snared you and then asked you to

send for the next lesson, where the mystery of the question would be

revealed. How could anyone not send for it? I sat at my desk reading Collier's ad more

than seventy years after he wrote it and I wanted to send in the coupon, too. But Collier

is long dead. I'll never know the question!


n the second example Collier cleverly told you two intriguing stories, asked the question

that every reader would then have on their mind -- put then didn't answer it! Again,

Collier generated interest, and then told you to read the magazine to find the answer.

Talk about hypnotic writing!

And that's how you get people to read your sales materials. You pull them into it. You

grab their attention, keep them reading, get them wanting what you have and then --

stop and tell them to send in a check, or call you, to get what they now so badly desire.

Did you notice how I began this article?

Miilllliion Dollllar Emaiills

© 2001 Surefire Marketing, Inc.

I used the Robert Collier technique to hypnotize you into reading more. I began saying I

had an experience at Barnum's grave. What was the experience? What happened?

What's my new book about? All of these are questions in your mind as you read the

opening. It's hypnotic. And if you've read this far, you know the method works.

The next time you want to write something and be sure people actually read it,

remember the Robert Collier technique. Start by writing about something that will interest

the people you are addressing. Tell them an interesting story. Get them wondering about

something that they want to know more about. And then STOP. Change direction. Write

about something else that may still be related to the opening, but don't resolve the

opening until the end of the article. And maybe not even there. Maybe you'll want people

to send in a coupon or call you for the answer. For example:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Marketing specialist Joe "Mr. Fire!" Vitale is the author of

nine books, including "Hypnotic Writing", which answers the

question, "What will *you* do when you learn to hypnotize people

with the power of words alone and get them to obey your

commands?" Click here to find out:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Miilllliion Dollllar Emaiills

© 2001 Surefire Marketing, Inc.

A Few Ideas For The Best Ways

to Profitably Put Email To Work

In the pages that follow you’re going to find proven examples of winning email messages

from some of the top Internet marketing pros and eCommerce leaders. You’ll get plenty

of ideas to use and model for your own campaign.

Here are a few of the best ways and times to put emails to work for your business:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   20


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