W-A-Y West of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
Can you believe it?
Not only am I caught up, I am actually sitting here in Room 436 of the Doubletree Inn starting to write this… my JULY newsletter… two days before the end of June!
I was invited to come out here to Las Vegas to participate in the brainstorming session of a very small group of people. They offered to pay my expenses and a few thousand fungolas for my participation. I said “yes” to the expenses and “no” to the few thousand bucks they offered as an honorarium. I said to Joe, “Look, tell everyone in the session I don’t want to be paid in advance. Tell them they can pay me after the two-day session is over… and then… they can cut me a check for
whatever they feel my attendance was worth. In other words, if they so choose, they could end up paying me nothing.” The result?
I Got Paid Almost Five Times As Much As They Originally Offered… Plus… I Formed A Few Business Alliances I Believe Will Be Enormously Profitable!
Why did this happen? Because I’m good. I’m damn good! When it comes to direct marketing, there’s nobody else in the world as valuable as me sitting in a room with you. Remember in my last issue I told you I was flying up to New Jersey to work with Nate Aventino and the folks at Nutramerica?
Well, when I started talking with them, they were hardly paying attention. But, before I was finished, they were literally tape recording every word I said (even while driving me to the airport) and actually raising their hands to ask my permission to go to the bathroom. A few days after I got back
to Florida, Nate told me they were following… every single one… of my suggestions… plus… they fired six
of their “dead-weight” employees!
It made me feel good.
Gosh, now doesn’t that warm the cockles (what are “cockles”?) of your heart?
Anyway, last month I gave you a free copy of my $97.00 report called Gary Halbert’s Report On How To Slow Down, Stop And Even Reverse The Aging Process And Regain And Increase All The Youthful Energy,Vitality And Sexual Passion You Once Enjoyed! Many of you, if you happen to be anywhere close to my age (or, even for those of you who are much younger) will find the
info in that report absolutely priceless on a personal basis. All of you received a real-life example of how to produce a product at a ridiculously low price (except for your
“sweat equity”)… which can be sold for a tremendous markup (100 to 1 or more)… and… still deliver
something of such immense worth… everybody wins! Of course, each of you have been given the rights to reproduce, sell or give away that report with no compensation
to me whatsoever.
I used the issue before that one to go on what I consider a long-overdue rant. However, even during all that ranting, I still managed to impart invaluable advice to you
designed to dramatically enhance your life. Namely: “Don’t Forget Grout Sponge!”
The newsletter before that one taught you how to do what I call “The Suck” which is… how to…
suck out every relevant particle of information on whatever you are trying to sell… and… how to… get that info down on paper.
The issue before that one taught you how to become a student (and collector) of headlines… and how and
why… you should have those headlines written out (one to a card) on 3×5 index cards.
We’re getting closer to the part where we sit down and start writing copy (the least
important factor in creating a great direct response ad or sales letter)… but… we ain’t ready to start writing copy just yet. Nope. What we are ready for now is, to start
searching in the direction of…
The “BIG Idea!”
What exactly is the “BIG Idea”? Fearnot, you greedy, little truth-seekers… because… I, Sir
Gary of Halbert… am about to lay it upon you. I’m going to tell you a true story which will illuminate exactly what the BIG Idea” is… and why… in your marketing campaigns, it is so damn valuable. Also, imbedded in this true story are many other lessons… which… for those of you who still have
a few working brain cells left… will teach you…
How To Think!
Let us begin. Once upon a time (when dinosaurs still roamed the earth) I used to work for Ernest Borgnine and his evil wife, Tova. They had a little cosmetic company called “TOVA-9″ which was a breathtaking clever combination of the name “Tova” and the second syllable of Ernie’s last name.
When they hired me (the best move they ever made) I took them from grossing about $20,000 per month and being in debt… to… grossing about $800,000 per month… and… I managed to do this in less than
half-a-year. This was done mainly by writing an ad for their main product, a facial cream which hardened into a mask. It was made by extracting some sort of ingredient from cactus
plants which grew in Mexico. (I think before Tova got the rights to it, it was being sold by some guy in Mexico under the name “Happy Face.”)
The “BIG Idea” I came up with for selling that product in the United States was expressed in the
headline I wrote which said:
Now, at last, you can have it too!
The Amazing Facelift In A Jar
Used By Hollywood Stars Who
Don’t Want Plastic Surgery!
But wait, there’s more! For a long time, Tova had wanted to add a perfume to her line of products. She
traveled the world endlessly paying guys wearing twitter pants to take a shot at creating a fragrance which would please her.
One fine day, I’m reading the latest edition of The National Enquirer when I come across an article on how you can save money on your favorite perfume by learning how to make that fragrance yourself. The article explained how all perfumes have, as their main ingredient, something called an “essential
oil.” It further explained how, if you know what that essential oil is, you can buy some of it for a pittance, mix it with a little water and alcohol… and PRESTO!… you have something smelling like Chanel #5 or Opium (or your particular favorite perfume) for a fraction of the cost of buying the real thing in a high-class boutique or department store. The article listed the name of the essential oils used to make the
most popular and expensive perfumes.
That’s kinda interesting, isn’t it? In fact, I’d venture to say that article was built around a very fascinating “BIG Idea.”
Sir Halbert logged this intriguing information into the dark recesses of his demented mind and he proceeds to continue to journey through his pathetic little life.
On yet another fine day, the Prince of Print finds himself walking aimlessly through the streets of Westwood Village which is located just west of Beverly Hills. He comes upon an outdoor kiosk on one of the sidewalks of which he happens to be strolling. This little kiosk is filled with hundreds of test-tube-like thingys which are filled with different kinds of liquids. The friendly girl working in the little kiosk explains to ol’ Guru Gary each test-tube-like thingy contains a different kind of essential oil… and
how… she sells those essential oils to women who like to concoct their own perfumes.
Hmn. Quite interesting.
The Prince queries the sales girl, “Is there any one or two kinds of essential oils which women seem
to like better than the others?”
“Oh yes!” she responds. “This one. It’s called ‘China Musk’ and women much prefer it over all the others.”
“No kidding,” the Prince continues. “Why doesn’t someone pour China Musk into a bottle, mix it with a
little water and alcohol and call it ‘ABC Perfume’?”
“Gee, I dunno. That sounds like a good idea,” the fair maiden replies. “I
guess it’s just nobody ever thought of it.”
Hmn. Well, Numnuts Halbert was sure thinking of it, and he bought a test-tube-thingy of that stuff and took it to a high-end jeweler.
“I want you to make a real fancy bottle to hold this liquid,” I told the jeweler. “Then, I want you to have the name ‘Tova’ etched into that bottle.”
A few days later, I picked up the bottle (it looked great), poured some China Musk, water and alcohol into it, screwed the top back on… and VOILA!… I created TOVA PERFUME!
Hey, that was a neat, not-so-little “BIG Idea,” wasn’t it?
Another few days later, I haul my silly ass down to Melrose Avenue in L.A. where Tova and Ernie are
engaged in a photo shoot. (It takes Tova 5-1/2 hours to get ready for a photo shoot. It takes Ernie
45-seconds.) During one of the breaks, Tova comes out, I tell her I have a little present for her and hand her the bottle.
“What’s this?” she asks.
“Your new fragrance,” replies Numnuts Halbert.
She looks very, VERY dubious… but… she opens the package… admires the bottle… twists the top
off… and… ever-so-softly inhales the aroma.
“Oh… my… God!” she exclaims. “THIS IS IT! It’s perfect! It’s just what I’ve been looking for! How
did you make it? How did you develop the formula?”
I calmly reply, “you wouldn’t believe how much work and experimentation I’ve put into this. I’ve hardly had a wink of sleep for nearly three months. This project has involved me in the most difficult research I’ve ever done in my entire life!”
Before we can talk more, she gets called back into the photo session.
I leave, but Tova and I get together a few days later. By that time, I have designed some truly elegant packaging for her new fragrance. She wants me to tell her the secret formula… but… I tell her I want to wait until we’ve had a “perfume launch” and find out if the public likes this fragrance as much as Tova and I do. She reluctantly agrees and suggests we have the perfume launch at Candy Spelling’s boutique. At that time, Candy was married to Aaron Spelling (the mega TV show producer) and she had a boutique in Beverly Hills which would hold maybe 150 people maximum. I told Tova, if she was going to let me advertise the perfume launch my way, she’d need a place much, much larger than Candy’s boutique. When she asked, “How much larger?” I answered…
“Like The Century Plaza Hotel”
It took her a few minutes to recover from my answer but, you know what? She actually went out and rented the entire bottom-half of the Century Plaza Hotel. She really did. For real.
Then, I wrote an ad. We ran the ad in the Los Angeles Times… and… that ad… got more than 7,000 (seven thousand) people to come to the perfume launch! And… that perfume launch was held on a weekday afternoon! In fact, if it hadn’t been for the Fire Marshal, there would have been more than those 7,000 people at the perfume launch. The Fire Marshal said he simply couldn’t let any more people into the hotel due to fire regulations.
That launch caused such a sensation, it got mentioned in Time magazine. Plus… we got millions of dollars’ worth of unsolicited purchase orders from Burdines, Filines of Boston, the May Company and various others including the Federated Chain. At that time, the Federated Chain was the biggest chain of department stores in the world.
Why was that perfume launch so successful? Because the ad I wrote to promote it was written around a really terrific “BIG Idea.” If you’ve got even one drop of marketing blood in your veins, you’ll comprehend this particular “BIG Idea” in a flash as soon as I tell you the headline of the ad. Personally, I think it’s the best headline ever written… and… here it is… so… you can decide for yourself:
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