Direct Response Copywriting to Win the Day with Bond Halpert

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The Profit Junkie Podcast – Ep. 015 – Bond Halbert

Jake Randall: Welcome everybody to another episode of The Profit Junkie Podcast where we talk about increasing your sales and making sure you keep as much of your hard earned cash in your bank account as humanly possible. I am so excited today to have my guest, Bond Halbert on the program. Bond, say hi.

Bond Halbert: Hello.

Jake Randall: So Bond, for all these who don’t know who Bond Halbert is, Bond is, he is like a legend. Him and his whole family are legends in the direct response marketing world. His dad was the late great Gary Halbert, one of the greatest copywriters to ever live. Probably the greatest copywriter to ever live. And then, but Bond has grown up in that family. And Bond is an amazing copywriter in and of himself and also fantastic. He’s going to share some interesting stuff on editing and all sorts of stuff. He knows direct response probably better than all of the greats that I know. I mean, he’s just amazing. So Bond, thanks for being on the program today.

Bond Halbert: My pleasure.

Jake Randall: So Bond for those of you who, those people on our podcasts that maybe don’t know the copywriting world, tell them, tell everybody a little bit how you got started and you with your dad and all that. Just really quick, your background.

Bond Halbert: Okay. I’ve got the only story that doesn’t jive up or match up with anybody else’s. Well, because I was born into the situation. But more than just being my father’s son and I’ve told this story several times, but it lets you know how serious it was for my family. My father had all those, he always had these financial ups and downs because he’d make a lot of money and then blow a lot of money and then he’d make more money and blow money again because he didn’t really respect the power of money. He respected the power of persuasion and sales. And one time when he didn’t have a lot of money and I said, “You know I’m really lucky.” He said, “Why is that?” And I said, “Because I get to see how you make the money while my other, my oldest brother got to play with all the toys and everything, I get to see how you do it.”

And he thought that was the sharpest thing any 10 year old kid had ever said. So what he did was, he started training me that early. He was pulling me out of school to go to meetings with people like Jay Abraham and Eric Weinstein. And I was traveling with him to go see Ben Suarez and go to the Cayman Islands to set up stuff. I was being taught all of this stuff at a very early age and I was the only, obviously the only kid in these kind of meetings. And my father was… One of the reasons he was so good at what he did was, it was, I was completely immersed in that. So it wasn’t like the rides in the car, we never talked about baseball or anything else like that.

We talked about business all the time and so he was constantly saying, “This is what we’re going to try and accomplish at this meeting. This is what I want you to pay attention to.” And I’d be in the meeting and then at the end he goes, “Okay, you see how this person said this, this is what they’re really going to do. This is what they’re thinking. This is why they’re concerned with this. This is how it went, this is what has changed and this is what we did accomplish and what we didn’t accomplish.” It was similar to what the military call an after action report. And so we did that. So I mean, it was a very intensive training that went on for years. And I talked about marketing with my father for decades, up until he passed. And it wasn’t just talking about with him. I grew up in the business. When I was a little kid, I’m licking and seal or they didn’t make me lick it, we had sponges, but we were stamping, sealing and stuffing envelopes for test mailings because you always want to do that yourself.

And then it evolved into helping with clients and stuff like that to eventually where we ran promotions that were joint ventures between himself and me. And so it’s… I grew up in the business. So I don’t have a sleeping in my car and struggling story. Now, most copywriters, they discover that they love copywriter because they work someplace where they see the copywriters having a lot of fun, making good money and not having to slave away in the office. Or they’re entrepreneurs who discovered that, “Wow, you can’t just throw up an ad, what you say is really important.” They have to study copywriting and then they go, “Wow, if you get this right, it’s like the keys to the kingdom.”

And so that’s the usual two paths. I kind of skip that and I don’t know anybody else who was able to skip that in the copywriting world. I know people who were able to skip that in the business world. But in the copywriting world, it was kind of the unique thing because my dad thought outside the box. I mean just naming me Bond. And remember I come from a generation where everybody’s trying to make their names as generic and American as they can. Foreign kids that would come to my school, that all of a sudden Igor became Gary, nobody wanted to have a non Anglicized thing like that. But I was raised to think of myself as different and that’s all because of him.

Jake Randall: How awesome. That is such a cool story because I mean, the perspective, right? Even just, if somebody, being in that room with those negotiations and things like that happening, would be super valuable. But to hear the pre-frame of what was trying to be accomplished, see it happen in the postmortem or that-

Bond Halbert: Yep.

Jake Randall: The after action report. That’s super, super valuable. That’s actually a really cool story that I hadn’t heard about from about. So, but so you’ve done a lot of things on… You’ve kind of, since you grew up in it, I mean really you’ve done, you’ve had a lot of different experiences and stuff and I got introduced to you, yeah, what was it? Like five years ago or something like that? I can’t remember even how long ago you published your book, The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III. Has it been about that long or has it been shorter than that?

Bond Halbert: A little bit sure. But not, no, it’s still been about four, three, four years or something like that.

Jake Randall: Awesome. And so this is a real… I’d love to just have you share a little bit about this. This is a book that I’ll let Bond tell the story, but this one kind of came out of left field for me and hit me upside the head and taught me some really, really important lessons that I hadn’t considered before. But if you want to talk a little bit about what that book is about and how you kind of came up with that.

Bond Halbert: Sure. People would always ask me about copywriting and the elements of it. And I say that copywriting is basically three phases. There is the research and that’s where all the in your marketing comes from. So, understanding the clients is what allows you to beat the competition, even if it’s a well established competition. So the example I love to use is Domino’s Pizza. When they came out, everybody was… There was tons of pizza joints all over the United States and they were all going on, “We’ve got the freshest ingredients, we’ve got the tastiest recipe, we’ve got the authentic old world recipe.” But nobody had bothered, really talking to the people who were ordering pizza and realizing their biggest frustration is not knowing when the pizza would arrive. It would one time show up and two hours and the pizza was cold, their lunch breaks’ over and they’d be all irritated because of that rush that was happening at lunch.

So the next time they wanted pizza, they’d order it at 10:00 AM and all of a sudden it would show up at 10:30, they weren’t hungry yet and it got cold by the time they got their lunch break. They didn’t want it to show up in the middle of your show at prime time and stuff. So when people did… When Domino’s did the research, they said, “Hey, what these people really want is this.” So their unique idea was the offer, 30 minutes or it’s on us. Now, they could have written 30 minutes or it’s free, 30 minutes or it’s on us or they could make that offer in almost any way and they still were going to crush the competition, right? So that’s the power of research.

Now the talent is saying, “Hey, this is what’s going to make a big difference. Let’s try this.” And the talent is actually having the courage to try different things that other people haven’t tried. A bad marketer turns around and says, “Look, everybody is selling vegetables at the vegetable market. We can’t do that.” A good marketer says, “They’re all selling vegetables. We could sell vegetables.” A great marketer says, “We could sell vegetables and I find a way that we could sell it better.” A legendary marketer is going to turn around and say, “Hey, you know what? Why don’t we try selling fruit? People who eat vegetables, probably eat fruit too.” So that’s where the talent in marketing comes from. It comes from recognizing and when you’re doing the research, extracting the golden nuggets, right? And writing that first draft is the shortest part of the entire process. Everybody think, if you’re sitting down in a Monday morning because somebody said, “Hey, you know what Jake? I got to get this email out this morning.”

So when you sit down and you’re looking at a blank page, you’re going to lose to somebody who’s been thinking about that email for the last week, right? And what they want to say, not necessarily the wording but what they want to say. But the professionalism all comes in the editing process. Everybody can drive around in their car or take a shower and come up with a great headline and they start writing and they start editing. And here’s an editing tip. You can definitely tell a newbie because what happens is they start editing at the beginning of the document and they find a mistake and then they go back to the beginning and they start reading it again. And by the time they get to the bottom, the bottom where you’re asking for the sale, that part’s been looked at once while the top looks like it’s been looked at 20 times.

So edit your… Edit in complete passes and then let it rest for a day or so and then come back and read it and stuff like like that. But the professionalism is in that editing. There’s the guy that… There’s several guys, I’m not going to name them, but that my father thought were great, great copywriters, some of the best, and he got an early look at their first draft and they were very ugly, but they would go on to be winners because that was just a first draft. They put in the time and work, and this is what I hate to break it to a lot of people, which is, it’s work. If you’re willing to out work, you can beat the legends by out researching them. You can beat all the other copywriters in the copywriting pool by out editing them. Well this is what we’re all saying, this is what we’re all going to do is putting in the work.

It’s actually going through and editing your stuff 10 times. It’s actually putting in the time and the research to come up with that brilliant idea. But when it works, it works for a good period of time and it’s well worth all of that effort. You end up still making a lot of money per hour. So when I was giving that explanation, I started writing and outlining three books. The one on, well, the writing the first draft, one on researching, and the third one was on editing and I realized, nobody’s ever written a book on editing sales copy ever before. And I even called John Carlson. I go, “I don’t think A, B.” He’s like, “Well, there’s this book on editing.” And it was just editing stories, right? And he’s like, “No, nobody’s done that.” So I rushed it out to make sure that nobody beat me to the punch for it.

And that’s why we call it, The Star Wars Launch because three came out first and I automatically have Amazon bestseller for one and two because everybody’s like, “Hey man, when’s one and two coming out?” And I did have a real hard time. I knew exactly what I want to say. It was organizing it, and I had this problem with part three too, the editing. I was at first going with basic, intermediate and advanced techniques. Then I realized, “No I should do this for editing, for clarity, editing for, actually editing for to find mistakes and stuff like that. Clarity editing for keeping people reading and then editing to add to sales a punch up the copy.” So I divided everything into that sections. While I was having a trouble with the big idea, you kind of need to know what the big idea is before you do the research.

So you have an idea of what you’re looking for. But you can’t know it for sure otherwise you’d go right to where the research you need. It has to kind of pop out at you. So I just finally figured out that the way that I’m going to do, infrastructure the book. So I have a lot of it already written, it’s just that what order do I put it all in and I just figured that out recently. So it will be coming relatively soon. But, don’t take that for, to mean anything because it’s been a couple of years.

Jake Randall: It’s a fluid deadline right? Am I right?

Bond Halbert: Yeah, absolutely.

Jake Randall: Well, I actually keep a list of a bunch of the tips that… A checklist that I got that had a lot of the sections of that thing and I, man, it is truly for me, it has leveled up my game. I took, I mean I got into copywriting and sales copy for my company, realized how big important that was, but I kind of was just… I mean the stuff that you write and you taught in that book about making it easier to read and helping pull the reader through with the editing and the sentence structure and the grammar and just some of these like the Ann Thompson, just these amazing things. I go back and look at the stuff that I was writing before and then after that book and there’s a clear line, right? About one of them is really easy to read and the other one’s kind of jumble.

Bond Halbert: Well, there’s a great marketing lesson in that in the checklist itself, which was this, my dad taught me that marketing is constant. When you go into a meeting and you’re trying to get somebody to do something, it’s marketing. Anytime you’re persuading somebody, you’re trying to go in and get somebody at the DMV to do something they don’t normally do, it’s persuasion. And everybody I know in this business, they publish a book and then they offer a huge download of goodies that you can get on their email, right? And this is one of the things that I learned and this is the reasons that Halberts and there are others, I’m not saying we’re the only ones that really think outside the box. I was putting up a website one time and I was putting in the field that says, “Here, put in your email address.”

And I was like, “Okay, what would I do if I was not me?” I’m walking in the shoes of my clients and you should do this. Everybody should be doing exactly what you’re asking or going through the same process that your customers are. Searching for your kind of solution or your kind of business home. And I said, and my dad had this famous speech called the A-pile B-pile Speech. And this was a big breakthrough for him. He was writing a direct mail piece to sell The Coat of Arms Promotion. And it was hit or miss and he wasn’t… He was getting frustrated. And he had followed everybody’s advice at the time. And he sat down and he said to himself, “Gary, if somebody had a gun to your head and said, you have to make the sale or I’m going to pull a trigger, what would you do differently?”

And that’s the beginning of, literally the beginning of Gun To The Head Marketing. That was in 1969, about 1969 when that happened. And he said, “You know what, I’m not going to send a window envelope.” Everybody was sending a window envelope, right? Because they said that, it was cheaper than having to readdress the envelope. And you want to use a meter stamp because it saves you from not having to pay somebody to put on the physical stamps and it should be bulk rate because if you save all this money, you need a couple few sales less to make the mailing profitable. But he said if you have to make the sale, because what he realized was that everybody was sorting their mail over a waste basket and they sorted into two piles. A pile was, “This is the letters and bills and things that I’m going to open for sure.” The B pile was like, “Okay, this is an offer for an oil change that I might use one day and so forth.” And of course the trashcan, which is, “I’m not interested in this.”

And basically what I realized is people, that was a human spam filter for mail, for physical mail. And so when it came to doing that, and I saw that people were doing, when it came to looking at the field that says, “Here, sign up.” I said, “What would people do?” And I said, “They’re going to sign up with their spam email address. That’s what they’re going to do.” That’s how people sort their mail right now. And I said, “What happens is, you go to the internet and you say, “I’ve got a question about how to save money. I’ve got a question about what’s tax deductible.”” So this guy offers me a report and says, “I’ll give you a tax deductible report, my free PDF, send me your email address.” So you’re like, “I don’t know if this guy from Adam, so I’m going to get him my spam email address.”

You go to your spam email address and there’s been 500 or a thousand emails have piled up since the last time you’ve been there. You go right to the top, right at the top, you say to yourself, “There it is.” You’ve opened it and he’s either done one of two things, he or she has delivered or he or she has failed and you’re back off to the internet looking for a resource. Either way, you ignore or delete all those 5,000 emails. But then what happens is you’re going to go to bed for the night and you’re last checking your email, in your personal email and you see a couple of emails in the spam box. And at this time did you ignore him? No, because grandma might have slipped through the cracks or something. There might be something that’s important you need to look at. And the moral of the story for me was, it would be better for your emails to land in the spam box of a primary email address than in the primary box of a spam email address.

Stop worrying about the spam filter before you worry about getting a primary email address. So I said to myself, “What would make people give me a primary email address?” Okay. And it dawned on me that there were certain things that you would do, to do this and I’ll give you just a couple, which is one, is if I was really waiting for something and I needed to get it fast, so I had to give him the email address that was on my phone, right? So we created… So if you create something that you’ve described and tell them that they want to use on their phone, like if you get the Dow… The Gary Halbert Letter on the Go Program, where you get the newsletters delivered in a format that you can read on your phone so that you can do something productive while waiting in line at the bank or for a plane or whatever. And people go, “Oh yeah, that’s okay.” Because at this time nobody’s using a spam email address on their phone, right?

And so I’m doing things like that. But this is the power of walking in their shoes. So I do a few really kind of neat tricks and I’m using techniques like this to get my book promoted. And by the way, my book promotions for the most part, have just gone up and up and up and up and up. Well most people, everybody’s goes up and then drops off, right? Because I’m doing different things and nobody’s getting the real addresses from the people who are ordering their books. And I was like, “you know what? I can offer them bonuses that gets an email address.” What I want is there snail mail address too. So I say, “Okay, if you want this, I’ll give you a free notepad, right, with my checklist written on every single page.” And I think most people, this is to… I’m thinking, are probably actually using the checklist but not actually checking it off and ripping off the pages, right?

But they’re getting… And so people will ask me, “Can I get it on PDF or whatever.” I’m like, “No, I actually don’t have it on PDF.” So that’s an honest answer. But I’m not about to put it up on PDF. But what happens is to get that, you go through the same thing you do, which is to sign up at my email address right? Or sign up on my website, then put in, say, “Hey, yeah, I did buy the book and everything.” And then you have to give me your physical address, right? So then I can actually send. And this was just an experiment for me to see if I could get snail mail addresses from my Amazon book buyers because Amazon doesn’t share these and it worked, right? And it’s a marketing lesson and in and of itself, because I’m sitting here thinking, “What can I give you that’s really worth it in exchange for you giving me what I want?”

Okay. A lot of people think of marketing as manipulation and everything and it is to a degree, but ethical marketing is manipulating you into doing something that’s good for you, something that you’ll like, something that you’ll be very glad that you did, right? And the best way to do that is to put yourself in their shoes and say, “What would make me want to do this? What would make me happy to do this? And what if I got it, would make me happy that I did do it.” Right? So it’s not manipulating into something that they’re going to regret. That’s not ethical marketing in my opinion. It is actually stepping into the shoes. So as marketers, you want to step into the shoes of your clients. When you want to get a new agent, you want to step into the shoe of, what that real estate agent, or that… What the person who’s doing an affiliate market really wants and what could you give them that would make them glad to give you what you want.

And the whole point is, it shouldn’t be… It should be in every part of your business. You should be practicing that with everything in your business. It shouldn’t be just when you’re sitting down to write an email or just when you’re going to write a Facebook ad. That’s a very key part to do it. But you want to be thinking along those levels all the time. And that’s what my dad taught me. That’s what growing up. There are people who, my dad showed how to think like him. There are people who spend a lot of time learning how to think like him. I was raised to think like him. And there’s a big difference there. There’s a difference between reading a book and getting into golf or going and getting a golf master to train you or being raised to play golf.

So it’s something that I can’t really turn off if I wanted to. And so, but it’s something that I think that I want your viewers to know, it’s not magic. If you put in the time and the effort and you put it in the conscious decision to say, “I’m going to be paying attention to this and I’m going to have this awareness.” You’ll see things coming at you and you’ll see opportunities left and right because you’re thinking about other people as much as you’re thinking about yourself because that’s what it’s about.

Jake Randall: That is gold right there. Everybody should go back and listen to that again. Just what he just said. But I love, I mean, so I love that idea. I mean getting into that, the prospect’s shoes and just going through their life is so valuable. But I love that. Just that little tactic right there about talking about the phone, right? Just thinking through that process. Everybody should be doing that with their business. I remember one of the… I guess that’s a next level one for me. One of the things I remember from the book though, even when I read it four years ago was, the first thing I did is I went to change all my opt in forms to say, “Please enter your primary email address.” So I spent, I went on a web form hunt to fix that on all mine, but so, so brilliant. So where can they get a copy of this book? Is that Amazon the best place to get that right now?

Bond Halbert: It’s the only place really to get that right now. I, one of the things… I’m just such a… I experiment, I prove something and I walk away from it. You know what I mean? You notice I’m not sending you a bunch of emails, right? Even though you’re on my email list, it’s because I wanted to prove that this could work, right? And I do it and I teach other people how to do it. And my thing is, I get… I’m like my father and the fact that I get bored easily and I’m always trying to bring something totally new and do breakthrough stuff. It’s more, I like teaching. So I will teach the basics, but that’s only when somebody, “Hey.” They need something but when they do that, my goal is to teach it to them faster and to teach them in a way that allows them to walk away doing, not contemplating.

So if I teach people how to write a headline, they can sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and start spitting out headlines really fast. They’re not driving around the car thinking about, what kind of curiosity and benefit could I throw in here and stuff like that. When I teach people editing, you can put it to use and go change your copy as opposed to, “Well, I’m going to try and think this way when I’m going on.” And so that has a detriment to my own business because I get bored and I go off and move on to something else and I have all these people who are great friends of mine and masters and very famous marketers are like, “Man, why don’t you teach that?” And I was like, “Well because I want to go and do something different.” Then I do something different, they go, “Why don’t you teach that?” I was like, “Because I want to go do something different.”

Jake Randall: I already did that.

Bond Halbert: Yeah, and I proved it worked. And I do try… This is another thing, you try and prove things work three times and that’s when… If you can get something to work once, it could be a fluke, it could be the times or whatever. If you can get something and then you try and engineer why it worked, recreate it, it works and if you get it to work a third time, you can actually go teach it to people and you can make a business out of teaching it and you can make a whole business out of doing it. So when my dad was one of the first to actually, I think he was the first to put a dollar bill on top of the letter and send it in the mail.

All of a sudden, when he did it the third time, all of a sudden you could go to any mailing list where each sales contribution to overhead was worth a lot more than a few dollars. And you could attach a dollar bill to their newsletter or to their letters they were sending out and just put it in that same old famous opening, which I think is the most ripped off piece of copy in history. And you could crush the controls that anybody was running without doing any other work. Now, he would, of course if he was writing, he’d go in and do other work and everything, but he could make an entire agency out of fixing people’s copy just with that one trick. So you do want to try and when you do something, replicate it three times before you really pat yourself on the back and say, “I did it and we did this.”

So and I’ve got several examples of that, where I did it with Amazon and stuff, getting Amazon. I got Amazon actually promotes my books for me, where almost everybody’s pushing their Amazon books. Amazon will often, if you go look in copywriting, not all the time, but often will send you an email suggesting my books. And that was by design. Because what I did was I turned around and I said, “What would make Amazon do that? What would make them want to do that?”

And I gave them what they wanted, right? Without calling, I don’t know anybody at Amazon or anything like that, but I didn’t really think it was a really fantastic thing till I did it three times in a row, with three totally different books and so if you can, if you could magically transform three different, whatever, three different things, for three different, totally different clients, that means you can probably do it for 90 plus percentage of all the clients and you have a whole new hook, a new whole new angle and stuff. And that walking in the shoes thing, it’s where the power is. It’s where the opening for the door is. It’s where you can turn around. So I’ll give you another tip and if I’m talking too much you just stop me and just, I’ll let you answer. Ask me any question.

Jake Randall: No, this is great.

Bond Halbert: But what you want to… What you’re looking for is you’re looking for a unique offer and your offer should be the kind of offer where people are wondering how can they stay in business and make that offer. That’s how good it should be. Okay. And the offers that you’re looking for is, when you’re going in the shoes and say, “Stop, what’s my hesitation in making the sale?” So if I’m going through to buy a watch and I say, “My hesitation is I’m really afraid that I’m going to find that watch for a lot cheaper by somebody else’s selling it.”

So somebody made me the offer and they said, “These other people have a price match guarantee.” But somebody says, “If you find that the price at a lower priced than that watch, I’ll let you keep the watch for free.” I’m going to go, “I don’t know how they could stay in business and make that deal. This must be the lowest price.” Here are the conditions, you’ve got to buy it off of an established retail seller and so forth and so on and you make the… You go when you buy that, that’s going to take… That’s going to make me buy the watch. Now most of the people looking for a price guarantee and that 10% back, you’ll get 10% of the difference. You get the difference plus 10% if you find it cheaper.

Nobody, very, very few people are looking for that deal. I’m going to make money. You’d be wasting so much time. I’m going to go to Best Buy and I’m going to buy this TV and I’m going to find it $100 cheaper and then I’m going to get $110. I mean you’re doing all that effort for $10 in actual. So it’s not really… There’s not a lot of people doing that. What’s happening is a guy like me is turning out and going, “You know what? My hesitation is, I just don’t want to make, I don’t want to go home and feel like a sucker when I open the page and find that it was more expensive, right?” So you’re looking, going through the shoes and saying, “What’s the offer that would make, remove that hesitation for me for whatever it is that I’m selling?”

And it could be as simple as, “Look, you come in, you buy our shirt and you wear it for the… You wear it seven times and nobody compliments on you, you return it and I’ll give you all your money back.” Right? So he goes, “Oh yeah, because that’s what I want the shirt for.” And this is just off the top of my head, I haven’t thought about these things. I’m just saying, you walk through the shoes of your prospects looking for what’s the offer they could make me, okay. So and the big idea for you is coming up with the offer, it is coming up with a unique way to get attention and you want to try and find three of those demonstrations of proof that really make you, that give a lot more proof.

Rolex it sounds, yeah, I like watches as you can tell. Rolex, their big promotion when they first invented the, well I don’t know if they were the inventor, but they only started putting gaskets in watches, to prove it was waterproof, they had a famous swimmer swim across the English Channel wearing the watch. And a lot of people from that era remember that campaign. But even better than that, they said, “Well that really did well.” So they started sending their watches with a little fish tank in all the watch stores and they would let the watch sit in the fish tank. Now at this time, everybody, if they took a shower with their watch, had to go and have the watch repaired. Everybody, I mean there was no waterproof watches. And so sitting there watching that thing go around and that demonstration of proof was a brilliant big idea. Right?

So you’re looking for a big idea that proves that you are the real deal and your offer is exactly what they want. You’re looking for an offer that sounds irresistible and makes it far above the rest. You’re looking for an attention getting kind of device or statement that makes people just stop in their tracks and say, “How could that be true? Let me start reading that for a second. I’ve got to find the part where that’s not true because if it is true, that would really benefit my life.” Okay? So these are the kinds of things you’re doing to look for that big idea during the research process. And if you find them, how you put the wording, whether you say, “We’ll give you double your cash back or it’s a double your money back guarantee.” Or how you say things, isn’t nearly as important as what you say. So.

Jake Randall: Yeah, I love that. And it’s so funny too. I think most business owners and, people that are in business or selling something, I think they get to that point, right? Where you’re talking about making that offer, that final last mile to pull the trigger on that watch or whatever. And they stop way short there. They’re so afraid to make that because they’re worried about that one guy that’s going to go find the $10 discount right? Someone else can make that $10 discount. And the reality is, almost nobody going to do it. And it’s such a game changer.

Bond Halbert: Well it’s more cliche now, but we used to do double your money back guarantees and people didn’t understand the power of it. And the great thing about it was, the customers loved it. It made a lot more customers buy, but the other competition was afraid to do that offer. They’re like, “Well, if I make that.” People were afraid of 30 minutes or it’s free. Most people, if the pizza showed up in 32 minutes, they didn’t care, they were like, “Okay, no, no worries, two minutes, whatever. Give me the pizza.” It really does not turn out to be the… It really… Everybody… Your market, the majority of your market is not filled with those people who’ve decided to refund before they buy. They exist and if you don’t, can’t face to deal with that, you’re going to have to hire somebody to keep that from you.

If refunds really irritate a solopreneur big time, right? You know what I mean? It’s just so irritating to, hear that somebody has done a charge back on something that you knew was good and they’re making excuses that let you know that they really didn’t even try it and that they’re just want their money back, right? And so, there are ways to mitigate that, to reduce the number, but nobody ever eliminates. And if it just drives you absolutely crazy, hire somebody to just process those returns for you because the truth is, if sales double and your returns double, right? You’re still making more. So let’s suppose you out of a 100 sales, right? You get 10, right? You do an ad campaign, you get a 100 sales, 10 are returned, okay, which is a really high rate, but now all of a sudden, you get $200 or 200 sales and 20 returns, you’ve got 180 sales, which is 80 more than the 100, it’s in the map. This is a numbers business, right? It’s totally worth it for that. How many of those watch companies offered a lifetime guarantee?

My favorite guarantee of all is the, I think it’s Saddleback Leather and they say, “Our stuff is so constructed and it’s constructed so well, your grandchildren can return it if it fails.” Right? It has to be from normal use or whatever and the things, but you turn around and go, “That’s a good guarantee. It must be high quality luggage.” And so you’re going to… You can trust them and stuff like that. Before they moved their manufacturing to China, CRAFTSMAN Tools, used to have a lifetime guarantee on their sockets. You came in with a broken, you picked up a new one. It was no fuss either. It was just, so, at that time, I wouldn’t even think of buying a socket that wasn’t CRAFTSMAN.

Jake Randall: Right. You just… They solidified their positioning, right?

Bond Halbert: Yeah.

Jake Randall: So you Bond, you have, man, you’ve given some really, really great content to our listeners today. Some really good stuff. I want to throw one sort of curve ball question at you. What’s something, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, but what’s one thing that you’ve done in your businesses or maybe in a client’s business to make sure that more of the money that you’re bringing in the front door stays actually in the owner’s pocket or in your pocket rather than bleeding out through expenses. You talked about your dad making money and losing money, something that you’ve done and get.

Bond Halbert: What you want to do with the company is, it’s a numbers business. So you look at all your expenses in the same way. So, if your… And I’ve seen it with lots of different companies and lots of… Through the years. I remember that they used to move a lot of the telemarketing sales operations to Iowa because the long distance calls were on average cheaper because it was the center of the country back then, right? Now that doesn’t matter. If your tax base is really high, then you do things to mitigate your taxes. All of a sudden you figure out ways to where, even personal expenditures, if it can be rolled into and part of your business, not illegitimately doing this but if it can be, you can pull it into there. But I’d say with, from a copywriting’s perspective, the number one thing is a stick letter.

Stick letter is a communication that says, “Hey, thank you very much for your purchase. I’m writing to let you know that we really do value your service. And on top of that, I want you to know we’re here for you, questions 24/7 and so forth.” And you’re reassuring that they made the right purchase with the right people, right? And you followed up and make them like you even more. It helps to reduce refunds, okay? And so, look up the tactics for writing good stick letters is what the guy… And the reason is called stick is because it makes the sales stick without a refund. So stick letters are great there.

But on top of that, I’ll say, no matter… I one time put together an Excel spreadsheet to prove this. In the top of the spreadsheet was like how much it cost to ad and then how much it cost to get per lead, how many leads you got out of that. Then there was conversion and then there’s shopping cart abandonment and returns and all of this stuff. And no matter what you did, no matter which number you change, the one that had the most biggest effect on bottom line from everything, from fixed expenses like overhead and phone bills and everything, number one, every single time, no matter what you did, we’ll sell something else, okay? And I know that’s a little deviation, since I answered your question and I said, use a stick letter, right?

And I used to do that. But I want to say even better than that, it’s always sell something else. And here’s the thing, everybody stopped. They’re like, “I sell homes.” Right? “I’m a real estate agent.” So I assume that everybody who sells the homes doesn’t want anything else from me. Well, you might be connected to somebody who can actually, it’s better deal for refurbishing that kitchen. You might be a good person to do that. I mean you, somebody has just trusted you with the largest purchase of their entire life, right? You can capitalize on that trust by helping them, point them in the direction of other people who are making, of other people who they can trust to make other big purchases from, especially ones that are related to their homes and stuff like that. I’m just saying think outside the box. There’s always another thing that you can add onto. And so it’s the number one thing that will increase your bottom line, is selling something else, making another offer. And in some cases it’s actually, using them as referrals to make more business in that way. But don’t stop thinking in that way.

Jake Randall: That’s awesome. I love it. That’s that Halbert thinking outside the box right there, right there. Well, okay, so there’s a couple of places people can find you online. We’ve talked about your book, which you can buy an Amazon, which is the Halbert Copywriting Method Part III. I highly recommend this book. I think everybody that’s writing copy or writing any sort of… Doing any sales for their business needs to have a copy of this on their shelf. But where else can people find you online Bond?

Bond Halbert: Well, we have a copy club, which I think is the, awesome copy club where you can always get help with looking, critiquing your stuff. Don’t be afraid if they get brutal on you, but they’re going to give you very valuable advice. And that’s the Gary Halbert Copy Club on Facebook. But if you’re not on Facebook, follow us over at, that’s mine. And and let me explain the difference, that The Gary Halbert letter, and don’t forget the the, We post everything there, is kind of related to Gary Halbert and everything else. My goal is to try and take all my dad’s teachings and take it to, to add onto it. Not to repeat them. I’m not going to capitalize on his stuff. Of course, I’ve learned, I mean he, my dad used to say and it’s true. Everything I do well, he gets credit for, anything I mess up, that was my mom, right?

Or he had nothing to do with it. But though, but when I do something that’s solo, I’ll try and do that at So one is really more or less like the family dynasty page and one of them is more or less mine. And so you’ll see different information out of both of those different sites. But you’ll see that what I’m trying to do is take my dad’s lessons, distill them down into more actionable formulas. Now when I say formulas, I don’t mean like templates. Okay. Because I believe that people who are trying to cram their business into some template and they’re finding, “Well this doesn’t fit. I don’t have a hero’s journey and all this.” I’m not trying to do that. What I’m trying to do is give… Actually I gave you one as an example. My dad doing his A-pile B-pile Speech.

Nobody had taken it and started getting personal email addresses and figuring out people were sorting the mail that way before I did. And the reason is, because that lesson was so ingrained on me, I’d heard it so many times growing up and, as an adult, that the core value of the lesson is what sticks in me. It’s not just the, everybody else takes away, send a live stamp and all this. For me it was, how are these people, filtering? Get past the filter. So I did, I took that to online, right? Stepping in their shoes. So when I take the core stuff and then I try and turn it into a formula and give tips, “Okay, yeah, just do this and this and this and that.” And that way you’re up and running faster. So, and I just finally made my favorite breakthroughs because, marketing is attention, interest, desire and action.

So I’ve got formulas to quickly help teach people how to do headlines, how to start the copywriting process, opening statements, bullets, closing arguments and post scripts. And they finally figured out how to teach, not how, just how to do, but how to teach people to effectively be able to immediately find and write good stories. That’s the final completion. And now I’m like, “Okay, now I can teach it from A to Z.” That was the only thing that everybody would come to me and say, “Hey, how do you make up a good story?” I’m like, “You don’t make them up. You find them.” And then when I finally figured out a way to very quickly, because you’ll notice that about the book that, The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III, it’s short, it’s fast, but there’s a ton of lessons in there. There’s… It is one of those books that when you reread it you’re like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”

It’s kind of hard to absorb it all that way. But I like to teach in a way that’s very fast and effective and they can immediately do something with it. But it’s based on classic info that will last forever. And so that’s more or less what my goal is to do with the stuff that my father taught me and the way that he taught me how to think. So it’s all about benefiting you, your readers or your viewers and people who come into my sphere. It’s about benefiting them first because that’s the way that you need to think as a marketer and as a business owner.

Jake Randall: So awesome. I love it… So everybody, you should definitely be around Bond. Good things happen when you’re around Bond. So you’ll learn a lot. So Bond, thanks so much for being here today and taking some time with us.

Bond Halbert: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.

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