Category: Direct mail

The Boron Letters – A Classic Now Better Than Ever


Sunday, 11:23 PM

Dear Friend,

I have an original copy of The Boron Letters (the one in Gary’s actual handwriting) that is so dog-eared it’s literally falling apart at the seams.

When I heard it was recently re-released as a Kindle book, I was ecstatic.

I was even MORE excited when I discovered that Bond, Gary Halbert’s son, had added his own commentary, exposing lots of behind-the-scenes info about each chapter. I couldn’t get to and click the order button fast enough.

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Moneymaking Tactician Or Marketing Strategist?


Tuesday, 12:57 AM

Dear Friend,

A little over a year ago, against my better judgement, I decided to work with a client who owned a business grossing about $10 million a year.

Their goal the previous year?

$25 million.

So in spite of doing what I preferred – staying home with my Doberman, the Shih Tzu and the Colombiana – I let this guy talk me into being the rock star “prophet from out of town” rain-maker at their start-the-New-Year-off-with-a-bang team meeting.

It was pretty uncomfortable for me to watch the founder and leader of this little motley crew explain why they didn’t even come close to reaching their goal.

It was even more painful to see him slump over (literally) as he announced this year’s new goal…

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How To DOUBLE Your Lifetime Customer Value

Sunday, 3:03 PM

Dear Friend,

You COULD be making a lot more money, ya know.

In fact, with just a few simple little tweaks you could experience EXPONENTIAL increases in your income… pretty darn fast, too.



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“Kitchen table” business questions – Round 1

Tuesday, 2:54 PM

Dear Friend,

Did you check out my Just do the work, dammit! post the other day?

I just had to reread it for myself. “Do the work” is the LAST thing I feel like doing today.

I’ve got some kind of severe allergy/sinus thing going on that is making me absolutely miserable. (It happens every Fall when the temperature changes. BTW… this is my favorite time of the year here in Florida… in spite of feeling like complete doo-doo.)

But, short of being comatose in a hospital, a professional keeps his commitments.

Plus, I’d look like a complete schlemiel (learned that word from a Harlan Ellison story) if I blew off my commitment less than 48 hours after writing that “Just do the work, dammit!” post, wouldn’t I?

But alas… a blog subscriber sensed I needed help today and sent me what Gary Halbert used to call “fodder material” for today’s post.

Here’s to you, Raja:

May your muse always alight gently upon your shoulder and whisper her sweet inspiration in your ear… and may you always be in tune to her subtle inspiration.

Hey… that ain’t too bad! In fact, I like my little DD blessing so much I’ll extend it to you, too.

Here’s Raja’s question:

Hi Dan,

You write a wickedly helpful and immensely insightful blog.

I’ve a question for you:

In your How To Start A “Kitchen Table” Direct Response Business, you mentioned that you’d do things a little differently now than when you first rolled your formula out in 1995, and not go the classified ad route until you tested it via Google Adwords.

My question is what kind of Google ad response numbers would give you the green-light-go-ahead to trot the thing out via a classified ad?

Oopsy… another question.. (how did that sneak in there?) :)

When you bring people to a squeeze/landing page via the google ad, would you send the report/sales letter, via email or snail mail?

Cheers Dan!


Thanks for the kudos on my blog, Raja.

Let me clear one thing up. Except for the very start of that business when I was messing things up, I never used classified ads. After I got myself on the right track, I only used fractional page display lead generation ads and full page ads.

…what kind of Google ad response numbers would give you the green-light-go-ahead to trot the thing out?

“Trot the thing out”… I like that. Since I currently live in the horse capital of the world I think I’m going to start using that phrase.

Anyhoo… as far as rules about number of responses determining when I trot things out, I usually evaluate that on a case by case basis since there can be a lot of variables.

I learned a few cool formulas from working in direct mail and several of those have worked out exceptionally well when applied to my online testing. If it’s a go-for-the-sale promotion, I like to see anywhere from 14 to 86 conversions before I make a decision on my next step.

The higher the number of conversions, the higher my confidence level and the more statistically accurate I can be with my roll-out predictions.

Is that set in stone?

Not always.

A few times I had less conversions but a good gut feeling… so I started scaling up… and that put a good amount of cashola in my pocket.

A few times I was wrong and I lost money. I probably could have avoided losing money if I would have stuck to my formula and not jumped the gun on the roll-out.

Live and learn.

When you bring people to a squeeze/landing page via the google ad, would you send the report/sales letter, via email or snail mail?

Before the wonderful folks at Google cancelled my Adwords account, I very rarely did the squeeze page thang when testing. My whole philosophy was to get BUYERS, not waste time and money building a list of 90%+ freebie seekers. In the end, it was usually much more expensive to send traffic to a squeeze page… and then invest months and months culling out the 10% (or less) who would eventually become buyers… than just target the buyers in the first place.

So when testing, I almost always used Adwords to send people directly to a sales page with an offer for my front end product.

That’s not the typical “funnel” all the IM gurus have been teaching… but it has worked killer for me.

In fact, I recently did a video for my Doberman Dan Letter subscribers showing them the difference between a freebie seekers list and buyers list in two different markets.

Long story short: The buyers lists are 10 to 20 times more responsive (and profitable) than the freebie seekers list.

There are a lot more moving parts to this equation than I have time to cover here… because there are several factors I consider when deciding to do a lead gen campaign versus going immediately for a sale. Several times I’ve done both at the same time, lead gen AND a “go for the sale” promotion… and other times I’ve combined them both into the SAME promotion. (Hmmmm… that sounds like a good topic for a future issue or subscriber bonus video for The Doberman Dan Letter subscribers.)

Here’s something interesting I discovered from testing lead generation ads in magazines. I’ve found OFFLINE lead generation in magazine ads to be much more profitable with less “mooch factor” than online lead gen.

When I tested a call to action driving people to an opt-in website vs. calling a toll free number to request a free report in hard copy via snail mail, I converted almost 50% more of the snail mail prospects. AND… they had a higher lifetime customer value than the customers I got by driving prospects to an opt-in website.

I don’t exactly know why that is but the reason may be something Gary Halbert said at his Root Canal seminar in Orlando, Florida back in 2005:

“People are cheap bastards on the Internet!”

Halbert… what a master wordsmith. :)

But a word of warning:

Be careful you don’t step in anybody’s dogma… including mine.

This is what MY testing revealed in MY business back in 2006/2007. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how it’s gonna work out today in YOUR business. The only way to know for sure is to do your own test.

Hey, I actually feel a little less crappy right now. It’s amazing what diving in and getting to work, no matter how bad you feel, can do for you.

I hope all this helps in some way.

All the best,