Tuesday morning, 7:59 AM
This morning I went outside with Chiqui Rikki (11 lb. Shih Tzu with the heart and fight of his trainer, a former 80 lb. Doberman) and I see that two of my youngest new family members have escaped their little fenced off area.
Friday, 11:12 PM
I find it amusing when copywriters brag about their alleged successes on their websites.
One copywriter was bragging about a 46% response rate he allegedly got from a lead gen piece he wrote for a client.
Oh yeah… a measly 46%?
Ha! That ain’t nothin’.
I got a 100% response on a lead gen piece I wrote a few years ago.
Yup, you read that right… 100%!
When it was all said and done, guess how much cashola I eventually made from that 100% response.
Go ahead, take a wild guess.
Thursday, 12:31 AM
FROM: Deep in the jungle in an undisclosed location in South America
I only brought two books with me to read during my travels over the next few weeks.
One of them is Direct Marketing Quantified by Gary Hennerburg.
Best $195 I ever spent.
Well, except for that time at The Del Rey Bar & Hotel in Costa Rica… but I don’t talk about those days any more.
Anyhoo, this Hennerberg guy makes most of us look like pikers. He knows direct marketing like nobody’s business.
If I would have known this stuff when I was first starting… well, I probably wouldn’t be writing this now. I’d OWN my own island paradise… and I’d be lying on the beach all day drinking Coronas and lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills.
If you want to make serious money in direct response, knowing and using the stuff in Hennerberg’s book is crucial.
As I’ve been reading this book, I’ve been reminded of a whole bunch of stupid mistakes I made as a rookie. One in particular probably cost me that private island paradise I SHOULD own right now.
Back in the mid 90′s I wrote a supplement ad that was kicking total booty in the muscle-head market. I was getting an ROI of 3 to 5 times ad costs in every magazine I ran it in.
I was such a wet behind the ears rookie back then I thought getting 3 to 5 times ROI on ad cost was a GOOD thing. Little did I know how much future money I was cheating myself out of. (More about THAT in a minute.)
Since I was so successful with this ad in the muscle-head market, I decided to try my hand in a bigger market. I wrote 1/4 page and 1/2 page newspaper ads positioning this supplement as an anti-aging/fat loss product.
I bought remnant space in about six newspapers and ran a test. When it was all said and done, two of the newspapers went a little negative (they didn’t sell enough to make back 100% of my my ad costs) and four broke even.
Compared to the 3 to 5 times ROI I was getting on every insertion in all the bodybuilding mags, I thought my anti-aging newspaper ads sucked. After all… I didn’t make any money.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Now (too late, unfortunately) I know I had a tiger by the tail. I had created…
A money machine that could have
made me a multi-millionaire!
And I was too stupid to realize it.
What was my mistake?
Not understanding the front end is NOT where you make your money. The BIG money in this business is in…
The back end!
I had created newspaper ads that could have been rolled out to hundreds of newspapers…
…with a combined circulation of TENS of MILLIONS…
…that could have brought in hundreds of thousands… or MILLIONS of customers…
At ZERO cost!
Then I could have sold them an endless string of health/anti-aging products ad infinitum… month after month… making myself filthy stinkin’ honkin’ rich in the process.
Damn! Just thinking it about it makes me want to go lick one of those South American frogs.
Oh well… at least I’ve learned my lesson. And from what I’ve observed, that makes me a very rare dude amongst most marketers.
Seriously. Almost NOBODY understands how to properly work their back end. Even many of the big players are letting a small fortune slip through their fingers month after month.
But the WORST offenders are the “kitchen table” entrepreneurs. Most of ‘em have no clue about the back end. All they ever do is chase after more and more new customers… letting them come in through their revolving front door… and watching them go out almost as quickly as they came in.
That’s why the October and November issues of The Doberman Dan Letter are all about how to make a lot of money by properly working your back end.
AND… how to keep your customers for as long as possible with my uber-effective “stick” secrets.
If you have any kind of continuity or auto-ship programs, you’ll probably DOUBLE your retention with these little gems. They helped me take a floundering supplement auto-ship program from a pathetic 1 month (or less) average stick rate… to 3.5 to 4 months.
And that made a HUGE difference in my bottom line.
You see, doubling stick rates doesn’t just double your net…
It causes EXPONENTIAL
increases in profits!
Don’t make the same rookie mistake as me.
Get rid of your “revolving door” business and figure out how to work your back end properly and KEEP those new customers.
You’ll be a lot happier (and richer) for it.
Monday, 8:28 PM
Did you hear about Don Lapre, the self-styled King of Infomercials?
He was found dead in a federal prison facility in Florence, Arizona, just a few hours before he was scheduled to stand trial on charges of deceiving and cheating investors and customers out of almost $52 million.
Was he guilty?
I have no idea. I know nothing about this case and his “Greatest Vitamin in the World” deal that the feds claim was an elaborate hoax.
The only thing I remember about Don Lapre was he was selling some kind of “get rich with tiny classified ads” course a long time ago with infomercials.
It sounded like B.S. back then… but a LOT of people bought that course.
Just the title of his latest deal, “The Greatest Vitamin in the World” sets off my personal B.S. detector… but maybe mine is more sensitive than the average Joe’s.
A good salesman trained in the secrets of persuasion can use his skills to sell good products that bring value to people’s lives… or complete crap in a box.
The feds allege Don Lapre chose to sell the former… and apparently it ain’t the first time.
I honestly don’t know. I have no credible info about all this… and frankly, I’m not that interested. I retired from the enforcement thang back in 1997… and vowed to never go back.
But I DO know this:
The minute you hang out your shingle in the weight loss or biz-op niches, you stand a really good chance of getting on some alphabet agency’s radar.
The more successful you are and the higher profile your advertising, (for example, national infomercials) your chance of evoking the ire of an alphabet agency goes up exponentially.
Talk to anybody who has been the target of an investigation and ask about the nice, friendly alphabet agency bureaucrats. These are people you do NOT want to taunt. They can turn your life into a living hell and leave you living on the streets, broke and penniless with the simple stroke of some just-hired, wet-behind-the-ears rookie’s pen.
It really is that easy for them.
No due process, no 4th amendment, no jury of your peers… NONE of the protections we’ve been erroneously told we’re entitled to under the u.s. CONstitution.
You normally have to be a pretty big operation for these guys to target you… so you shouldn’t lose sleep over all this. But here’s a word of warning:
If you have a business in the weight loss or biz-op niches (the alphabet agencies favorite fishing spots) you better make damn sure you’ve dotted all your “i’s” and crossed your “t’s.”
In addition to good customer service and always honoring your refund policy, here are two things to keep you off the radar:
1. For the love of GOD… never, ever, ever lie or exaggerate claims. (That’s what gets guys like Don Lapre on the radar and in trouble.) And…
2. In your sales copy…
Back up all your claims with as many
credible proof elements as possible!
Those two things will go a long way in keeping you off the radar and out of trouble… and sleeping well at night.