How to Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever

  • My #1 resolution
  • The missing piece in your response puzzle
  • Much more

Dear Business Builder,

Merry – uh …

Happy – oh …

Oh, hell, let’s just get on with it!

Wow.  Were those some holidays or what?

I had the whole fam damily up here – grown kids, little kids, grandkids; the whole shebang.

We opened presents.  We shot our guns.  We rode our horses.  We watched movies on our new high-def home theater.  And of course, we consumed far more than our fair share of fattening food and adult beverages.

Now, here I sit at the beginning of 2008:  Older, fatter, certainly not any wiser – but fully recovered and vowing that this will be the year I finally get into shape and back to my fighting weight; a svelte 215 pounds of buff, rock-hard business-builder.

I will eschew the consumption of brewed, fermented and distilled spirits.  I will eat right.  I will take my vitamins.  I will exercise every day.  I will transform this keg of a gut into a six-pack.  Even if it kills me.

I have other resolutions, too.
Most of them have to do with you.

I’m resolving that in the next twelve months, you will enjoy greater success than you may now believe possible – even if I and every other Total Package editor has to take you by the hand and get you there.

I promise that if you read this letter religiously … if you apply what you learn to grow your business … and if you find the courage to persevere even when you feel like quitting … together, we will add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your income – and probably, much more.

Come hell or high water, so help me, God.

Because in reality, we’re in this together.

The simple truth is, nothing we’ve done around here is worth a bucket of warm spit unless it produces a real, tangible, measurable, substantial increase in your bottom line.

If we do that, you will make The Total Package the largest and most venerated periodical in the entire business-building, marketing and copywriting world. 

And if we can’t do that, we might as well close up shop.

See, I’m not publishing this letter for my health – and I’m sure not doing this to get rich.  It’s far too late for that.  In fact, when I took a moment to count the royalties my clients cheerfully paid me last year, it turns out 2007 was my best year ever – by a long, long shot.

Besides:  I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I don’t take a penny out of The Total Package – or that every dollar spent on the response-boosting, career-building products we offer is cheerfully reinvested to help other business owners, marketing execs and copywriters amplify and accelerate their success.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  This e-letter is here for one reason and one reason only:  To help you multiply your income – and to help you get all the goodies that come with mind-blowing success in a fraction of the time it took me.

Agonizing Reappraisals

Holidays are a dangerous time for me – and not just because I’m going to gain a good twenty pounds.

They’re dangerous because I have time to think. 

For eleven glorious days between December 22 and January 2, I didn’t do a single day’s work.  Sure:  There were the 4:00 AM meetings with business friends like Rich Schefren and with clients from Boca to Bangkok and from Boynton to Brazil – but by 8:00 each morning, I was pretty much done for the day.

That meant I had time to reflect; to actually think for a change. 

And truth be told, I experienced an epiphany over the holidays.

Maybe it was that phenomenal article Drayton Bird wrote for us about the use of new jargon to repackage and sell old (but still venerable) ideas to gullible newbs …

Or, maybe it was kibitzing with Rich on his compelling Attention Age Doctrine II …

Or maybe it was re-reading articles I’ve written in the past two-and-a-half years of The Total Package.

But I began comparing what I’ve advised you to do in the copy for your promotions with what I’ve actually been doing in promotions for our products and for our clients’ products.

And you know what?

The more I thought about the online sales copy my agency has been cranking out and the strategies we’ve been using to produce new leads and customers, the more ways I saw to do things better.

And more importantly, I saw how making a few simple changes in how you approach your sales promotions, you can, too.

That’s what next week’s article is all about.

But in the meantime, let me just say this: 

Something is being lost today.

Offline copywriters, charged with the assignment to create magalogs, bookalogs and even sales letters, are breaking this decades-old rule with wild abandon.

Online copywriters are the worst offenders of all – violating this venerable principle like there’s no tomorrow.

Do you know what it is?  Can you guess?

What’s that you say?

“They’re so lost in the techniques of creating compelling SALES copy, they’re forgetting to first reward prospects for giving them their attention and for reading their copy?”

See?  I told you you’re a genius!

Today, most “advertorials” aren’t.
(Advertorials, that is.)

Everyone throws the word “advertorial” around a lot today.  But a mail piece or online sales piece isn’t an advertorial just because it looks like a magazine or a book or a special report.

Genuine advertorials reward prospects for reading by giving them practical, actionable information on every page:  Information that brings value to prospects’ lives right now – today – whether they buy the advertised product or NOT.

True advertorials for investment products give investors a broader and/or deeper understanding of the trends that are impacting their investments – and then go on to give them the short list of what they should dump now and what they should buy now to cut their losses and profit.

True advertorials for health products give health-conscious readers new insights on why most common health issues occur … and give away free advice on how they can soothe their arthritic joints, erase a searing headache or energize their sex life … long BEFORE even mentioning the product being offered (let alone asking for a sale).

Come to think of it, instead of calling them “advertorials,” it might be smarter to call them “editads” – because the best ones always deliver value in the form of editorial long before they begin presenting their product and offer and asking for the sale.

Now, we don’t do it this way out of the goodness of our hearts.  And we sure as heck don’t do it just to follow some dusty old rule. 

We do it because it works.

Delivering enormous value — information that brings immediate, tremendous value to your prospects’ lives — is more than just a way to bribe prospects for reading … much more than just an inducement to keep reading. 

It’s also proof that your spokesperson does, indeed, know what he or she is talking about. 

It’s also a great way to prove that your spokesperson is a partner … an advocate … a friend … and not just another salesman. 

And it’s hands-down the best way I know to prove that your product and your premiums really will deliver the fresh, new, life-changing benefits you promise.

So try this:

Google anything you want relating to marketing or copywriting.  Then, begin clicking on the sponsored ads you see at the top of each page of search results.  Each of those links will take you to a page upon which somebody is trying to sell you something.

Know what you’ll see?  Pages that instantly communicate the fact that this is a sales pitch with big pictures of the product right at the top of the page.

Huge headlines screaming product benefits – many of them utterly unbelievable. 

Twenty, thirty, even fifty-page sales letters that hype the product to the high heavens – all without a single incentive (other than the aforementioned unbelievable headline) for the prospect to continue reading.

Now look at what you’re writing now or maybe stuff you’ve already written and posted online or dropped into the mail.

Think:  What could you add – or failing that, how should you rewrite that piece – to lift yourself head and shoulders above all those carnival barkers who posture themselves as copywriters out there?  What could you give away – FOR FREE – that will turn your promotion into a true advertorial?

Do it and I guarantee your response will soar.

If not, just let me know, and I’ll send you a full refund of every penny you paid to read this article.

Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Clayton Makepeace Signature
Clayton Makepeace
Publisher & Editor

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7 Responses to How to Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever

  1. Dwight White says:

    Clayton…this is truly fantastic, actionable advice. If I\’m a boxer going into the title fight of my life… then you\’re my trainer… and there\’s no better advice I could get to lift the coveted crown.

    Thanks much.

  2. Derrick Strode says:

    \”The best relationships are where the want to be together is greater than the need.\” I don\’t remember where I first read that qoute, but I can\’t forget it each time I read. A good person is a lot harder to find than a good deal. You are the combination!

  3. Bob says:

    In a take, take, take, world you\’re a giver!

    Bob Heiney

  4. Markus Trauernicht says:

    I decided do to it and put up the 197 € ebook for free on my website. 467 pages long. It was selling OK, and I actually got my first client as a copywriter (while I was still selling it) just a few months ago. A publishing house here in Germany had bought the ebook, approached me and asked to write for them. (Found out later they call themselves Agora in the USA.) Actually I had written it for people who want to start a business using the internet. But most of my clients where publishing houses and consultants. Some clients offered to translate it into other European languages, some wanted to joint venture, but nothing really appealed to me. Neither made sense in my long term plans. For me it was just a question of time until someone would rewrite it, then sell it or hand it out for free. What then?

    At some point I realized, that about only HALF of the CLIENTS signed up for my newsletter / autoresponder. Half the people who were willing to pay 127 € (launch) to 197 €, were unwilling to give a name and an emailadress! No wonder. Checking in my notebook on my desk I realized, that I have 34 logins and passwords for different websites. Don\’t need another one.

    I always thought perhaps it would make sense to give it out for free. But perhaps not? After all it was a few months of work. My wife tought I was nuts. Only one way to find out. And I did! Made it a sort of Christmas present for my list.

    Optins went up. And now every X amout of downloads, a prospect turns up.

    So as a newbie who does what you say, I can definitely underline everything!

    Clayton & Wendy Makepeace, your whole team, editors and writers: A big THANK YOU from my side and a great 2008 for you!

    Regards Markus Trauernicht from Berlin

  5. Carline Anglade-Cole says:

    Wow — what a FANTASTIC reminder of how to tower over the rest in the copywriting world! Great advice for newbies and oldsters in the biz. I\’m working on a project right now and reviewing it with YOUR perspective. As always — you\’re my HERO!

  6. Franck says:

    I\\\’m doing this and it works well for me. Actually, I\\\’ve just learn this technique with Eben Pagan… Deliver benefits fast.

    Thanks for the great article, and I am now one of your readers.

    Awesome blog?! Actually I need to figure out if your site is a blog or not!

    Too funny.

  7. Ryan Law says:

    Another great article – thanks Clayton. Speaking of resolutions and free – if you want a free (not even an e-mail address requested and nothing for sale inside) guide on how to make 2008 your best year yet go to It walks you through the process of setting and achieving goals easily – complete with action steps. It really works – be sure to check it out.

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