Why Your Snail Mail Fails
Why Your Web Stuff Stinks
And A Guy Who Really Can
Turn It All Around For You
And Make You More Money Faster
Than You Now Believe Possible

Dear Business-Builder,

You’d think I’d be a pretty happy guy …

After two years of doing our darndest to make sure The Total Package really does help you get bigger winners more often, we have received more than 1,500 testimonials from subscribers and customers saying …

  • The quality of TTP is stellar – the best in the business by far.
  • Our products are the most effective of their kind and are priced well below what others charge for lesser quality.

Plus …

  • We’ve built a world-class archive containing more than 280 helpful articles on marketing strategy, copywriting, media selection, business management and much more.
  • We have a year’s worth of our EasyWriters Marketing Club’s benefits in our archive:
    • Twelve timeless 20-page print newsletters …
    • Twelve 60-minute audio interviews on CD …
    • Twelve videos of our live one-hour webinars …
  • The best-known and most respected names in our space admire us and are eager to work with us.
  • Every forum and blog in our space has hundreds of references to us and our products – and every single one of them I’ve seen is beyond positive.

You’d think I’d be satisfied. But you know what? I’m not satisfied. In fact, I’ve been more than a little frustrated that we’re not growing five or ten times faster than we are.

I figure there are about 20 million businesses that can profit from the help we offer for free in The Total Package. And until at least five or ten percent of them are on our subscription file, there’s no way we’re going to even think about resting on our laurels.

In fact, I’ve been nagging The Redhead about it for weeks now.

“Why aren’t we growing faster?” I whine.

I can pretty much count on my Wendy smiling … taking my hand in hers … gazing adoringly into my eyes … and saying something like … “Shut up, you old bugger!”

Rich Schefren may have just saved my marriage …

Sunday morning, to prepare for a Monday morning chat with my new friend Rich, I had to read a preliminary unfinished draft of a new special report he’s writing.

Five hours later (40 minutes reading; four hours and 20 minutes of note-taking), I came to the conclusion that Rich Schefren is a certified genius.

And he’s going to make us all hundreds of millions of dollars if we’ll let him.

And by “we,” I mean me. And, of course, you.

Now, before I say another word, there are a couple of things you need to know:

FIRST, I’ve often said that most self-appointed marketing gurus are little more than puffed up, megalomaniac gasbags who extract outrageous amounts of money from starry-eyed newbies in return for decades-old information they’ve stolen from others.

Not Rich Schefren. He’s the real McCoy: A certifiable genius when it comes to web marketing strategy. An advocate who, like me, insists on underpromising and overdelivering. That’s why Agora and other major companies count on him to help craft their web strategies – and why you should get to know him, too.

SECOND, I’m not benefitting in any way for telling you this. I will not make one extra penny if you decide to check out Rich’s site – www.strategicprofits.com – or even if you wind up buying everything that proceeds from Rich’s mighty pen from now until kingdom come – which I predict, if you’re smart, you ultimately will.

Because I certainly intend to.

Fact is, my ONLY motivation in introducing you to Rich is that I am absolutely, positively convinced that he will make you money: Big, heaping, disgusting stacks of the stuff.

So let’s review: I don’t respect many marketing gurus, but I hold Rich Schefren in the highest esteem. I don’t benefit in any way by saying that or introducing you to him.

My hand to God.

We clear on that?


Now, follow this chain of logic …

  1. It is an objective fact that, in order to attract a prospect or make a sale, you must first get his or her attention.
  1. Attention is getting harder to come by: The information explosion – the proliferation of cable TV channels … XM radio channels … direct mail promos and catalogs … spam in our inboxes and ads on every website we visit – have made ATTENTION the scarcest and most valuable commodity in the world today.
  2. Online, attention can be the most valuable currency.

Try this:

I’m thinking of a celebrity who can’t act … can’t sing or play a musical instrument … doesn’t excel in any sport, design high fashion or report the news … doesn’t produce a product of any sort: A completely superficial, trivial, vacuous, worthless, pointless human being if there ever was one.

Nevertheless, the media gives her tons of attention, and has made her “famous for being famous.”

Can you name her?

You said Paris Hilton – right?

Now Google her.

You’ll see there are 1.47 million pages bearing her name. That’s 2,940 more pages than reference me.

Now, that’s attention!

And even though she has no product to sell, that attention earns her $6 million a year in personal appearance fees and product endorsements.

Attention is indeed a valuable commodity!

  1. There’s more than one kind of attention online:

A. Positive attention:Anything that that causes your prospects to seek you out … to depend on you … to trust you … and to want more of you.

B. Negative attention: Anything that causes your prospects to avoid you … to feel they can’t depend on you … and most devastating, to distrust you.

  1. You can create positive attention: Rewarding new subscribers by delivering something of tremendous value when they opt in (a report, video, podcast, online event, teleseminar, etc.) means they’ll be infinitely MORE likely to give you their attention the next time you ask them to open, read or click a link in an e-mail. Or click an ad. Or buy from your landing page.
  2. You can also create negative attention: Punishing new subscribers by delivering something of little or no immediate value (a landing page posing as a “special report” that instead, merely pitches a product while delivering no actionable information or advice) pretty much guarantees they’ll be infinitely LESS likely to give you their attention the next time you ask for it.
  3. It’s idiotic to blow good money on paid ad campaigns to generate new subscribers who do not trust you and therefore, who are unlikely to buy from you in the future.

By this definition, most online marketers are idiots
– including, as it turns out, ME!

Until now, too many direct response companies have built their online marketing strategy on the venerable old direct mail paradigm that we all know so well.

The fact that this paradigm works only about one-tenth as well in the mail as it used to hasn’t even begun to cause us to question its efficacy: Most mailers I know just figure their direct mail isn’t working as well as it once did because the health and wealth markets have matured.

Our prospects are older, wiser, disillusioned – or worse, simply dead, and are being replaced with a new generation that doesn’t relate to print newsletters – who prefer to get their information and advice online (TheStreet.com, WebMD.com) … or on TV (CNBC, Discovery Health Channel) … or in magazines (Money, Prevention).

But what if that’s wrong?

What if most mailers’ DM efforts are failing simply because their direct mail prospects are on to them?

What if their prospects have figured out that nearly everything these companies sends them contains the message, “You can’t trust anything we say”?

Let’s think through how many deceptions we can find in a typical direct mail promotion …

  • They pose as something of value: A magazine … or a special report … or a tabloid … or a book. Many of them even display “Newsstand Prices” on their covers.
  • The prospect, of course, learned long ago that these mail pieces are NOT magazines or special reports or books. Any prospect with an IQ bigger than his shoe size knows they’re promos and that the company that’s mailing it is trying to trick him – right off the bat.
  • They offer prospects a bundle of “free” reports: But the prospect soon discovers the free gifts aren’t really free. He has to subscribe to get them. Another deception.
  • The prospect is told his “free reports” have high value: But when he receives those reports, they’re often little more than poorly written, eight-page scraps of cheaply-printed paper. More deception.
  • The prospect is told that he’s getting a valuable discount for subscribing now: But any prospect who can fog a mirror couldn’t help but notice that he’s seen scores of promos for the product over the years – and that the price is ALWAYS discounted. (Kind of getting hip-deep in here, isn’t it?)
  • The prospect is told that if he doesn’t like the newsletter, he can get his money back and can keep the free reports: But the prospect knows as well as the mailer does that he is unlikely to ever take the time to actually claim his refund.

So the question is, after as many as 35 years experience receiving promotions that commit one or more of these cardinal sins, wouldn’t any sentient being see right through them?

Of course they would!

And wouldn’t anyone with an intellect more advanced than that of a snail darter have realized that the company’s marketing copy can’t be trusted?


And so, when faced with another promotion from the same company – this one offering a different investment service or maybe a nutritional product – wouldn’t a rational person distrust the sales message and promptly turn the sales letter into bird cage liner?

I’ve got to confess: Looking at this old DM model in this new light, I’m amazed it ever worked.

Its one saving grace was probably that when well-done, these promos delivered plenty of value – actionable advice on improving health or growing wealth – and that advice; those proof elements; were just enough to suspend just enough disbelief to turn one in every 100 or 200 prospects into customers.

The triumph of hope over experience

Nevertheless, the very companies that are experiencing declining results in the mail now appear to be eager to repeat those failures online. And of course, their beloved direct mail paradigm is a pretty miserable failure in the virtual world as well.

And yet, like a bunch of lunatics in an asylum – doing the same thing the same way over and over again and each time expecting a different result – they just keep at it …

They attempt to attract new subs by offering a “free report” in paid ads and PPC efforts – then, once they’ve captured their prospects’ e-mail addresses, they direct them to a high-hype landing page with NO actionable advice or value whatsoever.

At their very first contact with a new subscriber – the ONLY chance they’ll ever have to create a first impression – these companies prove that they’re not to be trusted.

RESULT: Conversion rates stink. Many new opt-ins immediately opt out; some, before they’ve seen their first issue of their e-zine.

Many of those who don’t get around to opting out don’t open or read their free e-zines or read or click the links in promotional e-mails that follow. Open rates and click-thru rates are appalling.

And since everything else these companies ever do with that subscriber is colored by that first impression, those who do stick and do read the free e-zines never forget they caught the company in a lie on their very first date – and therefore, they’re slow to trust any claim in the company’s promotional copy.

But what if …

What if instead, the company had offered a free report and then – hold on, this may shock you – actually delivered a report and not a pitch?

And what if the report was packed with useful, actionable information and advice – more helpful content than the products that its competitors are charging big bucks for?

And what if there was absolutely, positively not even one whiff of an offer in the report?

How would its new prospects, leads, opt-ins feel then?

… Like they’d found a friend, an advocate, a partner they could really trust?

… Like they couldn’t wait to hear from your company again?

… Like they almost have an obligation to jump at any offer you make them in the future?

How many would opt out? I’m betting zero.

How would your open rates and click-thru rates rise? I’ll wager they’d double or even triple.

How many more of your new leads would you convert to customers? I think you’d be looking at a veritable sales explosion.

And your customer lifetime value? Off the ever-lovin’ charts!

Wowzers. What a difference!

See what getting inside your prospects’ heads gets you?

Now, whether you’re creating direct mail promotions and looking for a breakthrough … or banging your head against the wall trying to create a tsunami of new customers online … here’s what I’d suggest:

  1. Print this article and read it once each day this week. Think about how you’re marketing now. Think about how your prospects and customers feel about the promotions they’re getting from you. And think long and hard about how, by creating stronger bonds of trust with your prospects and customers, you might get more attention from them – higher open rates, higher readership and greater response rates.

    I’ll bet you come up with something brilliant.

  2. Watch this space over the next week or so. You can’t buy Rich Schefren’s new blockbuster now. In fact you won’t ever be able to buy it – when it’s published, it’ll be free.

    I’ll be one of the first to give you the link so you can be one of the first to put it to work for you.

Hope it helps …

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

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4 Responses to Why Your Snail Mail Fails
Why Your Web Stuff Stinks
And A Guy Who Really Can
Turn It All Around For You
And Make You More Money Faster
Than You Now Believe Possible

  1. Tommy says:

    You have brass balls pal.

    I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to see a pro such as yourself drop the pants on an industry that has practiced some short on character techniques

    Rich didn\’t invent this idea btw.

    He\’s just championing it.

    It\’s called honesty

    I have the utmost respect for your honesty today. You are an inspiration.

    The best article you have ever written

    and you are right this concept will make you FILTHY rich

    Words cannot describe how happy you made me today

    I cannot wait to see what your talent does with this

  2. Louis says:

    Thanks, Clayton.

    I\’ve always wondered why I kept those kinds of magalogs. They\’re supposed to make up your swipe file but they\’re sooooo boring even on topics I\’m otherwise interested in. I got tired of looking for the USP.

    And then they offer all these premiums and I\’m wondering what\’s wrong with the product that they have to give away all this extra junk.

    It seems like several physical book sellers learned this lesson a couple of years ago. They learned it more quickly than the mailers.

    I still have files full of downloads I was \”bribed\” to take to help make someone\’s book a best seller. I noticed they quit doing that. That was shortly after I quit buying books marketed that way. Go figure.

    I\’m looking forward to more marketers figuring this out so we\’ll have better advertisements to read and write.

  3. Markus Trauernicht says:

    I think you just said what most copywriters suspected, but not knowing any other way. Or were to afraid to see and recognize. But then – what else can one do to get attention? Perhaps the down-to-earth „ lets keep balls low“ as we say in Fussball in Germany makes sense. So you actually hit the goal and don\’t kick way over it.

    Quite often I get emails from people asking me why I have so many spelling mistakes on my websites. So today I put the most recent letter on my webpage, which was written by a „Tiefenpsychologe“ and asking me why I do overlook these spelling mistakes including my answer to the letter. I put it up to establish credibility – “here is someone who has nothing to hide”. The answer is quite easy – if the content is all right, spelling mistakes do not matter! Perhaps it even seems more authentic. Like the „Bill Gates out of the garage real thing“.

    Same with a short Camtasiavideo I put up for an ebook in the salesletter, splittesting it against the identical salesletter without the videolink inside the salesletter. It was a bit unprepared, I was stumbling along, I jumped over words like I normally do – but sales more than doubled with this video. It was a bit embarrassing, but the numbers were right. I guess because it seems so much more authentic. Then sales dropped to the old level, but I did not pay attention. Months I found out that my unprofessional flashfilm was damaged and didn\’t work anymore. Duh!

    I think it was all about authenticity. That sixth sense – people feel, see or whatever you might call it, if something is for real or not.

    Just today I listened to an interview by Bob Bly and Daniel Levis. It really hit me when they pointed out the difference between long sales letters for a product and the capture of a name and email. I really shortened the salesletter for the email capture to a few lines – an opt-ins drastically increased – today! It just seems so much more serious to not write a long salesletter to capture an email. After all its just an email in the prospects eyes! Anything too long would look suspicious – wouldn\’t it? I mean it already feels dumb to write a long salesletter to capture an email?!? But I did it over and over again. Actually seems obvious that having a long salesletter – just to get an email address – looks like you are desperate or trying to fool someone.

    But the word „actually“ implies it is not actually obvious.

    Rich Schefren gave out a list few days ago – „472 phrases that keep attention“. Plain outright valuable. I lies here printed out, dog-eared and needs to be reprinted. I have used a whole number of phrases for a salesletter I am writing now.

    I guess the plain forward „what you see is what you get and a bit more“ is what will get response in any market. And establish credibility.

    What I am trying to say. A big Thank You !!! from my side for all the valuable information I get from your website. As someone who is just starting out as a copywriter the content on your website, and those I got to know over your website, is so practical and down-to-earth useable.

    Markus Trauernicht from Berlin

  4. Dean Kennedy says:

    Clayton, you\’ve nailed it. I resonate strongly with this thinking. This is the exactly the Collier-style \”conversation in my mind\”.

    Funnily enough, it was only 36 hours ago I was reading Rich\’s material about getting attention, and his blog entry about his recent dismay watching buyers at an internet seminar.

    That\’s why I love Rich\’s stuff, and the \”over-delivery\” of value. That\’s also why I love what YOU and the Total Package team give as well. And there\’d be less than 4 people that I can think of that I\’d say that about.

    To me, a lot of this is about the levels of \”awareness\” that Tony Flores covered in your Easy Writer\’s newsletter a few months back, on Eugene Schwartz\’s Breakthrough Advertising.

    When someone gets it right, they have an open invite to the top of my inbox. Most of the other stuff is just noise. Even with social communities, the same techniques will still be effective, and eventually the same filters will keep out the BS.

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