in the Great Pandemic of 2020
2,000+ pages of ideas and essentials
for marketing in a post-COVID-19 world
(PLUS: The “When the SH#T hits the fan revenue plan”
And how to turn the largest captive audience in history into CASH)
Dear Marketing Friend,
You and I have never met.
But we find ourselves in some very interesting times… quite different than our world at the turn of the New Year.
I hope when all is said and done, we can have a beer together.
I’m not an armchair epidemiologist… nor am I some “pandemic pivot” Pied Piper.
For better or worse, I’m a skin-in-the-game marketer and entrepreneur who’s had himself as a client for the long haul.
During 9/11, I was a hapless direct mail marketer… living three miles north of the World Trade Center.
After the planes hit the towers that Tuesday morning, everyone was in a state of shock. I sat dazed in my apartment for days.
Once the feeling of paralysis subsided a week or so after the attacks, I couldn’t take sitting on my hands any longer and decided to test a direct mail drop.
When I got to the main post office on 8th Avenue with my small test drop, I was greeted by two armed postal police officers at the base of the sweeping steps.
Before I could get a word out, one of…
The armed postal policemen bellowed at me.
“The post office is closed!”
“What’s going on?” I asked, since it was a weekday morning.
“Don’t you read the papers, pal?” he shot back.
As if things weren’t dark enough, the anthrax attacks added a new layer of terror that suddenly landed hundreds of millions of mail pieces in limbo.
I trudged down 8th Avenue back home.
My apartment was a sixth floor walk-up with a view of the Empire State Building and I could walk everywhere I needed to get. Every day, a dozen take-out menus were wedged under my apartment door from an endless parade of delivery boys in the building.
If a mailing bombed and I was strapped, there was always the Cuban-Chinese, Sam Chinita diner down the block that served roast pork Cuban style with yellow rice and black beans for the princely sum of $7.95. One takeout plate was good for three meals.
The surreal atmosphere in Lower Manhattan lasted many months: from the acrid petrol smell that wafted up to 14th Street… to the dump trucks loaded with debris that rumbled down my street at 5:30 in the morning… to the Downtown restaurants and clubs that instantly went from packed to empty.
There was a feeling of shock… but also conviction that… everything would return to normal.
I wish I could say the same thing now.
Because many are starting to think the Great Pandemic of 2020 could make the Great Recession of 2008 look like a cakewalk.
I’m no pessimist.
If we keep our wits about us and keep moving forward — no matter the turmoil around us — we’ll live to tell the tale.
But here’s the thing.
The world of marketing and advertising has changed drastically since we set foot in the New Year. And…
“Good times” copy is over…
“CRISIS copy” is KING
In many markets… claims are BOUNCING OFF prospects like rubber bullets off a tank.
Tell a weight loss prospect today she can loose five “vanity pounds” and she won’t even hear you.
But tell her how lowering her BMI (body mass index) below 30 could potentially SAVE HER LIFE and you’ve got her attention.
The same is the case in many markets.
It’s the end of the line for bull market, “good times” copy for now… but that doesn’t mean your sales have to suffer because… there’s a WORLD of response waiting for you to tap with CRISIS COPY.
The legendary physicist, Niels Bohr, told us all we need to know about predictions.
Will we have the world’s biggest “block party” or… will the 2008 global financial crisis look like a mere dry run for what’s ahead?
That’s not our problem. You and I aren’t forecasters, friend.
Our job as marketers and copywriters is the same no matter what turmoil’s going on in the world and that is…
Putting offers in front of prospects!
You can’t worry about what you can’t control… but you don’t need to stay in “time out” either. Your skills as a marketer can help you prevail… especially in trying times like these.
We’re only on this spinning rock for so long and General Douglas MacArthur said it best: “There is no security on this earth. Only opportunity.”
As marketers and copywriters, our offers bring ORDER to the world of our prospects.
Don’t underestimate the importance of that right now.
And the best way for you and your prospects to succeed is with PROSPECT driven copy.
This is key because…
“PROSPECT driven” copy is as different from “product driven” copy…
as 2020 is from 2019.
Think about what’s going through your average prospect’s mind right now, beyond the obvious:
“When will the pandemic peak… when does home quarantine end… and will life return to normal?”
If you’re serious about response, you’ve got to dig DEEPER and get a profile of your prospect’s mind.
Your prospect’s at her wits’ end cooped up for two months with a houseful of rowdy kids who refuse to take out the trash. She’s worried about her revenue coming to a screeching halt and fears about her financial future. She’s doesn’t remember her last spin class and she’s putting on the pounds from the evening chardonnay, snacking and too much screen time. Facebook and FaceTime aren’t cutting it for her social life any longer.
“Marketer X” has a product to sell her. She doesn’t even notice.
“Marketer Y” connected with her on a DEEP level with prospect driven copy.
And guess what?
In our post-pandemic world, every single prospect shares the same concerns with everyone else.
It’s the WAY you talk to your prospects now much more than WHAT you say that counts… no matter what you’re selling.
And this is as relevant as it gets…
Crisis Copywriting That Sells!
…through recessions, riots, natural disasters, oil embargoes, terrorist attacks pandemics and public health crises… over 2,000 pages of winning advertising.
They’re the hottest CRISIS copywriting archives in:
- Alternative health
- Investing, financial and retirement
- High ticket specialty products
- Survivalist, prepper and “Armageddon advertising”
- Self-help and business development
These weren’t strewn together in a weekend, friend — they were carefully compiled for over a decade. They’ll infuse your copy with SELLING POWER NOW… and for ANY potential crisis waiting for us down the road. And they’ll feed you countless prospect driven copy ideas to put to work immediately.
It gets better.
Once you get this gigabyte of Crisis Copywriting archives on your computer… you can search through THOUSANDS of keywords and find out what the world’s best ad writers have churned out on almost any topic… over the last half century.
Winning advertising is just the beginning… because there’s a world of opportunities and insights awaiting you in Crisis Copywriting That Sells!
The future fortune in PANDEMIC PROOF products… and even greater one in pandemic suppressing products
Spanish flu hucksters of 1918… and the pitfalls for supplement sellers today
How to infuse your ads with the dystopian power of Mad Max, Omega Man and Contagion.
Why IMMUNE boosters will continue to be some of the HOTTEST products in a post-COVID-19 world
50-cent envelope that competes with a $27 FedEx… and how it turns your house file into a CASH COW
22-page report on the EMERGENCY response booster… for rescuing flatlining sales letters during the pandemic
Your role as TRUSTED advisor in a post-pandemic world… no matter what you’re selling
Why your ads need a LIGHT at the end of the tunnel… for capturing maximum response
How “junk mail” writers wrote today’s news headlines… and predicted the pandemic over a decade ago
Cashing in on the EXPLOSION in the prepper and survivalist markets
The cold hard truth about pandemic paralyzed businesses
“Stocks take an escalator up, and an elevator down.” FINANCIAL marketing in a post-pandemic world.
Secrets of selling HERBAL medicine and kitchen cabinet remedies
Why SOFT self-help products are 2019… and “Way of the Warrior” is the ticket in 2020.
How to turn “sheltered in place” into a money making FITNESS regimen for your marketing and advertising skills… that will pay you for years to come… and much more.
I’m no pandemic pivot Pied Piper… but the way I see it…
You’ve got 3 BIG ADVANTAGES right now
If you’re in the business of selling one-to-many… and putting offers in front of prospects…
You’ve got three things going for you.
- Captive audiences
- Time… and
- New opportunities
For those without a list, you know the old Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Moreover, there are THOUSANDS of quality lists for rent in every market under the sun in the SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service). I use it extensively for my own projects and for clients.
Whatever you do, don’t let time go to waste. We’re not the first to live through a pandemic.
In 1665, the University of Cambridge had to shutter its doors temporarily due to bubonic plague.
Issac Newton used that time to develop calculus and the theory of gravity.
Maybe you or I won’t come up with the “new calculus” but we can contemplate the next game changer in our business or market… or launch a new venture.
“There are few who can hold a candle to Lawrence Bernstein when it comes to knowledge of direct mail and print advertising, past and present. I turn to him for one reason and one reason only — because he’s a walking encyclopedia. His input has helped me with significant customer events.”
(Perry Marshall, The man’s got a Wiki page.)
“From zero to $20 million in two years… at 25 years of age”
(João Eduardo de Campos, Brazilian direct response entrepreneur)
“Looking for BIG IDEAS that could catapult your copy (and your royalties) into the big leagues?
Lawrence has always been my GO-TO guy for finding direct response blockbusters (recent and back to the beginning of time)…
… that light up the neural pathways, and spark connections and ideas I would have never considered otherwise.
Ad Money Machine is aptly named – a resource no self-respecting direct response copywriter can live without!
(Kelvin Parker, Kelvin Parker, Direct Response Copywriter, CustomerTriggeredPersuasion.com)
“Lawrence. The truth is I lied ! A few days ago when I messaged you that I had already made the price of admission (7500usd) by just reading half of your direct mail masterpiece well let’s just say it was 10 times that. I thank the Lord for having rediscovered you again.”
(Peter Nicholas, Australian serial entrepreneur and world beating health & beauty brand builder)
“Thanks to your guidance, my business is booming. I literally have more clients than I can handle.”
(Financial copywriter, (Awaiting permission to use his name.)
“I love receiving packages from you. You’re like a Direct-Response Santa.”
(Dr. Karl Blanks, Chairman and Co-Founder of Conversion Rate Experts with clients including: GE, Lloyds, Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Sony, Vodafone and PayPal)
“If I told you how many times I made my investment back I would lose all credibility.
Lawrence, I really have to thank you for your very clever and powerful marketing tool. The tool responsible for our surge in sales!
Every company — direct response or not — should get their hands on it. If you don’t make at least 25 times or more on your investment I don’t think you opened the package and followed the step by step instructions.
(Direct response founder, Anonymous)
“God, Lawrence, I really appreciate your stuff, so here’s a testimonial:
If you want to succeed gloriously in this business (assuming you have any talent, of course) sit down for a month and read, learn and practice the principles you unearth in this treasury of great stuff. Marvelous!”
(Drayton Bird, Direct marketing legend, London)
“You’re one crazy dude to do all this work, but until you get therapy, I’ll take advantage of it with glee!”
(Dr. Jack Booman, Leading Chiro copywriter, Spring Grove, Minn.)
“As a marketing enthusiast and dedicated student of the craft, I’m constantly searching for valuable insight and information. And once I found YOU (many years ago) I felt like I had finally found what I was looking for.
I was right.
Since that day, EVERY marketing strategy, sales system, retention model, acquisition model, process, advertisement, etc., that I have executed started with FIRST referencing one or more elements from you, your website, or your partners. From my own house ads to ads for my clients, the foundation of everything I have done began with listening to your teachings, or the teachings of those that you reference/endorse. Dead or alive.
I now own and operate a successful digital ad agency with over 50 employees (give or take a few employees depending on economics 😉 and feel as though I owe you more than a bit of gratitude for my success.
(Digital agency founder, received 1/7/14, prefers anonymity)
“I get loads of emails from online marketers looking to sell me stuff to improve my marketing, but I trust Lawrence to deliver quality every time.”
(Jamie Sylvian, London)
“By the way, Lawrence, I should thank you directly…
Back in early November, Michael Masterson and I gave a speech at the AWAI Copy Bootcamp in Delray that dealt, in part, with the value of focusing on one theme rather than many in headlines and leads.
And the example I threw into our Powerpoint came directly from your website (attributed) where you compared two products for better vision. Naturally, I don’t remember much about the convoluted example. But the better version came from Gene S., “Your Eyes Can Heal Themselves…”
I don’t know where you find this stuff, but the examples were invaluable at making a strong point quickly.
I hope some of the 300-400 people present took my advice during the talk and went looking for your site.”
(John Forde, A-List copywriter and Parisian)
“Lawrence is the world’s greatest direct response researcher.”
(Gary Bencivenga, Copywriting legend)
This is REALLY GOOD STUFF! Also, GREATLY, appreciate the fact that you blew up the examples and published them in a Tabloid format.
Not everyone would go to the expense of doing that, but its the BEST way to see these examples. Thanks, AGAIN, for making this course available.
(Real estate marketing guru, Name withheld)
“Your manual has been instrumental in me writing an ad that generated over $20,000 in just two weeks, so cudos to you Lawrence.”
Dr. Ivan Carney, Temecula, CA
“My jaw is literally black and blue from hitting the floor over and over again as I got to see the techniques you’ve uncovered. I never dreamed many of these things were even possible, let alone how easy you’ve made them. The word ‘miraculous’ comes to mind.”
(Ken McCarthy, System Seminar Founder)
“If you want to learn what it really takes to sell – well, every single thing he shows has a lesson. I got two ideas this morning for something I am working on, which is actually a get-rich-slowly-but-surely educational service for marketers.”
(Drayton Bird, David Ogilvy said of him: “Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world.”)
“I want to take a moment to thank you for providing these updates. You are one of those rare marketers who supports his customers LONG after the sale.
(Karl Barndt, Kuncketown, Penn.)
“I want to thank you very much for coming out to Paradise Valley. It was a great day together with you. We very much appreciate your deep knowledge, insight and love and passion for the history and present of our industry.”
(Norman Rentrop, Founder Rentrop Verlag and one of Europe’s biggest direct marketers)
“Lawrence, you are probably the most dedicated direct response scholar I’ve ever met.”
Tony Flores, Financial Copywriter and longtime #1 to Clayton Makepeace
“I think you’re a genius.”
(Christian Godefroy, European direct response legend)
“I saw you on the Gary Bencivenga retirement DVDs that I purchased. Great publicity for you.
I have to tell you, combining Gary’s wisdom with your swipe files is a lethal weapon.
Confidentially, because I’m not a braggart (in fact, you’re the first person I’ve told this to), my design partner and I have beaten A-list, world-class copywriting and design competition – 4 straight times. That’s how much I’ve benefited from–and appreciate – your material.”
(Rich Silver, Crow Moon Marketing, Dahlonega, GA )
“Brilliant examples, great commentary. This one just gave me an idea for a newsletter we’re about to launch that I think will hit large. I don’t know where you find this stuff, but I’m glad you do.”
(John Forde, Paris)
“If Lawrence has got a product for sale, you should get it!”
(Marty Edelston, Direct response legend and Founder of Boardroom Inc.)
BONUS: “When the SH#T hits the fan revenue plan”
Direct mail is the ultimate “SHTF insurance.”
It’s the only media with guaranteed delivery and attention.
While your prospect’s inbox is JAMMED with more CLUTTER than he’ll ever get to… his mailbox holds the key to his undivided attention… and RESPONSE!
Moreover, with direct mail, you can NEVER get slapped, banned, demonetized or made a “platform prisoner.”
YOU are always in control.
So, if the only marketing to your customer file involves the “send button” you’re leaving bushels of bucks on the table… especially today with…
The largest CAPTIVE AUDIENCE in history!
Your house file is the most valuable asset you’ve got.
Legendary West Coast marketer, Bob Hemmings, tells the story of working as a young man for a jeweler at the massive 4th Street Jewelry Exchange in Manhattan in the late 1930s.
At the end of the day, all of the jewelers would empty their showcases and put their wares in a safe.
Hemmings’ boss who left his jewelry out on the counter and put his CUSTOMER LIST in the safe.
“If somebody steals my jewelry, the insurance company will pay,” he said to Hemmings.
“If I lose my list of customers, I’m out of business.”
(Source: Hatch, Denison. Target Marketing ; Philadelphia Vol. 18, Iss. 9, (Sep 1995):
What you’re about to learn is known to no more than 1% of direct mail pros and it’s nothing less than…
The greatest money making direct mail LOOPHOLE on the planet
It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the West Coast, Gold Coast, Ivory Coast or anywhere in between.
If you’ve got a list, you can put it to work IMMEDIATELY.
And if my life were on the line and I HAD to make a sale… I’d want a good list… a hot offer… and the info in this 16-minute video.
I wish I had it after 9/11 when I was laying low in my Chelsea apartment and taking my lumps in the mail.
No, it’s not some faux express mail envelope — it’s WAY more elegant and IRRESISTIBLE to your recipient.
You’ll discover how a seductive 50-cent envelope competes with a $27 FedEx package for attention and open rates.
Best thing about it?
… No art department required.
… No giant outlay of cash.
… No gambling on something untested
It’s running through the mail systems of four continents and…
It COMMANDS SKY HIGH open rates whether you’re in charge of a company mailing a hundred million mail pieces a year… or you’re a kitchen table entrepreneur like me.
It’s time to wrap this up.
I’ve pulled out ALL the stops
Now “the choice is yours” as they say in direct response.
Because you’re Doberman Dan’s valued subscriber, I’m knocking $300 off the price tag during this short promotion.
As General MacArthur said: “There is no security on this earth. Only opportunity.”
Forget about “survival mode.”
There’s abundant opportunity around you, if you know where to look… and take ACTION.
Yours for bolder response,
(The world’s most obsessed ad archivist)
P.S. Don’t miss the whopping $300 savings on Crisis Copywriting That Sells!