Even he will buy…
Once you learn the LAST SECRETS LEFT for driving response at will in 2020… 2025… and beyond.
Take a close look at him.
He’s the proverbial somnambulant sloth… the textbook couch potato.
Too lazy to move… too indifferent to notice… too sedate to take action.
Most marketers and copywriters have little chance of getting his attention… let alone making the sale.
But there are a small number of outliers with the power to compel the sale… even from the likes of him and the growing legion of his kind.
And when you can sell to him, it’s like having the power of Galahad — the power to pull the embedded sword out of stone with ease — even after countless others have tried and failed.
It’s almost 2020.
I go through periods of feeling jaded about direct response.
The same old products and promos get recycled ad nauseam.
Rare is the day when something new and original comes on the scene.
Some days I even feel like throwing in the towel.
But then I’ll discover something that changes EVERYTHING — something new and exciting — bona fide secrets with astonishing response boosting power.
These same secrets can breath new life into your response rates… no matter how long you’ve been at it.
Let me elaborate.
No matter whether you’ve been writing copy for 30 days or 30 years…
No matter if you’re a rookie writer or an A-lister… founder or freelancer…
No matter your industry or specialization… city or country…
Even if you’ve invested a million or more on marketing and advertising resources…
If you sell by direct response…
Then this is the one thing that could make all the difference… for systematically lifting your response rates in 2020 and beyond.
If you’d like to be among a small number of elite who’s privy to these gems… then…
Let me tell you about…
The real enemy strangling the life
out of your sales
Dear Marketing Friend,
It happened nearly 15 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
Gary Bencivenga held his once in a lifetime seminar at the St Regis Hotel in New York.
Was it the greatest assembly of marketing and copywriting talent in one room?
But several years before this legendary event, Gary gave his first presentation at Rodale Press.
The VHS tapes occupy a prominent shelf in my library. 🙂
It was here that he first shared his “YEAH, SURE!” believably field test for any advertising claim.
It’s elegantly simple since everyone has this mechanism built in.
What is it?
It’s the skeptical “YEAH, RIGHT!” or “YEAH, SURE!” the prospect hears in her head when she runs into…
OVER THE TOP Advertising Claims
Take these headlines from actual ads:
“Burns Away More Fat Each 24 Hours Than If You Ran 14 Miles A Day!”
“$100,000 For Answering Your Phone”
“Erases Wrinkles Instantly”
“Imagine Losing As Much As 50% Of All Excess Fat In Just 14 Days!”
But as great as this exercise is, testing is ultimately the answer to everything in direct response, as Gary reiterated many times during those two days in May 2005.
Sometimes the exceptions to the rules turn out to be big winners.
Shoshana Ginzburg’s “FREE MONEY!” was such a hit with hundreds of insertions from February 1973 to May 1975.
Ditto for National Grants Conference’s “Free Money.” This full page winner also ran as 2-page spreads from 1999 to 2007.
There will always be exceptions like these but Gary’s seminar was about stacking the odds in our favor. Bottom line… even the greenest attendees in that room (and I was surely one of them) wouldn’t pen many hyperbolic headlines like the ones above.
But it turns out today…
The REAL SALES KILLER isn’t “Yeah, right!” It’s “Yeah, but…”
Why do some prospects get
EVER SO CLOSE TO BUYING… but don’t?
I call them the “almosters.”
They almost buy… but.
Here’s the problem with these prospects.
…They believe your claims about your product or service…
…They believe your product works… and might be of benefit to them…
…They believe you…
Something holds them back on a deeper level.
They say to themselves… “Yeah, but.”
As in, “Yeah, but… the product or service won’t work for me.”
There are a number of reasons why they disqualify themselves.
Here are a few:
- They’ve surely been let down by a product or service similar to yours… sometime in the past.
- They cling to the notion that their problem is so ingrained… so desperate… that nothing can help them.
- They’re convinced some problem intrinsic to them — their age, circumstances or work ethic — will prevent your product or service from working for them.
- They have shelves and computer drives full of information products they’ve barely touched… and realize yours will only be adding to the pile.
- And in some cases, they may even fear your product or service will lead them to fulfilling their aspirations.
Even the best sales pitches… for the
greatest products fall short without this…
It doesn’t matter how great your sales pitch is… or how many years you’ve logged as an ad writer.
Nor does it matter if your product or service is the best thing since sliced bread.
Unless you’re actively doing this in almost every ad or promotion you churn out… it’s certain you’re leaking response.
And if I hadn’t stumbled on this hundred year old secret… from one of the ablest ad agencies in history… and seen the thousands of ad insertions to back it up… I wouldn’t have believed it myself.
More on that in a moment.
The fact is… if you don’t batten down the hatches against your prospect’s “Yeah, but…” objections… you’re dead in the water.
A short travel back in time makes the case.
Some internet marketers today long for the early 2000s… back when you could put out a decent offer for almost anything and get a crushing response.
They think selling’s hard today.
The advertisers of the 1920s had it WAY harder…
There was never a more jaded… jilted… doubting… disbelieving prospect… than in the era AFTER the fall of patent medicine.
What was patent medicine?
They were the elixirs… tonics… and liniments of the 1800s and early 1900s.
Originally, letters patent authorized the use of royal endorsements for advertising.
Patent medicine included everything from snake oil to swamp root… and from wizard oils to electromagnetic bathing fluids.
Their effectiveness… unproven.
Their safety… questionable.
Their curative claims… off the charts.
For every known ailment — there was a patent medicine promising a cure.
But the risk to consumers was high.
Some got poisoned…
Everyone got duped…
Patent Medicine was the Wild West
of products, pitchmen and promotions
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the final three decades of the 19th Century, the national wealth of the United States quadrupled. Then it doubled again by 1914.
Patent pitchmen were getting rich.
What was it really like during this advertising era?
Forget the Web… forget TV… heck, forget radio.
Print was the ONLY game in town during the patent medicine heyday… with the exception of a smattering of early direct mail.
Ever heard of swamp root?
EVERYONE had at the time this ad ran in 1902.
There were a staggering 232,550 ad insertions for swamp root between 1872 and 1920.
There was no ailment it couldn’t cure.
Of course, with 10% alcohol as one of its key ingredients, it’d make anyone feel good.
All in all…
Swamp Root Pulled $500 Million in Sales
inflation adjusted for 2019.
Dr. Andral Kilmer came up with the idea for swamp root in 1872. Despite the exotic sounding name, it was not sourced from the bottom of a Louisiana swamp. Besides alcohol it contained prosaic ingredients like: peppermint, cinnamon, valerian root, and sassafras.
But that didn’t stop it from becoming an immediate hit and Andral eventually brought his brothers, Jonas and Andrew, onboard.
The Kilmer brothers banked fortunes with the product… but that was just the beginning.
Jonas’ son, Willis — fresh from Cornell with an advertising degree… and a gift for promotion — catapulted the company to the next level with his national advertising campaigns.
Backwoods folks might not be able to identify the U.S. president… but they instantly recognized Andral Kilmer, whose likeness was printed on every box of Swamp Root.
Risk-Free Trial Offers… Keyed Advertising…
Retail and Mail Order Product Distribution
Not bad for the year 1902.
Even though the order coupon hadn’t been devised yet… it didn’t stop Willis from taking Swamp Root to the cosmos.
Here was his call to action which appeared in thousands of ads:
“If you have the slightest symptoms of kidney, liver or bladder trouble, or if there is the slightest trace of it in your family history, send at once to Dr. Kilmer & Co., Binghamton, N. Y., who will gladly send you by mail, immediately, without cost to you, a sample bottle of the wonderful remedy, Swamp-Root, and a book containing many of the thousands upon thousands of testimonials received from men and women cured by Swamp-Root. In writing, be sure to say that you read this generous offer in The Nashville Sunday American. Swamp-Root is Pleasant to Take and is for Sale at All Drug Stores in Bottles of Two Prices and Two Sizes — Fifty Cents and One Dollar”
After a string of buyouts, deaths and company shuffling, Willis Sharpe Kilmer wound up with control of the company. The flamboyant pitchman built an empire on patent medicine filled with mansions, yachts and Kentucky Derby winners. At the time of his death in 1940, his estate was valued near $15 million — $260 million in today’s money. He was just one of many who made vast fortunes during the patent medicine era.
They were standard ingredients.
Even in baby meds.
Alcohol was a given and could be as high as 40%… equal to 80 proof whiskey.
But not all patent medicines were bogus.
Some have even lasted to this day along with a change in ingredients and a scaling down of claims.
Take Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound.
This women’s tonic has been on the market continuously since 1876.
There have been OVER ONE MILLON print ad insertions for the product.
Unlike the snake oil salesmen of her time, Pinkham was an accomplished herbalist and locals flocked to her in the early days when she still prepared the remedy on her kitchen stove.
She wrote her own advertising copy and personally answered thousands of letters from her customers.
But Pinkham was the rare, legitimate patent medicine promoter.
World class hucksters dominated patent medicine
If you wanted to make a quick bundle during the patent medicine heyday, all you had to do was put “Indian” in your product name and feature some Native Americans in your ads.
Prior to 1881 no American Indian had ever heard of Kickapoo Sagwa.
It sprang from the imaginations of two veteran patent medicine promoters, John Healy and Charles Bigelow, scammers of the highest order.
They spun an origin story that would make marketers today envious.
It was reprinted countless times.
All of it was fiction.
“The Adventures of a United States Government Scout. The same remedy that effected his cure now used throughout the Civilized World.”
Some years ago, Mr. Charles Bigelow, now one of the proprietors of the famous Kickapoo Indian Remedies, was acting as a government scout in the Indian territory.
He was known at that time as ‘Texas Charlie,’ and while on one of his expeditions was taken sick with a severe fever, and for a few days lay at death’s door. During his sickness, he was cared for by an Indian Chief and his family, in whose lodge he lay, so weak he could hardly raise his eyelids.
An Indian doctor visited him, and gave him that now most famous of Indian remedies, Indian Sagwa, and by its use he was snatched from the jaws of death and restored to health, owing his life to the wonderful efficacy and curative power of this medicine.
He then endeavored to persuade the Indians to give him the secret of its ingredients. This at first they refused to do, but after much persuasion and many discussions they at last partially yielded to his request, and the Chief of the Tribe sent East with Mr. Bigelow five of his most renowned medicine men, together with an ample supply of the roots, herbs, barks, gums, etc., used in the manufacture of their medicines.
What started thus in a small way has ever since increased, and today there is manufactured from similar materials gathered by the Indians themselves, their famous remedies, which have done so much to alleviate suffering of every description.”
One hundred touring medicine shows
Healy and Bigelow hired Native Americans by the hundreds, none of them real Kickapoo, to join touring companies selling Sagwa and other Kickapoo products throughout rural America. During the show, an Indian delivered an impassioned oration that described the dramatic origin of the remedy and how it saved countless Indian lives… and after great sacrifice would be offered to audience members.
Except for the alcohol, everything about Kickapoo Sagwa was fake — especially the testimonials which carried tremendous weight in those days.
This plug is from the legendary Buffalo Bill who was also making millions with his own Wild West touring show.
“Kickapoo Indian Sagwa is the only remedy the Indians ever use, and has been known to them for ages. An Indian would as soon be without his horse, gun, or blanket as without Sagwa.” (Colonel William F. Cody)
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s wasn’t enough that print was the only game in town at the time…
It’s wasn’t enough that almost all publications took bundles of cash in advance to run these ads… regardless of what the ads claimed…
Sometimes… patent medicine ads appeared right under the masthead.
Like the above ad for Dr. David Kennedy’s Favorite Remedy in a 1902 edition of The Evening Sentinel.
Kennedy’s ads held nothing back when it came to making claims.
“After Searching Tests — Dr. David Kennedy’s Favorite Remedy Has Proved Itself to be the Only Positive Cure for Kidney and Bladder Diseases.
Thousands of requests for free bottles of Dr. David Kennedy’s Favorite Remedy are received nearly every day by the manufacturers, and upon strict investigation, it has been found that no less than 91 out of every hundred of those receiving trial bottles have been so helped by the Remedy sent that they have bought large sized bottles at their druggists.”
Although Kennedy’s remedy promised to cure any and all kidney and bladder diseases, it was widely taken as a hangover treatment.
What was inside of Kennedy’s remedy?
The list of ingredients was only given to customers upon request… but unsurprisingly… it contained 18.4% of the “purest grain alcohol.”
Kennedy’s advertising was off the charts even for patent medicine standards.
And today’s advertisers couldn’t even dream this up…
Presidential assassination = advertising lead
No one today would believe the advertising techniques the patent med pushers used in their day.
This ad ran shortly after President McKinley was shot on September 5, 1901 while delivering an address at a fairgrounds before a crowd of 50,000 people.
As McKinnley’s condition appeared to improve in the days following the shooting, the David Kennedy Corporation had the misguided idea to run this ad.
It’s unique in the annals of advertising — even for patent medicine.
“WE MADE PRESIDENT McKINLEY WELL-
proportioned in this picture so as to attract your attention. You may be well-proportioned and look well, too, but do you feel well? That is the point. Don’t you sometimes feel almost as tired in the morning as when you went to bed?”
The chutzpah of the patent medicine men knew no bounds.
Testimonials — often by the dozens per ad — were the mainstay of patent medicine.
Usually they were clergymen, doctors, druggists and lawyers.
But some advertisers weren’t interested in lesser mortal chicanery.
Nuxated Iron ran ads with testimonials from dozens of former U.S. Senators, military heros and sporting legends.
But this one certainly took the cake — it’s the only purported product plug from the Pope of the Catholic Church.
The envelope had been pushed too far because here came…
In 1906, Upton Sinclair published his best selling expose, The Jungle.
His goal in describing the meat industry and its working conditions was to advance the cause of socialism in the United States.
But the public had a different reaction.
Readers were more concerned with the horribly unsanitary conditions at meat packing plants, as in — “Oh my God, that’s what’s in my hot dog!”
As Sinclair later commented: “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”
But a year before this gut turning expose, Collier’s Weekly published an equally damning account of the patent medicine industry written by Samuel Hopkins Adams called:
“The Great American Fraud”
“GULLIBLE America will spend this year some seventy-five millions of dollars in the purchase of patent medicines. In consideration of this sum it will swallow huge quantities of alcohol, an appalling amount of opiates and narcotics, a wide assortment of varied drugs ranging from powerful and dangerous heart depressants to insidious liver stimulants; and, in excess of all other ingredients, undiluted fraud.
For fraud, exploited by the skilfulest of advertising bunco men, is the basis of the trade. Should the newspapers, the magazines and the medical journals refuse their pages to this class of advertisement, the patent medicine business in five years would be as scandalously historic as the South Sea Bubble, and the nation would be the richer not only in lives and money, but in drunkards and drug-fiends saved.”
The fact that print was the only medium around then worked the opposite way. The Collier’s series confirmed what everyone suspected — they were being duped on a grand scale by the patent medicine pushers to the tune of over $2 billion in 2019 dollars.
The expose resulted in the first Pure Food and Drug Act the following year.
While the new law didn’t ban alcohol, narcotics, and stimulants in the medicines, it required them to be labeled as such.
No longer could a manufacturer claim the product was a proprietary remedy brewed up by Kickapoo Indian medicine men.
The Act was the first nail in the coffin of patent medicine. Most of the traveling medicine companies melted away and the most fraudulent of the snake oil salesman dropped out of site.
By the time 1936 rolled around the Pure Food and Drug Act was revised to ban alcohol, narcotics and stimulants and the United States entered a long period of ever more drastic government regulations and oversight.
But the damage had been done — it became impossibly hard to market legitimate products after the patent medicine hucksters ran roughshod over the public for decades.
Prospects doubted advertising claims — especially those in the health arena.
It got so bad, many marketers switched over to selling deodorants and toothpastes. They were an easier sell then the balms, serums and elixirs that once effortlessly made them bundles of bucks.
But not everyone took it lying down.
A little known mail order ad agency uncorked a powerful selling secret that put them head and shoulders above everyone else.
While other agencies were retreating… they were expanding.
When other advertisers threw in the towel… they doubled down.
While other agency’s clients landed in the poorhouse… they made theirs fabulously wealthy.
SMASHES “Yeah but” objections
If you’ve never heard of the ad agency, Ruthrauff & Ryan, join the club — perhaps, they’re the greatest unsung mail order agency in history.
At various times they boasted on staff some of the biggest advertising legends in history including: John Caples, Victor Schwab, Max Sackheim and Lillian Eichler Watson — the 18 year old copywriter who moved two million copies of The Book of Etiquette for Doubleday at $2 each.
Not bad for a teenager in the early 1920s.
Ruthrauff & Ryan knew a thing or two — they began as patent medicine advertisers but so did the father of modern direct response, Claude Hopkins. Heck, John D. Rockefeller’s father was a patent medicine salesman. Patent medicine once touched everything.
But the advertising techniques that once made money hand over fist became useless.
R&R figured out the…
MAGIC WORDS that get the “almosters” off the sidelines.
I’m an easy mark for anything that promises the magic words to say… and how to say them… to get a positive result.
I remember when Ted Nicholas’ book, “Magic Words,” came out in the 1990s. It’s had a center shelf library spot ever since. I’ve also sprung for numerous hypnotic writing and NLP courses promising the moon.
Maybe some work… but I have little faith in them.
Imagine when I’m driving down the street with someone like Norman Rentrop — who heads a 200 million euro per year operation — and turning to him to try some NLP woo-woo or other psychological strong arm tactic.
Maybe Dr. Milton Erickson could pull it off but not me.
Theses tactics don’t work with accomplished operators… and most would be foolish to try them.
But guess what?
You can throw most of that stuff out the window when you’re dealing with your average respondent too.
There’s one thing that’s been a constant for over 3,000 years.
It’s human nature.
Why would early early 20th Century prospects scoop up patent medicines by the bushel… just because they had the word Indian in the product name?
Were respondents just gullible in the early 1900s?
How different were they really then the droves of recent respondents who yielded to powerful origin leads like:
“Product used in Japan for 71 years relieves pain in 10 minutes without taking dangerous drugs”… or
“New Advanced Heating Pad From Canada Brings Pain Relief In As Fast As 30 Minutes”… or
“The Hunza Secret!”
Or how different were they than investors who snapped up shares of On-Line Plc and caused its stock to surge 394% in one day… just because the company added BLOCKCHAIN to its name?
Human nature hasn’t changed in 3,000 years… back when Mesopotamian merchants were haggling in market squares.
And it’s this very predictable element of human nature that can hand you..
…When the first magalogs hit mailboxes in the mid-1980s… it was like shooting fish in a barrel.
…When initial advertorials ran in the early 20th Century… they instantly pulled 81% higher response than traditional ad formats… and
… When the “negative option” or “till forbid” offer came on the scene with Book of the Month Club… it built behemoths of companies overnight.
The SALES LIBERATOR is nothing so lofty…
and it doesn’t work all the time.
But for the products and offers it does goose sales for… it’s amazingly effective because it’s so simple.
No trance inductions….
No hypnotic language…
Nothing a copy cub couldn’t pull off… after learning in an afternoon.
Nothing more than…
Some simple words… strategically sprinkled in your ads that seal off the “Yeah but…” objections… and close down your prospect’s escape routes.
Whether it’s a VSL… email… DM package… press ad… or DRTV spot…
Whether it’s an ad you wrote five years ago or yesterday…
Whether you’re selling a low cost info product… or a high ticket package…
The SALES LIBERATOR forces the “almosters” off the sidelines because it shuts down the “Yeah, but” escape routes.
It worked against the plentiful objections in the minds of prospects after the collapse of patent medicine… and it works today.
And Ruthrauff and Ryan’s clients had to deal with…
A scorched Earth of disbelief and doubt...
After the patent med pushers ran amok for over a half-century.
While there’s infinitely more clutter today than there was 100 years ago — the level of doubt is no where near what legitimate health marketers had to fight against in the 1920s.
Thankfully an ingenious copywriter — possibly even patent med veteran, Wilbur Ruthrauff, himself — came up with an ingenious solution.
It sounds crazy but…
This hemorrhoid ad could be worth
tens of millions of dollars… or far more…
to marketers and copywriters like us over the course of our careers.
Hard to believe… I know.
A hemorrhoid ad worth millions?
An ad about a condition that’s no laughing matter — yet elicits laughter — contains a timeless response boosting secret?
A sales liberator for 2020 and beyond?
I didn’t believe it myself. But the truth is it doesn’t matter WHAT’S for sale… it matters HOW it’s sold.
And there’s no arguing with THOUSANDS of insertions promising a real solution to a very real problem… one that plagues people equally today.
And there’s also no disputing the mile high skepticism prospects had at the close of the patent medicine era… especially about health related products.
The Sales Liberator is a POWERFUL… UNIVERSAL response booster…
where there is intense pain… or high aspiration.
It’s not something to be deployed for wishy-washy or middle of the road offerings.
And it only works for real products with proven track records… not hucksters looking for a fast buck… and a new technique of manipulation.
I stumbled upon it several months ago while digging around some online databases.
What I discovered was ad after ad… page after page… insertion after insertion… for a blockbuster product no one would know of today. The last insertion ran in March of 1958.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]o why pull the plug on a powerhouse product… backed up by world class advertising… after 37 years of success?
Unfortunately, it’s far too common in direct response. Without a succession plan, the curtain often comes down when a founder leaves the scene.
But the Sales Liberator is just as powerful today because it seals off your prospects’ objections… both conscious and subconscious… just as it did for disbelieving and doubting prospects after the patent medicine era.
Over the last few months, I’ve written and run ads for everything from low priced information products to high priced cosmetics… and almost immediately experienced a sizable POP in response… just by utilizing the Sales Liberator… and without changing other response factors.
The last copywriting secret left?
You’re never going to sell to the majority… but there’s a nice segment of prospects waiting to hand you their money.
They are the almosters.
And the Sale Liberator pulls them off the sidelines… and into your customer file.
But if you’re one of the rare insiders who says “I knew that.” after exploring the Sales Liberator then ask yourself this:
How many times have you actively deployed it in your sales pieces?
How many times have you strategically sprinkled it in your copy?
Now take one of your proven promos and put its MAGIC WORDS to work… then check your response rates.
If your products and services fall on the ends of the pain-pleasure axis — of strong affliction or high aspiration — you may be very pleasantly surprised by the response boosting power of the Sales Liberator.
The Sales Liberator is YOURS… whether you choose the Platinum or Platinum Plus levels.
Breakthrough Business Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.
6890 E. Sunrise Ste. #120-118, Tucson, AZ 85750 USA 866-863-4850