Creating a Copywriting Dynasty with Guest Bond Halbert: MakingBank S3E6
with Bond Halbert
MAKING BANK is a weekly YouTube TV show and iTunes Podcast full of #Success and #Business with Josh.
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No matter which industry you’re in, copywriting and marketing are essential. Most people overcomplicate copywriting and make the same mistakes over and over again but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today on #MakingBank, host Josh Felber invites Bond Halbert to discuss his father’s legacy, the best tips for starting copywriting, and how to get your emails into primary email inboxes instead of throwaway spam email account.
Bond is a copywriting guru and son of the legendary Gary Halbert. He has helped companies sell over $20 million in products, and turning his father’s legacy into a family legacy.
So, tune-in to hear Josh talk to Bond about how he was being mentored at 10 years old and what he learned from being raised by copywriting legend Gary Halbert as well as…
✔ The fundamentals that Bond bases everything off of.
✔ What made his dad such a legendary copywriter.
✔ Why writing is the wrong way to start copywriting.
✔ A quick tip to get a higher open rate with emails.
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Creating a Copywriting Dynasty with Guest Bond Halbert: MakingBank S3E6
Josh Felber: Welcome to Making Bank. I am Josh Felber where we uncover the success strategies and the mindsets of the top 1% so you can amplify your life and your business today.
I’m really excited and honored for today’s guest. His name is Bond Halbert. He is a copywriting guru and son of legendary of Gary Halbert.
Bond, I want to welcome you to Making Bank today.
Bond Halbert: Thank you for having me.
Josh Felber: For sure. Thanks for coming on the show.
Bond Halbert: Sure.
Josh Felber: Let’s just say that 1% of the people out there that don’t know who you are how would you describe yourself?
Bond Halbert: Well I’m kind of the person who’s sort of in charge of the Halbert legacy as it were now. My father is probably recognized as one of the world’s greatest copywriters who has ever lived. He went on to make millions of dollars and was instrumental, he broke a lot of records and sales records as I was growing up and then he became an instructor. But to teach people how to copyright he had such a massive effect on people who write sales copy. So when you go to a web page or wherever that’s sales copy if it’s trying to persuade you to do something. I was one of his earliest students, so he practiced and honed all of his skills and teaching with me. So my brother and I we grew up as part of the business. Then we became successful on our but then when our father sadly passed away we found ourselves at the helm of this legacy and we had to manicure, make sure that he kept his place in copywriting and marketing [crosstalk 00:02:15] history. We’ve actually embraced and gone on to help teach people copywriting and teach people how to do their marketing, and fix marketing, and help people solve solutions with marketing, and stuff like that.
Josh Felber: Cool.
Bond Halbert: Since we grew up with that Halbert style and stuff like that. My goal right now is to not only carry that on but hopefully to instill it in my children and turn the Gary Halbert legacy into a Halbert family dynasty type of thing.
Josh Felber: Awesome.
Bond Halbert: But a well-earned one, one that we’ve really helped a lot of people.
Josh Felber: Sure. That’s awesome. How big is your family? How many kids?
Bond Halbert: I’ve only got two, that I know of. You’ll find a lot of cheeky here, that comes from my father as well. I have two children. I have a daughter and a son. My son is he’s 12 and he’s starting to read some of the books that his grandfather, and some of the stuff that I’ve written. I brought my daughter in before and had her help build website and started doing email things, and teaching her how to get higher email open rates, and teacher her the modern direct response marketing.
Josh Felber: Awesome.
Bond Halbert: One thing I found is that the earlier you get something the more that it’s in your DNA, the more that it’s grounded in, and the easier it is to apply it to all the different mediums that come out so you don’t sit there and wonder hey Vine’s out, now how do I make this work on LinkedIn. If you understand it from the core fundamentals you’re not worried about the medium. You learned direct marketing a long time ago in direct mail, you don’t know how to space ad, or if you just learned how to space ad you don’t know how to do it with modern technology and stuff like that. I figured the earlier I get them, the better.
Josh Felber: That’s awesome. I kind of do the same thing with my kids too, a little bit younger than yours, but just helping them learn about business. My boys are six and they’re launching their first funnel-
Bond Halbert: Wow.
Josh Felber: … and everything. So we were actually going through copy and how to write headlines for the website, or the click funnels and everything, and all that stuff.
Bond Halbert: Great.
Josh Felber: What would you say, what are those fundamentals then that you base everything off of that you’re now able to apply to the different mediums?
Bond Halbert: Well we could do a whole show on that. Let me give you a couple pieces of advice, one is know your market really well. By that I don’t mean know that they like to play with fidget widgets, we’re talking about kids.
Josh Felber: Right.
Bond Halbert: That this and that, understand their core emotions that they’re scared and nervous every time they go to a new school. They’re always worried about their social standing, things like that. Then understand how they’re feeling at different points of the day. So you’re a different person on Monday morning when you wake up and you’re looking at your email than on Sunday, so there’s a classic quick tip. Monday morning you get up, you look at your email, you got your finger on the delete button because you’re trying to get rid of anything and get a handle on your day, your week. If you’re checking your email on Saturday and Sunday you’re kind of bored and looking for something interesting to do. Understand where they are in their space in time and understand that it is 100% about them, it’s never about you.
A lot of people in classical marketing and imaging marketing what they’re trying to teach you is this is who I am, this is my greatness and so forth. What you really want to understand is every sentence, every word spoken, whether it’s video script or written word is viewed from the prospective of the prospect which is what’s in it for me, how does this affect me. When you can understand the way that other people think and you can have compassion for it, and you can understand that the teenage girl is hungry to be accepted and that the boy is scared about asking for his first date, or he just really wants to beat his friends at the card game Magic or whatever it is. He needs to know that this is what’s these people what they’re really looking for. It’s not just about showing off. Only a small percentage of the people showing off get everybody to go, “I want to be like him.” But if you can turn around and understand who your prospect is and understand how your prospect is different at different points in time, and what they’re like when they’re receiving your message it makes a big difference in your results.
There’s a lot more I could give you, we could go on for hours about it. But, the first thing about persuasion is let’s suppose I want something from you. My first goal is to figure out what it is you want so badly that you would gladly give me what I want in order to get it and that I could provide it. People think it’s manipulative but it’s not. Marketing is the interaction with human relations and trying to get other humans to do something. The difference between some copywriters they start copywriting when they’re sitting down looking at a blank page. They pull out a list of a bunch of templates and they start thinking okay, I’m going to change this how-to headline to be this and trying to cram their details, and their features, and their benefits into somebody else’s formula. That works better than doing nothing, but the real classic, the super sharp, the superstar marketers they’re marketing all the time. When they write a letter to their kids teachers about finding out about their grade they understand that this person is worried about having 30 other kids’ parents writing to them about their grade. You got to understand what that person cares about in that space in time.
One of the times I was talking to my son and I said, “Well you’re going to get a little bit more traction there because I’m going to request a teacher conference,” because teachers hate parent/teacher conferences, and I know that. They want to get home.
Josh Felber: Yeah, not sit around in school longer.
Bond Halbert: They don’t want to sit around the school longer. They know that there’s a difference between a student who’s parents are watching, and paying, attention, and ready to get involved. They’re not going to be as flippant about … and it’s understanding things like that.
Marketing goes in everything that we do. In fact, I’ll tell a quick story and we can move on. One of my father’s assistants who worked with me for a long time asked me to write a letter of recommendation. I wrote a letter of recommendation with the mindset of understanding what that manager was looking for in an employee. I wrote it completely Gary Halbert style, attention, interest, desire, and action, full formula, and gave it a sense of urgency, everything. At the end she walked into the interview and the lady who was interviewing said, “Look, I’ve decided to hire you anyway just based on the letter that Bond wrote, but I’m going to go through the interview motion just because I feel like we’re supposed to do that anyway.” She’s gotten the job just because of that.
Josh Felber: That’s awesome.
Bond Halbert: That was marketing.
Josh Felber: Right, sure.
Bond Halbert: Where everybody else they’re pulling up a template of resumes, and letters of recommendation off of the internet and finding one that kind of fits and worrying about what kind of stock paper that there’re using and things like that.
Josh Felber: That’s awesome.
Bond Halbert: It’s really about understanding the concerns, the dreams, hopes, fears, and everything, of the person you’re addressing and at that time because that changes. It changes during the times of the day. It changes during the time of the week. It changes during the time of the month. It changes the time of your life.
Josh Felber: So based on that one question I have is how do you really get into that mind and understand that piece. Then two, and we can loop back to that is when you’re sending an email or when you’re delivering that information to them, whether it’s on a Monday or over the weekend, then you’re crafting that message for that specific time. If I want my email, let’s just use that for example, to go out on Saturday or Sunday then those messages are going to be different than the ones I want them to open up on Monday.
Bond Halbert: Yes, length of time.
Josh Felber: Okay.
Bond Halbert: If I’m sending something, like to the email, if I’m sending a quick note and a quick reminder I have no problem doing that on a Tuesday. If I’m sending something that’s seven pages long I might even take them off that format. I may take them say, hey, I’ve got something really interesting, fascinating to tell you, and get something, get you to go to a webpage where your emails aren’t going and changing and stuff like that, and move you from that venue.
One of the things I also notice about people, and I know that I’m going backwards in your-
Josh Felber: That’s okay, we can start there because that’s where we…
Bond Halbert: Weil one of the things is people value their time differently. If I ask you to check out a television show you’ll give it a half an hour and see if I like it or not. If I ask you to listen to a piece of music and a three and a half minute song is what’s the average you’ll give it a go for 30 seconds to a minute, maybe a minute and a half. If I asked you to read something and I hand you a 12 page letter you’re going to say, “You know what, I’m going to put this down until later and I’ll get back to it.”
Josh Felber: Right.
Bond Halbert: Right, and I understand that. I might have a longer message and I may switch you. I may send you an email and say, “Hey check this out.” Now, I know what your concerns are. So one of the times I knew the concern for I’m busy in my day, how long is this video going to be. So I’d say, “Watch this 56 second video.” I had one guy complain and say, “This thing took 57 seconds,” or whatever it was.
Josh Felber: He had a time down.
Bond Halbert: Yeah, but the majority of people were very … I know if I had turned around and said, “Hey, I’ve got some really great info. Check out this 90 minute video,” I know a lot of people were going to turn that off because I understood the space and time that they were in, what they were interested in.
Now, as for getting to know and understand your prospects there’s several main ways to do it, but the two main that I like to think of is, “One understand yourself being completely honest.” So the truth is when you can turn around and say … I give a good example, people join gym memberships, the majority, not everybody, there is no absolutes in marketing, I don’t believe that, but they do that to look good. They do it to look good naked. They want to look good in the mirror. They want to walk in and wow people and they want to have a great beach body and stuff like that. But everybody else is selling them on health, and strength, and all of these things. But the truth is, if you can admit that to yourself it’s easier to work with that in the copy. Now and if you admit that hey, I don’t want to admit that to many publicly then you find a way to put that message out that doesn’t admit that.
In fact, I gave this explanation not too long ago at a lunch with a friend of mine. Let’s suppose that you want a Rolex watch. Now, most people want at Rolex watch because they want a status symbol, that’s the honest thing. You don’t want to turn around and your friend say, “Hey, why’d you spend all that money on a Rolex?” Because I want to prove I’m worth more money than you, they’re not going to say that, they really will not. What you can do is you say okay, that’s the core emotion. So what I need to do is give them the excuses as to why they want to do it. Say there’s 400 man hours and my Rolex will actually be worth more money when I hand it to my kids than I paid for it. It’s made with this 3-11 steel that’s a higher grade steel than what other people put into it, it’s a superlative chronometer, it actually holds time better than these others, it’s extremely durable. You say, I noticed that when I go to restaurants I get seated at better places. I get better seats when I go in. I notice when I’m in negotiations with people they don’t try and get me for really cheap because they see that I’m wearing a fancy or expensive watch. So I’m creating the image-
Josh Felber: Around, yeah.
Bond Halbert: … that gives you that emotion, that gives you the excuses to go tell your wife why you’re going to waste all this money on a watch that’s not as accurate as a Hello Kitty watch. So being honest with yourself is a really extreme thing.
My favorite phrase for myself is, “I don’t say I’m cocky or arrogant. I’m just very sure that everybody else is as screwed up as I am.” The truth is if I’m arrogant about that I know other people … I know that if I’m insecure about this so are the other people.
Josh Felber: Sure, are other people.
Bond Halbert: If I’m proud of this I know other people are proud and I’m looking for an excuse to say it. So one is honesty with yourself.
Two other things, one is having an insatiable desire to know what people thing, and how they act, and why they do things, and study people. One of the the things my father did that made him so great is most of the best copywriters are good at one prospect. They’re good at the over 40, male, self-made guy where they’re really good with teenagers, or they’re really good with the stay at home mom. My dad was interested in knowing what made everybody tick and he would play around and do little experiments to see if he could get them excited or upset and things like that. So he had an insatiable curiosity about people and what they really thought, and most importantly, what they do. Then reverse engineered, tried to figure out what’s their thought process that makes them do these things that are sort of illogical because we all do things that are illogical.
Then of course there’s a lot of techniques for getting into people’s lingoes, and language, and studying, and research techniques, but we don’t have time for that. The other one that is simply walk in their shoes and do it with optimism.
I’m actually a watch collector, but I don’t necessarily collect all fancy watches. I only have a few that are the $1000 plus watches. But I had certain concerns about … and I noticed that going through it that there were … I would have certain concerns like when I was buying an expensive watch one of my concerns was I would buy it, it would be worth half of what it was that I paid for it as soon as I walked out the door. Well I ran into one watch dealer and he a great line, which was, “Look, at any point you sell us back the same watch I’ll give you at least 90% of what you paid for it for the next 2 years.” So that-
Josh Felber: That’s good.
Bond Halbert: … made me feel safe and [crosstalk 00:17:42]. So he took care of that concern. Then I started to write a piece which was how to get Japanese watches for 50% off, because it took me a while to learn this, so I went through the process of becoming a watch collector, which I don’t really do anymore. I have a large collection, but I don’t buy them anymore. I would say this is the one thing I wish I knew then when I did it. So when you walk through the shoes and you come across a problem try and think of a solution. If you can think of a solution now you have an edge over the competition. Now you have something that gives you a leg up, it’s something of interest to everybody who else is a prospect for that same product or service. You have problem with people, don’t like strangers in your home when it comes to cleaning up or something, you figure out a solution for that that makes them feel comfortable, now you’ve got an edge over all the other maid services.
Josh Felber: Oh right, that makes sense.
Bond Halbert: So look for solutions and it’s about helping people and making their lives better. It’s not a take, take, take. The whole thing that I started with with you, what is it you want-
Josh Felber: You want.
Bond Halbert: … that I can give that will make you want to give me what I want to get. If I can do that I have made you happy as well as making me happy. I’m not out to leave you dissatisfied.
Josh Felber: Right. No, that’s interesting. Me, I’m not a super good writer or creative writer. Being around in the space of online marketing now, and reading copy, and reading Gary’s book and some other different copywriters, I can see and be able to tweak stuff, but how would you say what are the best steps to obviously identifying and getting in the mind of the person that we want to connect with? But what would you say, okay here’s the best way to actually start writing and getting that information, and becoming more creative?
Bond Halbert: Don’t start writing, don’t write at all, talk.
Josh Felber: Okay.
Bond Halbert: Talking is the way. The best conversations … Every one of my dad’s greatest newsletters, marketing lessons, and so forth, started off as speeches, and talking, and conversations. Then he would pay attention and see what really got your interest, what made your eyes widen up a little bit. Then he would say, “Okay, I’m on to something.” Then he knew that he was into something and he would find out what’s the real desire points.
All marketing follows the same formula, and I’m sure somebody else has covered this in your podcast, which is AIDA, attention, interest, desire, and action. It has to be in that order. Without attention you’re not getting anything done. I could try and hand you cash, but if you’re not looking and you’re not paying attention to me it’s not going work. Interest and desire, you have a few seconds to turn that attention into keeping someone interests, promising them in a few minutes I’m going to show you how to get 400,000 extra subscribers in an hour. So I’ve got your interest and then I’m going to start telling you a tale of how I did this that keeps your interest and I’m going to start sprinkling in desire. Eventually I’m giving you just tell you, and then I found this, how to do this, how to do that, way to avoid this pitfall and so forth. I’m just giving you desire, desire, desire. The final part is getting you to take action.
All of these different principles you find that out in human conversations and you find out, because I may think that look the most important that I have to teach you is how to do this when the truth is you’re stuck on B, when I wanted-
Josh Felber: Right, not even there.
Bond Halbert: … to teach you A. So now that I know you’re paying attention to B … So being a good listener is important as well.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and I was explaining to him I said, “I got an education in direct marketer so early nobody would believe it. Nobody would believe that I was really being mentored at 10.” There are a lot of great fathers like you that are teaching their kids younger, but at my age … First of all, when I was born being given the name Bond was a really rare type of oh my God, what are you doing type of thing. So being educated in the way of direct marketing at the age of 10 and being flown around, and meeting up with all these people who are now the top experts in the community, that was a very odd and weird kind of thing. I said, “Nobody would believe when I was 30 that I would have 20 years of real direct marketing education,” but I have some proof of that, which is in the letters my dad wrote to me from Boron. So in the end I said, “Well thank God my dad went to prison,” otherwise he wouldn’t have had the time to write me those letters. That got such a response out of the person I talked to I was like, “Okay, that’s going to be a good subject line.” So I wrote that as a subject line, now I have something that’s attention.
Then I start listening to people and somebody says, “Hey, you know how do you go about getting testimonials that are different that all don’t say the same thing?” I know the answer to that so I’m like, “I pay attention to the fact this is what somebody else needs to know,” so that becomes a bullet point, how do get the testimonials that will help add to your sales that don’t all sound like the exact same thing. It’s the same thing with action. What did I say to this person versus to that person.
Copywriting, the writing part, should be the shortest portion of the entire process. You can say you do it until it’s done or until it’s ready. If you’ve done a lot of research and you know your market for a long time you can shorten it. But I basically think that even with email marketing you should divide it up into thirds. The first third is to your deadline, research. Second third is that’s where all the power in your marketing-
Josh Felber: The research, right.
Bond Halbert: … comes from. Dominoes was great because everybody was saying, “Hey, we’ve got the tastiest ingredients,” or, “I’ve got this Old World grandma recipe.” Everybody was saying that. They said, “Hey, we’ll get you your pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free,” because research told them people were sick and tired of not knowing when that pizza was going to come because it wasn’t going to come after they had already given up and eaten something else. Was it coming so soon by the time … They tried to adjust for it, but it came so soon that by lunchtime it was cold. So that research told them they were sick and tired of it. So the power is in your research because that’s the power of your offer. That’s where your stories are. That’s where everything that’s good.
The talent comes in recognizing and piecing together the right formula from the research. Then you do the quick copy dump which is that first draft.
The third portion, which is about a third, should be your editing. That’s where all the professionalism is. I will see time and time somebody’s writing copy, it’s fantastic and you’re reading it, and then you get to the bottom and it’s like all of a sudden it starts falling apart and it’s because they didn’t do their due diligence, they didn’t go through the whole process all the way through, and they weren’t meticulous, and they didn’t pay … Anybody can drive around in their car or take a shower and come up with this great attention getting headline, but nobody is thinking about how to close and get that sale for sure, how to get people to get off the fence and buy.
The conversations you have should be based on that AIDA. It should be I’m having a conversation, what gets your attention, then, what really kept your interest. Then, what are the things that made you go I knew when I was on to something when I would call my buddies and I would tell them about an offer and they would say, ‘Hey, when’s that going to be ready.'” I knew I was really onto something when they called me back the next day or the day after and said, “Is that ready yet? I want that.” I sell to copywriters and when they came back and they said, “When’s that done? I want to see it. Can I get a copy of that,” that’s when I knew I had what they desired.
Don’t write. Have conversations. Take notes on those conversations. The copywriting you should do should be just saying the message that you would say in person. In fact, you want to even lower the level of language. Copywriting, everybody’s shooting for fifth grade level.
There’s a Hemingway app and you put your copy through it and it tells you what grade level you’re at. So you do the exact opposite of what they teach you in school. Now I’ve got a degree from college and they teach you to break out a thesaurus and find a fancier word, make longer sentences. We do the exact opposite, shorter sentences, can I say this more simply, can I get a lower grade vocabulary word to use in place of this?
I was all proud of myself because I was writing an email for a friend of mine, the late, great Scott Hanes, and he called me and he said, “Hey, that letter you wrote was really good. I put it through Hemingway, by the way, and it came in at a three and a half grade level.” Most people would think in school that’s a shame, but as a copywriter that was like-
Josh Felber: You’re like, “Yeah.”
Bond Halbert: … that was like a triumph.
Somebody put one of my dad’s letters through one and it came in at third. I was like, “Beat by the master dad.” Even the things that I do right, like [crosstalk 00:27:45] rates, come from the understanding and the foundation that he gave me. As he says, he gets credit for everything I do well, and he gets no blame for anything that I mess up. I hope that answers your question.
Josh Felber: Actually, it’s interesting you say that. When I start thinking of stuff, and I’ll just record it, and push it over to Rev.com to just grab all the text, and then kind of work it from there. I’ll give it over to my wife because she owns a big skincare company, and so we’re always writing copy, and doing stuff, and everything. So I’ll come up with the ideas and kind of give it to her, then let her massage it into her own voice.
Bond Halbert: My dad often suggested that what you do is you hook up a recorder to your phone and you have phone calls with real customers and you keep going until you forget that you’re recording it. When you get one that’s really good you stop it, you have it transcribed, you clean it up, and that’s your ad.
Josh Felber: Right, okay.
Bond Halbert: So you are absolutely on the right track. Everybody who’s staring a blank screen is not writing copy properly. My copy, my dad’s copy, it’s written on a walk on the beach. Everybody thinks that we’re screwing around doing nothing. They think that because I’m taking a walk with my dog in Beverly Hills or something that I’m not thinking about copy or I’m not working, but they don’t realize I’m working all the time. My father worked even greater than I did because his mind didn’t wander off of the subject of the promotion that he was working on, ever, mine does. I do stop and think, “Is that some gum on my shoe.”
Josh Felber: Let it take a break for a minute.
Bond Halbert: My father never did that. That’s one of the reasons I and few people will ever be as good as he was.
Josh Felber: Sure, cool.
Let’s see here, you mentioned open rates and being able to really dial those in. At least for what we’re doing, we’re always working on trying to get more open rates, and trying to find different things, so I’m glad you brought that up. What are some of the key elements in really getting those dialed in and getting people to open?
Bond Halbert: Okay.
Josh Felber: I know it’s kind of vague but-
Bond Halbert: No-
Josh Felber: It’s-
Bond Halbert: … I actually taught a lot of people to do this. In fact, I have a story where I taught somebody how to do this and what they did was they immediately went and applied what I taught them. They had a 30,000 name list and their open rate jumped from 10-30%.
Josh Felber: Wow.
Bond Halbert: Then a friend of his sent him an email and he goes, “Man, your [inaudible 00:30:31] was super awesome and I had to open that email that you sent.” He was like, “Yeah it was great. I got this product by Bond Halbert,” and I was so proud to hear that. It was funny because I just taught somebody the trick, a friend of mine I taught him the trick and then he’s like, “That’s really cool.” I said, “Do you know what? Do you want to record it?” I was just solving the solution. It was just something I innately knew.
But here are the keys, I can’t teach it all to you in the short period of time but I can give you some real big keys. The first thing that you want to do is understand where people are getting on your list. Now it’s changing now, but almost everybody has multiple email addresses now. You’ve got your personal email address where your wife, your kids, and everybody else is trying to get ahold of you. You have another one that might be a business only address that you check every once and a while. You have a spam email address, that’s where you know-
Josh Felber: That’s all my stuff I ordered goes to that one.
Bond Halbert: Yeah.
Josh Felber: Yeah.
Bond Halbert: You go on the internet you say I’ve got a fear of flying, how do I cure this? Then you say, “I’ll cure that, but you need to give me an address and I’ll send you”-
Josh Felber: Sure, yep.
Bond Halbert: They send you the PDF. You go right to the top of your spam email list and you look for it, and you find it, and you click on it. The guy’s done one of two things, he’s either cured your problem and you’re off practicing it or he failed miserably and you’re back to the internet looking. Either way, you ignore the 500 to 1000 emails that have piled up in that spam email account.
You go to your primary email account and you see there’s three messages in the spam folder. You don’t just delete those because grandma may have slipped through the cracks or something you needed. So you even check that. Now the moral of the story is it would be better for your emails to show up in the spam box of a primary email address then to show up in the primary box of a spam email address. So worry about getting a primary email address first because you worry about subject lines or anything else, or timing.
Josh Felber: So a lot of ours come into our website, an order, and so the emails that go out after are weekend kind of promotional emails and things like that.
Bond Halbert: Exactly. Well here’s what we do. Here’s a couple things, first of all, most people, the majority of people, do not operate more than one spam email address or more than one email address on their phone. So what you do is you deliver and give them a reason to consume your product, or want to give the email address that is on their phone. What you do is you never say the word personal, you say, “Give me a primary email address you choose often.” With the Gary Halbert letter we say, “Look, we got the Gary Halbert On the Go Program where we deliver it to you and you can read it on your phone on your way to work, or while you’re waiting in line at the bank, and turn that time into money making education time. Now you’re like, “I want to get this on my phone. I better give them this address.” So you get a different address.
Josh Felber: Right, okay.
Bond Halbert: Then you say, “Give me a primary email address you check often because we often send out last minute deals and special offers that everybody consumes up right away and we have flash sales. The only reason I’m telling you this is everybody gets mad because they gave us a different email address that they didn’t check until later and they missed out on the opportunity.” So be sure to enter a primary email address you check often. So now you’re getting a primary-
Josh Felber: So we got primary email.
Bond Halbert: … you’re getting a primary email address. That’s your first goal.
Second thing is then you need to worry about subject line and timing. The timing we’ve kind of talked about.
Josh Felber: We talked a little bit, yeah.
Bond Halbert: That depends on the subject.
Josh Felber: Okay.
Bond Halbert: For example, Tuesday is when we send out business stuff. The reason we send out business stuff is because Monday you’re just getting a handle on your week. Tuesday you’ve got a handle on the week, you don’t wake up with that crippling fear of Monday morning that everybody has because, again, I have it and I know you have it. I know everybody’s got it. Tuesday you’ve got a handle on your week but you’re not thinking about the weekend yet. You’re not off at that party, you’re thinking about Cabo San Lucas, or drinks at the bar, or wherever you’re planning on going. Tuesday is when we’d send a business opportunity thing. But if I’m getting ready to get at you excited about a party and everything I’m going to start thinking about sending that on Thursday, it depends on the time.
There’s a couple ways to do it. One, when do people sign up to be on your list? The timing might change. For example, if they’re signing up to get tax advice because their fear of getting audited and they’re looking that up on Sunday night they’re worried about that Sunday night. That’s scaring them on Sunday night. So you might want that email to show up in the Monday morning-
Josh Felber: Monday morning.
Bond Halbert: … fear time.
Josh Felber: Right, where they’re worried, yeah.
Bond Halbert: Think about it based on the times that they actually sign up. If they signed up for my movie critique subscription list and they started looking for a new movie to watch or a list of my favorites and they’re doing that on Wednesday because it’s laundry day for them, or Wednesday and Thursday, then Wednesdays and Thursdays might be when I’m … a little bit earlier I might be wanting to do that, it’s kind of common sense. So you want to get the timing right and understand the difference in the time of day, and we already covered that. I like my emails to come out 10 AM local and there is a function in most of them called time travel where it allows your emails to be delivered at 10 o’clock AM at the time of everybody’s [crosstalk 00:36:20]. So your emails are spread out because it’s 7 AM my time it’s 10 in Eastern time.
Josh Felber: East Coast, right.
Bond Halbert: So they get it, three hours later I get it.
Josh Felber: You get, right. Okay.
Bond Halbert: Three hours later-
Josh Felber: Makes sense.
Bond Halbert: … Honolulu gets it.
Josh Felber: Right.
Bond Halbert: You can do things very specifically based on those times as well.
Then there’s the subject line. Subject lines are very critical and the hard part is standing out and sounding different from everybody else. What I’m going to suggest it sounds kind of crazy without being able to show you how it works, but it really does work. What you want to do is the masters of click bait are on Yahoo News, they’re in AOL but they’re where the window picture is and that’s where you’ll see click bait. That click bait will say, “the disastrous flub that Trump made.” So you say, “the disastrous flub that Bond made,” and now the curiosity is there. Nowadays, I wish I could [crosstalk 00:37:29].
Josh Felber: I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve seen it on Yahoo too.
Bond Halbert: I’m going to give you another couple tips here that I added to this. What you do is you’ll have 60 of them, so you go through it and you find out the one that would be most interesting, let’s say the three most overlooked … Let’s talk about open rates. I saw one that says, “People awaken to sink hole.” So I wrote, “Marketers awake to 9% open rate sink hole.” So if you’ve got a 9% open rate you’re going, “Wow, I should be doing better if that’s terrible.” If I got 4% I’m really doing bad.
Josh Felber: Then I’m really in the sinkhole.
Bond Halbert: If I got 20% what happened? I don’t want to 9%. So that number’s making you go … comparing the two.
The bottom line will be something like the disaster that could have been avoided and be in the same article. What you do is you make that the first line of your copy because when you go to check your email you don’t just see the subject line-
Josh Felber: You see that little bit.
Bond Halbert: … you show the very first line. If it’s more click bait, but that also matches the same theme as the subject line click bait you’re going to have a higher open rate. It’s easy to go ahead and turn and spin that and say, “There’s a marketer out there and he was getting 30% open rate and then all of a sudden he woke up in the morning, he had a 9% and it was like he email marketing fell through a sink hole.” But there’s a way to avoid that disaster.
One of the ways to avoid that disaster is listen to this course by Bond Halbert, this video, and it will show you the different techniques for doing such and such. You can do that with, the sources I like the National Inquirer Celebrity section if what you’re selling is about an individual personality. If it’s about Josh then that’s where you want to look. It’s like, “Oh I couldn’t believe I was so embarrassed in this interview,” and people go, “I want to know that,” and they love the dirt. You’re confession that you didn’t want to have to make is so much more enticing then some good news I want to help you with, and that’s human nature. So I like that for that, but there’s also Yahoo and AOL. Again, AOL is where the images are, not where they’re just feeding the news that everybody else was doing. Then the other source is also Digg.com. The reason for that is that’s better for clients because they’re less bombastic, clients are always scared to do the stuff that really works really well. The clients are scared of it. So if you get somebody who’s a little bit more conservative those are headlines that were important enough and got so much traction that they made it to dig, because that’s that the way that the Digg works.
Josh Felber: Dig, yeah.
Bond Halbert: Was [inaudible 00:40:35], well it’s two G’s I think, D-I-G-G. So you’ll feel safer modeling those ones. But if you model those subject lines, you work on getting primary email addresses and you time the way that you send out you will get higher email addresses. You then want to punch them up with some numbers because numbers add specificity and make you wonder if I say the “Seven Email Opening Tricks,” you you’re like, “Okay, I need six. I wonder what the seventh is.” You want to try and match those.
Now my dad was a master marketer. When he went online I currently, with his list, we never scrubbed it, which you should do. My dad and I are both famous for not following our own advice. We’re better teachers than we are doers. But we didn’t scrub the list and the list had been many 1000s of names built up since 1991.
Josh Felber: Wow.
Bond Halbert: I’ve got the highest open rate with between 52% and 54%, that’s for bigger lists. Smaller lists, like the list I was working with my daughter, the one I was trying to teach her this, she would get like 76% with a few 1000 names. Everybody’s like … I was on the phone with AWeber and I had done this with Get Response as well, just to verify and I said, “I’m curious. Not everybody’s opening my email. How does my email open rate compare to some of the others?” Oh man, “Yours are outstanding.” They’re like, “They’re phenomenal, nothing to worry about.” I just wanted to hear it verified that they were as good as I thought they were. Anyway, so it depends on list size and list recency is going to make a difference. So you do want to scrub your list, but I did it with the 54%.
Here’s something that your viewers and you can just immediately take, and use, and really get a really high open rate. I wrote an email and the subject line was “The Holy Trinity of Copywriting Books.” So whatever your subject is, so you’d say, “The Holy Trinity of Podcast Interviews,” “The Holy Trinity of Supplements.” Now everybody’s got to know and the open rate is going to skyrocket and you can adapt that quite easily to that subject, as long as nobody else has done it in that subject. So be the first one to do it in your subject matter. But you say, “The Holy Trinity of Movies from 2017.” So you go that number there. You got that reverence of the word “holy”. You’ve got the curiosity is driving them and there’s a benefit to it, it’s curiosity and benefit in the subject. I could teach you all about subject lines and headlines, which are going to be curiosity [crosstalk 00:43:35]-
Josh Felber: We’ll just have to do just a show on that.
Bond Halbert: … pin numbers and stuff like that. I’ve given hour long speeches on this subject of getting higher open rates and there are other tricks too. But those alone should give you enough to work on to increase your open rates.
Josh Felber: Definitely, awesome.
Well I know we got a few minutes left, so I just want to say where do people find out more about you, what you’re doing?
Bond Halbert: Well I-
Josh Felber: Or where you want to-
Bond Halbert: … you can go and find out more about us, the family legacy, at thegaryhalbertletter.com and it’s “The”-
Josh Felber: Letter.
Bond Halbert: … garyhalbertletter.com. Then my own personal website is bondhalbert.com. I’m starting to publish books on the subjects of copywriting. I published the very first book ever created on the subject of editing copy. I’m working on, it’s actually a “Halbert Copywriting Method Part III.” If you remember I said there’s three phases to copy?
Josh Felber: Right.
Bond Halbert: Okay well it was ready first so we call is the Star Wars launch because third came out first. I’m now editing the “Halbert Copywriting Method Part II,” which is about writing that first draft. Then I’m going to be doing one, which is on the research and stuff.
Josh Felber: Awesome.
Bond Halbert: You can just go to Amazon.
Josh Felber: To grab those.
Bond Halbert: You can just Google my name, and go to Amazon, and you can grab those.
Josh Felber: I think I own everything anyways, except for one and two.
Bond Halbert: But there is very few subjects in that I’m not creative writing managing my life, there’s all kinds of things that I don’t do well, but the one thing I do well is direct marketing there’s very few questions that are going to stop me.
Josh Felber: That’s awesome. I guess just one last piece of maybe insight, wisdom, success tips, copy success tips, whatever you may want to leave our audience.
Bond Halbert: Think about it as how to do good because the truth is how you leave people and how they feel after you’ve helped them is what’s going to really make them want … People love to buy and work with people that they like and they enjoy. The people they like and enjoy are people who have helped them and they’ve helped them from a real kindness in their heart, not an artificial one, not a gave you something, look you owe me I did you a favor. They did that favor without expecting anything else.
My father gave to the world a fantastic newsletter teaching people copywriting. It’s 100% free. I freely give people advice and ask questions. You just asked me about open rates and I gave you advice that I’ve given other people and we actually sell it. The point is it’s a family tradition of just being givers and helping people out without expecting anything in return.
What we find out is what I believe, and this is the thought I’m going to leave you with, believe in the good karma of business. We are so interconnected today that it’s kind of hard to find somebody who’s going to shake a stick at your reputation if all you’ve done is really help people out. It’s easy to interconnect and find out, and tear somebody down who’s been doing wrong by people. There are plenty of people who will make hay even though they’re not helpful to the people, that’s just the way of the world. But if you believe in the good karma of marketing it comes back. It pays you back big time.
Josh Felber: For sure.
Bond Halbert: People, when I first came out after my father had passed, they said, “Do you mind if we talk about your dad?” I was like, “No, I’ll talk about him all day long. I love my father. We can share stories.” Pretty soon they realized I knew what I was talking about, that I wasn’t just Gary Halbert’s kid, I’m Gary Halbert’s kid So then the interviews became a lot more about me and the things that I’ve [crosstalk 00:47:41] and what I’ve done, and so forth. I’m giving and continuing a tradition of being open and giving to anybody who asks and wants to know that information that my dad started. That has helped my family tremendously. I think what’s important is that if you’re out to do good and you’re helping [inaudible 00:48:09], you get more forgiveness when you make errors, there’s more bonding that goes on, your sales actually increase and do better, and stuff like that. If you think about it in hard dollars and cents terms you create a better product because you want your users and your consumers to have a better experience then they’re of course going to like you more.
Josh Felber: For sure, that’s awesome.
Bond Halbert: Believe in the good karma of business. Believe in doing the right thing and do it from a real, honest, good spot in your heart. At the very least you’re going to look back on a lifetime and you’ll feel it’s something to be very proud of. I would rather be the number two business man who did really right by the world and helped everybody than be the number one guy but I was like [inaudible 00:49:03].
Josh Felber: The scammer, yeah for sure.
Bond Halbert: Because we don’t need to take any of [inaudible 00:49:08]. So believe in the good karma of marketing.
Josh Felber: Awesome. I really appreciate you coming on today, spending the time, sharing your knowledge and wisdom, and really just spending the time here today.
Bond Halbert: My pleasure.
Josh Felber: Thanks, it was an honor to have you.
Bond Halbert: My pleasure.
Josh Felber: I appreciate it Bond.
You guys, I hope you were taking great notes, if not, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and take lots of notes again. This was an amazing show packed full of so much actual information and just knowledge for you to help transform your business and everything you’re doing today.
I am Josh Felber. You are watching Making Bank, get out and be extraordinary.
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