Jul 14, 2014
About Bond Halbert
Copywriting Expert, Bond Halbert, grew up literally on the knee of
one of the best copywriters the world has ever known, Gary Halbert.
While he describes himself as "born lucky," he has sold millions of
dollars of information products on his own and has since become the
shepherd of his dad's legacy.
One such example of his shepherding is the publishing
of The Boron
Letters. If you'd like to learn how Bond Halbert has gotten 50%
open rates on large, old lists, do yourself a favor and order that
book now and watch your conversion rates improve before you're
halfway through with the book.
- Direct mail is hot again
today. Little competition there today. You have their attention
with mail instead of them sitting at the computer.
- Take Gary Halbert’s info and
use it on your own to grow.
- Bond did that to help
companies sell $23 million in products but he makes more money
selling his own stuff than helping others do it. Bond doesn’t want
to write for others. He wants to write for himself and selling his
own things. He’s very empathetic and wants to help and feels bad
when a client’s back is against the wall and he feels the
- Bond is more motivated by quality of life and solving problems
- He never felt he was living in his dad’s shadow.
- "Having the Halbert name gets me in the door but I have to
- There is an evolution of a
copywriter…they come in two forms...
- …get good at marketing…get
good at writing…then start helping others and building a business
- It’s not just sitting down and writing. The thought process is
where the talent and effort is.
Quick trip to making good headlines. He and Lawton Chiles:
- Simple Subject Line Secrets
- Go to the dark side when
writing headlines. “The 7 Horrible Things That Just Happened To Me
- Pique Curiosity
- Have a sequence - more
curiosity in the first, more benefit in the second
- Combine curiosity and benefit when you can.
- Example, Boron was a federal prison camp. “Thank God
my dad went to prison.”
- “13 email lessons from prison” - benefit and curiosity
- Model after sources of news.
Follow salacious news stories. Don’t go to just regular news who
wants to give the who, what, when, where and why as soon as
possible. You want to pique their interest and bring them into your
- Add numbers. They promise specificity. “My Hot Email Tips For
2015” vs. “My Hot Email Tips”
- Subject lines of emails are the same as Headlines on a landing
page or article.
- The subject / headline is negative but the content is
- The best copywriters in the world issue surveys to their
clients. Ask who, what, when, where and why in every question.
- Business owners get too busy to learn and practice and
"Gary Halbert’s hobbies were buying cameras and boats and we talked
about business on the boat."
- Think about other people when you create your marketing. Don’t
talk about yourself. It’s all about relationships and knowing what
the other person is thinking.
- Pay attention to everything in your marketing. If you’re at the
end of a page, how do you create intrigue at the end to make them
turn the page?
Gary Halbert always wrote on yellow legal pads. One sheet equaled
one sheet of typing so he knew to amp up the curiosity at the
bottom of the page.
- “A Pile, B Pile” speech. People sort their mail into A and B
Bond Halbert's editing tips.
- John Carlton - “go ahead and kill trees. Print. Print. Print.
Do your editing from print vs. on screen.”
- Then read the copy aloud. It feels embarrassing and stupid but
rookies won’t do it and pros do. You’ll see where
- Hunt down the big words that are too fancy. Nobody will fault
you for using simple words.
- It’s okay to use technical words to demonstrate your
professionalism but quickly explain it to make the prospect
- A friend of his gives his kids a quarter for every big word
- Gary Halbert would hunt down words like “that” and replaces it
with “which” when he can.
- Break up your sentences. Hunt down the “ands” and break the
sentence into two sentences.
All of your real power in copywriting is in your research.
- Dominoes pizza knew their market who was sick and tired of not
being able to predictably know when their pizza would arrive.
- The “copy dump” is the quickest phase. It’s where the
creativity comes in. The hook, the angle, the offer. The Big Idea.
This takes some talent or at least some modeling.
- The professionalism comes in the editing. Edit in a complete
pass from top to bottom.
- Provide eye relief. Break up the paragraphs.
- It’s a checklist.
- Look at the end of sentences. How strongly does the reader feel
to continue reading?
- It’s a process. The “greased slide.” Like “The Godfather”
movie. No matter where you jump in you are sucked in.
The most important thing is understanding your customer, what they
want and giving them what they want.
- Record yourself selling and do it so long you forget you are
selling. Then get it transcribed.
- Be leery of a copywriter that wants to get it out to you in a
week. They are going to use a template and it won’t come across as
(Gary Halbert hated image advertising. (He had a lot of absolutes
that Bond doesn’t agree with.))
If you are delivering your content in a sales letter, consider who
is receiving it and how you want them to reply and buy. Maybe you
put a phone number or a URL or an address to mail your payment.
- Have a free recorded message for people that don’t want to
speak to somebody and get pressured or delayed.
- Toll free vs local numbers—offer and positioning determines
this. Be congruent.
Gary Halbert wrote the most-mailed sales letter ever—over 600
million copies—The Coat of Arms letter. He spent 18 months on this
one-page letter and tested every step of it back when it was
- It starts with the address.
- He used curiosity.
- A live stamp.
- Normal envelope.
- No window.
- The numbers and address for the return address was
- No teaser copy.
- They got an office with a low digit number in their address and
a simple name like “Elm” and they spelled out “Street” to come
across as a simple housewife.
- His dad used this much detail early on when he was hungry. He
got sloppier as he got older and more successful.
“Motion over meditation.”
“Anything worth doing is worth
Thomas Hall Letters” inspired Gary Halbert.
Collier Letter Book”
Gary Halbert and Bond Albert never got into NLP. Sometimes people
say Bond writes like his dad but the best compliment he gets is
when people talk about the offer he made. Gary’s gift of
persuasion was a natural gift and Bond inherited it and learned
it. It’s their personality vs purposefully putting content
into an email or letter.
For example, Gary Halbert and Bond’s mom spent an entire week
in Ian Fleming’s house right after Ian passed away because he met
someone in a bar that could introduce them.
Finally, work on your product or service until it’s so damned
good…You brag on your kids because you’re proud of them. Become a
proud parent of your product.
If you liked this episode, please let Bond
Halbert and me know on Twitter.
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