In This Issue…
- 9/11 and the Lost Opportunity
- Direct Mail that Got Me to Write Back
- Another Recommended Book: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
- Hear & Meet Shel
- Friends Who Want to Help
9/11 and the Lost Opportunity
I have spent much time over the last 10 years reflecting on 9/11, the choices that were made at that time, and the dreadful consequences of those choices: hundreds of thousands dead, two countries largely destroyed, and the economy of a third–my own country–in shambles. I took the 10th anniversary as a day to think about what might have been, how President Bush (and the country) could have seized the moment and stepped into greatness. I’d welcome your comments on the blog page at http://greenandprofitable.com/911-bushs-lost-opportunity-for-world-peace/
And yes, I recognize that not everyone reading this will share my opinions. Honest disagreement and healthy discussion are good things (ad hominum attacks are not).
Since my subject is effective direct mail…
If you use an e-mail program like Constant Contact that supposedly renders beautiful HTML, make darned sure your “view in a browser” link actually works. Those renderings are unreadable in my e-mail program, though beautiful on the web. If the link to the web version doesn’t work—and that happens at least 15 percent of the time—I hit delete, and all your hard work adding me to your list is lost.
A Bulk E-Mail That Worked For Me
As a marketing consultant, copywriter, and teacher of effective marketing, I’m always on the lookout for great examples.
This is a cold-pitch that showed up in my e-mail recently, and I thought it was so brilliantly done, I asked permission to share it. And we’re actually even in dialogue about his core services. If we can find something that’s appropriate for me to use at personal appearances, I might even become a customer—and the last time I bought promotional products was something like 1988.
Wish I could take the credit for it—but I’m guessing Josh didn’t even use a copywriter, just wrote from his heart. Here’s the letter, and then some analysis; feel free to add your own comments below:
From: "Josh Frey" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Just Checking In Shel ... X-Pass-two: yes Hi Shel! Hope you and yours had a great Labor Day weekend! I was was up in NYC celebrating my Aunt and Uncle's 60th anniversary (I know, that's a pretty impressive number of years to be married!). Anyway, I just wanted to check-in to see if you had any upcoming needs for September and the Fall...for trade shows, events, corporate outings, recruiting fairs, etc? Our team would be happy to research and price out some ideas and items for you or any of your colleagues at Principled Profit if you all have any needs. Thanks for the opportunity and let me know if we can be of service. Have a great week. Josh P.S. Here is a link to an awesome deal on Starbucks style 16oz. Acrylic Tumblers - BUY 96 GET 96 FREE! Only $6.50 per tumbler. For more details, click here: http://trk.cp20.com/Tracking/t.c?NH0e-LHqe-pJtXA6 P.P.S. This tumbler deal is over 75% off of what Starbucks charges! You can buy these on Amazon for 22 ea... or with us for $6.50. Plus, you get your logo on the tumbler. Don't believe me...check it out: http://trk.cp20.com/Tracking/t.c?NH0e-LHqf-pJtXA7 Josh Frey CEO and Founder, On Sale Promos 202-237-2828 cell email@example.com 5100A Macarthur Blvd, NW Washington, District of Columbia 20016 United States You are subscribed to this newsletter as firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the link below to modify your message preferences or to unsubscribe from any future mailings. We will respect all unsubscribe requests. http://trk.cp20.com/Tracking/t.fo?NH0e--i1g-pJtXA6&sl=1v powered by Campaigner
What I Liked:
- It’s just so darned friendly and personable, starting with a tidbit about his family and ending in the same casual way by wishing me a great week. My immediate reaction: do I actually know this person after all? (Answer: not as far as I know, and frankly, that could have backfired—but for me, it actually worked—maybe in part because I do know two people with the same last name, including a client)
- It’s helpful: he’s checking on my needs and showing a willingness to do preliminary work on my behalf, without any commitment from me to buy.
- It’s inclusive: he invites me to think about my colleagues.
- It’s short!
- It’s specific; not only does he name four types of events for which he can supply product and a specific period of time, but he gives me a sample deal to check out.
- Plus he gives me the Amazon link to price-compare, where I can see that he is much, much cheaper than a site known for price-leadership.
- He mail-merges my name appropriately and not to excess—just the subject line and salutation.
- He includes full contact, including a cell phone—nice touch
What I Didn’t Like:
- As far as I know, I never subscribed to his newsletter. Adding without permission is not only annoying, it’s actually illegal. Now, maybe I was wrong and did sign up; if so, he might have included a merge field that told me when and how I agreed to receive it. If I didn’t, though, a more appropriate method would be to say this is a one-time mailing and offer me the option to subscribe: a positive opt-in rather than a negative opt-out. [Following up, I found out he took my card at a conference.]
- The subject line, though effective in getting me to open the mail, was annoyingly unspecific. Because my name was merged in, I did open it. Without the merged name, I probably would have deleted. But I have no idea from the subject about the content of the e-mail. Of course, if it had said he was trying to sell me promotional mugs, I would have deleted too. Getting the subject line right is an art and the subject of much discussion among copywriters.
- I always get a little ruffled when people take liberties with punctuation (okay, so I’m old-fashioned!). He needs commas before my name in both places.
Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown & Co., 2008)
The best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Blink claims in this book that success is made as well as born, and that rare indeed is the person who succeeds without considerable support and resources from others. “Outliers are those who have been given opportunities–and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them,” he states on page 267.
He points to super-successful overachievers in a wide range of fields, from star Canadian hockey players to computer genius entrepreneurs Bill Gates of Microsoft and Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems, and shows how their success is directly related to specific (differing) factors in their upbringing, their environment, the accident of when, where, and to whom they were born. And he ends by tracking his own family history, and showing how the choices of previous generations helped him become the person he is.
A key observation is that sufficient practice and menteeship maeks a difference, and that those who are given opportunities to log in 10,000 hours in their field–from the Beatles playing 8-hour sets as a fledgling band in Hamburg to New York’s Jewish lawyers of a certain generation pretty much inventing the field of corporate takeovers because they were denied jobs by the genteel Protestant firms of the time and had to go where the “white glove” lawyers would not.
Perhaps the best poster-boy for his argument is Chris Langan, a certified genius with an IQ of 195, but a person who, according to Gladwell, was severely hindered by a distinctly wrong-side-of-the-tracks upbringing that neither acknowledged nor nurtured his gifts—leaving him with very limited social skills and poor adaptive mechanisms. Langan not only does not appear to strive for (or achieve) material success or even intellectual accomplishment, he actually crashed against the bureaucracy early on and dropped out of college. Gladwell contrasts him with the career of atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, and shows how Oppenheimer’s background gave him the street smarts to talk his way out of far more incriminating troubles, and to achieve success on his own terms, while Langan could not overcome the handicap of growing up in an anti-intellectual beer-and-television culture.
Similarly, Gladwell demonstrates that ghetto kids often actually test better for in-class learning than kids from higher up the class ladder (maybe because they have a bigger mountain to climb)–but the gains they make in class aren’t sufficient to make up for their stagnation while kids raised in an atmosphere of “concerted cultivation” continue their learning after school and during vacations, immersing themselves in books, travel, the arts, and other opportunities.
The encouraging factors can be socioeconomic, but also ethnic, chronological, or coincidental. Gladwell look at why the Chinese language and a society b ased on rice cultivation propel success in math…why Korean pilots’ accident rates improved dramatically when they were retrained to overcome a cultural bias toward authority, and why American planes are safer when the First Officer, and not the captain, is at the controls…why month of birth makes a huge difference in your chance of success as a hockey player in Canada.
Gladwell did not write the book as an academic exercise; he wants us, as a society, to stop squandering our children’s gifts and to make sure that we have systems in place to encourage everyone to explore their creativity, harness their gifts, and make a difference in the world:
Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better word we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success–the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history–with a society that provides opportunities for all…Multiply that sudden flowering of talent by very field and profession. The world could be so much richer than the world we have settled for.
Shel Horowitz’s latest book is the award-winning and category best-selling Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson)
Hear & Meet Shel
- 350.org and climate activist Bill McKibben are organizing a national day of action on climate. I’m sure I’ll participate in some way. http://www.moving-planet.org/
- Thurs, October 6, 8 pm ET/5 pm PT: I think this is my fourth consecutive year teaching at the Muse Online Writers Conference. This year, a new topic: “Selling to a Larger Publisher after Self-Publishing.” Part of a large, no-cost writer’s conference. Registration doesn’t cost, but you have to do it by September 25: http://themuseonlinewritersconference.com/joom/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=3
- October 14: Dr. Robert Rose interviews me, 1 pm ET/10 am. PT: www.blogtalkradio.com/icdrrose
- October 17, I host Kathleen Gage teaching on how to run profitable membership programs (see Friends Who Want to Help section for more info)
- October 18, noon ET/9 am PT: Rosey Dow, the Prospect Profiler, interviews me on her radio show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theprospectprofiler Or call in: (347) 826-9971
- Speaking at Bioneers-By-The-Bay, wonderful conference October 21-23 in New Bedford, MA, http://www.marioninstitute.org/connecting-for-change
- November 15, 8:00 pm ET/5 pm PT, January Jones interviews me: 818-431-8506
Remember–if you set me up an engagement, you could earn a generous commission.
Friends Who Want to Help
Watch this Space for Something Really Exciting
They are *almost* ready to give out the details, so expect a special mailing: an invitation to a very exciting JV (Joint Venture) that has the potential to bring messages of easy environmental sustainability to a whole lot of people that haven’t “gotten it” before. Several A-list celebrities have lent their names to the project, which will have a whole lot of media attention nationwide. And there could be some very nice commissions for you, as well.
Private Teleseminar for My Readers:
How to Make Money with Membership Programs with Kathleen Gage
You’d pay quite a bit to get teaching of this quality, but for you–no charge. Allow at least two hours, because Kathleen is going to share a LOT of information. (And yes, she’s hoping you decide to buy her longer, deeper program). But even while co-hosting, I intend to take notes. I’ve tried a couple of different membership program launches that haven’t taken off, and I’m hoping Kathleen will shine some light on what I need to do different. She’s done a gazillion and has done very well with them.
Mark your calendar now:
Monday, October 17th, 10am PT / 1pm ET
And remember to check next month’s newsletter for the registration link.
Check out the amazing speaker line-up for the 3rd Annual Book Marketing Conference Online
* Kathleen Gage: “Become an Online Bestselling Author in Today’s Crowded Author’s Market”
* Carolyn Howard-Johnson: “Your Awards: How to win them and then use them to set your book apart”
* Brian Jud: “Selling More Books, More Profitably to Non-Bookstore Buyers”
* Lynne Klippel: “Going Beyond the Book: Fast, Easy Product Creation for Authors”
* Jill Lublin: “Be the News”
* Connie Ragen Green: “How to Repurpose Your Existing Content to Become a Bestselling Author”
* Marnie Pehrson: “Using Social Media to Create a Buzz About Your Book”
* Penny Sansevieri: “Maximize and Monetize Social Media -3rd Annual Book Marketing Conference”
* Felicia J. Slattery: “How Authors Can Create a Signature Speech™ to Build Platform and Sell More Books”
* Dana Lynn Smith: “The Secrets to Planning a Profitable Virtual Book Tour”
* Steven E. Schmitt: “How I made millions by listening to my intuitive voice”
* Noah St. John: “Attract More Money Blueprint: Your Hidden Power for More Wealth and Happiness”
* Denise Wakeman: “The Secret to Author Blog Success: How to Dominate Your Niche with a Book Blog”
Get the details at: http://shelhorowitz.com/go/bookmarketing/
Up close and personal with my celebrated co-author, Jay Conrad Levinson, Father of Guerrilla Marketing
Jay is having one of his famous intimate 21-hour intensives at his lovely Florida home, September 26-28. Only 10 people will be allowed in. http://3bl.me/ysqdva . Jay describes it as “a three-day face-to-face training personally conducted by me in our home here on a lake just northeast of Orlando, Florida. It’s intense because it’s from noon till 7 pm three days in a row – 21 hours with lots of hands-on, devoted to making you a true guerrilla marketer.”
Some of these links are affiliate programs and earn me a commission. All of them are things I feel good about recommending.