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I especially loved some of the ideas on how to grab and hold attention in direct mailers.
While the book is a bit da Written by 'history's greatest copywriter' Gary Halbert, this book is a collection of letters from a father to his adolescent son.
There are some wise words about copywriting and selling your ideas which are very useful.
Great copywriting/selling is hardly about the writing. His son, also in the copywriting biz, does his best to update it for the digital age but the book should be read as foundational rather than a source of the latest and greatest tips.(2) Every few pages has a cross-sell of some other Halbert product on their website.
It is way more about the preparation that goes into writing. The book could have Good marketing primer that doles out marketing advice as well as some pretty decent life advice. Halbert was a whiz in direct mail marketing, and the writing shows its age.
These letters to Bond were an excellent base to build off of for entering into the field of copywriting. While they may seem a bit outdated, the principles within can be carried over into the digital age with just a little bit of ingenuity.
The subject line is the new envelope, the link title is the new bag of soil, etc. It is a good format for a book and is easy to whizz through.
I also just finished reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five.
Halbert mentions that Vonnegut has some of the clearest writing, and that Breakfast of Champions is worth reading. The book focuses on some I read the Boron letters on my trip to Vegas for a CXO event. I didn't know that until after I was reading the book.
Does anyone know if he did write anything like the book he discusses wanting to do?
One of my favourite take-aways from this book written by a father to his son, is h A surprising amount of just 'life lessons' as opposed to marketing techniques.
While the book is a bit dated and covers some ideas that are no longer applicable, the ideas on finding markets and creating products to cater to them are more relevant today than in 1984 when these letters were written. Not quite as focused on actual writing tricks as I would have liked - more generally useful for getting into the right mindset for copywriting success than for learning what makes great sales letters tick.
There's definitely something to be said for the idea of Halbert's honesty and voice doing that all by itself though, as it certainly comes through even in these personal letters (and is further explained through his son's useful breakdowns).
Even if it sometimes it has nothing to do with the point he is making. If you want a book that outlines the steps of making money via direct mail along with general self-help advice and som I have just finished the book. It is a good format for a book and is easy to whizz through.