December 17, 2023

The end of the year is a wonderful time for reflection…to celebrate our wins…think about what we learned…and to spend time expressing gratitude to those who helped us with those wins and learnings.

The end of the year is also a good time to think deeply about our businesses…and the deeper I go, the more it always comes back to fundamentals and eternal truths.

Two “Titans” of direct response marketing who I admire, Ben Settle and Ken McCarthy, recently shared two core principles that I’d like to explore (with my personal spin).

1. Approach selling every offer as if it cost $25,000

There’s a lot more here than meets the eye…and while the $25,000 figure is arbitrary, all you need to know is that it’s a lot more money than a free PDF, a $19 digital report or even a $5,000 course.

And the discipline to treat every price point equally…at least at the outset…is one of those rules of thumb, if you violate it, it is at your own risk.

What you charge for your first product or service is irrelevant since once you go into the marketplace delivering your value and wisdom, every price—even free—deserves maximum effort.

That’s if you are playing a long game. 🙂

It’s about the lifetime value of the customer…and your lifetime value too.

In terms of selling, it’s about the second, third (eighth?) product or service you deliver which will be the key to long-term success and staying power.

And it’s not just about the price…it’s “how you sell” …from the free PDF to the $25,000 mastermind…and everything in between.

All promotions need to be equally magnificent, regardless of the real or perceived value of what you are selling.

Chapter 3 of Overdeliver is titled, “How Paying Postage Made Me a Better Marketer,” which emphasizes this point from a promotional angle in addition to a price angle.

It’s not to say that everyone should embrace direct mail marketing and fall in love with paying postage (and printing) for all promotions; but it is to say that the discipline involved in doing a direct mail campaign should be followed with all your marketing…in any medium.

Imagine paying postage and printing for every email you send…would that change the way you write them?

There is never a reason to cut corners when you are putting yourself out there no matter what you are selling…or not selling…because you are always selling yourself.

2. “Get them on your list and mail them forever”

This sounds a lot worse than it is.

But again, it’s how you “mail them forever.”

I was reminded of this concept this past week when online marketing superstar Kim Walsh-Phillips spoke at my Titans Xcelerator Mastermind.

In 2020, she held a “Live Cast” to promote her new book on Social Media Marketing where she orchestrated a parade of 30 marketers on to her “show,” one at a time, asking them each the same question:

“How do you use social media in your marketing?”

Being one of the 30, I chose not to think about the question in advance (not out of laziness but more to be spontaneous) …and what came out of my mouth mirrored (somewhat) the rule of thumb above from Ben and Ken:

“I use social media to add people to my online family…and then I romance them”

I replaced “list” with “online family” …which creates built-in discipline to never take your audience for granted…and to treat everyone with the same respect as you treat your family.

Of course, that assumes you love and respect your family (at least some of them?) …but you get the idea.

I could have added “forever” to the end of my quote as well…missed that opportunity…my bad. 🙁

And I replaced “mail them” with “romance them” …because words matter (as they always do).

As a verb, “mailing” is passive (i.e. doing something); “romance” is active (i.e. doing something intentional).

Being intentional with everything we send—in any medium—to achieve something (and not always sell something) is for me, the only way to communicate.

In conclusion, I would gladly pay postage for email if it meant that those who mail incessantly with no romance (leading to less care for their audience) and no intention to ever pay for that mail, would go to another medium to not spend money without romance.

Now that’s a romantic thought. 🙂



P.S. One of the best ways to romance your audience is through engagement…and research.

That goes for both marketers and copywriters.

There is no one doing more in the copywriting and marketing community teaching this than A-List copywriter, 5-year “Legend” Titans Xcelerator member, and my good friend, Kim Krause Schwalm.

As you are aware, I don’t endorse products in this weekly blog (unless they are my own).

And I don’t take affiliate commissions either.

The exceptions happen when a product or service is among the best-of-the-best educational materials, from experts I trust…and Kim’s Research Beast course qualifies on both counts.

Kim proved her mettle time and time again, writing winning promotions in one of the most competitive environments in direct response history (newsletters and nutritional supplements in the 1980’s and 1990’s).

She also had an unfair advantage because she began her career on the marketing side, understanding lists, offers, new product development, and media which enabled her to grow into copywriting from the “inside,” unlike most copywriters practicing today.

Yes, paying postage made her a better marketer…and a world class copywriter. 🙂

She wrote one successful control after another, for me and others…and like Jay Abraham says, “If you did it you have a (moral) obligation to teach it.”

Kim “did it” by doing the work.

In the trenches.

No shortcuts.

And Research Beast is how she is fulfilling Jay’s edict.

That’s good news for all of us.

In a tribute event to the late Clayton Makepeace – who was a master at speaking to his prospect’s biggest emotional hot buttons, always emphasizing the benefits of any product – copywriting Titan Gary Bencivenga shared the following:

“Great ads are built on deep research. The best copywriters are tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of ore. John Caples advised me once to gather seven times more interesting information than I could possibly use.”

That’s what “doing the work” means to one of the best copywriters who has ever lived…and he, like me, endorses Kim to be the messenger with a system to make it happen for any copywriter.

That Kim has been able to package decades of research and wisdom into this unique product/training is nothing short of a miracle.

It is far from a short cut; but it’s the best way I know to give you the same unfair advantage she has had throughout her career.

And as copywriting coach Kevin Rogers said recently about “Copywriting in 2024”:

Do you want to be a Bot or the Best?

To be the best, you need Research Beast; and to think that you can rely on ChatGPT exclusively to do all of this for you is a pipe dream.

It’s essential (required) that you know how to do research right.

Research Beast
 gives you an efficient, proven, and powerfully effective process to do research the right way…from an expert’s expert.

Plus…Kim has agreed to give members of my online family a generous discount if they buy Research Beast by the end of this month.

You can find all the details here.

One other thing…

Kim is insisting on paying me an affiliate commission for each sale.

So, I’ll be donating 100% of my commissions to a great cause:

Bringing clean water to people in parts of the world that desperately need it.

I believe charity:water is the best organization dedicated to this, so when you buy Research Beast at the exclusive savings on this page, you’ll also be helping charity:water continue its important work.

I have had a personal donation page since 2017, which has served almost 2,500 people in need of clean water, with a lifetime impact of close to $100,000.

You will add to that impact when you buy Research Beast here.

Not to mention the impact it will have on your copywriting and marketing. 🙂

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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