I watched a video by Gary Halbert, arguably the best copywriter that wrote “The Boron Letters” that shaped a lot of the way direct mail ads were written. As a kid, I’d read these letters selling me the best speed reading techniques, kung fu secrets, and ancient wisdom from Zen monks.
The video I watched was 30 years old. It talked about bulk rate vs 1st class postal rates and how to stuff envelopes.
Obsolete garbage…or was it?
But I’ve been looking for timeless truths hidden inside all short lived techniques.
His universal truth was highly relevant:
1) Do something different than your competitors (don’t use bulk rate, use an actual stamp),
2) Seem like you’re their friend (do hand written stuff),
3) Break their unconscious patterns (if you had a sales letter that looked like a news article, it would actually get read).
Important to note is #3, because it took the internet many years to catch on and abuse that technique. So maybe 66% of his specific material was outdated, but even the last 33% was enough to likely produce massive success.
Also, the fundamentals didn’t change at all. Plus knowing some specific techniques could have helped you come up with the next stage of marketing where you now:
1) Do something different (put ads on Instagram instead of AdWords),
2) Being friendly (may be giving away content),
3) Breaking patterns (instead of typical “CLICK NOW!”, discourage it by using a click-bait title like “Don’t click on this background report check if you’re not prepared for the results – they may shock you.”)
Providing value doesn’t go obsolete, and outdated techniques that provided value will always have truths behind them that you can uncover.