The Boron Letters
I spent my Saturday night reading "The Boron Letters" and it was the most splendid thing I have read in a long long time. In today's issue, I'm going to share with you some of my favourite parts from the letters.
What is The Boron Letters?
- In the 1980s, Gary Halbert, arguably history's greatest copywriter was sentenced to imprisonment for tax fraud
- During his imprisonment, Halbert wrote a series of letters to his youngest son Bond Halbert, intending to teach him everything he had learned in life, from health advice to insider marketing tactics
- Those series of letters, 25 to be exact, would later be known as "The Boron Letters" and has been the "Bible" for copywriters all over the world
My favourite parts
- I like how in the first few chapters of the letters Gary talked about his health rituals:
- Getting one hour's worth of "road work", aka jogging or walking, every morning right after waking up
- Eat three pieces of fruit and a large bowl of cereal every day
- Fast once a week
- And my favourite one of all, develop strong muscular arms because women are attracted to them and having big arms keeps you out of trouble lol
- Learn what people want to buy, not what they say they buy. If you asked someone which kind of beer they'd prefer, regular or premium, most will say premium as that's the beer they felt they should drink but guess what? Regular beers sell more
- When you get stuck, just keep moving. The key is movement, you could jog, walk or do the dishes, just don't sit around waiting for a flash from heaven
- The AIDA formula: Attention, interest, desire, action. Your ad should:
- First, get their attention
- Second, get them interested
- Third, make them desire what you are selling
- Compel them to take whatever action is needed to get whatever it is you are selling
- Use parentheses () to make your copy easier to read
- What determines winners? It's how they play the cards that were dealt with them. Were they alert and ready to exploit the good ones? Did they perceive in time enough that the bad ones were in fact bad and dump them without huge losses? Were they ready to exploit or abandon their mediocre hands as the different situations dictated?
The letters are filled with interesting stories and small golden nuggets. It's short enough that I think everyone should read it.
What became of his son, Bond?
He went on to become a successful copywriter himself, selling millions worth of information products.