The tequila shot that changed my life

Issue #85—November 18, 2019

Last week felt as though it was the longest week of my life. And maybe, one of the most transformative. II started off a week ago Friday attending my first-ever LaunchCon in Phoenix. Then I spent the rest of the week attending Brian Kurtz's Titans Master Class.

In the past week, I've heard amazing speakers including Jeff Walker, Jay Abraham, Brian Kurtz, Sebastian Night, Carline Anglade-Cole, Marisa Murgatroyd, Dan Kuschell, and the list goes on and on.

I got so many business-transforming ideas, I spent the entire 4-5 flight home this past Thursday writing and sorting them all out (in spite of the 3 loud talkers seated in the row in front of me....grrrrrr!) It felt like I'd been gone an entire month, rather than just 7 nights, when I finally got home.

What I gained from the "longest week ever"

There's only so much "awesomeness" a person can handle. But I soaked up a ton of incredible ideas and insights last week. You're going to see some new and exciting things from me in the coming weeks and months as a result, so stay tuned!

One of the keys to getting so much out of what felt like many days being on a "tough mudder" endurance course of epic marketing wisdom proportions was self care. And if that meant skipping a high-end networking dinner and staying curled up in bed munching on complimentary chocolate chip cookies handed out at check-in (yes, I did that one night, I admit), then so be it.

Each conference night, in part due to the 2-hour time zone difference, but mostly due to extreme mental overload, I retired to my hotel room by 9pm-ish. The exception was one night at LaunchCon when I randomly headed to the bar, only to find myself hanging with almost the entire speaker roster from earlier that day, two of whom whose talks I had missed due to jet lag and overwhelm.

The long and short of it is, it's important to do whatever it takes to keep up your energy to the very end when you're making such substantial investments of your time and money.

Once LaunchCon was over, it was time for Titans Master Class. The kick off was a day with Jay Abraham, hearing his brilliant insights and watching him do Hot Seats. The next few days were full of other amazing speakers. And those of us who endured to the very end were rewarded with some of the best Titans Master Class presentations on the last afternoon.

We finished off by commandeering a few tables in the on-site hotel restaurant for dinner the last night. One of the amazing marketers in the group suggested we all do tequila shots at the end of our meal together. It didn't happen though.

The closest thing to it was someone ordering a Tequila Sunrise. But it did remind me of a story which I shared, and which has some marketing lessons in it. Let's call it...

The tequila shot that changed my life

Back when I was a young single professional (aka "yuppie") living in Baltimore, I was in a group house one summer with a bunch of other friends down in Rehoboth Beach. Dewey Beach, the next town over, was where all the 20 and 30-somethings went to hang out on the weekends.

It was Labor day weekend and I had a girlfriend in from Chicago visiting. A group of us headed to the Rusty Rudder. Shortly thereafter one friend noticed a guy checking me out from afar. I shrugged it off as the whole summer I'd gotten sick of guys hitting on me, and besides, my friend was in from out of town and I wanted to catch up with her.

A bit later, my friend and I broke off from the group and were talking near the dance floor, where a reggae band was playing. The same aforementioned guy decides to make his approach. He comes up and says, "Dance with me."

I felt like it was a little "presumptive" and I wasn't in the mood to dance, so I replied, "Not now, maybe later." He walked away with a slight slunk.

A few minutes after that my friend and I each decided to do a shot of tequila.

I believe the aforementioned guy witnessed us doing so. Because right after that, he walks up and says, "I've been watching you all night and think you're gorgeous. Will you dance with me?"

My answer, of course, was "yes" (as I handed my girlfriend my purse to hold).

And that, my friends, was how I met my husband.

Who ended up being a total gentleman, took me out for a delicious dinner a few nights later, and who I saw every weekend from then on until we got married over 25 years ago.

So let's take a quick look at the marketing and copy lessons here, shall we?

1) Never give up on a prospect after making the initial offer. You often need to get your offer in front of a prospect multiple times before they buy. Persistence pays! Sometimes it's just the mere repetition of the same offer, coming from multiple channels, that finally convinces a prospect to act.

2) Just because your prospect says "no" now doesn't mean they will later. You never know exactly at what point your prospect will be most receptive to your offer. Conditions can change. They may not want your cholesterol supplement offer right now, but six months later after their next annual physical they might be all over it. (And an offer to dance goes over much more smoothly once a tequila shot has been consumed! Yes, timing is everything.)

3) Test your copy---always! Just because one headline (or opening sentence) doesn't work doesn't mean something else won't either. Test short copy ("Dance with me") vs long copy ("I've been watching you all night and I think you're gorgeous...") and see what happens. (Hint: longer copy almost always wins.)

4) Make sure your messaging speaks to your prospect's desires and emotions. The line that flopped ("Dance with me") has nothing in it for the prospect, whereas the one that worked used the age-old technique of flattering the prospect.

Definitely some good lessons a fun trip down memory lane for me. Now, let's take a quick look at a promotion that grabbed me by the eyeballs. Even though it's not a traditional direct response ad, there's definitely some ideas here you could borrow, especially for any kind of print promotion...

What's in Kim's Mailbox?

When I came across the 4-page wrap below, it was encircling the front page section of last Thursday's USA Today. There were a stack of the newspapers sitting on a table in the hotel lobby and I grabbed one before checking out. And how could I not. Walking by and seeing this was jarring...

It looks very real, like an actual issue of the newspaper. I honestly thought it was editorial at first, and that it was making a somewhat political statement in light of the Trump impeachment hearings that'd been happening all week.

But it's not editorial. When you open it up, there's a full 2-page ad for the movie "The Report" (which continues on the back cover of the 4-page wrap), and nestled inside is the actual USA Today newspaper. Since the photo above got cut off, here's the rest of the front page (the bottom part):

The only part of the front page that looks like advertising is that "space ad" box at the bottom...which has the effect of making it seem even more like an actual newspaper.

Not only is this "blacked-out-word" design approach highly effective in getting attention, it ties in well with the branding of the movie. Its own title has a word blacked out (or "redded" out).

When I think back to some of the earlier days of direct mail promotions, particularly in the alternative health space but later for more mainstream publishers like Boardroom, the whole concept of "forbidden" or information being withheld that "they" don't want you to know sold thousands of books and newsletter subscriptions.

In a time where mistrust and skepticism abounds at even greater levels today, I believe this marketing angle can be stronger and more effective than ever. This ad may give you some ideas on how to incorporate it visually----whether it's a direct mail magalog (or "issuelog") cover, a Facebook ad graphic, or something else.

Definitely "gripping and eye-opening"!

That's it for this week's issue. I meant to get this out to you Friday, but it was my first day back in the office and I ran out of time. You'll be hearing from me soon again about something exciting I got to see with my own eyes last week.

It has to do with a legendary copywriter who's no longer with us. But get this. I got to meet this copywriter's editor/copy "therapist" who was behind many of his biggest breakthrough promos. I'll be sharing more about how you can dig into this treasure trove of breakthrough copywriting strategies she's helped pull together in the coming week.

Yours for smarter marketing,


P.S. As you may or may not know, Brian Kurtz---who is one of the smartest marketers I know (and I know a lot)---recently released his latest book, called Overdeliver. It's packed with the very best direct marketing and copywriting strategies that Brian used to help Boardroom grow to well over $100 million in sales, and has used since that time to help other companies shoot to new heights.

Brian's worked with the very best copywriters in our industry, he's in masterminds with the smartest people in our industry, and runs his own masterminds with the best and the brightest. It's why Overdeliver truly overdelivers with hard-won marketing wisdom and should be the #1 book you read next.

Brian let me know his publisher, Hay House, is making the book available through this Thursday for just $10 (a 63% savings off the regular hardcover cost) PLUS you get free shipping. You can grab your copy here. Even better, you can get a wealth of incredible bonuses Brian is offering when you go to this page (be sure to click the link in the bottom right corner where it asks if you already bought the book).

After you enter your details, ou'll get the complete collection of Gary Bencivenga's famous "Marketing Bullets", Dan Kennedy's Million-Dollar Resource and Sample book, the Overdeliver Copywriter's Tool Kit (loaded with invaluable and legendary promo swipes from Gene Schwartz, Gary Bencivenga Gary Halbert, Bill Bonner, Parris Lampropoulus, David Deutsch, and others), exclusive training from Perry Marshall and Jay Abraham, and much more.

I'm mentioning this not just as a favor to Brian, but to you, because every copywriter and marketer I know can benefit immensely from this incredible book and bonuses. Click the link to see everything you'll's amazing. Any one of these bonuses are worth hundreds of dollars, but they're all yours free when you get your copy of Overdeliver for just $10. But Brian tells me this offer ends this Thursday November 21st at midnight, so act fast.

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