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This week's Copy Insiders: Eva, can I see bees in a cave?

We made it! It's Friday...and it's already the 22nd of the month. We're nearing the middle of a 10-day palindrome streak, too (that's when the dates read the same backwards and forwards). In fact, in honor of this rare palindrome streak, I've selected an obscure and hopefully attention-getting subject line that has nothing to do with today's issue...except that it's a palindrome (test it out and see for yourself!)

In fact, today's issue is going to be a bit of a hodgepodge that you're welcome to read backwards and forwards as well. You're going to discover some CLASSIC books on copywriting and marketing that can make you a lot of moo-lah...and where you can get your hands on them at no cost. I'm also going to look at an e-commerce company that's doing some cool and entertaining marketing and branding (with its own take on the latest Bernie Sanders meme that's sweeping the Internet). And if you read all the way through to the P.S. (I mean, why wouldn't you?), I'm including a link to a book that on its own is a master class in direct marketing, but also gives you a massive amount of bonuses that are worth thousands on their own if you could even find them. But first, I wanted to follow up on last week's issue (you can read it here). I talked about how I'm taking a comedy sketch writing class online that has many applications to copywriting...and how trying out new skills can make you a better copywriter. I've really found Improv useful in general for developing skills like thinking on my feet, brainstorming ideas, LISTENING (an often-overlooked and extremely valuable copywriter trait), building confidence, and much more. Bird City Improv (where I'm taking my current sketch writing class) is offering an "Intro to Improv" class that's starting in early February. Classes are online and "pay what you can" (or free). You can find out more here. Now, let's shift to talking about one of the foundational principles of profitable direct marketing: lifetime value. In one of the Facebook groups I'm in (it's for members of Brian Kurtz's Titans Xcelerator virtual mastermind, which I highly recommend next time the doors open again), I saw a post from Copy Insider John Pejchl. He was interested in learning more about lifetime value, having read about it Brian's Overdeliver book as well as hearing about it from Dan Kennedy, and wanted some recommended reading. John's post, one of just a few I scanned as I limit my Facebook time during my most productive morning hours, reminded me of a groundbreaking book I read decades ago when I was young marketer running the fledgling Healthy Directions supplement business. It's a classic, but relatively obscure, book written by the brilliant direct marketer Don Libey called Libey on Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value. Reminded of it by John's post, as I sipped my first steaming hot mug of coffee this morning I did a quick online search and got my hands on a free PDF version of the book (you'll find it here). Many of today's online marketers will toss about "fancy" terms like "AOV" and "lifetime value" almost as if they invented them. Yet often they don't truly understand how they all fit together, and the pieces of the puzzle they may be ignoring. It always amazes me how even the most admired online companies fail to use the concepts of "recency" and "frequency" in their back-end marketing...or worse, lack any real "back-end" at all. And it's really the "back-end" (people who've bought from you before) who are your very best "front-end" for new products and offers (or reactivating for offers they've bought before), rather than always going after that new person who's never bought from you before. I credit many of these concepts and principles from Don Libey's book as being the reason why I was able to lead the Healthy Directions supplement business to more than $23 million in sales (that's more than $38 million in today's dollars) after just 3 years. And that was by going to just ONE list (subscribers to a popular paid health newsletter). Yes, Don's book was written back in the late 80s or early 90s. And yes, it's completely applicable to online marketing today...in fact, we now have the tools to bring all of Don's seemingly fantastical predictions in his book to life (and you'll be surprised how many we're NOT doing yet.) This could be the single most profitable book you read all year! Go to www.e-rfm.com/libey/ and get it now! The other classic book you should read at least once a year (every time I do it highlights new lessons or puts old ones in a new light). It's Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. This book (along with Hopkins' My Life in Advertising) was the very first book I read as a freelance copywriter. I read it after spending several years in marketing, including launching and running the aforementioned Healthy Directions business when I worked at Phillips Publishing. Even after all that "in the trenches" experience, working with some of the greatest minds in direct marketing, once I read Scientific Advertising it was as if all the pieces of the puzzle came together. It's a great reminder of the classic "salesmanship in print" principles behind copywriting...even if it was written nearly 100 years ago (and often refers only to MEN--but that's one of the few dated and antiquated things about it.) I kicked off my first group mentoring session with my new group of Fast Track to A-list mentees last week with a discussion on this book. It's something I require all of my mentees to read as we start to work together, and it's a book I recommend you read or re-read as well. It's a quick read, at just 108 pages, too. You can grab a free PDF of Scientific Advertising here (personally, I prefer my marked-up, post-it note-flagged "hard copy" version myself.) You'll be blown away by how many valuable insights it brings you! Next, I wanted to share some great examples of channeling desire onto your product that Copy Insider Alexander Berglin submitted to me after reading last Friday's issue. Here's the email he sent me. I'm loving the lessons he's applying here to his examples that were inspired by last week's "What's in Kim's Mailbox?"...

Alex's examples show how you can "spin" whatever you're selling to appeal to just about any mass desire your target prospect has. Thanks for sharing this with me, Alex, and giving me permission to share here. Okay, now we're going to take a BRIEF look at an email that landed in my inbox just last night. At some point in the future I want to take a deeper look at this company's branding and use of humor to acquire new customers and create loyal, raving fans. But for now, I've just got to share this particular email, while it still "works"... What's in Kim's Mailbox? One of my young adult children asked for a bidet attachment for Christmas...which led me to buying one from a company called Tushy. I highly recommend you visit their website. It's a master class in incorporating humor into what can be a nasty and embarrassing topic (pooping...which, let's face it, just like farting most people find hilarious--as I'm realizing in my Comedy Sketch Writing class. In fact, my first "beat sheet" that got critiqued last night involved pooping and farting!) In any case, since making this purchase from Tushy I've been loving their emails. A simple customer service interaction results in emails that convey the personality and branding of the company, and evoke a sense of caring while making me laugh. Even the copy on the packaging when the Tushy bidet attachment arrived was brilliant and instilled an instant "reaffirmation" of my purchase decision and built even greater loyalty. I promise we'll take a look at it one of these days soon (I took pictures!) But for now, let's look at this email the Tushy folks sent out last night with their latest take on the ubiquitous Bernie meme that's been taking the Internet by storm. It was a "digest"-type email intended for buyers or those on their list who haven't bought yet, directing them to various content and product links. This meme of Bernie (which is already starting to get "old" as of this morning anyway) is a hilariously appropriate application of their branding...

The email subject line was "The Bidet Inaugural Address". Previously this week, the company sent out an email with what I thought was a dumb and not-so-funny "joke" about the Biden inauguration (I even wrote them about it). It was the first time I thought they veered from being hilarious. So it's a reminder how easy it is to step in deep "doo doo" when you start to get even remotely

political with your advertising. However, this Bernie meme is timely and "on-brand" (and I'm still wondering where I can those mittens. Someone on Etsy is going to rack up a fortune making them!) That's it for today...I've got a few deadlines to meet and then I'm ready for the weekend! Hope you are, too. Yours for smarter marketing, Kim P.S. I mentioned my friend and mentor Brian Kurtz's fabulous book, Overdeliver, which every marketer and copywriter worth their salt should get their hands on. When you do, Brian's offering an incredible array of valuable bonuses that you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere. They include trainings and swipes from Gary Bencivenga (who's also a Copy Insider), Gene Schwartz, Arthur Johnson, Jay Abraham, Parris Lampropoulus, David Deutsch, and more. This link takes you to Brian's bonus page where you can check them out and get your hands on them while they're still available. P.P.S. Just a quick reminder, after leading a discussion on one of the beginning sections of Gene Schwartz's Breakthrough Advertising last week in Brian's Titans Xcelerator group, a few folks on the call piped up about how much they LOVED and recommended my Million-Dollar Control Breakdown Master Class. I hadn't planned on mentioning any product during the call, but under pressure I shared with them a discount code that would save them $200. So I'm passing along the same opportunity to you. Use the coupon code KKS200 up through January 31st and you'll also save $200 on this highly-recommended program. (Note: you won't see it mentioned there yet, but I've also recently added an additional bonus breakdown of the promo I wrote that beat the late Jim Rutz twice...)

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