Episode #76 – Bond Halbert on Creating An Engaged Email List Using Gary Halbert Principles In Today’s Online World (and how he enhanced his late father’s work to create magic)

by John McIntyre

Ever wonder what it would be like to be raised by a famous legend?

Well today’s your lucky day fellow email marketer –

Halbert, Bond Halbert…

is here on The Email Marketing Podcast.

Gary Halbert was the greatest copywriter and marketing mind that ever graced this Earth.

And today his son Bond – another amazing marketing mind,

Gives us a peek inside that only Gary’s sons could have.


The same son who was stuffing, stamping and sealing direct mail campaign envelopes when he was 2 years old.

The same son who trained copywriting and advertising starting at the ripe old age of TEN.

The same son who played guinea pig for all the lessons Gary taught his protege’s or used in his timeless newsletters.


He’s quite the marketing persona.

Not many people in the world (I’m guessing none) have started their marketing careers years before they could even walk into a PG-13 movie.

It runs through his veins.

And he lives and breathes it as much as Gary did.


Bond’s marketing-mind-blowing interview shows us how his dad trained him,

And how he applies those core marketing concepts ingrained in him into today’s online world.

He hit’s email marketing strategies, autoresponder psychology, and much, much more.


Bond shows us how he took Gary’s timeless work,

…enhancing it to make it a one-of-a-kind copywriters dream source of learning information (the only marketing info product to ever give him goosebumps).


In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • the surefire way to get your readers addicted to you (avoid predictability with this random-reward strategy)
  • how Bond would use daily emails to imprint himself onto his subscribers… and never be forgotten
  • the gun to your head marketing mentality that revolutionized direct mail campaigns also will do the exact same for your email marketing.
  • why you should avoid using cheesy tricks that get people to open your email everytime (learn what these cheesy’s are and the only times you should ever use them)
  • an email trick that is so dang powerful, it forces people to open (ESPs will only let you use it 10 times… choose wisely)
  • how randomness goes a long way in building long-lasting relationships
  • how Bond applies what his dad taught him about bulletproof headlines to his email subject lines (there’s nothing wrong with forced teaser copy as long as you use it this way)
  • the vital importance behind getting someone’s main email address (forget about spam filters… avoiding spam emails is step one)
  • how Bond left Aweber and GetResponse employees speechless and in awe
  • if you want to build a great repoire with your list… your in-person relationship building skills are more important than you might think

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO


Raw transcript:

Download PDF transcript here.

John McIntyre:  Hey, it’s John McIntyre here, the Autoresponder Guy. It’s time for episode 76 of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast where you’ll discover one simple thing… How to make money every time you send an email to your list, which is really I think the goal here as we wanna learn, how to take the email addresses that we have in our email list and make them buy stuff. And it’s not just because we’re trying to make money or trying to scam anyone, it’s because we’re trying to Help people. Because email is a way to build a relationship. So… it’s god to have you here.

Today I’ll  be talking to be talking to Bond Halbert. Now, you might recognize that last name. The reason why is that Bond is the son of the late Gary Halbert, one of the greatest copywriters who ever lived. K? Now you might have read The Boron Letters – Gary wrote it out to his sons. They’re good go check that out if you can. Anyway…

Today we’re going to talk about how to create an engaged list, and I was very interested to talk to Bond about this because of his experience with, obviously he started learning his marketing I think he said when has was like 10 or 4 years old. Crazy young at the time. And so he’s grown up born and bread by marketing, so it was great getting him on and talking about some of this stuff. And I was surprised to be honest. Its made me rethink and challenge my ideas and my ways of doing email and I think over the next few months as I update my own business and my own sorta marketing funnel, things are going to change based somewhat on what I learned from Bond.  And I’ve got another guy coming up next week who also will be talking about a similar thing. Now, to get the show notes of this podcast go to www.themcmethod.com/76

This week’s McMaster Inside of the week is a good one. This is something I’ve been sharing in some of the webinars I’ve done with people. It’s something you can take away right now as an insight and go and apply on your business and I think you’ll get some great results from it. Ok?  Split-testing the Price. I’ve found in the last few months, the single biggest thing I can do in terms of split testing is split testing the price. From changing the price of $7 to $17, $17 to $25, $29.95, and it’s incredible to see the conversion rate difference because sometimes I found for example, I went from $7 on one product to $17 and the conversion stayed the same. Incredible. Then I went up to $19.95, didn’t really work. $24.95 didn’t really work. $29.95 was interesting, but I think $17, if you blow it out through the upsells through an expanded view, $17 works better because it has a slightly higher conversion rate which means there’s more front end customers which means more people buy the upsells. Ok? It’s absolutely fascinating, so split testing the price – the really simple way to do this is create a couple different paypal buttons, sign up to Visual Website Optimizer and set up a test. Grab versions of your sales page, one has one price one has the other – split test them with your traffic and you will be astounded at the results. Maybe a couple tests you don’t find out much, but a good friend of mine, a conversion rate optimization guy… he’s fond of saying that 8/10 tests won’t do anything. They won’t make a difference, you’d be better off going with whatever you started with. But the one or 2 that you find occasionally that take a bit of work to get to, they are just pure gold. They will bump things by massive amounts. Ok? The lesson here, go and test your price. If you’re a freelancer, double your rates. Hell, quadruple your rates and see what happens. See what people say and you’ll be surprised. You gotta say it with confidence though. Have confidence… 

The other reason why I’m excited about McMasters right now is these templates. There is a whole bunch of these fill-in-the-blank templates, 10 to be exact… inside McMasters, so that anyone can join, be up and running with their Autoresponder with 5 or 10 emails in literally a couple of hours and if they want to they can go back and start studying the training material which I highly suggest cuz then they can go back and learn how to write the emails themselves and they wont need to use templates all the time. Ok? Now I love templates. They make things easy. They remove the writer’s block and all that crap. So,  templates inside McMasters. To learn more about McMasters whether its templates or you wanna know what training materials are inside there, go to themcmethod.com/mcmasters and I hope to see you in there. Now, let’s get into this interview with Mr. Bond Halbert.

It’s John McIntyre, here, the autoresponders guy. I’m here with Bond Halbert who is the son of the late Gary Halbert and I thought I’d get him on the show to talk about some of the stuff he’s learned over the last few years and I guess how that’s changed, and what Gary teaches or taught and how that’s evolved. And what he’s up to now. Now Gary Halbert, if you’re listening to this you really should know about The Gary Halbert Letter. He was one of the greatest copywriters on the planet and he’s got this  Gary Halbert Letter. Every copywriter or direct response marketer has been through it at some point to learn from it. Some of the issues, all the issues… I went through it bak when I was still getting things going when I was living in the Philippines, and it was a great resource to just learn. It was so good. You hear it mentioned everywhere. I mention it in some of the emails I send out to the list. It’s still around and now Bond is actually tweaking it and doing some interesting stuff with it which I’m sure we’ll get into today… Bond how you going man?

Bond Halbert:I’m doing well. Thank you for having me on this. 

John McIntyre: Good to have you on here man. I think it’s been. I heard about you a while ago that was when I was living in the Philippines, writing down sales letters by hand the way Gary suggests. I remember seeing you there. I found your website. I think I just got caught up with other things for a while and then it circled back through a friend of ours Dan who was like “I know Bond” so I figured we get you on the show on the podcast so we can talk a but marketing, so it’s funny. It’s a bit of a small world.

Bond Halbert:Yes it is. It’s amazing. They have 6 degrees of separation… in the marketing world it always seems as if it’s one. (laughs)

John McIntyre:Exactly. Well let’s just start, we didn’t plan this out too much, but let’s see where this goes. Before we get into the meat and potatoes give people sort of a background on you know who is Bond Halbert and what are you up to right now?

Bond Halbert:Well uh, in the marketing community I’m pretty well known for being my dad’s right hand man for a long time, learning the ropes in copywriting a so forth but I went off and took we he had taught me and started selling info products and did quite well with that. And then when he passed away I actually tooled down for a while. I took a lot of time off to you know recover from the shock of it all. And then I got up and had to start retooling and I found that a lot of people were really still wanting more info. It kinda helped in picking up the slack and teaching people some marketing tricks. Basically, showing people how to take the Gary Halbert lessons and letters, especially the older ones and translate and show people the value in how it’s being used today. And so I started falling into the pattern of teaching people through products and services and consulting and taking clients on and stuff. Also, I’m pulled into a lot of high-level masterminds as an idea guy and stuff because you know marketing is one of those things that a lot of people picked it up at 25 or 30 then they moved on and discovered copywriting and stuff. So one of the things you have when you start off as early as I did. Because my dad really started training me. I mean I was stuffing, stamping and sealing envelopes for test mailing since I was like 2. But he started really training me when I was about 10. When you have that kind of understanding of it and you hear the lessons as often as I did, and know them so well… cuz I was basically .. If my dad taught you anything in the newsletter or he taught proteges in person, I was the original guinea pig for that lesson, and I was the original guinea pig several times over and I would watch him teach these other people as well, so when you have that kind of level. What you start to do is you start to see automatic things or you start to understand the core concepts and the psychology that’s invoked with the techniques he shows you right? when you get that, you start to understand how that works and you get to apply that to the more modern marketing techniques. I’ll give you an example of that. One of my dad’s early newsletters, he has this letter that’s all about 900 numbers. And 900 numbers for those who don’t remember them are numbers that when you call it, the phone company would then charge the person who called them. So it was a way of charging quickly. And for a recorded message. Now, 976 numbers were for porn, recorded sex talk, but 900 numbers were more for things like horoscopes, and 10 dollar message on “good homes to buy in Los Angeles” or whatever the information you were selling was. And A lot of people would look at that and say “I can see that hook being used in this website or something but…” I would turn around and say look. That’s perfect for a short text code. You know those 5 digit text codes you get “to get your horoscope” or “text here to make a donation”. So, all of those lessons translate in that way. And my dad’s A pile B pile speech where he teaches how to get your snail mail open and read, I took  all those concepts in it and applied it and I started getting higher opening rates. You know opening rates that I’ve heard people at Aweber and GetResponse get amazed at. If you can impress them (laughs). And so I started applying that to Autoresponders, to email marketing..the core concepts, but there are some subtle differences between then and now. For example, online, the way that the attention span is broken up is a little bit… you’d used to break up your paragraph for eye relief in an ad, and you do that in print. Online you have to do that even further. Ok?. the funny thing is you have a shorter attention span to get to people. Because people value their reading time more than anything else. if i turn around and tell you “hey there’s a great new show on tv”, you’ll give it a half hour right? If I say there’s a cool song you’ll give it a minute to listen to. If I say here’s a 12 page sales letter you wanna read it, you’ll put it away for after dinner and figure out a way to not read that (laughs).  And so todays fast paced world is just getting faster. i think a lot of the things that. One of the key differences. You’ll see it a lot with copywriters. It used to be that they wanted to write to a 5th grade level and now they’re even lowering that. They say you wanna write in a 4th grade vocabulary. 

John McIntyre:Yup.

Bond Halbert:And it’s not that people are less articulate or have a slower vocabulary. They have less time and less of an attention span online. And so in some instances. I don’t believe in absolutes in marketing. In print, you can still do the same thing. Btu if you think about it, our parents generation, they grew up reading for entertainment SO much more than you know out generation. And my daughters generation, they  are reading short short stories  you know fan fiction , 

John McIntyre:…Facebook status updates

Bond Halbert: Yeah, and you have to adapt to that medium that you’re in but anyways, so on elf the things that I very much focus on is trying to show everybody in the world that what my dad taught is still being used in the world today and a lot of great marketers are using his concepts. Some of them are giving him credit for it and some aren’t (laughs). But so much of his stuff, even his words you’re seeing used over and over in copy, but some of it just needs that understanding of the psychology of it to understand why that’s working and how to adapt it.

John McIntyre:Right. I think the interesting part here, cuz I was wondering, that was one of the things I wanted to ask you is, are you just doing direct mail stuff with the stuff you learned from Gary or are you doing it online? So it sounds like you’re kinda doing it online, but you had to sorta update it and tweak it to make it fit.

Bond Halbert: Yeah, Ill give you an example. In my dad’s A Pile B Pile speech about getting your mail opened, 

John McIntyre:Just before you talk about that, what is the, for the listener who might not know what that is, what’s the A Pile B Pile?

Bond Halbert: Ok, The concept is this. When you would come home and get your mail, you would sort it over a waste basket an into 2 piles. Well really three. there some stuff obviously you didn’t want to throw away BUT you would sort out your letters and all the stuff you had to open, bills, personal correspondents and so forth into one pile… the A Pile.  That was the stuff you were gonna read for sure. And the B pile was stuff you might be interested in you know like an offer for an oil change you might need so you put that down for a second. You look at it and say, “I’m so so sure about this” and you put it on the B pile. Well later, what happened is, the B Pile starts to pile up over the week and Saturday your friends are coming over to take you to a movie and you’re straightening up so you just throw it all into the garbage. And so a lot of the mail just wasn’t even opened. And my dad sat down when he was having problems and following everybody’s advice to mail bulk rate because you’ll need fewer orders to be profitable and all this stuff… he really invented Gun To The Head marketing. This was in the 1960’s. He sat down and said, “ok, you know Gary, if somebody had a gun to your head and he said he’d pull the trigger unless you made the sale, what would you do differently?” Out of this longer speech, on of the first things he said was “ I would put in a live first class stamp.” And there were 2 reasons for that. 1 of the keys was getting past the human spam filter – the brain. It was looking at the envelope for a window or a bulk rate mailing, or anything that indicates that its junk mail.  He didn’t want that so a live stamp was better, but the very first portion of that was actually that first class mail was treated better by the post office. His first worry was getting the mail delivered right? So I was sitting there thinking what’s the first thing I need to get the mail delivered? And everybody in this industry at this time when I first started talking about this was very concerned with spam filters. Here’s the thing. Let’s suppose.. this is your average internet experience. You want something. So, for example you want to learn how to cure stage fright, so you go looking online and some guy says “I have the 7 step cure formula and Ill give it to you for free but you gotta give me your email address”. So what do you do? You give them a spam email address. Right? And then he says, “not so fast you gotta confirm through a confirmation link”. So you got to that email address and you see those 500 emails that have piled up since the last time you were there. You go to the top. you find out whether he’s even got what you need or he doesn’t. If he’s got what you need you’re off trying to practice it and trying to do it with the forgotten promise that you’ll probably resubscribe if he’s the right guy, which you never will. OR more than likely, he’s probably failed on his promise. He hasn’t impressed you and you’re off to the internet to go find your solution. Either way on the way out you ignore or delete ALL 500 emails. Later on that evening you go to your regular email address and you see your spam filter with 25-50 emails in it. Do you just delete them? No. You actually scan them to make sure nobody slipped through the cracks because this is your primary email address. Maybe somebody sent you something maybe there was an ebay notice whatever. So you scan it real quick and make sure everything is spam then you hit delete. And the lesson here is it would be better for your mail to make it into the spam box of your primary email address. Then to make it to the primary inbox of a spam email address. Worry about getting a primary email address before you worry about getting through spam filters.  Now, there’s a lot of tricks and stuff like that you can go on to learn that will help you get primary email addresses, but that core concept my dad was taking about was the Right focus on getting your email delivered right? And then, he used a lot of curiosity to get the email opened. And unfortunately, you can’t just send a blank email to a lot of people. The law will only allow you to send 10 with a blank subject line because they’re so powerful that everybody will be forced to open their emails.

John McIntyre:You mean there’s no subject lines?

Bond Halbert: Yes.

John McIntyre:I’ve never done that. So you can only take, legally, you can only send 10 of them…

Bond Halbert: Yes. what will happen is your ESP won’t let you send out more than 10. and everybody’s sort of forced to look at it

John McIntyre:And how long, what’s the time period?

Bond Halbert: You know it’s usually at a shot. Maybe you can hire somebody to sit there and send out one at a time for a while. I don’t low Ive never tried. But I don’t have to try that cuz you wanna build a relationship with your autoresponders as you know. The one thing you don’t want is to use cheesy tricks to trick them into opening it. For example, the big ones that will always get a boost or Oops or Help, these key 1 word things that will get them to open. But you need to save those for the time you actually need it right?  Trust me, you ARE going to send out an email with a broken link. I do it all the time. You’re gonna need the Oops so when you do use it, it’s not a case of the boy crying wolf and give false results. So if you’re trying to get someone to open these emails, it’d be just like a couple people. You’re just trying to make sure they open it. And you have a regular type of email address not associated with bulk mailing like a gmail address and a normal sounding name and you have a blank subject line… it’s almost impossible not to open that. So it’s great to send that if you’re trying to get 5 people to open the email but if you’re trying to do a mass mailing to you know, 20,000 names, that’s a lot of work even if you could get away with it, I don’t think that, you know, your ESP is not gonna appreciate that much. And the reason is, the people will open that, because they gotta find out what it is, it’s blank… and people who’ve been tricked into opening are much more likely to complain and hit the spam button. So the spam rating goes up, it goes up on the server at your ESP whose managing all these emails for you… so that server gets tagged as a spamming server and it kinda ruins it for everybody whose mailing through that server. So it’s a karmic payback…. Now, if you get people to open your emails through you know, using good ol fashioned curiosity, and benefits, and dark-sided wording and language, but they’re very happy with why they got inside, you don’t have a problem. The problem is when you get people disappointed and make them feel tricked. But yes a blank subject line will do that. Back to what I was saying

So a subject line is like forced teaser copy. So the envelopes,  the gurus would say put great deal etc on there and my dad would say put only personal or first-class on there right? The deal with subject lines is they were more like forced subject lines right? Forced teaser copy. I started looking and applying what he does with headlines, and applying all these things to get the subject lines that get higher opens but also lead through to click-through rates. Cuz remember. It’s the bottom line and the dollars that’s the most important. I was talking about this earlier, one of the subject lines I came up with that I really liked was “Thank God My Dad Went To Prison”. And it’s because my dad when he spent some time when he was put away for a while… he spent his time writing letters to me proving, and it was the only proof I had of this extraordinary education I had very early. Cuz I was 15 when they were written. And they were a couple years after I was being educated too.

John McIntyre:Yeah…

Bond Halbert: When I say thank God my dad went to prison, the curiosity and the dark side… everybody’s gotta know what I’m talking about right? Then they come in and see that I’m talking about this book of letters that my dad wrote to me when he was away and my reason behind being thankful for it. Nobody feels like a cheated them into opening because I didn’t. It’s congruent. It’s continuous and it matches from the beginning to the end and I’m still able to tell you about the Boron Letters and pitch it.

John McIntyre:I think the interesting part with this is that when it comes to online marketing, so many people get caught up looking for this magical subject line like the oops, like the thank you, like the help, but the funny part about that. its getting gore and more like this. It’s not about tricks, its about building a solid relationship with the people n that list which requires you to not use tricks because then they feel tricked. You actually have to be helpful. Use a subject line like that and lead into something valuable.

Bond Halbert:Yeah, what people don’t understand is online you have a greater relationship opportunity than in direct mail. DM used to be, you mail to them, they mail you back and then maybe you mail them again. So maybe 3 or 4 products so maybe 3 or 4 communications is all you got. And online you have this ability to build relationships that are much more valuable. Overall. The thing that people forget about copy is that its just persuasion and salesmanship in print. Online it’s the same thing except its relationship building which is the same thing as relationship building in person. You meet the guys who do the best job online with building a repoire with their list, they’re also the best people at building a repoire with people in person. And all you have to do is think about it in relationship to building relationships. For example. I get asked about timing of autoresponders all the time

John McIntyre: (laughs) I get the same questions man. people say how long should I send them or how long should my autoresponder be?

Bond Halbert:Yeah, and I tell them i say listen, first of all here’s what you gotta do. You mail a certain once a week until they will not forget who you are. Because one of the biggest problems you get is you get a subscriber, you don’t mail them for 3 weeks, they forgot who you are. You mail to them then the spam rating goes up. People complain. You feel dejected and then don’t wanna mail again until you have something really good to say, so now it’s a month and a half before you mail again… the situation gets worse and so forth… and eventually you’re looking at the situation and saying , “this is a 5% open rate” and you get all dejected its horrible. but the truth is, if you mail something really sensational, and this is key…I didn’t give you a certain timeframe to do this because you can say something so fantastic and memorable, and in a single conversation, you and I are not going to forget each other in a week. But if I mail to you once a week for 3 or 4 weeks for a point. Soon as I make sure you’re going to remember who I am then I can mail to you when I have something good to say. And f you think about it, you can time things to be on a regular basis… if you promise an email a day or a tip a week. You need to deliver on that promise. But there is no hard and fast rule with this. There are some people that will mail until you squeal and get off their list and there are other people that will open your email every single day if you send them a message for a year. But its really about relationship building. the way I like to look at it is.. When you’re building a relationship you wanna be like the coolest person in their life. And who is the coolest person in your life/ It is somebody you don’t get to see all the time. You’re not overexposed. Everybody has a certain amount of exposure time. I can spend all day everyday for weeks or months with my wife. That is not true with my brother or friends, you know, every body has a certain amount of time that I can stand to be with them. And it’s not their fault. Usually somebody who really spends quality time, if they improved your life and gave you a lot of value, and this is true with your gurus too, think about it, and then you don;t really hear from them too often. But when they come in it’s sort of like a randomness, and they come in always full of life, and they’re fun, and you just always look forward to it. They’re the ones that are the most exciting that you know… that’s the emails you can’t wait to open because those are the friends you can’t wait to see. Letting the timing ebb and flow more naturally is a better idea that forcing a formula in my opinion. And of course this is direct response marketing so you can test everything. You know, the answer is always in the testing. And I don’t believe in any absolutes, but I just believe that in the beginning, the goal is  to mail often enough and good enough stuff to be remembered.  And then, from then on, you could be more dynamic with it. You can change up the timing, you can change up what you’re doing because the emails I look forward to are from people who are just full of life, they’re always doing something, and there’s just no way I can predict what’s in that email. Those are the ones that are exciting to me its a grab bag. And that’s the way the Gary Halbert letters are.  His letters are addictive and the reason was when you opened it up, you didn’t know if you were gonna hear some harrowing tale about him in an airplane, or if he was gonna tell you the secret to how he built a million dollar empire, or if he was down in the latest trials and tribulations of his life. He was a once and all type of a guy. But that randomness. Randomness causes addiction. And that’s something my dad taught me. People because addicted to random rewards. So you know you wonder, if people become addicted to that random behavior that uncertainty…

you know the shows you love the most are the ones you can predict the least. As soon as you catch on to the Three’s Company formula, this is always based on some stupid misunderstanding… every show sucks. You know because you just know the pattern. That’s another reason  I think shows get so few few of them can go. The ones that can go forever you can never predict what’s gonna come next and they keep people excited that way. But you know there’s lots of timing formulas and they’re different per industry, how often do you wanna hear from your plumber about saving the leaks in your house.  That newsletter wont have a serious longevity to it. But there are other people you wanna check into them as often as they got something cool to say. So the answer always depends but the one thing I do insist on, mail at least enough cool enough stuff to make sure you’re remembered until the next time you’re ready to mail, because  not being remembered, and who you said before is the biggest indicator  of what you’re going to  get opened up the next time. It’s even more important that the subject line. 

John McIntyre:Right. 

Bond Halbert:There’s some people, it doesn’t matter what the subject line is, you’re opening the email because of who they are.

John McIntyre:Right, right. So right now I’m feeling a little bit guilty here because  send daily emails. I got the idea from Ben Settle. He does it as well. And people often ask me, should they send daily emails, and I usually have been saying, well ya, they can work for a lot of people, but now what you’re saying is that maybe that’s not the best strategy. 

Bond Halbert: Well, first of all again, I don’t believe in absolutes and I’m not saying Ben Settle’s wrong here. Sending emails every day to your list is fine to do, especially in the beginning if you have something really cool and you’re sending them little short snippets and they can take it in small bites. I you sen them a long 8 page letter everyday, you’re really hammering that list too much. So it depends and the length of that message and how long you’re doing that. If you’re doing that for a year straight, I guarantee you my open rate after a year is a lot higher than yours, but you may have extracted more money. Remember it’s the bottom line, it’s the dollar that counts. But for my money, what I would rather do, is I would rather mail every single day or every other day for a while until I am remembered. Remember, I said at least once per week. I wasn’t saying that you couldn’t mail once a day to make sure you’re remembered in the beginning.  But what I would do is, start turning into a more random-reward type of situation, where, “Hey I have heard from John McIntyre for a while let’s see what he’s been up to”. Where, if you’re just hammering them every single day with a new email, you got a lot of people are just unsubscribing on your list, and also  aren’t really paying attn. It’s too impossible to be different every day. Do you find something so revolutionary and cool that you have 365 new things to talk about over the next year? And, here’s the thing that I think marketers make a mistake in… apply it to yourself. Who sends an email everyday and you open up every email? Not some friend of yours, even a marketing guru whose your friend doesn’t count.  Some guy who sends you an email every day and you open them up religiously, and then look at the people whose emails are on your list, people you don’t know, whose emails, like when you get it you say, “ok I got to open this whenever he sends em”. It’s usually cuz you don’t get them that often. And you’ll find that the people whose email you open up all that time match a lot more my “cool kid” theory than a very predictable, you know, set up an autoresponder that’s 365 emails long.

John McIntyre: So it sounds like you really need to keep them guessing. You might do daily emails for example for 2 weeks, then just not say anything for a week, then go back for every 2 days for a week, and then drop off the radar again, and always be mixing it up

Bond Halbert:Yeah, and mixing up what you’re delivering too.

John McIntyre:The format, the stories, all that sort of stuff yeah.

Bond Halbert:Absolutely, You know what you get when you get an email from me? you can be getting told about a new book that’s out, you can be offered and told about something that we’re doing, or I can be just sending you an off the wall email marketing tip or just pure content, I could be just handing you Jay Abraham content, I could be doing all kinds of stuff. I was on my Facebook yesterday, cuz yesterday was the anniversary of the first issue of the Gary Halbert Letter, so I took a printed copy of it, took a picture of it and put it on Facebook with a link to the site. I said, anybody who shares this is entered into a raffle to win this printed copy that comes from my dad’s own personal stash. 75 people shared it. But the thing is, it’s like Facebook or anything else. On social media you see somebody who their entire wall is just filled with quotes from other people, Ben Franklin and Hellen Keller and stuff like that, and that’s all that’s there. You’re like ehh thats boring. So like, somebody else they’re just telling you about the constant amazingness in their life and they’re just manifesting goodness for everybody. And you know after 10-12 of those you start to get sick of it. There’s nothing you don’t start to get sick of after 10/12 times.  But if you’re mixing it all up, and people don’t know what’s coming next, and you’re being you and you’re showing yourself. You’re not formulated. That’s part of the problem. People think that nobody recognizes the formula, and they do. Do you know you can take a formula from one industry and apply it to the other.Quite easily. But when you take someone else’s formula doing exactly what you’re doing, you start to look old hat quickly. And the example I love to give for this is let’s suppose I started a marketing campaign called The Wealthy Bastard right?  Everybody knows “hey thats just the rich jerk” or you know like, done over again. I don’t get nearly the same play as the guy who did it first.  And so when you’re used to the exact same ad formula and the exact same layout on a sales page. They don’t all call for the same thing. You know sometimes I’ll write it much more like an article you can find replicated on Digg rather than a WSO “big buy” button at the end and timers etc. And there’s a place for the timers too. There’s a place for all this stuff, but I don’t believe in absolutes and I thank that that randomness we’re talking about goes a long way in your relationship building.

John McIntyre: Right. One thing I’m thinking though is if you’re just handling a newsletter, if you’re just maintaining a list of relationships sending out content and doing the occasional product thing, this would work very well. But say you’ve got paid advertising to a landing page, and someone signs up and you wanna make that person buy something as fast as possible so you can recoup the spend, what you spent on the advertising… are you suggesting do the same sort of strategy or would you do something more aggressive that’s trying to get the money out of them faster? Because it sounds like what you’re talking about is taking a bit more time, warm them up, do seduction, but when you’re doing paid advertising, you might wanna do it a little bit quicker, right?

Bond Halbert: Well actually I think you wanna mix the the two because auto responders save the day.  There’s no reason that what I do can’t be done in an autoresponder, so what we will do is set up an autoresponder so it’s mailing at least once a week and then it tapers off right? It starts to get more random and that is a setup system of content and pitch and content and pitch and the way that you wanna do that is this: you wanna do it with upsells more than you wanna do it with backup emails. Somebody comes in with content and one of the best ways to do that is just to drive the traffic to something that is a loss leader purchase for you. We spend the money in the ad spend and it drives everybody in the traffic and gives them Gary Halbert Letters All Star Audio Series lets say. And then they go to buy that and of course there’s an upsell to it if you’re going in and you’re about to buy it. And I wouldn’t put them through the GoDaddy upsell Hell. If you’ve ever been through GoDaddy, you try to check out and it’s like 20 pages later… but you know you put them through upsell right there because if they’re hot to go they’re hot to go. And then you decide your on formula and content. You give them reasons to think that not everything you send is a pitch. Ok? Then she you do mail again and you sell and pitch something you can then up sell them again when they hit buy on the shopping cart for the first thing. So you’re doing a combination of those things and you’re just using the timing of it… the timing of the auto responders to automatically replicate this process. Let’s suppose you were doing it in the formula I’m talking about.  I’m driving traffic to the Gary Halbert Letters All Star Audio Series, they buy that, we get a whopping $15 bucks from it. So we can spend 15 dollars on traffic to get that one sale. Once they’re in there an they’re now on this list, we up sell them stuff. We talk about the profit ok? we’re building the relationship but here’s one thing that’s very critical.  We’re in a business where we can build a relationship that’s worth while. If you’re a plumber then hit them up fort he money right away.  Hit them up while they’re doing that. Get them on your list but you’re going to be mailing them infrequently. You’re going to mail them a couple of free things real quick, and tell them that.  “Im gonna mail you a couple things real quick and you’re gonna get this and this and this etc.”  over the next 3 days. And after that you’re gonna hear from me. You’re gonna get season things like reminders that tell you how to you know, “I’ll send you a system that will tell you the temperature is getting down to 30 degrees so you wanna crack open your pipes so they don’t freeze.” Stuff like that.

John McIntyre:Yeah.

Bond Halbert:And then you give them that kind of excuse or reason to be on your system and then you can do it. So it really also depends on what you’re selling and what your business is. If you’re doing teaching people marketing it’s a lot longer longevity, so for us it’s a lot easier to go ahead an wait a week and give you some more content and some more goodness and then before springing something else on you that you didn’t know about or give you another offer.

John McIntyre:Right.

Bond Halbert: So again I don’t believe in any absolutes. The only thing I’m saying is mail often enough and make sure you’re memorable in the beginning. Because who you are and what you mailed before is critical in getting your emails opened in the future.

John McIntyre:Interesting. Ok. Cool man, well that’s right over time right now. We kinda filled that up pretty good I think for no plan at all. Before we go though, you mentioned this Gary Halbert All-Star Series. Tell me about that.

Bond Halbert:Ok. What we did was. I had this idea, and its not a stroke of genius, I don’t think it’s an original idea i just happened to have it and be in the power to do something about it. But we were taking about after releasing the Boron Letters about how people just like stuff in different formats, and what we really know every body wants is to be able to listen to the Gary Halbert letters in the car or at the gym. So we were just about to sit down and start reading the letters and I was like wait a minute, why don’t we get copywriters to each read a letter? So, then it dawned to us to let them add commentary, whatever they want. So i picked up my phone book and I ran through hit real quick. First name that popped out at me was Joe Sugarman, so I called him up and he said yes and from that point we were off to the races. I lined up and sent out emails to a bunch of copywriters that I could get a hold of that I knew had a lot talent, a lot of stuff to add, a lot of respect for our father, for his legacy, and what he’s done, and I just emailed a bunch of them expecting a few of them to come through and do this for us. And what we got back was nothing short of incredible. It’s the only copywriting product I’ve seen in my entire lifetime that has actually given me goosebumps when I started to listen to it. Right? And I’ve been around this business for a long time. And when you hear these legends, you know, Gary Bencivenga, coming out of retirement, probably one of the greatest copywriters left on the planet. All these guys, Carlton, Dale, Deutcsh, Garfinkel, Gerber, they’re all either number one top selling authors. Theres nobody on there that’s not responsible for a million dollars in sales minimal. If there’s somebody in there that’s not responsible for way more than that I would be shocked.  What they added was the context and explanations of the letters, and behind the scenes stories in some cases, and they gave you a new perspective, so the people who are new to the letters are going to get much more out of it than the people who just read them, and the people who read them now get to look at it in a whole new light. And we threw in a letter that was never posted before, on the website. There’s a lot of people who would get a kick out of that. The letter I read my dad mentions these hidden lessons inside of that newsletter, and I go on and explain 7 of them; and point them out, and highlight them and explain what those lessons are. And they are straight up Gary Halbert lessons. And so we put that all together. We got Dan Kennedy, and the names you don’t know like Paris Longpropolis and maybe Scott Haines, these are as John Carlton would say, “in the trenches” most talented working copywriters, and they’re sharing insights and secrets, and some of these commentaries are worth the entire price of the series alone, which is only $30. It’s so ridiculous and that was just because we put it on iTunes. You can also go and get it from thegaryhalbertletter.com or Halbertising because we found out later that, iTunes is a great distribution channel except for theres a lot of people who really don’t like iTunes because they charge double in Australia or they’re on android phones. But we put it on iTunes on iTunes pricing – 2 albums – 7 rock stars each, and made a series out of it. It really is something I am exceedingly proud of. It’s something everybody on it has been proud of not only to be a part of it but to get the chance to honor our father and what he did and what he meant to them. As Brian McCloud likes to put it, its “a whole new way to experience the Gary Halbert Letters”. and it’s actually an improved way. The reason I’m proud of it is how do you not touch the original and still improve it? We found that way by having these guys read it in its original format and then just adding commentaries and explaining what it meant to them. The value the insights had. The lessons and how it can be translated and all hat kind of stuff. And we’re just getting started. If you don’t see your favorite copywriter on that list, I have a long list of people Im going to invite who don’t even know Im going to invite them. I’ve got some people on my list I’ve never even spoken to I’m planning to invite. This is going to be a huge hit. There’s nobody who hasn’t heard them and hasn’t been amazed on what’s on there. But this is going to be an ongoing thing and we’re just gonna continue to get more and more great copywriters til  we’re done with all the letters, and we have a lot of letters to get through.

John McIntyre:Well cool man, I’ll have links, that’s at thegaryhalbertletter.com/stars right?

Bond Halbert:Yeah, he made that URL so long.Kevin jokes because somebody was complaining about his short personal aol email address. he’s like “oh,  you can spell out [email protected]” and they’re like ok never mind (laughs). 

John McIntyre:(laughs) Cool. i’ll have a link to that on the show notes at themcmethod.com, so if people wanna get the link they can just go their or they can just type it out if they can remember it, thegaryhalbertletter.com/stars

Bond Halbert:Thank you.

John McIntyre:Bond, thanks for coming on the show man. It’s been good to talk about email marketing.

Bond Halbert:Ah its great, anytime you wanna talk about it just hit me up. I love it.

2 thoughts on “Episode #76 – Bond Halbert on Creating An Engaged Email List Using Gary Halbert Principles In Today’s Online World (and how he enhanced his late father’s work to create magic)”

Leave a Comment