Brian Kurtz interview, an invitation, and an endorsement

An announcement for members of the Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter group on LinkedIn

Brian Kurtz interview,

an invitation, and

an endorsement

Dear fellow Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter,

I have three things for you today…

First: a breakthrough-packed interview with the one and only Brian Kurtz from Boardroom/Bottom Line…

Second: an invitation to a private workshop for copywriters, hosted by Boardroom…

Third: my personal comments on the special guest Boardroom is bringing in for the workshop…

First, the interview.

You may or may not know that I occasionally record interviews with some of the world’s thought leaders direct marketing and other topics.

Recently I sat down (on the phone) with Brian Kurtz of Boardroom/Bottom Line Publications. He’s been deeply involved in their marketing for over three decades now — as they grew to a $100 million+ direct marketing company — and has quite a bit to share.

You can listen to the interview, free, with no opt-in here:

http://www.livewithroy.com/interviews/brian-kurtz-of-boardroombottom-line-on-what-31-years-in-the-trenches-teaches-you-about-marketing-that-works/

Two immediately useful ideas I got out of re-listening to the interview on Friday…

  1. Regression modeling. Brian came up in the list side of the biz, and understands lists and markets on a very deep level. One common direct mail list technique is regression modeling. The incredibly basic description is that you can profile your best customers, and find people just like them on outside lists you can rent. You can still do that with offline lists today, but it’s been mostly difficult to do online. Instead, folks go the easy route and find complimentary businesses for joint ventures. But today, Google AdWords, using the conversion optimization tool in the display networks (plus a few other similar features in AdWords), will model your best customers and go find more just like them. It’s real-time regression modeling available online today, with almost no effort on your part. It’s worth exploring as you roll out your winners.
  2. Format as mailing list selector. In the interview, Brian talked about using mailing formats (6X9, magalog, #10 envelope, etc.) as a mailing list selector to find new audiences for Boardroom. This is something almost nobody else ever did. Once he was rolling out a control, he started looking to lists that may have had reasonable matches on a number of different factors, but not necessarily product. That is, the easy way to roll out a control for a health book offer would be to find lists of health book buyers. What Brian would do beyond that is take his magalog for a health book and find other lists that had magalog mailing responders, where the product was different but other items lined up. My actionable idea from this was to do the exact same thing online. For example, if you have a video promotion as a control today, look outside your industry for others having success with similarly-produced video promotions. Find the businesses who have completely different product lines, who may still serve your same customers. Offer to test their marketing to your list first, to make them comfortable with cross-promotion. And tell them if that works, you’d like to test your marketing to theirs.

These are just two actionable items – admittedly raw ideas, but clear enough to spark testing in your business – I pulled out of maybe 5 minutes in the 60-minute interview. To listen to the whole interview, free, no opt-in required, go here…

http://www.livewithroy.com/interviews/brian-kurtz-of-boardroombottom-line-on-what-31-years-in-the-trenches-teaches-you-about-marketing-that-works/

(Brian thought the interview was so good that when attendees of Yanik Silver’s recent Underground Online Seminar wanted more content from him, he offered them this interview.)

Second, the invitation.

On the subject of Brian Kurtz, we were going back and forth recently by email. And he mentioned that they’re doing their second-annual invitation-only copywriter workshop.

For these workshops, they bring in an expert they consider one of the top in the country, who will bring a unique perspective to them and the copywriters in attendance.

Then they invite members of their private network to come to the workshop.

Well, it’s happening again. And I’m going.

I asked Brian if I could extend the invitation to you, as a member of the Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter group. He said I could, although space is limited, so if you’re interested you’ll need to respond ASAP.

That said, it’s not for everyone.

It’s not cheap. The content will NOT be Copywriter 101. In fact, I’m sure a lot of it will go completely over the heads of folks who show up just looking for another gimmick for their bag of tricks. Or how to get started as a copywriter. If you’re looking to break into the field, it’s definitely not for you.

But if you’re a working, experienced copywriter who is looking for that next breakthrough perspective or edge that will help you write copy that pulls the heart- and wallet-strings of your prospects… It’ll be worth every penny, many times over.

Here’s Brian’s invitation… (I’m not getting paid in any way to share this – I simply thought it would be relevant to you as a member of the Claude C. Hopkins Group on LinkedIn.)

###

Dear Marketing and Creative Superstar:

If you’re like me, you are often drowning in complexity as you try to figure out all that is going on in marketing today – and maybe you are also like me as you try to connect current problems with timeless truth.

Our world seems more about whiz bang technology – “Ninja techniques” and hit-and-run interactions rather than something lasting and honorable (“Samurai” is my goal, not “Ninja”).

Rare is the person who can step into the present moment and apply sage wisdom to the latest fads; and reliably produce something stunningly fresh and new—on demand.

That’s why I want to tell you about a very special one-day workshop I am hosting with the person I found who educates at that level:

  • He combines the attributes of the most calculated engineer with the artistry of a poet…No, he’s not just about “AdWords…”
  • However, he did write the world’s most popular book on Google Adwords and has saved his customers billions of dollars in “Google stupidity tax…”
  • Before becoming a consultant to the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and marketers, he grew a tech business from $200,000 to $4 million in sales in four (4) years…and sold it for $18 million…
  • He leads a roundtable mentoring group of 28 members. Each slot costs $16,000 per year with a waiting list
  • He is also author of “The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising” and the upcoming title, “80/20 Sales and Marketing”

Boardroom presents…Perry Marshall!

Perry is the Gene Schwartz of the 21st century. Schwartz’s book, Breakthrough Advertising, is every bit as current as the first day it rolled off the press in 1966. Perry’s work is like that.

And since many of you know me pretty well, and how important Gene was in my life, there are very few people who would be worthy of praise like that…Perry is a mentor to so many, just like Gene. Perry has also consulted with the best marketers on the planet for over a decade.

His first promise to me when I asked him to do a full day event:

“I will share innovation and copy strategies in this interactive workshop that I have never shared previously.”

This workshop will be so powerful and focused…just a packed day of deep principles re-invented for the 21st century; inside-out applications that you have never conceived of before. From a guru’s guru.

Perry’s second promise:

“I will innovate your folks out of ANY corner they have backed themselves into because they became too successful.”

Among capabilities Perry will transfer to you:

  • A “plug and chug” method that beats any control in any medium no matter how venerable or record-breaking that control has been to date…
  • The deepest dive into the “80/20 Principle” you’ve ever taken as it applies to copywriting, buying traffic, scaling traffic, dominating markets, sales conversion…”80/20” is not a rule of thumb…it’s a law of nature and a way of life…and if you are not writing or using copy that doesn’t follow Perry’s formula, you are leaving millions on the table…
  • How to uncover “genetic biases” in the audiences your write for or market to…did you know that violinists are strangely prone to gambling addictions? Or that fans of the rock band “Rush” statistically favor Dos Equis beer, gangster movies and cynical adult cartoons like “Family Guy?”
  • BONUS session for the last hour of the day: A practical map for innovation and problem solving derived from five specific systems of evolutionary biology!

Perry’s third promise:

“When you leave, your brain will hurt. You will also have gotten your money’s worth by 10:00 a.m.”

I held a similar event last year with rock star copywriter, Jon Benson – the marketers and copywriters in the room were a who’s who of direct response…and the format was ideal for learning and sharing the best ideas, all usable and actionable. And, given that the bar was set so high by Jon Benson, I would only do another event like it if I could find someone else who could deliver at that level.

I know I found that person in Perry Marshall.

Some of the folks who came last year have had life changing results:

“Brian, your last event was the best $4,000 my company ever spent. See you on May 15!”

Lee Bellinger, Publisher, Independent Living News

“I’ve used the copywriting secrets shared at Boardroom’s 2012 creative event every day since. Plugging those techniques into what I was already doing has nearly doubled response on some promotions.”

Mark Johnson, Freelance Copywriter

And I know Perry will deliver the same way this year…count on it!

Here are the details:

  • DATE: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
  • PLACE: Stamford, Connecticut (close to “Boardroom’s World Headquarters,” convenient to all forms of transportation)
  • TIME: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (lunch is on me!)
  • COST: $2,500 ($3,000 after April 15th)

ADDITIONAL BONUSES:

  1. DVD’s of the entire day (we’re videotaping everything)
  2. Full access to Perry’s Fanalytix™ platform —A $2000 value in itself
  3. A one-hour Q & A/de-brief follow up call with Perry and me within two months after the event
  4. A bag of party favors: Copies of everything in the “Boardroom Library of Direct Marketing”…every mailing package ever written by Bill Jayme, the classic, “Breakthrough Advertising” by Gene Schwartz,and the books written by the most successful direct mail gurus who ever lived, Dick Benson and Gordon Grossman. A total value of nearly $500.

Space will be limited…you know real estate is tight here in Connecticut!

Please RSVP ASAP by emailing my assistant Beth Carpenter at bcarpenter@boardroom.com and she will get you registered.

Sincerely,

Brian Kurtz

###

Roy again.

It’s rare that you can go to the HQ of one of the world’s leading direct marketing businesses for a privately-hosted workshop. (I’m surprised Brian even let me pass on the invitation.) But for those who know it’s a fit, it will be an opportunity worth jumping on right away (as I did).

Something you should know about Perry. As a general rule, he doesn’t teach copywriting. He’s not a “copywriter,” in the way most of us think of it. He doesn’t seek out copywriting clients.

The amount of copywriting he’s taught – as part of other lessons on AdWords and online marketing – is minimal. As part of his private membership group, he recently did a couple small workshops that were considered complete breakthroughs… In fact, these lessons are what spurred my comments to Brian about Perry that I’ll share below. And he is doing a 3-day immersion experience on influential writing that will cost $10,000 per person and is limited to just 12 clients.

But he doesn’t go around offering up the class he’ll be teaching at Boardroom to anyone. He’s custom-crafting it for freelance direct response copywriters. In fact, I’m certain that it’s simply straight talk (not a gimmick) when Perry says…

“I will share innovation and copy strategies in this interactive workshop that I have never shared previously.”

And he’ll fulfill every promise 10X over.

I may sound like I’m gushing, but this is just my experience with Perry’s work. Which leads me to…

Third, my comments/endorsement for Perry Marshall…

Sent originally in a private email to Brian Kurtz…

###

Interesting.

Just yesterday I was telling someone my realization about Perry Marshall and copywriting (below).

I’ve followed Perry’s work for a long time. My first freelance client was Perry’s Taguchi/multivariate testing guru, David Bullock. Actually found Ken McCarthy through him, not the other way around, as it was for many.

I even have the “most helpful” review of his book on Amazon! http://goo.gl/L0Pbz

And I just dropped a grand on his Display Network Bootcamp, which is actually not taught by him, but by one of his chosen experts.

He does have a lot of other content he taught that my purchase unlocked though, which led me to my most recent realization…

I hadn’t really followed Perry closely for a couple years. I always loved his stuff, it was just a matter of time and focus.

But now that I’ve re-acquainted myself with him and his writing — and went through the copywriting training he’s been doing recently — I realized…

** PERRY MARSHALL IS AMONG THE 10 BEST COPYWRITERS WORKING TODAY.

(I struggle to get more specific on that list with ANYONE.)

He’s not a freelancer, and he hasn’t really taught copywriting. So he doesn’t get lumped in with copywriters much. But he clearly has the differentiating factor I’m realizing sets true masters apart from all others…

Most working copywriters — probably anywhere between 95 and 99% — know the fundamentals. Copy patterns, shortcuts, sales copy structure, language, etc. Everything you can get from the advertising classics, and many programs available today.

And going from the bottom 1% of working copywriters to that 95-99% level can largely be accomplished by getting better at those fundamentals.

And then there’s the quantum leap.

It’s a leap most copywriters will just never make. It’s probably as much about personal development and knowing yourself more than anything else. Kind of a Buddhist enlightenment sort of thing where self disappears from the equation — if you want to get metaphysical.

Anyway, what happens after that is all the techniques and skills become afterthoughts. Sure, you do them. Even a Buddhist master keeps meditating after finding enlightenment. But everything you do tumbles into this new arena where all the techniques and skills are used in service of telling a compelling story.

There’s nothing else except the story and the reader. There’s not even any attempt at persuasion. There’s just a compelling, fascinating story to tell in a way that you know speaks to the reader on a level where they are almost never touched by anyone. It’s disarmingly intimate. And when you do that, all the other stuff doesn’t matter. It can be used, or not used, or whatever. It’s all about telling the story.

(Bill Bonner told me this once, that this is all he thinks about when writing copy. Also David Galland told me something similar. I’ve heard it from nearly every top copywriter.)

Your reader can’t help but be so fascinated they want to send you piles of money. Because they want more of that — whatever it is.

Perry is in that zone. His copy is consistently in that zone.

(Many writers dip in and out of it, masters are those who move into it consistently as part of their writing process.)

Unfortunately, a Buddhist master can’t tell you why or how staring at a white wall or humming “Om” produces enlightenment, and there aren’t many shortcuts beyond basic practice. They know staring at a white wall and humming “Om” — and witnessing how your “self” reacts to all of it — will bring out enlightenment faster than lots of other things.

And unfortunately, there’s no shortcut that automatically transmits Perry’s level of copywriting skill to others.

And yet, learning how to sit and stare at a wall from a Buddhist master is far better than doing it yourself. And even as they teach the little things — how to sit, how to watch as thoughts rise and fall, the context in which to understand your practice — they can bring you closer to the realization that pushes you over the edge.

Just like it’s far different when a master teaches you something as simple as headline writing, bullets, or offers. There’s a level of teaching that’s imperceptible to most. But when you’re ready, it’s the exact perspective you need to give you that little shove over the edge.

I think your unexpected choice in Perry (when you have access to all sorts of copywriting talent) is perfect.

I’m looking forward to it.

###

I’m embarrassed. I think it may be too glowing of a review.

Yet fundamentally, it’s still accurate. There’s an X-factor that separates the truly amazing copywriters of past and present, and everybody else.

And if it’s not too esoteric for you – if you’re a student of any meditative or contemplative tradition, and you understand that enlightenment is both radically amazing and nothing special at the same time – it’s also right on the mark.

This isn’t “ninja techniques.” This isn’t the latest gimmick to trick more people in responding to your ad. It’s not headline formulas, and other Copywriter 101 curriculum.

Yes, you’ll get some systems and techniques to help you apply what you learn…

Though what you’ll get from Perry’s teaching – what will be the most transformational – is the mindset shift. Where Perry excels is finding the voice that will connect you with your reader on such a fundamental level that they can’t help but be attracted to you and your offer. And using systems and strategies developed in his engineer’s brain to do this consistently.

Again, I’m not getting paid to say any of this, or to share the invitation with you. I’m doing it because I believe that if you’re resonating with what I’ve said, this workshop will rip open your eyes and show you the next complete breakthrough in your copywriting ability.

Again, the details…

  • DATE: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
  • PLACE: Stamford, Connecticut (close to “Boardroom’s World Headquarters,” convenient to all forms of transportation)
  • TIME: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (lunch is on Brian!)
  • COST: $2,500 ($3,000 after April 15th)

ADDITIONAL BONUSES:

  1. DVD’s of the entire day (we’re videotaping everything)
  2. Full access to Perry’s Fanalytix™ platform —A $2000 value in itself
  3. A one-hour Q & A/de-brief follow up call with Perry and Brian within two months after the event
  4. A bag of party favors: Copies of everything in the “Boardroom Library of Direct Marketing”…every mailing package ever written by Bill Jayme, the classic, “Breakthrough Advertising” by Gene Schwartz,and the books written by the most successful direct mail gurus who ever lived, Dick Benson and Gordon Grossman. A total value of nearly $500.

Space is limited, spots are first-come, first-served.

RSVP ASAP by emailing Brian’s assistant Beth Carpenter at bcarpenter@boardroom.com and she will get you registered.

Beth will send you an invoice for the full price of the seminar, paid in advance, in one payment.

If you’re going, let me know. I’ll look forward to seeing you there…

Sincerely,

Roy Furr
Owner, Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter Group

PS – Again…  I’m not getting paid to share this invitation with you.  This is a private, invite-only workshop for copywriters within the Boardroom/Bottom Line network.  I’m surprised Brian let me open up the invitation to Hopkins group members.  But I thought the few of you for who this is really a fit would find it to be valuable.  So at the risk of being lambasted for making an offer to the group, I decided to share.  Because there’s no way you’re going to find this elsewhere on your own — it’s just not being promoted publicly.  And if you don’t want to go to the workshop, at least enjoy the free interview.