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The Expertise Imperative

As most of my regular readers know, I was a self-employed marketing consultant before I got into the executive search business. Very often my clients would complain about how they had flushed a bunch of money down the print advertising toilet, and that they were hungry for better results. They looked to me for answers, and, initially, I had none. Yet after a few of these conversations, it dawned on me that no marketing medium must work harder than a simple direct mail letter that ...


  1. shows up totally unannounced (and uninvited) in a prospect's mailbox,
  2. makes a compelling and entertaining case for its product, and
  3. gets the prospect to part with his hard-earned cash.


I figured any marketer who could do that must be a genius, so I set out to learn the direct mail business. "DM seemed like the perfect marketing medium. It was cheap, highly targetable, easy to measure, and easy to cost-control. A real workhorse. But to do it right, learning DM also meant learning to write copy, which is simply salesmanship in print.

"Nothing will make you a better marketer than learning to write great copy." -David Ogilvy

So from eBay, I began to buy tapes by Jay Abraham. Which led me to Dan Kennedy. Which led me to Ted Nicholas. Which led me to Carl Galletti. Which led me to John Carlton

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