Today, I’m interviewing Brian Kurtz. Brian and I know each other through Joe Polish’s Genius Network, and I’m excited to say that I will be a part of Brian’s upcoming Titans Mastermind, along with some impressive folks, including Roland Frasier and Scott Harrison to name a few. Brian is the former Executive Vice President of Boardroom Inc. and founder of Titans Marketing – a direct marketing education company. His most recent book is Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing. It is his opus and comes with incredible bonuses at www.OverdeliverBook.com.
In today’s episode, we get into marketing tactics like swag boxes, shock and awe boxes, and the golden ratio of the three legs of direct marketing, which are not exactly equal. Out front, you’ve got to get your targeted list right, before you worry about the offer and the creative messaging. If you want to know more about being a results leader vs. a thought leader, this guy brings (and has brought) ridiculous results. It’s an eye-opening lesson in marketing you’re not going to want to miss, from the man who says, “advertising opportunities are infinite.” So, without any further ado, let’s get on with the show.
In this Episode
- [00:30] – Stephan introduces Brian Kurtz, a phenomenal publisher, and direct marketer. He’s also the founder of Titans Marketing, a direct marketing educational and coaching company.
- [07:08] – Brian points out the advantages of using direct mail marketing even in the modern times of email.
- [13:37] – Several ways to implement direct selling on physical and digital products.
- [21:19] – Brian talks about the importance of sending direct mails to your customer or client and why you should do it if you haven’t yet.
- [29:09] – Stephan shares a recommendation he received from his business coach, Julie Mason, about sending his book, The Art of SEO, through direct mail.
- [35:22] – Brian shares the popular concept and book from Dan Sullivan, WhoNotHow.
- [42:16] – What is the difference between a swag box and a shock and awe box?
- [48:58] – Brian shares his recommended companies that can create shock and awe boxes, welcome packages, swag boxes, etc.
- [57:46] – Brian shares the answers from the CEOs who attended his mastermind when asked who the most valuable employee is.
- [65:52] – Visit Brian Kurtz’s website, briankurtz.net, to learn more from his direct marketing secrets.
Thank you so much for being on the show, Brian.
Thanks, Stephan. And I’m psyched that you’re going to speak at the mastermind because you’re a force to be reckoned with as well. I’m so glad we met, and now that I know you’ve interviewed Jay Abraham and Dan Kennedy and Seth Godin, I feel like a slouch, but I’ll hold up my end of the bargain as best I can. Those are all great friends of mine as well. And it’s wonderful. This is a great podcast, so I appreciate being here.
Thank you. You have two impressive careers. You’ve taught a lot of people the craft of direct mail, advertising, copywriting, and some online stuff too. You’re doing pretty well in the online world as well. So let’s start with direct mail where you kind of got your big foot in. So what would be something that would make direct mail relevant to a diehard internet marketer who’s never sent a direct mail piece ever in their life? What would be some nugget that you could share with them that might convince them that they’re missing out?
My idea is that advertising opportunities are now infinite. So as opposed to when I was doing direct mail in the 80s and 90s, it was sort of finite. You had direct mail, you had printed, you had TV and radio, package inserts, but it wasn’t a lot of media. So direct mail rule of the day. And so chapter three of my book in Overdeliver, I have a chapter that says. “Why Paying Postage Made Me a Better Marketer.” And I’m not saying that everybody should do direct mail. I don’t even recommend it to most people. I think email marketing is the killer app right now, and everything kind of feeds off email. Even if you’re searching as you do, you still want to have a way to get people onto your list and email them. But direct mail is still viable in a big way.
First of all, and for obvious reasons, which is the least crowded inbox is the one you grew up with, not the one that’s on your computer. You go out to the end of your driveway, and especially during the COVID period, it’s even emptier. That doesn’t mean that you just throw anything into direct mail, but if you think about it, you can get people’s attention much easier because it’s emptier. But also you can do something very creative to take it to the next level. So that’s one reason alone. But not every business lends itself to it, but if you’re a digital marketer, you have to realize that you’re probably selling credit card only, you’re not doing a bill me per se, we used to do bill mes in direct mail, which you can also do, easier than you can do online. I’ll tell you about that in a second. But the key is that you can go out to customers because you have their postal address. After all, you’ve sold through a credit card. And so you’ve got this incredible postal list that most don’t use. And the funny thing is that, that list is an opt-out list. That’s another big benefit of direct mail, it’s not opt-in.
With an email, you got to get them to opt-in, double opt-in to be safe. Direct mail doesn’t work that way. Direct mail until told differently by the powers that be in the government, you can send direct mail to people until they say stop. And it’s not that you want to abuse them, it’s just that that’s the rule. You get their postal address, and there is a do not mail list that’s started by the direct marketing association, so people can get on that list. And then you have to suppress them once they do that, but it’s an opt-in.
The other thing is that direct mail’s big bonus is that, you can do a bill me offer because you can get your direct mail names, and you can take a suppression file of people who are in bad debt, for example. So you can have all their bad debt files that are available in direct mail all over the place, so you can decide what’s a bad debt to you. Someone who’s stiff somebody two or three times, run that against the list that you bring in and don’t mail them because they’re high risk. Now you’re mailing a much better list which is already targeted, hopefully. And then you’re going to get a much better pay up when you don’t ask them to send you money. This is unheard of in the online world, you have to get your money upfront. They have the hard bill mes online where you can give your credit card and we won’t charge you for 30 days. That’s sort of like a send no money, but I’m talking about sending no money.
At Boardroom, we used to do a lot of book marketing, and these are big, thick books, and we would send them out after we sent a very expensive direct mail package. Send them a book, no money. In the book, there was an envelope, which had the invoice. And based on the pre mailing stuff that we did to take out the bad debt, take out the bad addresses. Anybody who responded would pay anywhere. If it was a house list, they would pay it over 70%. If it was an outside list, they would pay it over 60%. And we even do installment billing, where you can do installment billing easily. And the beauty of direct mail is that people who pay the first installment at 90% will pay installments two and three. And then also, people who get that first bill will pay it in full anyway, at 70%. So there’s just so many advantages of direct mail, in terms of the pre mailing, the response rates.As opposed to the 80s and 90s, advertising today is infinitely better. There are so many options, you just have to find the right ones. Click To Tweet
And the fact is in the 1980s and 90s, and we used to get response rates anywhere from 2% to 5%. And today, I would say that the response rates are equal to what we used to get. The difference is that the universe of names that are available in direct mail because everything’s gone online, so they’re not mailing as much. You have to go to these databases to mail a combined list of a lot of different lists. And it’s a lot more difficult to get scale and universe to mail, but I would say that when you mail the right list in direct mail, you’re going to get the same response rates that we’ve always gotten, even at the higher cost that we have for postage and printing. So I’d say there are a lot of advantages, but I also would not say to an online marketer, you have to be in direct mail, you have to do direct mail first. I rarely would recommend that. I would recommend Facebook to a PDF to an email and then decide what you want to do with your product. Because of the beauty of direct mail as well is that you want to have physical products.
Everything online, if it’s digital products, you’re going to get paid for it, and you send it no cost. Once you do direct mail, you’re not going to sell a digital product in direct mail. Usually, it’s a physical product of the digital. And once you can create a great physical product, I did a consulting job for an online marketer of a great program, it’s all digital, and they were able to create a physical version of their program. So they had everything digital, and they created a DVD of the movie, they created CD interviews, they created a workbook. So it was a big physical package. And once you have that, then you’re talking that direct mail is certainly worth testing. And it doesn’t overlap that much, believe it or not. People obviously buying both, but there’ll be a new universe for you in direct mail to complement what you’re already doing online. It has a lot of quick reasons, but you shouldn’t ignore it.
Joe Polish and I did an interview, I think it was something like, everybody’s going right time to go left. And so, direct mail, it’s brand new for some people. I went to DigitalMarketer and asked if I could speak at T&C on this new medium called direct mail. And I don’t think they appreciate it because they didn’t take me up on it. But I’m friends with them though, in fact, Roland Frasier is speaking at our mastermind where you are speaking. So that’ll be fun. I’m not a Luddite, I don’t mind taking questions on direct mail, because it’s what I did for 20 years. I have mailed over a billion pieces of direct mail. Not personally, it was done at a letter shop, and I didn’t lick every stamp and all that, but with me and my team at Boardroom, we did nail tremendous quantities. And if we mail that many, the targeting that we did, the list segmentation we did were phenomenal. Everything online that can mirror that is great.
You look at what Ryan Levesque does with his quiz funnels, his ask funnels, it’s a great program. I love Ryan. And it’s list segmentation on steroids because he can create different messages for different buckets. And that’s what it’s all about, in the direct mail we couldn’t even do that because if you have five different segments, five different control packages, and direct mail, it’s going to get too costly because you got to separate them in zip streams, and there are postal issues and all of that, one email does not fit all on your on the list. So the list is people too, and you can segment them a certain way and different messaging. Even just buyers versus prospects, you get a completely different email series. You have a buyer, you want to sell them more, but you also want to treat them like VIPs. That prospect you also want to treat VIPs. I think your list is always people, so it’s always your family, but you can do different things, and that’s the obvious one. But then, you have multi buyers. You have people who bought a different combination of products that you should get. And then there’s RFM, which is recency frequency monetary value, which is how people behave in the mail or online.
Yeah. So I want to touch on one thing you said is, you could take a digital product and create a physical version of it. And you’re mentioning CD interviews, a DVD of the movie and that sort of thing, and the digital version of me, whatever is screaming, “No! That’s old school. Who even knows how to put a CD in their CD player anymore?” I don’t even have a computer that has a CD player or a DVD player.
I’ll give you an example of just a brilliant direct mail campaign that stuck with me, I saw it at a MarketingSherpa case study like 20 years ago, and it was just so innovative at the time, I just had to make a note of it. And I’ve mentioned it a couple of times on this podcast. But the idea is that if you were, say a marketing director, a marketing VP, and you get this direct mail piece, and let’s say it’s a tough time, like recession time or this was back in the time of the dot-com bust. So you get this direct mail piece, and it’s kind of oversized letter, partially translucent, and you can see. It’s got a song sheet, and the title you can also make out without opening the letter yet. And the song is titled, “Let’s All Blame the Marketing Director.” and you’re the marketing director of the company.
I thought that was pretty darn genius. And as you open it, you see there’s a reply card in there, and the song, it’s an actual song sheet. You could play it on the piano. It was a barbershop quartet song that they had commissioned and made the song, and then they offered the CD of it if you sent the reply card. And it made some very big deals. This was an agency that pulled this off; they signed some very big deals because of that. Really clever.
I agree with you that DVDs and CDs and workbooks and all that stuff sounds all old school for sure. First of all, there’s still a lot of people because everybody is living longer. So, there’s a lot of people who are 50 plus now that are not averse to that kind of technology. I’m using USBs, and now some Macs don’t even have a USB port. So it’s even tough for that. But I’m putting a lot of content on USBs, and you put it in a plastic case with a table of contents, it becomes a physical product. Because physical products, certain books, and workbooks are old school, but books are still a perfect product, whether you like it or not. So there’s still an advantage for perceived value in creating a physical product. And if you can do physical products and digital at the same time, it gives the people a chance. So if you have a high-priced product, like an online investment product, and I’ve seen this, they will do a physical version, whether again, it could be DVDs, it could be on USB, it could be on CDs, and also books, it does add perceived value. You have to be careful with the audience.
I do think that when I go to a new client, I usually get the people around the table, and I pick the youngest person. So usually I pick a woman, and she’s in her early 20s, and I say to her, “Do you know what a mailbox is?” And she looks at me like I’m an asshole, which is fine. And then I say, “So you know what it is. And do you check your mailbox like once every two weeks?” She goes, “I check it every day.” And then I started talking about the idea of personalized direct mail that if I said if you got a lumpy package or a box or something in your mailbox that was hand-addressed, and it looked like something that wasn’t a bomb, and it was interesting, would you open that before you got into your house to go back on email or would you open it quickly? And of course, she has to admit that she’d open it first and immediately.
So that’s the obvious way I get them into the discussion of, there’s a lot of things you can do on the back end of digital business. So I know that there are some digital companies. I know one guy who sells tennis instruction online, it’s all online, it’s all on video, he sells great products, but he decided to come up with a playbook on some of the instructions. And it was basically you send in, and you get the playbook online, then you get a workbook. It looks like a workbook spiral bound, and you get that in the mail. And what it is, is that you throw this workbook in your tennis bag when you go out. And it has all the different positioning, it’s like doubles positioning. And when you get on the court, you can point your phone-it’s got QR codes, you point it at the thing in the book, and it’ll show you what to do in a video, and it also has it in the book as well.
That was a great way to do online-offline if you want to do it. I mean, you don’t have to do it that way, but the workbook itself, the playbook, became a great addition to the product, and I think you can charge higher prices when you start using a physical product. And again, I hear you on DVDs and CDs and USBs. I happen to have a PC, so I do have a DVD player, a CD player. I do have two USB ports. I feel I’m lucky to have those, but some people say, “I don’t want them.” But that’s not going to be the audience for you.
Making it available to certain segments. I think it’s all about getting the most penetration into your list in terms of what people want, meet them where they are, and then give it to them the way they want it. I’m not defending it, I’m just saying that there’s still a tremendous use for direct mail physical product, and books and workbooks and things like that. I sent you The Brilliance Breakthrough, which was a great book by Eugene Schwartz. And there were exercises in the book, I don’t know what Eugene was thinking at the time, but he was a great copywriter. He has this classic book, The Brilliance Breakthrough. And at the end of the chapters, he has these exercises. I’m thinking to myself, why would anybody want to write in a collectible book? The book wasn’t even available until I brought it back. And there were copies of it for $2,000 on Amazon and eBay. So I’m thinking to myself, why would I buy a book even though I was charging $195 for it? Why would I want to write in the book? So then I created a workbook that just has all the exercises. And I think just the fact that there’s a workbook increases the perceived value of the book and the workbook because it’s more, more is better.
In what we did in direct mail at Boardroom, we would have our Bottom Line yearbook, for instance, we sold every year. Bottom Line personal was our big newsletter, and we created a yearbook for it. And I remember the control package for that yearbook was four reports, and you get four special reports and special reports as bonuses, and they come with the book when you buy it. Then the copywriter had this great idea, “Why not do ten special reports?” and we said, “Great!” and, of course, 10 beat four by a wide margin. Then he said, let’s do 50 special reports. So 50 beat ten by a wide margin, and it didn’t cost us much more because the 50 while they were laid out in the direct mail package as little individual reports because they were all like two or three pages each, but they were on one single topic. We put it all in one volume. So it was still one book with 50 special reports, and that led to 100 special reports, which beat 50 in one book. And what that did is that now you’ve got a direct mail piece that has the hundred special reports fanned out with all the different titles.
And each one of those titles one’s on blood pressure, one’s on finance in tough times, one is bonds versus equities, one is on how to make sure that you get the best alarm systems for your home because Bottom Line was a big consumer newsletter. And each one of those becomes a touchpoint for different people. So you don’t have to touch everybody with all hundred, but you can touch everybody with at least five to 10, maybe even more than that. So that became incredible, it was “more was better,” and it was still physical products. Those are some examples of using premiums to add. And those are all books, no CDs, no DVDs. I’m not getting defensive about that, but I’m just giving you other ways to create physical products because CDs and DVDs are not the answer for certain audiences, I agree.Direct mail is worth testing. More people are online now, but there’s a new universe where direct mail compliments what you’re doing on the internet. Click To Tweet
Yeah. And the workbook example you gave of the tennis instructor that would lead to so many additional brand impressions. Suppose they’re bringing that with them in their bag that goes to the tennis court every time. That’s gonna make that brand top of mind. That person is going to be a go-to source for more tennis information.
Yeah. And he already was, he was already the number one guy. And now he’s still expanding his universe, which is great. I thought it had a fantastic effect. He and I spent some time on the phone before he did it to talk about how he should send it out. I suggested you send it out first class priority mail, because, at that point, you got people spending $1,000 or so, or maybe even $500 on the course. You have to do the customer service on the back end as well. I commented that I sold, billion dollars worth of business at $39 at a time. That’s tough. You’re selling subscriptions and books. I was doing it because I wore that as a badge of honor, not because I was smart. I wasn’t doing ascension. I wasn’t doing higher priced products. So I was silly at the time when you think about it, but we did okay. But it’s way easier to ascend people from $39 to $500 to $1500 coaching to $25,000 masterminds, and all of that. But I do think that when you add in direct mail, direct mail doesn’t have to be a billion pieces – $39 at a time, it can be a companion to $1000 or $2,000 product that’s digital, and then you make the presentation of that product so amazing because you got all this money to work with.
Not to waste your money, but you can put it in a box. You could send it to Federal Express if the people paid a lot of money, what a great thing to tell somebody that they bought a $2,000 course, or a $5,000 course for that matter, and they got digital, and they downloaded it. And then they get this welcome thing in the mail. That is unbelievable that it’s just a surprise and delight. And as long as the stuff in the box doesn’t have to be a representation of the digital product, but it’s got to support it.
And I think now with COVID, I’m sure you’ve been hearing about all the virtual events that are taking place that was live events. And one of the biggest things that we’re doing is creating swag boxes for those events, and they’re Federal Expressing them. I was on a conference call, and somebody’s describing this, and they couldn’t believe that they sent out 3000 swag boxes of all kinds of books and stuff, and they sent it to Federal Express. And they said, “How could you spend that much money?” Well, wait a minute, we used to do a live event at a hotel, we’re paying food and beverage, we’re paying for the room. We’ve got thousands of dollars that we were spending, the money that we spent on the FedEx boxes didn’t come close to approaching that, and it added to the event, it added to having people stay online longer, which is what you want to do if you have an enrollment kind of online event. And the online event, they’ve been kicking butt. They’ve been doing great. And I’m not saying they’re going to replace live events, but a lot of them in some cases they are or they’re going to compliment them in the future.
And it’s the physical product that supports it. That helps a lot, and you just use the money differently, that’s all.
Yeah, I’m in Strategic Coach, and it was a virtual day-long event, of course, and we just had it. But they sent the box with, what was it?
Dan’s new book?
Yes. Books and things like that, but the thing that was special and different, and I thought very cleverly was microwave popcorn, not that that’s healthy or anything. But a microwave popcorn and a popcorn box, one of those red and white striped boxes where you pour the popcorn in after you’ve popped it in the microwave. That was a nice touch.
For the mastermind, spoiler alert, I don’t know if we’ll get it to you in Israel before the meeting, but we’re sending some books, including yours. We always did snack bags, so we’re sending certain snacks there. And one of the things we’re doing is sending an Uber Eats card for $100 to everybody who’s coming, because there will be a lunch break, but the lunch break is going to be on different time zones like if you’re on the West Coast or you’re in Israel, wherever, you’ll be ready for bedtime snack when we’re doing our lunch break. But I think the Uber Eats card is a nice touch.
It’s a nice touch.
Yeah, I love the popcorn with the box. It just says that if you were live, you would be getting this, because we do get popcorn at Strategic Coach. I like that. One of the things they’re doing for the virtual events is that they’re sending a box, they’re sending a book, they’re sending a workbook, but then they send smiley faces on a stick because everybody’s audio is off and you got these big screens of 500 people. The speaker or the moderator can say, “Did anybody get that? Can you respond?” and then they’re all waving the smiley faces. Because I tell you, speaking at a virtual event is tough because you can’t feed off the crowd. It’s very difficult. So that was a nice touch that I saw too.
Roger Love just did his Voice of Success virtual, and his swag box included those emoji sticks. And he did something unprecedented. Powered by Sage is the company that produced it. And Roger did something that no other client of theirs had done up until that point. He got everybody to unmute at the same time, and then he got them to sing along a song and all these different exercises that he did with everybody off of mute. Not just one person but everybody, 1200 people off of mute at once. It was pretty crazy, and it was great.
Last week, I did Michael Ross Brooks’ event, which was for Tax Resolution Guy, and it was 500 people, and they did a thing where they unmuted everybody at the same time, and I was wondering if he was the first. But no, he wasn’t because Roger Love did that first. It’s pretty cool because you got all these people who are just sitting there with their audio off, and they’re really into it, they’re staying online. They’re usually very engaged, but as a speaker, you can’t feed off it, so it becomes a little difficult. But again, going back to what we started with here, it’s the physical product, and I think that when people do live events in the future, they’re going to think about sending a swag box in advance with their badge and with some stuff, which they’ll have to do something at the live event. But people don’t want to carry books home and things that.
So now there’s a way to get them excited before a live event as well. And they just got that because they had to do it because they were virtual. And so there’ll be a lot of things that will feed off of that, but it does come down to that direct mail is not nailing 2 million names to sell a book at 3% response rate. That’s one kind of direct mail. But direct mail could be 50 people to a mastermind with a package that costs $75 each, but it’s just showing that we can’t do this live. So I want you to get them as much experience as you can. And you can do that through the mail. It’s just fantastic.
Yeah. So I have a 1000-page book that I can send digitally, and okay, that has some value to it. But if I send that in the physical mail, and they receive that, it’s got a heft to it, right? Let’s say that I highlighted different sections of it, or I had one of my team do that, that were relevant to that specific business and where they were at. That sends a whole other kind of message.
Are you doing that?
I’m thinking about doing it. One of my coaches strongly advised me to do that. Even if it’s $75 each to do that, it’s worth it. It is what she reckons.
Right. I would recommend it too, but don’t do everybody at once. Pick out some key clients that you’re either going to meet with, or they’d haven’t met you yet. That’s about lifetime value. If you get the appointment and even if maybe it’s a paid appointment or a paid call or a consulting call, if you send that Federal Express or in a box, with some other stuff on the side, beef jerky and a kind bar, which is what we did. But you’ve got the book as the centerpiece, your book is tremendous, not only in size but in scope. I think it’s the best book on SEO ever written. So highlighting or tabbing, you could do it a lot easier. You could just take post-it notes and just put it in the book so that it’ll be really easy for them to find it. Or you can have a cover note saying pages, pages, pages, and that’s highlighted. It’s not just a gift, it’s going to help them in working with you. And of course, it’s got credibility built-in because this guy wrote a 1000-page book on the subject. Who else has done that? The answer is nobody. So you’ve got a differentiation that takes you to a whole new level. I would say if you don’t do that, I’ll be very disappointed. Test the different ways. You can do it one-off each one. It’s a great idea. I would have recommended the same thing, but your coach beat me to it.
It’s Julie Mason, who is going to be another guest on this episode. I already recorded her interview. She’s my LinkedIn coach.
Yeah, she’s great at LinkedIn, but also sales and strategy stuff, too.
You got to do LinkedIn. Advertising opportunities are infinite. And the thing is if someone is a LinkedIn expert, and they claim to be able to do everything on social media, everything online. I always say run away from that person. I want the best person on LinkedIn. I want the best person on Facebook. I want the best person on Instagram. They might overlap. I want the best person on SEO, you. That’s what I do with my masterminds. I basically and I said this to you when we met at Joe’s, I said, “Okay, this guy is the best SEO guy in the world.” So that’s who I want. I want the whats for my mastermind. So if the what is SEO, I want Stephan. If the what is Facebook, I want Nicholas Kusmich or somebody at his level. If the what is LinkedIn, I want your woman or Josh Lee, a tremendous expert on LinkedIn. So if it’s direct mail, I could do it, but I also know other experts like Craig Simpson and people like that, my co-author on Advertising Solution. But I want the what and the who. And this ties into Genius Network and Strategic Coach, I want the what and the who in any kind of marketing segment in that area.
And then the how, well, there’s a lot of ways to do the how; you can do it yourself, you can do it with somebody, and I’ll give you the whos to do it with. So I make no bones, if you’re coming into my mastermind to speak on SEO, you could be the who, or you’ll recommend a who if you don’t want to be the who for them, but you’ll give them the why. And I have another speaker who’s the expert on Amazon, Dylan Frost. He’s like the number one guy on Amazon, and he was selling wholesale. Now he’s selling direct to consumers. And he’s got it down to a system, and he could buy white label product and put you on Amazon and run the whole program for you, doesn’t cost you a thing, he takes a percentage. Great guy. He’s going to show you the why of Amazon, he could be the who, but if he’s not the who, he’ll give you a who or you’ll find one, but you know what the why, and the who is before you do the how.
I’m retired basically because I’ve retired from things I don’t like to do. I’ve retired from things I’m not good at, and I’m not good at a lot of things, and I’ve retired from people I don’t want to hang around with anymore. That’s Dan Sullivan’s definition of retirement. But I love working, I love doing this, but I want to bring as much what and who, to everybody in marketing and copywriting so then they can go off and just multiply. I always say, go forth and multiply. And that’s how you do it, I think.
Dan has a book out now called WhoNotHow. Because if you’re trying to figure out the how which I used to do a lot instead of trying to find the right who to solve that problem and they bring the how I try to figure it out myself. And I’m well past that. Like when you said, bring in specialists, and all these different social platforms, there are so many different specialists. For example, I have a power user on Pinterest, and she got one of our clients, Everipedia, which is a competitor to Wikipedia but built on a blockchain. So it’s an encyclopedia for everything, not just the stuff that’s considered notable by Wikipedia standards. They go from zero of 31 monthly viewers where they started in October when we started working with them on Pinterest, to over a million by June. 1 million monthly viewers.
Yeah. And that was my power user. She’s a ninja at this stuff.
The Facebook expert isn’t going to know how to do that as precisely as the person that spent all their time on Pinterest. Dan Sullivan, in Strategic Coach, teaches the who not how is a beautiful extension of his basic concept of Strategic Coach, which is a unique ability. So if your unique ability, my unique ability is so far from Pinterest. It’s ridiculous. It’s far from SEO. I know what I’m good at, I know what I’m not good at.
And the thing though, that I did for the Tax Reduction Guys, is what I said was, you don’t have to be good at anything. You’re probably good at something because everybody knows everything about this much, and if this is only on audio, I’m holding my thumb and index finger three inches apart. Everybody knows everything about this much. But if you’re outsourcing your Marketing, which you should for the most part, or have a marketing director or a CMO, that’s orchestrating this. You can’t just dish it off and say, do me to all these people, you have to basically at least understand what they’re doing. If you’re going to do Facebook, understand what they’re doing, what you’re paying for, where’s the ROI, you got to ask the right questions. You don’t have to be an expert, but you have to be involved.
And I also look at this in terms of copywriting. If you’re a copywriter or let’s say you’re a marketer, looking for a copywriter. I get emails all the time, ‘Brian, do you know a good copywriter?” I said, “I know hundreds of good copywriters. That’s not the right question. The question is, who’s the right copywriter for you?” And then you have to look at their business, you have to look at their category. Do you want an A player, a B player, and a B player can still do the job? But a good copywriter is one of the first things they have to do is they have to be insatiable in their curiosity, which means they’re usually the best interviewers. So if you’re the client and if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you know more about what you’re doing than anybody. You just don’t know how to write about it or to write a compelling sales letter or email or direct mail package. The copywriters’ job is to get it out of you because they’re going to take what they get out of you and turn it into poetry.Your list is always composed of people. Treat them like family and they’ll treat you the same way. Click To Tweet
And with a CTA, a call to action, and everything that is needed, you don’t have to do that. But you’ve got to be involved, it’s your business, it’s your brand. And so that’s what I told the tax guys, I don’t expect them all to be marketers and copywriters, but they’re at this event to learn marketing. You got to be involved or forget it. Somebody’s going to take advantage of you, you’re gonna pay $10,000 for a consultant, and after six months, you’re going to say what did he do, and it was nothing. Anybody who asks me what I do for a living, I never say I’m a consultant. A consultant sounds like you’re unemployed, and a consultant also is someone who there’s a lot more money to be made by perpetuating the problem than solving it.
I have seen the motivational poster in despair.com.
I know you’re the kind of consultant where you want people to get results. And Joe Polish says, “Everybody talks about thought leaders in the business. It’s not a thought leader that you’re looking for, it’s a results leader, and it’s a big difference.” Because Joe puts it well, he goes, “Anybody can have a thought, it takes a special person to be able to get results out of a marketer.” And that’s what you want, but you have to be involved. It’s not a nonparticipating sport. The title of my speech at that tax reduction thing was Marketing Isn’t Everything, It’s the Only Thing. Well, Vince Lombardi is winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. But it is everything and not because I’m a marketing freak looking for every order and price gouging.
I’m not talking about that. I’m not talking about being the worst of the worst in terms of selling and marketing. But if you’re not going to be involved, then don’t bother doing it. But then it comes down to I have the what and the who before the how. And you got to know what the whats are. And we’ll have a lot of whats at this mastermind with you and Dylan and Roland Frasier. Scott Harrison from Charity Water and he’s turned fundraising into a subscription model at a very high level, and that’s one of the speakers as well.
I saw that. That’s gonna be amazing. I’ve heard him speak before he’s phenomenal. Very cool. Okay, so let’s switch into a lightning round for the next 10 minutes or so and see how many questions we can get through.
Okay, so we’ve talked about a swag box. What do you think is different about a shock and awe box, which is a term that I learned from Dan Kennedy? What makes that so special that your jaw drops when you open that?
I think it’s a Venn diagram. I think a good swag box is a shock and awe. But the swag box I consider that it’s usually in support of something. And I look at the swag box now, and it’s going to get this because of all the virtual events. Everybody says direct marketing, and they think direct mail. Well, who decided that? Direct marketing is still direct marketing in any medium. But I think it’ll morph that way. I think a swag box is going to start morphing to support an event, and a shock and awe is basically like you’re sending your book with the highlights, and all of that, to me, that’s shock and awe. And you might just send the book, and that’s some shock and awe, but you can add things to that by putting tabs in the book or highlighting and then add some things. Maybe there’s another workbook, or there’s another support, a USB with some more content that you put in the box.
I knew a guy who was doing a mastermind or a live event for lawyers to come to this event, and then he was going to sell a mastermind at the event. So, anybody who signed up and paid, he sent them something that looked like a small coffin, and it was a big wooden box. And you open up the top I think it had a book here, and it wasn’t so much to support. It was a combination of supporting the event, and that’s just shocking. A swag box is probably not going to be a wooden box with a lid with an inscription on the top. That’s shock and awe, So shock and awe is probably a little bit more than a swag box, but they overlap. And I think the more we go on with virtual events and I also think that shock and awe also could be part of a direct mail program like a continuity because a swag box would be like maybe a one-time thing, but a shock and awe, you could have a shock and awe series. I know that you can do a mailing a month or maybe even every two weeks. And one of them has a balloon in it, and you say, “Blow up your sales.” You can do corny stuff, but you can still do shock and awe that way. So, it’s an interesting question, but I don’t think there’s a lot more in common than not in common, I think.
Okay, got it. I could imagine if you’re the kind of company that creates business cards that are made out of metal or wood or other kinds of specialized kinds of impressive, expensive business cards. If you sent a fancy box with some samples that were kind of mounted or something, I’m just totally riffing here. I don’t know if anybody has done this. But that would be really impressive if I received that, and I have the funds to be able to afford those kinds of expensive business cards. I do believe in really nice business cards. My business cards cost a dollar or $1.50 each. Which it’s not inexpensive, but it’s got spot UV, it’s printed on both sides, color, and it’s got a picture of me. It’s pretty slick.
That’s like new school from old school.
Well, I learned this actually from pickup artists. There’s this concept called the DHV, the demonstration of higher value. If you just weave into a conversation with somebody like, “Oh, yeah, when I was dating that supermodel, what happened was this crazy thing,” and you just nonchalantly dropped into the conversation that you were dating a supermodel at one point. You don’t have to brag, and then it’s just part of the storytelling. It’s very clever. So that’s something that pickup artists do a lot. So a DHV could be a form of a really nice business card. I remember receiving metal business cards from folks, it’s just really impressive. That was a $5 business card they just handed me.
Yeah, the only problem with those, I remember putting it in my pocket, and I cut my leg on it.
Yeah. It was a little sharp. You have to be careful with that. But it was impressive. You didn’t want to throw it out. And that’s what the main thing with the business card is, business cards can get tossed all day. The thing about another shock and awe that I know of is a guy in my mastermind, who sells plaques to Walmart, an employee of the month plaques, and he gets an account from a big chain, and he can do plaques for all their employees. And he would send a lot of times to a good prospect like you do the plaque to the person he’s sending it to. Like making my employees do their plaques or something, and very clever stuff that you can do to really get them in tune with what you’re doing. Because you can do a lot of stuff that’s completely synergistic with what you’re ending up selling, which is great, and the business cards, maybe think of that.
Yeah, very cool. What kind of unusual packaging so that it gets past the gatekeeper and goes straight to the decision-maker. What sort of innovations would you recommend? We used to use FedEx tubes, for example. We’d send a pair of socks in a FedEx to a tube, and we have the cover letter explaining that we got this client, Cabela’s ranking number one for well-hunting socks. So that’s got past the gatekeeper because how often do you receive a FedEx tube in the mail, any other thoughts?
There was so much in third class mail back in the 80s and 90s that was like these fake DHL, but they were like express things, and those were good back then. Just sending something, FedEx tells you that it’s important. So, anybody who’s going to spend that extra money, or UPS 2-day air or whatever, and it’s legit, that’s good, too. I think that customized boxes with if they’re sort of expecting it. I think that’s important to customize it in some way. I think odd shapes, as you said, a tube, box, or like we do, plastic cases for our USBs, which in itself is just not usual. Anything that you can do that will create some real intrigue in what the mailer is. So the tube is one way, but you can just have a big package that you put a lot of foam around it, and then the package itself is in an envelope, but it’s such a strange shape that you have to open it.
Alright, so that is Dan Kennedy’s concept of a lumpy envelope or a lumpy mail.
Right. So lumpy is always good. With a gatekeeper situation, you really have to make it so that even the gatekeeper opens the Federal Express envelope, and she looks in it. She’s not going to not pass that along because it came to FedEx, and she doesn’t know how important it is. Now some gatekeepers are better than others, and she’ll open it, she’ll see it’s a book with a note clipped on, but even that, maybe he ordered this book. And sometimes it can’t be FedEx for the sake of being FedEx, if it’s FedEx with a single letter that’s pre-printed. I don’t know if that’s that good, because that could be thrown out. So if you’re going to use that kind of format, you want to be consistent and congruent through the whole thing.
There was an expression back in the 80s in Bob Stones, classic direct marketing book, and it was something about the gestalt of the mailing piece, and the gestalt would sometimes be putting stuff that’s not congruent in the piece. So let’s say you’re sending your book with an attached note and there’s a power bar in there and a T-shirt. Well, what is all this stuff? So I think that that is part of the shock and awe that it’s sometimes not congruent. But I think when it is congruent to something, it sometimes follows the sales all the way through. You can go to a lot of different ways by setting the package up. I love Cabela’s socks in the tube that were fantastic.
Any predict particular suppliers that you like to work with or that you recommend to do this kind of stuff, like creating the DVDs and doing the printing and the binding and all that.
Yeah, there’s a lot of people out there. The two that I work with the most are Disk.com, and he’s a member of Genius Network. He ships all my books, Breakthrough Advertising, Brilliance Breakthrough, and my USBs. He does those. So that’s great. And then I have another guy in Rochester, New York. It’s Selby Printing. They can buy anything and then package it. So I did these welcome packages for my Titans Accelerator Mastermind, which is my 200 people online mastermind. I wanted to do some leatherette diaries, so they brought that with an inscription. I gave him a copy of my book, and we had a USB in a plastic case which they made, but they put the whole thing together, they mailed it. They can handle almost anything.
There’s also a company that deals with the Kennedy folks a lot. I think it’s called 3D printing or something like that. It’s 3D something. The guy’s name, I think, is Travis Lee, and they’re really good too. If you’re just testing it for the first time, you can just go to a local printer, for the most part. Basically, what you need them to do is to understand the different shipping, if you want to send a priority mail or just regular USPS, or do you want to send for international, or do you want to send it UPS expedited. So you have to know all the shipping numbers, and you want to know those numbers because if you’re sending it out, you want to know what your cost of goods are, what your postage is, and then you can look at this as a direct mail program over time because everything’s got to have an ROI.
Direct marketing or direct response marketing is measurable and accountable advertising. You want to be able to get back eventually, not right away. You don’t have to get your money back right away, but you want to get your money back over time. So I think any company you deal with, they have to be very good about giving you all the costs, so you know everything you’re spending, and then how much you’re going to get back from that. And you got to track it over some time. You can’t just do five of them and say, I didn’t get any response to this $75 thing, it’s a disaster, I’m not going to do it again. I would think that’s a mistake if you’ve got the right list, which is the most important thing, then you should be able to figure out the offer and the creative to make that list work.
Yeah, you said you got to have the right list, and the list is the most important thing. It’s more important than the copy, it’s more important than the creative the offers all that.I want the why and the who in any kind of marketing segment. There's a lot of ways to do the how, but you cannot easily find the who. Click To Tweet
It is, I’m not saying that they’re not all-important. I did a presentation last year at LaunchCon, where I talked about that the creative is the least important part of your promotion until it’s not. And what that means is that it was based on the original 40/40/20 rule. It was something that someone put out, it’s close, I’m sure that the success of the direct marketing program depends 40% on the list, 40% on the offer, and 20% on the messaging or the creative. And I made that in my book, I made it the 41/39/20 rule, with 41 being the list. Just that you know that you’ve got the list right. Because if you have the best creative and the best offer, and the list is not targeted, they’re not interested in what you’re doing, you’re going to get zero orders no matter what you do.
Let’s all blame the marketing director piece to the CTO or the janitor. That’s a big mess.
Exactly. But if you get the list right, you can have a mediocre offer, you could have created a red box with a flashing red arrow, and you’ll get some orders, you’ll make some money because the list is just so targeted. And if it’s an affiliate, for instance, they’re going to sell some of the stuff even with the worst creative. But that’s when the creative takes hold, because if you have a great list, and a great offer, or an offer that’s going to be incorporated into the creative, getting a great copywriter or a great person or people to create that message, that’s going to take the marketing to a whole nother level, because what I saw in all my marketing for over 34 years that I got lists to have anywhere from 5% to 10% to 20% maybe by tweaking a control and tweaking a sales letter and all of that.
But when I got the 50% lifts and the 100% percent lists on a control package, meaning I got 100% list in response, it was always when I went to a brand new creative from a brand new copywriter with a whole different approach with a new offer, a new premium, new bonuses, but the list was still the best list that I could get. So now I’m playing in the right arena of taking, really investing in the creative and the offer too. But the creative mostly to make that the most important once you’ve made a list the most important. So that’s what I mean by the creative is the least important until it’s not. And those are the three legs of direct marketing. It’s a list, offering, creative, basically, everything else could come on to one of those three things.
One thing that really strikes me is you never hear the term in internet marketing, at least beat the control. But that is the mantra for direct marketers and direct mail. So if we started thinking more in terms of beating the control, we’re going to start creating campaigns that we can iterate and improve as time goes on instead of just a one-off and just hope it works.
It’s a good point. My attitude is that control is your enemy, so we used to think about it in direct mail. As soon as you got a new control, the idea was now how are we going to beat that. Even though it was going to roll out, it was going to do well, and we’re going to make a lot of money on it. And the best copywriters know that if it’s their package, whether it’s direct mail, whether it’s an email series or whatever, if they get the control, they’re going to want to beat it themselves to keep the control thing, especially if they’re getting a royalty or a percentage of the sales. I think the reason why the term control is not as prevalent in online is because, in direct mail, we used to do a package, we used to get the results, then you go out, you get a new control, and then you get a new package against it, that could that whole process could take six months.
Now it’s 15 minutes, but that’s the danger because then you have statistical significance that you have to keep in mind. And I’m sure you’re a slave to this like I’ve always been, which is, if you’re gonna call something a new control, you better have more than like six more orders at $99. I remember my first launch at Boardroom, we did an online launch, and we were testing during the launch because you can do that online. You can’t do that in direct mail, and you got to print the thing, you got to pay postage, you gotta send it to a lettershop. They’re doing this, and I remember that the guy who’s running the test, that person had to be an A/B split. And I wasn’t sure he was doing an A/B split, meaning that every other name has to be in each segment of the split. He can’t do half the country here in the eastern part of the country and the western part there or whatever. You got to be an A/B split. But he said, “Oh, we got two packages. It was a price test.”
And it was probably a multidimensional test, which is not good either. But let’s say it was just a price test, and he said, “This one, we got nine orders. This one we got 12 orders and the 12 orders were at the higher price, so that’s won.” And I’m thinking to myself on a $99 product, are you kidding me? You got to get some scale here to tell you if it’s a winner. That’s just random almost. So that’s another reason why because I think online, you want to make changes quickly. You want to move, you want to have a lot of dexterity, which is good, but it’s sometimes at the expense of real statistical significance.
And if you’ve got to control in direct mail, you’re going to stick with it until it got beat. I’ll tell you some of the CEOs that I’ve talked to in my mastermind. I’ve had a bunch of CEOs of digital companies, and I said, “Who was the most valuable employee to you?” and you would think he would say the marketing person or the CFO. And this guy had a lot of marketing expertise himself, so maybe it would have been marketing, but he says the statistician. It’s the guy that gives me the dashboard that says, “How is my mailing doing?” or “How is my online marketing doing different packages?” “How do they do the test?” “What’s the test setup?” And if you’re calling something a winner or a loser, you got to prove it to me. And he was not a statistician himself as the CEO, but he understood enough to understand it. And I always did too, you don’t have to do it, it’s not a how, but you got to know the what, and you got to trust your who on this. You got to ask them the right questions.If you're passionate about what you're doing, you’ll know more about what you're doing than anybody. Click To Tweet
Yeah. For sure. All right. So we’re out of time. We didn’t go into recency, frequency, and monetary value. Is there a resource, a white paper, or an article or book that you want to recommend?
My book has a whole chapter, basically on it. It’s on List Building and RFM.
So this is in Overdeliver?
Yes. So it’s on overdeliverbook.com. If folks go there, it’s a great site, so many bonuses there. It’ll give you a button to go to Amazon, Barnes, and Noble, wherever you want to buy it. You go buy, you come back to the site, and you put your order number in, and you get to download. I’ve got 19 keynotes from Jay Abraham on that site. I’ve got a swipe file from Dan Kennedy that’s exclusive to the Titans of Direct Response event in 2014. I’ve got a Perry Marshall video of a full day that I did with him in 2013. I’ve got Gary Bencivenga, one of the greatest copywriters ever, all of his Bencivenga Bullets. So it’s a great site. I think the bonuses might be better than the book, but the book has a lot.
I’m sure the book is awesome.
Oh, thank you. So that’s where RFM is defined. But you can also just go to my site, briankurtz.net. I have all my blogs going back, I think, six years. Just put in the search bar RFM, and you’ll get a couple of different blog posts, and I can define it and all of that. And that’s the best two ways to get on my list as well. I blog every Sunday. I don’t sell on that blog. I don’t do affiliates, so It’s a content-based blog. I do sell educational products that I own like the Eugene Schwartz books, but it’s not a sales thing.
How did you get the Breakthrough Advertising rights to publish? That is one of the legendary copywriting books of all time.
It is. Well, the fact is I’m old enough to have known Gene Schwartz for about 20 years. So when I started Boardroom, he was writing copy for Boardroom. And this is what I say you don’t choose your mentors, your mentors choose you. I tell the story in a blog as well, and I think it’s in the book, but Gene asked me, off the cuff, because he used to do copy for names. So he would write a package for us, a full-blown package and an exchange instead of us paying him, we paid him in names because we had the best health names. And Gene had a small book operation called Instant Improvement, which sold health books. So we used to give him 750,000 Boardroom names of any selection that he wanted if he wrote a package for us. That was the exchange. And he could make a lot more money with 750,000 names than he could if we paid him $50,000 for the package because it’s got lifetime value, he’s going to keep the names if they buy the book, and he’s going to sell them other books. It’s not even close how much more money he made. That’s why he was so smart.
And so I also saw that with instant improvement, his list broker wasn’t giving him good recommendations. And I was nailing all the best health books in the country. So on my own, I said, “Gene, let me give you a list recommendation.” I wasn’t a list broker, but I said, “I’m going to tell you all the list Boardroom is mailing and the best selections,” and I did all of that for him without him asking me. This is an example of I had no aspirations that he was going to pay me because I wasn’t taking it doing it for money, and I did not expect of him doing anything for me. And what he did for me was even more fantastic, which was he started inviting me to his home on Park Avenue for lunch, and just learning at speed was amazing because he was an amazing art collector and his apartment on Park Avenue was like a museum. He would change the paintings every couple of months, and he had everything in storage, an amazing art collector. His obituary in the New York Times said it was like one paragraph about him as a copywriter and direct mail guy, and then the rest of it was all about him as an art collector.
I considered him a real mentor, and then years after, he passed away because we published small quantities of the book just for friends and family of Boardroom. But then when he passed away, I thought I left Boardroom, and I went to his wife, Barbara, and I have the rights at Boardroom, but I took them with me. But I got a new agreement with Barbara, his wife, and she can’t believe the appetite for Gene works, though. We’ve sold thousands of copies at the lowest price you can get it for because it’s online, anywhere from $300 to $1,000 a copy. And I’m charging 125 for it, and it’s a bargain. And so Barbara and I are partners, that’s how it happened. That was a long story. I consider it an honor to be the shepherd of his work, and Barbara trusts me to be a good shepherd, and it’s a great partnership.
And where do you get that book from?
You can get it on my site, there’s a products tab, but it’s breakthroughadvertisingbook.com. You can go right to that page. it’s an amazing book. The first few chapters of that book are mind-bending. I reread those three chapters multiple times a year, but I read the book regularly. And, when I send the book, there’s a little letter on it from me that says, read the first few chapters multiple times before reading the rest of the book. And that’s the best way to read it.
Yeah, one of the things I learned from Gene Schwartz was that the headline’s job is only to keep the reader reading. That’s it. So I used to try and sell through the headline and do all these things. That little nugget allowed me to focus, and I said that so many times to clients and colleagues and stuff that it’s just to keep the person reading.
Right. It’s like what’s the purpose of every sentence in a sales letter? It’s to get them to read the next sentence. And people say, long or short, well, just don’t be boring. Too long, too short, is not the question. That’s true because that was Gene. And the Brilliance Breakthrough I have as well, which was even more obscure than Breakthrough Advertising. And that book is more about how Gene wrote. He has a thing in there about grammar is overrated, but picking the right words for what you’re writing is the most important thing. And that’s why I did the workbook because it’s like Mad Libs for copywriting in a way. But I have people who bought that book for their kids because it’s a way to learn to write, maybe like Gene or maybe not, but you don’t have to pick the toughest word all the time. You want to pick the words that your audience uses. There’s a quote from Gene that said, “There is your reader, there is the language, there are the words that they use.” And that summarizes what he thought about in terms of the words you use to reach your audience.
Very powerful. Well, thank you so much. Again, your website is briankurtz.net, and all those book websites we’ll include all those in the show notes.
Oh, thank you, Stephan.
And I do hope that our listener goes and buys some of those books because that can catapult somebody’s career. It really can.
Yeah, I’m all about direct marketing education. It’s not about the money. I don’t offer them on Amazon. I’m not looking to maximize income, I’m looking to maximize education and share all this stuff as much as I can.
Great stuff. Well, thank you again, Brian. Thank you, listeners. Now take advantage of these amazing resources.
- Brian Kurtz
- Facebook – Brian Kurtz
- Youtube – Brian Kurtz
- Titans Accelerator Mastermind
- How To Explode Your Advertising Results and Your Profits with 3D Mail – Free 44-Page Book of Successful Direct Mail Campaigns
- Advertising Solution
- Brilliance Breakthrough
- Breakthrough Advertising
- Jay Abraham – previous episode (episode 8)
- Jay Abraham – previous episode (episode 62)
- Jay Abraham – previous episode (episode 207)
- Dan Kennedy – previous episode
- Seth Godin – previous episode
- Roger Love – previous episode
- Julie Mason – previous episode
- Joe Polish
- Roland Frasier
- Ryan Levesque
- Strategic Coach
- Voice of Success
- Powered by Sage
- Tax Resolution Guy
- Nicholas Kusmich
- Genius Network
- Scott Harrison
- Charity Water
- Selby Printing
- Perry Marshall
- Gary Bencivenga
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Establish more direct strategies for my marketing plan. Find out if direct mail or face-to-face marketing is applicable to my business. Sometimes even if I’m doing most of my stuff online, direct mail may compliment what I’m doing.
Nurture my list. While I find ways to keep it growing, it’s also important to make sure I’m connecting with my existing customers.
Segment my database and create different ways to communicate with them depending on where they’re at in their customer journey.
Pay attention to analytics. Decide which marketing metrics I’d like to focus on and let the results drive my next decisions.
Backup my marketing with a stellar product. There’s no point hyping something up when it doesn’t deliver what is promised.
Mesh the old school with new trends. Don’t disregard a strategy because it’s been done for ages and don’t join in on a trend when it could just be a fad.
Have a physical product I can sell or offer to my customers. Sometimes when services are being sold, it’s nice to have something tangible to help people remember my business.
Be more thoughtful and creative with my customer service. Make it a pleasant experience for them every time they purchase or subscribe to what I’m offering.
Focus on who instead of how. If there’s an area of the business I am not adept with, don’t spend so much time on how I do it. Focus instead on who can do the task best.
Claim my free 44-page book of successful direct mail campaigns, “How To Explode Your Advertising Results and Your Profits with 3D Mail.”
About Brian Kurtz
Brian Kurtz has had two careers. The first spanned 34 years as a force behind Boardroom Inc., an iconic publisher, and direct marketer. During that time, he was mentored by, and worked with, a who’s who of marketing legends (who he owes everything to). And more specifically, he worked side-by-side with the most prolific copywriters who have ever lived.
His second career, which he is five years into as the Founder of Titans Marketing, is a direct marketing educational and coaching company where he has also continued working with the best-of-the-best. Titans Marketing is known for two (soon to be three) mastermind groups, an array of classic books and swipe files Brian has re-published and created…and he is the author of two books himself.
His most recent book is Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing. It is his opus (but not a memoir). His first book, The Advertising Solution, profiles six legends of advertising and copywriting including Gene Schwartz and Gary Halbert.
As a business-to-consumer marketer at Boardroom, Brian was responsible for selling over a billion dollars’ worth of products “$39 at a time” to millions.
As a business-to-business marketer with Titans Marketing, he has sold over $5 million worth of products (and services) to thousands, enabling them to spread the gospel about direct marketing to millions.
During both careers, he has been a serial direct marketer, with a foundation in the eternal truths and fundamentals of direct response…while being committed to “overdelivering” over almost four decades.