Here’s an Internet sales letter worthy of placing in your swipe file.
It was written several years ago by the gifted ad writer and newsletter publisher, Stuart Goldsmith. I had to dig the sales letter up from archive.org since it’s no longer online. The product, for which the sales letter was written, is the now out-of- print book by Dan Peña, “Your First Hundred Million.” (Dan was partially the inspiration for Michael Douglas’ character, Gordon Gekko, in the 1987 film, “Wall Street.”)
What I like about Stuart Goldsmith’s sales letter is it flips conventional marketing and copywriting wisdom on its backside.
Take the headline.
Can You Afford The World’s Most Expensive Money-Making Book?
Conventional wisdom says you can only charge so much for a book. About $30 US is the ceiling. But what if it’s the “world’s most expensive money making book?” £285 or almost $600 US isn’t such a stretch in this case. Simple yet brilliant product positioning which parallels the author’s unique positioning.
Then there’s the Joe Karboesque opener:
I am writing today to try and sell you an extraordinary book.
And with that sentence, I’ve just broken the number two rule of sales letter writing – I’ve told you up front what I’m selling, instead of warming you up first. If you think that’s unusual, in just a few more sentences I’m going to break the number one rule as well.
Disarmingly direct, isn’t he? What’s the number one rule and how will he break it?
And finally, let me break the one rule of sales letter writing you should never break…
Sales letters like this are normally heavy on the guarantee. They promise unconditional and instant money-back if you don’t like the product for any reason.
Want to know what the guarantee is with world’s most expensive moneymaking book?
Zippo. Nada. Zilch.
When I read the sales letter five years ago, I liked this “non-guarantee” so much, I not only bought the book but an entire inventory of VHS cassette seminars from Guthrie Castle. (I resold them for a then much appreciated 500% return. Thanks Dan and Stuart!)
Then there’s Dan’s positioning which is crush your feelings crass while telling you the rare, stone cold truth no smooth talking guru knows let alone dares to tell you.
You can clap and sing along with these ‘gurus’ or … you can listen to a guy who built a $400 million value starting from just $820 and a leased fax machine. Your choice.
So why should you buy this book?
One reason only. You want to make this sort of money too.
You should now have two questions in your mind: “Who is this guy?” and “Does he walk the talk?”
Here are some answers. Dan Peña has built from scratch more dollar value than any other personal development or business success coach who’ll ever try to sell you a book or tempt your sorry ass into a seminar. He’s lost more money on just one bad deal than a lot of those slick-suited guys on the ‘feel-good-get-rich’ lecture circuit ever made in their whole careers.
Next are the qualifications to buy the book.
What do you need in order to qualify for a copy of this book? Just this:
If you’re a man, you need balls. If you’re a woman, you need feminine grit.
That’s all you need. That’s all Dan started with when he was a worthless, doofus punk in a Los Angeles ghetto. He’d already flunked out of school and was drifting aimlessly, broke and getting into trouble. No silver spoon in Dan’s mouth, let me assure you of that! But he had two outstanding qualities – he was fearless, and he wanted success badly.
If you’re a scared, lifeless timid, apathetic little rabbit shivering in your burrow, then save yourself £277 right now. You don’t need or want this book.
I’ve touched on the main points but there’s a good deal more copy to learn from. The entire letter can be found here. After the latest rounds of lifeless Internet promotions, Stuart Goldsmith’s copy is as much a kick in the backside today as it was five years ago.
This is a good article on Dan pena Your First 100 Million. The second edition was released recently and i’ve been looking for a wealth creation book to start.
I have read Your First 100 Million by Dan Pena and my life has never been the same ever since. The book shares unconventional business strategies that really work.
Anthony Robins says
Great sales letter about Dan Pena business success book, your first 100 million! i will be ordering a copy of it right now.
The book is a disappointment, folks. It’s not worth more than any other $35 business book.
Diadem L. Lacorte says
I have the book and it is only a disappointment to people who are too weak to take the pound for pound truth. It’s basically a bitch slap to the weak and it won’t give you that warm fuzzy feeling that other wealth coaching books would give you… if you can take the challenge and if you’re pro out of the box money making war, you should get yourself a copy of this book. If you’re one of those with tiny cojones, just get yourself one of those $35.00 books that will keep you being able to afford no more than $35.00 books.
Stuart Goldsmith says
I stumbled upon this site by accident. Yes I really enjoyed writing that letter – it’s one of my favourites. We sold a shed-load of books at that price too, and no refunds! Working with Dan was ‘interesting’ shall we say. He certainly gave me a wake-up call! Stuart Goldsmith
Hello Stuart. Glad you found it here.
I “stumbled upon” you rather intentionally 7 or 8 years ago.
Glad I did.
I am reading his book right now, I got it a couple of years ago but I boxed because I moved, I have to say is AMAZING, the information there is worth..you guess it, $100 million plus. I am divorced at 58, my personal income went down from $700,000 plus per year to $150,000, yes, some you may say, why is he complaining? well, my debts are many times higher my income, reading this book is giving me the excitement to not only go over $700,000 again, but to break the million in the next 12 months, and the 10 million in the following 24 months…is a dream? maybe, but now I have my dreams back, and yes, I have my eyes in the 100 million prize!!
“Dan was partially the inspiration for Michael Douglas’ character, Gordon Gekko, in the 1987 film, “Wall Street.”
LOL Oliver Stone said it was Ivan Boesky. I would be willing to bet my car that Stone has never even heard of this old fart.
Lawrence Bernstein says
Yes, Boesky was the model for the Gekko character and Dan’s claim is questionable. I became convinced of that after this post was written.
I read the book since it’s now available for free all over the Net. At best it’s worth $24.95. Sorry, The more you dig into Dan the Man the more you are put off by him and his claims. For example his wedding venue business shares the same telephone like as his investment banking service.