“Warning! This Is A Special One-Time Offer. Please Read Everything Below…”
Hi, my name is Big Jason Henderson, and Scott “Mongo” Haines was my best friend.
Sadly, Scott passed away this past January 10th, 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma after being on life support for weeks. I was at his bedside day and night all this time when the decision was made by his family to let him go. Scott’s older brothers, Jamie and Brian, returned to Scott’s room and dropped a bombshell on me.
“We want you to take Scott’s course and continue his legacy. Scott didn’t like to talk about himself. So, we want you to let people know what an amazing copywriter and man he was.”
If you’d like to have the ability to write ultra-profitable advertising copy… and… you’d like to have it in the fastest amount of time humanly possible… then I believe this will be one of the most important messages you’ll ever read!
As it says above, my name is Scott Haines. You may or may not have heard of me. Either way, I think it’s important that I give you a little history of my journey from raw rookie to seasoned pro copywriter writing million-dollar advertising.
I’ve been involved in direct marketing for over 12 years. At first, as a struggling nobody… however… for the last 10 years (or so), I’ve been a successful direct response copywriter and marketing consultant. My journey originally started in college while studying for a degree in Marketing. However, I want to skip over that because, while what happened there was important… it was not nearly as important as what I’m about to tell you.
Besides, you can read a little more about me and my beginnings in the brief article at the end of this letter titled, “Who Is Scott Haines?”.
For now, let me pick up my story in mid-1998 with the amazing piece of “luck” that changed my life.
First of all, you should know that I was still working for “The Man” at this point… and… living with my brother. But in my spare time, I was running small direct response projects on the side… having a little success here and there. Anyway, one day, after a particularly grueling day of work (I somehow ended up doing construction in the middle of the summer), I came home and my brother said, “There’s a message on the answering machine for you from Gary Halbert.” I thought he was kidding.
You see, I had written Halbert a letter a couple of months before asking about getting some of his information products. At the time, trying to get any of his stuff was next to impossible. So I really didn’t expect a reply, but I hoped. And I talked about this guy, “Halbert” and making money in direct marketing A LOT. Of course, I talked to the wrong people. “Well-meaning” family and friends who mostly laughed at my “crazy” ideas and ridiculed my ambition.
So, again, I thought my brother was kidding me. Making fun of my desire to be somebody… to make something more out of my life. It wouldn’t be the first time. In fact, by this time, I pretty much considered him a real asshole! However, I checked the machine, and he wasn’t lying. I couldn’t believe it. And here’s what the message said (at least the important part of it): “Get your ass down to Florida for a week!”
That was my first introduction-of sorts-to legendary marketing genius Gary Halbert. In any case, he left his number and I called him back immediately. Here’s how the conversation went almost word-for-word:
At this point, less than 60 seconds into the conversation, Gary begins to read me a promotion he just finished for Joe Polish (a Marketing Consultant to the Carpet Cleaning Industry). Now, I’m a little taken aback by this. We’d never talked before. And there was no, “Hey, how are you doing?”, or “Yeah, I remember your letter.” type stuff. Just straight into reading me a sales letter out loud over the phone.
Anyway, I’m thinking this is odd but I’m not shocked… yet!
As he gets into the letter, he begins to talk about going to Brazil to meet hot women, Viagra, and all kinds of other illicit activity. Now mind you, this letter was written to get (mostly) Mom & Pop-types to attend a carpet cleaning marketing seminar. Can you imagine Ron and Betty Carpet Cleaner from Des Moines, Iowa getting a letter from a legendary marketing genius who apparently has lost his mind and turned into a Hefner-esque sex fiend?
But I digress. This goes on for awhile. And when he’s finished, he asks, “Well, what did you think?” I had no choice but to say, “It sounds great!” After all, this was “the” Gary Halbert. “The Ace Of Space.” “The Prince Of Print.” The guy who wrote one of the most widely mailed sales letters in history (over 600,000,000 times!). And I was a nobody. A wannabe marketer from Oklahoma. However, in my mind, I’m thinking, “Is this guy nuts, or what?”
The rest of our conversation was no less strange. He invited me to Florida for a week to pick up some of his products and hang out. But only after telling me all about how Playboy magazine revealed that South Beach had the largest concentration of beautiful women in the world. Then he suggested I stop in Oklahoma City on the way and visit some girl.
Apparently because she was some kind of model. Further, he insisted that one of the conditions of me coming to Florida to visit was I had to immediately call this girl-after we got off the phone-and tell her Gary Halbert said “Hi”. I did. And that was my first ever “live” contact with Gary Halbert.
But that was just the beginning of the strange and crazy adventures. That was on a Thursday. On Friday, I instantly quit my job (sorry “Boss”), picked up my last check, and got on the road to Florida. Once there, Halbert gave me a copy job that I finished with enough speed, adeptness and enthusiasm that he offered me a permanent job and I stayed.
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