Gary Bencivenga is widely regarded as “The World’s Best Copywriter.”
Nearly every top copywriter today cites Gary as one of their inspirations.
One piece he wrote mailed over 100 million pieces profitably. Good controls mail over 1 million pieces. This was 100X that.
The revenue from this ONE advertising piece had to have been at least $50 million. And that’s being conservative.
Rumors have it the royalties from that one piece alone paid for his retirement house in the Hamptons.
To hear many top copywriters recount their stories, it was like manna from heaven when a new piece of Gary’s copy showed up in their mailbox.
They’d dig in, every which way, to try to reverse-engineer Gary’s brilliance.
I even went so far as to uncover some of Gary’s old controls on Amazon (The Little Black Book of Secrets and The Doctors Vest-Pocket Sampler of Natural Remedies), where I was able to buy copies for a penny plus shipping. Totally worth it to hold the work of a master in your hands.
Anyway, I was actually listening to the recordings of a seminar Clayton Makepeace did earlier this year, where he recounted just a fraction of Gary’s process for writing winning packages.
It was about a visualization exercise Gary always did before writing copy.
Now, before you dismiss this, remember, this is what the world’s best copywriter did. He got that way for a reason. Even if you think what he did sounds silly, you might still want to try it.
And if you’re not a freelancer, you’ll have to adapt the process to whatever you do.
Here’s Gary Bencivenga’s Jedi mind trick that he’d do before starting work on any new copywriting project:
1. First, he’d imagine getting a call from the client after sending in his copy, where they professed the love for his copy. He’d imagine what they’d say about it. What they liked best. How they’d respond. He’d walk through the entire conversation in his head…
2. Then he’d imagine another call from his client, this time after the promotion had mailed. He’d imagine how excited they were that the responses were coming in by the truckload. That they couldn’t talk fast enough to tell him how much he’d smashed the control by. Again, he’d walk through that entire phone call in his head…
3. And finally, he’d imagine the day where he’d get that first big royalty check in the mail from the package. He’d imagine walking out to the mailbox, and finding the check there. Ripping open the envelope. Running inside to show his wife the check. Taking it to the bank and depositing it. And what he’d do to celebrate the win after that check came…
This rare insight into the mind of a master could make a huge difference in the caliber of copy you write…
Gary famously didn’t speak about his methods while he was taking on clients.
When he was retiring, he gave one interview, with Ken McCarthy — an interview I got a copy of from Ken, and treasure as one of my most valued copywriting resources.
Then he put on “Bencivenga 100” — his retirement seminar, where he finally revealed his methods, one time, in front of a house packed at $5,000 per person. (DVDs are also $5,000 per person.)
Then he chose to never present on marketing or copywriting ever again.
The first and likely last exception to this is taking place this September.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets