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Don Hauptman is one of the legends of copywriting and direct mail marketing. He is an award-winning direct-response copywriter with a 30+ year career during which time he created many successful direct mail packages and renewal campaigns. Don retired a few years ago but still speaks and writes on marketing. 

Don may be best known for his headline “Speak Spanish [French, German, etc.] Like a Diplomat!” This familiar series of ads has sold spectacular numbers of recorded foreign language lessons and generated revenues in the tens of millions of dollars.

His work is mentioned in three major college advertising textbooks and examples of his promotions are cited in the books Million Dollar Mailings (1992) and World’s Greatest Direct Mail Sales Letters (1996). He is also the author of The Versatile Freelancer, which shows self-employed professionals how they can diversify into public speaking, training, consulting, and critiquing.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Jeremy introduces his guest, Don Hauptman 
  • Don talks about his specialization in marketing information and his most common clients
  • Don’s biggest copywriting successes retold and how he came up with his most successful headline
  • Why Don’s top ad copies worked and what you can learn from them
  • Don talks about how he evaluates the result of his work 
  • The targeting and ad format for Don’s popular ad series, “Speak Spanish Like a diplomat”
  • The common advertising mistakes people make and how you can avoid them
  • Don shares the story of the Tax Angles newsletter and how it succeeded
  • Don details the campaign that made more money than anything he had ever written and why it was successful
  • The power of storytelling using Tom Phillip’s Cardiac Alert newsletter example
  • How to write a good fundraising campaign and the common mistakes that are made in the process
  • How to get testimonials, get responses on market research surveys, and how to best use them
  • How Don Hauptman got into advertising
  • Don’s story of how he was able to revive a favorite musical via a Kickstarter campaign and why his campaign was a huge success
  • Some of Don’s favorite headlines written by other people
  • How Don writes headlines and why he doesn’t test his headlines before sending them out
  • Don shares the best lessons he learned from his mentors and what it was like for him to win a lifetime copywriting achievement award
  • Don talks about his e-book “The Versatile Freelancer” and some tips you can find in the book
  • What is the shoebox technique of Don and why he uses it
  • How Don reconciles his disagreements with clients
  • Don talks about some copywriting mistakes he’s made and his advise on how you can get immediate results from your marketing campaign

In this episode…

The successes of your marketing campaigns are as good as the market research behind them. But many businesses are often remiss in their focus on their market research and this causes them to make poorly written and mistargeted copy in their campaigns. It’s a waste of time and resources which is why Don Hauptman, copywriting extraordinaire, says that putting in the effort to get your market research right is crucial to getting the ROI on your ad spend.

In this episode of Inspired Insider, Don retells the story of some of his biggest copywriting successes, some of the best copies he’s ever written and the mistakes he has made which became incredible learning experiences. Don also discusses with Jeremy his classic “Speak Spanish like a Diplomat” ad series and his inspirational personal stories that aspiring copywriters can definitely learn from. Stay Tuned.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz  0:22  

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today’s is a little bit different. I actually went on a journey to interview some of the top direct response marketers and copywriters on the planet. And I accumulated some really amazing people. And so what you’re about to listen to is, has been recorded a little bit ago on my path to uncover some of the the people who are really well known and people who aren’t Behind the scenes and not known at all but are powerhouses in the direct response industry.

So, listen up and before I get to that interview, I just want to let you know this episode is brought to you by Rise25, which I co founded with my business partner John Corcoran and Rise25. We help b2b businesses connect to their dream 100 clients, referral partners, strategic partners and actually help you run your podcast. So generate return on investment ROI. And, you know, for me, podcasting is much more personal. It’s not just about business because I was inspired to start podcasting by my grandfather who was actually a Holocaust survivor, and he and his brother were in the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, and they were the only members of their family to survive. But he’s not alive anymore, but his words and legacy live on because of the interview the whole Costco nation did with him in that is on my about page on Inspired Insider, you can watch it. I watch it multiple times a year, just reminding, you know, to remind me of how grateful I am and appreciative I am for the things I have that I didn’t have to go through, because he actually survived and live down. But his legacy lives on because of that interview. And so, yes, podcasting will help your business, but it helps you and your guests leave a legacy of knowledge. And I personally credit podcasting is the single best thing I’ve done for my business and my life outside of meeting my wife because of all the amazing relationships. So, you know, our clients range from Berkshire Hathaway company to agencies to lawyers, to consultants to Harvard alumni, entrepreneur group, to many more so if you I believe you have a business you should have a podcast period. If questions about starting a podcast, or you thought about it, do it but you can add you could email It’s supported Learn more at

And on to the interview, Dr. Jeremy Weisz here I’m founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders and how they overcome big challenges in life in business. Today we have Diane Helpmann, who’s one of the legends of copywriting and direct response marketing. Many of the top copywriters in the world have died and his over 30 year career. Don is an award winning direct response copywriter. He’s retired a few years ago but still speaks and writes on marketing. And he’s created many successful direct mail packages and renewal campaigns some which we’ll talk about today. He is a 10 time winner of the annual newsletter on newsletters promotional award for the subscription acquisition packages he created. And for decades, no other writer could match that record. Don may be best known for his headline speak Spanish like a diplomat and he’ll we’ll talk about some of the other headlines he likes. This familiar series of ads has sold spectacular numbers of recorded foreign language lessons in generating revenues that totaled the 10s of millions of dollars. His work is mentioned in three major college advertising textbooks. And examples of his promotions are cited a million dollar mailings and the world’s greatest direct mail sales letters. He’s also the author of the versatile freelancer, which shows self employed professionals how they can diversify in a public speaking, training, consulting and critiquing, and I’ll tell you where you can find that at the end. Dan, thank you so much for joining me.


Don Hauptman  4:41  

Hi, Jeremy. I’m glad to be here.


Jeremy Weisz  4:42  

It’s fantastic. And I’m glad you’re spending the time and I want us to start with telling our audience something about your career and the types of clients and products you work for.


Don Hauptman  4:55  

Well, I had a specialty throughout my almost throughout the entire length of my career I specialized in March. getting information. And my clients were publishers of newsletters, magazines, books, seminars, conferences, spoken word audio products, both business to business and consumer. And in the consumer area. Most newsletters are either investment, financial or health. I wrote the copy to generate sales in the case of periodicals those that men subscriptions and renewals. And even though I was in this kind of niche, it’s a pretty broad niche. So I think the lessons I learned will be applicable to your viewers no matter what field they’re in, or what products they’re selling.


Jeremy Weisz  5:33  

Okay, so tell me what were some of the biggest successes that you had?

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