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Jeremy Weisz 2:17

they did like an E or Joe Sugarman. I did interview He’s amazing. Pioneer one 800 Number I have some Batman credit cards approved. I’ve met him. But Joe Karbo he had a book right? What was he told me more about later riches. Yes,

Kevin Donlin 2:34

that’s the book. One of the he wrote some fantastic print ads, Joe Karbo did but like all great copywriters he had, he started off in sales, he was just a genius at sales. Very smart guy. And he he got his start in business after World War Two selling surplus cardboard boxes, I believe it was in Chicago and actually

Jeremy Weisz 3:00

can’t recall. She was also in Chicago, I met him first time in Chicago,

Kevin Donlin 3:04

rain wattage in the Windy City. Just saying that kissing up,

Jeremy Weisz 3:09

but I want to, um, you know, open a loop here for people because what we’re going to talk about some amazing case studies that Kevin has done. He’s been in the trenches for decades. One of them we’re gonna talk about how do you grow, how he helped a client grow revenue to $100 million with direct mail, and he’s gonna walk us through some of the stuff he did so and then you know, he’s done this stuff like triple people’s pipeline, and SAS and so we’re going to share some of these things that he’s done. And also, I want to talk about your new for your client cloning kit that you can get, but I’m formally introduce you to a second before we get into that. This episode is brought to you by Rise25 and Rise25. We help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships. And how do we do that we help you run your podcast. You know, for me, Kevin, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships and profile the people and companies I admire on this planet. And so I found no better way to do that over the past decade than to profile them on my podcast. So if you have a business, I believe you should have a podcast. If you’ve thought about it, go to Feel free to email us both John and I, my business partner have been doing it for over a decade now. So we know a thing or two. Feel free to ask us any questions that you want. Today we have Kevin Donlin, he’s Founder of Client Cloning Systems. You can check it out at He’s been involved in marketing since 1994. I don’t want to age you too much, Kevin, but he sold it on the first ebooks online. How did he do it? There wasn’t Joe Sugarman one 800 Number credit card at the time, but it was paid by cheque that you had to actually mail it at the post office and that was the beggining of e-commerce and your e-commerce journey. And in the late 90s, he was webmaster for FedEx, people have probably heard of FedEx, where he worked with some of the pioneers of online marketing. And since 1998, he has been a copywriter marketing advisor delivering sales gains of more than $1 million on multiple occasions, with direct mail and online marketing. He’s been interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Fortune Magazine, and many, many more. He’s a Co-author and Author of five books on marketing. And he’s a creator of Client Cloning systems. So Kevin, thanks for joining me.

Kevin Donlin 5:36

Thank you, Jeremy. It’s gonna be a fun talk, talking to you today.

Jeremy Weisz 5:39

And like, where do I start here? I mean, I geek out I think the foundation for everything is direct response, whether you’re writing an email, whether you’re trying to convince your spouse, where to go to dinner, whether you are trying to sell something, it’s direct response marketing. And so it’s one of the most important skills that I have tried to learn over the years. So I would love to start with the client cloning kit. Okay, so, um, talk about it, any people can check it out on client cloning I geek out on lumpy mail. Also, you know, like, yeah, and I subscribed to Kevin’s newsletter, I don’t know if it’s that’s available for people to do on your website. But I would encourage people to check it out. So we can point people there, but talk about what the client cloning kit is, and how you came up with it.

Kevin Donlin 6:33

So this is, yeah, this is the lumpy mail. exemplified. It’s a it’s a two, by the way, I have full disclosure and get all these parts at what is the website, I’m blanking? It’s not a U haul. It’s the U Blanc. It’s that catalog itself,

Jeremy Weisz 6:48

I know exactly what you’re talking about. Why am I blanking on it,

Kevin Donlin 6:51

my assistant puts the thing together. But it’s a red to red rubber caps, a clear plastic tube, and then five little tools inside, I won’t give away the game until you everything that’s inside, you have to go to my website and request one. But it’s really it’s my lead magnet. I’ve had it for over a decade. And it’s five tools that I’ve put together printed and sent to you in that to to help you get more clients like your best clients. One of them, I can tell you, it’s called the paper email. And it’s basically you’re going to take any message that’s working by email, if you print it and mail it to people, it becomes a paper email. Is that a gimmick? Is that kooky sounding? Well hold on. Because anything that you make tangible and put in the hands of your prospects, it’s going to increase your conversions. That’s what matters. So a message that’s working okay, or even really well, by email is going to work supremely well, by US mail or the Canada Post, if you’re listening to this north of the border, but the paper email is just a way to get in touch with people who have been ignoring your emails, you can certainly call people, but a paper email, I’ve gotten them before. I didn’t invent it. But I may have given it that title. And I actually invented it out of desperation. I was that wasn’t a desperate, I wanted to make an impact. I’d seen Seth Godin speak about 2008 might have been earlier 2004. And I wanted to send him a thank you email. Because, you know, he was a really great talk. And I was about to hit the send button. I said, Yeah, you know, he’s gonna get 100 emails this morning, why don’t I just print this thing and mail it, I was actually too lazy to write a thank you note. So I hit the print button, and put a little post it note at the top of the email saying, Hey, Seth, great talk today. And I found his address is his office, put it in an envelope and mailed it. But a week later, I got a phone call from Seth. So that was a response I didn’t even ask. But he called and said, Hey, I wanted to thank you. For the super nice note, I really appreciate it, we didn’t get a chance to chat, actually, he left me a voicemail. And so that was cool. And I accidentally invented the paper email, and it got response from one of the busiest smartest people on Earth. So I thought, well, maybe this will work with my prospects and clients and it does work. So that’s one of the things I share, I’m really big on tools, you know, you can try to change people’s way of thinking or their way of doing things. But if you give them tools to help them make that change on their own, then you don’t have to struggle so much. And you just give them the tool. And so this is one of the five tools inside the client going kit. And I’m happy to share it with people. And again, I send this you know, if you get this in the mail, you can’t ignore it. If you try to put mail on top of it, it falls off. You have to deal with this right away when it arrives. It’s only for people in the US, I can mail it elsewhere. But you can also you’ll also be able to download the thing as a PDF. So everyone in their dog has a lead magnet, that’s a PDF. If you just print the PDF and mail it, you have something different instantly. So that’s really what the client cloning kit is.

Jeremy Weisz 9:50

So Kevin, someone can go to your site client cloning There, it says there they can click on it, so they sign up where we send your free kit. Do they get the PDF version? Or they get the email version? How do you? Oh, you do. So I was thinking, how do you decide if you’re going to send them a film? I mean, this cost you real dollars? How do you sign whether you’re going to send them?

Kevin Donlin 10:14

A qualification? That’s a very good question, you have to have a real business with a website. And a lot of people surprisingly, don’t, they don’t have a website. So in my book, you don’t have a business, when you have a business and a website, then I’m happy to help you. And if you you know, if you live in Pakistan, or, or Guam, Guam is a US territory. But you know, if you live where the US Mail can reach you affordably, you can certainly download the digital version. But as far as my newsletter goes, by the way, that’s just people who are getting my kit. If I mail you, the kit, I like it can also mail you the newsletter. So that’s kind of a hidden thing that people can get by US mail as well.

Jeremy Weisz 10:52

So some of the things in the client communicate, there is the paper email, there’s a visual USP maker, you’ll have to learn more about that client cloning script. Let’s talk about the packaging, like when you set self go in the email, you know, you can send things an envelope, you’ve chose this to send things in a tube, what are some of the success you’ve had with sending them in different containers, because that gets it open, right? It’s the best thing in the world and doesn’t get open, it doesn’t matter.

Kevin Donlin 11:24

Yeah, so two things always get open, I’m going to reach around my office here for less cost 50 cents to send. It’s a thank you note, right? Small square envelope. With the thing, I have these all next to my desk where I can get them. So this always gets opened. Only good news comes in a small square envelope. You don’t get a subpoena in a small square envelope, a letter from your ex wife’s attorney, no doesn’t come in one of these. So this is a party invitation. Or, or a thank you note, it’s only good news. So this by itself is a little mental trick, you can get people kind of eagerly opening your message. And that’s what I send paper emails in much of the time, I can also use a number playing mainly my taxes after this episode. So here’s my pre stamped. So a number a plain white number 10 business envelope will also get open. But this gets opened with a bit more anticipation, the small square envelope. And if you can send it something in a different color, that’s fine to a fun color, like you know, like green or what have you. The other thing that gets opened 100% of the time is a FedEx envelope. And so I send these for anything that’s really important. That has to get opened. And a little trick of that is you can send it three days, it’s called FedEx Ground. And that’ll get there in three days, it has the same urgency because it’s the same letter can save a bunch of money

Jeremy Weisz 12:55

as an open FedEx envelope, and you get it. I mean, you you you open it,

Kevin Donlin 13:00

it’s 100. So I mean, think of again, people think well, emails free, yeah, emails free, but on a good day, like 20% 30% of your messages are getting open. And if your message is, you know, and all important if your unit of sale your lifetime and total value of a client is any good. Your economics demand that at some point, you send a FedEx letter to people, or at the bare minimum send us mail. So the FedEx letter 100% open rate, I love them. And thank you know, probably, I don’t know, 98% 99% open rate, the only way they could throw it out is if it’s small and gets caught in a pile of mail. But there’s also as 100% open rate something in a little tube. And I’ve actually had people there’s a little, you know, burst as part of the label. Somebody gets smiley, explosive, they can get it, I suppose it does look like it’s kind of a secondary design consideration.

Jeremy Weisz 13:59

I didn’t think of that. But it’s like one of those Pillsbury Dough things that you like, twist it like pops, right? Yeah. Now that you said that,

Kevin Donlin 14:06

yeah, it opens up. But no one’s dunked in, in a bucket of water to defuse the thing. But, you know, it’s anything you can do to stand out without being you know, too kooky is to your advantage. And so Dan Kennedy has said, it’s not enough to get open. You know, your, your letter has to be opened and read with interest. So there’s a lot to that idea. Anything you can do to get it open and read with interest is to your advantage. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 14:34

I mean, to your point, Kevin, I probably get over 600 emails a day. So if I get something physical, do you get pushback from clients, you know, that you’re like, Hey, what’s this? You know, I was watching the one where you help triple someone’s pipeline. And people some people are skeptical off the bat, like, Is this even gonna work? Do you get pushback from people like Les let’s just or whether it’s, you know, hey, it’s less expensive to do this than to send physical things. What kind of objections do you get?

Kevin Donlin 15:04

Well, a lot of people can’t get the mailing or they don’t think they can get the mailing addresses and their prospects, you can now almost all the time, especially in the US, it’s a bit of a different sport to play in Canada, where privacy rules are different. But people were thinking, and it’s funny. I’ll say, Do you have the mailing addresses of these people? And they’ll say, Sure, I do. I said, with street numbers and zip codes. I said, No, I just have email I said, I asked for, and I’m not. I don’t get crotchety about this. But it’s I am asking, do you have the mailing the physical mailing addresses? The default? Answer is, yeah, I’ve got their email. So people think the default address for people is an email address, and we don’t live at an email address. We live in a house or condo or what have you. So people have to get off, you know, off track a bit goal. Yeah. Physical Address, let me think, well, no, I don’t know. And so, you know, if you’re starting your business, or if you want to improve your business, the one of the best things you can do starting today is start collecting the physical addresses of people, especially if you sell b2b, because since COVID, and a lot of people are working at home. Office addresses aren’t what they used to be. So you know, there has been a bit of a challenge, at least in my experience in reaching people at work, because a lot of people aren’t at work anymore. My daughter just got a job last year at a major ad agency, and she’s never been to the office, and they actually sold the building. So now there is no office. It’s a very, very big company worldwide. They don’t have a physical office anymore. So it can be a challenge to get some of your b2b customers where they work. So you want to do anything and everything you can to get their physical addresses. I’ll give you a hack right now Gary Halbert used it on me if you remember the late great Gary Halbert, for sharing, however, he had an email only version of his newsletter list. We were getting his emails regularly. And he just said, Send me Give me your physical emailing. And I’ll send you a physical mailing address. And I’ll send you a really cool report while the report was a sales letter, but any sales letter from Gary Halbert was worth treating like a textbook. So you can ask just ask people give me your mailing address, and I’ll send you something special. So if you don’t have them now, just try that one little question and give them something of value by mail. And then you’ve got it going forward. And that’s going to be a huge asset

Jeremy Weisz 17:17

for you. Yeah, yeah. I bond Halbert. On the podcast before we talked about the boron letters and some of the Gary Halbert protegees, like Doberman, Dan and Caleb was out and some of the other people you go out to, and

Kevin Donlin 17:33

one day, we spent like an hour at a seminar talking and I’m one of his clients. Phil Hyde is another guy. He’s not as well known by Bill Hyde was a protege of Gary Howard. And he was a client of mine for about three or four years. And Stephen had Gary’s mentor, and I saw one of his last seminars in person and it was worth it. It was like five grand for the weekend. Absolutely. What

Jeremy Weisz 17:58

did you do you remember anything that you took away from it?

Kevin Donlin 18:03

Yeah, I’ve got my, my bookshelf back here. It’s on my short list of things, the notes that I took. And if if there’s a fire, I’m like, grabbing those notes, and maybe my passport and not much else. It was incredibly

Jeremy Weisz 18:16

what was there? What do you recall, I

Kevin Donlin 18:18

mean, he was he was saying anything in printed is going to be more believable and valuable than what you read online. And he was saying that, you know, this was a, Gosh, 10 plus years ago. But you know, anything that you can deliver into people’s hands is going to be more believable than what they read online. And of course, it was the same, then the principles that work on offline will also work online in terms of getting response headlines offers lists, etc. But just getting people a message, either in a newspaper ad, or by direct mail is going to increase your response. And it’s going to give you higher quality buyers, if you can get them offline. That was just one thing that comes to mind.

Jeremy Weisz 18:59

So Kevin, I love to hear any lumpy mail you’ve sent or received that have been that sticks out to you. I remember so any and all thoughts on this. I remember getting a man crate. I don’t know if you’ve seen those, someone sends it to me and the view and so I started sending it to people and it’s hilarious because it’s a box and they give you a crowbar and like how am I supposed to open this they reminded me of your client cloning kit because like well, how do I get this thing open? And you know, you just have to work with it. And I was like bleeding from the man crate because like a splinter came out and like I said, I’m like thanks for the gift. I sent a picture of like my bloody arm, but it’s definitely memorable. And you’re gonna open a man crate so I’d love to hear some ideas, things that you’ve done or have received.

Kevin Donlin 19:52

Well one so I’ve got again back in my little laboratory here I’ve one of the things

Jeremy Weisz 19:57

I see the Titans binders from Titans There you go titans of direct response 2016

Kevin Donlin 20:01

Spartan racing metals. Yeah, the Titans, you can see that cool. That’s a, I can tell you I got a, I got a sword in the mail from Perry Marshall once. And that was unusual acumen of gaming along to corrugated two and it was to get to get my interest in his Renaissance round table. And it was a very cleverly written letter I didn’t end up joining. But I stuck with Perry for a long time I bought several of his products and services. And he also sent me I think a clock in the mail, saying, you know, it’s time to get serious. I can’t recall exactly what that was cool. Probably, you know, in my experience, it’s just, it doesn’t have to be over the top. This is like the postage on this is through $2.20. Now it’s probably gone up in the last year or so. You don’t have to break the bank, you just have to break people’s patterns. By that I mean letter letter letter to what you know, I’ve so I’ve broken your pattern. So think in terms that container can do a lot of the selling for you if it’s at all relevant. So they have the man crates are cool, because they’re sealed with duct tape. You got to find a box cutter or something.

Jeremy Weisz 21:18

Yeah. Well, you could Yeah, you add like 20 bucks, and you have them wrap the whole thing and duct tape. You really don’t want to be annoying to someone, but

Kevin Donlin 21:28

I mean, I’m not sealed them. And I think I sent one of my brothers you need I might and I wanted to make life hard for them. So I know, I think I had those duct tape completely. But if you really love him, yeah, in terms of gifting what I have found to be counterintuitive, but highly effective is don’t send stuff with your own brand new. It by intuitive. I mean, if you’re thinking well, if I’m paying for these coasters, or this set of knives, it’s gonna say client cloning systems on it. So hey, you should be glad Jeremy that display, you know, my swag in your life. But that actually is not the case. I mean, I, I get stuff regularly, and I toss it or put it in a drawer because I don’t want to. It’s just you know, it’s just a mental thing. But what I do send and gets great results is I’ll have a knife, for example engraved with my clients name. And, and you may think well, how are they going to remember you believe me, they’re not going to forget who sent them the knife with their name on it. And it’s more often the case that you’re gonna get wag with someone else’s branding. But if you take a couple of minutes, and have a customized with your prospect, your clients name, it’s gonna have a huge impact, and they’re going to keep the thing. So that’s I do spend a lot of boxes and things and the stuff that gets the most response in terms of thank yous is the the stuff that’s engraved and personalized for the client, not from me.

Jeremy Weisz 22:55

Kevin, we were talking before we hit record about what has led to your biggest winners. Right? And yeah, you were saying how writing a promotion, and how you think about writing a promotion. So I’d love for you to dig into there.

Kevin Donlin 23:08

So it’s got two parts, it’s real, it’s real simple. I have found over the years that people will take action more quickly to avoid pain than to obtain gain. In other words, you’ll run faster from a burning house than you will toward a bowl of ice cream. So it’s not enough to say, hey, I can double your sales. It’s Hey, are you in danger of going out of business, or hey, you know, are people leaving your company because you can’t make payroll. So it’s the same principle, I’m gonna increase your sales. But on the one hand, I’m gonna stop this awful thing from happening to you, and then the other, I’m just gonna make your life better. And we all have hedonic adaptation, we get used to good things no matter how good they are. But that’s just human nature. It’s also human nature to just pull your hand out of the fire and avoid pain. And it’s just it’s a faster reaction. It’s more visceral, emotional, less logical, it’s all going to help you make the sale faster. If you position your product or service as just pushing an emotional hot button and and helping people avoid pain. That little lesson took me way longer to learn than I would like to admit. But when I can still remember one of the best responded to postings on LinkedIn is a picture of this. This poster for motorcycle safety and instead of saying, you know, think before you drink and drive or ride safely, it’s like hey, and I’m paraphrasing. Hey, it shows this smirking guy sitting on a really nice bike. He goes you ride you die. Your best friend your wife’s best friend gets your bike you know bummer. And if you think about it, wow, I don’t want my wife to get you know I don’t want to dining is like way down on the list. decide I don’t want my wife to start going out with Another guy and he gets my bike. Ah, and so that’s got a much better reaction than Hey, you should not drive drunk on your motorcycle. So think about that, right, that’s avoiding a huge pain and, and a lot of the thing about that is you don’t want to admit that that’s a hidden desire. So we can go deep into how do you find out what the pain is? That’s a really deep hidden desire, no, but he’s going to admit to the fact that they’re more concerned about their wife riding around on their bike with another guy than they are about dying, or about running over some kindergarteners, you know, but that is the fact you know, so that was a, that got a huge response people were going oh, my gosh, this, you know, it’s I got a lot of responses and comments on that. And it’s just a great example of how you can use a really negative emotional hot button and push that hot button and get response from people. So that’s principle one is to just use, you know, in any may think it’s unethical, no, I mean, if what you’re selling is, is good, and your service is good, you’re a good person delivering good things. What do you care how you get people to buy from you, you know, you’re not being an evil person, you’re just shortening the sales cycle, you’re getting people to think less in act more quickly. And again, if what you’re doing is a good thing, then ultimately is a good thing to use these negative Emotional Hot Buttons to get a faster response. The second principle is to use the language of your market as literally as possible. So we can talk about, you know, this letter in a minute, which is what helped my client get to $100 million. I wrote it in the language of the market. And by that I mean, I was looking at blog articles, more importantly, comments, on blog articles, which is where you can find some actual language of your market. So we did research with customers. And they were just talking a lot of good copywriting is really transcription, where I’m just transcribing what the client or their clients are saying about the product or service. So again, listening, I’m not inventing any of this language, I’m transcribing it, I’m finding it with blog comments are great focus groups, to an extent can be good in terms of just the language that you’re hearing. But writing it in the language of the market now, this is a big sideways journey here. Sidebar. If you’re in Chicago, and you like hockey as you probably should be, if you’re a man over the age of about 40. The greatest hockey movie ever was called slap shot. I’ve seen it for sure. Okay, I’ve seen

Jeremy Weisz 27:32

the tape glide picture the tape glasses, on the middle. Yeah, that’s what I picture and I pictures

Kevin Donlin 27:38

shot. The screenplay was written by a woman. Not to be sexist, but she’d never played hockey to the level of these guys. How did she write that brilliant screenplay? Well, actually, she had her brother who played hockey sneak a tape recorder into the locker rooms. And there’s like a gas, dozens or hundreds of hours of locker room talk. And so all that stuff you see in here in the movie, it’s based on stuff that actual bonehead hockey players were saying. And she was in a sense, transcribing. And so that brilliant screenplay was in a large part transcribed. And so that’s my biggest winners have, in a sense, been transcribed. Just like that, for example, when I interview a client, I record the call and transcribe it. And now again, we can go on and on about that. But it’s so you’re not trying to invent language wholecloth, you’re, you can get a good sales letter just by looking at your testimonials. And getting a sense for why people are happy, what language are they using, it’s going to be different from what you were thinking and saying, almost certainly, because you are not your market, you are not your clients. So anytime you can think in terms of transcribing the copy, one of the best copywriters ever lived, Eugene Schwartz said copy is not written, it is assembled.

And so another way to look at great copy as you’re assembling the part, they’re like little Legos. And so I’ll in this I’ll print out a transcript of an interview with a client and I’ll just start circling things in that’s a headline, whoo, you know, the client may say, the best headline that we can possibly come up with, I don’t care where it comes from. So it’s so the two parts of my process are, you know, solve a pain use by pushing Emotional Hot Buttons, and do a in the language of the market. And so I talked briefly about comments on blog posts. For example, I wrote an email promotion blog 10 years ago, and the guy was really skeptical about working with me, he said, You know, I get like three to five responses a week from this list that I read, it was from the Chamber of Commerce or something. And he was selling destination weddings, you know, to Tahiti and wherever. And so he’s he and I were both, you know, men in our 40s. And the target market was women in their 20s and 30s. So, kind of a mismatch. And so he had been writing any maybe it interviewed is what helped, you know, maybe his wife had helped with some of those emails, but he wasn’t speaking their language. And and I wasn’t a natural for doing that either. So what I did was I went out and started reading blog posts about planning a wedding. Because part of his service was they would help you plan the wedding, the destination wedding is pretty cool. And so all right, this is interesting. So I was compiling all these tips and problems to avoid when planning a wedding. But the real value, the real gold nuggets were found in the blog comments. So this is when someone comments on a blog, that is your market talking, if they’re talking about an issue that you’re trying to address. That’s the language of the market. So I was looking at these. And there’s a lot of exclamation points. And I remember one of the comments I got was, you know, nobody in all capital letters, nobody understands what it’s like to be the brine. They just think you have time for all this. They don’t know how messed up your life is, I’m paraphrasing. But it was I never would have thought to write that. But it was and they got like a bunch of upvotes or whatever, it jumped out at you as a good headline that ended up being in the middle of the email promotion right near the top actually to get credibility. And bam, we sold the first time he sent it out over $30,000 in trips, two of them were to exotic locations. So it was a complete bullseye. And he was you got like 30 responses instead of three, four or five. And speaking, I was I mean, my method was pretty cool. But I was pulling brilliance out of the market. I wrote the email, in the language of the market, and using actual language. So but so today, you can go to And there’s a little subreddit on anything and everything you can possibly think of that’s your market talking to you. I think one of the most valuable exercises you could do. Short of watching more of Jeremy’s podcast as you go to read it. Yes, you’re welcome. No money was received for that. For that blog, go to Reddit, and find a subreddit on your market. There’s one for everyone. And look at the comments. There’s your language to start thinking about and to possibly use, there could be some headlines for you. And if you combine that with any testimonials, that you’ve got things on your LinkedIn profile your recommendations, you should have some of the testimonials you’ve been using over the years, go back and review them with an eye towards pulling the language out. A really cool thing you can do actually, I don’t know, there’s a lot of ways to do this online. Good. Just Google free word cloud maker, or free word cloud. And I did this for a client recently, he had like 63 testimonials. So I was excited about that. But then I realized this is kind of overwhelming. Even for me, I’m a glutton for research. So I took all 63 testimonials copied and pasted them into an Excel spreadsheet then copied and pasted those into this word cloud generator. And I sent it to him. And I said, you know, here is your market literally talking to him. One of the big words was like training. And another big word was sales. But some of the smaller words were like, you know, pipeline and revenue. And I thought, you know, here are, here’s the exact emphasis of what people are saying about you. Have you ever seen anything like this? He was like, no, no, no. So it’s really insightful to make a word cloud, if you’ve got enough of them. Take your Google reviews, your testimonials, and create a word cloud and print it and have it next to your monitor. And that’s a really cool way that that well, he saw it’ll show you it’s a snapshot, here’s what people think of my business. Now. If you’re not happy with that, how could you change? What words would you like to make bigger and smaller start, you know, delivering more in those areas. But keep in mind, you can’t change what people are saying about you. Now you got to kind of ride that horse in the direction it’s going. So just be aware that people are thinking and saying these things about you. So that’s where you are. Now, you can certainly go in different directions. But you know, anything you can do to listen to your customers, your clients, to use their language to sell what you’re selling is going to be to your advantage.

Jeremy Weisz 34:13

Everyone that’s golden. Thanks for sharing that. And I don’t know if Perry Marshall came up with it. I remember him saying, is this a bleeding neck problem? Right? And that’s what you’re talking about is like, how do you get this person to avoid pain? They’re going to take immediate action.

Kevin Donlin 34:29

Exactly. Yeah. I mean, it’s just from the data. The question to ask yourself is, you know, if your house is on fire, which direction should you run? And you’re going to take North out now the answer is all way. Just run away from the house fire. And so because you’re not thinking, and so that’s ultimately the kind of mood you want to put people in. They just want to get away from this problem. If you really want to see how this is done. You know, read a political fundraising letter or email because the first time are three paragraphs are designed to put you in a frenzy of, of anger and angst and anxiety. And ah, so after you’ve read like the top half of page one of a, of a political fundraising letter, and you find yourself vibrating physically, that means you know, it’s working Someone is pushing your hot buttons. And so the rest of that letter is going to be designed to extract money from you. And you know, don’t be angry that I’m telling you this don’t hate it, it’s just a fact. So you can use this idea or ignore it. But again, as long as you’re an ethical person selling an ethical product or service, you got to consider this method.

Jeremy Weisz 35:38

Use it for good and evil. Kevin, and I want to dig in about the 100 million dollar with direct mail. But before we do, I just want to I don’t want to gloss over you said something that I want to dig a little bit deeper, which is the hidden desire, right? And what are some ways that you think about or, you know, because that most people wouldn’t say, I’m going to put a motorcycle ad and then talk about the, you know, the best friend who’s going to inherit the might you know, the motorcycle? How do you think about? Or do you have a process for digging into the hidden desire?

Kevin Donlin 36:13

I have a marketing question. And I’m embarrassed, it was either Joe Sugarman. Or another fella, darn, darn Darn, but you know, this is not my idea. The hidden desire is an old idea and need was given to me, the way I find it is to ask the question, why? Right after each one about five or six times, you’ll eventually get to the bottom. So So Jeremy, you should ride safe on your motorcycle? Why? So you don’t die? Why, while also your wife isn’t left mourning your loss? Why, while also she doesn’t start taking an interest in other men. I mean, it’s natural, but you know, hey, that would, that’s not the best outcome for you. Why don’t you want her to marry another guy, while she’s gonna give your prized possession, you know, to that guy, and he’s gonna be riding around in your bike? Can you picture that, and at that point, we’ve probably found enough of a hidden desire is when you really struggle and I you know, when you find yourself gritting your teeth, or just you don’t even want you want to, you know, put your hand over your eyes. At that point, you’ve probably found the base desire, the hidden desire. So just keep asking why? Until you can’t go any further. And then you’ve reached the hidden desire.

Jeremy Weisz 37:21

So let’s talk about the 100 million dollar with direct mail,

Kevin Donlin 37:25

by all means, sure. So this was about 19 years ago, for my client, who had a chain of pet stores yet nine at the time we started, we ended up with 31, about two and a half years later when we finish. So this was this breaks several rules in terms of I mean, doesn’t break a rule, but it’s not the prettiest thing. And it’s a self mailer. So it arrives like this. And it opens up four pages of copy. Actually, three, because really, the front page here is mostly headline. But what we’re doing here that I can just tell you, you don’t have to see any alcohol through parts of it. But what we have here is a really good offer. We were mailing. Here’s the offer. I hope this is not backwards. No,

Jeremy Weisz 38:11

it’s just perfect. Yeah. So if you’re watching, if you’re listening to it, check out the video, you see our headline, yeah, go ahead.

Kevin Donlin 38:18

Free $21 gift card for you and your dog. That’s the headline, and then the subhead is how to make sure your friend lives a long and happy life. And the offer had actually three parts, it was a gift card, there was a body score assessment of your dog when you bring it into the store. And then a free report The Healthy Pet toolkit, so we had a really good offer. He tested that and actually helped him improve it a bit. So our offer is really good. Second, and probably even more important was the list. So we were mailing this to a list of subscribers to dog fancy magazine. This took a we were working with Craig Simpson, who is probably the best mailing list consulting in America. I’ve had him on the podcast. Yeah, he’s great. He’s tremendous. So Craig helped us find this list of subscribers to dog fancy magazine. These are people who fit our demographic and then third was the copy in my estimation, if you get the list and the offer right in those two, the first two in order of importance that copy is kind of going to take care of itself. So here it is, and I’ll just read selected parts but actually the so I got into the head of dog buyers very very well. It helped that I was a dog owner at the time my dog has since passed away but I started this market most of his best clients were actually female but apart from that I was the market and if you’re not the market you can do what I did earlier read the blog, read the comments but I was the market so this was very easy for me. But again you can get there was some research. I didn’t say how to make sure your dog lives belong and happy life I said how to make sure your friend lives a long and happy life. A Dog’s best friend. Yeah your your dog is on your pet your dog as a friend, I used to refer to my dog ginger as my little best friend, nevermind dog. Just the salutation at the beginning. It says Dear dog parent. So I’m starting off just addressing people where they are. from one period to another man. I had Steve’s picture at the beginning, Steve Adams was the client.

Jeremy Weisz 40:21

I know Steve well, and he’s been on the podcast too. He’s a great guy. I love

Kevin Donlin 40:26

him. He was still a client. We’ve been working together for over a decade. I want to get to the part where we’re we’re pushing Emotional Hot Buttons, you know, negative ones. Again, I’m a dog owner trying to help other dog owners. So I had no compunctions about sharing these negatives I said, Here, someone said, linkbacks, about busy dog owners. One, only 38% of people understand all the ingredients on dog food labels, and to only 44% of dog owners really know what their pets are eating. So that is, in fact, you know, that’s unsettling stuff. And the rest of this letter is basically helping you avoid those problems. But one of the best sections was from some research that I had done, and it was actually hard to avoid. At the time, it said, you may have seen those tragic news stories about dogs poisoned by contaminated food, it’s a harsh reminder of how things can go wrong and how much your dog is depending on you to make the right decisions. So at the time this was written, there was a big scare about pet food from China that was contaminated by like radiator. For antifreeze, it’s just awful. And then dogs were dying. So yeah, I was pushing some Emotional Hot Buttons there. And this is not your typical pet food promotion. If you haven’t figured this out by now this is you know, different. It’s actually the pet store pet food. Another couple of things that were important here were wherever state we mailed this to, we would lead with a testimonial from that state. So this one went to Alabama, and the very first testimonial was from Alabama, people always want to see themselves in your testimonial. So anything you can do to connect with them. If you’re selling to right hand, man who live in Peoria, Illinois, and your your testimonial number one is Dr. Jeremy from Peoria, Illinois, right handed pitcher, you know, whatever, hey, that’s me. So anytime people can see themselves in your testimonial, it’s going to connect with them better. And we had a really nice endorsement from a veterinarian, which is in this green box. So lots of credibility. This, you know, we had everything we were hitting on all cylinders here. And then, of course, you know, because I do direct response, Here’s a coupon at the end, you just can’t miss this. And we got a lot of responsiveness. Eventually, the ROI after a few mailings was 1,000%, which meant for every 5000 He was investing in mailings, he was getting back $50,000 in revenue. So that’s how you grow to $100 million. And I was not the sole reason Believe me, he would have gotten that big eventually, without me because Steve’s a tremendous entrepreneur, his company was outstanding, but we got $200 million, using direct mail that delivers an ROI of 1,000%. I think Warren Buffett’s lifetime ROI average is maybe 32% of years, something like that. Not making fun of Warren Buffett. But I mean, if you do your drug response marketing correctly, you can get some outrageous ROIs. And so that’s how we did it with Steve Adams. And so this male for three, four or five years, I can’t recall in a different iterations, but it male for at least three years nationwide. And we hit it out of the park with some research. But again, the big three, if you’re if you want to boil this down in order of importance, and you’ll hear this from every direct response copywriter who knows what they’re doing? Number one is the list. Who are you addressing? Number two is the offer? What do you want to give them in return for their time or their money? And number three is the copy the creative, the promotion itself, all the other stuff? But if if you get the list and the author write, the rest of it is much easier

Jeremy Weisz 43:57

to do. Yeah, I think Kevin, it was an interview with one of the Gary Halbert protegees, who was saying, Gary was peppering them with questions and about what’s the most important thing and I think he said it was a starving crowd, which is the list of what you’re talking

Kevin Donlin 44:13

about. If you want to open up your hamburger stand, what’s the most important success factor? And yeah, until people started hearing that line, and we’re not playing along with him and his seminars, you know, he was making people look rather foolish. Well, it’s the recipe. No, it’s It’s the quality of the beef. It’s our location, location, location. He said, Know what you want. Before you open a hamburger stand is a starving crowd. And so yeah, that’s the list. That’s the list. Kevin,

Jeremy Weisz 44:41

first of all, I have one last question, but thank you, thank you for sharing your knowledge. This has been just spitting out golden nuggets for people that is actionable tactical, but stret strategic as well. I want to point people to client cloning I encourage anyone to Go check out his client cloning kit. And his newsletter anywhere you could sign up for Kevin’s thing, I get his newsletter in the mail, I open it, I read it, you know every single word of it. So ideal client for you, Kevin, like who should be working with you who is ideal for you.

Kevin Donlin 45:20

There are two ways I can work with people, I’m actually coming out with a beta version of the client cloning system singular, which is, all of these ideas boiled down into just a couple of letters. And with instructions for how to do your own direct mail and email and make the phone call follow ups as well. The client calling system is in beta right now, it’s not formally advertised. But if you request my client cloning kit, you will be notified. So that’s if your business is doing less than about $2 million to client cloning system is for you. And it’s in beta now, very affordable. Just download my client cloning kit. And I’ll tell you more. If your business is between two and 20 million, let’s say I can definitely work with you. To give you a really nice ROI. You can visit my website and there’s a link where you can click on to learn how to work with me just request a free discovery session. Because I’m

Jeremy Weisz 46:07

curious while you for other types of businesses that are best that you prefer to work with certain genres or categories.

Kevin Donlin 46:18

It’s usually people selling a high trust product or service. And usually it’s a high ticket product or service as well to Steve Adams, yet a high end champ pet stores, for example, it wasn’t bargain basement stuff. So if you’re selling a high trust product, or service, and you’re doing two to $20 million in revenue, and you know your marketing is good already, because I can’t multiply zeros. If you’re if your marketing is good, and you want it to be great. And you’re doing two to 20 million in revenue. Typically if you’re in the US but I also work with clients in Canada, we can definitely work together one on one, you can still learn more on my website client cloning But to below those revenue numbers, you should definitely request my free client cloning kit as long as you have a you know a website and that going business. And then I’ll let you know how you can become a beta tester and get hold of the clink voting system, which is a do it yourself product.

Jeremy Weisz 47:09

Cool. Kevin Thank you everyone. Go to Check out more check out more episodes of the podcast check out Rise25. And Kevin thanks so much.

Kevin Donlin 47:21

Thank you Jeremy my pleasure.