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Was there a method to Gary Halbert's "madness"? [Archive] - SOWPub Small Business Forums

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Dien Rice
April 10, 2007, 07:32 PM
Gary Halbert was known - among other things - for his "in-your-face" style, even "vulgar" style, in his newsletters.... (You can see for yourself at http://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com )

Some HATED (and still hate) this "style". (It's not the only thing some people hate about him...)

But... Was there a "method" to the madness? Why turn so many people off with such a style?


Here's something I've been wanting to relate for a while...

A friend of mine, Tony, is about the most widely educated person I know, at least from a university education. He's probably done the equivalent of about 3 degrees... He's an expert in a variety of sciences - physics, biology, psychology, and tops it off with an expertise in philosophy too... He effectively has degrees in all these topics (from years of over-education at uni)...

Anyway, we were talking a couple months ago about emotional responses. He said - from his knowledge of psychology - that it's been found (in various studies) that people LEARN better if their learning is coupled with an EMOTIONAL response.

I asked him - does it matter what kind of EMOTION it is?

He said No - ANY kind of EMOTIONAL response apparently helps people to remember better. It could be excitement, sadness, anger... and so on...

Now, consider Gary Halbert's style. It may get many people "peeved", crawl under their skin... Or some may respond a different way, and find it refreshing and even funny...

But the thing is - EVERYONE has an EMOTIONAL response!

Think of that in the light of what my friend Tony said... An EMOTIONAL response helps them to remember better!

And it might help to "illuminate" what Gary was doing with his writing (and with his advertising copy!).

Uhhh... and this probably also explains why "stiff as a board" Al Gore lost the 2000 election! He didn't elicit an "emotional" response... Whereas everyone had an "emotional" response to G. W. Bush... People loved him or hated him...

As the saying goes... The opposite of "love" isn't "hate"... it's "indifference"...!


P.S. Notice that Gordon Alexander is good at this too... He always elicits an EMOTIONAL response! That's one reason why Gordon is in demand as a copywriter, whenever he wants the work, from some of the top companies in the direct-response business...

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