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Old February 23, 2002, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: The TRUTH about The Nancy (Halbert) Letter

While I didn't know (remember?) about the coat-of-
arms being more an individual thing than a family
thing, something just didn't sit right with me
when I read that letter.

I can accept the letter being written in the
"voice" of his wife. And, while I don't know the
actual origins of the project, I can believe that
it MAY have started out as an actual research
project on behalf of friends. But, we KNOW that
the same letter went to people with dozens
(hundreds? thousands?) of different names. Also,
the statements that they had just "a few extra
copies made" and their "supply is pretty slim" is

Don't get me wrong -- Halbert is a copywriting
genius, and I "eat up" everything I hear or read
from him. Unfortunately, this is one example
where the ethicality is... shall we say, less
than perfect.

Nevertheless, a wonderful lesson in form & style.


> Based on previous information about the
> number of Nancy letters being mailed and the
> number of orders received, I calculated that
> the letter was pulling about 2%.

> And at that rate, you aint gonna get rich.
> You're lucky to break even!

> The REAL MONEY, in my opinion, was in the
> back end... a framed coat of arms for $20. A
> family name book (phone book?) for something
> similar, plus other similar items.

> But even IF the initial mailing did produce
> a profit, I could not, in good conscience,
> sell the item or a framed coat of arms...

> My research also reveals that a coat of arms
> was an individual thing... NOT something
> passed down from generation to generation.
> The coat of arms was given to the
> individual of the time.

> And while the customer might not know... *I*
> would know.

> If you want to do the coat of arms thing,
> just do it. Halberts is now out of business.
> I even bought one during my research into
> this idea - I got a cheap plastic shield
> with a sticker on it for $40 or $50 ($80AUS
> - $100AUS).

> But make sure you a clear with yourself that
> you are probably selling a fraudulent
> product.

> (see links below)

> If you want to do something similar - sell a
> simple one page info. product that touches
> on historical ideas - why not a brief
> history of your town? Or historical data
> related to certain businesses/industries.

> You just might discover you can put together
> a themed website with related products like:
> You don't
> have to start there... you can grow to it.

> As for simple ideas... re-read BYBA - not
> available anymore at any price, but you've
> been around long enough and should have a
> copy.

> Links relating to Halberts Coat of Arms
> (there are plenty more if you wish to do
> your own search about the genuineness of
> crests):

> Michael Ross.
> Get the new and improved Writer's Friend V2
> because
> it will help you tremendously and you have
> no risk

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