I’ve just been reading one of Gary Halbert’s letters. The guy was a copywriting genius. A drug-fuelled rascal who could spin spellbinding words like he was a genie.
God I wish I could write like Halbert. Before I got sober and clean I tried to match him when it came to lifestyle, but Gary could beat everybody. The amount of cocaine this guy did would have killed an elephant, but not Gary.
The only downside was that he was also a racist, sexist pig!
Everyone loved him and forgave him for his flaws. I never met him, but I rubbed shoulders with some of his closest mates. Old school marketers now long dead.
I look at all the young Turks getting in on the game. Trying to make a coin by making outrageous claims and delivering flim-flam.
And I remember Gary and the energy. Reading his copy was like being in a rocket with him. And off into the stars with crazy Gary at the helm you would go.
Viscerally you just wanted to hand him money for whatever he was selling. It didn’t really care if you needed his offer, you just needed to come down from the high he’d emotionally taken you on. And the only way was to hand over the cash just to calm your feelings down.
Whenever you want to write copy, I suggest you find one of his letters and start reading it. You’ll find, if you actually have a pulse, that his words will trigger an avalanche of inspiration and energy for your own writing. You might just be wondering where it all comes from. Who cares. Ride the wave.
You can find all his letters here: