The Advertisement That Made A Small Fortune For Me And Did The Same For Some Of My Clients

The Advertisement That Made A Small Fortune For Me And Did The Same For Some Of My Clients


I know one of the things we like in business is templates and formulas.

Nothing better than an ad for example, that’s worked a real treat for someone that you get to re customise and make it your own…

I’m going to show you an ad here that when I mailed it over Christmas, when no one should have been interested in receiving it, it made me as I recall, about $62k.

Several of my clients over the years have used it and customised it to their product or service with great success.

It has worked “BIG TIME” from health products to farm sheds, so why wouldn’t it work for you? For the record, it was also recognised in the US of A as an example of an outrageously successful campaign.

By the way, this advertisement and this model would work just as well today as it did years ago in virtually any media you care to use… Radio, TV, print, direct mail, even online ad words, social media and banners etc…

So, let’s take a look at the advertisement and talk about why it was so successful…

So let me set the stage and give you the back story, then I want you to read the ad word for word…

The 1 page sales letter was mailed to 3,500 prospects who had received numerous offers over a 12 month period to buy a particular product I was selling back in those days about 15 to 20 years ago…

So you would have thought, they would NEVER buy…

Now remember, they had already had lots of offers to buy but hadn’t, the point being, most business owners make one offer and that’s the end of it.

And of course, that leaves most of the money on the table and never banked.

The idea of leaving money unbanked is crazy, doesn’t help your clients and it doesn’t help you.

Ok, now read the ad…


So why did it work so well over Christmas when no one was particularly interested in this particular product?

Well first and foremost, it was THE OFFER. The offer can make sales where no sale exists. One way is to add massive value and another way is a genuine discount on price.

It’s the discount model I used here…

But what was really important, was THE STORY that I had some “damaged stock” and that was true…

It’s a bit like the damaged stock car park sales that you see the retailers do, heck, I suspect they might be out the back adding a minor scratch or two to give them some extra stock to sell, either way, the consumer wins.

In copywriting, it’s called “Reason Why Advertising”, in other words, there needs to be a reason why you are doing something and that is often your story.

It’s much better that I came out with this “Damaged Stock” story than just saying here’s $250 off.

THE HEADLINE SAID IT ALL, you literally didn’t have to read another word of the copy and you would have known what it was going to say. Point being, your headlines must stand alone like this headline did.

THERE WAS A LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE, in this case, my original promotion was 9 sets only and I would have been happy to sell them, but of course I got many more orders than I anticipated.

What I did was send people packs that weren’t damaged and explained that I had run out of damaged ones, no one seemed to mind, I was just being honest and up front.

But urgency was created by having a limited number. In copywriting, it’s called “Urgency and Scarcity”.

The perfect scenario is a limited number for a limited time. In this case, if you read the PS, it was that you had to place your order within 10 days.

Frankly, if you don’t use urgency and scarcity in your advertising, you are probably wasting your time.

It is the difference between failure and success in a campaign.

I SPELT OUT EVERYTHING AGAIN IN THE PS’S, first and foremost, you should have PS’s in your mailings, sales letters etc… Often apart from the headline, they are the first thing read.

I know I skip straight to the PS’s and find out what it is all about. So EVERYTHING was restated in the PS’s.

I INCLUDED MY PHOTO, people buy from people, they don’t buy from companies, so where possible, include your photo or a photo of your team.

Now by the way, I didn’t particularly want my photo included either, but I wanted the money more…

I have had many clients over the years not want to include their photo either, but I can tell you, when they did and saw the results, they sure changed their minds.

By the way, that’s a photo of me at about 40… What a spunk! J

On the back of the 1 page sales letter, I INCLUDED TESTIMONIALS.

I continually see white space where no writing or photos are included. Quite honestly, WHITE SPACE NEVER SOLD A THING.

It’s a sin to send out white space. After all, paper and postage is the expensive bit, ink is cheap.

By the way, I didn’t show it here, but I INCLUDED A FAX BACK ORDER FORM COUPON.

I remember sending this offer out on the 20th of December, not expecting much action, boy was I wrong!

You see, I dropped into the office between Christmas and New Year and orders were strewn all over the floor near the fax machine and it has run out of paper.

The phone answering the machine was full to the brim also and I had to call my wife to come and download all the orders.

It was a nice problem to have.

The point is, I gave them MULTIPLE MEANS OF RESPONDING to my offer, phone, fax and mail. I didn’t just give them one way to respond and I didn’t just give them the way I wanted them to respond…

I gave them ways that THEY wanted to respond.

Finally, I WENT BACK TO THE SAME LIST AGAIN except this time, it didn’t go to anyone that had bought and I had written what I call a “Sorry Letter”.

You see, I genuinely messed up, I really did goof. I didn’t expect anywhere near the high response I got, Heck, I mailed this thing and shut the office… How silly was that!

Anyway, if something worked great the first time, YOU ARE CRAZY NOT TO SEND IT AGAIN.

This time, the story was to apologise for screwing it up.

Anyway, here is that letter for you also, I’m feeling really generous!

You see, the “Sorry Letter” resulted in about a 50 percent increase in sales on top of the original sales. Imagine if I didn’t send it again, I would have left all of that money unbanked.


Now if you have read every word of the sorry letter, you will find it contains most of the critical points above in relation to the original letter.

There is a very good reason for that, hopefully you NOW understand the reason for that.

Anyway, you have my permission to customise this letter to your own product or service provided you do it ethically, morally and legally, don’t use it to do the wrong thing… That’s all I ask.

So go ahead, figure out a way to make this model work for you in your business.

All the best,
Mal Emery


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  1. Hello Mal Emery, how are you going? 🙂 I love that ad a lot, because that is the ad that got me to buy your product, and I sure am glad I did! 😀 I remember saying to my Mum hey look at this its only a bit damaged but that won’t affect how I learn from it huh, and my Mum said no way it won’t affect it at all, go for it. I sure am glad of that, because otherwise I would be like working in McDonalds or something, and worrying about superannuation every time the stock market goes down, but now thanks to Mal Emery, I am not worried about that kind of stuff. Thanks heaps for that Mal Emery, youre the best!! 🙂 What a good job I did opening the tv guide that day when I first discovered you, that was the best decision to read a tv guide ever! 😀

  2. Well isn’t that interesting Christina… I never knew that was where you came from ultimately.

    In fact, I rarely know where anyone comes from, but I can still trace a lot of it back like you, to this product.

    It was a pleasure to of played a part.

    All the best,

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