John Bejakovic – Copy Riddles
A secret (and slightly sneaky) copywriting trick for producing magic mechanisms
On this page, I’d like to show you a cool copywriting trick you’ve probably never seen before. And then I’d like to tell you how you can dig up dozens more such tricks, whenever you choose.
Let me set it up with a little riddle:
How can three men, one of whom has been mostly dead all day long, storm a castle gate guarded by 60 soldiers?
Inconceivable, right? Even if one of the three men happens to be a giant, and another a master swordsman… the enemies are too many. Success is inconceivable.
But what if you also throw in a wheelbarrow among your assets? And what if you even have a magical, fire-protective, “holocaust cloak”?
Suddenly, the inconceivable becomes easy. Because here’s what you do:
Just load one of the three men — preferably, the giant — into the wheelbarrow. Wrap the holocaust cloak around him. Then start rolling the wheelbarrow towards the gate… and just as fear and doubt start to creep into the hearts of the castle defenders… set the holocaust cloak on fire:
“The Dread Pirate Roberts takes no survivors… all your worst nightmares are about to come true… the Dread Pirate Roberts is here for your souls…”
Presto. The soldiers scatter in a panic, and you have successfully stormed the castle.
Perhaps you recognize this as a scene from the 1987 movie The Princess Bride. I’m sharing it because it’s a great illustration of a critically important but often botched copywriting technique:
The mechanism is the “how” that makes your solution work.
Without an intriguing, believable mechanism, your prospect crosses his arms, shakes his head at the claims you’re making, and says, “Inconceivable.”
But with the right mechanism, you can smile confidently at your prospect and say, “No, no. It’s really quite easy. All you need is a wheelbarrow and this magic cloak… and I’ll show you how to get both, for free!”
That’s when your prospect’s eyes get wide… he uncrosses his arms and leans in… and he nods to signal that you should go on with your message. That’s the power of a good mechanism.
But how do you get your hands on a magical, intriguing, yet believable mechanism? I want to show you one cool technique to do it. Take a look at the following bullet:
Former model gets rid of all her cellulite… with a coffee grinder! Page 8.
This intriguing bullet was written by A-list copywriter David Deutsch.
For reference, David’s copy has sold over a billion dollars’ worth of products. He has written for the biggest direct response publishers, such as Agora and Boardroom, and he’s had as many as six winning controls at the same time, each paying him big money in big chunks, in the form of monthly royalties.
The bullet above appeared in David’s sales letter for one of Boardroom’s million-dollar health books, Healing Remedies. And guess what — I tracked down a copy of that book. Here’s what it says on page 8:
Former fashion model Maureen Klimt was determined to get rid of cellulite, so she started taking omega-3 fatty acids — in the form of flaxseed. Maureen grinds the seeds in a little coffee grinder, sprinkles one to two tablespoons on her oatmeal every morning and then adds a touch of maple syrup.
After eating the flaxseed oatmeal daily for months, she reports that the cellulite is no longer there. Although Maureen eats healthfully and exercises, she credits the flaxseed for the loss of her cellulite.
Aha! So now David’s magical mechanism trick becomes obvious. The coffee grinder wasn’t the whole story. It was part of a recipe involving a bunch of ingredients and steps.
Of course, in your sales copy, you don’t want to give away the whole recipe. In fact, you don’t even want to give away the key ingredient (flaxseed in this case), if that’s all your prospect really needs to solve his problem.
What you do want is specificity and intrigue. So you look for the incidental ingredient. The coffee grinder that grinds the flax seeds… the saran wrap that keeps the eczema poultice in place… the wheelbarrow that allows three men (one of whom has been mostly dead all day) to storm a heavily defended castle.
And by the way, this incidental ingredient technique isn’t just great for selling cellulite-be-gone recipes via sales letters. For example, here’s a subject line from a recent email by millionaire email marketer Ben Settle:
A secret way of using an ordinary pocket watch to get booked solid with paying clients
Ben’s emails are famous for sexy subject lines, and you can see why. The subject line above is irritatingly intriguing, especially if you’re a freelancer hungry for client work.
So what’s Ben’s pocket watch secret? The body of the email gives it away:
If you read Dan Kennedy’s magnificent “No BS Time Management” book he makes a brilliant case for the power of punctuality. Specifically, how people are already (even if subconsciously) “sizing” you up by your punctuality (or lack thereof). And how being punctual gives you a lot of power in a world full of undisciplined wannabes who can’t be bothered by such trivial nonsense as doing what they say they’ll do, when they say they’ll do it.
If you want clients who love and rave about you, be punctual.
It truly separates the men from the boys.
Notice something important:
In Ben’s body copy, there’s no mention of a pocket watch. But Ben hit upon that pocket watch by doing the same as David did above — zooming in on the solution… and then zooming in some more. So far in, that the reader starts to wonder, “A pocket watch? Why specifically a pocket watch? Gotta find out.”
“Yeah ok,” I hear you saying. “This technique is cool, even though it’s kind of sneaky. But I can’t just zoom in all the time.”
You’re absolutely right. If you use this trick in every one of your headlines, bullets, or subject lines, your readers will start to get wise. “Oh, it’s the teaspoon trick.” “Not the banana peel secret AGAIN.” “There he goes, trying to get me to buy by zooming in on a hairbrush.”
The good news is, there are at least a half dozen other techniques that produce magic mechanisms. And you can discover them all in a very clever way. Check out this bit of advice from copywriting legend Gary Halbert:
“Really the best way for you to get the ‘knack’ of writing bullets is to read bullet-laden ads and then, order the book or product the ad is selling and study it till you are proficient in spotting the ‘source’ of the bullet.”
That’s just what we did with David’s bullet and Ben’s subject line above. Because the fact is, it’s impossible to see the clever tricks the copywriter is using if you only look at the finished copy. Like A-list copywriter John Carlton once said,
“All the work that went into creating that finished product is invisible. There’s no curtain to peek behind once it’s posted or printed.”
But if you take Gary’s advice and you look at both the finished copy as well as the original source, then you get to peek behind the curtain. And bullets just happen to be the perfect copy format for this, for three reasons.
First, bullets have to pack an entire sales presentation in just a sentence or two. Second, they have those convenient page numbers to tell you exactly where to look for the “secret.” Third, the best bullets were written by the best copywriters of all time, who were competing in the toughest markets for the biggest prizes.
That’s why many ultra-successful marketers and copywriters have already followed Gary’s advice and have profited massively. Like A-list copywriter Parris Lampropoulos, who works on only three or four projects a year — but still makes millions.
Early in his career, Parris followed Gary’s advice himself. To this day, he advises others,
Ben Settle also followed Gary’s advice. Ben said it allowed him to see the “mindset and psychology and ideas” behind great copy. As a result, it became “very easy to learn the craft” and is probably why Ben’s subject lines are so good.
So there you go. If you want to a shortcut to A-list copywriting skills, do what Gary Halbert says. Find sales letters written by the best copywriters, the ones filled with punchy, sexy, magic bulllets… and don’t stop there.
Get your hands on the actual books and courses those sales letters were selling. And see for yourself how A-list copywriters conjured up exciting and irresistible sales copy out of dull and serious source texts. Or, if by chance you don’t feel like doing all this work yourself…
You can get me to do it all for you. But let me introduce myself.
My name is John Bejakovic. I’m a copywriter. I’ve been at it for the past 6 years.
My clients have included many 7-figure and several 8-figure businesses — among them supplement companies, real estate investment gurus, and direct response ecommerce brands.
I also write an email newsletter, which has been called the “most underrrated email list in copywriting.” Many of the most successful direct marketers and copywriters working right now (including some of the A-listers mentioned above) are signed up to get my emails every day.
But who I am doesn’t matter too much. All you might care to know about me is that I make a good living writing copy… that I work when I want (usually mornings) and where I want (all around the world)… and that last year, I myself did just what I am telling you to do.
I tracked down dozens of bullet-packed, million-dollar sales letters. Then, I started digging around on eBay, used book sites, and online repositories to find the books they were selling. And finally, I went bullet by bullet, comparing what the sales letters said to what was in the books.
The result was the best copywriting education I could have ever wished for. I discovered copywriting secrets I hadn’t discovered anywhere else, in spite of the tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours I had spent previously on sharpening my copy chops.
Since I don’t hold back much from the people on my email list, I shared many of the secrets I found with them. And a few of my subscribers literally begged me to create a bigger course based on the stuff I was sharing. So I did. I called it Copy Riddles. But hold on — I’m getting ahead of myself.
Because I’m not trying to sell you on Copy Riddles. At least not now.
Copy Riddles is simply not available at the moment. I only open it up for enrollment a few times a year, including a four-day stretch at the end of this month, January 2022.
All I really want to offer you today is a spot on my email list. There are two reasons why you might want to sign up.
First, if you are curious about Copy Riddles, and you want to find out more about it, then my newsletter is the only way you can get notified when I open up Copy Riddles for enrollment.
Second, even if you don’t ever want to join Copy Riddles, you might still like my daily emails. Like I said, a lot of the best and most successful marketers and copywriters already read my emails every day. If you’re curious, here’s a sample of the emails I’ve sent out recently:
An exciting copywriting breakthrough from an unlikely source. There’s a well-known copywriter who writes a newsletter I usually can’t stomach. But a few weeks ago, he shared some absolute gold — so I highlighted it to my list.
The #1 most powerful personal discipline in the world. About a success secret from Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Time Management book that transformed how I live and work. No, it doesn’t require a pocket watch… but perhaps you can guess what it is.
Suicidally depressed copywriter tells you how to have more fun. Just what it sounds like — a simple tip on making more money and being happier as a copywriter… by a successful, well-known copywriter who has struggled with serious depression in the past.
So if you like what you’ve read so far… if you want to read emails like the ones above… or if you want to join some of the best copywriters and marketers out there right now… then click the big red button below. Fill out the form with your name and email address, and you will get a spot on my email list — and hear from me later today.
Sale Page: https://copyriddles.com/