The low-tech fix to overexposure to Internet marketing

Here’s a conundrum.

I regularly read books, solid 300-400 page collections of densely packed words that take me weeks or sometimes months to get through.

According to Amazon, I’m apparently not the only one who does this.

And yet, over the past year or two, I’ve noticed my attention span has been shrinking, just like pop psychologists would tell you.

Now, for me it doesn’t happen with books…

But if I read an article online that’s longer than several hundred words…

(more…)

Gary Bencivenga’s 2-word copywriting lesson

When I was 12 years old, I moved from a very unsophisticated horse-and-carriage marketing environment (Croatia in the early 1990s) to a hyper sophisticated neon-and-platinum marketing environment (Southern California in the 1990s).

I remember the effect it had on me.

Every cereal commercial, every movie trailer, every piece of direct mail claiming that I might already be a winner of $10 million…

(more…)

The Hare Krishna and Gary Halbert on the fundamentals of persuasion

In the 1970s, the Hare Krishna learned a powerful lesson in persuasion.

They were seeking to raise donations to support their organization.

At first, they would stand around street corners and ask passersby for money. But most people considered them strange and unlikeable, and the donations were slow in coming.

Then the Hare Krishna hit upon a great idea. They would first press a gift — a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a magazine, a flower — into the hands of a potential donor.

Even if the person didn’t want the gift, which happened often, the Hare Krishna would refuse to take it back.

“It’s our gift to you,” they’d say. “However, you can help us out by making a small donation to support our activities.”

Donations, altough unwilling, started pouring in.

(more…)