No B.S. Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy Summary

This book teaches you the basics of direct marketing.

No B.S. Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy Summary
Source: Dan Kennedy

10 Rules of Direct Marketing

  1. There will always be an offer (CTA).
  2. There will be a reason to respond right now (urgency).
  3. You will give clear instructions (make everything as simple as possible).
  4. There will be tracking, measurement, and accountability.
  5. Only no-cost brand-building.
  6. There will be follow-up (retention offer, up-sell, down-sell, OTO).
  7. There will be strong copy.
  8. It will look like mail-order ads (only hook, story, offer ads).
  9. Results rule, period (the only thing that matters is money).
  10. You will be a tough-minded disciplinarian and put your business on a strict direct marketing diet.


Everything you make should have an offer or CTA. On YouTube, it could be as simple as telling people to like and subscribe. On a blog post, you could link to a new product you’re selling. In an ad, you could link to a squeeze page to get emails.

Do the Gary Vee style, jab jab jab right hook content. Give out a bunch of value (content) for free (jabs) and only ask for a like and subscribe. Then do a “right hook” by telling a story that ties into a product offer.

Use an early bird discount to create urgency.

Your goal is an immediate response. You need to add urgency to every offer.

Never assume that your customers know anything. Give them SUPER clear instructions.

The order form is as important as the sales pitch.

The product needs to be SUPER easy to use.

  • Consumers love clarity and simplicity. Proactive has 3 steps but many of their customers think that’s 2 steps too many.

Make your brand marketing low cost.

Only huge companies should pay big money for brand building.

Referrals, upsells, and retargeting are as important as getting customers.

Your funnel has holes – places where you could be making money but you aren’t (retargeting, upselling, referrals are some). There are a lot of these, you need to try to find all of them.

Opinions don’t matter. Only results matter.

Write how you talk.

Write with emotional appeals.

Do not be scared to have aggressive sales, even in affluent markets. People who say your marketing is too aggressive are wrong. Timid salesmen don’t get sales. If today’s age, you have to be aggressive and get attention. Otherwise, nobody will notice you or buy from you.

Read the Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy. It teaches you copywriting.

Joe Sugarman has good copywriting books.

All of your ads should look like mail-order advertising.

  • NO top, side, or bottom panels with click options that can confuse the customer.
  • Put simply, it needs to have a headline, a product details showcase in the middle, and a close at the end.
  • You can also do this in article form (like Russell Brunson’s Perfect Webinar script).
  • It can be any length: 1 page to 60 pages.

You need to study direct marketing ads from various markets. This gives you experiments to try that nobody in your market is doing.

Figure out who your clients are. This gives you insights on how to talk to them, what their problems are, and how much they can pay.

Only use testimonials from your core audience – it will speak to them.

Use a free or cheap product to attract the right customer.

If you diversify the ways that you acquire new customers, you will be more robust.

Customize the message to match the target audience.

Test headlines and copy length to see what converts best.

Have a contest and say that you will notify people by email. This gets your email open rates up. You need to have fun or practical emails so people look forward to opening (like Brunson said, use story cliffhangers and tell people that you will give them products in the next email.)

You need good reviews on Google and Yelp. The best testimonials have this structure: I was skeptical at first, but I got [result]. They also use a full name and say the profession of the reviewer. This makes it more credible for people in the same profession.

Build your email list by any means available.

On your sales funnel, have disbursed testimonials, before/after pictures, sales letters, money-back guarantees, or video links to make people more likely to buy.

Send people to a website or automated phone number (from an ad). Studies show that 3x the amount of people respond to your ad if they don’t have to speak to a salesperson to get more info. People do not want to be sold, they want to check out the product for themself.

Real estate: make all of your prospects show up at the same time to view a house/apartment.

Publish a book in your market. It makes you an authority. Gives you credibility.

  • It can be short—70 pages long.
  • Some chapters can be a few pages.
  • It should answer FAQs and teach people about your product.
  • Put a page in the book where you say: go to this website to get free bonuses that are not in this book. This allows you to get contact info for people who borrowed the physical copy of your book.

The more hoops people have to jump through to be your client, the more primed they are to be good customers and buy from you.

Ian Greer © . All rights reserved.