It’s a sweltering evening in Tokyo as a group of the world’s greatest copywriters — past and present — assemble for the long-awaited 800m race at the Copywriting Olympics.
“On your marks … set …”
The gun fires, and the runners are off.
Gary Bencivenga jogs off the track …
and inexplicably climbs up into the stands!
He sits down in a chair beside Clayton Makepeace, who hands him a beer.
“What do you think YOU’RE doing, Junior?!?” cries David Ogilvy (who is still on the track, running) in disbelief.
“Retiring!” calls out Gary, with a smile. “I’ve already won enough gold!”
Ogilvy waves his fist angrily … and accidentally clocks Claude Hopkins in the head.
“Oh, so you want Round 2, do ya, eyepatch?” snarls Hopkins … then tackles Ogilvy into the infield, where they begin brawling.
It’s chaos, folks —
and we haven’t even run the first 200m yet!
John Caples streaks out of the pack and cruises to a healthy lead.
“They Laughed When I Broke Away From The Pack—But When I Started Winning!” he chuckles to himself.
Something smacks him in the head and he topples over, confused.
It’s a stray … discus?
“Oh … Sorry! Total accident!” calls out Brian Kurtz, holding up a hand in apology from the discus nets.
The rest of the pack hops over the groggy Caples and keeps running.
As they head into the second lap and toward the back straight, the pack starts to tighten.
Nobody wants to go too early … and risk burning out before the finish line.
“Hey John … are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” huffs Gary Halbert, towards the front of the pack.
“You bet!” says John Carlton.
Mid-stride, they both reach into their pockets …
… and each pull out a fistful of letters with hundred-dollar bills stapled to the top.
And then …
they drop the whole lot on the track!
At the sight of all the money (naturally, a copywriter’s favourite thing) … the pack behind them immediately descends into chaos.
Dan Kennedy dives onto Ben Settle and bites him in the leg …
Kevin Rogers delivers Chris Orzechowski a roundhouse kick to the chest …
Jo Wiebe clotheslines Kim Krause Schwalm …
And Stefan Georgi and Justin Goff stand there slapping each other in the face.
Halbert looks back and chuckles … then sprints off, now solidly in the lead.
He’s just rounding the final bend … when two officers step onto the track and escort him to the side.
“Sir, we’d like a word with you about some unfulfilled mail orders …” is all anyone hears, before Halbert gets thrown into the back of a paddy wagon marked:
“Gary! NOOOOO!” screams John Carlton.
Ever the faithful road dog … he, too, veers off the track, and sprints after the car containing Halbert.
Thus far it’s not looking like anyone’s going to win this …
… and then, from out of nowhere …
Daniel Throssell of Australia bursts out of the pack
and dashes onto the home straight!
“YEHHHH! CARN ‘STRAYAAAA!” screams a (clearly now somewhat tipsy) Gary Bencivenga from the stands.
Throssell looks around him … but frankly, there’s nobody even still standing.
So … he strolls across the finish line and throws his hands in the air.
“Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!”
The crowd goes wild as Throssell accepts the gold medal for Australia … and then hushes as he picks up the microphone for his victory speech.
He pauses for a moment.
The crowd waits for the words of wisdom and grace that will soon drop from his lips.
He moves the microphone towards his mouth …
“So, um, yeah … you guys can buy my Email Copywriting Compendium if you want to learn my methods for writing fun sales emails … like this one, which has a very heavy dose of Rule #5.”
And then he hands back the microphone and walks away …
… before dashing back to grab it again, and add: “Oh, and for all my peeps in Japan … 日本万歳！”
And then he runs off, for good.
The crowd is stunned.
Who uses an Olympic victory speech to sell a product?
Or perhaps a better question is …
How good a product is this thing if he’s willing to pitch it from the podium?
And … what is this mysterious “Rule #5” that has them all reading all the way to the end of such a clearly ridiculous, apparently value-free sales email?
And so, they all pull out their phones …
And head to persuasivepage.com to opt in, and find out.