A Breakdown Of Gary Halbert’s “How To Get What The Us Government OWES YOU” Ad 

By  Csaba Borzasi

How do you sell something mega-boring like tax advice?

If you're like most copywriters, you'd probably list out all the features and benefits that the customer can expect…

Making sure that they UNDERSTAND how much extra money they could make (or save) by buying your product.

While this is certainly an "okay" strategy...

You shouldn't really expect sky-high conversion rates if you take this route.

In today’s promotion, we will see how the superstar copywriter that is Gary Halbert nailed the perfect voice to appeal to the core desires of the target audience...

He came up with a killer hook that sounds, looks, and feels exactly like an official letter from the IRS…

Instead of trying to convince people of the superiority of this product rationally...

Gary went the other way and decided to build massive emotional intrigue + the instant "shock factor" that most people feel when they get a letter from the IRS.

This whole ad feels like advice from a friend on how to get the maximum value from every dollar paid in taxes.

People are already frustrated by the hefty amounts paid in taxes every year.

Gary Halbert agitates the pain points of the ideal clients; middle and upper middle class.

He shares 320 secret ways to make the most out of taxes and offers a sneak peek into the ‘little known’ benefits.

Read on to lear how Gary Halbert comes up with a truly irresistible offer.

Prefer video instead? Watch Below!

The Simple Way Gary Halbert Hooks The Reader

Imagine reading the headline, “How to get what the US government OWES YOU”.

It hooks you immediately through the element of surprise. The script is completely flipped, where you are the one being owed money, instad of the opposite.

Next, the lead refers to the millions of people already making the most of their tax benefits.

“$5000 in government loans at below-market interest rate

Scholarships and financial assistance for education

A $25000 loan to start your own business and repay it within 15 years

5-acre vacation spot for you and your family. Prices begin as low as $25 per acre”

Wow! How can ANYONE miss out on these benefits, when so many Americans are enjoying them.

This is a phenomenal example of triggering FOMO in the reader through your copy.

Gary Halbert uses social proof for objection handling, as well as to add credibility to the offer. He lists all the amazing benefits as bullet fascinations to appeal to the greed glands of the audience.

Now we can see why the copy is so effective. It uses the right tone and says the exact things that will move the audience to purchase.

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Gary Halbert Shares A Sneak Peek Of The Book

Freebies have always been a super effective marketing strategy - and will always continue to be.

Even though Gary is selling information (in the form of a book), he still adds 2 free reports as a bonus. These are highly relevant to the main product, of course, and feel super valuable.

Moreover, in this promotion, Gary Halbert outlines the 39 chapters in the book that he is selling through this ad.

It is very interesting to note that all the headlines start with the word FREE to show the crazy value that people can't miss.


After positioning the product as the ideal solution to their needs, and showcasing so much free value, the $3 price is a no-brainer. Gary was a genius after all.

So, what do we learn from this ad? Leading with value is how you win in the long term.

Next, Gary says that if you don’t check these benefits, you will be cheating yourself as you already paid for them.

So you need to order today to get access to the hundreds of FREE things that you can claim yourself.

How Gary Halbert Uses The Bundling Strategy

As we said earlier, towards the end of the ad, Gary introduces free bonuses in the form of additional reports.

These are titled “How to complain to the US Government” and “Directory of Regional and Local addresses of US Government agencies”.

Regardless of how much value is being added, with these simple additions (that could have been chapters in the book), you feel like you get 3 things instead of 1 - and all for the price of $3.

Now, we can clearly see why the promotion was a huge success! How can you NOT buy with such crazy value for such a little fee?

That is how Gary Halbert created an irresistible offer.

Check the detailed analysis in today’s video and share your thoughts on this promotion.


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Csaba Borzasi

Csaba Borzási is the founder of Game of Conversions. After spending 10 years learning the ins and outs of persuasion psychology, Csaba now focuses on what he loves most: helping ambitious entrepreneurs grow their online business and get more profitable customers. When he isn't geeking out on discovering how the human mind works, you can probably find him climbing a mountain, dancing salsa, or traveling around the globe.

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