Gary Bencivenga | Shoestring Business Ad – The Bencivenga Persuasion Equation 

By  Csaba Borzasi

Welcome to Issue #3 of my "Proven Sales Letter Breakdown" challenge.

For 100 days, I'm deconstructing famous sales letters, print ads, and sales pages that cumulatively have generated billions of dollars in profits.

These were written by copywriting titans like Gary Halbert, Gary Bencivenga, Joe Sugarman, and many more.

In today's post, I'm talking about Gary Bencivenga, one of my personal copywriting heroes.

If you haven't heard of Gary before, let me tell you a little bit about him.

Gary is widely considered to be the best living copywriter today.

Even though he's retired now, no one has been able to surpass his incredible success.

Why is that?

Well, during his career, Gary had an incredible hit ratio of over 80%.

This means that out of 10 promotions he wrote, 8 of them outperformed anything else written by anyone else, regardless of the niche.

These promotions became proven winners that companies have been using for years or even decades.

Gary's writing may not be as emotional as Gary Halbert's style, but it's still incredibly effective.

Gary knows exactly what to say to convince people to make a purchase.

This is something we can all strive for as marketers.

Gary's research process and narrative style speak directly to the core of people's desires, which is why his promotions outperform the competition.

Even the best copywriters today would be happy with a hit ratio of 50%, so just imagine how good Gary must have been.

If you want to learn some of Gary's secrets and see a shining example of how to sell a book, this post is for you.

Let’s learn about the techniques used in the ad now.

Prefer video instead? Watch Below!

Shoestring business that you and your wife can start in your spare time!

Now ask yourself, aren't you intrigued to learn more? After all, who wouldn't be?

Even though this ad was written in 1982, it still speaks to our core desires today.

Everyone wants to learn how to make money faster, better, and with less effort.

If someone shows you how to set up a successful business on a shoestring budget in your spare time, what could be better?

That's why you see viral content with titles like "How James made $16K in 4 months as an email copywriter."

People are always seeking financial freedom and looking for ways to escape the rat race. If there's a simpler formula out there, they'll want to know about it.

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The Gary Bencivenga Persuasion Equation 

The Bencivenga Persuasion Equation is an effective structure for moving people to take action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product.

It has four elements, which are used in this ad:

  1. An urgent problem

  2. A unique promise

  3. Unquestionable proof

  4. A user-friendly proposition

Here's how it works: your sales message should speak to an urgent problem that your audience is facing.

You should have a unique solution to offer that addresses this problem.

Back up your solution with unquestionable proof, and make it easy for your audience to take action.

Gary does just that in this ad.

He addresses the objection "Why should I listen to you?" by introducing a management consultant named David, who is "one of the nation's foremost authorities on small businesses."

After conducting research and analysis on thousands of small businesses, David has compiled the "first complete directory of the most profitable businesses that you can start in your spare time."

This book, called the "Treasury of business opportunities," contains all of David's research findings.

You can see how the elements of the Bencivenga Persuasion Equation work together to create a compelling sales message.

It Is For Everyone!

Gary builds intrigue and desire through the use of bullet points that provide a sneak peek into the potential for everyone to earn a good income by providing simple services.

He emphasizes that no advertising is required and that only a few people are aware of these opportunities.

To build irresistible desire, Gary provides examples of people earning up to $60,000 per year by offering simple services.

He follows the promise and proof formula by giving concrete examples of a wide range of people who are successfully earning good incomes by performing these services.

This shows that you don't need an MBA, a large monetary investment, or many connections to make this work.

The ad uses storytelling to its advantage, showing how someone like Michael from a remote community can earn up to $50,000 per year by offering a service to graduating students.

In turn, this creates an emotional response in the reader, making them think, "If Michael can do it, why can't I?"

No wonder this type of content is still viral today, as people are always looking for quick and simple ways to earn a good income.

Gary qualifies almost everyone when he offers a wide range of services that only a few people are aware of. This makes readers want to learn more, too.

How Gary Bencivenga Triggers Your Greed Response

“An easy-to-start business that nets up to $25000 in summer months alone.”

“No employees needed”.

“You could run it from a phone booth”.

Gary creates intense desire for his offering using bullet points. These statements may sound too good to be true, but Gary backs them up with proof, leaving no room for doubt.

Using future pacing, he takes the reader into an ideal state where they are financially free by doing simpler, lesser-known services.

Greed is a powerful tool for persuasion, and Gary uses it effectively by promising markup of up to 500%.

This makes it a no-brainer for the reader to check out his compilation of business secrets. Then he says, "This is just the beginning, so now we can see how powerful this is!"

By referring to consulting services and other business secrets, Gary persuades the audience very strategically.

He evokes the emotion, "It is only in my best interest," so go for it!

This ad also uses a winner's losers approach, where the audience sees themselves failing if they don't get access to the business secrets. This is a very effective approach to selling.

When it comes to teasing a hot new opportunity, make sure that your bullet points don't give away the "secret."

They should build desire and curiosity in the reader, so they start feeling a burning itch to find out what this is all about as soon as possible.

Here's the link to the video again.



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Tired of Lackluster Sales, Low Conversion Rates, and Marketing Campaigns that Bomb?

Steal the “Secret Recipe” Behind 100 of the Most Profitable Ads of All Time…

And Apply It To Your Own Marketing For BLOCKBUSTER Response... In Just 15 Minutes!

Interested in more great content on copywriting? Check out my Copywriting Resource Hub where you'll find in-depth guides, interesting case studies, and practical resources that will help you boost your conversions and sell more, without being salesy or aggressive.

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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