Click here if this doesn't display properly on your screen.



“How to Join the Mile High Club for Only $20”

Part 4 of a Special 4 Part Series


by Glenn Shepard

April 28, 2015

Category:  Marketing





Pikeville, KY May 5
London, KY May 6
Nacogdoches, TX May 19
Bryan, TX May 20

Click here or call 1-800-538-4595 to  reserve seats.

Click here to print this quote.

Dear Glenn,


   I like your articles but have noticed that you seem a little biased toward small business owners. It's almost as if you think they're better than everyone else, and I find that a little off-putting. I work for a Fortune 1000 company and deal with issues that Joe the Plumber could never imagine.


Keith in Denton, TX



Dear Keith,


      I'm not a "little" biased, I'm a LOT biased.

      I've worked in corporate America and understand the office politics, bureaucracy, and other special challenges that brings.

    But none of those hold a stick to not having a salary or any benefits.

   Small business owners are not better than everyone else, but they must have more courage and self-confidence than everyone else.  They must risk everything they have to make their businesses work, in spite of the fact that there's about a 9 in 10 chance they'll fail.

    Because I remember the early days of being a small business owner when I had to take cash advances on my credit cards to pay my employees even when I couldn't pay myself, small business owners are my heroes.

      They create over the half the new jobs, and collectively have a greater impact on our economy than the IBM's and Microsoft's.

       And when you add in the fact that most large companies like Microsoft and IBM started as a small business, it makes small business owners who are willing to take such incredible risks even more crucial to the nation's economic growth and prosperity.

       If you find this off-putting, there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each newsletter.

       Thanks for your comment.


Glenn in Nashville, TN


Click the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may remain anonymous if your prefer.

Here are the final answers to the marketing competency quiz in the 4/7/15 column.

9. What is the most read part of any sales letter or website?

The headline, because it's the hook that determines whether people will read any further.

This is also why book titles are so important. Even if you never read them, you remember titles like "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" and "Fifty Shades of Grey".


The same is true with movies. This is why Hollywood put so much effort into choosing the name "Paul Blart" for Kevin James' character in the Mall Cop movies. While Kevin is not going to win an Academy Award for that role, you can bet there will be kids dressed as Paul Blart next Halloween.


I first learned the power of this marketing principle when I was in college in the eighties. I was president of the flying club one year and wanted to increase membership.


Knowing nothing about marketing, I took the worn out cliché "You've tried the rest, now try the best" and changed it to "You tried the rest, now fly with the best".


It was silly and flopped for two reasons.


First, there was only one flying club at the university I attended. No one had "tried" flying lessons with anyone else.


Second, the phrase was not memorable.


Then I discovered this tall building in the middle of campus, with thousands of books in it. It was called a library, and I had never ventured inside it. Once I did, I discovered the mother lode of information on everything imaginable, including marketing.


I learned about the importance of hooks and being memorable.


One marketing principle was that  se* sells.

(* = x).


I decided to incorporate that principle into flying. A new Tom Cruise movie called "Risky Business" had just come out and I thought I could play off of that concept a little.


We offered short introductory flights for $20, so I changed our slogan to "Ask Me How to Join the Mile High Club for Only $20".


Suddenly everyone started asking how to do it.


There was one minor detail we had to address, which was that there are two definitions of the Mile High Club.


One involves hanky panky in an airplane, and the other simply involves being 5,280 feet above the earth's surface.


Since the majority of club members were young males with raging hormones, they were thinking about the first definition. When we explained that the definition we were referring to was the second, everyone was fine with it.


The slogan was nixed once our faculty advisor found out about it, but I got to experience firsthand the power of a good hook in marketing.


And I was reminded of it for years as people continued to call me "Little Mr. Risky Business".


10. What is the most read part of an eblast?


The subject line, for the same reason. This is also why the most important part of direct mail is the envelope.




To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard



P.S.  If you'd like to talk to a professional copywriter, contact Art Norwalk of Norwalk Communications at (401) 421-4310 or He won't charge you anything for the initial consultation, but his company could increase your revenue by millions.


P.P.S.  If you followed this entire series and wondered why I never answered questions 5 or 6, that's the Zeigarnik Effect again.


P.P.P.S.  If you missed part 1, click here. For part 2, click here. For part 3, click here.



Click on this button to comment