We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: Mike Warren

November 9, 2011

Would you buy a car if the car dealer itself had a banner: We only sell overpriced clunkers.

Would you go into a restaurant if the menu had a warning: Our hamburgers are made from spoiled meat from diseased cows.

Then why would anyone respond to a real estate guru’s promotion boasting about one of his own students going bankrupt (presumably after following his real estate advice)?

Mike Warren email on his student's bankruptcy Here. See for yourself:

“A student”–presumably Mike’s student–had to declare [except Mike misspells it “delcare”] bankruptcy because “they” [should be “she,” not “they”] were over-leveraged on properties she’d bought.

Never fear, though. Mary Jane wants to keep doing what she’d been doing. Never mind a little bump in the road like a bankruptcy. So Mike’s got a way for Mary Jane to keep buying real estate. And he says it’s honest, ethical, and legal. It could be.

My question is: Will it help Mary Jane make some money? Or are the only folks making the money Mike and his “buddy”?

That sure is a great testimonial: My buddy can help you buy more real estate, even though the real estate you bought as a student following my advice landed you in bankruptcy.

I think I’ll pass.


We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: “Bad News” E-mails

October 13, 2011

There’s an interesting blog on the AWeber site by Danny Iny titled “Can ‘Bad News’ Lift Response Rates?” You know: The subject lines in e-mails that announce “Bad News.” Iny suggests that it meets three criteria for effective headlines:

  • It’s question-based, rather than answer-based.
  • It’s problem-based, not solution-based.
  • It evokes curiosity.

But Iny notes that the technique doesn’t always work, and that there are two major problems with “bad news” subject lines:

  • No context: You might receive bad news from family, friends, business partners, or clients. There’s already care, concern, and a relationship. You don’t care about e-mail marketers, you con’t care enough about them for any news to be particularly bad.
  • Destroys credibility and trust: You run the risk that your audience will stop trusting you. Often the audience will feel (correctly) that either you’re manipulating them or you’re lying to them.

Iny says he’s used “bad news” twice in his career. It failed once and worked once. He’s planning on using it a third time. He advices: “Use with care.” Iny argues that “Bad News” subject lines can work if you’ve built up a solid relationship with your audience, provided lots of value, and that you actually have news to share that could be legitimately seen as bad.

Yeah. Right. And marketers who share legitimately bad news occurs about as often as pigs flying.

We read this “Bad News” crap so you don’t have to. Here are some excerpts from just a few recent offenders:

Lots of Bad News today: 1st Warning: Closing down in 8 hours

#1 I just spoke to Nate again. There’s good news and bad news. Good news is Nate has about 10 – 15 spots open for his MONEY MATRIX PLATFORM which funds and sells your properties for you to his buyers.

#2 I also just spoke with George and Gary. Today is also the very last day to watch the webinar training I did with George about “The Bankers Code” Way To Building Passive Wealth Thru Private Lending.

Josh Cantwell



This is an urgent update for my long time subscribers only.
Please read the entire email carefully as it is time sensitive.

We ALMOST had to deliver you some bad news, but it looks like we had a small (but high impact) miracle occur that you need to know about now. [Comment: I wonder if Larry did an A/B test with the headline “It’s A Miracle!”]
You want to do more deals and create more freedom right? Keep reading…
You ALMOST lost your chance at free VIP passes to an exclusive event where deal makers are born. It happens only once a year and is invite only.
Bad news is there’s only 10-15 spots open and he’s closing down as soon as they are filled so YOU HAVE TO GO NOW to get a spot in the Money Matrix. If a complete wealth building platform is what you have been looking for then here you go

Larry Goins


Bad News.

If you have a 401K that is now a 201K, believe it or not, you can still safely earn above-average double-digit
in this market. How you ask?

By being, “the bank.”

Too good to be true? Think again.

Now, while this might sound a little strange right now, let me assure you that many folks just like you
across the US, are self-directing their investment dollars into things like, real estate, or small businesses etc., and they are earning very high returns.

Craig Fuhr

[Comment: I couldn’t find even a whiff of bad news in this one.]


Good News, Bad News . . .

Over the past three days I’ve shared a short video presentation about the most valuable skill any entrepreneur, business owner, or marketer can possess.  Today I’ll share some good news and some bad news.

First some bad news.  It took me 10 years to develop and hone the skill of creating copy that sells.  10 years of studying and testing to figure out what works (and what doesn’t work). [Comment: That’s the bad news? That it only took you 10 years to become a copywriting expert, and a very, very highly-paid one at that? I’d have thought the bad news was the decades you spent selling suits before you moved into marketing.]

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a decade of hassle and frustration wasting your time and money figuring out what works.  I’ve already done that for you and I’ve created a “step-by-step” system that removes all the guesswork, waste, and frustration out of “Creating Copy That Sells” Once and For All so you can be creating profitable marketing campaigns FASTER than you imagined possible.

All you have to do is click on the link below to watch this short video presentation:


More Bad News…this video will be removed at MIDNIGHT EST on Monday night so I recommend you watch it NOW.

Dedicated to Creating Copy That Sells,

Bill Glazer


All “bad news” e-mails are crap. I don’t think I’ve ever received a legitimate one. Even ones with “Only 4 slots remaining” isn’t bad news . . . except for the promoter who hasn’t yet filled up the program.

As I said, those are only a few samples of the muck that gums up my in-box. As for Iny’s blog, the only criterion a marketer should use when deciding whether to put “Bad News” in the subject line is: Is it really bad news? Truly bad news? Honestly bad news? If it isn’t, don’t use it.

We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: Jason Hanson

September 1, 2009

If you’ve been following this blog, you know the drill by now. I take a real estate guru’s promotional e-mails, then dissect them. Then I rate them on my trusty Crap-O-Meter. A “10” means it’s a hot, fragrant, steaming pile of . . . well, you get the idea. A number around “5” means there’s substance behind the hype. And lower than “5” means there’s real value. Most of my ratings are up there close to “10.” It’s more fun to rip apart the questionable claims. But, once in a while, there’s real value.

And that’s the case here.

But first, a disclaimer: I know Jason Hanson. Further, I’ve purchased some products from him. And further, when I was getting started, he took some time out of his schedule to meet with me, share strategies, and just was a “good guy.” So, I’m biased.

However, the question is: When you get an e-mail from Jason Hanson, is it crap? Or is there substance there? Is he just trying to sell you an expensive program? Or is he also sharing useful information? Sure, he’s trying to sell you some of his books, or his coaching program. Absolutely. But is there any value you can get from what he’s providing? Again, absolutely.

Here’s a screen shot of my “In Box” with e-mails from Jason.

E-mails from Jason Hanson

E-mails from Jason Hanson

I’ve pasted a couple of his e-mails below. (They seem to average about once a week.) But the first thing I like is that the subject line doesn’t overpromise and underdeliver. Sure, the subject lines are “teasers,” but–surprisingly for such marketing efforts–the teasers actually deliver what they promise. Here’s a sampling:


Below is an typical email I often receive from people who are trying to wholesale properties to me and other investors. So, this week I thought I’d show you how to quickly evaluate a deal.

I want you to look at the numbers below, and decide that if you were paying cash would this be a good deal for you? (Once you’re done look for my answer below, but don’t cheat……evaluate the deal first!)

Price Asking $120K, send best offer
ARV $200,000
Repairs $30000
3 bedroom, 1 Full Bath, 1 Level Rambler
3103 lumar drive, fort Washington md 20744
Description: Carpeting, paint, upgrade bathroom and kitchen.
Property in good condition. Will hold conventional or fha
financing. In rentable condition. Currently occupied.
Comp data: Comp data not solid enough in area to reach confident true value. Property sales take at times 1 year. Don’t have current data on hand, email me if you need MRIS data from the last six months and I will send it to you.
Current Situation: I am currently lining up my financing for rehab in the event no wholesale offers are received, I will proceed with rehab. Seller needs to sell quickly. This property will be up for wholesale for possibly through next week.

Okay. Did you really evaluate this? Do you think it’s a deal?

Alright, I’m trusting that you already did your own evaluations, so here we go: First, I’m going to check the ARV (after repair value) and make sure his comps are correct. Let’s pretend they’re correct and the property is worth $200,000.

Now, do you remember the wholesale formula? First you take the ARV of $200,000 and multiply it by .65 (because if I’m paying cash I’m buying at 65 cents on the dollar). $200,000 x .65=$130,000.
However, don’t forget the repairs. So, take your $130,000 and subtract the $30,000 for repairs and you get $100,000.

And there you have it: Assuming the repair estimates were correct and the comps were right and I liked this house, the most I would pay is $100,000. Therefore, I would definitely not pay 120k for this place, but would first offer 85k and leave room for negotiation.

And that’s all she wrote. Time to take Lazy Toby for a walk in the woods. Talk to you next week.

Dedicated To Helping You Live Life On Your Own Terms,

Jason Hanson

P.O. Box 450, Oakton, VA 22124, USA

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:

That’s fairly basic, but it delivers 100% on what it promises.

Here’s another (hope Jason doesn’t mind sharing some of his tips!):


Last week I told you that I was trying out a new handwritten sign and that I would videotape it and show it to you (the sign I just put up at my newest lease option deal). Well, I forgot to bring my video camera but I did have my digital camera. So, I took a picture of the sign and I have attached it to this email.

Also, below you will see part 1 and 2 of videos that I recorded from a call last week. These videos show how I overcome one of the most common objections with lease option deals…..this particular seller was worried that I would put people in his house that would destroy it or that would party and bother the whole neighborhood….you will see how I quickly assured him this would not happen.

I don’t shoot these videos for the fun of it. I don’t shoot them so that you can see my ugly face. I shoot them because I want to help you close more deals and make more money. And if you don’t have proper “salesmanship” on the phone, it’s going to be a lot longer until you’re a six figure a year investor.

The links are below. Study them, take notes, send me emails when you close deals and make MOOLAH!

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=9OSPO&m=1gLXaPkODnO4s9&b=Nul3hg6.QW_Y5sBFLLcbdA  PART 1

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=9OSPO&m=1gLXaPkODnO4s9&b=fSYWqeGpiR.fvaZOmefRWw  PART 2

Dedicated To Helping You Live Life On Your Own Terms,

Jason Hanson

P.O. Box 450, Oakton, VA 22124, USA

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:

Some of his e-mails are a bit more promotional than those, but virtually all have legitimate, useful information. Plus, they’re entertaining. They don’t sound as if they were written by a slick promoter with that breathless, urgent tone that you often encounter.

Again the disclaimer: I know Jason, so this can’t be an unbiased review. Still–trust me–I’ve known other “gurus” (and in Jason’s defense I doubt he’d even call himself a “guru”) who just sell the hype, and I’d be glad to take them on. One other point: Jason isn’t paying me a penny for this review. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve paid him for materials and coaching (mostly for my son).  With that out of the way . . .

So, for real, legitimate content without the false urgency and promise of immediate riches you encounter elsewhere, I give Jason Hanson a 1.1 (an excellent score) on my Crap-O-Meter.

We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: Bryan Ellis’ Blog

June 4, 2009

This post is a bit different. It’s not about some outlandish e-mail I’ve received hawking the latest “get rich quick while you’re in your pajamas” scheme. Rather, it’s a blog posting from a Bryan Ellis, a real estate investment program promoter. I’ll admit I was surprised by some of what he said.

Here it is in its entirety:


Why I Won’t Participate In Product Launches With The “Gurus”

Posted by Bryan Ellis on Wednesday, February 4th 2009

Have you noticed that there is a “Guru’s Club” consisting of several real estate “gurus” who all promote each other’s products and services? Not only that – they all send the exact same emails to you at nearly the exact same time.

The net result is that you get duplicate copies of the same CRAP from multiple gurus. They make very little – if any – attempt to actually assist you in any way (as the example below will show). To the objective observer, it appears that they simply are gunning for your wallet, with no other motivation in mind.

I think a backlash to this type of marketing is likely in 2009 or 2010.

Before I continue, let me make something clear: I don’t have a problem with people selling products to their readers. I do it too – it’s the way that we bring in income to cover the high expense of providing this website and lots of free resources.

But I do have a problem with the complete disrespect that happens to these guru’s subscribers when the guru doesn’t even bother to try to send out anything of value, and instead sends out almost nothing but product pitches.

Remember this: If most of what you receive from your “guru” is pitches for the latest product launch, they are showing profound disrespect for you and view you as nothing more than a wallet with an email address.

I’ll now give you some examples of what I mean. I don’t mean any disrespect to these folks, and I’m sure they all have good information to provide. But these stats are prima facie evidence of their regard for you as a source of revenue and little else.

A Real Example:

One particular “guru” has sent me 10 emails during the past week or so. I’m not going to tell you who this is, but you see the subject lines used below, so you can probably find out by searching your own email.

Anyway, here is the date, subject line and topic of each of the most recent 10 emails sent by this guru:

Date: February 4
Subject Line: did you win?
Topic: Promotion of Gerald Romine’s product launch

Date: February 3
Subject Line: Millard Fuller (1935-2009) another good man leaves us
Topic: Paying respects to Millard Fuller
Note: This is the only email of the past 10 that isn’t purely promotional in nature.

Date: February 3
Subject Line: sell houses before you buy them? come on!
Topic: Webinar promotion

Date: January 31
Subject Line: Than Merrill is a dork
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 31
Subject Line: URGENT:how Than makes over 2 mill a year on the internet
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 30
Subject Line: gotta get this to you fast
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 30
Subject Line: Good Morning! Happy Friday!
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 29
Subject Line: WholesalingU kicks off today at 12nn
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 28
Subject Line: life’s too short to get rich slow
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 27
Subject Line: a boatload of buyers drooling at the mouth
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

So the net result is that literally 90% of the last 10 emails I’ve received from this guy have been purely promotional in nature. And this isn’t the only example. There is a group of about 10-15 of these folks who do almost nothing but promote each other’s product launches, yet make little or no attempt to give anything else of value. This is, as I said a moment ago, very similar to treating you as a wallet with an email address. It’s disrespectful and very short-term thinking.

I am not completely free of guilt from this either. In December, I participated in Jeff Kaller’s launch of his short sale program. I did it because Jeff has some great info that I think is worthwhile. But if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t. There’s nothing wrong with Jeff or his products or services. In fact, I think they’re great and worthwhile, and I have every intention of continuing to promote him in the future (outside of product launches) because I believe in what he’s doing. But I’ve realized in the intervening period that sending you the exact same promotional material as everybody else is not good for you and it’s not good for me.

And like I said above, I’m not disparaging anyone from selling products. I do it to, and I’m even doing it this week. But come on, guys: Have a little respect for your readers.

You are welcomed to sound off about this below. Thank you for reading RealEstate.BryanEllis.com!


Incidentally, the responses and comments to Bryan Ellis’ blog are also interesting and revealing.

On our trusty old Crap-O-Meter, this one scores a very respectable 1.5 out of 10.

We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: Bryan West for Damian Lafranchi

June 1, 2009

I received an e-mail today from Bryan West promoting a product for Damian Lanfranchi. And I have to wonder: Was the e-mail written so poorly, with such bad spelling and grammar, intentionally? If so, is the goal to make the sender seem more “human” and easy to relate to? Or is it just to speak to recipients at what the writer believes is their level of reading and writing ability? (A clever Dan Kennedy-type ploy?)

On the other hand, is this just the way Lanfranche (who I’d guess wrote the pitch) speaks and writes?

Who knows? Maybe more to the point: Who cares?

Here are just a few excerpts from the pitch e-mail:

  • “This MAJOR news affects you) This DIRECTLY AFFECTS YOU”: [OK, OK. I get the point!]
  • “I made 40,000$ on the easiest deal…I am in just for the 427$…” [What’s with the dollar sign placement?]
  • “Plus Damian and Starbuck Dog are Hallarious.” [I guess that’s a lot funnier than hilarious.]
  • “I can not over look it, you won’t either So that’s why I am sharing them with you” [“can not” for “cannot,” “over look” for “overlook.” No periods at the end of the sentences. And is ol’ Hollis sharing Starbuck’s knowledge with us, too?]

As for the actual pitch from Damian (and his trusty companion, Starbuck the Dog), he claims to be the creator of “the only automated, multimedia, deal-generating system on Planet Earth.” I guess modesty may not be Damian’s strong suit. The only automated, multimedia, deal-generating system on Planet Earth? Wow!

Again, we’re not rating the actual product here, just the pitch. The product may be great. (Though you have to wonder whether it can live up to that claim.) What we’re rating is the pitch e-mail and the pitch squeeze page.

Based on the illiteracy of the e-mail and the claim on the video, this earns an 8 out of 10 on our trusty Crap-O-Meter. (We liked the dog. A canine-free pitch would have earned a strong 9.)


Bryan West pitch e-mail for Damian Lanfranchi

Bryan West Pitch E-Mail for Damian Lanfranchi

Video of Damian and Starbuck

Video of Damian and Starbuck

We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: Nathan Jurewicz

May 27, 2009

“We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To” features claims–primarily by e-mail–from real estate promoters. Note: We’re not evaluating the actual programs, though we may have some comments on the programs as described in the e-mails and sales pages. Rather, we’re examining the claims and pitches of these promoters and real estate gurus.

In the future, we’ll present some that are honest, straightforward, and actually full of good information. (Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!) But since it seems that about 90% of everything is crap–exceeding that old 80/20 rule–most of what you’ll read here deals with questionable claims and over-hyped pitches. And so it is with this posting.

I received an e-mail (a portion appears below) from another real estate promoter, Larry Goins. I’ve provided the emphasis in red.

Your whole short sales business works by itself…on automatic! That’s right, just crank it up, then stand back, and let it rip! Find out how right here.

And for good measure:

I STILL don’t know why Nathan’s letting out his secrets. If you’ve seen his “Short Sales Riches” course, he sells everything he’s talking about on this fr-ee DVD for $497. So why would he be giving it away for free? I’m not sure, but if I were you, I’d hustle over there now before he realizes what he’s doing.”

So ol’ Nathan is giving away a free DVD containing his short sale secrets? What a wonderful guy! Gotta love him.  

Except, of course, there’s no information on the sales page. Just the requisite overwritten hype, along with some amazingly low-quality videos. Plus the opportunity to buy his program for $1,497 . . . or $1,694 for two payments, the second just 15 days after the first. Except, of course, it really costs more, as you find out when you get to the order page. It’s $1,497  (or $1,694) plus a month of coaching for $1, followed by continued coaching at $197 a month. That’s a 1-year investment of either $3,861 or $4,058. That’s sure a far cry from “fr-ee.” (Hmmm. Maybe the definition of “fr-ee” in the real estate promotor’s dictionary is: “Four gRand-Each and Every.” 

Again, the program may or may not be worth it. You can be the judge of that. What I’m addressing is the crap . . . the hype . . . the claims versus the facts of the promotion.

This rates a 9 out of 10 on the Crap-O-Meter.

Larry Goins email pitching Nathan Jurewicz's short sale package. Note the reference at the bottom to the

Larry Goins email pitching Nathan Jurewicz's short sale package. Note his claim at the bottom that the information offered on a "fr-ee DVD."

Top of Nathan Jurewicz's pitch page for his short sale program

Top of Nathan Jurewicz's pitch page for his short sale program


Bottom of Jurewicz's Pitch Page. Here's the real price . . . sort of

Bottom of Jurewicz's Pitch Page. Note the price, but no mention of additional monthly payments for coaching.

Purchase page for Nathan Jurewicz's short sale package. Notice the $197 additional charge for coaching after the first month.

Purchase page for Nathan Jurewicz's short sale package. Note the additional $197 per month for coaching.