The Difference Between a $6K and a $25M Pay Day

This story, from marketing legend Jay Abraham, should be required reading for anyone involved in marketing.

It’s the story of two gents who each went into the cubic zirconium business years ago.

Both sprung for full page ads in the LA Times… back when it was just a newspaper (that’s like a news website printed out on paper for you young ‘uns).

One of the guys, we’ll call him Stu, was a phenomenal copywriter. Because Stu was so talented with words, his ad kicked butt.

So Stu got a nice little pay day off the initial sales from his ad. In fact, he strolled away making around $6K on the deal.

For Stu, however, that wasn’t a great pay day. So he decided to leave the cubic zirconium business and look for greener pastures.

The other guy (we’ll call him Cash) didn’t have the copywriting chops that Stu did. In fact, Cash LOST money on his full pager based on the initial sales.

But Cash had an advantage. While he wasn’t as a good a copywriter as Stu, he was a brilliant marketing STRATEGIST.

When he mailed the cubic zirconiums to his customers, this is what he did…

He shipped the stones in a fancy velvet jeweler’s bag inside a simulated wooden box.

He also included a letter and a brochure in the package.

The letter went something like this…

“Thank you for investing in our diamond. When you open your package and take out your 1 carat stone, 2 things will be evident.

The first is that it’s more fiery brilliant than you were expecting.

And, second, it’s going to look smaller than you were expecting.

But it’s not because we cheated you, it’s because our stones have more density and are a higher quality than most.

When our clients see how magnificent their stone is, the vast majority want to order larger ones.

And then when they get them, they have another problem… they want to get the stones set but jewelers charge an arm and a leg to do this.

So as a courtesy to our valued clients, we’ve put aside some of our exquisite 5, 10, and 15 carat stones, set them in necklaces, rings, etc. and priced them at approximately half of what the average jeweler would charge for the same settings.

Because we’re sorry for any inconvenience, we’re happy to let you trade in the stone you just purchased and get double credit toward any other stone you want to buy from us.”


Based on this brilliant strategy, Cash went on to bank about $25M worth of cubic zirconium sales!

Such is the difference between strategy and tactics.

Tactics get most of the attention.

They’re fun.



There’s always some new one to try.

The truth is any marketing tactic can, and does, work… newspaper ads, Google ads, Facebook, direct mail, email, LinkedIn, etc.

But ultimately the question of WHETHER they work and HOW WELL they work comes down to strategy.

Focus your efforts accordingly.