The Lure of Exclusivity
But I can shed light on how they found you by first telling you my own story: Seven years ago I was like you. Out of the blue, I received an invitation from this society. Just like you, they said I possessed special traits. I was flattered, excited, yet skeptical. But when they sent their ... [End page 1 of 8]
Did this mailing work? It was received for six consecutive years (2004-2009). It had to be hugely successful. And it all started with Joel Nadel’s copy platform back in the 1980s.
The Ultimate Master of Exclusivity: Bernie Madoff
I never really understood the power and mystique of exclusivity in marketing until the Bernard Madoff scandal broke and I began archiving stories about how this smooth-talker managed to con $50+ billion out of trusting suckers.
The lure of exclusivity―of privacy, privilege and wealth―is an emotional hot button for people in every demographic stratum from ordinary folks like thee and me all the way up to the ultra rich and famous. Look at the luminaries that fell for Bernie Madoff’s siren song and lost millions: L’Oreal billionaire Liliane Bettencourt. Kevin Bacon, John Malkovich, Larry King, the estate of John Denver, Henry Kissinger, Eliot Spitzer, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Elie Wiesel, Fred Wilpon (owner of the New York Mets), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Steven Spielberg.
How’d Madoff do it? From a December 12, 2008 HuffintonPost.com story by Laurence Leamer titled “Bernard Madoff and the Jews of Palm Beach”:
It was an honor having him handle your fortune. He didn't take just anybody. He turned down all kinds of people, and that made you want to give the man even more of your money. When he took your fortune, he told you that he would tell you nothing about how he achieved his returns. He was a god. He had the Midas touch.