Shel Horowitz’s Clean & Green Newsletter, May 2011


Help me find a gig–Earn a nice commission!

If you can find me a paying speaking gig for the following locations/dates, I will be happy to pay you a very nice fee. I speak on various aspects of green marketing, green profitability, customer service, living green, and book publishing. Sample topics:

To see an entire very brief (9-minute) presentation that didn’t use PowerPoint, click (Typically, my talks are 25-50 minutes, though I’ve gone as long as 3 hours). Some use slides and some don’t.

  • Iceland, August 7-13 (airfare already covered)
  • Montreal, October 19-20 (travel expenses already covered)
  • Aukland (New Zealand), Sometime Dec. 26-January 12 (dates and trip not confirmed)

This Month’s Tip: Show Every Benefit

If you’re marketing a green product or service, it’s up to you to demonstrate why your offering is superior to the conventional alternatives. That means drilling down and drilling down to identify and brag about the core reasons, and to do so in a way that resonates with your audience.

Let’s say, for instance, that you’re a building manager and you offer the feature I mention in this month’s book review: graywater recycling. How can you turn that feature into benefits, and then drill deeper to get at the core benefits?

Good green marketing usually involves showing the benefits both to the customers themselves and to the world as a whole. In this case, the feature is a system to capture waste water from relatively clean uses like sinks and showers, and use it again to water lawns, flush toilets, etc.

The primary benefits are reduced water use and less water contamination. On the personal benefit side, that means lower water bills. Municipal water is artificially cheap in many developed countries, just as oil used to be, so thats a relatively weak benefit. Can we find any deeper personal benefits? How about this: by recycling the water, there is less need to draw down the water supply, which in turn keeps it available for other uses. OK, so if the aquifer is drawn down more slowly, it can recharge properly—and that keeps the water clean and pure.

Ah ha! Now there are both health and aesthetic benefits! The feature of clean and pure water turns into the benefit of staying healthy, not getting sick—and also the benefit of water that is not only good for you, but tastes good, too. This in turn means the customer doesn’t have to go out and spend money on bottled water, because the tap water is good enough to drink. So now we have two economic benefits (tap water lasts longer and therefore costs less, and eliminating the need to buy water bottles) as well as a health benefit because the water stays pure.

Let’s turn to the social goods. More water is available for other uses—and fewer oil-based plastic bottles are needed. If we accept Bill Roth’s statement (see book review) that 5000 kids die every day from lack of good water, we now see a clear benefit to conserving through recycling the graywater: we stop kids from dying. Add that to the benefit of protecting the water supply for our own kids and grandkids in the generations to come, and not squandering that resource the way we’ve squandered oil for so many years, and it should be pretty easy to write some powerful marketing copy.

Special Limited-Time Offer: Grassroots Marketing at Almost Half Off

Looking for GREAT information on how to

  • Write get-noticed press releases that stand out in a crowd
  • Create marketing copy that gets inside the prospect’s head and unleashes “buy-juice”
  • Use winning strategies to get business at trade shows, over the phone, and in sales presentations
  • Market successfully online (9 whole chapters)
  • And much more

It’s all in the pages of my award-winning fifth book, Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World. Normally, $22.95. But since May is officially Business Image Improvement Month (according to Chase’s Annual Events), I decided to help  you build your business image more affordably by saving money on this 306-page roadmap to better, more affordable marketing.

This month only: pick yours up for only $12 plus shipping (paperback) or $10 with no shipping cost (e-book).



Extra Value: Add a copy of either Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green or Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers for only $15 more.

Another Recommended Book: The Secret Green Sauce

The Secret Green Sauce: Best Practices being used by actual green entrepreneurs and businesses to grow sustainable revenues and profits, by Bill Roth (self-published, 2009)

Like my own Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, Roth demonstrates that going green is very good for business. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s also highly profitable. (He cites one sustainable coffee certification that grew at an astounding 106% per year.)

And sometimes, the right thing to do is long overdue. Roth is deeply troubled that we flush our toilets and water our lawns with clean water, while around the world, 5000  babies die every day for lack of clean water. (Editor’s note: There are technologies, like graywater recycling, which has been around for at least three decades, that could drastically reduce our water waste. There are also easy steps we as consumers can take, like turning the water off while we brush our teeth or wash something, except for the few seconds when we’re wetting our toothbrush or sponge.) But ultimately, business not only needs to help us get there, but it is showing leadership; many companies, for instance, have pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020. We could debate about whether this is fast enough, but it’s a huge turnaround from the attitude of a decade ago that it didn’t matter.

How do you know when your green program is successful? 1, it actually works, and 2, it’s sustainable. And in order to achieve that, Roth recommends being both green and a price-leader. This is in keeping with my own observation that the best green programs appeal to both personal self-interest and planetary good.

What Roth calls the “awareness consumer” is a huge and growing segment, which had already reached $10 trillion per year (85% of that controlled by women) by the time he went to press. He offers many strategies to monetize that segment. And he notes that workers in green teams at their workplace start being change agents at home and in their neighborhoods. Also, workers in green buildings are demonstrably more productive, and green companies also boast typically higher stock valuations. Cool!

Yet making dollar savings the only criterion for starting green initiatives is short-sighted, in Roth’s opinion. Many great green initiatives take longer to pay back than the two years CFOs typically look for, and they get left on the table, along with the revenue they would have brought in. “Siloization” is another enemy of greening the corporate world, and too many initiatives fall victim to turf battles or simple death-by-bureaucracy.

In short, this brief book has a lot to offer. It would have had even more to offer if Roth had worked with a good book shepherd. The editing is poor, there’s no index, and the interior design reminds me entirely too much of a book I typeset myself in a word processor in 1985, before I knew anything about publishing. We book shepherds can make a big difference.

Hear & Meet Shel


  • May 18, from 1 to probably around 2:30 pm ET (10-11:30 PT), master copywriter Ray Edwards and I will have a conversation about ethical, green marketing and the relationship of religion and ethics. This winter, I made a huge purge of many of the e-newsletters I’d been reading–and Ray’s was one I kept, because I found enormous value in it. Ray is a devout Christian, and lately his newsletters mixed about equal amounts of marketing advice and insights into his relationship with Christ. I am a non-Christian and not-very-religious Jew who does believe in spiritual guidance. It should be a very interesting conversation. Click here to get the call information: Register even if you can’t make the call, and you’ll get a link to the recording afterward, at no charge. Ray and I will be selling the interview later, so here’s your chance to get it without paying.
  • Once again, I’ll be attending Book Expo America, May 24-26 in New York City


  • Interview on “Who You Calling Old,” Monday, July 11, 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT,
  • Interview by Mari-Lyn Harris on Blog Talk radio, July 12, 1 pm ET/10 am. I don’t have the link yet, but you can probably find her page on
  • Speaking at SolarFest, Tinmouth, VT, Sunday, July 17, 12:30 p.m.: “Green And Profitable: Harnessing the Marketing Advantages of Going Green”

Friends Who Want to Help

(Some of these are affiliate links–if you want to know about any particular link, please ask)

  • Whether you’re an author, entrepreneur, business person or a stay at home mom with an inspired idea – New York Times Bestselling author Peggy McColl has the tried and true formula to propel YOUR message like a rocket through the virtual world. Judy O’Beirn, President of Hasmark Services, and Peggy McColl, NYTimes Bestselling author, collaborated on this book.  What that means for you is that you’re getting a ‘behind the curtain’ peak inside two of the brightest minds in online marketing today.
  • The always-brilliant Marcia Yudkin has been on a mission to prove that you can be an introvert and still be a highly successful marketer. Visit to view her inexpensive new program, Marketing in Tune With Your Personality. I’ve known Marcia since the late 1980s. She was impressive then, and she’s impressive now.
  • My friend Jim Donovan told me that when I went to JV Alert a few months ago, I must look up his friends Julie Booz and Rick Toone. Not only did I meet them, they did a TV interview with me–and with a whole bunch of other folks attending (some of the best and brightest in the Internet marketing world). Watch a trailer for it at (I’m the second person shows, right after Cori Padgett). You might recognize Warren Whitlock, Willie Crawford, and other luminaries in the footage.
  • “How to Use Twitter in Just 15 Minutes a Day” – 13 Book Marketing and Social Media Experts Share Tips, Tools and Shortcuts to Getting the Most Out of Your Time on Twitter. No-cost report from Shelley Hitz includes a contribution from me. Download at (no squeeze page, automatic instant download)
  • Another freebie (this one does require a name and e-mail): Mickie Kennedy of E-Releases offers a Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases. I haven’t looked at the book, but I have had very good luck with putting a press release on his service.

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