1. Thank you for the dozens of names of calcium supplements you sent last month. I shall research each one and get them on the web site.

You will find the directions for the Vinegar Test mentioned in last month's newsletter on line now at:


2. Question of the month: Have you put a non-slip mat in your tub or shower yet? If not, please do so this week. I know, you may be thinking that you have a 'non-slip tub'. But did you know that non-slip wears out after a year or so?

A non-slip mat is inexpensive. A broken hip or elbow is very expensive. Our local dollar store had some non-slip/grippers. I bought a package. They last for about a year before they loses 'gripping' powers. $1 is year is not much to pay for safety.

3. A couple months ago some friends forwarded me a newsletter. Its headline read: Is Chocolate bad for your bones...

The newsletter went on the say that researchers compared the dexa scan results of a group of women who ate at least one chocolate bar each day with those of women who did not. The non-chocolate eaters had better bone density.

When I got that far, I thought....WAIT A MINUTE.

You can not conclude that the chocolate was the problem unless we know more about the two groups of women. For example: the chocolate eaters could have been sedentary - watching television all day, while the others were more active. Or maybe the chocolate eaters also drank a lot of coffee since the two activities often go together or may be......

I scanned down the rest of the newsletter and noticed that way down the bottom is very small print it said that given the structure of the study no conclusions could be drawn about chocolate and bone density.

Opppps. But why, the headline? Why scare people?

Answer. It is all about 'direct sales marketing'. And since marketers are very active during the 'change of season' months, I thought I would share a few things about direct marketing so you are better able to separate the hype from reality.

Marketing is big business. Did you know that you can earn a 6 figure income from writing just 4-5 marketing letters a year?

And now the marketing skills are moving to web site writing - both for 'landing pages' and for monthly newsletters (many merchandisers offer you a free newsletter so they can keep selling more products each month.)

So, here's some basic info about marketing. Writers are paid by how many people respond to a letter. A sales letter that brings a response rate of more than 4 -5 % is considered a raving success. Companies keep track of how many orders any letter brings by the "coupon code". You know, there is a special offer but you must give the code to get it. the code is there so they know which writer to pay for your response. (On web sites, they code the links that you click.)

Sometimes companies try out some new letters. Each has a different coupon code so they can tell which letter brings the most orders. The most effective one becomes the letter they use all the time. The writers of the other letters get paid their couple cents per order but their letters go in the dust bin. The winning letter (called the 'control') is now sent out regularly - and the writer begins to earn big money since he or she gets something for every order placed

After awhile the company will try out a few new letters to see if any of them 'beat the control". If one does, that becomes the new control.

On web sites, this is done by having different email notices go to different 'landing pages' - and the text on the landing page functions like the sales letters above.

OK....But what do you need to know about these sales letters.

Rule 1 - Marketing studies show that people buy for 2 big emotional reasons: greed, love/sex or fear. It is the last one that is often used in health marketing. The next time you get some ad mail, look at the headlines:

Do you know if your current supplement really contains what you need?

Could the ordinary food you eat be causing your....?

Are you wasting your money on supplements that do not work?

If a writer can raise some fear, people are much more likely to buy what they are selling. (The headline: Is chocolate causing your bones..... would capture the attention of anyone with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis!)

Now there is nothing wrong with this. But if you know what the marketers are doing, you are more likely to read more carefully and not let your emotions open your pocketbook.

Rule 2 - Testimonials sell. Testimonials need to be from 'people like me' or from people who were in far worse shape than I am.

Rule 3 - Try to offer a guarantee. Jay Abraham, a master marketer, is the one who showed the power of a guarantee to bring in sales. And he showed business owners how to word guarantees to impress buyers.... but not have any returns.

a. the longer the time period for a guarantee, the less likely anyone will use it. Why? There is something called 'buyers remorse'. When people pay for something, there are often less entranced with it when they first saw it. So if your guarantee gives them only a week or two, they will often return the product. But if you give them 9 months or a year, well they just forget about it and the number of returns are very, very low.

b. You can structure your guarantee so it sounds great but so NO ONE will ever take you up on it.

Example. A few years ago, I read of a special mattress that guaranteed greater bone spinal density.

The manufacturer offered a full price guarantee if after 9 months, your spinal bone density did not improve.

Sounded great. But then I read the conditions. You has to have a dexa scan before you bought the mattress - OK that is doable. But then you needed another at the end of the 9 months.

HMMM what physician would write a prescription for a dexa scan after only 9 months? And what insurance company would pay for it? And since the mattress cost about the same as a dexa scan, who would bother to get the 2nd test. But the guarantee was there to drew people in.

Rule 4 - If selling a health product, make references to scientific studies. When you see reference to a scientific study ask yourself:

a. Was it published in a peer reviewed journal?

Anyone can claim to do a scientific study. But to be published in a 'peer reviewed journal' means that you sent in your study - kept your name etc. on separate paper. The editor sent your report out to 4- 5 reputable scientists who evaluated it for 'good science'. These scientist each sent a report on your work back to the editor. Then the editor contacts you and says either: we will not publish this because it is not good science (and then tells you why) or the reviewers recommend that you makes the following changes.... If you want to rewrite the article, you can resubmit it and we will reconsider it or you get the good news that the journal will publish your paper etc. .....

If a marketer refers to a study not published in a peer reviewed journal, you have NO WAY of checking on the validity of the study....it may be good science or it may not.

Other scientists have not checked out the results. Now sometimes you do get the name of the place where the study was done, eg. the Mayo clinic or some other well known lab and that gives some credibility to the report.

Also, if a marketer refers to a study published in a peer reviewed journal, you might want check to see if what the marketer is claiming is really true.

I do this for NEW remedies. Example. Last year I was checking out claims for a new product that claimed to increase bone density. When I went to the web site, it listed more than 25 peer reviewed studies. I began checking these. To my surprise, NONE of the studies were done with human subjects.... despite the web site leaving the impression otherwise.

Hmmmm. Of course new products are first tested on animals. But expensive equipment only tested on mice or pigs may or may not be what someone wants to pay for right now.

In my own life, I have sometimes bought products that do not have all the peer reviewed research. Sometimes I buy just because I 'want to try it out and see..." But I DO want to know the difference.


Maybe I should not be spending so much time talking about the 'science of marketing' but that newsletter has stayed in my mind because it raised some unnecessary fears.

One of the reasons why I spend so much time on this web site - is to offer you the most solid information about reversing bone loss that I can find.....and yes, I do check the research. I hope you do too and that you will not be taken in by headlines designed to scare you...or promise 'the moon' .

Enjoy your April.....

and remember that if you are contacting me by email to be sure that OSTEOPENIA is in the subject line ...so the email is not deleted with the spam.