Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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Your Daily Email Addiction

Filed under: Email Marketing

Reader Mark Asher says:

Ah, so you’re an INTJ. That explains a lot.

Especially as, besides Batman, nearly every fictional INTJ is a villain.

It’s also likely why I like you because I’m in the exclusive INTJ club too.

On another note, I’d like to thank you. By learning your techniques, using your methods, and even name-dropping you during a phone interview I’ve gotten one step closer to a direct response copywriting position in London.

I really want to be a copywriter and your work is genuinely helping me get there.

Few things:

1. I don’t out a whole lot of stock in Myers-Briggs (or, as some call it, “Myers Bullshyt”) — although I do think there’s a lot of truth to it, and much Value to the intelligent marketer who applies it correctly. But, much more important than the letters, are the attributes one has (and most people mistype themselves all the time — becoming Mary Sues and projecting what they wish they were and not what they really are).

2. I am not so sure Batman is an INTJ (other than the Christian Bale version) since he is comfortable in chaotic situations.


Not so much.

We like to create the chaos, distracting our enemies with trifles while carrying out our real plans. We like order, and predictability, and proactivity to make things work the way we plan them, which means making others dance to our tune, while Batman is very much more reactionary, dancing to the actions of his Rogues Gallery.

He’s not as reactionary as other super heroes, true.

But, reactionary he is.

That’s simply the plight of any hero, that’s the job:

To react.

3. I used to be shocked when people got clients by dropping my name.


Not so much.

In fact, just this week a client reached out to me wanting to hire only an Email Players subscriber, and nobody else. Wasting money on lame the “Nurture” sequences, good-will emails, and doing all the things but selling other email people teach from the stage to the marketing proles tends to cut into profits for real businesses, after all.

All right, enough for today.

On to the business:

The October “Email Players” issue is in the bullpen now.

To get it before it goes to the printer, go ye here today:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

A while back I saw a marketing consultant on Flakebook talking about refunds, refunders, and all things refunding. Apparently, the consultant cringes every time someone says they’re worried about being scammed by refunders. The logic being, if your product is good people will want to keep it.

Predictably, all the marketing proles agreed and cheered it.

Only problem was, the consultant was dead wrong.

This is why I always take a consultant’s advice with a grain of chili pepper. They are, after all, the people who can show you 300 ways to have the secks, but can’t get a date for themselves on Saturday night.

Case in point:

I’ve been selling informational products for almost two decades.

And, in my experience, and in the experience of almost everyone I know who sells information (i.e. not consultants, employees, or freelance copywriters who work for info-marketing clients, but those of us who actually process the orders with our own merchant accounts, deliver our own products, pay for our own advertising, deal with customer service, have our names attached to the brand, etc) anyone who refunds a *quality* product knew they were going to refund when they bought it. Or, at least, they had it in their mind to — especially around Christmas, when they want to be able to afford a new PlayStation for little Tommy or whatever.

Which brings me to the point:

You can’t Value a refunder into not refunding.

If you sell to a serial refunder, they are not going to magically not return it just because it’s the best product ever created on the subject. Their rationalization hamsters will spin and spin and spin until they justify their decision.

Best advice I ever heard about this back when I used guarantees:

If someone asks you about your refund guarantee, don’t waste time answering.

Simply delete them from your list.

And, blacklist them from your shopping cart.

I still do this if I’m selling someone else’s product.

Few years ago, I remember an “Email Players” subscriber refunding Brian Kurtz’s Titans Of Direct Response product which I sold as an affiliate. I immediately cancelled his subscription, blacklisted him in the shopping cart, and said I’d do no further business with him.

I refuse to reward bad behavior.

Too bad so many marketers do…

All right, enough.

For more on my (all sales final) “Email Players” newsletter go here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Reader Sanjay Pande sets the Internet straight on what it really means to be a “guru”:

The word guru is from sanskrit and doesn’t translate well to English. “gu” is darkness and “ru” is remover. It is usually associated with either the spiritual or knowledge or both and signifies someone who can help remove the darkness. It takes a “teacher” a long time before they’re accorded the status of guru. The presence of any ego or hubris of knowledge automatically disqualifies them as they’re still considered to themselves be in the dark.

But, then again you’re talking about gooroos, who are different anyway.

Which got me to thinking:

I am not in the business of teaching email or copywriting, I am in the business of being Ben Settle. That means, by default, there’s a lot of ego in my business, a lot of irrational self confidence in my business, and, dare I say it… a lot of darkness in my business as far as the term “guru” goes.

If I tried to call myself one, I’d be a fraud.

Here’s what else this means:

If you are going to use my non-guru email ways to build your own business, with your own personal brand (which I do), you can’t be a guru, either.


Because you, too, will be in the business of being you.

(And not behaving like your favorite Internet tough guy or boss lady or whatever.)

Anyway, I’ll end this email with this:

The October Email Players issue contains a very simple business plan of action I’m consulting one of my subscribers on now. It is heavily positioning based. And, heavily brand based, as well (via using my email methodology).

It’s a great “jumping on” issue for people new to my world.

Here’s the link:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Recently, I was forwarded an email from a copywriting coach talking about how great a “writer” they are, and, presumably, that’s why you should listen to them.

Talent is all well and good, that an a quarter will get you a gum ball, if nothing else.

But, you don’t have to be a great writer to make lots of sales.

In fact, I’m the first to admit I am not a great “writer.” (If you’ve seen my novels this is obvious — riddled with typos, grammar problems, you name it.)

But, luckily, I don’t need to be.


Because in my experience, what’s more important is the ability to create vision. If you can do that, your “writing” can be below average and you’ll still have people scrambling to buy from you. This is straight from the late, great, master of negotiation Jim Camp — called the world’s most feared negotiator by his adversaries (including negotiators at Intel, who, I hear, have some of the toughest negotiators in the world). And, it’s something I’ve used for years to write long running ads in hyper competitive markets (like home business, self defense, golf, etc) overrun with better writers than me. It’s also how, for example, I showed one of my “Email Players” subscribers how to go from making $0 in December (the slowest month for his business) to doing over $100k in a December. Had nothing to do with writing talent, it was simply creating vision the way I taught him.

Back to Jim Camp… his big teaching was:

“Vision drives decision.”

What that means is, until somebody has a vision and gets emotionally connected to your copy, they won’t make a decision to buy from you. They really can’t make a decision to buy because all decisions are made on emotion.

(Yes, even the decision to be rational is an emotional decision.)

Anyway, the trick ain’t becoming a great writer, which not everyone can learn.

It’s becoming great at creating vision, which anyone can learn.

And, guess what?

In the October “Email Players” issue, I’m including a bonus training that explains how to create vision in your emails, sales letters, social media, videos, or any other media you use, with no writing talent necessary.

Vision is the key to the whole game.

And, hardly anyone does it, much less can teach it.

Here’s where to subscribe before it goes to the printer:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

My pal Justin Devonshire gives the easily-dazzled advice on Flakebook:

BEWARE: Many coaches living in exotic locations, taking boat trips every day & sipping cocktails on the beach….. are only doing so because they can’t afford to live in the first-world. Sometimes they have freedom simply because they have no job

The whole 3rd world gringo bragging about their lifestyle never stops being funny.

But, what is even more funny are the naive marketing proles and goo-roo fanboys who buy into their claims, fake posturing, and nonsensical advice. All you have to do is look at the exchange rate between a first world country and one of these 3rd world countries and you see you can live like a king for $5 per day.

Not a bad thing, necessarily.

It can even be a smart move for some people.

But, it’s the ones swinging their John Thomases around trying to talk themselves up as great marketers or copywriters, and charging several thousand dollars for a “mastermind” or whatever, when they can’t even afford rent in any major American city, where you might want to be careful.

Or not.

You live in a free society and can be as gullible as you want.

Plus, the pain of wasting money on bad advice can be a good learning experience.

But, if you want to skip that pain, check out the October “Email Players” issue.

One of the many things it includes is an email-friendly business plan I am consulting one of my paying subscribers on now (which I am documenting for a product I’ll be releasing next year). Including how to position herself uniquely in her market (she sells to coaches) so she (1) stands out from the 3rd world gringo coaches and any other competition and (2) has a solid foundation she can quickly build into the five and, over time, six figure range, fairly quickly.

(My goal is to see her do 5 figures per month by year’s end, we shalt see…)

Anyway, you can listen to some 3rd world gringo pretending to be rich blowing hot air on flakebook.

Or, you can see a proven — although not secksy at all — way to do it legitimately.

(And realistically.)

If you choose the latter, check out the “Email Players” newsletter here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Recently, the esteemed A-list copywriter Bob Bly wrote on facebook:

“When I was a kid in the 50s and 60s, a “guru” was someone who wore a robe, had long hair, lived on a commune, and was followed by people who wanted to hear his message of peace, love, and being one with the universe. In the 70s and 80s and 90s, it was someone like Tom Peters who wrote best-selling business books and earned $30,000 an hour speaking on the corporate lecture circuit. Today a guru seems to be someone who curses like a sailor, goes to any extreme to seem edgy and cool, has an ego the size of a humpback whale, and wants to extract thousands of dollars from you by getting your credit card number to sell you an outrageously expensive course, “training,” or mastermind group membership teaching how to make a million dollars a week in info marketing, copywriting, coaching, consulting, small business, or maybe option trading. Am I the only one tiring of this new generation of brash, loud, conceited, egomaniacal gurus?”

I tend to find these Internet tough guys rather amusing, too.

Mostly because they think they’re special, but they’re really just typical.

And, while I know a few guys who admittedly can pull off the whole vulgar-for-the-sake-of-it thing (who were all doing it before it became trendy, it is simply their personality), the vast majority simply look like the insecure 13-year-olds in school swearing, spitting, and smoking to look cool and get attention, while gagging and hacking at the bus stop.


Maybe it’s coincidence.

But, a lot of the Internet tough guys I know are astonishingly weak people. And, the Internet tough guy act, repeating the tired “I give zero fugks” mantra, and pounding their chests at how bad ass/lady boss/full of tigers blood or whatever they’re rationalization hamsters have convinced them they are, are gimmicks to try to hide that weakness, neediness, attention-deprivation, and insecurities about how good they really are (or, rather, aren’t) at what they do.

What do I mean by weak?

For one, weak-minded.

If you don’t believe me, watch how many publicly brag about their vices, like badges of honor instead of something they should probably get help for.

Also, weak emotionally.

Simply observe how emotional and easily angry they get over anything and everything, knee-jerkedly block anyone on flakebook who dares question them, and melt down into a angry-pushup rage if someone calls them out on their nonsense.

And, sometimes, even weak in their presentation.

For example, if you meet them in person, take note of how they look compared to how they present themselves on social media. The bigger the spread between how they look in real life vs how they look online, the more amusing it is to witness.

Does this make them “bad” people?

Not at all.

It simply makes them flawed human like the rest of us. They just happen to be humans completely at the mercy of their insecurities and emotions. If they fix that up, they probably could be closer to the characters they play on flakebook all day.

Anyway, on to the important stuff:

One of the main things I teach in my “Email Players” newsletter (and, especially, in the “Email Players Playbook”, which comes with your subscription), is to inject your personality into your emails.

But, not fake Internet tough guy personality.

And, not some guru or boss lady’s personality.

Only your personality — which, like a fingerprint, is unique to you and only you.

Why try to be something you ain’t?

Whatever the case, my method lets you do it in a way where people look forward to reading your emails and, if you have the right offer for them, look forward to buying from you.

More details here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing


A self-described hater lets me have it:

Haha! I laughed out loud at that link to your attorney’s letter. Sorry mate, but your autoresponder email copy isn’t good enough to steal. In fact it isn’t very good at all. I see you in my inbox day in and day out, cranking out what you probably think is scintillating copy, but no dice pal.

I’m loath to be that asshole “hater”, you’re just a guy trying to make a buck like the rest of us. But if you’re going to humblebrag that your copy is so good that it’s getting stolen by other marketers and also describe yourself as a “World leader in email copywriting education”, you’re setting yourself up for ridicule.

Having said that, your emails do serve a purpose, they teach me how not to write my email copy.

The irony:

1. He responded to the last email in a 14-email sequence that pulled 935 orders

2. The emails were written 6 years ago, and I re-use them each Labor Day weekend, and each time they nab us over 100 more sales than the prior year — meaning, next year it will do over 1000 orders, for about 30 minutes of “work” (copying and pasting the emails into the auto-responder)

3. That lawyer letter (that humble-brags? Okay…) makes me sales

4. He thinks ridicule is something to be avoided, instead of something to be embraced, used, and profited from

5. His comment will make me sales

6. He also just gave me an idea for an “Email Players” issue

So thank you sir, for being a useful marketing intern.

Work hard, keep your nose clean, and there’s an unpaid future for you at Settle, LLC…

All right, enough troll mocking for the soul.

On to the bid’niz:

There has been a growing number of professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc) joining my list over the last several months. These are people who don’t want to be confrontational, controversial, or combative in their emails.

But, they also want to benefit from using my ego-bragging ways.

Enter the bonus training that comes with next month’s “Email Players” newsletter.

It shows you how professionals can use my prickly methods in a way that won’t make you look unprofessional.

Here’s where to subscribe:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Recently, I was browsing through my flakebook and noticed someone who had talked a good deal of shyt about someone I know privately, suddenly praising this person to the moon on their Flakebook page publicly. One minute, this person is saying this person is the devil. The next, I see this same person praising the person who is supposedly the devil.

There was a time when this sort of thing shocked me.

But, not anymore.

I expect it.

And, in fact, it amuses me, and I consider it a favor.


Because it also lets me know who are the people (very few) that can be trusted who are consistent, and who are the typical type who are not consistent. In fact, it recently humored me to watch people call out a blatant plagiarist in the safety of a Flakebook group, then watch those same people natter on about how great the plagiarist was on their timelines to get in good with them or whatever.

I see it a mile away now.

Something to ponder on:

There are a lot of people who will sing your praises one minute, while stabbing you in the back the next. And, the more successful you get, the more likely this is to happen. It’s not something to take personally, or even get irritated by, it’s simply the nature of people — especially with social media.

Anyway, I’ve seen it so many times it’s routine.

And, that’s why I trust so few people, and take everyone’s words with a grain of chili pepper.

I have lots of buddies.

A few close aquaintences.

But, just a small handful of people on the planet who I’d describe as a ride-or-die friend. I learned in a screenwriting book many years ago (when I wanted to be a screenwriter) that a character is not what they say or what words they use, it’s what they do — what actions they take.

The point of all this meandering pontification?

Obviously, it ain’t to make friends.

No, it’s to teach the power of consistency.

Robert Cialdini wrote about this in his “Influence” book. Nobody likes inconsistency. It bothers people psychologically. And, it’s not a fluke that so many people who I know (or know of) who are inconsistent in their personal lives, are also inconsistent in their businesses.

Inconsistency is one of the worst negative human attributes.

And, is incompatible with anything I teach or sell.

Take my Villains book, for example.

You can’t be inconsistent like this and actions and expect the information inside to do you a lick of good. It’s full of timeless principles that work, but only if the person using them is consistent in their beliefs and actions. Which is why I’ve caught even people who sing its praises doing the exact opposite in their selling as what it prescribes.

If that’s you, well, good luck.

For the few left over?

To learn more about this book, go ye here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

I recently got an obnoxious idea for an even more obnoxious podcast intro.

I’m going to record it soon, and decided to hold auditions for a new podcast announcer dame at the same time, while I’m at it, to further shake up the status quo around here.

This girl’s voice will be edited onto all my Podcast openings and show commercials

And, she will also get:

  • A bunch of my products for free
  • A chance (on rare occasions) to be on the show to banter and/or kick around whatever the topic is that day

If you’re interested in auditioning, here’s all you have to do:

1. Reply back to this email and let me know

2. I’ll forward you a secret link where you can begin the audition process

Producer Jonathan will then filter through them (to remove any bias on my part) and present me with the 2 or 3 voices he thinks are best. If we don’t find the right voice we’re looking for, we’ll simply hire a professional voiceover actor.

But, I prefer to hire a fan of the show for obvious reasons.

If you’re interested, contact me for audition instructions.

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

“Email Players” subscriber Holly Mthethwa tip-toes away from the girl boss side of the Internet, and delivers this tidy bit of news:

Recently, I wrote some emails and did some launch copy for a client.

She just happens to be in a big girl boss guru’s course.

Said guru’s community manager read her emails and reached out to find out who wrote them – applauding how great they were.

This, of course, has little to do with me and everything to do with the fact that I became an email player back in January. I’m one of the most mediocre, newbie-esque copywriters out there, but I am very good at following rules and principles, which is exactly what I do with your Email Players playbook and issues.

Read, apply. Read, apply.

This CM then sent someone my way, netting me a couple Ks. While you’re well aware copywriting for clients isn’t my end goal, it’s setting me up to finance (and transition to) my end goal. It’s also giving me excellent practice for when it comes time to market my own stuff.

So, even the guru girl boss peeps like “your” style….when it’s styled ( or disguised – ha!) for

Also, besides just vanity applause, your email ways have my tiny client base earning….and me, too.

Spewing lots of gratitude.

Kind Regards,

I’ve known Holly for a while.

And, from what I’ve seen of her writing (she was the only person I allowed to write a weekly article/column in my secret Facebook group, until I tore the group asunder last month), I’d take the Pepsi Challenge with her writing against any boss girl’s that I’ve seen.

Same with my other boys and ghouls in “Email Players.”

Anyway, the September “Email Players” issue goes to the printer tonight.

If you want it, subscribe here, before it’s too late:

Ben Settle

P.S. The bonus training (10 page interview transcript with yet another “Email Players” subscriber blazing some new territory with her work on buyer psychology) is a doozy if you want to know how to talk to would-be clients and customers and get them wanting to buy from you, and only you.

Don’t say nobody told you about it…

Double Your Sales With Email

World Leader In Email Copywriting Education is Giving AwayTips For Doubling Sales With Email Right Now

Use the form below to open his daily email tips and a free digital copy of the prestigious $97/month “Email Players” newsletter…

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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