Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

Double Your Sales With Email

World Class Email Specialist is Giving Away Tips forDoubling Sales 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…

Your Daily Email Addiction

How to run a podcast without sounding like a horse’s ass

Today’s exciting new “Ben Settle Show” podcast is for people who want to start or run a more successful podcast.

We rap about:

  • What a “governor” is… and how it can make or break your podcast. (Even if you have a ton of natural podcasting talent, if you don’t know this, you’re dead in the water.)
  • Why you should make it a goal to hurt at least one person’s feelings in each podcast.
  • How to give someone unsolicited advice without sounding like a douche bag.
  • What never to say in your first podcast episode. (Doing this will make you sound like a rank amateur — how do I know? Because I made this mistake. But you won’t after listening to this episode.)
  • The one thing the world’s most popular podcasts do that will put you head and shoulders over everyone else in your category. (Not 1 in 100 podcasters know this, but you can start doing this right away, as soon as you finish listening.)
  • A secret way to use Audible to make your podcast quality far better than any of your competition’s.
  • How to make sure you don’t sound like a complete horse’s ass on your podcast.
  • How to use an ordinary bath towel to make your voice sound sexier.
  • And a honey bunches of #totes lot more…

Download yo’ lovin’ here:

Ben Settle

Let us hearken back to February.

I’d just recorded my first ever podcast episode.

And, it was a complete disaster.


Because I had no clue what I was doing. The audio sounded like crap. I made every mistake imaginable. And, I even started it out in the worst possible way you can start a podcast episode.

I also made a bunch of audio blunders, too.

And, was simply ignorant of how it all worked.

Luckily, a friend helped me out.

He sent me a detailed list of all the things I was doing wrong, how to make it all right, and some “short cuts” for doing things in a way where everything would sound much better, the show would be far more entertaining, and, ultimately, the whole production would be a whole lot more profitable.

And guess what?

I’m going to talk about this list tomorrow.

Point by point.

And, if you’re wanting to start a podcast, or simply want to learn a nugget or two for making your existing podcast better, this show is for you my fine feathered little droogie.

Watch for tomorrow’s email.

In the meantime, check out past episodes here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

“I never understood people’s obsession with Ouija boards. I don’t even want to talk to the living.”

- Greg Perry

A discussion about this is long overdue.

For some reason, people are contacting me lately using the worst modes of communication for doing so possible. So, to try to get everyone who wants to send me a message (good, bad, or fugly hate mail) in the right lane, behold… here are the 3 worst ways to contact me:

#1 Ye Olde Telephone

There are few things I despise more than yapping on the phone.

I’d rather do anything than talk on the phone.

I hate phones.

They’re the devil.

Ratchet-jawing on the phone wastes time. Sucks the life out of me. And, I’m simply not a polite conversationalist, anyway. (The exceptions are talking to one of my parents or being interviewed or doing a training for a podcast, radio show, webinar etc — then, suddenly, I like phones. Go figure…)

Yes, I have a phone number on my sites.

(For compliance reasons.)

But, that number rings directly to a combo voicemail/fax line. And even the voice mail message tells people the best way to contact me for fastest response.

The bottom line?

Phone is the worst possible way to contact me.

Unless, of course, you want the lowest priority possible…

#2 Linkedin

I have no idea why people contact me on Linkedin.

And, quite frankly, now that I think about it, I’m not even sure why I’m *on* Linkedin.

Especially since, I only log in to see who’s viewing my profile.

Messages are rarely (if ever) read.

#3 Flakebook

Actually, this isn’t so bad per se.

It’s just that I refuse to put their dorky messenger app on my phone, which means the only way I’m going to see your message (much less reply to it) is if I’m not feeling particularly lazy that day and go through the motions to log in on my phone’s browser. Or, when I’m working on my lap top.

What that means is this:

Even if I see your message, I won’t reply right away.

And, will probably forget about it altogether.

The flakebook evangelists loooooathe me for this.

But, that’s okay.

I tend to loathe them, too…

So there you have it.

The 3 worst ways to contact me.

But, what about the 3 *best* ways?

What if someone wants to send me a message, complain about something I wrote (I am ridiculously low on hate mail, btw, hint, hint…), or has a customer service question or request for an email, podcast, or “Email Players” issue topic?

In that case, here are the best ways:

(In order)

1. Email

Via the contact form on my site, ideally.

Otherwise, email me directly (by replying to any of my daily emails) and having the patience to get through my spamarrest process.

2. Text

If you have my text, that is.

3. Twitter

I’m not always a big social media fan.


But, I do dig on Twitter.

And while it’s not the ideal way to contact me, it’s far and away better than the phone, Flakebook, or Linkedin. Especially since, the 140 characters forces people to be pithy.


I usually don’t have time to answer all messages any mo’.

The exception being for “Email Players” subscribers. One of the main perks for “Email Players” subscribers is access to me via email with any questions I’m qualified to answer.

Everyone else?

Unless it’s customer service related, etc, I probably won’t reply.

Don’t take it personally, though.

It’s not you.

It’s me…

All right, enough of this clacking.

It’s business time:

We’re about a week out from the December “Email Players” issue deadline. One of the lessons inside is a cool email trick I learned watching Bugs Bunny cartoons.

I never see anyone using this tick.

But, it gives your emails more “depth.”

More persuasion power.

And, more entertainment value.

All of which can boost ye sales.

Subscribe here before it mails:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing


A friend just showed me a Warrior Forum thread where someone drama queened about leaving my list. (How bored must someone be to start an entire thread just about leaving my list?)

The “tl;dr” version is:

He admittedly learned a lot from me.

But, (and I quote) my:

“unpredictability has become well too predictable”

His reasoning was that I’m controversial too often, and that controversy has become old. (And, thus, too predictable.)

Is he right?

Is this true?

Am I too predictably unpredictable and controversial?

Let’s find out…

His post was on September 17th.

My last 10 email subject lines at that time were:

1. How brand spanking newbies can build a fat list of of buyers… for free

2. How to build a big ol’ fatty list from scratch

3. The 21 horsemen of the Email Players apocalypse

4. 14 rules for staying sane in an insane bid’niz world

5. Why testimonials suck as proof

6. You understand copywriting, persuasion, headlines, but you don’t understand my plight

7. The “marks” of a low class jackass marketer

8. Sending customers snakes as gifts

9. The paranoid shut-in’s guide to protecting your income

10. The odd fellows

Okay, #’s 5 & 7 could be controversial.

(#5 going against common direct response marketing guru orthodoxy and #7 talking about low class jackass marketers.)

But the rest?

Well, let’s see…

One was about how to build a list for free… 2 was about the same thing (I was promoting a course on how to build an audience)… 3 was bullets for a podcast episode… 4 is *arguably* controversial (but not really) about the first 14 “Email Players” rules I do business and live life by… 6 was about an important marketing lesson contained within the movie “Sideways”… 8 was about the dangers of sending people unsolicited gifts… 9 is about how to inoculate your business against sudden income drops… aaaaaaand 10 is a few sentences promoting that week’s (non controversial) podcast about why entrepreneurs are “odd” (in a good way).

Anyway, I’m sure he’s a good bloke.

But, methinks he’s confused.

Unless he really considers 20% of my emails being controversial as being too predictably unpredictable.

Gotta love warrior forum.

Never a dull moment.

“Email Players” newsletter info here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

It’s bid’niz time…

Recently “Email Players” subscriber and one of the “founding fathers” of Internet marketing (he built his first website back in 1995, and his first product did $250k — which is almost $400k in today’s money, and that was without hardly any of the same advantages, foresight, marketing tools/products to learn from, etc we have in 2014) Michael Cheney said:

Clicks up. Sales up. Engagement up. I’ve even had people ask me if I’m one of your students! :D

And I haven’t even received my first issue of your newsletter yet (all this from looking at your emails and the EP playbook)

Thank you, thank you. I want to give you a hard data case study soon. Am collecting info on clicks and sales etc. to share with you.

I am LOVING the process.

Thanks man – you have revolutionized the way I see this business, how I can interact with people and re-ignited my passion for writing, storytelling and marketing.

I respect the hellz out of guys like Michael Cheney.

Guys like him are one of the reasons any of us sell online at all.

After all:

They took the pioneer arrows. Optimized and perfected the online marketing education and tools we take for granted. And, paved the way for the rest of us.

The point?

Other than the above, there isn’t one.

Except maybe this:

If a guy like Michael Cheney can benefit from “Email Players”, then maybe, just maybe, you can, too.

Only one way to find out my little droogling.

And that’s to give it a whirl.

Subscribe here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

One of my favorite classic movies is:

“Citizen Kane”

It starred Orson Welles.

And, was about the life and legacy of a powerful newspaper publisher. (Based on a real life dude named William Randolph Hearst who, I have heard, used to brag about helping start the Spanish American War…)

Why is this important to you?

Why should you care?


We’ll get to that.

But first, check this out:


The movie starts with Charles Foster Kane dying, with his last word being “Rosebud” — and the entire movie is this sort of question of what “Rosebud” is. Turns out it was simply the trade name of a cheap little sled on which Kane was playing on the day he was taken away from his home and his mother as a child.

Welles revealed in an interview:

“In his subconscious it represented the simplicity, the comfort, above all the lack of responsibility in his home, and also it stood for his mother’s love which Kane never lost.”

The point?

We all have our rosebud.

And recently I was reminded of mine while talking to my mom about some of the shi– I mean stuff — I left in her attic over the years.


My extensive comic book collection.

I spent hours each day reading through them.

Ignored everyone around me.

And, invested my meager earnings from mowing lawns and doing whatever odd jobs I could find on them.

They represent a part of my innocent childhood.

A time before I had any responsibility.

Or real problems.

Or, cares about what goes on in the world.

But, they’re more than that:

I have thought hard about this.

And, I can trace my entire direct marketing career to those hours of mindlessly reading through the same stories — admiring the writing, artwork and creativity that went into them.

They shaped my mind.

Molded any inborn writing talent I possess.

And, even today, I catch myself “swiping” story, dialogue and ideas from comics I read 20 years ago… in my emails today. Snippets I have no conscious memory of. But, that are floating around in my subconscious — ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

Those comics are my biggest inspiration.

My “rosebud” if you will.

When I wheez out my last breath I’ll probably even say:

“Make mine Marvel…”

All of which brings me to the point:

What is YOUR rosebud?

Think long and hard about it.

Then crawl back into that time in your mind when it was in your life, tap into those memories and emotions… relive them, and try to figure out what it was about that object and time that shaped who you are today.

Chances are it will inspire you.

Give you focus.

And, a whole new outlook on your business.

Even better:

It will make great “fodder” to talk about in emails.

Kind of like THIS email is.


Very simple.

Speaking of emails…

Check out the “Email Players” newsletter here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Let me tell you a story.

Last Summer I co-taught a webinar that was basically doing critiques for customers. And I’ll never forget the one critique where the email said:

“You need this product.”

Our response?

No we don’t.

Quite frankly, unless you sell something that will save someone’s life or something like that, they don’t need your product.

And saying it is pure neediness.

Call it “projection”, if you want.

The customer doesn’t need your product.

But, the signal you are giving off is you need their sale.

Nah boo.

Listen up, listen good, and never forget:

If there’s one thing that will destroy your sales, kill your reputation, repulse people (customers, clients, potential JV partners, even service providers you want to hire) away from you, and reduce your personal “brand” to less than zero it’s being needy.

Now, there are lots of neediness “tells.”

Way too many to cover in this email.

(And yes, almost everyone I see pitching stuff in emails and especially on flakebook are riddled with these tells.)

But, one big one is telling people they need you.

If you say that in your emails stop.

Just… stop.

Starting yesterday.

It comes off as desperate.

It’s a bit insulting.

And, yes, it’s needy.

My “Email Players” newsletter teaches you how to write 100% non-needy emails that people love to read and buy from.

It’s the opposite of needy.

And, the opposite of what most people do.

Subscription info here:

Ben Settle

Today’s “Ben Settle Show” podcast contains a ton of advice for both freelance copywriters and their clients, including:

  • How to profit from sales letters your clients never use.
  • How to get clients to respect your time without saying a single word.
  • Shackles clients put on copywriters without even realizing it. (If you’re a client who does this, you are basically castrating your sales, pissing off your copywriter, and almost guaranteeing you attract nothing but the bottom of the barrel talent.)
  • Dumb reasons why even the best ads are never tested by clients.
  • The real reason why so many truly talented copywriters can’t get work. (This is one of the main reasons some copywriters are saying “to hell” with doing client work, and why a lot of clients will have to one day settle for nothing but mediocre talent.)
  • A secret way to use an ordinary telephone to make sure your clients always respect your time.
  • The #1 reason why all copywriters should take on clients… even if you hate their guts.
  • The little talked about benefit to doing client work that can result in tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket you never would have gotten otherwise. (It’s worth doing client work for a while — even if the thought repulses you — just for this reason.)
  • Why some married freelance copywriters tend to be more stressed out and miserable than non-married freelance copywriters.
  • The Avengers secret to making oodles of money as a copywriter without selling your soul to a client or stressing over running your own business.
  • And a whole lot more…

Here’s where to download it:

Ben Settle

An “Email Players” subscriber asks…

“Last month I jumped on an opportunity to do a copywriting apprenticeship, and it’s going really well so far. Making peanuts but learning a ton. I *love* copywriting. Since I’m going to be working for clients of my own soon… I’d love to hear more about what you didn’t like about client work–maybe in a future podcast. And are there any copywriters who are happy working for clients? I hear the “clients suck” refrain a lot… I know there are horror stories, but why do they suck when you have good ones?”

I thought that was a great question.

Certainly, a lot of would-be copywriters wonder this.

So, guess what?

I have heard y’all’s cries.

And, I’m taking mercy on you.

Here’s how:

Tomorrow’s “Ben Settle Show” podcast answers this question.

And, gives advice for both freelance copywriters AND would-be clients, that will make everyone’s lives easier and more profitable.

Watch for my email tomorrow.

In the meantime, download past episodes here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Yesterday I spanked on open rates.


It’s gonna be opt-in rates.

Whenever I see people bragging about their 50, 60, 70 percent (whatever inflated number they throw out there) opt-in rates I almost have to shake my head.

I’m not saying high opt-in rates are bad.

But, they ain’t always what they’re cracked up to be.

Think of it this way:

Imagine two marketers selling the exact same product, get traffic from the exact same sources, and offer visitors the exact same bribe/gift/bonus if those visitors give up the goods and opt in.

The only difference is their capture pages.

Marketer #1 puts zero barriers up to weed out the losers.

Thus, he gets lots of freebie seekers.

Lots of drama queens.

And, lots of people who “hulk out” if you pitch anything.

Yes, he gets lots of opt ins — including lots of people riding the goo-roo carousel — going from one site to the next, downloading every “FREE!!!” offer they can, with no intention of investing in themselves — either financially or in terms of time.

Not so with Marketer #2.

He does things differently.

He puts barriers up.

He doesn’t want just “anyone” opting in. He values his time and what he has to offer his market far too much for that.

So he does things like:

  • Doesn’t use hyped-up language (he goes the opposite direction — tones it down)
  • Makes people check a box before they can opt in
  • Clearly says they’ll be getting mailed promotional emails daily
  • Even lets them bypass opting in altogether to see the content on the site, if they choose (i.e they are not forced to opt in, only if they want the bonus)
  • Doesn’t even really highlight the bribe (it’s there, but it’s not the main headline)

Now, let me ask you…

Which marketer gets the best quality subscribers?

Which has to deal less with freebie seeking time wasters?

Which deals less with people complaining about getting “too much email” or too many offers being sent?

Which has people more open to being pitched offers?

Which has better sales “posture”?

Which has more peace of mind?

I rest my case, Counselor.

I couldn’t care less if I have high or low opt-in rates. What I care about is the quality of the people who opt in.

Yes, I want a bigger list.

But, I want it to be a qualified list first and foremost.

Marketing heresy?

I hope so…

Either way, I’ll leave you with this little ditty:

There was a direct response marketing company (I think it was MindValley, but don’t quote me on that) that did a test with their opt ins, tracking to the sale.

And you know what they found?

Their higher opt-in pages lead to LOWER sales.

While their lower opt-in pages lead to MORE sales.

Now, again, to be clear:

I’m not saying not to test your opt-in pages or that a higher opt in rate is always bad.

There are just too many factors at work.

Each site is different.

And, each marketer is different.

What I am saying is, if you’re going to test this stuff, and revolve all your offers, ideas, products, etc around the intel those pages fart out at you, make sure you’re testing to the sale — not just the opt-in rates.

Which leads to more sales?

Which leads to more customers?

(Who you can back end sell other stuff to — the whole point of direct response marketing.)

Opt-in rates are soft metrics.

Just like website “hits” are.

They have their uses.

But, they can be misleading.

And, keep you making less sales.

All right.

Enough of this.

Let’s move on to something else:

The next “Email Players” issue includes a bonus (call it a Christmas gift) packed full of great info for building lists. But, not just any old kind of lists… I’m talkin’ about lists with qualified potential buyers.

But, a caveat:

It’s very “newbie friendly” info.

So seasoned traffic guys won’t get much out of it.

(Maybe they’ll find a nugget or two, though.)

If you want in in time to get it, go to:

Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist