Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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Filed under: Email Marketing

A cautionary tale:

One of the perks “Email Players” subscribers get is, whenever I get freelance copywriter opportunities sent to me, they’re the first to know about them. And while most impress the wahoo out of these clients and do elBenbo proud… there is one negative report I sometimes get.

Here’s what I mean:

A would-be client sends me what they need.

I email the “Email Players” list.

The freelancers on there then email the would-be client, but some of the people emailing them are coming off as trying to be too clever (which turns them off) and, at worst, looking like spammers.

Take, for example, my ex-copywriting apprentice.

She recently started her own copywriting agency.

And few months back, I sent an email to the Email Playerhood about how she’s looking for copywriters to work with and she sent me some of the replies asking:

“Why can’t they just talk to me like a regular person? Why all the copywriting drama and shenanigans?”

I shook my head.

And, had no answer.

She was getting all these subject lines and emails that sounded like spam at a glance, as they tried to show how clever they are. These subject lines *would* have worked great if sent to a list, most likely. But to someone who is requesting specific info?


They just want to know what you can do for them.

My ex-copywriting apprentice even said in a few cases she wanted to hear from the writers and liked them, but almost thought they were spam because of the clever and cute subject lines.

Anyway, like I said, a cautionary tale.

It’s all about context and awareness with subject lines.

(Just like with sales letter headlines.)

If you want to see a couple examples of how to respond to freelance inquiries, check out the August “Email Players” issue where I show you how to do it right (and some examples of what not to do).

Methinks a lot of freelancers sabotage themselves.

And, this is one way they do it.

She goes to printer in a few days.

Get your lovin’ here:

Ben Settle

An admission:

A few months ago, my ex-copywriting apprentice gave me an idea that was sheer brilliance in its simplicity for affiliate marketers.

An idea that:

1. Is so obvious I can’t believe more people don’t do it

(Including me, at the time)

2. Can make even brand new affiliate marketers a LOT more sales

3. Resulted in $45,000 in sales to a very small list (selling a $297 product) a few months ago

4. May have even “shifted” the way affiliate marketing is done in the home business/bizz opp world (we shalt see)

All from a passing comment by my ex-apprentice which she said occurred to her by how she observed how I sold the Titan’s DVD’s as an affiliate.

Anyway, what is this secret affiliate trick?

And, how can you use it?

That, my little droogie, is in the August “Email Players” issue.

It’s quite a zinger, too.

And, could be worth quite a pretty penny for you.

That is, if you’re a subscriber by the time it mails.

More info here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Let’s rap about affiliate marketing.

I don’t do a ton of affiliate marketing, as I prefer selling my own products over others’ products. But, when I do bite the bullet and do the deed, I almost always (1) blow away the expectations of the product owner (2) if there’s a competition of some kind, I usually win — even against marketers with bigger lists, more popular brands, and whose lists are more suited to the product being sold than mine is.


Ryan Levesque’s survey funnel product.

Maybe something has changed in the past year in this regard, but when I mailed for his product (not even unleashing the full might of my home-grown affiliate marketing model, which I don’t know of anyone else who does it the same way) I beat all his other affiliates without even breaking a sweat.

This is including some pretty hardcore marketing minds.

And, people whose lists are all about funnels.

(While mine is about email.)

Another example:

A few months ago I sold Brian Kurtz’s “Titans Of Direct Response” DVD’s as an affiliate. Last I heard (and something may have changed with this), I was beating everyone else with conversions. Including powerhouse marketing companies I would have thought’d kill me at this by sheer numbers alone.


You’re thinking, “Good job Ben, but why should I care?”

Probably you shouldn’t.

Especially if you’re happy as a clam with your results now.


In the August “Email Players” issue I walk you through some “upgrades” I made to my affiliate marketing strategy as a result of selling Titans DVD’s and competing against the best-of-the-best marketers on the planet, as well as some things I’ll be doing differently in the future.

Affiliate marketer can make out like bandits with this info.

Non-affiliate marketers?

It all still applies to sending emails selling your own stuff.

Either way, you win.

But, it goes to the printer later this week.

Subscribe while you still have time here:

Ben Settle

Would you take financial advice from a copywriter/marketer with no formal education in economics whatsoever?

Sounds almost foolish, doesn’t it?

Well, don’t make up your mind too quickly.

Because the lesson Ken McCarthy teaches on this 4th part of our interview will explain *exactly* what you can expect to happen (from someone who has predicted pretty much every financial upturn and downturn for the past several years), and how to profit from the coming chaos.

I love talking economics with Ken.

And, methinks you’ll enjoy hearing him on it, too.

Here’s the link:

Ben Settle

Food for thought:

The highest selling products in the grocery store are rarely ever the best tasting, best quality, or best priced. Take cereal for example. There are certain brands of cereal that sell like hot cakes… even though they taste horrible, are devoid of nutrition, and are almost twice as expensive as their competitors.

How do they do it?

What’s their “secret”?


Smart food manufacturers fight tooth and nail to have their stuff at “eye level” on the shelf. Doing so almost guarantees their product gets seen, noticed, and bought before any other products.

(Even if their competition offers better products at better prices.)

And guess what?

You can use this exact same principle to make your ads extremely successful… even if you suck out loud at writing copy. (Many a guru will admit this, that they look back at some of their old ads and are horrified, wondering how they ever made sales — the answer is, they had outstanding positioning.)

And guess what else?

The KING of positioning is Ken McCarthy.

Nobody teaches or does it like he does.

And, specifically, when writing ads that use positioning to the hilt.

And guess what else-else?

In part 3 of our 4-part interview he talks all about positioning, how to use it in YOUR ads, and how to start banging out ads that make lots of sales even if you still struggle with the “writing” part now.

The link?

Right here, babycakes:

Ben Settle

True story:

Once upon a time the late great copywriter Gary Halbert was hired by Entrepreneur Magazine as a consultant. And he said he was writing an ad for one of their reports and said he packed it full of bullets. But, there was one bullet he said created such a flurry of buyers that calls came in for almost a YEAR straight to buy the product.

What was the bullet?


“FAKE COCAINE: a legal substitute that fools almost everyone!”

Now, the point isn’t that it was cocaine.

(Or to start “swiping” this bullet without context.)

No, the point is this:

Bullets are the heart and soul of a good ad.

(What is your headline but your best bullet?)

There have been expensive (very expensive) products sold to people who didn’t even know those product existed 5 minutes earlier because of a single bullet buried in an ad that created an itch that just had to be scratched.

Another true story:

After doing a copywriting assignment for Ken McCarthy several years back, where he hired me to write the bullets (just the bullets) for one of his products, he was so pleased with the work he called me “the bullet man”, and offered to transfer “thebulletman .com” domain to me.

Alas… I refused.


Because, as I told him, HE is the bullet man, not me.

I learned what I know about bullets from him (and by studying the ads of a few other hardcore bullet writers — like Mel Martin, Gene Schwartz, Gary Halbert, Scott Haines, John Carlton, etc).

And you know what?

In this second part of our interview we rap ALL about bullets.

Many of Ken’s best bullet tips and secrets.

All yours.

And, yes, all freely taught to you.

(If you heard the first part of the interview yesterday about headlines, I am sure you will agree we could easily charge for this interview, it’s pure gold for anyone wanting to get better at copywriting.)

Here is the link to part 2:

Ben Settle

We’re doing things a bit different this week on the podcast.

Instead of me blabbing away like a lunatic, Producer Jonathan and I decided to interview one of the “founding fathers” of Internet marketing about copywriting, seeing as how our guest is also one of the world’s best copywriters. (Just one of his ads dragged in some 8-figures before it ran its course). In fact, our guest has gotten “fan mail” about his copy from guys like Gary Bencivenga (universally considered the world’s greatest living copywriter) and the late Marty Edelston (founder of Boardroom, who worked closely with pretty much every top A List copywriter you can think of, and even “discovered” many of them). Our guest is also written about in Dan Kennedy’s magnificent book “The Ultimate Sales Letter”, too. And, when Agora Publishing (9-figure per year direct mail giant) needed someone to teach the first (and most important) lesson of their advanced copywriting course… the first two people they called were the legendary Jay Abraham…and this man I talked with.


He’s also someone I had a chance to learn a lot from early in my copywriting adventures after he hired me to write an ad and brutally critiqued each draft, until my fingers dang near bled from typing.

Anyway, we ended up talking for almost two hours.

And so, we have chopped it into 4-parts.

We’ll be releasing a new part starting today.

And, another part each day through Sunday.

Incidentally, this first part is all about headlines, and it turned out to be one of the best, and most intense discussions on the subject I’ve ever heard.

To find out who this dude is, go to:

Ben Settle

This week’s “Ben Settle Show” reveals:

  • The secret of the $5 milkshake.
  • What the world’s greatest copywriting coach tells prospective clients when they ask him about price.
  • How businesses and freelancers foolishly talk themselves out of getting paid what they and their products are really worth.
  • Why low prices are a “reverse proof element.” (And work against you, even if you think your market will reward you for it.)
  • Why people forms lines around the block to try the $50 burger.
  • Claude Hopkins’ secret to using high prices to get more sales.
  • How Gary Halbert used a high price-mentality to get one of his clients inundated with sales from both people with and without money to burn.
  • How to attract high quality customers.
  • How to repel cheap customers.
  • A secret way of “leveraging” social proof to charge maximum price for your products and services. (Works for everything from shoes and commodities to services, retail, artwork, and info products.)
  • Why it’s just as hard (or harder) to sell a $5 product as it is to sell a $500 product (so you might as well sell higher priced stuff.)
  • How to eliminate your high prices as an objection to buying.
  • And that’s just for starters…

Download it here today:

Ben Settle

Let me tell you a story.

A few years back I went on a long road trip and stopped in St. George, Utah where I briefly lived a couple years ago. While there I figured we’d say hello to everyone I knew.

And the FIRST place I went was a place called “Don Pedros.”


Because dang if they don’t have the BEST Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. And in the years since leaving St. George, I had practically dreamt about eating there again someday.

I kid you not.

The food is THAT good.

And price was definitely NOT an issue.

I remember saying how they could have charged me $100 for my take-out and I wouldn’t have cared (hey, I’m a sucker for Mexican food).

Again, not everyone is looking for “cheap.”


You want another example?

OK, how about these apples:

When I lived on the Oregon coast (where I shalt be returning early next year probably, daddy wants his ocean back) they had approximately 3 gas stations in town. And yet, the busiest (the only one I even wanted to go to) is easily the most EXPENSIVE.

Even with when there were sky high gas prices it seemed busiest.

What’s their secret?

Well, I can only speculate.

But in addition to them pumping your gas (which is state law), they also check your tire pressure and oil level, top off your fluids, clean your windshield and even wipe down your side mirrors.

All while sitting in your car breathing the ocean air.

Remember, this is gasoline we’re talking about. The one product where people brag about driving 20 miles out of the way to save 2 cents per gallon on (often bad quality) gas.

So again, the message is clear:

Not everyone buys on price.

Not everyone wants “cheap.”

And if you simply target lovers of quality and convenience, price will almost never matter.

In fact, a high price may even work in your favor.

I rap about this more on my podcast tomorrow.


How to repel low price shoppers.

(i.e. people who only buy low priced stuff.)

And, how to attract high price shoppers.

(i.e. people who only buy expensive stuff.)

While you’re waiting, download past episodes here:

Ben Settle

Today’s Ben Settle Show outlines my 9-step process for building a big, thriving business (or just make enough money to quit your job or not need a job) by using doo-bags.

There’s virtually no competition.

Lots of customers will love to hire you.

And, it only costs $30 to start.

Click the dirty little link below to download it:

Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist