Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

Double Your Sales With Email

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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

Since it’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. today below is a rather odd list of things I’m thankful for.

Why is it odd?

Because besides the “usual suspects” I’m thankful for (God, family, dog, business, friends, great customers, etc) there’s also another, “secret” list of things I’m thankful for, too.

Things that caused me pain and, yes… suffering.

Like, for example:

  • My many (and humiliating) failures — without them you can never truly have any real successes, can you?
  • Being homeless — as it taught me MUCHO humility, patience and, in some ways, ingenuity ;)
  • The “naysayers” — who have tried (and still try) to hold me back
  • Fears — which have kept me alert and out of trouble
  • The PILE of crushing debt I used to be in — I’m thankful for being able to climb out of it. And yet, I’m also thankful for the experience, as it taught me more about money than any class, school or book ever could

Does it sound strange to be thankful for things that suck?

Mayhaps it is.

But I believe it’s when everything just kind of goes to hell in a hand basket when we find out who we REALLY are.

When we’re actually tested.

And when we finally GROW.

So that’s why I try to be thankful for it all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben Settle

This is for “Zombie Cop” fans…

Still hoping for a Christmas time launch date of the sequel “Vampire Apocalypse”. The cover artist (one of the best — if not the best — in the publishing industry, who designs for all the major publishers) is pretty slammed with work, and we’re still a couple weeks off.

But, just the preliminary idea he sent me for what the cover will look like is *perfect* and will be well worth the wait.

The 3 people who have read the sequel have all loved it.

One of them is the most published author of computer books on the planet and someone who has read tons of novels as part of his profession.

(A rare book dealer on eBay).

He said (and I quote):

“It. Was. A. Perfect. Ending.”

He also said:

“It’s a superb novel. The humor is EXQUISITE.”

(He is doing the audio book version and is having trouble because he can’t stop laughing — a good sign… I think… assuming he’s laughing *with* it, and not *at* it… my goal was always to make this one of the funniest vampire books in recent history, we shalt see if it passes muster…)

So hang in there, my deranged little droogie.

It won’t be long…

If you have not read the first book “Zombie Cop” (not your typical zombie book, and the reviews back that up) — you can read the first couple chapters free here:

Word up.

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

This is for people who wonder if they can “for realz” get out of their job/a business they hate/or radically change their lifestyle using my email methodology.

“Email Players” subscriber Matt Mooney writes:

Yo Ben

I emailed about 8 weeks ago and mentioned I was quitting being a Personal Trainer and finally working full time on my Online Female Weightloss Business.

Well – I’ve done it.

WAY scarier and more stressful than I could have every imagined, but things are settling down.

Taking a £30k ($47k) drop in salary was TERRIFYING. Especially because I spent the last 3 years building my client base, and working from 7am-9pm everyday to get there. And I knew in the short term, I’d be swapping not ever really worrying about money – to counting every penny.

However – I’m now working from coffee shops everyday, working from 9-4ish pm, so all is good! Freedom tastes sweet! No more 2 hour commute each day! And no more trading my time for money.

I finally feel like I’m moving towards my ultimate goal each day, rather than pissing my time away. And I get to spend each evening with my Girlfriend rather than working late.

Just wanted to say thanks – without your email system it would NEVER have been possible.

In the last 6 weeks (since leaving), I’ve signed up 19 new customers and added £940 ($1473) in recurring monthly revenue to my business (my largest jump ever by far). That’s with a small list of 734 people and ONLY getting an average open rate of 14.3% – so I guess what you say is right about open rates not mattering.

You deserve your props, so wanted to say thanks.

15 months ago I had NO Clue how to write a sales email, didn’t have any form of online business or audience and I thought “copywriting” was some kind of legal trademark like (C) haha.

Keep smashing it man and thanks again.

Matt Mooney

The caveat here is this:

Matt WORKED hard.

He wrote a lot of emails.

Probably went through a lot of bull crap.

And, paid his dues.

In other words:

He didn’t just subscribe, put each issue under his pillow, and wait for the magic email fairy to touch him in his typing fingers with its twinkle pole.

Why am I saying this?

Because I don’t want opportunity-minded subscribers.

I only want investment-minded people.

There is no overnight success.

It takes work.

A decent offer (and list to send your offer to).

And, yes, persistence.

It also takes the mindset where you are going to invest your time, money, and resources over the long haul, not buy one issue and think you know it all.

Sorry, Boss.

Just doesn’t work that way.

(Despite what ye olde goo-roos claim.)

Anyway, this ain’t fantasy land.

And, I want to make sure that’s clear.

If you still want in, the next issue mails shortly.

Subscribe here in time:

Ben Settle

Q&A act-shun time.

“Chester” (not his real name) writes:

“the first chapter of your book turned out to be a sales letter for the book. if you promise a chapter of a book then give a chapter of the book not a sales letter. you are marked as spam. peace.”

And you, my friend, are officially marked as an idiot.

After all:

1. I don’t have any books that fit that description (Where the first chapter is a sales letter). So you obviously have me confused with someone else.

2. If you’re going to mark someone as spam, just do it.

No need to drama queen about it.

Next question…

Website reader Ronnie asks:

“What do you think about the offer? I’ve heard you mention it before on how good marketing works only on proven good offers. How do craft a good offer?”

Let’s put it this way.

The late (great) direct mail guy Dick Benson once said:

“Nobody spends enough time on their offers”

And, he’s right.

None of us do.

(Yes, I need to spend more time on my offers.)

The offer is as much as 40% of the power of your ad.

So how do you craft a good one?

One way to do it is to do a thorough analysis of your market, find out what problem, pain, or desire they think about at night and when waking up in the morning, then craft your offer around solving that.

There are many other ways to do it.

But, that’s always worked for me.

Neeeeeext question:

“When you run a ‘special’ or whatever you want to call it…(i.e. not email players) what kind of sales response rate do you typically get…for instance…when last you had the Copywriting Grab Bag available. Just curious compared to how I did with something recently…”

It’s all over the map.

And, comparing my results to yours is pointless.

There are too many variables at play.

Like price point.

Marketplace demand.

Your positioning with your list.

(Huge intangible, factor.)

And even if something similar has been sold to the same people recently.


I recently mailed for Scott Haines’ “Shortcut Copywriting” product.

We did way better than he was expecting.

(And, way better than I was expecting, too.)

But, at the same time, the Halbert brothers had just mailed for the same product a week prior. And, I know at least a couple people who bought from their mailings who said, had they not seen them run it before mine, would have bought from me.

(Especially considering the bonuses I offered.)

Do you think that affected my sales response?

Of course it did.

Anyway, point is this:

My sales response is 1000% irrelevant to anyone else but me. And, yours are 1000% irrelevant to anyone but you. So comparing your sales response to mine (or anyone else’s) is pointless.

That’s why I don’t care about other peoples’ response.

What I care about is mine.

And, how I can do better next time.

And finally, last question:

“Do you still see value in ezine articles? If so, what do you use them for?”

I haven’t written any in a few years.

Reason why is not because I don’t think they work, but because I hate “padding” my writing to fit a minimum number of words.

Take the main ezine site I used to use.

(And got a lot of great, targeted traffic from).

Back in 2011 they ended up increasing their minimum word count to protect themselves from Google’s slapping of article farm sites.

I certainly can’t blame them for that.

But, it’s biased against people who write tight copy.

For example:

I can “say” more in 150 words than a lot of ezine writers can in 500. So unless they go back to short (250 words) minimum word counts (and even then, I had to pad a bit), I’m probably not going to dip back into the ezine game.

I’m not saying anyone else shouldn’t.

I’m just saying I won’t.

(I know one guy who gets tons of traffic in an obscure niche by writing 600 word articles — so it obviously still works.)

I’d rather use other ways to get traffic.
All right, time to wrap up:

The next “Email Players” issue mails soon.

Amongst other cool email ideas, it shows you a bunch of old school headline templates (created by one of the greatest space ad guys you probably never heard of decades ago) that are easily adapted and used as email subject lines today.

But time is short, my little droogie.

Subscribe here in time while you can:

Ben Settle

So, this is a little weird to admit.

But, I was telling my copywriting apprentice about a song I like by George Thoroughgood that contained an interesting copywriting lesson in it.

I asked her over the loud music playing:

“Did I ever send that song to you?”

“Yes, but it didn’t sound clear.”

“Agreed, Apprentice. I need a higher quality version.”

She went silent.

And, looked at me like I was nutzo.

She asked:

“A higher quality VIRGIN?”

As my friend Shane Hunter would say:

Aaaaaaaaaand it just got awkward.

She thought I said “virgin.”

But, what I really said was “version.”

The point?

Words have meanings.

And one misunderstood letter or word can change the entire meaning of a sentence, paragraph, story, or sales pitch (in emails, sales letters, videos, webinars, or any other format).

Look, I don’t obsess over typos.

But, I DO obsess over clarity.

And, I suggest you do, too.

Anyway, do what you will with this info my little dookie.

Er, I mean droogie.

Speaking of word/email meanings…

When growing up I was fascinated by the old school Bugs Bunny cartoons. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time. But, years later I realized one of the reasons was, they embedded political jokes, statements, and puns in them. Today’s cartoons are far less deep and, in my humble (but accurate) opinion, pretty lame.

But guess what?

You can use this info to make more sales in emails.

Here’s what I mean:

Whenever possible, I like to insert a double meaning in my emails. Sometimes people will write back (often customers, I might add) about how they noticed.

But usually people don’t notice it.

Except, I believe they do.

Not consciously, but unconsciously — giving my emails more “depth” and a feeling like they are content, even if it is a blatant sales pitch.

This can make emails a lot more fun to write.

A lot more fun to read.

And, yes, more fun to buy from.

Anyway, I could get deeper into this.

And, I do, in the December “Email Players” issue.

I not only explain this in more depth but show you an example.

Deadline to get it is next week.

Go ye here to subscribe in time:

Ben Settle

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

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist