Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

Double Your Sales With Email

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Your Daily Email Addiction

More email lessons from the movies:

Once upon a time, I wrote in an “Email Players” issue about a powerful email persuasion formula I’d been using for years, but never saw it systematized before (just did it instinctively) embedded in the movie:

“The Tao Of Steve”

It’s “B movie” quality.

And, hokey at times.

But, if you look at it through the eyes of a marketer you can pick up some huge ol’ fatty nuggets of gold from it to use in your emails, blogs, podcasts, videos, articles and any other kind of selling.

One of which is the “Steve” vs “Stu” question.

Here’s the story:

The main character Dex is a fat, underachieving slob but who is also a master at swooping hot women anyway — and he ends up explaining to his buddy Dave his philosophy on being “Steve”.

Steve is the prototypical cool American male.

Like Steve McGarrett.

Steve Austin.

Steve McQueen.

Etc, etc etc.

Yet Dave is no Steve.

He’s kind of a dope.

Repulses women.

And, thus, does not get called “Steve” when he hangs with Dex and his other friends (as they all greet each other “hey Steve” when they hang out for poker — but only greet Dave with “hey Guy.”)

So Dave asks:

“Okay, so if I’m not a Steve, then what am I?”

Dex replies:

“You… You’re… a Stu.”

Stu being the exact opposite of Steve.

And guess what?

We got the same phenomenon in the marketing world.

The Steve’s make things happen.

They attract JV’s.

They attract customers.

And, yes, they attract sales.

The Stu’s?

Not so much.

(No offense if your name is really Stu, btw — keep it in context…)

They’re constantly struggling, have no long term plan, repulse JV partners away and never stop riding the “guru carousel” — falling for every goo-roo offer, lie and BSO (bright shiny object) launched by anyone with an identifiable name.

They never bother mastering the fundamentals.

Never stop being infatuated with nonsense.

And, thus, never win the game.

Eventually everyone must ask themselves:

“Are you a Steve or… a Stu?”

Steve’s have a solid base of repeat, happy customers.

Stu’s often have a string of jaded one time buyers.

Steve’s are bold, fresh and original.

Stu’s only know how to swipe, steal and never innovate.

Steve’s mainly study their market.

Stu’s mainly study “persuasion tricks.”

Steve’s have more JV offers than they can handle.

Stu’s are ignored by possible JV partners.

Steve’s are 100% non-needy with their lists.

Stu’s are 100% super needy with their lists.

Steve’s seek out ways to invest money to grow their businesses.

Stu’s only chase free and cheap.

Steve’s are players in business.

Stu’s are merely spectators in business.

(Eating the hotdogs and buying the t-shirts, while watching, judging, imitating and sometimes even heckling the players from the safety of their nosebleed seats in the bleachers.)

Be honest with yourself.

Are you a Steve?

Or a Stu?

If you’re a Stu it’s not too late to change your wicked ways.

You can begin by treating your business as an actual business and not a get-rich-quick scheme. By looking at products that can help you grow as investments and not “costs.” And by being ruthless with the teachers you pick and products you buy — studying them over and over and over (i.e. read 10 great books 10 times, instead of 100 mediocre books 1 time).

This is the mindset I teach in the “Email Players” newsletter.

It’s wholly inadequate for the Stu’s.

It’s ONLY for the Steve’s.

Stu’s who join are quick to quit and slow to implement.

(If they implement at all.)

Steve’s RUN with the info.

Are fast to implement.

And are anxious for more the next month.

(Often nervous if it’s even a day late to their mailbox.)

If you’re a Steve and want to blast your sales to the next level, there’s still time to get in on the September issue.

But, time is short.

And you can’t put it off much longer.

(Besides, only Stu’s procrastinate.)

If you want in go here today:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

P.S. Speaking of “Email Players” being late to the mailbox…

Due to Labor day and the sale I just had, I am extending the deadline to get the September issue until this Thursday (when I send the list to the printer first thing in the morning). So if you want in there’s still a little time to get it.

Everyone loves predictions.

I don’t know why, exactly.

But people eat them up (which is why they make for great “fodder” for emails, sales letters and other marketing materials), and I eat them up as much as anyone…

Case in point:

Here are some predictions I made for 2013 last year.

Of course, the standard disclaimers apply:

I’m NOT a prophet, a fortune-teller or even Miss Cleo — but it’s funny how all 3 of these things ARE happening right now, and will become even more relevant by year’s end (where I’ll make more predictions for NEXT year, of course…)

Anyway, here they are:

Prediction #1:

Credibility will be KING.

“No duh”, right?

Still, judging by the lack of ads with ANY credibility elements whatsoever… just taking the time to put SOMETHING credible in your ads should make you stand out like a fart in study hall.

Prediction #2:

The economy will get 10 times WORSE.

In fact, we’re already in Great Depression 2.0.

But the government is spinning numbers like crazy.

Frankly, bad as it is now, imagine it 10 times worse. Personally, I don’t see any way around it. And even if I’m wrong, it never hurts to imagine the worst case scenario and plan for it, right? Luckily, as Ken McCarthy recently told me (he’s always studying this, and his insights are eerily correct…):

“If you know how to sell, you should be fine.”

(Good news if you’re studying marketing, copywriting, emails, etc.)

And finally…

Prediction #3:

I predict many of the people reading this email wanting to get better at writing ads and sell more products will NOT order the $20 Eugene Schwartz copywriting seminar sale (that ends TODAY at midnight eastern time).

Why?

Maybe they’re suspicious?

Suspicious it can’t POSSIBLY be as awesome as I say it is?

That there’s nothing “unique” inside?

Or it’s just another empty goo-roo product?

Hey, can’t blame them.

But check out this email from customer Jeff Mitchell:

“I rarely ever thank someone for promoting something to me… but this was hands down one of the biggest steals that i have seen in the industry for a long time. The value of this $20 product is potentially millions. Thank you for sharing it.”

Not too shabby a testimonial, is it?

Whatever the case, this sale ends today.

After that, it goes from $20 back to $297.

Here’s where to get it:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Yes, this IS my affiliate link.

And when you order through it, you get two more goodies:

1. A 527 ad swipe file (which includes Gene Schwartz ads)

2. “The Sales Letter Jam Session” (which teaches you the nuts and bolts of how to build an ad from beginning to end)

There’s no time for dilly-dally, though.

This offer ends tonight at midnight.

Ben Settle

P.S. Here’s the link again:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Lantz Wheeler writes:

Not often I say thanks to someone after buying a product…but read through some of ole Eugene’s info last night and couldn’t put it down.

When you sell something that good, with that kinda value, you either really care about your list learning or you have a raging crack habit…if that’s the case I’ll look for you on A and E’s Intervention.

Tremendous value, even at $297

You’re welcome, Mr. Wheeler.

This is the most no-brainer offer I’ve ever seen.

Someone would almost have to be on crack to not at least check it out if they are at all interested in learning from the man who Bob Bly just told me today “had the best won/loss record of any copywriter in history” for a mere $20.

But, this offer ends tomorrow.

Nab it here while there’s time:

www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

And may the Schwartz be with you…

Ben Settle

In today’s “Ben Settle Show” podcast I bloviate about:

  • Why the 2 “most mailed” sales letters in history had no headline.
  • The 1st (most important) thing I taught my copywriting apprentice.
  • My “dumbed down” 5-step million dollar sales letter process. (This is the exact same “structure” I’ve used to write every 7-figure earning sales letter I’ve ever written — including ads that are still running, unbeaten by other copywriters, for the past 7 years.)
  • The second most important part of your sales letter (the headline is #1, most think the PS is #2 — but they’re wrong. It’s this other part we talk about.)
  • How to get not just attention… but *undivided* attention in your ads and sales letters.
  • How to arrange it so even people who don’t think they need your product will suddenly realize they do… and even buy it on the spot.
  • The #1 mistake people make when writing stories in ads.
  • The best TV show to watch if you write sales letters. (Each episode is basically a sales letter “template” and in line with one of the late great copywriter Gene Schwartz’s criteria for movies copywriters should watch. Of course, we talk about what movies he insisted copywriters watch, too…)
  • The single most important skill to learn if you write ads. (And nope, it ain’t telling stories, writing headlines, good “writing”, or anything most people talk about.)
  • Why I rarely use a “PS” in emails.
  • How to master writing bullet points. (Many times people will buy very expensive products because of ONE bullet buried on page 18 of a sales letter… simply because a bullet got ‘em and they had to buy. Here’s the best way to learn in the fasted time possible…)
  • The 2 copywriters I study the most. (I admittedly base this 5-step sales letter structure on their ads.)
  • A “no creativity required” way to write sales letter stories.
  • And a ho’ bunch mo’…

Get your sales letter lovin’ here:

www.BenSettleShow.com/itunes

Ben Settle

Here’s some of the best ad advice I ever done got:

“If you are not running enough tests that are really flopping, then you are not doing your job…A very good copywriter is going to fail. If the guy doesn’t fail, he’s no good. He’s got to fail. It hurts. But it’s the only way to get the home runs the next time.”

Who said that?

The late great grand puba of marketing Eugene Schwartz.

Speaking of which…

You only have one day left to get his famous seminar for only $20 (regularly $297), plus a swipe file of over 500 ads and the “Copywriting Jam Session” teaching I did with Doberman Dan about our “process” of writing ads.

Details at:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Where was I?

Oh yeah, Schwartz’s testing advice.

And he wasn’t just whistlin’ dixie, either.

Case in point:

While back I wrote a fartload of squeeze pages for a client. Not just 2 or 3 test panels… but 20-30 test panels. Some of them play it “safe” (not veering too much from their current control) and some are so off the charts crazy different, they probably thought I was a nutcase for even submitting them.

But you know what?

I fully expected 95% of those tests to FAIL.

To me they are all dead ads walking to that great electric chair of cyberspace where probably only one of them will survive the onslaught.

In fact, my first test failed by a fat 20%.

And that’s good!

Did not bother me one bit.

I knew it’d either win big or lose big.

And that’s really the name of the game.

I mean, what would you rather have — 100 “play it safe” tests that add up to a 100% increase over weeks or months… or one BIG winner that beats your control by 100% in a day?

Which do you think will make you money faster?

Something to think about.

To paraphrase one of the great American minds:

“Failure is COOL, Beavis.”

Ben Settle

P.S. The $20 Eugene Schwartz seminar sale ends tomorrow (Labor Day here in the US) at midnight. This is by FAR one of the most valuable copywriting trainings I’ve ever used (and I STILL listen to it regularly).

Usually it costs $297.

But if you hurry, it’s yours for a mere $20 spot:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

I got the “bug” to rap about copywriting today.

In fact, what I want to do is apply the famous “KISS” (i.e. keep it simple stupid) mantra to this subject and see about taking some of the “sting” out of it for people.

(It ain’t nearly as complicated as people think.)

Sound good?

OK then, let’s use a golf analogy.

My favorite golf teacher likes to say:

“Golf is a game of angles. The fewer the better!”

In other words:

It’s easier to use a swing with fewer angles than a swing with lots of angles. And, he’s right. When I apply his teachings I hit the ball exponentially more consistently, and with way less frustration.

So it is with copywriting, too, my little droogie.

Keep it to as few “angles” as possible, and it’s MUCH easier.

And guess what?

In tomorrow’s “Ben Settle Show” I strip copywriting down to as few angles (just 5) as possible with an almost laughably simple “formula” I have used to write nearly every single 7-figure earning sales letter I’ve ever written (including some ads that have run for the last 6-7 years without being beaten by other copywriters).

We’re talking 5 simple steps.

(As opposed to the 40-point checklists floating around online.)

Nothing fancy.

No bells and whistles.

And, nothing complicated.

It just don’t get more simple than that, babycakes.

It’ll be posted tomorrow.

In the meantime, download past shows here:

www.BenSettleShow.com/itunes

Ben Settle

OK so I’ve been yapping away about Gene Schwartz a lot.

Obviously, one of the reasons for this is because I’m doing a joint venture with Michael Senoff, selling Gene Schwartz’s famous speech to Phillips Publishing that has changed so many peoples’ lives (including yours truly’s).

Usually, this bad-boy costs $297.00.

But, for the next couple days you can get it for just $20:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Anyway, I got to thinking about that speech again today.

And specifically, a little piece of headline advice in it that changed everything for me, and helped me pen winners even when my ads were weak.

(Especially when I was just starting out.)

What was the advice?

Simply this…

“When you are dealing with someone of real brilliance that does a headline absolutely beyond all belief, then you are going to have a hard time winning. Probably you are going to lose then no matter how many facts you have.”

In other words…

It’s ALL about the headline.

Not super writing & persuasion skillz.

Not sales choke holds and “fireworks.”

And not even an irresistible offer.

Without that magic headline, even “great” copy will get slaughtered by a newbie who writes a better one. Good news, for newbies, eh? And maybe that’s why he spends so much time on headlines in the speech.

Frankly, it’s a headline POWER lesson.

Gene competed against the best of the best.

Had seen THOUSANDS of split tests.

And knew exactly how to write headlines that would win even though (by his own admission!) he was never the best “writer” in the game.

Awesome, awesome stuff.

And, at $20 it’s a steal.

To get it before it goes back to $297, go here:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

BTW, this is my affiliate link.

And if you order from it, Michael will send you a couple bonuses:

1. A 527 ad swipe file (which includes Gene Schwartz ads)

2. “The Sales Letter Jam Session” (which teaches you the nuts and bolts of how to build an ad from beginning to end)

Hurry, though.

This offer ends soon.

Ben Settle

P.S. Here’s the link:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Behold…

My all-time favorite Eugene Schwartz headline:

“Should Any Man Be Given
This Much Sexual Power Over
Women?”

This baby was on the outer envelope.

And it pulled MUCHO orders, too.

Here are a few (of many) reasons why:

  • Isn’t “salesy” (doesn’t make your guard go up)
  • Question (it’s almost neurologically impossible to ignore a question you want to know the answer to)
  • Short (easy to process)
  • Curiosity provoking (I mean, c’mon…)
  • Amusing (but not “slap stick”)
  • Has none of the usual hype & non-sense most ads talking about sex have (you can say many things about this headline, but “hype” ain’t one of them)

How many Internet goo-roo headlines do you see like this?

The answer is zero.

That’s because most goo-roos hyping themselves up as copywriting experts too wouldn’t know a good ad if it bit ‘em in the prostate gland.

Anyway, I can rap about this all day.

But the best way to write headlines like Schwartz did is to listen to HIM talk about 3 of his best-selling headlines himself in his famous Phillips Publishing speech.

This speech normally costs $297.00.

But you can get it for just $20 (for the next few days) at:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Yes, this IS an affiliate link.

And if you buy from it, you also get a huge 527 ad swipe file (with some Gene Schwartz ads include), plus a copy of “The Sales Letter Jam Session” I did with Doberman Dan about the process of writing ads (how to build an ad from the ground up).

Hey, like him or not Gene Schwartz was THE MAN.

This speech is in my top 10 copywriting trainings.

And today you can get it for just $20:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Ben Settle

P.S. Another of his headlines that kicked bootay is:

“71-Year Old Man
Has Sexual Congress
5 Times Per Day”

He talks about this one in this speech, too.

Grab it for $20 here:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

A common copywriting question:

“Ben I’m new to copywriting people keep saying to copy out world class ads in my own handwriting. do I really need to be doing this? Is it really that helpful it sounds boring lol!”

I get why people ask this question.

It IS boring.

It IS tedious.

And, it IS rather unappealing sounding.

But, the answer is:

Yes.

Do it.

Do. it.

Starting tonight.

The reasons people give for doing it (i.e. Gary Halbert’s “neurological imprinting” theory) are very sound and, I can say from first hand experience, it can make a huge difference in not only your ads… but the speed in which you get really good.

It’s actually a lot like the “steak & eggs” diet.

I’ve been doing it the last couple weeks.

And, since it’s fresh on my mind, I’ll use it as an analogy.

Basically, what you do is ONLY eat steak & eggs.

(Drenched in butter.)

And that’s it.

Nothing else — except water.

(And a weekly “re-feed” day where you eat anything you want.)

It was taught by an old school body building guy for getting rid of excess fat really fast and, yes, it works like crazy — not just for me, but for lots of other people who do it, too (like the personal trainers I know who recommend and do it themselves — hat tip to my boy Dan Meredith who taught it to me).

But, like copying ads out by hand, it’s boring.

And tedious.

And, yes, sounds unappealing.

But (again, like copying ads out by hand):

It’s also super simple (it doesn’t get more simple).

Works really fast.

And, gets you to your goals a lot faster.

In fact, I will even say this:

Just like with the steak & eggs diet, where every day you are (noticeably) a bit leaner and lighter… when you copy ads out by hand you should be *noticeably* better after each ad you do. By “noticeably”, I mean, the next time you write an ad for a client or your own product, you will no doubt notice it’s a bit easier than it was last time.

You’re a bit faster at it, too.

And, your ads are bit more persuasive.

More:

Like the steak & eggs thing, you don’t need to do it long term.

You do it juuuuust long enough to get to your goals.

After that, you will unconsciously apply the structure, format, and particularities of the ads you’ve been copying out by hand, and apply them to your own work, without even having to think about it.

So anyway, that’s my tasty answer.

And, if you (gasp!) doubt me, test it for yourself:

Write out 10 ads in your own hand.

Then, write an ad of your own.

The difference should be night and day.

But, there is a caveat:

They must be truly GREAT (not just good) ads.

In other words…

Don’t do this with any online sales letters (and especially not a sales letter during a launch) — look at the old school direct mail ads, where people had to spend money to test them, and not just slap them up on a page and blast an email to their list.

What’s that?

You don’t know which ads are great or not?

You want some guidance?

Then check this out:

Right now Michael Senoff is selling his $297 Gene Schwartz product for just $20. And, if you buy it by the deadline (Monday at the stroke of midnight) you get a free bonus:

A swipe file of over 527 classic ads.

(All neatly typed up in Word format).

This collection includes ads from the best of the best.

Like Gary Halbert (my favorite ads to copy out by hand)… Gene Schwartz… David Ogilvy… And hundreds more. All yours to study, model, and copy out by hand to get that neurological imprint of what it’s like to write world class ads.

But time’s short, my little droogie.

Grab it all (for a measly $20) here:

www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Ben Settle

I ever tell you about my “crash course” in copywriting?

Basically, it went down like this:

For better or worse, other than little odd copywriting jobs here and there (that paid little or no money) I got my real education by taking on copywriting assignments where I got paid ONLY on commission.

No freelancing fees.

Nothing up front.

Either my ads made money… or I was out a bunch of time, energy and resources.

Kind of stressful, to say the least.

Especially since, I only had a few copywriting resources.

Plus, time for studying the craft was limited. I was working a job at the time, was helping in a small office cleaning business, and my only time to study was in the car while driving to and from work and on my lunch breaks.

What did I listen to?

Was it the “usual suspect” crop of goo-roos?

Hardly.

I didn’t have time for nonsense.

So I had to pick my “teacher” wisely.

Thus, I popped in a CD I had made of the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz giving a seminar to Phillips Publishing.

This seminar is sort of a “legend” in itself.

I have seen A-list copywriters (who were in attendance) rave about this seminar, about how it helped them compete against the highest paid copywriters in the world.

And I can see how, too.

This seminar gets deep not just into the “technique” of copywriting… but also the psychology of the craft.

Such as how to “think” like your customers.

How to structure your ads so people BELIEVE you.

And how one of history’s greatest copywriters would sit down for just a few hours a day and hammer out one giant winner after another after another… without struggling with writers block, doubt or insecurity (even though he was competing against the best writers on the planet, with enormous amounts of money at stake).

Anyway, this seminar literally saved my business.

Frankly, I don’t think I’d have made it without this seminar.

There wasn’t all that much advanced copywriting training around back then (that I could afford, at least). And because of this seminar, I was able to survive writing ads on pure commission.

I was also able to pay off a LOT of debt, too.

(Including paying off my car — a huge deal at the time.)

Well, guess what?

That seminar is not easy to get anymore.

In fact, it sold recently for as much as $297.00.

But, you can get it for the next few days for a measly $20, and nothing else here:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Yes, this IS an affiliate link.

And if you order from it today, you get “The Sales Letter Jam Session” I did with Doberman Dan Gallapoo (about the “process” we go through when writing ads – very advanced stuff). Michael Senoff will send you a secret link to grab it, along with your seminar after you buy.

Anyway, here’s the bottom line:

This seminar is one of my top 10 copywriting resources.

And this $20 offer is so generous it borders on ridiculous.

But time is short and you have to hurry.

This deal ends Monday (Labor Day) at midnight:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

Ben Settle

P.S. Hang on… got some more goodies for you:

In ADDITION to the Copywriting Jam Session bonus, If you grab your $20 Schwartz seminar today, Michael will also throw in his famous 527 classic ad swipe file (all neatly typed up in Word format) — which includes ads from Gary Halbert, Joe Karbo, Ben Suarez, Claude Hopkins, Eugene Schwartz, David Ogilvy, Maxwell Sackhiem and hundreds more.

Here’s where to get your copywriting learn on:

http://www.CopywritingGrabBag.com/labor

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist