Ben Settle

  • Book & Tabloid Newsletter Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Alt-Copywriter
  • Software Investor
  • Pulp Novelist

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Your Daily Email Addiction

Filed under: Business Building, inner game

In my last book “elBenbo Press” I proudly declared two things:

1. Social media is stupid

2. I’d never write a book on the subject

Yet, barely a month after it launched, I wrote a 400+ page book (called “Social Lair”) about social media (launching on Monday) and am soon going to be launching a social media platform by the same name (“SocialLair”) with “Email Players” subscriber Troy Broussard.

Strange days indeed…

Anyway, there are many reasons for my “about face” on the subject.

One of the main reasons:

Email is great for daily communication.

But there is a limit to how many you can send in a single day without getting into the territory of eroding relationships with even your what I call “Berserker” customers who hang on every word you say and write.

That limit is different for every business.

But a limit there is.

And if you doubt this then go ahead and send 50 emails per day for a month straight and let me know how it goes in the long run with your sales, attrition, engagement, and delivery rates.

Thus, social media.

It’s the one thing I liked using it for:

Dozens of daily impromptu communications.

Sometimes short, sometimes long.

Sometimes selling something, sometimes not.

Sometimes leading to other things I am up to, sometimes mere brain farts.

But the customer has full control to see it or not, there is a social element that can create “feeding frenzy”-like engagement & sales if used correctly with email (what my new Social Lair book launching next week teaches, amongst other things), and it lets you do what I call “list laundering” – which I will also talk more about next week, and that is what has led to my list being probably the single most responsive list in my niche for reasons I won’t go into here.

The problem with social media is everything else:

The privacy butchering.

The creepy line crossings & outright whoring out of your data.

The manipulation of hormones, news, and information.

The anti-small business rules.

The incessant de-platforming & thought policing.

The not being able to export an audience into a list.

And so on, and so forth.

All things our upcoming social media platform does NOT engage in, incidentally.

If anything, it’s capitalist bliss and a way businesses can potentially make fortunes in their own protected “walled garden” platform where your thoughts aren’t policed, where your data is yours and yours alone, and where it’s created — by design — to get maximum engagement and sales if you know what you’re doing.

Anyway, more about that platform in the coming weeks.

For now, I want to talk about my Social Lair book launching in a couple days.

The best way to use social media is in conjunction with email.

And, specifically, in the way I teach in the book.

Until then, to learn the email side of things, go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, inner game

I often talk about how not selling to shallow thinking types.

To help “demystify” the subject, here are 13 examples of shallow thinking:

1. Slave to marketing metrics at the expense of (or even outright ignoring the existence of) all the intangibles in a business that are just as important

2. Prioritizing the selling of offers over the building of a business

3. Relying completely on social media

4. Setting goals that are outcome dependent (i.e., make X sales by Y date) vs goals that are not outcome dependent (write & send 1 email each day for the next 30 days)

5. Building a list instead of an audience

6. Think having a funnel is the same as having a business

7. Selling offers that don’t logically link to other offers

8. Assuming they can only inexpensively get leads & traffic by being on social media

9. Relying on one merchant account — especially Stripe or PayPal — and not at least making plans for more

10. Having 50% or more of their income tied up in ONE offer or client, and isn’t at least in the process of working to change that

11. Thinking marketing or copywriting is more important to sales than status

12. Selling the “thing” they offer before selling themselves

13. Making transactions at the expense of relationships

These are just a few examples of shallow thinking.

And if you happen to fall into more than one of the above I suggest changing that, fast, if you want to not only be able to compete in, but conquer in your market, industry, product category in the coming months, years, and decades.

It’s also mandatory to not do the 13 things above to use Email Players.

The newsletter simply won’t work for shallow thinkers.

Which is why they never last long, and why I try to turn them away.

They are much better off buying elsewhere.

Otherwise, here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, List Building

Once upon a time I saw a perfect example that shows the importance of owning, creating, and/or controlling your own media empire in a New York Times article.

It was about a 15-year old snot nose who had 1.2 million Instagram subscribers, pulled in some $10k per month with it, and he was full of piss & vinegar (who wouldn’t be?), ready to conquer and pillage.

But then… Instagram shut him down without warning.

The reason:

Violating rules, etc.

His entire business gone — with the push of some button somewhere.

And of course, like a lot of influencer types, he could not replicate his massive success, because he was simply all intelligence and no wisdom.

The worst part for him though:

“A lot of my friends think I’ve become depressed, and I think that’s right,” Rowan said. “I’ve been feeling insecure about a lot of things, like how I look and act and talk. I talk a lot less than I used to. I’m a lot less confident. Losing my account is the main reason I feel like this. With @ Zuccccccccccc, it felt like I had a purpose and was doing something that benefited a lot of people, and now I kind of just feel — I feel lost.”

Such is the spooky fate of being high on intelligence but low on wisdom.

I also daresay it’s the fate of many-a-business in the not-too-distant future. Especially anyone naive enough to rely completely on a platform they don’t own or at least control and export their audience/list from.

And it all starts with having strong email game.

From there, you can apply it to other media.

(Social media, mobile apps, whatever it is).

To learn my email ways go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, inner game

“Daly is the ‘asshole god’ of this virtual world, and his word is law.”

— Walton
Black Mirror
“USS McCallister”

I can’t say I’m a Black Mirror fanboy, but the show definitely has its moments. Including a few of the best scripted single TV show episodes I’ve ever seen.

One of which is titled:

“USS McCallister”

It’s about the CTO of a tech-entertainment company who nobody likes or respects and even finds creepy when working at his company in the day. But at night he is in his own private cinematic cyber universe — based on a TV show he watched as a child — as the commander of a starship exploring new worlds, with his “crew” being the digitally cloned consciousnesses of the people who treat him like crap and ignore him in the real world.

In this world he is “god.”

He can control matter itself, and does so in horrific ways to keep everyone subordinate.

And what he says is the way it is. Anyone who disobeys him is, for all intents and purposes, condemned to a hell of Daly’s own creation that is a bit disturbing to watch.

This is a power that he abuses, of course.

And, he suffers the consequences of that abuse.

Reason I bring this up today is because, while having your own media platforms doesn’t give you the power to bend reality, it can give you a lot more power over your fate, and the fate of those you serve and sell to, than you might think.

Some medias give you more power than others.

Like, for example, social media has rules you have to follow. Same with mobile apps or even email and a website (which your host can always shut down).

But a media you sell via the postal system, for example, has no rules I can think of, as long as you are not doing anything illegal. You can “say” whatever you want in a print newsletter or book, for example, and other offline media you own. In the US you are even protected by the First Amendment to do so.

Point is, each media available to businesses is different.

With their own pros & cons, their own reach, and their own profit potentials.

And the real power is NOT in controlling and mastering just one media, but stacking and combining as many as you can, in as many ways as you can, selling with them in all the means for doing so as you can.

Which brings your non-god-like narrator & pal to the point:

About learning to think like a multi-channel, multi-media platform marketing publisher, and not just an “internet marketer” or a “copywriter” or a “coach” or accountant, attorney, or whatever the thing is that someone does in their business.

It’s the difference between thinking like a publisher and not just a “writer.”

An agency owner and not just a “copywriter.”

A restaurant chain owner and not just a “chef.”

A network owner and not just a “Youtube influencer.”

And so on, and so forth.

It’s a state of mind.

And in my opinion, it begins with tight email game.

Then, stacking other medias on that, all working together.

To learn the email side, go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, inner game

An opinion, that also happens to be a fact…

I believe Zack Snyder is the most hated director in Hollywood. He’s like the “Trump” of moviemakers. And I fully admit to a borderline jealousy of his ability to create Berserker-like fans & enemies alike.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1. He is equally hated and loved, with no lukewarm reactions to him or his work from those who know who he is and watch his movies

2. His fans are all labeled as “toxic” even though his gaslighting haters are 10xs more so

3. His fans are constantly shamed, marginalized, and mocked to the point many hide the fact they are fans of Snyder at all just so they don’t have to deal with it

4. Many blame him for all that’s wrong with movies

5. His name and Mission not only resurrected a movie (the infamous “Snydercut”) that was supposedly DOA and considered a mere fanboy pipe dream… but he was given $70 million of additional money to fix it up, even though its preceeding movie (Batman v Superman) movie flopped at the box office

6. He basically pulled off a miracle getting his Snydercut released at all, even as everyone (including some of his diehard fans who gave up in despair) said it’d never happen, and even outright laughed at & mocked those who said it would

7. His fans are so devoted they fully intend to make sure a sequel gets made even with Snyder playing coy and acting like it won’t — even while his haters almost pray it never happens

8. Everything he says gets him hated more by his haters (they even found reasons to hate him after raising a few hundred thousand dollars for a suicide awareness cause) and loved more by his diehard fans

9. Many of his haters have admitted they couldn’t resist watching the movie — which only helped it with whatever success it got, i.e., the movie profited from his haters (who became unwitting members of Snyder’s marketing department for it) as much as it did the fans

10. He simply does not compromise, and goes for what he wants no matter what anyone says or thinks — all of which attracts his fans to him like a magnet, while making his haters go even more bonkers seething at the moon

Which brings me to the punchline:

The Snydercut is a magnificent example of Sixth-generation marketing warfare.

Snyder’s fans & haters were/are at WAR with each other in a way where Snyder has financially benefited in ways he never could have otherwise. Even though he did not ask to be paid to finish his cut and release it, it will almost certainly translate into many future deals he wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, plus getting him and his brand all new fans who will see his future movies.

And it’s all because his fans made it not just a Mission but a VIRTUE to war on his behalf.

They were willing — and probably unwitting — soldiers in his war.

And it all played out on the 6G marketing warfare battlefield.

Thus the April “Email Players” issue.

It’s all about what I have dubbed Sixth-generation marketing warfare.

It’s also admittedly light on “how to” info.

Instead it is almost all strategy & big concepts about 6G marketing warfare, which I believe can potentially take nearly any business from 4-figures to 5-figures, 5-figures to 6-figures, and 6-figures to 7-figures and beyond over time, assuming a business has the right amount of work ethic, patience, and discernment.

Without those attributes it will do your business zero good.

I say this to warn away the goo-roo fanboys and new product junkies.

The deadline is tomorrow – 3/31/21.

If you want it, I do not recommend procrastinating.

If you’re a current subscriber who wants it and whose credit card is expiring or you’re waiting for a new one, get your shyt together my friend and figure it out.

Either way:

This issue will have ramifications on everything else I teach for a long time.

Here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

This will sound like copywriting heresy.

But if I don’t profane the false goo-roo gods sometimes, life ain’t much fun.

Here’s the story:

I recently finished my yearly read-through of the late, great brilliant copywriter Eugene Schwartz’s book “Breakthrough Advertising.” It is by far one of the single most valuable copywriting books I possess. There is very little in it I disagree with, and even those disagreements have to do with the times he lived in and nothing else. A time which I describe as Third-generation marketing warfare on page 12 of the upcoming April Email Players issue, whereas I believe we now compete in the theater of Sixth-generation marketing warfare, with many of the old “weapons” still necessary, but not nearly as important or powerful as they were then.

Take the almighty headline.

Old GS says it’s 90% of your ad in the book.

Get that wrong, and nothing else matters.

And at the time, he was absolutely right.

Today?

It’s different.

Headlines are about as important to your overall advertising now as swords used by world class swashbucklers in 17th century sea battles were then – when it was the canons that did the most damage – with the swords being used afterwards to secure the ship and clean out the survivors.

Which brings us back to 6G marketing warfare.

The headline is still extremely important.

But you can win many copywriting battles with a crap headline or even none at all if you use the heavy artillery that wins the day in the current business and marketing world. The only thing a better headline will do you for now is help you win a single battle against someone whose ads you happen to go head to head against, but not even come close to winning the war.

Enter the April “Email Players” issue.

It’s all about Sixth-generation marketing warfare.

And it is, in many ways, the most valuable content I’ve ever written.

Certainly it’s been more valuable to my business than anything else I’ve written about. Whether it will be to anyone else I can’t say. Especially since, it’s actually quite low on “how to” info, and is mostly just an intro to something I have yet to see anyone else write about in my industry, but that I’ll be writing a lot about in the months and years ahead, applying it to various different aspects of business, marketing, email, copywriting, launching products, list building, and everything else I like to talk about and implement in my own businesses — in both the info publishing and software spaces.

But a warning to the goo-roo fanboy chasing hacks & tricks.

There are zero of either in Email Players.

And that’s especially true in this upcoming April issue.

It’s exclusively big & dramatic concepts combined with pure strategy — both of which will take a lot of thought, work, and patience to implement. However, I truly believe those who take it to heart, who read it multiple times, and, most important of all, doggedly APPLY the info over the coming months, years, and decades will see that patience and work rewarded in ways mere money cannot measure.

For now, I will just say this:

For the longest time, I’ve treated business as WAR & not merely business.

And if this issue does nothing but impart that on its readers I’ve done my job.

But the deadline to subscribe is in just 2 short days.

That means if you want in, you can’t procrastinate.

And if you’re a current subscriber whose credit card is expiring or you need a new one because of some low life hacker, put it on whatever card you use to pay for your phone and other entertainment bills then switch it later if need be.

You gotta get your shyt together to stay subscribed.

This is the One Email Players Issue to rule them all.

And its “fingerprints” will be on all future issues henceforth.

Here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, inner game, Sales & Marketing

Let me tell you a story.

Specifically, about comicbook creator Robert Kirkland who is the writer & creator of the ghoulish & popular comicbook & TV show “The Walking Dead.” When he first wanted to break into Image Comics with the Walking Dead he knew it would not be accepted at face value. The reasons for this were many, and if you want the full story simply watch “The Image Revolution” on Amazon Prime. But needless to say, in order to get his story accepted and his comics made he had to outright lie, deceive, and entrap.

Here’s how:

He did not say what his story was REALLY about.

He told a bald-faced lie saying The Walking Dead zombies were actually an alien invasion. And that his stories would contain lots of hidden Easter Eggs teasing it for a while before the readers would discover it.

Apparently, this was a big turn on at Image.

And, so, his comics were made and the rest is history.

But, what is not common knowledge about that history is, eventually he was asked about when these aliens were going to finally show up (which, if you read the comics or watch the TV show, you know are not there, and never have been).

To which he answered something like:

(Paraphrasing)

“Oh that? I was just saying that so you’d give them a chance.”

Anyway, here’s why I tell this story:

It’s a great example of what I call Sixth-generation marketing warfare.

And that concept is what the entire April “Email Players” issue is about – what it is, what it means, and how you can start using it in your business. No, I’m not saying you have to lie or deceive. Nor should you. In fact, the best Sixth-generation marketing warfare is totally transparent and easily observed even by your competition. But, there are come things you’ll have to do that may make you uncomfortable.

And so it goes.

Listen, there are no tricks or hacks in this issue.

And there is no “how to” info to celebrate.

It’s pure strategy.

Strategy, I believe, will make or break businesses in the years ahead.

Here’s the link to subscribe by the looming 3/31/21 deadline:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

Last year one of my readers sent me a screenshot of someone teaching what to do after someone opts-in to a list.

It went something like this:

Day 1: Tell them what to expect + a free gift

Day 2: Share your story in a dramatic way

Day 3: Share the epiphany you had + free basic solution

Day 4: Share the hidden benefits of solution

Day 5: CTA to full solution i.e., your offer

All these supposed “clever” checklists of things to do to get a checks coming in that try to gameify & hack their way into the sale are simply a waste of effort & energy to anyone who knows how to actually market, sell, and close deals.

The reason for their clumsiness:

They are making it about the marketing instead of the market.

Once you realize it’s about them and not the marketing, the whole game changes.

Example:

When I wrote the 14-day sequence for Learnistic, I didn’t sit down and say, “on day 1 I’m gonna tell them what to expect over the next 14 days. On day 2 I’ll give them this other free gift to show what a swell guy I am. On day 3 I’ll tell them about that time I was sitting on the toilet and had an epiphany. On day 4 I’ll tell them about how Aunt Martha in the grove found the hidden benefit to…”

No, no, no.

What I did was ask:

“How can I build a relationship with these people?”

And then that dictated the content, the strategy, and the approach.

It ain’t about checklists, it’s about relationships with your list.

And on that note:

If you want some advice on list-building — both free & paid — that bring them in with an at least somewhat established relationship before they even hear from you… I go deep into both in the upcoming March “Email Players” issue. Including some ways I am experimenting with myself, and that I highly recommend you do too.

The deadline to subscribe in time is tomorrow 2/28/21 when I send it to the printer.

Here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing, List Building

Came a great question from an “Email Players” subscriber:

In the Email Skhema book, you talk about always plugging something in every email. Since I am an email copywriter, I always write something interesting and transition into a product pitch. But I feel the list may not be happy in the long term. What is a good ratio mix of sales and educational content in a week? Should I write blog posts and link them instead from time to time?

Your daily email horror hosts’s take:

He is making the exact same mistake a lot of email marketers — probably 99% of ‘em — are making. And that is, projecting one’s emotions & hangups about being sold to on to a list.

Listen up, listen good, and always remember:

Buyers want to buy.

Lurkers want to lurk.

Lukewarm people want to complain, whine, & bytch.

You have to decide which of those you want to focus on and serve.

If the answer is buyers, then write for & TO them.

That means, giving them something to buy.

Of course, that doesn’t mean not to make your emails worth their time to read. That is what my Email Players Skhema book is for — to give that foundational info on how to do just that while also selling. But it does mean at least giving your subscribers the opportunity to know your offer exists each day. Or, at the very least, sending them somewhere that will lead to a sale.

There is no perfect ratio of selling & content.

The art & craft is in seamlessly & naturally combining the two.

The last thing I do when I write an email is say:

“All right, I gotta make sure x% of this email teaches, and y% sells…”

Some of my emails are 100% teasing.

Others are even 100% pitching.

Once in a great while (2 or 3 times per year, max) they are 100% teaching.

But 90%+ of the time it’s a combination — all based on the content, the market, the market’s awareness and/or sophistication levels (ala Gene Schwartz’s teachings), what I want to write about, what I think my list needs to know, what is on my mind, what is on the market’s mind, the offer I want to tell them about, and a whole slew of variables that make any kind of perfect ratio of selling & teaching a complete myth with about as much basis in reality as Asgard.

That’s my take.

If you want more on all this, subscribe to the newsletter.

Not only do you get the Email Players Skhema book mentioned above, but you also get email access with questions (not critiques or “quick looks” at your emails/content, it ain’t coaching) to me directly like the gentleman who asked the above question took advantage of.

Plus, if you subscribe by the coming deadline you’ll get the March issue.

(Sunday, 2/28/21)

And that is all about list building.

Specifically, building lists of those wanting to buy vs lurk or just want free stuff.

Here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

 

Filed under: inner game, List Building

i.e., Tested & curated.

A true story for the lovelorn ages:

Not long ago, Stefanie sent me a series of screenshots from the Flakebook from a guy Virtue Signaling about how he dated, planned, and married his wife. Complete with all the timelines and dates one can imagine in such a post meant to get likes, high-fives, and that extra 5 minutes of business time per month from his wife.

Here were some of the more amusing highlights:

~ He showed up at her job with lunch

~ He found out what interested her, and took an interest in much of it

~ He spent a bunch of money on a ring for her

~ He called her dad and asked for his blessing before popping the question

~ He took her to several countries from Africa to Asia to South & Central America because, and I quote, “IF SHE IS “MY WORLD,” I SHOULD SHOW HER “THE WORLD!”

~ He scratches her back, rubs her feet, and draws her bath

~ He makes it so she always knows where he is and what he’s up to

~ And ending with this ditty:

“A Man will never reach his fullest potential without the presence of a GOOD WOMAN! To short her is to short self! To deny her is to deny self!”

Stefanie’s comments with the screenshots:

“It was more like, you put me through a set of trials, some by fire, by water…and, at the end, I was allowed to bear your child.”

Indeed.

She’s the first to say the above is 180 degrees switched over here.

For example:

+ Not only did I not ask her dad for his blessing last year, I didn’t even ask Stefanie — I told her it was time and that was that.

+ I spent a grand total of $400 on her wedding ring she cherishes more than any other jewelry she possesses, that she picked out and simply sent me an email with a link to buy it. (SIDE NOTE: her mom wanted me to spend $30,000+ on a ring last year during the lockdowns while I was working my azz off to come up with the cash to invest half a million in 2 mobile app companies… )

+ She wouldn’t even dream of letting me draw my own bath — in fact, she won’t even let me shade myself from the sun. Another true story: she once stood next to me for over an hour straight holding up a menu over my face to shield my milky white skin from being burned while sitting in the sun at an outdoor bar during a mastermind in Napa, CA (with lots of attendees & a few of their not-so-amused wives sneering at me as my witness).

+ She even declared it’s her goal for me to never even see — much less change — one of Willis’ dirty diapers. Frankly, she had to remind me (when she discovered I was writing this email) the only time she asks me to feed the child is when she’s making ME food.

+ Stefanie is obsessed with my interests and hobbies to the point of constantly watching how I curate and collate information — from what I look at on my phone to what I watch on TV to what sections of the paper I read and in what order (while, unlike Screenshot Guy with his wife, I couldn’t even tell you what her favorite soccer team is).

+ I’ve never taken her outside the U.S., and the couple road trips we’ve gone on were cut short to get back to my dog.

+ She not only shows up with my lunch — but she gets viscerally angry at the mere thought of anyone else BUT her fixing me a plate (my mom, her mom, and my step mom excluded).

+ As far as knowing my every movement: Although she probably won’t hire any attractive housekeepers tip-toeing around here (will not explain), knowing my every move and being privy to every conversation I have with everyone I come in contact with would bore the hades out of her.

+ Shortly after discovering I was writing this email she also requested I add to it that when she makes us vegetable trays to snack on, she takes the time to peel off the parts of celery that would otherwise get stuck in my righteous teeth.

+ And the beating heart pounds on…

Anyway, the point of all this?

The principles behind what she said I did to conquer her mind.

(i.e., trials by fire & water).

By her own admission, it’s because of those trials that she has far more respect & is far happier than if I was like one of those schlubs who used to chase her around New York who treat women like celebrities and, thus, more often than not get treated like fans.

Which brings us to your business, Romeo.

These same principles can apply to your list building, customer building, and client building… whereby I cannot imagine you not having a much more responsive, more eager-to-buy, and more happy to refer customer base doing so.

The March “Email Players” issue explains how.

(In the bonus elBenbo’s Lair insert.)

More on the newsletter here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

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