Ben Settle

  • Book & Newsletter Tabloid Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Anti-Professional
  • Pulp Novelist
  • Alt-Copywriter

Double Your Sales With Email

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Your Daily Email Addiction

Filed under: inner game, Sales & Marketing

One of the businesses my woman has is, a company where she buys high quality items (clothing, jewelry, etc) online, and then resells them at a profit.

One of the businesses my woman has is, a company where she buys high quality items (clothing, jewelry, etc) online, and then resells them at a profit.

And, thus, she uses UPS a lot.

And, not long ago, I took her to the local UPS drop off.

It’s in a store that primarily sells to hunters, fisherman, hikers, outdoors enthusiasts, gun owners, yada yada yada. And, since I live in Bigfoot country in the Pacific Northwest, stores like that tend to sell books about Bigfoot. In this store’s case, they had probably a dozen titles on the rack next to the UPS counter. And, I found myself thumbing through one of the titles, wanting to buy it, since the Hairy One makes an appearance in a novel I wrote and am editing, and it may have given me some good twists or ideas for it.

Anyway, short story long:

As I was ready to get it, my woman asked me something about Bigfoot.

And then the UPS schlub interrupts our conversation:

“There’s no Bigfoot, that’s just a myth, he’s not real.”

After which I proceeded to put the book down I was going to buy and left.



Two reasons:

1. Nobody likes a skeptic, being the insufferable bores they are, much less likes giving them money

2. He engaged in “anti-selling”

It’s the height of stupidity to tell people the product/service you’re selling doesn’t work, you don’t believe in it, etc. I’m not saying the little skeptic had to lie. All he had to do was mind his own business or else say something like, “you know, can’t say I’m convinced, but a lot of other people are, and they say that book in your hand has a lot of new proof…”

Anyway, as a matter of principle I don’t buy from anti-salesmen.

And, neither do most others.

Do with this info what ye will…

For more information on my skeptic-proof ways of selling via email, go here:

Ben Settle

True story:

Around this time each year, I pull all my old Dan Kennedy NO BS Marketing newsletters out and read them, one-by-one. The first issue I ever got was the September 2002 issue (front page has a picture of a dwarf stuck in a airplane toilet…). I’d just started learning copywriting a handful of months earlier. And, I remember the “back page” of that particular issue (titled “The Fallacy Of Security”) having a profound effect on my mindset at the time — and has through all these years, as it’s kept me healthily paranoid and discontent no matter how good things get.

I just re-read it again, and everything he said was true then, and is even more true now.

What was that back page about, exactly?

About the fallacy of security.

i.e. Security (personal, financial, business, etc) simply doesn’t exist.

Dan starts the article off by talking about how that month was the one year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. One day, Americans thought they were secure, the next they weren’t. Yes, even with Pearl Harbor having happened, and multiple examples of our embassies and terrorist attacks in Europe showing it was possible, Americans (thinking we are somehow immune to such atrocities, because America) got complacent and forgot that there is no security.

He then related it to the financial and business world:

One day huge numbers of people were feeling secure in their investments and nest eggs… the next (thanks to Enron/Global/Adelphia/Big-8 Accounting, etc… combined with the stock market turning to mush around the whole affair) they had nothing.

These fellows thought they had financial security and were “set.”

Reality declared they weren’t.

And, just like with Pearl Harbor et al. as a precedent for being attacked, there had been many prior historical demonstrations of just how insecure people are financially — like the 1929 depression, Black Monday, the confiscation of gold, numerous retroactive eliminations of tax shelters, etc.

As Dan put it:

“Could they retroactively change the IRA laws and tax and confiscate your savings to save social security? Of course not, you say, yet history says, you betcha. Could a trusted, big-name corporation in which you’ve invested actually be a charade run by criminals? Of course not, you say, yet history and current events say yes.”

Sobering thoughts.

“But Ben, I’m a business, I don’t rely on investments!”

Well, according to Dan’s essay, you ain’t any safer, Chuckles.

He brings up all kinds of examples of entire types of businesses, media, and products that were legal one day, then outlawed the next. Like the Sherman anti-trust law that destroyed numerous companies instantly. Or the various laws defining what “pyramid schemes” are. I am friends with some players in the MLM world. When one of the big companies Vemma was declared a pyramid in mid 2015, it had an impact and scared a lot of big time distributors doing tens of millions per year into getting serious about marketing themselves instead of their companies. Good for people who understand how to mine gold from adversity like my pal Ray Higdon, who now trains many of these top earner blokes to build their own brands instead of their main company’s. Not so good for someone who’s income and whose team’s income were dependent on a so-called “secure” business structure that collapsed with the pound of a gavel.

And what about infomercials?

As Dan observed, there one minute, gone the next.

Then, brought back again.

Who’s to say when they won’t be outlawed again?

Even flipping properties and JV’s between certain professional practices have been targets of states.

In Dan’s words:

(This was 2002, the marketing *medias* have changed, not the specter of the threat)

“If they can outlaw broadcast FAX, what makes you think they cannot outlaw all telemarketing or all ‘junk mail’”

And, I would add email marketing.

Or text marketing.

Or even marketing on social media.

“That would never happen!”

Don’t be so sure about that, Mr. Miyagi.

History says you’re wrong — and, even though a lot of people seem to think direct response marketing didn’t exist prior to the internet (and, for certain clueless millennials, before Facebook), there has always been a battle between marketers and the U.S. government, and there always will be. Even the late, great copywriter Gene Schwartz went to bat for all of us at one of the higher courts (maybe even the Supreme Court, but I don’t remember exactly) to make sure we could advertise what it actually says in the books we sell.

But, even that could easily be overturned some day.

Imagine having to get a bureaucrat’s opinion of your copy in addition to your client. Or, needing a government-sanctioned license to practice copywriting, coaching, consulting, etc. (I hear tell certain states like Utah are cracking down on “Life Coaches” if they aren’t licensed…)

Something to ponder, if you’re a freelancer.

But wait, I know, that would NEVER happen here, right?


The myth of security doesn’t stop with money and business and marketing. Dan even went into how there is no real security in romantic relationships or even personal and familial relationships. At the time, he’d just been abruptly divorced at a time where he was 100% convinced any problems could be worked out in his marriage.

Yes, I know, *your* unicorn would never leave.

And, hopefully you are right.

But, there are millions of examples each year and multiple millions of historical examples (and a proverbial horde of rich divorce attorneys) of people who had the “perfect” marriage who have demonstrated otherwise.

Fact is, unless you have mind control powers, you cannot control others.

To paraphrase what a popular concealed carry handgun instructor said:

You’re going to do what you’re going to do, your person is going to do what he/she is going to do, the lawyers are going to do what they’re going to do, both your families and friends are going to do what they’re going to do, the marriage counselor is going to do what they’re going to do, the family court judges are going to do what they’re going to do…

Anyway, point is this:

There’s a Pearl Harbor and a 9/11 and an Enron for every aspect of life.

There is no “security” and never has been, and never will be.

Even the “impenetrable” Helm’s Deep in The Lord Of The Rings had a drain the orcs could get through.

Which brings me to the hook:

I distinctly remember this particular back page essay having a huge impact on my mindset, my beliefs, and the realities of life. And, while it seems like it was a lot of doom and gloom, Dan’s message was ultimately optimistic.

(In my way of thinking, at least.)

Specifically, when he got to the entrepreneurial lesson, which was:

“The only real security is your ability to produce”

This one sentence has stuck in my psyche for the past 17 years.

So has this part:

“… you had better sustain a very, very serious commitment to maintaining, improving, enhancing and strengthening your own ‘ability to produce’, because, in truth, it is all you’ve got and all you will ever have. Anything and everything else you see around you, you acquire and accumulate, you invest in, you trust in, can disappear in the blink of an eye.”


The point?

The goal of that issue was to get people thinking about getting (if you don’t already have one) a “gigantic, awesomely powerful ability to produce”, and having that be the only goal (I would even say “Mission”) you put all your energies into. And then, to nurture, feed, exercise, strengthen, and invest in it.

For me, that ability was copywriting.

And, I worked as hard as anyone for many years at that.

(Still do.)

Then, it became email copywriting, specifically.

(Still is.)

But, over the past few years it’s become more than the skill of writing words that sell and pushing that “send” button on the email broadcasting platform I use.

It’s about persuasive communication as a whole.

When you have that, you can apply it to pretty much any media you want. Some of the nuances and dynamics might be different (i.e. daily emails are not the same as long form sales letters or 3 line classified ads — something I notice even some very smart, old school copywriters get wrong) but, the same principles work for and apply to all of it, if’n you catch my drift.

The same *principles* I use in email, for example, I use when speaking.

Or when I did my podcast.

Or when writing sales letters.

Or when I would post something in my old Flakebook groups.

Or even when writing articles, content, or press releases.

Another true story:

I got probably my best copywriting edu-ma-cation when I had a several month long dry spell not getting clients about 12 years ago, and wrote well over 100 ezine articles with the goal of “selling” people on clicking my resource box and joining my list. And then, later, when I wanted to learn Paul Hartunian’s PR system, writing press releases in his style. Same principles for both, just different media, all applied to every other media I communicate with.

Anyway, this is one of the longest emails I think I ever done wrote.

But you know what?

I’d best your left arm someone needed to hear it.

If not you, or someone else, then certainly I enjoyed the reminder.

Never forget:

There is no security but your ability to produce.

If you want to learn what I am doing to build, strengthen, apply, practice, and make sales and a living from my ability to produce, check ye out the “Email Players” newsletter.

It’s only expensive if you look at it as a cost and not an investment.

If you’re the former, that’s your first road block.

(Thinking of skills that can make you the muhney as costs and not investments.)

If you’re the latter, then here’s the link:

Ben Settle

Recently, “Email Players” subscriber K.G. asked:

The most common objection I seem to face is (since I’ve entered a new market with no prior visible presence)… “If you’re so great, how come when I’ve never heard of you” or “why is there nothing when I google you”, “why should I trust you”, etc. The market seems to have been completely sucked of trust by ever evolving claims etc. I have some good proof, but since everyone else is using similar proof, it doesn’t have much of an impact as far as trust goes.

The answer is to use what I refer to as:


I’ve never heard anyone talk about this before.

But, it’s something I use to the hilt whenever selling something I don’t have a lot of credibility with, but that I know works, especially when dealing with hardened skeptics always looking for any whiff of an excuse to click away.

The August “Email Players” issue talks about this in depth on pages 18-19.

The deadline to get it is tomorrow when I send it to the printer.

So procrastination is not your friend if you want this issue.

Go to this link right away to get in on time:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building

Dutch “Email Players” subscriber Goya Withagen shows one of the hidden benefits of being an Email Player of the Horde:

In the latest edition you quoted another Dutchie, Aartjan, he is a big name in Holland.

It inspired me to spark up a conversation with him.

You make for a great conversation starter.

He was very excited to find another Dutch Ben Settle fan.

Was impressed with my work.

Guess the fruits of this hidden value will soon be revealed…

This are just some small handpicked value bombs…

The list goes on and on…

But time to get going again.

Already spend 14 minutes of the 33 minutes on my timer on this email.

Going to try to bang out another email for a client of mine in the remaining 19.

Speak soon!

I’ve never been accused of being a good conversation-starter before…

Anyway, the August “Email Players” issue is almost ready to be sent to the printer. After that, it will be too late to get it, and that will be that.

To subscribe in time, go here immediately:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

Back around 2004 after the Bush/Kerry election, one of my co-workers at the time went on a cruise with his wife, and told an amusing story with a powerful lesson about buyer psychology.

Here’s what happened:

They were on deck sunbathing next to a couple guys who were also soaking in the rays, sun glasses on, relaxed and having a good time.

Not a care in the world.

Then, out of the blue, one of these relaxed sun bathers said — without moving, raising his voice or even so much as changing the relaxed expression on his face —

“Man, I don’t know what I’m going to do now that Bush is back in there. We’re all screwed. Can you pass me the lotion?”

No anger.

No fear.

No clenched fists or even expression change.

And that’s the point:

Despite his words… the bloke obviously wasn’t that distressed about Bush 2.0. In fact, according to my friend, the guy was out each night laughing it up and having a good time with the ladies, ordering pricey meals and drinks, etc.

Which brings me to the rub:

People will say they like certain things.

They will say they hate or fear certain things.

They will say they want to buy certain things.

But what they SAY they like… what they SAY they hate & fear… what they SAY they want to buy… ain’t always so.

This applies to every single market I’ve ever sold to:

Like golfers who insist they want consistency, but buy “how to hit the ball farther” products and gadgets. Or in weight loss when people say they want to be healthy but really just want to get revenge on an ex by looking good. And the list goes on.

The best buyers are liars.

And, if you know how to do market research, you’ll grow to love ‘em.

All of which is why the August “Email Players” issue contains a bonus 3-page insert that talks about this and a couple other market research secrets.

But the deadline to get this issue is approaching quick.

After I send it to the printer, it’ll be too late.

That’s why, if you are intending to get it, don’t lie to your inner procrastinator by thinking you have plenty of time, because you don’t.

Here’s the link for your clicking displeasure:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

An over-achieving reader complains:

Hi Ben

I know I’m gonna get shit on by you but here it goes. Love you man 🙂

Your content is awesome.
But the formatting sucks…

At least on the desktop version. On mobile, it is perfect.

The lines are long and eyes simply don’t like to read that many words/letters on one line
These lines extend to the far edge of my big ass screen and letters are freaking tiny!!!

Anyhow. I’m sorry Ben. Just want to enjoy my experience of reading the emails


And, also, astonishing how it never occurred to this over-achiever (he took the time to screen shot what he was complaining about) to simply shrink his email reader, which would then force my plain text emails to conform to whatever length he wants.

But, his complaint was also useful, in a way, too.


Because page 14 of the August “Email Players” issue talks about this topic, as well as about the myth of why you “must!” write in a way that appeases short attention spans, and why I don’t always use short sentences and paragraphs in emails, and sometimes use huge, hard-to-read blocks instead, only to watch it result in some of my most successful emails.

The attention span catering concept is something I ignore nearly daily.

And, also, profit from nearly daily, too.

The August issue explains the whys and hows.

But to get it before the deadline, you’ll have to zip on over to this link immediately:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters

Over the past few months especially, your long-suffering storyteller has been doing something that, according to 100+ years of direct response is not “supposed” to work.

Something railed against by many old school copywriting authors.

Yes, including several I respect the most.

And yet, doing this has been netting me quite a bit of the booty.

(The financial kind, that is).

Anyway, what is this forbidden thing I’ve been doing?

Using blatant humor in my sales letters.

And, in many cases, lots of it.

For example:

The headline I wrote to sell the Gorilla Mind nootropics a few months ago. And the headline and copy for my Email Players List Swell book. And, also, in many other parts of my sales copy for various other books I sell.

The late, great Claude Hopkins would not have approved.

But, my customers clearly did — as these sales letters all did extremely well.


Some people would no doubt note those were written to my warm lists. And, might be tempted to think that all this humor stuff won’t work to ice cold lists.

And those well-meaning people would be wrong.

How do I know?

Because of all the examples of humor that have worked to cold markets.

Especially the examples I have conveniently provided in the upcoming August “Email Players” issue — including from some of the heaviest hitters the copywriting world has ever known who a lot of copywriters and marketers would probably assume would not use such tomfoolery in their ads.

The fun begins on page 6 of the August issue.

And, I spend quite a bit of time on this topic inside.

Here is the link to get it before I send it to the printer and it’s too late:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

A few months ago, while selling the great A-list copywriter and “Email Players” subscriber Kim Krause Schwalm’s copywriting product, I wrote this in the email:

One of my all-time favorite copywriters — and, frankly, one of the 3 best copywriting minds who ever walked this planet — was the late, great Jim Rutz, who was so good he charged a fat $100k fee. And, Kim not only competed and won against that great master of copywriting, but did so twice.

And, it got the attention of an amateur grammar nazi:

GRAMMAR NAZI: “And, Kim not only competed…” -> “And, Jim not only competed…”

elBENBO: Jim didn’t compete with himself. Your grammar nazi game needs work.

Anyway, the point?

I’m not sure there is one.

Except, maybe, if one is going to be a dorky grammar nazi, at least do it right…

The beauty of my “Email Players” methodology is, even if you horribly mangle your grammar and spelling, you can still make just as many — and probably a lot more for reasons I won’t go into here — sales as if you spend 3 hours polishing every word to sparkling spelling perfection.

If you want to be a proof-reader, you can make a gloriously modest wage doing so.

And, possibly even get away with being a pretentious wannabe advertising critic.

But if you want to make sales?

You’re far better off knowing how to sell than to spell.

Free advice based on years of building a business and not just talking about it on social media…

Subscription info here:

Ben Settle

One of the more amusing claims of online marketing is this whole idea of building a huge business by being “lazy.”

Even my slacker-ways take a lot of up-front work.

And, in my case, took around 9 years to get it all dialed in.

And that’s why, to give you a little bit of inspiration to work hard I shalt tell you about something I read yesterday in a Deadline interview with Quentin Tarantino.

The context:

He was being interviewed about his upcoming movie.

And, the plot is about Hollywood actor and his stuntman in the late 60’s.

So to make sure the movie is as authentic as possible, Quentin literally wrote 5 episode scripts of the fictional TV show the actors star in in the movie (the audience who sees this movie will never see), as well as wrote out the main character’s entire fictional back story and filmography, film by film, as well as every single director he worked with, and all the little stories, quirks, and anecdotes on the sets he worked on, how he got his roles, who the casting directors were, which movies worked, which bombed, etc etc etc.

Why did he do all this extra work?

And, why did he do it even though the audiences won’t see it?

Because, as he put it in the interview:

“[The audience] need to know that I take this mythology this history seriously, and that there are answers to these questions. I don’t have to vomit it out but if you ask I could tell you. The writer needs to know that mythology backwards and forwards. You need to be able to throw it off with the expertise of an expert.”

Lots of meat in that thar paragraph.

Especially for marketers, copywriters, and anyone in business.

Anyway, bottom line?

Ain’t no lazy successful people. No matter what your favorite internet goo-roo’s big launch videos and webinars say.

On that note:

My “Email Players” methods are certainly “slacker friendly.”

But, like any skill, you still have to work hard at learning and mastering it first.

Thus, it’s wholly incompatible for lazy do-nothings, new product junkies, and all those excuse-making souls who lack the character to commit to learning it or applying it, even as they haunt people’s social media feeds all day.

More info here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters

Today is a very special day that should be a national holiday.

And in celebration of this day, I am sharing a video about a lesson inspired by something I read in a book called “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story” about the so-called advertising ghetto:

Double Your Sales With Email

World Leader In Email Copywriting Education is Giving AwayTips For Doubling Sales With Email 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…

  • Book & Newsletter Tabloid Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Anti-Professional
  • Pulp Novelist
  • Alt-Copywriter

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