Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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…

Your Daily Email Addiction

Filed under: Email Marketing

A reader asks:

By the way, quick question:

Who’s your mentor?

Just curious. Some said it’s Matt Furey, some said you’re Gary Bencivenga’s prodigy…

I’ve never had a one-on-one mentor, coach, or anyone like that.

And I’ve never been anyone’s prodigy, either.

For the past 20 years, I’ve learned from many different business, marketing, copywriting, and persuasion minds — only 2 or 3 I’ve met in person. Call them “virtual mentors” if’n it pleases you. And, I even did a podcast series about this last Summer about my “Mount Rushmore” of influences. But, all of my learning and training has been “virtual” — via info products, and not personal coaching, consulting, seminars, workshops, or events which I never attend unless I am speaking/training there.

And even those I am starting to turn down more and more.

Especially since plane travel is becoming intolerable to the point where I find airports only slightly less depressing than casinos.

That said, some of the great men of business & marketing who’ve influenced me most include:

  • Matt Furey
  • Gary Bencivenga
  • Gary Halbert
  • Ken McCarthy
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Jim Camp
  • Brian Kurtz
  • Earl Nightingale
  • Gene Schwartz
  • Sean D’Souza
  • Clayton Makepeace
  • John Carlton
  • Bruce Barton
  • Stan Lee
  • Paul Hartunian
  • Stan Billue
  • Barry Maher
  • Jim Straw

I probably am missing a few, in fact, I know I am.

(Writing this fast…)

But, basically, it’s all the people who have most changed, enhanced, or given me the most dramatic options for thinking differently that resulted in the most impact. I suggest Googling all of them and learning all you can from them.

It’s a rabbit hole that will last you decades.

And, I daresay, pay you for decades, too.

Certainly has for Yours Reclusive…

All right, onwards to the fun stuff:

To check out my “Email Players” newsletter — scoot on over to:

Ben Settle

P.S. Whenever I write emails like this, people will ask for specific books/programs/products… and the answer is to curate. Curating your content (as well as curating your customers, friends, JV partners, etc) is a powerful attribute to hone, strengthen, and sharpen, and if you want to develop that attribute, here’s a great chance for you to do just that by doing your own research…

Filed under: Email Marketing

Last week, I mailed a YouTube link to my list.

And, an eagle-eyed reader observed a few hours later:

Dude. This is not hate.

But I have to ask.

You are endorsed by some of the top people in the industry.

I found you through a course of Russel Brunson referring you and is see so many of the top people in your testimonials.

How the hell is it possible only 21 people have watched that YouTube video you send out 4 hours ago.

I would have expected a few thousands of views or at least a few hundreds. But 21 after an emails send out 4 hours ago.

I’m sure you have a good reason or explanation, but let me tell you it kills all your credibility. It’s negative social proof.

Anyways, I’m really curious why that is? not hating. I believe you’re the real deal. But man.. 21 fucking one??

Merely a YouTube glitch.

Analytics showed something like 160 views within the first hour, and 400 or so 24 hours later. Considering I rarely get over 1,000 views on these videos, total, that’s actually not too shabby.

But, there was a useful lesson within his question.

And, that lesson is this:

The superficiality of the average consumer.

Like it or not, think it fair or not, rational or not, makes any sense or not… people are swayed, influenced, and make buying decisions on social proof and status. And, they often do it regardless of quality, reliability, or intrinsic value.

Take social media share buttons, for example.

Most people with share buttons on their blogs write posts that get zero shares.

What’s someone going to think — at a glance — when they land on that post and see 0 shares?


Nobody else is reading or sharing it.

It could literally be the single most valuable piece of info ever written, and human beings — being “wired” to care more about status than substance — will ignore it. On the other hand, someone with status could post something completely inane and insane, and it will get thousands sharing just because.

The point?

There are a lot of things that can create “reverse credibility.”

And things like a YouTube glitch showing 21 views or 0-share social media buttons will do just that. Except, in my case, it is “blunted” because of how I communicate with my list, build my brand, and treat my customers.

Like the above reader demonstrated when he said:

“I believe you’re the real deal.”

This is one of many reasons to be communicating with your list in a way those you want to buy from you (and not what the people you don’t care who buy from you) like to be communicated to.

It’s also why I don’t really care much about these things.

Do email right, and it all evens out in the end.

And doing email right is, oh-so-coincidentally, what I teach in “Email Players”.

To learn more about it, go here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

The video at the link below contains no sales pitch (ironically…), but it will show you how shunning using them is not only foolish, but hurts your market, customers, and prospects, too.

Here you be…

Filed under: Email Marketing

True story:

I stopped doing freelance copywriting work back in the Summer of 2011. I hated doing client work then, and the thought of doing client work today still gives me heartburn (I prefer to be my own client).

But, a few years ago, I made an exception.

I won’t bother with the details on why.

But, I made the exception and, because I hate doing client work so much, I banged the entire long form sales letter out in about 48 hours from stem to stern. At the time, the ad (still running today) nabbed the client almost $2k in sales for every $150 he spent when he tested it.

I know this because he sent me a voicemail about it.

Anyway, that ad had a lot going for it outside of me.

Like a rabid market.

A highly credible and ever-growing brand.

Leads looking to spend money.

A super high quality product that changes lives.

And, the list goes on.

But, still, those numbers ain’t too shabby.

And, one of the reasons why it did so well was because of a single question I asked the client. A question it took him all of 2 seconds to answer, and took me all of 5 seconds to write down, and then turn his words (more or less) into the headline. In other words, I did not have to write out 100 headlines like a lot of copywriters do. I did not sit there and have to trick my subconscious mind to slip me the headline, either. Nor did I even give it more than a moment’s thought. Yet, that headline worked on ice-cold traffic, and is presumably still working today.

What was this question?

And, can you ask the same question to help write your own headlines?

The answer to the second question is, yes, you can.

But the answer to the first question is on page 2 of the bonus “Ravings Of An Adman” insert inside the February “Email Players” issue.

The main issue is all about building a list.

This bonus insert is all about market research.

Together, this is, in many ways, one of the single most valuable issues I’ve written to date for those wise enough to apply the info and not nod, file it away, and then ask what else do I got. Or, even worse, pretend they already know it, but never actually do it and consider it beneath them.

Those types should go haunt someone else.


I’m sending it to the printer shortly.

After that, it will be too late to get it.

And, the only other way to get what I am teaching (exactly how I am teaching it, I don’t know of anyone who does it the way I do it) is by getting a much more expensive product I will be creating some day on the subject.

Ain’t no time for dilly dally.

If you want it, here it is, come and get it, while you still can:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

A reader asks the magic list building question:

Hi Ben,

This prob will sound like I’m an idiot when I ask you this.

How do you build a list without the visibility of social media ?

Just to clarify my background, I am about to turn 51, and I’ve been a pharmacist for 30 years. I’m burned out and have been following you for about 2 months. I was trying to figure out how to build a list by using social media, and now this advice

You told me recently not to sign up for email players til I had an offer. I still got nothing.

Props for your Villians book. Have actually been giving some “life” advice to my 21 year old son based on some of your observations.

You can still build a list using social media.

I just don’t mess with it anymore.

Mainly because of its incessant thought-policing, politically-motivated de-platforming, blatant privacy abuse, and their data-sharing/leaking schemes… plus there have been many unintended marketing benefits I wasn’t expecting such as the massive increase in productivity, clarity of thinking, freed up time, less accessibility (which has resulted in more demand for my attention i.e. buying what I sell, a nice side benefit…), etc. But I would never say not to use paid social media ads if you want to use them. I have used paid ads from Facebook, Twitter, and Google to build my list in the past. And, I have gotten many leads doing so. And while you can scale those leads, the quality paled in comparison to the leads I get now. Plus, I don’t have to follow all these sites’ goofy ever-changing rules, either.

The trade off is, I don’t get as many leads.

But, since I’m a 4 quarters vs 100 pennies kinda guy, that suits me just fine.

Plus, it’s rare for a long-term customer to have found me via a Facebook or Google ad. Almost all come from referral-based leads. And, I can “siphon” away the best quality leads from the above platforms, free, now.


By using a couple ways I talked a little bit about in the December “Email Players” issue, one of which I am “zooming in” on in depth, with an example of how it’s done, in the upcoming February issue.

But, a word of warning:

This method can help someone build a list from scratch.

And, the leads will very likely be high quality.

Certainly higher quality than random social media leads.

But, it takes time and it takes patience. And, I don’t recommend someone who has no list or presence in their chosen market subscribe thinking this is going to be the magic list building method that liberates them from the 9-5 world.

It’s a tool for the toolbox.

And, you can’t build a house with just one tool…

The deadline to get this issue is later today.

(When I send the list to the printer)

After that, I’m disabling it in the shopping cart so nobody can subscribe until next month, when it will be way too late to get it.

Here’s the link:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

“Email Players” subscriber John Bejakovic lays down the law about whether or not my claims are horse shyt, or if anything I *under* promise in some cases…

Hi Ben,

I wanted to share an Email Players success story for your vaults.

A while back you wrote the guys at RealDose Nutrition were looking for email copywriters.

I applied, and I was one of the people that they hired for a couple of different projects. One of these was to improve the cross-sell emails they were sending to people who bought their flagship product. These emails were pitching a bunch of their other products.

I wrote 5 new Ben-scented emails for them, focusing on just one of their products. This stuff was Email Players 101, straight out of the Handbook. They jammed these new emails in the middle of their existing sequence.

And the result?

A 3x increase in sales for the overall sequence. And this is for an 8-figure business that’s built on direct response, and that was already doing a lot of email marketing.

Feel free to share this with anyone who questions that your methods double or triple sales. And thanks for all your teaching and wisdom.


One of the “perks” I give to “Email Players” subscribers is freelance copywriting leads like John was able to exploit quite nicely as you can see (is there any doubt he will have his pick of clients now?) Since I don’t do freelancing, I share any leads I get with subscribers whenever they cross my righteous desk.

This isn’t something that happens every day.

(So don’t subscribe just for that — you’ll be disappointed.)

And, since I send to all subscribers, competition is stiff.

But, it has made for some happy freelancers…

Anyway, on to the business:

The deadline to get the February issue is tomorrow (1-31-19), when I send it to the printer. The entire issue is about building an email list. Specifically, one of my all-time favorite ways that not only can work for anyone — new or old, although it takes longer the newer you are — but has gotten my business many of my best, highest-converting leads and satisfied customers.

It ain’t a scalable method.

It takes time and patience to use.

And, it’s not even really “new.”

But if you want to see what it is and exactly how I use it, you’ll have to be subscribed before the deadline tomorrow.

After that?

It’ll be too late to get it.

At least, without having to buy it as a part of a much more expensive product I’m going to be creating that won’t launch until later.

Here’s the link:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Recently, I got this ditty from an MBA:

(I know he’s an MBA because it’s stated in his name attached to the email he sent me)

Please know that I absolutely adore your stuff. So much so, that it took me a couple of weeks to actually accept the fact that I needed to do this. But with the government shutdown, my business has tanked and I need to conserve every dollar I have right now until it’s over.

So I need to cancel my newsletter subscription before it renews on Sunday. It pisses me off beyond belief that I have to do this, but business is down 60% since December and I have to cut every cost I can. I realize this means I probably can’t come back. I’m not okay with that, but I have to feed my family first. I’ll keep reading your stuff and buying your books.

Thank you, but please cancel my membership.

My response?

“It is cancelled, and you are correct, there is no coming back”

And, just like that… he was banished from elBenbo’s midst ever after.



A bit extreme to someone who seems down on their luck?

No, it’s just the opposite.

First, I carefully curate who I want around my business.

I do this mainly because if I sell to and waste time with people who are unmotivated, unwilling to learn, lazy, or simply full of excuses, then I won’t be giving my good customers my very best. And this bloke’s defeatist, victim-hood mentality, hiding behind the Fed government shut down is a loud bullhorn signaling the exact opposite of what I demand in my customers.

In fact, my first thought was:

All that MBA education and he can’t use the info he admittedly adores to write an email each day that recoups his whopping $3.23 per day investment (which was preventing him from feeding his family?) and have the wisdom to sell something on the backend that makes him many more sales to boot?

Instead he treats the info as an “expense” to be cut.

And not an investment to be used and profited from.

And while I’m not saying he’s a bad person — he sounds like a good guy, salt of the earth — or that his plight is to be made light of (it’s not)… people like that have no place amongst us in the Email Player-hood.

Why in the world would I want him back?

Or anyone else with a similar prole-mind who just thinks in terms of “cut!” when it comes to doing the things that build a business, specifically ongoing education and marketing.

Speaking of prole-minded:

How do you know if you have one?

You discontinue and “cut back” on services and programs that make you sales (i.e. assets) before you discontinue your cable, your overpriced morning sugar coffee, your satellite subscription, magazines subscriptions, music site subscriptions, software subscriptions you never use, eating out 5x’s per week, and other entertainment and consumable expenses (i.e. liabilities) that are, by design, created to keep you entertained and passive, a servant of the system, building a lifestyle for someone else and his family, and not a master of your own destiny building a lifestyle for you and your family.


Being temporarily broke is certainly no crime.

But it’s never the money. Even a street bum rattling a coffee-stained styrofoam cup with holes in it can afford $3.23 per day, and if he can do it, an MBA should be able to do it and easily make more than his investment back, and build from there.

i.e. it would not have “cost” him anything if he was using it.

And to me, that’s the “crime” — not doing something about his situation.

For example:

I would bet someone else’s kidney he never once bothered using the two issues and book he got other than to send an email or two out, at most. I’d put my money on zero times. And also, it clearly never even occurred to him to take advantage of the perk I give “Email Players” subscribers where they can ask me questions (not copy critiques, I don’t do critiques) via email about anything I’m qualified to talk about. Now, admittedly, there are many, many things I am not qualified to talk about. Too many to list here. But, there are a few things I’m good at and can help people with, and have helped people with, and making sales with email — even when someone’s back is to the wall — is one of them.

He didn’t even bother to ask, before quitting:

“Mr. elBenbo, I am in this pickle… yada yada yada… any ideas?”

To which I might have been able to rattle off some ideas he could quickly implement.

Like, for example:

Having a Federal Government Shutdown sale or special on whatever it is he sells (which may very well be marketing advice going by his email address — ironically).

If he at least tried, that’d be one thing.

But he didn’t even bother.

Instead, it was just react, then despair for two weeks, then quit.

Still more:

The social sciences are bull shyt in a lot of cases. But, there is observable truth to, “you become the sum total of the people you spend the most time with.” And since I interact (i.e. spend time with) my customers via email, I don’t want anyone’s sad sack attitude getting on the bottom of my shoe, which can then get tracked around my business like mud, and have to be scrubbed clean.

“But Ben doesn’t this mean losing sales if they want back in later???”

In the short term, yes.

But in the long run?

That old business is always, without exception, replaced with better, higher quality, and more serious customers, and my business grows as a result.

The point to all this?

People are always looking for a boogeyman to hide behind (government shut-downs, the economy, Trump, Obama, the weather, the stock market, whatever it is) to justify their inaction.

And to those types, I sincerely wish them the best.

But, they’ll have to practice their in-action somewhere else.

Because they are not welcome back in my business once they – on their own volition – foolishly and short-sightedly cast themselves out into the void…

Anyway, this is one reason I’m teaching list building in the February “Email Players” issue. Your *list* is the beating heart of a direct marketing business. Not your puffed-up-in-numbers Facebook or Twitter friends. Not your podcast listeners. And certainly not your Instagram following. Those can be great to have, but only work as a way to make sales directly until they don’t — because you don’t control those platforms, and can’t export (to my knowledge, at least) your followers, friends, and audiences to a spreadsheet you can then “plug” into another platform like you can with email.

One more thing, before I let you go:

I once had a brilliant client in the self defense niche.

This was right smack dab in the middle of the worst part of the last recession in 2009.

And the client said something I will never forget.

He said (paraphrased):

“Direct response marketers who know what they’re doing love down economies. We make a lot more sales during these times, because all our competitors react in fear, and immediately ‘cut back’ on their marketing expenses and education, instead of ramping them up and seizing market share.”

And so it is, but only if you have:

1. An offer people want

2. A list of those people to sell your offer to

3. Something else to sell those people who buy your offer

The offer parts are on you, but if you want to learn the list part, check out the February “Email Players” issue, which goes to the printer tomorrow. It shows you one particular way of building a list that, while it takes time and patience (and a network — even if it’s a small network), it can pay you many dividends over time, and in a consistent way. And because it’s slow and takes time, the sooner you do it, the better.

After tomorrow’s deadline, it’ll be too late to get it, no exceptions.

Here’s the link:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

One of the formative experiences of my entire business career was in an old, obscure teaching the great Dan Kennedy did about a wildly successful plumber.

A plumber who got all the customers he could handle.

Could charge far more than any other plumber probably could.

And, that impressed DK so much, he used it as a case study in his Peter Lowe Conference talks.

And, even though Dan was talking about direct mail lists, the lesson behind the story has been one of the single greatest email list building methods I’ve ever used, and continue to use, and will continue to use for many years into the future.

Plus, it’s free to use, too.

(Unlike the direct mail version of it.)

And, I have found it lets me connect a pipe (so to speak) to the faucets of paid traffic platforms and, in a completely roundabout sort of way, drain some of the best leads from those sites onto my own in many cases, and in a way that is much simpler than it sounds.

The February “Email Players” issue is all about what this is and how I do it.

There is nothing at all “new” about it.

But, I believe the way I’ve systematized it can help almost any business — new or old — start to build a responsive email list fairly quickly. Maybe not a big list, certainly not as much as paid advertising. But, I’ll take the Pepsi Challenge using this against paid ad lead quality any day.

The only caveat is, of course, you have to be subscribed.

And, just as important, subscribed before it goes to the printer tomorrow.

After that, it will be too late to get this issue.

Time is short on this.

If you want it, high-tail it over to this link immediately:

Ben Settle

P.S. I have admittedly make this method sound a lot secksier than it probably is.

But make no mistake:

That doesn’t mean it can’t work as well, if not better, than I have described…

Filed under: Email Marketing

“Email Players” subscriber Mark Jordan witnesses the power of Emperor elBenbo’s fully armed and operational market research battle station:

You know your market like the back of your hand, speak my language, and write in a way that seems like we’re having a conversation.

I’ve gotten much better at all those things since being a subscriber, but for some reason it just clicked like a mf in my brain today.

I’m telling you man, being a subscriber is the single best thing I’ve done for my business. I have so many “aha” moments and shit just clicks when I’m reading your stuff.

There are two “secrets” I have for knowing my market like this.

One is doing daily (and often multiple daily) emails the way I teach in the “Email Players” newsletter and especially in the book I give to new subscribers. Doing so gives me daily market intel.

The second?

Is what I teach in the bonus “Ravings of an Adman” insert inside the upcoming February issue.

Ain’t nothing complicated about it, either.


There’s also nothing complicated about the list-building method I teach in depth in the main issue next month. It’s not scalable, takes time and energy, and you’ll need patience to use it. But, it easily produces some of the best leads on my email list I’ve ever gotten.

And, I believe it can do the same for your business, too.

That is, if you’re subscribed in time to get it.

Deadline is in less than 48 hours.

Get your list-building lovin’ while you still can here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

There’s admittedly nothing secksy or exciting about this list building method I learned studying the late Walt Disney. But those with a nose to hear and ears to smell can take it, run with it, and profit from it for years into the future…

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…

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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