About 18 years ago — give or take a month — when I first tumbled into the rabbit hole of direct response marketing and copywriting, I somehow stumbled into a secret Yahoo! group I somehow found full of A-list marketers & copywriters & other assorted multi-million dollar business owners & gurus whose names you’d instantly recognize and who you’ve probably bought lots of stuff from over the years since.
Surprisingly, that group never grew past 500 people.
And, even more surprisingly, it remained virtually a secret for 19 years.
I remember printing reams of pages of stuff they talked about in there and studying it like a NYT reporter studying Trump’s tax returns. Whenever someone like John Carlton started riffing about something off the cuff about writing sales copy, or Perry Marshall dropped some valuable intel about PPC, or when I saw the great Paul Hartunian debate another guy in there about direct mail vs the internet… it was more valuable than anything I was reading in the paid books & courses I had.
Anyway, here’s the point of all this meandering:
A couple nights ago, I heard Yahoo is shutting all their groups down.
And, it got me to thinking about some of the takeaways that stuck in my psyche all these years.
Like, for example:
1. The great John Carlton saying how in all his years of mauling the English language, he’d never lost a single known sale because of a typo. And, in fact, he’d had entire pages missing from promotions that still made bank because what really matters is the story and salesmanship.
Admittedly, I’ve had nothing but contempt for towards Spelling Nazis since…
2. The great Paul Hartunian talking about how the “technology” of direct mail never changes.
Stamp, envelope, mailbox.
This is something probably only 5 or 6 people reading this email will care about much less understand. But I can say it was, without a doubt, one of the most valuable insights I’ve ever seen, and is responsible, in many ways, for the kind of business I’ve built.
3. The great Phil Alexander deconstructing Dan Kennedy’s original (and I believe superior) NO BS Time Management book, and showing — page by page — all the ways Dan combined content with promotion in such a masterful way, you are buying his other offers without even realizing you’re being sold to.
To say that had an effect on how I write emails & books’d be a Trump-ego sized understatement.
I am the first to proclaim free is the new expensive.
And how free is rarely valued.
But, in this case, the opposite was true.
Maybe that’s why everyone basically kept it a secret all those years…?
Whatever the case, don’t ask me how to join it or whatever.
That ship has sailed, Chuckles.
But, it’s not too late to realize the really valuable stuff ain’t on Facebook or Twitter or social media by secret gurus pounding their chests about how great they think they are. If you get all your info there, you’re doing your studying in the wrong library. The really powerful stuff is more likely to be found in dusty old barely-functioning forums, populated by old school marketing masters 20+ years ago writing off-the-cuff with no agenda to sell anything, when the internet was still in its diapers.
I reckon there are still a few of them out there somewhere.
And if/when you find them, don’t take them for granted.
You never know when the platform hosting them will disappear.
Along with 19+ years of posts…
All right, enough of this.
Let’s get on to the business:
Of the 3 insights above, the 3rd one about combining content with promotion in a way that people enjoy consuming is the most valuable I’ve used as far as email, content creation, and sales copy goes. Frankly, it’s the backbone of everything I do up in this business. It’s what can let you stand out in the inbox, get read before everyone else, and make you more sales than everyone else. It’s a skill you can also apply to any other kind of persuasive communication, too—including social media, videos, podcasts, sales copy, blog posts, articles, books, public speaking, and anything else. It’s also a thread of teaching that runs — “between the lines” — through the past 99 “Email Players” newsletter issues I’ve published (the Nov issue is the milestone 100th issue…) and the “Email Players Skh?ma Book” (that comes with your “Email Players” subscription). It’s the one thing that can let you both sell and build the relationship with your list simultaneously—saving you from months and years of low sales, dealing with low class leads, and constantly wondering why the best buyers are fleeing from you instead of buying from you.
If you want this skill, then my “Email Players” newsletter can give it to you.
It’s not something you learn today and get rich with by next week.
Nor is it seckys or “ninja” or bright shiny object-y, either.
But it is a learnable skill.
That is, if you have the patience, the character, and ambition to do so.
If you do, then you can learn it here: