Ben Settle

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

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: Business Building, Email Marketing

A few months ago, “Email Players” Sean Corbett sent me a true-life example of why when the late, great Gary Halbert said to write for money and not applause, he wasn’t just whistlin’ dixie.

Here are the gory details:

(Profanity edited so as not to offend any delicate spam filters or mush cookies)

I was doing this before buying Email Players, but still had been following your daily emails for a while.

My main client and I measured e-newsletter performance by the amount of “F— You”s we get in return.

(client has a complex service that involves a phone call with the head salesman and only then can be sent to an online sign-up form)

If the email is a Zero F__You then it also doesn’t generate any profit.

We aim for a 3-4 F__-You quotient, to know that the email gets the blood up one way or another. More than that, and I am just aggravating the list unnecessarily.

At least one email should threaten you with legal action.

Those ones also make the most sales, and generate the most “Thank-You”s too.

You seem to qualify your list much harder than my client, but I’d imagine you are still above a Zero F__-You quotient. Especially near the end of the month.

A confession:

I don’t get nearly as many angry push-up troll & hater responses as I used to.

I don’t know if it’s because I curate as hard as I do.

Or if they know I will simply profit from it.

Or if they just don’t find me an easy target for their rage.

But, I will say this:

The essence of what Sean said is true across the board. If you ain’t ticking off the people you don’t want, chances are you ain’t turning on the ones you do. And, it’s something my “Email Players” methods let you do quite easily.

Maybe not to get the blessed FU response.

But, to make more sales.

Create better and more loyal customers.

And, yes, to have more fun.

Subscription details here:

Ben Settle

Well, maybe not technically “emails.”

But, the late, great Mad Man advertiser Leo Burnett (who opened his now-world famous agency in the depths of the Great Depression…) gave the best case for daily email contact back in 1960 in a piece he wrote for an organization called “Outdoor Report.”

Here is what the great Chicago advertising genius said:

“… the No. 1 factor in building confidence is the plain old-fashioned matter of friendly familiarity. You simply can’t have one without the other…When you meet a man on the same street corner every morning and learn to like the way he smiles, the way he dresses, and the way he conducts himself you are much more likely to be a prospect for the automobile or the insurance policy he may sometime want to sell you than you are for that of a stranger.”

What better way to do that today than daily email…

He continues with another zinger…

“I have sometimes felt that some of the early great commercial reputations in this country were due more to the fact that Cyrus H. K. Curtis made the advertisers buy a minimum number of insertions in The Saturday Evening Post and the Ladies’ Home Journal at regular intervals than to the type of copy employed.”

What’s that?

Structure (regular & consistent contact) is more important than creative?

You don’t say…

Please, tell us more, Master Burnett:

“The same was true of network radio in its earlier days with its built-in requirement of continuity; and certainly the TV advertisers who have reaped the greatest rewards from this medium were those who have used it with the greatest consistency.”

Translation for the goo-roo fanboy:

Your holy “internet” ain’t any different than other media that came before.

The laws of marketing transcend media.

And, they always will.

Things ain’t “different” online, they’re only faster & cheaper.


“Attitudes and convictions about products and companies do not spring into your mind full-blown, no matter what the stimulus. They grow.”

More translation:

One email per month, per week, or whenever you “feel” like it ain’t gonna cut it.

That is, if you want an ever-strengthening relationship with your list.

So much wisdom.

All ignored by the social media-addicted masses.

To start applying these principles to your business, go here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, List Building

A reader (name withheld by request…) learns the hard way:

I saw this email today and it struck a nerve. My wife had a complete mental collapse from the corporate pressure she experienced in the pharma world. Sadly it has become an common problem in that world. It took a long time to recover from that and we realized going back to that environment with any company was not a viable option. She had to find something else and it had to be able to replace a large portion of her previous income. Thankfully we had time because of our large savings account.

My goal was for her to find something she was genuinely passionate about. It did take long for her to find that passion. Now the path was one not one neither of us expected but she was happy and that was the point. She used Facebook
lives to do makeup looks and explain why people should use her chemical free, gluten free, cruelty free professional grade makeup line. Over time it became this group of women that viewed it as sisterhood. It became for some their escape, support system and a positive place for them to go every day.

To the point of your article below, Facebook made change after change. The number of people on her lives dropped dramatically. People who followed her where not getting notification that she was live. She would get kicked off her live if she asked people to share it. The list goes on and on. These events have a direct impact on her ability to grow her business and her monthly paycheck. Some months it had a significant impact on her paycheck. It has become a constant battle to figure how to manage the everchanging rules of Facebook. It is incredibly frustrating to thousands of people.

There are hundreds of thousands of people and probably millions that use Facebook in the same manner to provide there livelihood. In my wife’s case it has become so bad that she started looking for another platform to utilize. The problem is the interaction that she has with people is what makes her successful. If she simple did a video and posted it the results would barely register. Forgive the long email but I wanted to share the story to provide perspective for this question.

Is there a way to create a platform that allows you to do interactive real time sessions that you own and control? The power of Facebook is the millions of people that view it everyday and any one of them could stumble across her page and become a customer. In fact they do and that’s part of the reason why her business has grown.

This is what happens when you rely on another platform.

People on social media would be much better off doing this, instead:

1. Build an email list using the social media platform of your choice while you can

2. Then sell, interact, whatever to that list

Problem solved — if you know how to use email, at least.

Especially since, if you have a Facebook following, that ain’t a list.

That’s simply a table at a convention with people walking by who may or may not buy, may or may not interact, may or may not even see your table… where the convention owner can, at his pleasure, shut your table down, shuffle you somewhere out of view, even ban you from the convention center altogether.

Knowing that, use that convention to build a list while you can.

Then, once they’re on your list, you can email them at will, send them to a place where you can interact, do whatever.

And, there ain’t a blessed thing Flakebook can do about it after that.

My prediction:

A whole lot of businesses are going to be in for one rude awakening as Flakebook cracks down even more on the de-platforming, shadow banning (whatever the kids are calling it), mining personal data, and making it even more unpredictable to make sales and build an audience on there than it is now.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

After reading this, any evil that befalls your business due to over-reliance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc makes you not an innocent victim, but a willing victim.

In the meantime, check out:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Daily email reader Faith Teel reveals one of many reasons why putting all your faith in “OMG look at my open rates!” and other soft metrics is near-dangerously short-sighted.

Take it from here, Faith:

About mood being more important for response rates than split test variables…

I run a handyman business with my husband, and we’ve been doing it about 5 years. At this point we know what times of year people are going to call, and when they won’t, to the point that we plan our vacations around it.

The slowest time is just before tax day. The best time is right about now. And there are even repeating sub-cycles related to New Year’s resolutions, school letting out, and so on. There’s even a season for cheapskates and lousy jobs like cleaning up bat guano or whatever.

It’s always been that way no matter what I do to our web presence or marketing. The only thing that changes is the quality of the customer, in response to the quality of my marketing.

I know many an offline business owner baffled by online marketers.

In fact, I think the only people who are more amused at online marketers obsessed with email open rates are computer scientists and engineers who know how inaccurate they are.

Anyway, do what you want with this info.

There are many “intangibles” you will miss if all you base your decisions on are tracking and testing, especially online, where your favorite goo-roo beating his chest on stage about all his tests like its his religion notwithstanding… analytics ain’t as exact and accurate as people pretend they are.

It’s one of many reasons daily email contact with your list is so vital.

Doing so can tell you far more than any open rate.

Or clickthru rate.

Or, especially, and survey response.

To learn how I approach email, go here:

Ben Settle

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:

Ben Settle

Over the past year I’ve been getting probably 1-2 emails per month haunting my junk mail folder from broken-English speaking spammers trying to “sextort” me into sending them Bitcoin in exchange for not telling all my contacts about some videos I didn’t watch.

i.e. what computer security ex-spurts call “sextortion.”

The scam goes like this:

1. You get an email from someone saying they know your password — specifically, an old password you used 10+ years ago with Yahoo or some other big company whose data was recently hacked

2. The secks-torter says they put some virus on your computer when you visited a site they don’t name, just that it was some pourno site they say they recorded you watching

3. They also use your first name in the email to make it sound even more menacing and urgent, plus put the old password in the subject line

4. They say they will leak the video of you watching pourno to your contacts

5. But, they will be kind enough to delete the video if you send them some bitcoin

The first time I got this, I couldn’t help but think:

“I bet this actually works on some people…”

Turns out it does, according to the computer security ex-spurts.

In fact, this sextortion shtick is such a thing now, even the hit show Black Mirror did an episode about it. And, I hear-tell that was one of the more popular episodes. I also would not be surprised if that episode did more to “sell” anti-virus and anti-malware software than any ad or sales pitch run by these companies ever did.

And you know what?

There is an extremely powerful selling method at work with this.

A method best illustrated by a famous life insurance salesman who said:

“You have to make them see the hearse pulled up to the curb side…”

And so it goes…

To learn my non-extortionary email ways, go here:

Ben Settle

One of my favorite documentaries is about the late brilliant actor Steve McQueen, which, while not a “business” or “marketing” or “copywriting” or “email” training… has many embedded lessons on business, marketing, copywriting, and email.

Here’s what I mean:

When Steve McQueen was hired to play the lead in the TV show “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, he was notorious for demanding everything from the stunt men (he fired a stunt man on his first day, even though he didn’t have the authority to do it…) to the scripts were nothing short of the best they could be, and didn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence or come off as fake.

For example:

There was an instance where his character was supposed to fight 5 guys at a time and kick their arses.

Steve’s response?

No, that’s not realistic.

As someone who grew up on the streets, and had been in many actual fights, he knew how fake that was.

His solution?

He made the script writers change it so that his character snuck up on each of the villains, one at a time and isolated, and take them out that way. The result of these kinds of changes was a night and day difference, and a much more dramatic, yet realistic, show that was one of the most popular shows on TV.

That’s the power of being real with your audience.

With not insulting their intelligence.

With giving them a good time, but without making idiotically outrageous claims.

Bring reality to your email copy and watch your sales soar.

More lovin’ right here:

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, Email Marketing, inner game

One of my favorite classic movies is:

“Citizen Kane”

It starred Orson Welles.

And, was about the life and legacy of a powerful newspaper publisher.

Why is this important to you?

Why should you care?


We’ll get to that.

But first, check this out:


The movie starts with Charles Foster Kane dying, with his last word being “Rosebud” — and the entire movie is this sort of question of what “Rosebud” is. Turns out it was simply the trade name of a cheap little sled on which Kane was playing on the day he was taken away from his home and his mother as a child.

Welles revealed in an interview:

“In his subconscious it represented the simplicity, the comfort, above all the lack of responsibility in his home, and also it stood for his mother’s love which Kane never lost.”

The point?

We all have our rosebud.

And recently I was reminded of mine while talking to my mom about some of the shi– I mean stuff — I left in her attic over the years.


My extensive comic book collection.

I spent years curating it, and hundreds of hours reading through them, while rudely ignoring everyone around me. And they represent a part of my innocent childhood.

A time before I had any responsibility.

Or real problems.

Or, cares about what goes on in the world.

But, they’re more than that:

I can also trace my entire direct marketing career to those hours of mindlessly reading through the same stories — admiring the writing, artwork, and creativity that went into them.

They shaped my mind.

Molded any smidgen of inborn creativity.

And, even today, I catch myself “swiping” ideas from comics I read 20 years ago… in my emails today. Snippets I have no conscious memory of. But, that are floating around in my subconscious — ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

Those comics are my biggest inspiration.

My “rosebud” if you will.

When I wheez out my last breath I’ll probably even say:

“Make mine Marvel…”

All of which brings me to the point:

What is YOUR rosebud?

Think long and hard about it, Chuckles.

Then crawl back into that time in your mind when it was in your life, tap into those memories and emotions… relive them, and try to figure out what it was about that object and time that shaped who you are today. Chances are it will inspire you. Give you focus. And, a whole new outlook on your business.

Even better:

It will make great “fodder” to talk about in emails.

Kind of like this email is.

Very simple.

Speaking of emails…

Check out the “Email Players” newsletter here:

Ben Settle

I once read a rant from a guy online who was lamenting on a message board about how he bought some goo-roo’s super expensive “how to get rich online” product, was handed a pile of regurgitated garbage, and can’t get his money back.

He also said it wasn’t the first time this has happened.

That he’s been “conned” before.

And, he was “tired of the half-truthes and hype!”

Then a chorus of others joined in.

Each with their own sob story.

Each one saying how they’ll never trust another goo-roo again, didn’t see it coming, were lied to, they’re all the same, etc.

My first reaction?

Well, I don’t wish bad things on these guys. But, when they cry about how they were burned **multiple** times buying from the exact same kind of overhyped nonsensical ads (they know going in are BS, but buy anyway) with blind claims and no credibility whatsoever… they’re pretending to be innocent victims… instead of willing victims.

There’s a big difference between the two.

And the willing ones are often the ones who cry the loudest, even though it’s their fault.

I mean, let’s be honest:

Just because a goo-roo is offering you candy doesn’t mean you have to hop into the back of his windowless van.

Anyway, just something to think about.

More goodness and sunshine here:

Ben Settle

Couple years ago, on a podcast, I was asked about what’s working especially good now for my sales copy and emails these days?

I had several answers for this.

One was this idea of not trying to swim upstream, always trying to out-ninja people with tactics and persuasion choke holds, beating someone into submission with lame mental game tricks just to get a sale.

And, instead, go the opposite way.

With less energy and effort.

I illustrated my point with the movie “Babe”.

Babe (if you never saw it) is about a pig who becomes the world’s best sheep herder. While the sheep dogs threaten, bite, and yell at the sheep to bend them to their will (taking a lot of time and energy, and coming home exhausted)… Babe simply asks the sheep politely if they will go move to the other fence or into the back of the truck or whatever.

The sheep end up loving Babe.

They do his bidding without any resistance whatsoever

And, they are even *happy* to do it.

So it is with email, copywriting, marketing, and all persuasion.

It’s like A-list copywriter Doug D’Anna told me:


“If I walk into your house
I can get your dog who loves you
to jump out of your lap to come to me,
a complete stranger she’s never met.
Want to know how?
Simply by holding up her favorite dog cookie.”

Anyway, some cud to chew on, Pork chop.

On a (somewhat) related note:

One thing people have trouble with is getting price out of the way — whether selling one-on-one or via copy of some sort. And, are always playing Twister with facts and trying to change the subject whenever price comes up.

Well, guess what?

When you email using my oftentimes uncouth ways, you won’t have to do that.

You won’t t have to use any lame tricks.

And, you won’t have to posture and pretend to be someone you’re not.

(Just the opposite.)

“Email Players” subscription info here:

Ben Settle

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

PO Box 1056 | Gold Beach, OR 97444, United States | (541) 412-6364 |

Copyright 2002-. All rights reserved

Legal & Policies Privacy Policy