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: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

Came a comment from across the pond many suns ago:

“Hey haven’t you got spell check?? There really should be NO excuses for typos nowadays if you have a modicum of education. If you were brought up in the UK – typos are a BIG no no in business! It shows unprofessionalism and sloppiness especially in the age of the spell check.”

I don’t normally reply to muppets.

But, in that case I made an exception.

My answer?

“Let’s make a deal: You keep drama queening about typos, and I’ll keep making money with them”

More:

This comment came in that same day:

(From reader Bruce Lilly)

“Grammar, syntax–I’ve taken all the university courses on them, from an English degree with a nod towards Linguistics. And because they know the Traditional English Manner of Spelling and Grammar, some people think these rules apply everywhere….What these people don’t understand about language and grammar and even spelling could fill our world’s atmosphere. Do they know that grammar is subjective, and that as long as one is understood then the sentence has performed its task? A sentence is a boat. It carries a meaning. If that meaning gets across to the other side–congratulations–your boat floats.”

Anyway, bottom line?

There is a reason proofreaders make peanuts compared to language-butchering email writers.

Details on my “Email Players” newsletter here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

One of my guilty-pleasure movies is the first Deadpool.

I won’t say it’s the greatest movie ever made, or that it won’t lower your IQ a point or two if you aren’t careful. But, there is a powerful email lesson embedded within its reel that can potentially be quite a boon to your squealing piggy bank.

Specifically, I am talking about how it breaks the 4th wall.

This means, Deadpool directly talks to you — the audience.

i.e. breaking the 4th wall.

And this, my loyal plebe, is what great emails do, too.

As one of my pals Sean Kaye once told some of my customers, when you tell a story with a specific kind of narrative, while also giving a reader a behind-the-scenes look at at your life, your business, etc, you are breaking the 4th wall.

Most emails never do this.

And, even if they do, they do it in a way that is dorky.

Like, for example:

  • Complaining about their problems (nobody cares about your problems, some of us are even *glad* you have them…)
  • Mushing on about irrelevant tangents they don’t tie into what their list wants
  • Lecturing via doling out boring philosophy or dry tips
  • Giving lots of free hard info away their list will safely ignore
  • And the goo-roo band marches on…

Anyway, if you want to learn how to do it right, never fear.

That’s why my entire Email Players methodology is all about in some ways.

Subscription info here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Back in June, I wrote this ditty about email open rates:

“I care less and less about open rates the more I realize and learn – from computer scientist types over the years – how inaccurate they are, unless something has changed I am unaware of.”

To which “Email Players” subscriber Fabien Delorme chimed in:

“As a computer scientist I can confirm this won’t ever change…It’s the same with websites and google analytics btw. There’s no way around it. That’s the way the internet is built.”

More:

My pal Jim Yaghi (another computer scientist) says Android phones have HTML turned of by default, meaning they aren’t tracking opens anyway. And he used to joke about how online marketers claiming to “scientifically” test emails have clearly never been introduced to the scientific method, with no clue about the rigorous discipline it takes to pull a real test off.

Engineer Sanjay Pande once broke it down like this:

As you know I’m the geek who has designed and built many of these so called tests, I can tell you your scientist friend is 100% correct.

There are way too many variables in e-mails.

1. E-mail volume is relatively small. The larger the volume the margin for error goes up anyway.

2. Split testing subject lines is useless because you may have different delivery or open rates.

3. It’s hard (if not impossible) to tie an e-mail to sales unless the offer is in the e-mail. Even then you don’t know what “really” caused the sale. Sometimes it’s the sequence. Sometimes it’s people’s mood. There are a number of causal effects before the sale. The prior e-mail could have been more of an influencer of the sale.

4. A price change (even an increase) can put your sales up or down. The e-mail in this case was not the cause of the sale and all the split tests in the world wouldn’t work (Ted Nicholas book flopped at 20 bucks and was a best-seller at 70 bucks to the same lists).

5. Even the average marketer knows that 80% of sales are made after the 5th contact. So, what’s the real point of your split test on an e-mail with an offer? This is a problem that even plagues direct mail marketers.

6. Most tests are done in smaller numbers with the premise that rolling up will replicate the results. This is flawed from a scientific perspective again. The sample size changed dramatically which will affect the results and you’ll never know why you had such a big hit or a flop – even though it’s helpful to have indicators to go on.

All these folks who spout their expertise on testing should really talk to a few scientific people (and perhaps geeks) on how tests are done and how they still mean squat.

People who think they’re marketers are the worst offenders followed by the folks who call themselves “real” business people – very few who even understand how these things even work.

Tests will only give you “indicators” and as you said, you really do not know when the same e-mail will work or bomb when re-used (with your evidence).

Thanks for covering this topic. People really should wake up and get it.

Another kicker:

Was when my pal Jon McCulloch showed me how Gmail now does something to grab images once and isolate them from the server hosting them — making open rate measuring completely out of whack.

I don’t know if this is still the case or not with Gmail.

But, it would not be surprising at all if it was.

Anyway, if you want to worship the open rate fairy and call it science that is your business.

I won’t say tracking opens is 100% useless.

But, I will say it is 99% overrated. What matters is ROI, not some undependable stat with as much relevance to sales as your last Space Invaders score.

All of which is why I care about open rate data about as far as I can throw a piano.

Bottom line:

I focus on tracking sales trends over time, expanding my world of offers, building my list with higher quality names, keeping my fingers on the beating pulse of my list, and continually making myself better today than I was yesterday at the things I can control (writing better emails and subject lines, curating my list, thinking up attractive offers, etc) vs focusing on things I cannot control (soft metrics like opens).

All of which requires no HTML.

No tracking software or analytics.

And, no having to go blind staring at percentages.

Whatever the case, “Email Players” newsletter subscription info is here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

P.S. My all-time favorite open rate fairy story:

Was when one of my “Email Players” subscribers gave me a testimonial about how using my non-caring about opens ways nabbed his client the most sales in a particular month than ever before…but the client was still worried why his open rate was only 9%.

The irony wrote itself…

Filed under: Email Marketing, inner game

I once read an article about a man who broke into a funeral home to have secks with a corpse.

(Even my Enoch Wars books don’t get *that* deranged…)

And, I challenged a bunch of people at the time to write an email about it. One of these fine-feathered little fledglings piped up and said they couldn’t possibly write an email about that to his market — as his business was relationship coaching, and a lot of his readers were high level academics, people with PhD’s, and that sort of thing.

To which I replied “watch and learn, my little mush cookie…”

And then showed how even something as deranged as that news story could be packaged in a way that could sell to snooty academics and professors, and the easily offended.

Which is an important and profitable skill to have.

As a wise person I never met once said to some mush cookie millennials:

“I’m so grateful I was born without the ‘gets offended’ gene that seems to torment so many of you. Lighten up. Toughen up. Life is better.”

Truer words have nary been spoken.

Anyway, if you want to stand out in a market full of high falutin’ sophisticates, the best thing you can do is hunt down articles like the one I wrote about and turn the deranged material into a respectable email.

It’ll be a valuable email exercise.

And, who knows?

You may even catch yourself having some fun doing it…

To learn more about my “Email Players” newsletter, go here while the going’s good:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, Email Marketing, inner game

Over the past few months a few eagle-eyed readers have noticed I no longer send my email each day at 6:30 am PDT like I used to, with such exact precision you could set your watch to it.

And recently I was asked why?

Why not send it at 6:30 am anymore?

Is that no longer the BEST time to do it?

Answer:

It was never the “best” time to do it.

There are some times that are better than others, depending on your market and what your competition is doing, and I know of some people who have found a time that gets them more response than others overall. But even if there was a best universal time that worked for everyone, it wouldn’t be best for long.

Example:

Many moons ago it was declared 2:00 PM EDT was best.

So what happened?

A bunch of goo-roo fanboys blindly started sending their emails at that time.

And, what happened then was, everyone’s inboxes were getting an email from the same vulture-like cadre of small-thinking marketers at that exact same time, ruining it as being the “best” time, even if it had been. The amusing thing is, it wasn’t really the best time anyway — it only was best for the marketer who supposedly tested it. I say “supposedly” because I believe practically all email tests should be taken with a huge grain of margarita salt at best, and most likely should be defied.

Especially when it comes to open rates.

But that is a story for another time…

Back to the mythical best time to send emails:

After discovering there were dozens, if not more, marketers in a niche similar to mine — i.e. we had some of the same people on our lists — blindly copying the time I sent emails, I decided to make it completely random.

No rhyme or reason.

No strategy or master plan.

Not the way I usually operate at all.

And no, I didn’t notice any less response because it’s not really the time of the day doing the selling anyway. The best time for me is whenever I feel like sending it.

Yes, ideally, I would email at the same time each day.

If for no other reason than that’s the kind of ordered way I like to live my life.

But, the copycats have ruined that. However, instead of rueing the fact, I simply go with it and use it to my advantage best I can.

All of which brings me to another important & related point:

This is yet another reason why I say the business world is overrun with “S’s.”

And recently, I’ve been shown how most people on the planet are “S’s”

“S” is a Myers-Briggs term that describes people who don’t think future-wise.

According to Stefania Arroyo, who in my completely biased (but correct) opinion is the foremost expert on using Myers-Briggs to sell & market with — i.e. she is not one of these bat shyt life coaches on facebook who treat Myers-Briggs like astrology — S’s are almost like gold fish. They can merely react to what’s in front of them, and have a hard time thinking forward, or about the consequences of their actions or decisions. There are many advantages to being an S, though. Like, for example, in one-on-one selling. But when it comes to long-term marketing and planning and thinking forward, S’s are the ones that can only react… swipe, imitate, copy, clone, and steal, with no ability to think forward about even the obvious consequences of doing such things — like everyone sending their emails at the same time.

This is also why S’s have a hard time with my Email Players methods, too.

In fact, I will let you in on a little secret:

Despite how it appears on the surface, I don’t teach email.

I teach long-term marketing and sales strategies, with email being the main vehicle driving those strategies. You could just as easily apply what I natter on about with email to social media, video, audio/podcasting, content marketing, or anything else. People who have been subscribed to “Email Players” since this last April’s issue especially — when I consciously decided to start teaching this almost exclusively — know what I babble about with this.

In fact, many S’s have wisely thrown in the towel and quit since then.

And they were smart to do so.

It’s too mentally uncomfortable for them to think forward or have the patience to lay the groundwork and implement long-term thinking-inspired strategies, rather than just swipe subject lines or calls to action or whatever.

That doesn’t mean S’s can’t do what I do.

There are still quite a few who have stuck around and use it.

And, they wisely use the newsletter for accountability, and to keep them on track, and to learn how to think differently, and not as something they can just swipe.

Anyway, top line:

The best time to send an email?

For me, it’s whenever I push send.

Because it’s not the time doing the selling, it’s the principles, strategies, and, yes, tactics (a naughty word to S’s who heard someone else say something they heard someone else say on flakebook about what the late, great Jim Camp taught on the subject, all out of context) doing the work.

If you want more instruction on this way of using email, go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing

Today I’m reaching into my righteous mail sack for a bit of the ol’ Q&A:

QUESTION: I am new to the email marketing game and I am having “writers block”… trying to email my list every day New and exciting content that they actually will open. Any suggestions to never run out of things to talk about?

BEN SETTLE: If you have writers block with sales copy, you haven’t studied your market deeply or thoroughly enough. Do that, and any blocks will disappear.

QUESTION: How serious are you about [your “no coming back after leaving Email Players”] policy? I like Email Players, but I’m poor. What’s my risk of receiving the ban-hammer for canceling due to finances? Thanks for your time.

BEN SETTLE: It’s $3.23 per day. It’s not the price, it’s you and your priorities. A lot of so-called “business people” would be better served replacing “can’t” with “won’t” when their rationalization hamster starts spinning about these things. At the very least, they should stop pretending to be an “entrepreneur!” on Facebook and get a second job somewhere, to get their financial house in order. Either way, once you leave, there is no coming back.

QUESTION: Do you EVER give away any information without my having to enroll!

BEN SETTLE: Other than the collective 250+ free podcast episodes, media interviews, videos and other free trainings – not even counting the 2,000 or so blog posts – I give away on my site, can’t say as I do…

QUESTION: Do you have a daily reading routine? If so, what kind of material do you typically read and how many pages a day?

BEN SETTLE: Depending on the day, most of my reading is an hour or so before bed. As far as what kind of material — I tend to like to read biographies of the great men in history and about successful publishers/publishing companies. I’m going to be publishing a list of all my favorite biographies and books like these in an upcoming “Email Players” issue sometime this year.

One more, to wrap this Q&A up — this one’s a comment not a question from a marketing incel:

QUESTION: You’re an unbelievably funny, hilarious sociopathic asswipe lol. We love to watch you make a fool out of yourself, to see what depths such a scumbag will go. It’s amusing. It’s human nature. You are an entertainer whose hobby is studying emails and your career is selling bullshit.

BEN SETTLE: Thank you Good Sir, nobody has ever called me hilarious before…

All right, that’ll do it for today.

Fun fact:

The upcoming October “Email Players” issue will go in-depth about the marketing incels like the magnificent troll above, and dig deep into their psychosis and the ways to benefit from them in business (beyond just profiting from trollery like I usually teach about them), including examining the adventures of an extremely successful author and blogger who has far more experience dealing with them than I probably ever will.

Until then?

Here is the link to learn more about the newsletter:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Email Marketing, inner game

Last week I got a question that comes in many sizes, shapes, and guises:

I write for marketers + have my SEO, consulting, and copywriting clients…

…and then I write a lot about spiritual growth stuff and Christianity.

I even go the lengths of keeping my discuss + gravatar stuff generic so people can’t track back to either one.

I’m not feeling great about this. But I take some controversial stands and I worry about alienating people from one audience to the next.

Thoughts?

I’ll just say this:

I once heard the great Dan Kennedy talking about his friend, the late Zig Ziglar, and how Zig did a very “bad” thing (according to conventional wisdom) as a speaker.

Something Zig did in every speech.

In fact, as Dan put it, “you couldn’t get him not to do it.”

What did Zig do?

He gave his Biblical testimony.

According to Dan Kennedy, he lost count of how many people told Zig when he started speaking that took him aside and said, “Zig you can’t be doing that. You’re going to offend a lot of people. You’re not going to get a lot of corporate gigs.”

Well, guess what?

For four decades Zig was the single most successful motivational speaker in history.

Does this mean go out there and let it all hang out as a tactic?

No.

People see right through that.

The point is, Zig only cared about what the people who responded to him thought, and not what the easily-offended Facebook proles, the Internet, or some wound-up heathen who gets acid reflux when wished a Merry Christmas at Wal-Mart thought.

Do with this info what you want.

But, I will say this:

This goes double for emails.

My Email Players methodology not only allows for you being “you”, without apology, pause, or excuse, but tends to work more the less you’re worried about what the wagging tongues of the world think.

It’s a funny thing about the Internet:

It gives everyone a chance to speak their mind.

Yet, most minds never speak.

Bah!

What a boring way to live.

If you want to both make a living being, well, *you*, and also have a blast doing it, check out my “Email Players” newsletter. The upcoming October issue even talks a bit about how to respond to people who get mad or butt-hurt over your content.

Here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

“You’re so ugly, you’re beautiful.”

— A woman at a poetry reading
speaking to the late Charles Bukowski

A while back on a podcast interview about copywriting, I got to talking about how ugly so very often (not always, obviously, many factors at play) beats out pretty online.

Ugly layouts.

Ugly fonts.

Ugly links (i.e. putting the full http: //… in instead of a pretty hyper link)

Ugly colors.

Ugly images.

Ugly language.

And so on, and so forth.

In Yours Hideous’s experience (I have yet to see pretty beat ugly in any of my projects)… and in the experience of many people who have been doing this much longer and have seen a gazillion more tests than I have (like the “founding father” of Internet marketing Ken McCarthy, the late copywriter Gene Schwartz, the late marketing genius Jim Straw, and even the Drudge Report — which looks like it was created with Netscape Composer and hasn’t changed in 20+ years…) ugly often works better.

Why?

I don’t know.

My *guess* is because it’s like Mr. Schwartz said:

“In a world of beauty the ugly thing stands out”

Case in point:

Holly (the chick who interviewed me) was saying how her designer is always disappointed at how ugly wins, and how she once knew the owner of an art gallery who purposely hung the pictures up slightly crooked because it got people’s attention.

Anyway, am I saying ugly always wins?

That’d be silly.

But to me, it’s all about standing out, especially in emails.

Thus — ugly, plain text, the occasional mangled word, and the list goes on.

More:

If you want to write emails so ugly they stand out like a fart in study hall, run over to the link below like an 8-legged dog and subscribe to my “Email Players” newsletter.

You probably won’t get any high fives from designers.

But, your banker might give you one…

Here’s the fugly link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

I was once forwarded an email from a copywriting coach nattering on and on and on about how great a “writer” they are, and, presumably, that’s why you should listen to them.

Talent is all well and good.

That and a quarter will get you a gum ball, if nothing else.

But, you don’t have to be a great writer to make lots of sales.

In fact, I’m the first to admit I am not a great “writer.” (If you’ve seen my novels this is obvious — riddled with typos, grammar problems, you name it.)

But, luckily, I don’t need to be.

Why?

Because in my experience, what’s more important is the ability to create vision. If you can do that, your “writing” can be sub par and you’ll still have people scrambling to buy from you. This is straight from the late, great, master of negotiation Jim Camp — called the world’s most feared negotiator by his adversaries (including negotiators at Intel, who, I hear, have some of the toughest negotiators in the world). And, it’s something I’ve used for years to write long running ads in hyper competitive markets (like home business, self defense, golf, etc) overrun with better writers than me. It’s also how, for example, I showed one of my “Email Players” subscribers how to go from making $0 in December (the slowest month for his business) to doing over $100k in a December and almost double that by the end of the next month.

Had nothing to do with writing talent, it was simply creating vision the way I taught him.

Back to Jim Camp… his big teaching was:

“Vision drives decision.”

What that means is, until somebody has a vision and gets emotionally connected to your copy, they won’t make a decision to buy from you. They really can’t make a decision to buy because all decisions are made on emotion.

Yes, even the decision to be rational is an emotional decision…

Anyway, the trick ain’t becoming a great writer, which not everyone can learn.

It’s becoming great at creating vision, and sending the right offer to the right people, which anyone can learn.

Very simple.

Very obvious.

And, on the internet, very rare.

To learn more about my not-all-that-mysterious email ways, go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Behold two of the most valuable business quotes ever uttered by human lips:

Quote #1 — from Earl Nightingale

(found in his video “The Boss”)

“Most people…want to be liked and want to get along, who want to be friends. They have problems and sorrows of their own about which we’re not aware. They have bad days and disappointments. Make sure that the time they’re with you is a high spot in their day and that they’ll want to come back, not just because of your company, but because of you.”

Quote #2 — from A-list copywriter Doug D’Anna

(found in my “Copywriting Grab Bag” eBook)

“Everybody can recite benefits, benefits, benefits. Forget the benefits. Ultimately it’s more than just benefits. You’re selling the relationship too. It’s not just a product. Just like I’m going to go look to buy a car today. I’m first really shopping for a salesman.”

They may not look it, but both are extremely deep thinking.

In fact, I’ve been reflecting upon them both for well over a decade, and still find new ways to apply them, almost every day, in almost every email I write, and in almost every interaction I have with my customers.

More:

There’s far more going on then just the surface ideas of people don’t buy your product or service, they buy “you.” The above quotes were simply my own “gateway” drug to learning a special kind of marketing I talk in great detail about in the September “Email Players” issue, which I am sending to the printer today.

I call it a “special” kind of marketing because so few ever think to do it.

And even fewer actually do do it.

Yet, it’s been used by a handful of people to become extremely successful.

(In some cases, even when they didn’t deserve it!)

Like, for example, the media mogul and publishing empire-builder William Randolph Hearst. Donald Trump has used it a lot, too (in fact, I’m reading Hearst’s biography titled “The Chief” and it is astounding how Hearstian Trump is). As did the late brilliant actor Steve McQueen, the late musician Prince, and the still-living Madonna, amongst others.

But very few marketers do it, believe it or not.

Yet the few who do, are all incredibly successful.

Have ridiculously identifiable personal brands.

And, also, have acquired a fanbase of clients and customers who would not even think of buying from or hiring anyone else — even if they could find someone “better” with better pricing at whatever it is they are buying or hiring someone for. It’s all wrapped up in a secret law of persuasion. A law I dedicate the entire September “Email Players” issue to. A law you, too, can use, regardless of your current social status, finances, skill levels, or experience now.

The benefits of using this won’t happen overnight.

And it takes time and patience and hard work.

But, I daresay it’s worth it.

If you want in on this issue, time is short.

Once I send it to the printer today, it’ll be too late to get it.

Grab it at this link immediately, or forever hold your peace:

www.EmailPlayers.com

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 | ben@bensettle.com

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