Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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Back in the 90’s a movie came out called:

“A Time To Kill”

The too-long-didn’t-watch version is:

(WARNING: whole movie spoiler follows…)

A couple evil KKK types rape, beat, and torture a 9-year old black girl on the way home from the store. They think they killed her, but she lived. She makes it home, and the police easily find and capture the two perps. The father of the little girl (played by Samuel Jackson) knows they are not going to get what they deserve in a mostly-white county in the South. So, in an open courthouse, in front of God and everyone, he shoots the rapists both dead. Since he’s a black man in a predominately white county, his chances of not getting the death penalty are slim to none. So, he hires am untested, solo practitioner white lawyer named Jake Brigance (played by Matthew McConaughey) he knows to defend him against a popular and far more experienced DA who’s chummy with the judge and has a huge team at his disposal.

Anyway, short story long?

By the end of the movie, they’re losing the case:

  • Jake’s witnesses have been discredited
  • Samuel Jackson’s character openly admits he knew what he was doing when he killed the rapists and hoped they burn in hell (making the insanity plea a non-starter…)
  • The jurors have even agreed privately with each other he’s guilty
  • And, Jake’s got nothing left but his closing argument

A closing argument that, in my humble (but accurate) opinion, includes a superb principle of persuasion (I have heard only one person ever teach in depth in 16 years up in this business) that can change even the most stubbornly skeptical and hostile minds on a subject.

I don’t care if it’s in a court of law.

In an email or sales letter.

Or, even when debating politics.

(Yes, I have seen this secret persuasion method literally result in diehard partisans changing political parties!)

People who’ve seen the movie probably think I’m talking about storytelling.

But it’s something far more powerful.

Something that is like a law of persuasion unto itself.

And, something anyone (of any skill level) can incorporate into emails, sales copy, social media posts, livestreams, podcasts, whatever you are selling with.


I talk about it in exquisite detail in the upcoming August “Email Players” issue — with several real-world examples taken directly from some of the highest selling sales letters and emails I’ve ever written to illustrate it, spanning multiple niches and product categories.

(i.e. whatever you sell, it will apply.)

But, I am sending this issue to the printer tomorrow.

After that, it’ll be too late to get it.

Subscribe here in time, while you still can:

Ben Settle

  • Novelist
  • Anti-professional
  • Author
  • Email Specialist

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