Ben Settle

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Your Daily Email Addiction

File under: Email Marketing


Not long ago, the esteemed A-list copywriter Bob Bly posted a quote from an email I wrote last month on his Facebook feed, about why I don’t get bogged down in stats, metrics, etc online, and asked what his readers thought.

And, a gaggle of copywriters chimed in.

But my favorite comment from the readers?

This doozy:

This is by far one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. I’m all for not looking at the daily #s and getting caught up in single day change.

That said… how would you ever know if you’d hit list fatigue, had a declining open rate to investigate or …a high bounce or complaint rate?! Would you just wait until your beloved ESP messaged you? By that point anyone worth their salt would tell ya it’s too late to rescue your list in most cases.

Does he have a point?

Or is he just being a bit of a drama queen?

As Mr. Owl said when asked how many licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop … let’s find out:

(1) Declining open rates

I could go into all the reasons I couldn’t care less about opens. Like how Android phones mostly don’t even register them. (Unless the owner turns on HTML in their email program). Or how Gmail mucks them up sometimes. Or how studies show most opens are on phones, but most transactions are on desktops.

But, I won’t bother even mentioning those things.

(I respect your time far too much to even hint at those.)

Instead, I’ll illustrate my point with this:

Last year, an Email Players subscriber told me using my methods made December (usually the lowest selling month for his client) his client’s biggest selling month. But he also said he was worried about his opens only being 9%.

I’m just not seeing a problem to worry about there…

Very few (if any) “name” Internet marketing gurus agree with me about this.

One of them even once called me “irresponsible!” for this attitude.

But who can blame them?

When all someone has is soft metrics that are about as relevant to their sales as their all time high pacman score to brag about on the livestreams and social media posts, what else are they supposed to say?

(2) High bounce or complaint rates

How do I know what mine are?

It ain’t exactly rocket science going on over here:

1. I log into Aweber

2. I slightly scroll down (half a roll of my finger on my mouse)

3. I can see the bounce and complaint rates for my last 5 sent emails. And, if I click a link underneath those, I can see as many more as I want.


(3) List fatigue

Can’t say as I ever met this List Fatigue chick before.

But what I can say is, I’ve never needed metrics to tell me if my list is fatigued or whatever. I’ve always known what to send, what to offer, and when to do it (and how often) because I have a daily dialogue with my list. In my experience, you’ll learn far more about your list (what they want, what they want you to offer them, what they are looking to spend money on, etc) mailing them using my crude, plain text email ways each day, building a relationship with them, and paying attention to the reactions, sales, and replies (or lack of those things) than by going blind studying metrics.

I know… doesn’t sound secksy from the Internet marketing seminar stage or in the copywriter Flakebook groups.

Especially when, no affiliates profit from it being taught, since it doesn’t require any special funnel software they can pitch to do it.

But, it’s always been reliable for me.

Anyway, bottom line:

I never said you shouldn’t look at your numbers or metrics.

In fact, in the email I was quoted from, I said probably you should.

But what I also said is, *I* don’t.

I track my overall sales trends.

You, of course, can do whatever you want.


I will keep profiting from the blue light special copywriters on Flakebook flashing their K-Mart strobe light opinions about email (like I’m doing now), while they will keep grandstanding about how wrong I am.

That’s how you bring balance to The Force…

All right, enough of this.

Let’s get down to some business.

My “Email Players” newsletter hardly ever talks about things like improving open rates, getting more clicks, or measuring bounces and complaints.

Instead, I focus on:

Writing more persuasive emails.

And making more sales.

And, doing it in a way that doesn’t suck all your time away.

More info here:

Ben Settle

  • Book & Tabloid Newsletter Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Alt-Copywriter
  • Software Investor
  • Pulp Novelist

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