Ben Settle

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Your Daily Email Addiction

A few months ago I read a book called:

“The Dan Kennedy Diamond Faxes”

The book is all his faxes to his members from 2012 – 2019.

And I underlined and took notes on practically every page.

One recurring theme I kept seeing — besides his contempt of all things smart phones (I don’t think he’ll be lining up to use Learnistic or make a bundle selling Learnistic Pro any time soon…) — is how the herd is always, almost without exception, wrong.

Dead wrong.

As in, just do the exact opposite of the herd, no matter whose advice they’re taking.

And this is especially true when it comes to business, money, marketing, etc.

That’s also a theme that runs through nearly every other product of his I bought. And, if anything, I blame his products for installing the “baseline” reaction I have had for the last 20+ years up in this business to simply do the opposite of the herd whether I am in doubt about something or not.

Take the weight loss biz for example.

I partnered with two people in that niche back in the day.

One of who is my pal Jim Yaghi.

A few years after we high-tailed it out of that deal, he told me he was looking at all the stats and noticed my combined emails and sales letters (my part of the business relationship) converted 40+% of the list into buyers.

And that’s just the stuff we could track.

There were also a lot of Kindle book and Amazon sales.

And while 40% conversion to sales may or may not be guru #’s, we did it:

  • Without tracking a single open rate
  • With nary a single before/after pic on the ads anywhere
  • Using a pic on the sales letters of a hot early 20’s-something Colombian chick (the opposite of the middle aged wine moms & aunts we were selling to) I kept being told was a huge no-no when selling to middle aged white chicks
  • Using a plain vanilla-looking sales pages with minimal if any graphics
  • Displaying zero testimonials on the sales pages
  • Sending mostly “superficial” emails (usually probably less than 200 words) that, if they gave any tips at all (most were just really short anecdotes or stories) they were super basic & obvious — like talking about drinking more water, walking more, exercising during TV commercials, etc
  • Hardly ever talked about benefits in the emails, just bonded over problems the market shared i.e., built the relationship before the transaction
  • Didn’t look at a single ad in my swipe file when writing the ads, and certainly not “what’s working now”, preferring only the market research we had

And probably a lot of other things that went completely against the herd in that niche.

I don’t think I even so much as looked at any other ads.

I based everything — emails and sales pages — on the market.

I distinctly remember, for example, the main partner in the business (it was his baby) complaining to me that the emails were too superficial, needed more depth and meat, and then he’d point to some list he was on for libertarians (who will happily read 5,000 + word articles about free trade and all-things economics), while his own research showed the market segment we sold to barely had the time or the bandwidth to pinch a loaf every day much less sit on the internet and pontificate about the subject for 45 minutes per day.

The irony:

I reckon 90% the people reading this will miss the big lesson entirely.

But chances are, those are the people constantly chasing herds off cliffs.

All right, class is over.

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Ben Settle

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

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