Ben Settle

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

Double Your Sales With Email

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Your Daily Email Addiction

Filed under: Email Marketing

Not long ago, a reader asked:

I have an email list of 14,000 plus people which keeps increasing daily. I get barely 10-12% open rates. Now, of course, I’m learning to write better subject lines by going through your material. But other than that, what would you do to keep a healthy open rate consistently in an ever-growing email list?

My answer:

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.

But, besides that:

The concept of caring about open rates beyond checking your list’s health every now and then makes little sense to me.

It’s like caring more about having the most yards than actual points scored in football.

Or caring more about having the most base hits than runs in baseball.

Or caring more about winning the most popular votes instead of the most electoral college votes in US politics.

Example:

One of my “Email Players” subscribers once told me that, the first month he used the information in the newsletter, the client he writes for had the best month they ever had, and in a month that usually gets very little business.

But, he was still concerned about his lowly 9% open rates…

Again, these open rates worry-warts make little sense to me.

But, to throw a righteous pity bone to the people who are still obsessed with opens anyway, four surefire ways to ratchet them up are:

1. Drive more traffic to your opt-in page so you have more new leads to mail to

2. Get more of your emails delivered

3. Write better subject lines

4. Be someone people want to hear from

So simple.

So easy.

So… elusive to people who treat email like Pac Man or some other arcade game score instead of as a tool to make sales.

As for #1 above, I’ll be talking a lot more about that next month.

#2 is not something I worry much about.
And as for #3 and #4, that’s where the book I give to new “Email Players” subscribers comes in.

You can read more about it here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, Sales & Marketing

One of the great mysteries of business — at least, to my list, it seems — is pricing. In fact, an oft-asked question I get from “Email Players” subscribers who take advantage of the perk to ask me questions via email is:

“How do I know how to price my products/services?”

It’s a good question, too.

And, completely understandable.

Especially since so many people foolishly market to and always appeal to and care about the thoughts of price shoppers — which is a terrible mistake.

But, here’s the thing:

While that question is entirely dependent on way too many different variables depending on the person, business, market, customer, offer, product, service, timing, brand, status, financial goals, and a million other factors beyond my noble control… there is something I use to “guide” me — like a beacon — when pricing my products.

Doesn’t matter what size ticket, either.

I use it for big ticket and high ticket, medium ticket and any other kind of ticket.

And, I found this guide always keeps me “safe.”

Makes it so only buyers I want enter my world.

And, tends to also make my customers far happier and more likely to refer, buy from my humble self again when given the chance, and in some cases think of me as the only person business in my category, niche, and industry to buy from at all.

Anyway, what is this “guide”, exactly?

That, my Play Thing, is reserved for “Email Players” subscribers’ eyes only.

And, specifically, people subscribed in time for the June issue, where I reveal it in the 3-page “Ravings of an Adman” bonus insert.

But time is short, Pokey.

If you want in, best stop procrastinating and subscribe quick here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building

Let me tell you about one of the greatest website that ever existed:

“Super Shadow” (dot com)

This was a site that operated for many, many years, by a bloke (or several blokes) pretending to be a guy with direct access to George Lucas, and having inside knowledge of all-things Star Wars.

I used to read it every day for entertainment.

As, it was one of the funniest sites I ever saw.

In fact, I still use the wayback machine site to read it for kicks. It was absolutely hilarious, and even more amusing how so many people really believed it was what it claimed to be.

Anyway, some of the site’s highlights included:

  • A picture of Super Shadow’s girlfriend

  • The plot to episodes 7 and beyond

  • Princess Lea bikini photos

  • Interviews with George Lucas (some of the finest infotainment I think I’ve ever seen anywhere, as he made Lucas out to be a greedy billionaire with no neck, bullying fans into spending more money on Star Wars merchandise and tickets to line his pockets as he dated super models and drove sports cars)

  • And, of course, the infamous Star Wars plot formula

Despite the satire nature of the site, I found the plot formula Super Shadow had to be not only extremely accurate and detailed… but also extremely helpful later on in business, too.

Here’s what I mean:

The Star Wars plot formula is what made Star Wars tick.

In fact, whenever movies stray from a proven formula they tend to not only do way worse at the box office, but anger fans, and do nothing but waste sometimes years of time and emotional investment in the stories.

(Hat tip to Game of Thrones…)

Anyway, I have found this to be the same in business, too.

This could just be my case, admittedly.

But whenever I’ve created a business plan and business model that works, then strayed from it, tried to get cute & creative with it, or outright betray it… elBenbo’s own box office gross has always suffered.

And it’s no different with the business model I use today.

The more I stick with it, the most my business grows.

The less I stick to it, the more my business shrinks.

I can’t say anyone else will or will not have the same experience. But, I am teaching my business model (“plot formula”) in the June “Email Players” issue. It’s also based on simplicity, sending a lot of emails, and having a lot of offers.

So if you can’t swing those things, it won’t do you any good.

If you can, it could very well add many rupees to your box office gross, too.

The deadline to get this issue in time is tomorrow.

After that, it’ll be too late.

To get it in time, make the jump to light speed here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building

The following will seem a bit “counter intuitive” to a lot of people.

And, it’s something that frustrates even my best customers sometimes.

But, there is a method to the madness.

Anyway, here’s the story:

A couple weeks ago, I got this question from a new “Email Players” subscriber:

“I’m a new freelance copywriter, currently working on mastering long form sales copy, and email marketing for clients, I would love to know if you have any courses, or coaching, or book courses, that I can buy? I saw that you have email client horde but I can’t seem to find other courses from you on Google. Weird. Can I have the links to all your courses, book courses like email client horde, and all of them? Would greatly appreciate it”

Now, by all observable variables, this is a great customer.

Serious about succeeding.

And, eager to learn and implement.

But, the only thing I would reply with was:

“Patience, eager one.”

Why would I do this, and not send them a pile of links to all my books, offers, and products, especially when raring to go?

Because of a “law” I follow.

A law that has helped me create what I believe (and I have many testimonials and happy JV partners to back this up) is one of the most responsive email lists in my industry.

It’s also a “law” I teach in the June “Email Players” issue.

Specifically, in the 3-page bonus “Ravings of an Adman” insert.

Although, full disclosure:

The insert is about how I apply this law to pricing my offers, as I have a very specific approach to pricing I rarely see anyone do, much less teach. But, it is also why I don’t do “whole enchilada” offers or even let people buy everything at once in most cases.

Yes, even at the expense of getting many upfront sales.

But, I suspect it gets Yours Crotchety many more overall over time — and that is why I think it has helped me build one of the most responsive lists in my industry. It is also why I will say if you want to know how to approach pricing your offers especially, violate this law at your peril…

The deadline to get this June issue is almost upon you.

If you want it, subscribe at this link today:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building

In mid March I moved from a small seaside town in the boonies, to an even smaller seaside town in the boonies I had wanted to move back to ever since leaving it back in 2013.

When I say boonies, I ain’t just whistlin’ dixie.

In fact, my new place (elBenbo’s Bluff) wasn’t even wired for high speed internet.

The people who used to live here apparently were content with the frustrations and vagaries of satellite internet and never bothered to set the place up for cable internet. And, it turned out Spectrum has had to do a lot of construction — including running 150 feet of cable underground — to get my place hooked up.

The entire process has taken almost 3 months.

(I still am not hooked up… in fact, they just tacked another two weeks to the wait.)

And, thus, I have been running my business mostly via my phone’s wifi hotspot.

It’s been a merry ol’ time, too – mostly because of the dial-up like speed it runs at after I burn through my monthly hotspot allocated data, which makes it so I can’t load most web pages, and it often takes (no exaggeration) longer to load emails into my broadcast program and also put them on my blog than it takes to actually write the emails.

Of course, there are a couple places I can go for high speed internet.

One of which is a local bookstore coffee shop.

But it’s a cramped and loud place (impossible to concentrate) with small tables and big voices, and uses spotty satellite internet which is sometimes just as frustrating.

There’s also the library, too.

And, while it has great functioning internet, they don’t open until 10 am and noon on weekends.

But by that time, I’m spent working.

Daddy is an early riser type who likes to get crackin’ before the crack of dawn.

Anyway, why should you care about any of this?

Probably you shouldn’t care.

Unless you want the hope and assurance that even under near internet-less conditions you can still run a fairly big and successful internet-based business. As since moving here to elBenbo’s Bluff I have not only had record sales in new business, but have hammered out several product re-launches, affiliate campaigns, and other assorted projects that have been created in strict accordance to the business model I use that allows someone to literally run a million dollar business online from a phone’s wifi hotspot.

Maybe that doesn’t impress you, or maybe it does.

But, either way, I’m teaching this business model in the June “Email Players” issue.

The deadline to get it is Friday.

That’s when I will send it to the printer, and then turn it off in the shopping cart for a couple weeks.

(so no stragglers can get in)

That means if you want to subscribe in time to read this issue, you’ll have to high-tail it faster than the 400 meg internet I now fantasize about to the URL below:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Business Building, Sales & Marketing

Newly minted “Email Players” subscriber Petr The Affiliate shows how I ain’t just whistlin’ dixie in these bloviating emails:

Yo Elbenbo,

this is not really a question, I just wanted to give you props and let you know how excited I am to have finally subscribed to EP. I don’t know what took me so long. I guess I was one of those “some other day soon” types. What finally made me jump off the fence was the previous issue (the one you said you’d never sell again).

To be honest, the only issue I have with your EP and the new Copy Slacker book is that I think it deserves to be printed on higher quality paper than the printing-paper-type it is on and the book deserves some thick hard cover! Seriously, I’ll be putting extra special care not to damage any of these issues or book while re-reading them and I’ll be specially preserving it all, since it deserves to be handed down to my children.

I’ve been truly blown away by the issue I just mentioned earlier. Even though after listening intently to every word of yours since January 2014, I can honestly say that some themes or ideas I had already heard from you before, the fact that now I’m paying for all that just suddenly makes it “click” in place even better. And not just the actual stuff in the issue and book, but in general the whole amalgamation of listening to you for all those years is starting to seep in.

So even though I haven’t actually applied DIRECTLY AS INTENDED any of your info to email or online business (to be perfectly transparent I have no email list and still working on my main offer), I feel as if your advice (that’s not even in the current two issues) is ringing in my ears constantly. I finally was able to perfectly casually sell in person a new client of my side-gig on a higher overall revenue for me and even figured out finally after a year and a half of how to properly sell my employer on giving me a raise!

So thanks, man. Somewhere I heard someone say you’re the “new Gary Halbert” and I think that’s basically true in some ways.

For some reason (must be his name…) he makes me think of the high king Peter from the Narnia books — drawing his sword and preparing to slay the giants, witches, and monsters of his business world.

Whatever the case, I’ve got good news for lads like Petr.

The upcoming June issue should do wonders for helping him and others who struggle with the business structure and business model side of things — especially as he thinks about what kind of offers to send.

I’m obviously biased when I say that.

But so it is.

Here is the link to subscribe to get the June issue before the looming deadline:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: inner game

Last night, I heard from a bloke who is down on his luck, can’t afford a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out, and is truly in dire straits, and had to cancel his “Email Players” subscription.

When he went on about how it’s weak for him to complain, etc, I had to agree.

In fact, in a rare instance where I reply to such pleadings, I said:

“True, you are literally complaining about milk money – $3.23 per day. No worries though, it is cancelled, carry on..”

To which he replied yes he was spending milk money, and had to go on public assistance.

And, how my making him feel “guilty” about it wasn’t helping.

But, the lad was wrong.

I wasn’t trying to make him feel guilty.

I was shaming him.

His thinking he should even be in business at all when he can’t wrangle up $3.23 per day – even a street bum rattling a paper cup of change can do – is the whole point.

A lot of these guys don’t need a so-called business.

They need to go get a job.

Fact is, he’s not a business man any more than I was in 1998 when I first got into MLM and went into debt each month to pay for the $100 minimum order I had to do to qualify to be in a comp plan I was not bold, confident, or wise enough to even take advantage of at the time.

Best thing that could have happened to me back then is for someone to take my naive self aside and say:

“You are over $50k in debt. Your brakes on your car are shot and could kill you any day now… you are literally in a lawsuit with one of the most powerful car companies in America without a snowball’s chance of winning while barely able to pay rent, you are so broke you live in a $200/month office you are ashamed to tell anyone about, and instead of working part time duplicating videos and trying to play business on the side, you should get another part time job, or even a full time job plus your part time job, and get your shyt together and then do the business thing later, using the resources you have, and taking it seriously instead of dipping your pinkie toe into it like a little poser.”

But nobody told me that.

Nobody shamed me about that unfortunately.

Thus, I do this now as a free service to people who don’t ask for it…

Anyway, here’s the punchline:

If you don’t have a regular secure income… if you don’t have a budget and some cash to invest in your business… if you literally are in a spot where you have to choose between feeding yourself or your family or investing in one of my products… you simply aren’t a business person yet, you’re an opportunity-seeker.

Just admit it (to yourself) it’s okay.

And, by admitting as such you will begin making better long term decisions.

It doesn’t mean you can’t have a business pursuit later if you are broke now.

But, get your house in order, first.

Work multiple jobs, dig ditches, do whatever you have to do.

If you’re not willing to do that for your dream of having a business then that speaks volumes about whether you really want to have a business.

But if you do, have some self respect.

Think through your decisions carefully.

And stop reacting to every offer (including mine) that comes your way.

Have a plan, follow it, work on it diligently, and if you can’t afford it, you don’t need it.

This goes triple for my “Email Players” newsletter.

And, it goes quadruple for the June issue, which is about my business model. If you are someone “scraping” by with no list or offers, and can barely make your minimum payments on a credit card do not think it will change anything, it won’t. It’s for people who already have a business, already have an offer, already have a list, and are ready to leap to the next “figure” (4 figures to 5, 5 figures to 6, 6 figures to low 7 — etc).

It’s not about making someone feel “guilty.”

It’s about shaming them into getting their acts together.

End of my Sermon of Shame.

If you are a responsible business owner and want in on the June issue, go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

P.S. I was asked just this morning if the June issue is going to teach list building since it shows my current business model.

No.

There is nothing inside it about list-building.

I have an expensive book coming out about list-building in July, for that.

The June issue is simply my business model as far as the whens, whys, and whats of offers I send and the psychology behind it all.

P.P.S. Before anyone says:

“But Ben! What about So-and-So guru I heard on stage who had only a dollar to his name and found a secret way to become a millionaire without having to get a job first!”

Those types do exist.

Although they are extremely rare.

But they are always busy working their tails off implementing info they buy with their lunch money so it pays for itself in spades.

Filed under: Email Marketing

“Email Players” subscriber Alec Rosa checks in:

“Been on your newsletter for maybe a year now. I’m rereading the email players skhema book for probably the third time now and WOW it just makes sense. It’s so easy to read and understand and I think that’s such a credit to your knowledge of the subject that you can take something that could be made complicated and ‘dumb it down’ if you would so that really anyone can pick this book up and start writing better emails. Thanks for putting this out in the world and sharing what you know.”

Thank you Alec, but I will say this:

The only reason I appear to “dumb down” information is because that is how I best learn myself.

I once heard that Einstein said:

“Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

But whoever said it, it’s exactly what my books strive to do.

And, this is especially true of the Email Players Skh?ma Book, which is my ever-green methodology, and the tactics that make it work, honed, pared down, and devoid of anything but that I have found to not only work, but work exponentially better than anything else I’ve tested, tried, or experimented with over the years — including in programs I used to sell but no longer do as the market and times have altered.

Okay, on to business:

If you want to learn my methods and get the book Alec mentioned, subscribe to “Email Players”.

And, do it immediately if you want in for the June issue.

It’s all about the business model I use.

And, I suspect, plenty of businesses will have plenty of fun using it to make more sales.

Here’s the link:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters

“I think I bought something like 3.2 million pages of comic book advertising a year. It worked beautifully.”

— Harold von Braunhut
Inventor of the Sea-Monkeys

True story:

When I was packing to move to elBenbo’s Bluff a few months ago, I fished through my comicbooks. And, as any self-respecting copywriting fanboy would do… I started looking at all the ads that stretch back to the 1950’s through the mid 2000’s when I stopped collecting. And as I poured through these ads, I was reminded by how the ads in the 50’s through the 70’s were almost entirely direct-response and, frankly, some of the best ads I’ve ever seen. I have since done some intense research on the ads of that time, and it was no surprise at all that some of these advertisers literally became mail-order millionaires with a single ad that ran through various titles every month.

Granted, many of those ads were pure fraud, selling lies, and using deceit.

And, played on the gullibility of kids and teenagers (and adults…)

Take, for example, the infamous — and notorious — Sea-Monkeys ads.

The Sea-Monkeys were fried up in the mind of one Harold von Braunhut — a man of questionable virtue and ideology.

Anyway, “Sea-Monkeys” were simply a species of brine shrimp.

But they were packaged, sold, and marketed as literally pets that live in their own magical-looking kingdom, that you can observe for hours in a bowl, endlessly fascinated by them — complete with illustrations (drawn by a popular comicbook artist of the day) in the ads showing humanoid-like creatures, living in a castle, underwater.

In other words:

They were utter bull shyt.

But, that didn’t stop people from buying them by the millions.

Or from Hollywood creating a TV show about them.

Or, from being so embedded in popular culture (even to this day) they’ve shown up on The Simpsons and even in a South Park episode.

All as a result of the fascinating ads used to sell them.

Now, I cannot say for sure.

But, I’d bet the Sea-Monkeys ads were the single most profitable and effective comicbook ads ever created. Maybe Charles Atlas’ ads did better. But, I’m putting my money on the Sea-Monkeys for sheer cultural impact.

Same with many comicbook ads back then.

Those copywriters knew how to tap into your soul, and create an itch you HAD to scratch to the point of kids begging parents for the $1.00 to send away for the product, and adults blowing their paychecks.

Now, “flash-forward” a decade to the 80’s:

Comicbooks stopped accepting “Sea-Monkeys” kind of ads.

Instead, they sold only to big corporate accounts, churning out the usual boring big corporate ads. And (I suspect) bringing comicbook companies more revenue without the stigma of selling fraudulent products that preyed on the naiveness of children and grownups alike.

Which brings me to the small reveal:

One of the purely selfish reasons I am testing 3rd party ads in “Email Players” is because I want to see a return of “Sea-Monkey” advertising, that fascinates and delights my Horde, but while selling legitimate products & services my readers can really use, sold via the powerful, bold, and, yes, “Sea-Monkey” style ads of yore — with irresistible offers people will love reading and buying from.

Thus, why I call these ads a “back door swipe file.”

It’s my vision to make “Email Players” serve both as a Sea-Monkey kind of swipe file and a source of offers that improve all our businesses, while also making advertisers a lot of money, without worrying if Facebook, Google, etc will nuke their ads on sight.

(Three of the four ads would never be accepted in a million years by the popular ad platforms.)

Will my dream come to fruition?

That remains to be seen as I conduct this paid ad test in the upcoming June issue.

But, you’ll see this kind of advertising in action in these 4 ads.

And, I suspect, many smart people will take advantage of the offers they make.

To subscribe in time before the deadline around the corner, go here:

www.EmailPlayers.com

Ben Settle

Filed under: Copywriting & Sales Letters

This email won’t be all that relevant to most people.

But, the June “Email Players” issue is the first where I’m testing 3rd party ads. Meaning, it has four full-page ads embedded inside created by four talented “Email Players” subscribers, making some ridiculously generous offers just for my Horde. And between Agora copywriter Christi Johnson’s provocative headline/opener, my woman Stefanie Arroyo’s elBenbo-ized “innuendo” coaching offer, cold prospect closing master Lauren Hazel’s use of dramatic demonstration, and social media community building expert Nicole English’s branded use of infotainment… there are many embedded lessons in this “back-door swipe file.”

More:

These ads are not only good examples of what I call “Sea-Monkey” advertising… but they are examples of the kind of offers those who want to advertise in future issues (should I decide to keep selling paid ads after this) should be looking at as what to do.

Like I said, this email is irrelevant to most people.

Especially if you have no desire to join “Email Players” much less advertise in it.

But, this idea of Sea-Moneky advertising is something I’ll be talking more about tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in subscribing for the June issue, go here:

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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