Ben Settle

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Double Your Sales With Email

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Your Daily Email Addiction

File under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, Email Marketing

A reader is troubled about my “Why elBenbo is slowly turning the planet into Mordor” email last month.

Let’s see if we can’t help this fellow out:

I subscribed after seeing your list touted as brilliant copywriting, only to find that you actually write unpleasant snark. Snark I kept reading, admittedly. I guess I was trying to figure out your talent for making me want to open your emails, even though they’re horrid. Then I realised there was no magic and no secret skill. I was just bored, and garbage is just garbage. All told, the experience of trying to learn from your emails is like eating rotten steak to figure out how it makes you shit yourself. So long, and thanks for all the ruined carpet.

I must be better than I thought at this email & engagement thing.

Apparently, I have the power to bore people into engaging with me!

Besides that, he’s confused about something else.

Following may not be “dictionary accurate.”

But, there was no “snark” in my email that so clearly rattled him. Snark is something trolls, haters, and cancel culture weaklings who cannot handle differing opinions do — and is neither entertaining or persuasive. It is pointless drive-by insults, abusive ad hominem attacks, and desperate shyt talking that pretends to be clever to disguise how whatever makes the snarker feel insulted, angry, shamed, or butt-hurt really affects them – often peppered with “LOL!” for further fake defensive posturing.

It’s all based on feels, bitterness, and dishonesty.

Thus, a lengthy bitter reply to my email dedicated to hamster-spinning about how bored he was, etc.

Which was, ironically, snarky in and of itself.

My Mordor email that gave him acid reflux, on the other hand?

It was simply lighthearted mockery about some blatant hypocritical virtue signaling embedded in a yahoo article about the environment.

It was funny to anyone not drinking the “green” kool-aid, and is the exact opposite of snark.

That’s why it made a lot of sales, why it got lots of engagement, and why it bothered him.


Mockery is inherently funny & persuasive to everyone – except to those being mocked, of course. While snark is inherently nasty and not-at-all persuasive, not even very often to the people who do agree with it, I have noticed. That’s why nobody except maybe other bitter & snarky people likes or buys from snark, while mockery has been used for centuries by all the most influential & talented orators, prophets, politicians, evangelists, and gifted teachers to persuade and influence. Whether it’s the prophet Elijah mocking the 450 priests of Baal by asking if Baal is pinching a loaf somewhere when he doesn’t show up to light a fire… or Earl Nightingale mocking the proles watching TV all day by saying, “This is not an indictment of television. I have a couple television sets at home myself. I have a couple cars, too, but I don’t drive them around the block for 8 hours each night.”

Which brings me to the punchline:

Mockery is extremely powerful in marketing.

It’s also something I teach on page 19 in the July “Email Players” issue.

In one short paragraph I show you 5 tried-and-true ways to use mockery — not snark — to get all kinds of engagement and sales, should you choose to use this device to sell with.

The deadline to get this issue is tomorrow (6/30/20).

To subscribe in time to get it, hurry over to:

Ben Settle

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

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