Ben Settle

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

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File under: Business Building

There are some businesses I do everything in my power to avoid.

Like, for example, Walmart.

The place just reeks of cheapness, despair, and desperation. You can see it in the countenances of some of those who shop there, in the attitudes of many of the people who work there, and in the shoddiness of a lot of the products sold there. I remember one of my old clients Mike Dillard writing about this many years ago on his blog, and he got hundreds of people whining at him, yelling at him, and hating him for it.

But I smiled & nodded along with every word he said…

Yet, from a distance, I’ve also learned a lot from Walmart about business.

Especially when it comes to choosing which products to place as 1-click upsells.

Another example of a business I despise is Starbucks.

The pretentious snobbery that infests the ambiance of Starbucks, and the “dumb money” mentality it goes out of its way to pander to with people taking selfies with their made-for-Instagram drinks… makes me very glad I live some 30 miles away from the nearest one.

But, like Walmart, I’ve learned much about business from it from afar.

Including something that radically exploded my sales, short term & long term.

In fact, here’s a gem about this I learned from the great Dan Kennedy:

In one of his talks, he showed how, on the surface, one would think Starbucks is in the business of selling coffee. But if they were merely in the “coffee business”, they probably would not have been able to build a gigantic $80 billion company and 30,000 stores — all while selling sky high priced coffees, with paper cups so thin you need a wrap-around piece of paper to prevent burning your fingers, with a menu so complicated you need a PhD to decipher it, in locations sometimes right across the street from each other, sold by kids so slow the lines wrap around the block & often so dumb they can barely work a cash register.

No, my fine feathered little friend, they ain’t in the “coffee” business.

And I would bet you are not in the business you could & maybe should be in, either.

Whether you sell info products, freelancing, coaching, eCommerce, professional services, brick & mortar, or anything else.

This figuring out what business you are really in is something that requires a lot of deep thinking — sometimes years of thinking — to get right. But, once you do, and once you implement it… everything changes.

Another “0” can be quickly added to your profits.

Customer bases sometimes triple in the span of months.

And, the level of influence your brand has can multiply 5, 10, 15 fold.

The bad news is, there’s no 10-point checklist for this.

You can’t get away with swiping & copying, either.

And, it can be legitimately hard work to figure out.

The good news is, I give a bright, easy-to-see beacon (just a beacon, nothing more) for how to think about this sort of thing, using my own business as an example in the upcoming 100th issue of “Email Players.” Yes, my Pet… your pal and humble daily email pusher is not in the “email marketing” business.

Or in the “newsletter” business.

Or in the book publishing business.

Or in any kind of obvious business.

I used to be all those things.

But a couple years ago, that massively changed — both in application of how I run things around here, and in the amount of revenue, brand recognition, and overall influence my little one-man-band operation has created.

There’s a reason I waited until the 100th issue to talk about this.

And while it won’t give you any answers, it can serve as a guide for your thinking on the subject.

But, a word of warning:

If you’re the small thinking type, this issue will disappoint you.

Small thinkers are always disappointed in my products.

And this will go triple for this 100th issue of the newsletter.

All of which is why I aggressively try to turn small thinkers away. And that is also why, if you are the type, who is saying to yourself right now, “Okay I will be in the same kind of business Ben says he is in and just copy what he is doing lol!!!!!!” you’ll be a massive & complete failure at implementing this. Mark my words, Chuckles… copying the surface elements of what I or anyone else is doing in this regard is a recipe for disaster and failure and, frankly, misery, humiliation, and losing a lot of time & money.

For this, above all else that I teach in that issue, thinking is required.

Deep, substantive thinking.

The kind of thinking swipers, social media addicts, marketing hobbyists, goo-roo fanboys, new product junkies, and probably most people who identify as an “S” in the Myers-Briggs (they have a hard time thinking forward outside of the moment – an advantageous attribute for many things, believe it or not, but not this) are virtually mentally incapable of doing.

Whatever the case, this is one of many lessons inside the next issue.

The deadline to subscribe in time is tomorrow.

After that, it’ll be too late.

Here’s the delicious pumpkin spice latte link for your clicking displeasure:

Ben Settle

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

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