Ben Settle

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Your Daily Email Addiction

File under: Email Marketing

Let’s see if I can’t rattle the advertising critics…

One of the things I sometimes catch “flack” for is, I don’t spend the time each day to format my emails for smart phones. Now, admittedly, I don’t do this because I’m a big believer in the Dan Kennedyism:

“Money is attracted to speed”

There’s also some “A pile” mail mentality going on, too.

And, probably, some good, ol American laziness at work.

But guess what?

There could be a profitable reason for this.

Here’s what I mean:

My personal opinion of emails not formatted for phones is “who cares?” When I am reading them on my phone, I couldn’t care less. In fact, I think they are easier to read. Maybe it’s the high contrast (something I write about often in “Email Players” is how powerful contrast is in emails). Or that some lines are so short it’s harder not to read them than it is to read them. Or, maybe, I just like sticking it to the advertising critics, spelling nazis and grammar gargoyles who are the only ones who ever complain. (I have never once heard a complaint in another market — just when writing to writers, copywriters, and advertising people.)

I’ve also done some informal research on this.

You know… asking friends, etc.

i.e. People who are not trying to be advertising critics.

You know what they all say?

It’s ugly… but easier to read.

I even asked someone who is a huge “stickler” for formatting (it almost physically hurts her to see crappy formatting, she said). She said even though my emails are butt ugly, she loves them like this because they are easier to read due to all the short lines, etc (i.e. contrast).

Plus, to make matters even worse:

A lot of people who use HTML’s tables are way too wide.

On even a bigger screen like my phone, I have to swipe over to read an entire sentence, then swipe back for. each. single. sentence. And what may read fine on one person’s phone could be way too wide for someone else’s.

Not so with my beat-with-the-ugly-stick emails.


It goes beyond contrast and tables.

The great late copywriter Eugene Schwartz once said:

“The ugly thing in a world of beauty stands out..”

Ol’ GS was no dummy.

He was one of the best of the best copywriters.

A true “A-lister”.

(During a time when there were only 3 or 4).

He was also a HUGE fan of ugly layouts.

The uglier, the better.

The more random, the better.


Because they stood out. And what stands out is more likely to get noticed. And what’s noticed is more likely to be bought from.

(Assuming your copy is good…)

Hey, don’t believe me?

Well, good.

You shouldn’t.

You should try these things out yourself.

But, now you know why I don’t obsess over formatting.

Now, down to bid’niz:

Your pal elBenbo has all kinds of contrarian and outright “ugly” email strategies up his sleeve to generate higher sales and response. And, he writes about them each month in “Email Players”.

No, it ain’t cheap.

And no, I don’t just let “anyone” in.

(Have even bounced a few out recently.)

To see if you qualify, go here:

Ben Settle

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

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