Email Copywriting Archives

Say what? Extroverts suck at sales?


If you’re an introvert don’t get too cocky.

The sales research by Adam Grant at University of Pennsylvania shows something a lot more nuanced than the typical introvert vs. extrovert stuff out there on social media.

As it turns out, extreme extroverts suck at sales.

So do extreme introverts.

The ones that kill it are the ambiverts.

Introverted types tend to over-identify with the introvert label. Probably because they feel they’ve been misunderstood too long, which can quickly lead to feeling like a victim, which is never good.

Extroverts don’t seem to cling to their extrovert label, maybe because they are too busy yapping.

Anyway, the truth is that the great majority of us are ambiverts, with both introverted and extroverted traits.

Why do ambiverts make more sales?

They know when to interrupt and speak up and they know when to STFU.

They are more agile and can adjust to situations.

Emails are like having an ambiverted sales team working for you.

Both your extroverted and introverted traits can come into play.

A sales page is static and probably has one dominant tone.

Emails are where you can be nimble and the most like yourself.

Selling is a human activity and emails let your online selling be more human.

What if you don’t have time to write emails? My special deal on 427 pre-written emails ends at the end of the day today. That will give you plenty of email copy you can tweak and make it your own.

Or you can contact me for a consultation or to write custom copy for you.

Basketball coach gives me a PHD in copywriting

LaunchParty_TrustWriting a 100 word story gave me the chance to meet coach Bo Ryan last September. Bo is a revered figure around these here parts in Wisconsin.

He took the Badgers all the way to the NCAA championship game last March.

My dad, an avid Badgers fan, died suddenly last March hours after watching the Badgers beat Oregon on their way to the championship round.

Meeting Bo was important to me because it was a way to honor my dad’s memory.

Even though this was a brief meeting, I prepared in earnest and read Bo’s biography the week before meeting him.

I researched online.

I took notes.

I practiced pronouncing the name of Bo’s favorite author, David Maraniss.

I found out the day I was to meet Bo was the same day Maraniss’s new book about Detroit was to be released.

I learned how Bo is a master persuader. He excels at recruiting kids by meeting them where they are at and getting to know them as people.

In his book he talked about his PHD.

It’s his favorite acronym and stands for Poor, Hungry, Driven.

He says it’s a mindset all old school coaches who worked their way up from the bottom talk about and maintain, even during NCAA championship games.

Finally the moment arrived when I met Bo.

As we shook hands he said, “We’ve met before haven’t we? Didn’t you attend one of my basketball camps in Platteville?”

I didn’t expect that and felt flattered and honored by the question.

Bo thinks I’m a former basketball player!

Unfortunately I had to tell him I did not attend one of his legendary camps back in the day.

I loved playing basketball as a kid but a junior high coach ruined it for me.

Bo wanted to know where I was from and we exchanged pleasantries for a bit.

Then I asked my question.

“Did you know David Maranis’s new book about Detroit comes out today?”

Now it was his turn to be surprised.

He did not know that was the book release date and said he would go out later that day and buy the book.

He went on to tell me a great story about his friendships with the authors James Patterson and David Maranis.

There are many lessons I took away from this meeting with Bo:

Keep the focus on your customer and ask them very specific questions.

Build a rapport with them and meet them where they are at (email is the best way to do this of course).

Have a PHD mindset at all times.

It also set me to thinking about the role coaching plays in my own career.

Copywriting and coaching are two activities I perform regularly, but separately.

Now I am finally combining the two.

Go here to get the details.

Hope to literally talk to you soon.
P.S. Here is the 100 word story I wrote that gave me the chance to meet Bo: “My dad, a devoted Badgers fan, passed away suddenly on March 23, less than 12 hours after he watched the Badgers beat Oregon in the NCAA tournament. In our grief we gathered around the TV for the other games, as a way of honoring his memory. It was bittersweet to watch the Badgers make the championship game without him; we couldn’t help but wonder if he somehow had a hand in it. If dad was still alive he would get a kick out of knowing I met Bo Ryan. I simply want to shake Bo’s hand and say “Thank you.”

Clouds in your copy, clouds in your copy


There probably isn’t enough negativity in your business.

For starters:

When is the last time you looked up at the clouds?

I mean stopped and really looked at them.

Maybe it was the last time there was a storm in your area.

We alll look at the clouds then to gather information about the storm.

The last time I really thought about clouds was during the lunar eclipse last month.

I hoped clouds wouldn’t block the view.

I was only thinking about how clouds get in the way.

Even though the sight of clouds in a nightime sky is a very cool thing.

Anyway, philosopher Byung-Chul recently wrote about how we constantly follow the incessant command to achieve.

When every experience must be exceptional, even a lunar eclipse.




Creation fatigue.

These are the norm.

He even goes so far to say, ““Depression is the sickness of a society that suffers from excessive positivity.”

This is why a not-to-do list is even more important than a To Do list.

It gives you negative space in your business.

Sending email can quickly eat up most of your negative space.

Especially if you send email to multiple lists or are an affiliate marketer.

Which is why I have 427 pre-written emails for sale.

Your email copy itself needs negative space too.

I’ll have more on that next time.

And, hey, it’s Sunday.

Time for some of the “profound idleness” Byung-Chui prescribes.

Step outside.

Spend a couple minutes giving the clouds your full attention.

Not to get information, but to get inspiration.

They will remind you to stop and not-to-do.

Maybe you will be lucky enough to see cirrus clouds.

Those are the wispy ones that move 200-300 mph hour but, to us on the ground, appear to be moving gracefully.

Got your copywriting ears on?

star trek


One of the fun parts of my free range childhood, in addition to the neighborhood tackle football games with no pads, treehouse, and banana seat bikes, was walkie talkies.

One of the neighbor boys had Star Trek walke talkies. I admired those the way kids today get excited for the latest iPhone.

My walkie talkies were much more boring looking, but they fascinated me anyway.

I liked the morse code cheat sheet printed on it.

It was fun talking to friends on them while playing outside.

But the most exciting times were when I came across truckers having a conversation and I joined in by lowering my voice and pretending to be a trucker myself.

No doubt they could tell I was just a kid (and fortunately the truckers never said anything inappropriate!).

Talking to them in their lingo is what made it so fun:

“Breaker 1-9.”

“Roger that.”

“Got your ears on?”

“10-4 Good Buddy”

“What’s your 20?”

Those walkie talkie days are long over, but those principles still apply today as a copywriter.

Building a rapport with your customers, and talking to them in their lingo, even when you aren’t part of that market yourself, is what creates repeat customers.

However, if you are a copywriter, or an affiliate marketer, it can be a challenge to constantly come up with a steady stream of email copy in multiple niches.

Sometiimes you need some backup.

Maybe you need to devote a period of time to other aspects of your business, yet you don’t want to slack off on sending emails.

Fortunately I have over a year’s worth of pre-written emails, which will give you a lever to pull during those times.

427 of them, to be exact, in a variety of niches.

It’s a great big convoy of email.

Over and out.





Have your copywriting cake and eat it too (or, risk a little and make a lot)


I’ve been reading Tony Robbins’ book MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

Tucked inside these 650 pages is a story about Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Airways.

He knew he could out-market anyone, even his major competitor British Airways.

But rather than focus on hitting a homerun, he instead hedged his downside.

He negotiated a brilliant deal: he purchased five airplanes with the arrangement that he could give back the planes if his business did not work out.

As Tony says:

Not unlike the business world, the investment world will tell you, directly or more subtly, that if you want to win big, you’ve got to take some serious risk. Or more frighteningly, if you ever want financial freedom, you have to risk your freedom to get there.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If there is one common denominator of successful insiders, it’s that they don’t speculate with their hard-earned savings, they strategize. Remember Warren Buffett’s top two rules of investing? Rule 1: don’t lose money! Rule 2: see rule 1.

…billionaire insiders look for opportunities that provide asymmetrick risk/reward. This is a fancy way of saying that the reward is drastically disproportionate to the risk.

Risk a little, make a lot

Having been in the entrepreneur world for almost ten years, I have observed that too many folks fail to hedge their downside and risk too much and make nothing.

One of the ways this happens is paying a fortune for sales copy, or copywriting program, when one doesn’t have a viable offer or product.

And about the cake…

To have your copywriting cake and eat it too – and risk a little to make a lot from your copy – see my Copywriter’s Notebook: Email copywriting tips for getting more clicks.

Is your copy ready for some football?

Aug 23, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; The Seattle Seahawks line up for a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Seattle won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


How is your favorite team doing so far this year?

Around here the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers are off to a great start.

Especially seeing how the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday night.

I gotta admit though, even though I officially hate the Seahawks because they beat the Packers in the  NFC Championship game this year (not to mention the Fail Mail a few years ago- ugh), I like coach Pete Carroll’s coaching style and philosophy.

And how it can easily be applied to copywriting and business.

Carroll was fired in 1999 as Patriots head coach and spent the next decade agonizing every day about what he’d do differently if he ever was a head coach again.

He worked at the college level during this time and jotted do-over notes every day, for ten years, until he got another head coach opportunity with the Seahawks five years ago.

For starters, he isn’t all about smash mouth, old-school football.

He shoots hoops with the players and brings in different guests to give the players alternate points of view.

He dislikes cursing and doesn’t berate players; he maintained a “supportive and nurturing” atmosphere after their Super Bowl loss this year.

Yoga and meditation are a mandatory part of the mix, which the players enjoy.

Think he’s too soft and New Age-y? During his first day at the helm he turned off the AC during practice to see which players would start whining.  Dislike of whining is the second of his three decrees: 1. Protect the team; 2. No whining, no complaining, no excuses; 3. Be early. He got rid of a star player who refused to change his regular seat at team meetings.

Carroll says: “I feel badly for those people who measure success by one point in time. But if it’s a process and journey and life engagement, you have a choice to be successful in the arc of growing.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman, one of my favorite players (go online and watch one one his press conferences if you’ve never heard one) says:

“It’s simple here: Be yourself, play hard, and you’ll be fine. Not a lot of coaches are willing to take that risk, because it’s a risk to let your players be that open, be that free.”

Quarterback Russell Wilson (a former Badger) says:  “We talk about being in the moment and increasing chaos throughout practice, so when I go into the game, everything is relaxed.”

So there you have it.

Don’t measure your success by one product launch, one sales letter, one accomplishment at a time.

Be yourself. Be different. Play hard.

Protect your team. Don’t whine. Show up early.

And get yourself more clicks… and sales… while you’re at it.

Photo: Jeff Hanisch – USA Today Sports

Is there a quarterback controversy in your business?

I am NOT a San Francisco 49ers fan (I’m a Packers fan, even though they are losing big to the Giants as I type this) but I couldn’t help reading about this past week’s brouhaha over their back up quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Their starter, Alex Smith, has played almost perfectly this year yet Kaepernick started for the second week in a row and the 49ers won both games.

Since last Sunday he’s been given a nickname (“Kap”), generated a lot of chatter on sports talk radio and social media, and his jerseys are flying off shelves.

But why, considering Smith was having the best season of his career?

Apparently one big reason is because Kap played with swagger and excitement, which got the fans fired up in ways Smith’s workmanlike style fails to do.

I guess it’s not enough to play well and look almost perfect on paper. The intangibles are important as well.

Plus, Kap has an interesting story: he was 6’5″ and 170 pounds in high school and more suited for baseball. He was a star pitcher with a ton of offers to play professional baseball yet chose to pursue football even though he was only offered one football scholarship.

49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh caught a lot of heat for deciding to start Kap again this week, yet there are two lessons here:

Just because you’re doing well doesn’t mean your customers (i.e. fans) are going to stick with you no matter what.  Insecurity is your best security.

And as a business owner (i.e. coach), are you always going to stick with what’s working no matter what, because you put so much time in developing it and because most people think you should?  Or do you take the risk and try something new that could be even better?

P. S.  Because of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and whatnot, I’ll go ahead and add a deal of my own:

Order one series of 7 emails and I’ll include a second series at no charge.  I can only offer this to one client before the holidays – MAYBE two, if you’re flexible about the time frame.  Email me at The offer expires after Christmas. It’s good for both repeat and new clients.

Bring on the information overload

Do you ever hold back on sending out email for fear of information overload?

Then I recommend this article in The Atlantic, (which reminded me I need to reread the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen).

If you are feeling overwhelmed, or don’t want to give your customers information overload, then consider this:

Information overload is not the issue. If it were, you’d walk into the library and die. As soon as you connected to the Web, you’d just explode.

In fact, the most information-rich place in the world is the most relaxing: it’s called nature. It has more varied horizons, more detail, more input of all sorts. As a matter of fact, if you want to go crazy, get rid of all your information: it’s called sensory depravation.

The thing about nature is, it’s information rich, but the meaningful things in nature are relatively few—berries, bears and snakes, thunderstorms, maybe poison oak. There are only a few things in nature that force me to change behavior or make a decision. The problem with e-mail is that it’s not just information; it’s the need for potential action. It’s the berries and snakes and bears, but they’re embedded, and you don’t know what’s in each one.

Not only that, but e-mail has a trait that fits the core of addictive behavior, which is random positive reinforcement.

What’s that?

So you get an e-mail from your mom, or you get an e-mail from your boss—they contain snakes or berries or bears, but they’re not self-evident until you look. Now, some part of you, subliminally, is constantly going, That could be meaningful, that could be meaningful, that could change what I’m doing, that might be something I don’t want to decide about … You multiply that by the hundreds, if not thousands, of items sitting there.

All those things you’re not deciding about wear you down, and decision-making functions just like a muscle. If you’ve had half a day of a lot of decisions to make, you don’t have much willpower left the rest of the day. So then we walk around with what I call the GSA of life—the Gnawing Sense of Anxiety that something out there might be more important than what you’re currently doing.

They key with email marketing and copywriting is to make your berries, bears and snakes, thunderstorms, and poison oak self-evident and decisive so that your customers don’t have to wonder if your email is important or relevant.  Either they delete it or click on the link in it. That way you aren’t adding to their Gnawing Sense of Anxiety.

The E. F. Hutton approach to marketing

Remember the E.F. Hutton commercials in the 1970s and 80s?

If you’re a young whippersnapper and don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a video of one of the commercials.

The tagline of each commercial was, “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.”

I thought of this when I read online somewhere a description of billionaire Mark Cuban as the E. F. Hutton of the business world.

I’ve subscribed to his blog for some time and he rarely posts.  But when he does I am sure to read it because he always has something interesting and substantive to say.

Sure, one could say he doesn’t have to post a lot because he’s successful. But a lot of entrepreneurs who have made it big often just end up using guest bloggers or let their blog die completely. They aren’t E. F. Huttons.

Anyway, a lot of people think it’s important to be active on social media and hammer their lists constantly and all that.  But how many people actually listen?

I’ve been a copywriter for five years now and more and more I’ve come to realize that the E. F. Hutton approach to marketing is the way to go.

I like words

One of the things I love about studying the work of copywriters from 75-100 years ago is that they tended to love words and writing.

In 1934 copywriter Robert Pirosh decided he wanted to become a screenwriter instead.

Here’s the letter he sent to all the directors, producers, etc., he could think of:

Dear Sir:

I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.

I have just returned and I still like words.

May I have a few with you?

Robert Pirosh
385 Madison Avenue
Room 610
New York
Eldorado 5-6024

Thanks to that letter he landed a job as a writer with MGM and went on to become a writer for the Marx Brothers and wrote a script that won an Academy Award.

I love words too.

Click here if you’d like me to write some for you.

(H/T Letters of Note)

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