• Email Copywriting
  • Is there a formula for creating a personal bond with subscribers?


    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when people think about you?

    It’s worth thinking about, because that’s how you’ll define your personal brand.

    If you make a list of things your friends, family, co-workers, etc. have said to you, there will be one or two that stand out.

    You know, things like “you crack me up,” “you’re such a nerd,” and “I can always count on you.”

    When you write your email copy, you should do so in the voice of your personal brand. This will be the secret sauce of your emails.

    Next question:

    When you hang out with a friend do you follow a formula for how you interact with your friend?

    I didn’t think so.

    That’s why the idea of a formula for creating a personal bond with your subscribers via email can be cringe-inducing.

    That’s because in real life the way we interact with people is done reflexively without thinking about it. If I’m going to a casual restaurant for a burger, I know instinctively not to wear an evening gown. If it’s a birthday celebration, I know it’s inappropriate for me to talk about something depressing. And so on.

    When it comes to email,  however, it doesn’t come naturally at first. People make very basic mistakes. So it helps to have a formula.

    Week 9 of my A Year of Email Copywriting course gives a formula, which you can use as a checklist before writing an email, to make sure you aren’t making an embarrassing mistake.  Moreover, it provides the framework for creating a personal bond with subscribers.

    You will receive 52 weekly lessons. After you sign up, I can send you the first nine weeks right away if you want me to, just send me an email and let me know.

    You can also email me anytime during the 52 weeks with questions and I’ll be happy to help you out.

    Looking forward to having you on board.



    Photo: Stefano Principato

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  • Email Marketing
  • The great horned owl of email marketing


    I thought of the great horned owl when I saw a guy complaining online about how his unsubscribes have increased even though he has made more sales.

    Unsubscribes are like the number on the scale – people get so fixated on that one number.

    Anyway, I thought of the great horned owls because I only hear their distinctive hoots in January and February.

    Those are the times I most need to hear them too because it’s the middle of winter and there is nothing else about nature that is exciting to me at that time of year. Two years ago, when we had bitter cold temps for days and weeks on end, the great horned owls were very vocal and active and I was grateful for their presence.

    Last week I finally heard the great horned owl for the fist time this winter. I woke up at midnight because of his hoots and I was overjoyed to hear them.

    Then I heard it again in the early morning a couple days later.

    There are probably plenty of people who don’t care to hear owls hooting (i.e unsubscribes) or who don’t even notice the hoots (I pity this people). The crows hate owls. I heard a flock of them cawing like mad last week, which was an indication to me that an owl was nearby.

    There are also plenty of email copywriters and marketers that would be appalled that the only time the owl makes herself heard is two months out of the year, so the owl isn’t a good example to use.

    But the reason the owl has a lesson for us is that her voice is distinctive (the female owl is larger than the male and hoots just as much as the male).

    No matter how long you’ve gone without hearing it, you recognize it.

    The lessons:

    Even if you’ve neglected your list, you can wake it up again if you have a recognizable voice.

    Having a distinct voice is what sets you apart in the email marketing world.

    Everyone says “content is king” but that’s only true if you have a great voice that sets you apart from the crowd.

    With the owl, it’s not just his content that is king, but he is king. He attracts haters (crows) and gets countless unsubscribes, but he is king of whatever forest or yard he sets talons in.

    He always gets a ton of sales (just look at all the pellets he coughs up wherever he roosts) so he doesn’t give a hoot about unsubscribes. Owls always sit calmly when crows caw at them.

    In my A Year of Email Copywriting course, one of the topics I cover is how to wake up a dead list. There is also a lesson on how to add personality to your emails, which is one of the best ways to find your voice:

    You’ll get one email a week from me for 52 weeks.

    You’re able to email back and forth with me as well and gave input on topics you want covered. Hope to see you there.


    Photo: Vicki DeLoach

  • Email Marketing
  • Are you as smart as a crow in your email marketing?


    Have you walked past or heard any crows recently and noticed all the email marketing tips they gave you?

    If not, no worries. I’ll fill you in.

    Crows are the smartest birds, with some researchers saying they have the intelligence of a seven-year-old child. They are the only non-primates to make and use tools.

    Lots of people get excited about rare birds, but overlook the wonders of the common crow, so I make a point to notice and interact with the crows when they are in my yard.

    We have this routine with peanuts: they caw, I toss out the peanuts while talking to them.

    Then they caw and caw until all their friends come.

    Then, and only then, do they fly to the ground and eat all the peanuts.

    Except the last two months I haven’t hear a peep from them.

    Early yesterday morning a crow on the very top of a distant tree cawed at me. He was far enough away that I wouldn’t have noticed him otherwise.

    I said hello but was in a hurry and didn’t have time to go get peanuts.

    That one exchange was enough for him to “warm up his list,” so to speak, because now crows were on my mind again.

    This morning, first thing I heard after waking up, was a crow.

    I was still very tired but I grabbed some peanuts and tossed them in the backyard and front yard while the crow watched carefully.

    But then I noticed something.

    The crow dropped down to a very low branch and stared and stared at the backyard peanuts.

    He really wanted them but went off to the front yard peanuts instead.

    It was hard for him to walk on the snow but he managed to snag a couple of peanuts and fly off to a branch to crack them open.

    I looked at the backyard snow and could see a layer of ice on it.

    The crow surmised he couldn’t walk on it.

    Oops! My bad.

    So I put out more peanuts in an area where crows could walk and instantly he flew away to get his friends.

    Some lessons:

    Build a rapport with one customer and you’ll attract many more.

    Crows never forget a human face. If you do right by a crow, they don’t forget you, even if you haven’t thrown peanuts out for them for a while.

    Haven’t emailed your list every day, weekly, or even monthly for a while?

    The customers you have a rapport with haven’t forgotten you.

    If they can’t use what you offer them, you can use their feedback to ensure they get what have to offer, by changing the price, or offering something else, etc.

    There’s a lot of blather out there about how to get more sales from your list, without considering it’s a two way street.

    In other words, it’s not just about your list’s response rates. How do you respond to your list?

    It’s worth thinking about.

    Also, so far in my A Year of Email Copywriting course, two of the lessons were written based on customer request.

    There’s plenty of back and forth because the lessons are sent once a week by email.

    No noisy Facebook groups or membership sites or webinars.

    There’s as much, or as little, one-on-one as you’d like.

    Check it out. You won’t have to walk on icy snow to get there.



    Photo: Sam Carpenter


  • Email Copywriting
  • Trump’s email copywriting malpractice


    Imagine having an email list of thousands of true fans and not sending them any email.

    That is the huge mistake Donald Trump has been making in Iowa. One strategist called this “malpractice.”

    As a result Trump hasn’t reached key benchmarks in his campaign and lags behind other candidates in readiness for the primaries.

    This lack of email might end up hurting him more than his controversial statements.

    What’s interesting is that this email oversight was mentioned on the front page of the New York Times. It made mention of other old school techniques of door to door visits and phone calls. The article made no mention of Trumps’ Facebook fan page, Twitter, or other social media.

    It’s yet more proof that email marketing is as important as ever.

    And there’s no reason you have to neglect your list.

    You could write the emails yourself. My Copywriter’s Notebook on Kindle and A Year of Email Copywriting will give you tips and a good headstart.

    If you’re in the weight loss and fitness niche, my 12 Days of Christmas sale on 12 pre-written emails will give you emails you can send without having to write any copy.

    If you are Donald Trump, or are ignoring your list like him, and need an email copywriter, contact me