Episode #3 – Ben Settle On Why You Should Be Sending Daily Emails

by John McIntyre

You should send emails every day and sell in every email.

Well, that is… according to Ben Settle.

Ben believes anyone serious about email marketing should be sending at least one email a day. But that’s not all. Ben thinks you should sell in every email.

Bold claims, right?

Ben believes it’s the most effective way to make sales via email.

In this episode, he lifts the lid and explains how to do it.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How Ben sends daily emails without burning his list out (and how to simultaneously decrease the amount of unsubscribes and spam complaints you get)
  • Why having fun is the best thing you can do to keep your subscribers engaged (and more importantly, what “having fun” means in the context of selling something)
  • The 30-day challenge Ben recommends to all people who getting started with daily emails
  • A hypothetical strategy for a pool cleaner to send emails in winter, when no one needs pool cleaning because it’s too cold (you can apply this strategy to ANY industry)
  • The difference between hard teaching and soft teaching (and which one you should be using in your emails)
  • 3 steps you can take today to instantly improve your email marketing
  • Why you have an ethical duty to sell your product (and how to use this fact to motivate yourself to sell more often)

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO


Raw transcript:

Speaker 1: You’re not doing anyone any favors by hiding your product if you can truly help them. In fact I’ve said this a lot, it is your moral and ethical obligation to tell people that your product at least exists everywhere.
John: Hey, Podcast listener. You’re about to discover insider tips, tricks, and secrets to making more sales and converting more prospects into customers with e-mail marketing.
For more information about the e-mail marketing Podcast or the Auto Responding Guy go to themcmethod.com/podcast.
Hey everybody, it’s John McIntyre here, the Auto Responder guy and it’s time for Episode 3 of the e-mail marketing podcast; where we talk about the top tips, tricks and secrets for making more sales and growing your revenue with e-mail marketing. It’s Episode 3 and today I’ll be talking to Ben Settle. A guy who believes daily e-mail is the only way to do e-mail marketing.
We’re going to get to that in just a moment. To get the show notes for this episode of the e-mail marketing podcast go to themcmethod.com/ep3. Before we get started I need a favor. First thing I want you to do is listen to this episode, hear from Ben Settle and find out why he preaches daily e-mails and why he believes it is the best way that you or I can increase our sales in our business.
After you’ve listened to the episode; go to themcmethod.com/podcast. Click on the review link. It will take you to the e-mail marketing podcast page in iTunes automatically like magic where you can leave a review. If you leave a review I’ll make you famous. I’ll read your review in this over enthusiastic radio voice and I’ll turn you into a rock star. Who knows? You might even get some groupies from it. Let’s go talk to Ben Settle.
It’s John McIntyre here, the Auto Responder Guy. I’m here with Ben Settle who calls himself an e-mail specialist. He’s another e-mail marketing guy. He has a newsletter over at bensettle.com, which I’m on and you should be on too. Ben how are you doing today?
Ben: Doing great John. It’s good to talk to you again.
John: Yes, I’ve always loved this kind of stuff. Let’s start. Tell people a little about who are you and what do you do?
Ben: I primarily sell things online with e-mail. I do this in a few different sites, niches, that sort of thing. I also teach e-mail. My main thing these days is a newsletter, a print newsletter that shows people how to sell with e-mail. That’s mostly what I’m focusing on these days. I used to do direct response copywriting for clients. I don’t do that anymore. I find that it’s far more profitable to be your own client.
John: I totally agree man. Clients are great and you make some money. There’s always a new headache when you turn them to Skype calls, follow up and manage the relationship and all these different things like that. Versus just send a few e-mails.
Ben: You don’t have to get anything approved. You’re your own client. You don’t have to convince them. When I was doing client work it seemed like I wrote more e-mails persuading clients to do something than actual e-mails to sell their product. There you go.
John: I can see that happening. Let’s talk about what’s the Ben Settle way of doing e-mail?
Ben: The way I; that’s hard to pin down in one thing. I guess if I had to sum it up the Ben Settle way of doing e-mail is to go out there every day and have fun with your e-mail; whatever you’re selling. Now Matt, when I say fun that doesn’t mean necessarily slapstick happy. I mean some people sell products that are serious, that’s fine. What I mean is you’re enjoying yourself. They’re enjoying reading your e-mails. You’re selling something people really want, something they need. They’re happy to pay you for it because you’re selling it to them in a way where they like to buy. That is really the basics of my system when you do it. That’s what happens.
John: I’ve been on your list for a month or two now since we spoke last time. I’ve been loving the e-mails. They’re very different to what I’m used to from a lot of other guys in that the first thing; let’s talk about that.
You send daily e-mails, Monday to Friday I think. Every single day there is an e-mail. What’s the deal with that? Do people get pissed off? How do you get away with sending people daily e-mails when I think you’re the only person aside from John who’s another I’ve spoken to who sends daily. No one else does it.
Ben: Actually, I’m lazy. I should be sending one seven days a week and not just five. In fact, what I really, technically if I was more motivated; I would send two e-mails a day seven days a week. I’m not that motivated. No one ever gets mad. In fact, I cannot remember the last time somebody complained. Because, and this is the key; because I bring them into my list in a way that’s its very clear that I’m sending daily tips.
They see it at the opt-in. They see in when they opt-in. They get a welcome e-mail, it says it there. They’re seeing it in the daily e-mails itself I’ll often say these are daily e-mails. They’re seeing it, only someone who is completely illiterate could not know they’re daily. If they complain, they have no one blame but themselves.
I’m being completely up front. I think that’s a big thing for people to do. Be completely up front with your readers. Let them know exactly how often. If you’re not doing daily, if you’re doing three a week, one a week, two a day, whatever; let them know up front. You’re not going to scare … the good people you want are not going to be scared of that. People who are in to whatever you sell who have that problem that need a solution; chances are they’re on 20 other lists too. They want to hear from you.
John: To give you a little bit of motivation, why, obviously it’s going to increase sales. Why do you think that daily e-mails are so great? Why put the time in to actually create, write daily e-mails? What’s the big benefit?
Ben: There are a lot of reasons. One big reason is; I’ll give you two big reasons. One is procrastination. People will procrastinate. People will have decided to buy it three weeks ago. Today’s e-mail finally pushed them over the edge and they buy it. People will tell me this. This isn’t like this is my theory or anything. I hear this all the time. Ben, you bastard, you got me. I hear stuff like that. You got me today. I had to buy. I get that a lot or variations of that a lot. That’s one reason.
Another reason is they build on each other. If people are hearing from you every day or five days a week; all those e-mails start building on each other. You become the leader in that niche whatever you’re in or you become a leader at it. You’re someone who is demonstrating your competency and your knowledge and your skill level in whatever it is you sell. You’re the one they know, like and trust after awhile. You become their trusted friend.
If you do it right you’re not sitting there blatantly pitching every day. Again, you’re making it valuable, you’re making it worth their time to read it and you’re making yourself stand out from everyone else. You can only do that if it’s daily. You really can’t do that on a weekly or monthly or whatever e-mail.
John: I think everyone is hearing that and going, “Well, I need to do daily.” The argument and biggest objection is they’re going to be like I’m way too lazy. It takes way too much time. How the hell, I’m already busy enough. How can I send a daily e-mail? What’s the solution there?
Ben; Here’s the solution to that. How’s that saying go? Is it time expands to fit work or something. Whatever it is, you don’t have to put three hours in to every e-mail. I would say set a timer for 20 minutes and give yourself 20 minutes to write an e-mail. It’s oh God, I can’t do that. Yes you can because it doesn’t have to be long. It can be a paragraph. It really doesn’t matter. You don’t want to write regularly. The more you do it, the faster and easier it gets anyway. The first several times, I’m not going to lie to you. It can be hard, especially if you don’t like writing.
This is what I always give my customers. This thing I call a 30-day challenge. I lay out; write this kind of e-mail Monday. Write this one on Tuesday. I do that for that very reason so they get used to it. By the end of it they see their sales going up and that will motivate them. Let’s face it, if you’re going … if your sales dramatically go up or double or something; that’s pretty good motivation to write an e-mail every day.
John: Absolutely. What I’ve been finding because I’ve been doing this lately for my stuff is that once you get into the swing of things you can do an e-mail in 10 minutes or 15 minutes. If you start with an idea, it’s really, really fast.
Ben: It really is. Everybody wants to make it … you don’t have to spell everything perfectly. I not saying you can butcher every word. It’s doesn’t have to be perfect. It should sound like you’re writing an e-mail to a family member or friend with something interesting they want to hear. It may not be perfectly formatted. It may not have perfect, whatever language you’re speaking, English. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can just get it out there and commute it. It’s better to be a good communicator than a good writer when it comes to e-mail.
John: Ok, I know that you do many info product business stuff. Is this worse sending daily e-mails? Is that applicable to any business like software businesses, brick and mortar service type businesses? Is it for everyone?
Ben: I have yet to see a business where writing daily e-mails would not work. I will give you an example. There’s this guy I know, a very good guy I’ve known for a couple years. He wrote this article about e-mailing frequency; frequency of e-mail. It was a great article right up until the point where he said, seasonal businesses obviously don’t need to do this very often or frequently; the pool guy or whatever.
I wrote an e-mail about that; a rebuttal. I said no, he’s wrong about that. The pool guy can write e-mails during the winter when everybody’s not even using their pool. He could be making deals with other local businesses. Writing a community e-mail telling people about other things related to their homes or what other businesses are up too and things like that. Then when it comes time to hire a pool guy he’s the only one they’re going to hire. He could have his own little ad co-op if he wanted where he could charge other businesses money to advertise in his daily e-mail. Everybody could do this. I cannot think of one single instance where you couldn’t do this.
John: It seems like this is a pretty good place to talk about the terms of what sort of content do you sell them. You talk about in your products that it’s got to be entertaining. This pool guy can’t send an e-mail every day that’s just talking about a pool. He’s got to turn that; make it entertaining so that people will open that e-mail. Maybe it’s winter. Maybe they’re not buying a pool or swimming during the winter. If it’s entertaining then they’re going to enjoy that relationship between this guy. He might point out fun stuff. He might have joke one day. He’ll have a funny story another day. It’s all related back to pools. It’s not bad.
Ben: He could even be selling, pre-selling his services for the next year. Hey, I’m going to start a list now, a waiting list. I’m so booked up with people who want to hire me. I’m starting a waiting list early this year. He got start a sub list of people. Then, guess who he e-mails when the first season starts with a hard offer; that sub list. If nothing else he could be building a sub list all winter while talking about pool related stuff or home improvement related stuff. You could go so many different directions with that, it doesn’t really matter.
John: I like to think about when their on his list he has their attention. These people care about pools but they also care about having fun. If they have a pool they’re going to be having fun. They’re probably into fitness and health because they have a pool. There are a series of things this prospect is going to be interested in.
Ben: That’s true.
John: You can write content about that kind of stuff.
Ben: He could write an e-mail about how to hold your breath for 10 minutes. All this stuff, anything that comes to mind; you’re right. He could be talking about swimming; how to get stronger if you swim a certain way. He could go to town on that kind of stuff. Then he’s staying in their awareness and then when pool cleaning season comes they’re not even going to think of anyone else. He’s going to be the only choice to clean their pool. He will be backed up; he will be so backed up he would have to hire other people to do it. He would probably have to expand to other areas.
John: You talk a lot about a soft teaching and hard teaching. In the case of the pool guy or other hard businesses like brick and mortar businesses like that is he can talk about what makes the pools he makes so good. He can throw out the specific tiles that go into them or the concrete; the sort of water and chemicals that they use or a supplement person can talk about all the ingredients. No one, their customers and prospects aren’t going to go and make their own supplement in their kitchen.
Ben: Right, they’re not going to make their own fish oil.
John: Right, but for you, you have an info business so you’ve got to be careful not to give away what’s in the product while also providing values. This is a whole soft teaching, hard teaching thing. How do you do that?
Ben; First I also recommend even other businesses go with the soft teaching. People are getting bogged down with content these days. You know what I mean? You’ve got to make it …. My opinion is you focus more on having fun than on hard content. To answer your question, with an information thing, there’s so many ways to go about this. My general rule of thumb is except in very rare circumstances I never give away anything in the product. I can talk about anything as long as it’s not in my product.
You can talk about strategy but your product is probably tactical. You could talk strategy all day long. A guy can talk about, for example; I’m selling an e-mail newsletter about how to do e-mail. I can about, all day long about not worrying about e-mail deliverability and open rates. I did this recently. I wrote an e-mail about don’t obsess over your e-mail deliverability. That’s interesting information for someone because most people are; they’re oh my God. The truth is there’s not much you can do about it. There’s some things you can do, but that’s an e-mail; its soft teachings.
It’s what you would find in an article as opposed to a technical manual. A technical manual is going to give you all the details of how to do something, but an article like a magazine; they give you tips but they’re not hard life changing things. They’re not your best stuff. A lot of it is common sense. Some of it is inspirational. There’s a lot to be said for writing e-mails that are inspirational. I think everybody likes to read them. I like to read them. They inspire people to want to take action about whatever problem is you’re solving. That’s a great example of doing soft teaching; just inspire people. Tell inspiring stories about people who used your product or people who have had the product that you’re solving. That’s a great way to do it.
Talk about symptoms if you’re selling a health product. You can go to town talking about symptoms. Man, you’re going to have people glued to your e-mails if you do that. Somebody has hemorrhoids or something and you wrote a book about how to get rid of hemorrhoids. You can’t talk enough about that topic. They will read everything you say and they will buy it from you if you do it daily.
John: That’s really good. One thing I know you do is you sell in every single e-mail. You might be teaching, but you’re selling in every e-mail. How do you get away with that without being a blatant pitch guy, or hype guru, or all that kind of stuff?
Ben: You know what, that’s a good question. A lot of time I’ll get critique. People in my news letter; they send me e-mails for critique. This is especially for affiliate marketers. They don’t know any other way what to hype and come out guns blazing. You can do that once in a while and you should if you have a launch going on or a new product that’s fine. You’ve got to connect with people.
Here’s the way I look at it. If you pretend you’re writing to friend or family members who have the problem that your product solves. You’re not going to come out and say hey I got this new thing. No, you’re going to say hey, I heard that you have this problem. I know about this other guy who had this problem and he was telling me this, that and the other. I have something for that.
You’re connecting with them by having a conversation with them in the e-mail. You’re still being valuable. You’re still being interesting. You can still talk about potential solutions and that sort of thing. There are all kinds of ways to do this. You’re not being blatant. You’re going to sell. You’re going to put your link in there. You’re not doing anyone any favors by hiding your product if it can truly help them.
In fact, I’ve said this a lot. It is your moral and ethical obligation to tell people that your product at least exists every day if they have a problem that you can solve. That’s the way I look at it. If you really care about your market you’re going to want them to at least know about what you have. You don’t have to be obnoxious about it. You shouldn’t be obnoxious about it. You should at least let them know it’s there.
John: I think that’s a really good point because people get in a huff about this. They think content … content marketing is all the rage right now, especially online. Everyone is raving about it. If you’re not selling and you have a product that genuinely helps people and you don’t tell them about it, then if their problem persists in a weird kind of way you’re responsible for it.
Ben: Yes, if you have the cure for somebody, I know we’re not supposed to use the word cures here in America to describe things. If you have a solution that you know in your heart is going to help somebody, every day I know my newsletter can help. I know I’ve seen it; I completely believe in it. People who subscribe to it have told me it’s increased their income immeasurably. Some people are like it saved their fricking … from being able to pay the mortgage and stuff. How can I not tell everyone? I’m not saying they have to buy it. I’m saying here it is. It’s up to them.
I don’t have this …, I’m contrary in this, and I don’t do a lot of ass kissing. I don’t butter up; I don’t sit there and kiss the customer’s butt. I give them an opportunity to buy it. I don’t push what I have on them. That’s the thing; just because you’re putting the link in there every day doesn’t mean you’re pushing it. I don’t think you should be pushy. I think you should be helpful. I think you should be interesting. Then I think you should say, hey if you have this problem or you want this benefit check out this link I have. They can either go or don’t and you don’t care either way. It’s up to them.
John: The typical format that I’ve seen in your e-mails and I’ve seen a lot of other people do is you start off with; well actually not many people do it at all. You start off with, the opening is you have the hook which is the subject line and the first line or two. It’s like the Aida outline. Get their attention, make them interested with a short story that’s somehow relevant and that can sag into your product somehow. Then at the end all you’re doing is saying if you want to learn more check out the product.
Ben: Yes that’s basically what I do every day. You see it every day. Some days are more aggressive than others. That’s all part of being unpredictable and fun. They don’t know what they’re going to get from you tomorrow. They don’t know what John McIntyre is going to send them tomorrow. He doesn’t even know yet. He hasn’t started writing the e-mail. You keep it fresh and interesting. You might think man, you know what? I have a pretty good hook here. I just described that problem pretty good. I had this cool testimonial. I’m going to push this a little harder today.
Other days you might be you know I’m not really feeling it too much; it’s a nice, fun interesting e-mail. I’m soft to it. You do it every day.
John: It seems like the aggressive thing is the fact that there’s a link in every e-mail. What people need to understand is that it’s not about; you’re not going in there with your guns blazing ripping off benefits, benefits, benefits. It’s more having a bit of small talk or something with someone. Then you say, I’ve got this product over here, here’s the link. Go check it out if you’re interested.
Ben: That’s exactly it. That’s exactly it. I am not … I’m big on having, if you really believe in what you have then you have to believe that you’re doing the world a favor by offering what you have. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. I know that comes off kind of arrogant but it’s true. If you have the cure for cancer aren’t you going to be pretty confident about when …? You’re not out pushing it on anybody. You’re going to say here it is and they can take it or not.
I’m not equating what I sell to a cure for cancer. I’m just saying that’s the attitude and the posture to have.
John: Absolutely. We’re just coming up to time right now. Before we finish what are the top one to three big wins that someone listening to this could walk away and implement them and get some good results in their business.
Ben: First of all, start writing every day. This is the big thing. You can’t get around it. Just start doing it and don’t edit yourself, just write. Don’t worry if it’s perfect. Don’t worry what anyone’s going to think. It doesn’t matter because you can always come back tomorrow and do something different. That’s the beauty of e-mails; a very forgiving medium.
The other thing they can do is start putting a link to what they have to offer in every e-mail. Even if you have to do it passively, get over this fear of selling. Get over a fear of doing something by doing it. You will find that some people get mad but they were never your prospect in the first place. Let them go. You shouldn’t want them on your list anyway. You’re doing them a favor and they’re doing you a favor by doing that.
The third tip, a good third tip would be to have fun with it. If you’re not having fun writing it, they’re probably not going to have fun reading it. They’re going to get bored with it. You cannot bore people. This is the big thing. You make sure, if you’re not enjoying writing about a certain topic, throw that one out and write about something else. Trust me, people can sense it if you’re boring. People will not be bored in e-mail or any kind of advertising. Especially e-mail where they have 500 other e-mails coming at the same time.
John: Hell yes. This has been super valuable. I’m sure everyone has gotten tons of ideas from this. Before we sign off, tell people where they can find you and any of your products; that kind of thing.
Ben: The best way to find me would be go to bensettle.com. If you opt in and you don’t have too, you can just bypass that opt in and go to my 800 or 900 pages of content on there and 12 or 13 hours of audio content. If you opt in to the list I will send you a PDF version of the first issue of my e-mail player’s newsletter, which is an offline newsletter. I’ll send you the PDF and the first issue. You asked me for three ways, well there are 24 ways in that one issue to profit immediately. You could apply any one of these 24 things or any two or three of them in the next few days. If you have a web spot ready at lease you should see some good results.
John: Thank you. Thanks for coming on here. See you again soon.
Ben: All right. Thank you very much.
John: Hey everybody. Thanks for listening. If you want to discover more insider tips and secrets about driving sales with e-mail marketing sign up at daily e-mail tips from the Auto Responder Guy. Go to themcmethod.com/podcast. Sign up, confirm your e-mail address and I’ll send you daily e-mails on how to improve your e-mail market and make more sales via e-mail. You’ll find out why open rates go up and the seven little words that underlies all effective marketing and much more.

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