Episode #187 – Sean Mysel On Keep It Simple, Human. Direct Sales In 3 Easy Steps

by John McIntyre

I interviewed Sean over a year ago (originally for my Takeover Tuesday Podcast).

Although he has moved on to other pastures…

the information he gives is evergreen.

Do you feel overwhelmed by sales funnels?

Do they seem like the trying to decipher the bracket of the NCAA “March Madness” tournament?

Sean likes to keep it simple and direct.

He started writing copy for his own projects and then had an opportunity to write some radio and TV ads.

It opened up a whole new world away from the shiny-objects of social media sites and web pages.

As Sean himself says, it’s like new “old skool”.

So listen as he lays out a simple way to start killing it in your business…

and how to return to the tried and true.

You may re-think what you’re doing or consider new possibilities…

when you listen to this episode of the Email Marketing Podcast.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Is it possible to have A 90% conversion rate on your upsells?
  • What kind of list-building are you doing? Sean prefers to build one kind of list above all others.
  • The simple way Sean competed head-to-head with the big online players.
  • How to know when the time is right to “Spinal Tap” your business (and how to do it with ease).
  • Is offline marketing more expensive? The answer may surprise you.

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 187


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO

David Allan: Hey, everybody, it’s David Allan
and we’re back again with another exciting guest
and as we are wont to do we have another
copywriter on the show today Sean Mysel how are you?

Sean Mysel: Good, good thanks for
having me

David Allan: Yeah it’s been looking forward
to this for a bit since we set this up
you were actually referred by two of our
previous guests for people who we should
talk to and so maybe for people who
don’t know much about you I think you
fly a little under the radar you know

from my perspective anyways maybe the

other people know more about you sort of

give us the you know the superhero

origin story from the very beginning how

did you get into copywriting marketing

and so forth oh sure well actually yeah

I started my career really managing

sports stadiums and arenas and it you

know went for my own baseball to a

running on housekeeping unit at in New

Jersey the place called the Prudential

Center you know the New Jersey Devils

played for a while between us played

until they moved to Brooklyn and a big

part of my job was to actually monitor

humans behavior like what did they do

when they’re drunk sober you know when

the game is going well not well cuz you

know you had to adapt how you were gonna

run your building in accordance to how

they would behave right so what happened

is my wife was is a geologist and she

got transferred the Bay Area so I had to

leave that job okay I wanted to pursue

teaching golf it’s a really good golfer

I talked about during the summer times I

was slow for that for those types of

jobs are pretty slow in the summer time

and I had to start writing my own ads

and I had no I was a writer and you know

I could sell but I I you know I could

solve $50,000 well you know boxing job

but I wasn’t selling my own stuff so I

just started picking up some books and

just learning how to do it and I figured

I didn’t have to be great I just had to

just figure it out right and so what

happened is I got on the radar a company

that did marketing for golf products and

so it was a really good fit I started

writing ads and then it developed it

took an interesting turn because late

last year I actually am having clients

and I was okay with that first a little

bit of course you know is not a lot of

cash flow and I got an offer to work

with a company that does some online

marketing but they do a lot of radio TV

and direct mail and I had not yeah all

the copyright had done for the clients

was all online and I was kind of getting

bored with it and so this was a great

opportunity but I had never done any of

that stuff before you know fast-forward

this is in February when I started

working with these people

and starting you know fast forward to

now those ads have sold just in initial

sales just a little over four million

dollars yeah yeah and so the biggest

part of it that I started really putting

together was just how you could

implement the human element into these

operations very inexpensively in turn

you know like a lot of people if they

were to run online campaign from cold

traffic if they were to get a 10% say

conversion rate to be thrilled but I’ve

been putting up on average seventy nine

percent conversion rates I’ve been kind

of a sort of preaching tour about you

know getting people back involved in

your business you know because it’s the

numbers just you know they’re just so

radically different

that’s sort of what everyone’s doing

nowadays but then the sort of classic

direct response and stuff all comes from

Direct Mail of course yeah Madison

Avenue type stuff so it sort of went

reverse and that’s very exciting I don’t

think you know you hear it preached on

occasion if you go to you know

conferences and stuff no one’s doing

direct mail you should be in direct mail

it’s kind of like this secret that

nobody does you know because they just

forgot about it and everything is so

again all everyone’s moving towards the

hot new shiny object if you will yeah so

you know that’s interesting that you’ve

got that opportunity to work with a

company who was focused on sort of the

classic ways of going about things yeah

it’s exciting

well that’s the thing like when I talk

to people who are like I am guys about

doing ads on radio and TV they look at

you like you’re some sort of alien I

hear some foreign life you know like

you’re it’s Mork & Mindy right you’re

this just that comes out of an egg or

something like that and so but it’s it’s

for me it’s a source of pride because

you know you

I mean to get someone who’s not who’s

just listening the radio to stop what

they’re doing write down something call

and order it and not just order it but

then you end up up something of doubling

their order it’s it take so you know

it’s it’s very doable it’s very

replicable it’s just it’s just not being

done now you know the hot sort of thing

in the last couple years has been like

funnel this funnel that funnel this

which of course have been around forever

but now it’s sort of a catch phrase and

the flashy new thing yeah what I like

about you and some of the people that I

you know I have learned a lot from is

they kept it very simple like I’m a big

follower of Ben settle and people like

this we’ve kept the you know their

funnels if you will quote unquote very

direct very simple and of course you and

I talking before you set this up you

sort of adopted that model to of

something very direct very simple and

just old-school I guess but but very

very well the thing is is like this it

comes from one basic principle and it’s

not dealing with freeloaders okay so the

so just to give you you know your

audience an idea we as a company you

know we do some lead gen but it’s it’s

really half-hearted it’s just throwing a

pop-up on the website if people get on

great but the the core customer has been

a first-time buyer before they got on an

email list right and so because I hear

because I see this a lot and and listen

everyone’s got their own way of doing

thing anything so you know I don’t want

to you know trash someone’s methods but

it used to be when you would go for

anything if you went to a restaurant you

expected to pay you didn’t go up there

and say hey can I try my stakeout free

and maybe I’ll pay for it later it

wasn’t like that like I get the whole to

see people talk about giving out value

well the value that you should be giving

out is fixing their problem I just ain’t

sure monetary you know compensation so

the thing is is that this company and

others that I’ve done work for in this

fashion just say listen I’ve got

something I can solve your problem with

if it’s worth it to you you should pay

for it but it will solve your problem

and that’s just how trade and commerce

is done then we kind of ran in this

thing David where it’s like all the

sudden well we have to start giving out

a bunch of free stuff which you know

costs even if it’s online its cost

wanting to get these people into your

funnel yeah and then hope that they buy

and I just I would rather deal with

people want to solve a problem today not

you know we for now yeah I think you’re

I think you’re really onto something

there because that is sort of the the

preaching in the I mean I am industry as

sort of you get your list together and

then you hammer away on your list you

know to some degree like I have taught

clients of mine email tactics and stuff

so that I didn’t have to do it myself

basically yeah you know sometimes twice

a day and so forth you’d see these

people unsubscribe who were these

freeloaders a better term and then he

whittled it down to the real core

audience eventually and those other

people are buying your stuff anyway so

yeah you’re attempting to to skip that

process that middleman process of the

weaning down to the people by having

people raise their hand to begin with

yeah we’re not even attempting and we’re

doing it all right you know like here’s

the thing that it’s really critical to

understand is that and I know that you

know your audience I think will really

really enjoy you know this whole idea is

if you work hard to put something

together that’s gonna solve a problem

you have every right to get compensated

for that you know and the idea you know

but there’s there it goes deeper I mean

because there’s a certain mindset like

you know you saw this polar if eration

of web sites like Groupon and and those

types and you know that that attracted a

certain type of buyer they were just

bargain shoppers and you know these

follow-up studies showed that they

didn’t come back and buy again so the

people that you’re trying to get is the

people that pay for about and they’ll

say hey listen you know I’m willing to

pay this money to fix this problem and

those buyers tend to stay around very

very for a long time as long as they

take care of them that’s notice other

things I’ve been involved with outside

of you know copywriting and marketing is

to when you when you have that initial

buy something and person to put up their

hand like I I’m a magician I gotta I’m

professional magician I do Street magic

and I do gigs on occasion I used to only

do private gigs but there was a level

where you were doing these gigs and then

you raised your prices and you’re no

longer dealing with the sort of tire

kicker freeloader people yep you know


people that were serious and as a result

like you said you took care of them they

kept coming back and there was never any

problems but if you were sort of still

dealing with those like crappy gigs for

lack of a better term right then the

people would try to you know what I now

would call scope creep or they’re gonna

add things on to what they wanted done

and at the show or whatever copywriting

project or if you you know just those

things would just be it this endless

hassle yeah exactly so that’s the thing

it’s it’s sort of like I make this joke

it’s the new old-school way of you know

selling your product and it’s not I mean

what I’m telling people to do is not new

but what what I have helped them do is

the one thing that I’ve not seen I am

guys generally you succeed at is you

know being able to take a customer who

comes in and buys you know your trip

wire for example and turn that $10 item

into a hundred and twenty dollar sale

you know and that’s where you know the

human element really really helps a ton

is it does a couple things you know it

adds credibility to your business

because people like to talk with people

they like to know that there’s another

person even Facebook with all their

billions of dollars really it’s hard to

get ahold of anybody yeah you know when

people write about it and you know and

ironically as much money as Facebook has

they could make more they just had that

element there the second thing is that a

lot of this stuff with people can

actually be outsourced it automated to

the point where you can have this court

evergreen funnel about and still have it

look like something that’s living and

breathing at the same time and I I could

you know I could tell you numbers were

that one day were you know on these

radio ads that we were closing ninety

one percent of the initial sales one

calls center closed ninety-six percent

but what I was really most proud of is

they were taking you know it’s a $10

item so you know that really was okay


but they were turning these orders they

were more than 10x in these orders Wow

and that’s now think about that as a

business person I mean if you can get

somebody on the phone without ever

having to send them necessarily a

follow-up letter or email or any of that

stuff and you can capture that upsell

and that extra revenue right there on

the phone when they’re ready to do it

you’re you’re saving not only saving a

huge amount of money

but your cost-per-acquisition goes way

down and your lifetime customer value

goes way up yeah absolutely

now when you have these because once you

have the people buying these products

and hit the upsell opportunity because

it sounds like you’re closing so many of

them it’s basically that is the basic

packages they get they get everything

you’re selling yeah move them into a

follow up thing with future stuff or

yeah yeah exactly here’s the thing like

there’s an old saying when I was selling

cell phones and it was just said it was

called you know strike while the iron is

hot so it’s like if you watch sports you

know you see a team that starts getting

momentum and you just know they’re gonna

make a move because you can see things

building right it’s the same thing with

with people buying things like if they

buy a you know if they’re putting their

hand up saying I’m willing to buy this

next this item at price to X dollars and

you and you can give them a compelling

reason to do y you know the Y product

for that you know Y amount of dollars

yeah you know you can you can walk them

right up the ladder so a perfect example

of this is like we will take it someone

will buy just a very small package you

know an item and we’ll say something to

the effect of okay David this is great

you know we are going you know we’re

gonna go and put this order in and

something you might want to consider

doing as many of our customers find out

once they get this or excited about it

but then they want to do more they want

more or faster better bigger or whatever

and so you use a little bit of you know

your your experience with social proof

with your own customers to solve those

customers on what they should be doing

next and the big thing is is that well

I’ve listened the call after call where

the responses oh yeah that makes sense

yeah I’ll go ahead and do that and then

you just they just you know they

basically yeah

exactly that’s exactly what it is so the

thing is is like you see all these

funnels and they’re just I mean you know

you see they look like I swear to God

like you’ll see these funnels and

they’ll have the whiteboard now look

like you know the NCAA men’s basketball

right you know where President Obama’s

like showing you his pics and everything

and our funnel is real simple it’s add

call sale upsell and that’s it and you

do your follow-ups you know what

is that you want to try yeah and it does

it doesn’t need to get I mean I think

any business can pretty much implement

that and even they can even implement

having people call in I can give you an

example I mean a buddy you launched a

stress relief okay and we just paid

about forty nine bucks got an eight

hundred-number well you know I had

extensions they could hit you know there

weren’t too many and they weren’t that

annoying amount that people get crazy

with and what we did is we just sent

them you know sent them to my buddy who

knew all about the the product and we

closed them you know a bunch of

pre-sales on the phone nice yeah it was

that simple

see those people actually took auto bill

auto-ship so we gave a nice little offer

there and there was no need to write us

you know necessarily sales letter or any

of that stuff it was just straight to

the phone your sales letter is a human

being right because I mentioned to you

personally but about about a month ago

when I was in Nashville I was watching

old internet marketing DVDs from

Australia an Australian yeah camera of

the guy’s name now but big a big event

we had a bunch of speakers in this one

guy and I asked my friend tow cracker

who we had on the show ten episodes ago

who’s a copywriter he knew who this guy

was but this guy was doing exactly what

you’re saying he was basically running

he he would run small tiny classified

ads for like a mount to a tripwire

nowadays and then he would actually put

his into the metaphysical religious yeah

well its here’s the thing that I think a

lot of people you know should really get

excited about now there’s this argument

with what he was doing on that well it’s

so expensive and it’s this it’s not

actually more expensive than actually

marketing on lines more expensive

because for a couple reasons

a you’re dealing you’re depending on

your niche you’re going up against big

big players

got deep deep pockets okay yeah I like

give me an example when I was doing work

for baseball bat company I mean they

were going against companies that were

around for 150 years and with

billion-dollar companies including like

the east and Louisville Slugger it was

just ridiculous I mean we’re getting

slaughtered you know because we couldn’t

we just could not keep up spending wise

but when we sent them a letter

they I mean their phones were ringing

off the hook and these are letters they

weren’t like high high flashy impact

yeah yeah sales are on a piece of paper

I mean I was it but the thing was is

that people if you go if people were to

check their in mailboxes compared to

their inboxes there’s a lot less

fighting going on in your mailbox than

it than there is in your inbox yeah and

then yeah hardly at all and people still

you know attuned to going to their

mailbox and checking whereas their inbox

are kind of like on you know there’s a

terminator right there just trying to

kill everything they can you know not

kill the innocent you know they need so

you know that’s the whole that’s the

whole thing it’s it’s not to say don’t

do any online marketing it’s just what I

do see of people get stuck in is they

get stuck in this pattern where you know

like I have a group where people they’re

just so Facebook centric in terms of

their mark yeah and a lot of them are

fitness professionals I kind of sit

there and go wrong you know Facebook is

kind of you know touchy with these types

of ads that you got and you know I don’t

know if that’s the best place for you to

be I don’t know because I don’t you know

I I see a lot of these guys trying it

but I don’t seal I don’t hear a lot of

having that’s on a success with it so

it’s just you know that you talk about

bright shiny objects it’s a great place

to add you know advertise but it just

depends if it works for your crowd for

our stress level in it sucks

because you know these people were

trying to reach are busy they don’t have

time to sit there and watch cat videos

just not what they’re doing that’s but

you catch them on a radio ad or you know

a newspaper if they sit down to read a

newspaper which is a lot of them do then

that’s a different story you’ve got

their attention

stuff people are in with who they’re

writing for what they’re doing

personally with their personal products

yeah because a lot of people – you know

I have a friend right now he’s not very

technically he’s 39 he’s not very

technically savvy he still reads the

paper and does sort of like old school

type and to reach him you’d have to go

through those channels he’s not really

technology of course the baby boomers

are probably still constitute the

largest demographic well so they’re

still in those modes so yeah it’s it’s

something that’s been pushed to the

wayside by the what’s hot exactly yeah

it’s again it’s not not a real against

Facebook if your people are on Facebook

great you should go there but if they’re

not I don’t see one you know no there’s

nothing saying you have to be on there

to you know get customers there’s no

rule that says you have to I don’t care

what anyone says there’s nothing written

that you have to do it that way right

well I think that’s one thing I liked

about you and having you on the show is

that you are contrary yeah you’re not

afraid to say things you know people say

oh you know this may not be the best

situation in fact we’ve found for us

it’s not the best situation yeah so

don’t drink the kool-aid necessarily

there’s still lots of quote unquote that

work yeah yeah and actually you know

studies show they work better right

results pour that out yeah exactly

now if people because we have a lot of

sort of people who are listening to show

who are newer business owners and or

newer you know a lot of solopreneurs

a lot of copywriters were in their first

a second year of getting into their own

freelance business and so forth now when

you started out of course like you said

earlier in your origin story you were

writing ads for yourself so this is like

a system that somebody I think would fit

perfectly for somebody who’s maybe

doesn’t have a ton of clients that seems

like a perfect fit yeah yeah I mean it’s

for me it’s like this like I

I think when I started I just picked

something that I would spend money on

which is you know uh you know sports


well golf is kind of an iffy sport but

you know I spent money on hockey you

know learning how to play hockey you

know I’ve spent money learning how to

play tennis so I I for me was a you know

if you if you do something you spend

money on it’s it’s great because other

people probably do as well you know and

if you’re willing to reach in your

pocket pull out money and give some cash

and exchange or something you know

that’s a pretty viable market so like

when we did the supplements quo benign

cold again yeah we we know that people

buy supplements I mean you just no siree

search will show you that and they’ll

show you that they’re buying the types

that we’re trying to sell and the reason

why I was so into it is because I take I

took them I actually used them so I

believe in the product I would say this

like you know for people like they’re

just starting businesses I I really

think that that you can’t under sell

that I mean I know a lot of people want

to get into like that make money on

teach people how to make money online

right but I will tell you that I think

that would be the last place I want to

go because it’s just a lot of the people

you encounter are really they’re just

trying to look for the magic bullet and

they’re not you know they’re not like

the stuff I teach people do like setting

up little mini call centers and stuff a

lot of people think that’s just too much

work you know it’s actually easy it’s

just a couple phone calls and script

that’s it you know but it’s just it

sounds really bad so I yeah I don’t like

I don’t promote it it’s funny I was

selling a report and the people bought

it were the first bit of feedback that

came back he’s like I didn’t realize it

could be that easy I’m like you got to

read it but that’s why I sold it instead

of giving it out for free yeah so yeah

but I I am but the but that would be the

first thing the second thing is make

sure you have a human connection like it

when I first start selling golf lessons

I took my own calls and I took my own

appointments cuz I want you a you know

what you can get really good feedback

from people yeah you know it’s not this

survey thing it’s like you can actually

just have a real human conversation like

they’ll ask you things and you just if

you’re paying attention taking some

notes you can I mean you there next dad

it’s gonna be better than the one you

just wrote

there’s the survey right there yeah

exactly the survey is like I want to buy

something this is what

you know that’s the thing that counts

the second thing is is that it just

really impresses people when they can

call somebody and they know that there’s

gonna be someone there to answer their

call yeah not like 24/7 just you know

during business hours well you know and

then the next thing you do is just

outsource stuff so like I start

outsourcing some things like proofing

you know editing the copy you know it

happened another person looking at it

you know taking phone calls you know for

like some of the products right so and

you know the stuff that I I reserve the

you know my attention to is the bigger

the bigger ticket stuff I think it for a

lot of people who maybe are in the

internet age grew up in the Internet age

it sounds sort of updated and yeah hard

to get started but like you said you

were you put together a report sort of

details the very simplistic nature of

how to set these things up and how so

that you don’t have to take the calls

yourself and so forth yeah you know I

mean I always advise people to do it

just in the very beginning right you

know when it’s slow and then as you know

once you want to you know kind of do the

spinal tap thing and turn the dial to 11

you know then you can then outsource it

because you’ll know exactly what you

know like we like a lot of call centers

you can get a call center agent that’s

not dedicated meaning they’ll take other

types of calls but you can get one these

people for 50 cents to a dollar a minute

which you know if your average sales

call lasts like five minutes and you’re

selling you know like a $50 item and

assuming they take 12 calls an hour I

mean you can do the math I mean but it’s

the bigger thing is not only are making

the money while you’re not working at

that thing that that activity it’s just

it just saves you you know

saves a lot of reserves to do bigger you

know bolder things or making more money

but the thing that I’ve really what I’ve

come to learn is that when I listen to

these calls and I listen to you know

we’ve done them ourselves

the biggest thing you get back is people

are just so grateful to talk to somebody

we’ve become so it’s like Skynet

you know machines have taken over and

you know humans are trying to claw their

way back into the picture and that’s

where I’ve kind of you know ran afoul of

just you know all these insane funnels

that people do online yeah it’s like

they’re trying to just cut themselves

this solves out of it as much as they

can they just there’s not yeah you know

they’re gonna have to be involved at

some level so

if people want to get a hold of you they

want to you have a great Facebook group

and they can said you have a monthly

paid membership yep deal

the easiest way to get a hold of me

there’s there’s basically two ways you

can just reach me on Facebook my first

name is SCA and last names my is Al you

can just friend me on there it’s fine

just say you know just tell me you know

you listen the podcast will be happy to

connect them I’m a little greedy with

who I connect with just because you know

I don’t want to see a bunch of nonsense

but the other way is you know I can is

you can go to my website

Sean myself calm and there’s contact

forms on there you know I don’t do any

email I don’t do any email right now for

the most part I just because I’m focused

on this other stuff but Facebook’s good

Facebook’s a good way to reach me and if

they’re interested in learning you know

how to do a lot of the techniques you

know like set up a little call center

and you know how to get these conversion

rates they’re more you know they can

they can just apply you know with being

a knight Tom what’s up yeah yeah I have

I have you know I can put the URL you

know I can give you the URL

I appreciate yeah I was it was a lot of

fun and I really appreciate the invite

so Sean I just want to thank you for

coming on today it’s been a real

pleasure know people will listen over

and over again I guess it’s really

demystify the whole process for everyone

else we’ll have another exciting guest

on next week I never know who it is

because I never have my calendar up here

to look at but hopefully they’ll deliver


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