Today we’re going to do stuff a little bit differently here. We’re going to look through some e-mails of mine, and I’m going to show you which ones got the best response, and we’re going to dissect them and understand why so you can go out and get insane responses from your e-mails, too, that you’re going to send out to your list. That’s where a lot of the money is made on the back end, especially with e-mail marketing. There’s no better way to instantly get traffic than to send a mass communication e-mail to a bunch of people.
And so I’m going to show you exactly the ones where I got so much results from them as far as responses go. They did the desired response that I wanted from them; so you can learn from these and use these to approach your own business.
Okay. So one of the ones that really killed it for me was free sales page critiques by me — limited offer. Everybody likes free, and at the same time it’s very limited; so there’s scarcity and there’s a big benefit of free; but this is something almost nobody else does.
So this is really the big hook. I’m going to give you something that you’re probably not going to be able to get anywhere else. That’s a free sales page critique by me. So I sent it out, and this was the copy: “There’s one mistake I see being committed over and over again by my customers and clients — poor sales copy, which is sad. You can write all the 7-minute articles in the world, but if your site you’re taking them to has poor copy, it won’t make you any money.”
I wasn’t even good at e-mail marketing back then. So then I talk about an example that he wanted me to promote but that the headline was bad. So I told him to change it, and he did. Then he made more sales. I’m establishing my credibility, and at the same time I want them to know that in the future if they need a sales critique, I’m the guy to go to.
So the approach here is twofold. The outcome that I want is I want to create really good relationships with my list to make them think “I better open up Jason Fladlien e-mails because I might get something from him that I can’t get on anybody else’s list.” The second thing, I want them to know about one of the services that I offer and to really position myself as the go-to person for them. I gave him a technique for his headline and his sales doubled.
Then a customer asked me to review his product, which he said he was inspired to create because of my course “How to create info products in under 48 minutes.” See, I’m tying all this stuff back to me even though it’s this free offer. I got him to really read it. It really builds up credibility, and I talk about a membership that I’m working on and so on and so forth. I’m prepping them, because at this time I was getting ready to hit the membership.
I just said, “You know, there’s two catches here why this is free, which is important.” They say, “Okay. Why is this free?” I said, “I’ve set aside two hours where I’m going to go through all the different sales pages that are submitted to me and critique the copy and offer marketing advice on how to make more money from that site.
Enter The Catch
Now there are two catches. The first is I’m going to share these videos publicly; so if you have a site you don’t want me to share, then don’t ask me for a critique because I’m going to take these videos and make them available to everyone on my list. The second catch is that I’m only setting aside two hours to do this, and it’s going to be on a first come-first served basis.
Do the math.
If I do ten minutes a site, that’s only 12 critiques. If I really go fast and do five minutes a site, that’s still only 24 critiques. So what I’m going to do is take each response to this e-mail in order” — see, this is where I give clear instructions — “and put them on a list. Then I’ll set my clock for two hours and go through the list. I’ll work through that list until two hours are up, and then that’s that. So respond to this e-mail right now.”
Notice the command here — that’s the call to action. “So respond to this e-mail right now letting me know you want a sales page critique and provide the URL of the sales page you want me to critique. That’s all you have to do. So don’t wait. Do it right now. Just hit reply with the URL of the page you’d like me to critique.”
I got way more than I could critique. I got 40 people that wanted me to critique their sales page. I critiqued about 20-some of them, and I later used that also as a bonus for my copywriting products. You get to see two hours of personal critiques that I did. There was a lot of value there. You could have learned a lot from those critiques. People just went nuts.
And I ended up getting a couple people who paid me $75 to actually do a paid critique after that. So I positioned in my list; I made some money off this, and it really ended up being worth my time to do this for free for two hours. That really got me some huge response.
And the lesson from that one is “big benefit that they can’t get somewhere else.” If you really want to create relationships you’ve got to offer stuff to your list that they simply are not going to be able to get anywhere else.
So with that in mind, let’s look at some of these other ones that I’ve had really good responses for. And then with some time that’s left over we might want to go through and talk about some of the reasons I came up with these headlines.
This was one I got a huge response to — “free video on how I create a sales letter in 12 minutes.” I’m actually getting ready to pre-launch — the whole idea with this is this video is all about me using the Halbert swipe file at HalbertSwipeFile.com. And this is a little pre-launch. Before I even knew how to do pre-launches, I kind of just got lucky. “Free video on how I created a sales letter in 12 minutes.” Huge hook here. This is not something you see every day.
Big hook that I’m promising them something unique; very simple copy. “Here’s a little treat I have for you. I’m going to show you how, in almost no time at all, you can get almost all your sales letter written for you. I’ve never seen anyone teach this technique before, and I don’t know why because it seems so obvious. Anyway, I’ve created a free video showing exactly step-by-step real-time I create almost 80 percent of a killer sales letter in less than 12 minutes. Click here to check it out.”
Then it goes to a page that shows that. That’s it. That’s the whole e-mail. It got amazing response. A lot of people watched it. A lot of people were e-mailing me trying to buy the product. At the time, what happened was I said “Did you like what you see? Well, in two days this product is going to go live. It’s going to be offered at ten bucks off the normal price for the first 48 hours.” People were e-mailing me “Can I get it now? Can I get it now? Can I get it now?” And it was really a good teaser, but again, it was huge — that 12-minute video created more value than what they’re used to getting at all. Period.
So that got huge response. Again, it got the same as the first one. They got something from me that they had never seen anywhere from anybody else, and it was personal. It was on a personal level just like the critiques were on a personal level. It was very personal to them because it had me right in front of their eyes, and I had a special for them since they were on my list.
So that was a really good one. The next day I followed it up with another video that didn’t get as good of a response.
Then there’s this one where I said “I’m thinking of putting on a free time management webinar.” This is a good headline. This is a really good headline. It’s sneaky. It’s kind of like one friend would e-mail another friend. “Hey, John. I’m thinking about doing this. What do you think?” That’s how I like to write all my e-mails, like one friend who you haven’t heard from in a while who’s e-mailing you.
And this is what I did. This is where truth in e-mail marketing really shines, where you’re super transparent with your intentions, and this is how you create great responses. We had so many people respond to this. You’ll see why in the call to action. This is a rather long e-mail. “It’s 6:24 a.m. as I write this on Labor Day, a silly U.S. holiday.
First of all, time management” — it’s no coincidence that I put time right there in the front. Then I say “I’m not taking a day off.” I’m getting ready to get them pumped up. Then I say “Anyway, over the last few weeks, if you’ve noticed, I’ve been a productivity freak.”
The only reason I did this, again — this is wonderful — you can say more with actions than with words. They had seen I launched two new products in two weeks, and I re-launched two old products, updating them and the copy to them. In reality, I did four products in two weeks.
Then I talk about “Actually, I’m almost done with another product that I’ve updated” — and then I pitch it real quick. Then I talk about how I have two more products up. I said “I believe I did more in the last two weeks than most people do in four months.” I remember those two weeks. I was a freak of productivity.
And then I segue into this, which I talked about — the free time management webinar. “I did most of this through smart time management. I’m not going to lie, though. I do work a lot of hours, but I can get away with it because I structure my workday in such a way that it makes me want to work, and that’s a huge secret of productivity.” Here I’m hinting at what they can learn from me. I tell them what they can get, but not how to get it. That’s really good to create response.
And so I say “I don’t know if anybody has ever taught some of these things I’m going to do. Here’s what I’m thinking. I want to create a low-ticket time management course, which is also another thing. Eben Pagan — he’s talking about creating this high-end management course” — so that’s another positioning element that I was sneaking in there. “Strictly for internet marketers, here’s the idea I came up with.
I want to hold a free webinar so I can debut my strategies. Then I’m going to take that webinar and bundle it together with some other goodies and eventually sell it. I want good attendance for the webinar; so whoever shows up to it will get the product for free. That’s how I’m going to encourage attendance.” Again, total transparency. This is really good to create a bond with your e-mail list.
Ask The Interest
Then I’m like “Is this something that would interest you? Does this sound like a crazy idea or not? I’m bouncing it off. Let me know. If I don’t get much feedback, then I probably won’t go through the trouble of the free webinar and just launch the product straight because it would only take me a day to create the product and another day to write the copy for it.” I was slow back then. “So if this is something you’re interested in ” — now notice this call to action — “hit reply to this e-mail and let me know.” I literally tell them. “Also, let me know the one or two big questions you’d like me to answer about time management and how to increase productivity so I can work it into the webinar. Thanks and have a productive day. Everybody else will want to take this day off and be lazy, but if you want to succeed, you’ll learn to work when others aren’t. That’s a big secret to success — hint, hint. Work.
Yes, it is a little bit of work to hit reply.” That was a nice setup for them to reply back to me. I’m not huge on these little tactics if they don’t come easy, but when they do I use them — mentioning time here, time management, work there — just get the edge by working when other people aren’t. That means hitting reply right now because the typical tendency is not. And people e-mailed me and they gave me a huge list of stuff to really work into the webinar, to create as bonuses, and some really good ideas. What happened is everybody who attended the free seminar, they felt lucky and I got great testimonials from them. Everybody who missed the free seminar, they felt like they were out, like they got left out. So when I debuted it and I launched it, I said “It’s going to be $27 here for the first 48 hours. Then it’s going to go up to $37. So you might want to get in now.” The response rate — even though it was something they could have got for free that they missed out on, they didn’t want to make that mistake again so they just ate it up.
And then that’s where I talk about “This is live. There’s a special discount link inside.” There was something else too.
Here’s another one. Tell me what you think of this idea. This got great responses. Again, it’s just like the last one. It’s like “Hey, I’m a friend. You’re a friend.” Just two friends interacting and bouncing stuff off each other. That’s a real big secret to getting huge responses. I said “Tell me what you think of this idea.”
This one is really long kind of, but I say — again, I start with where I’m at, which really brings home the “I’m with you. You’re with me” kind of a thing. I say to them “I’m typing this from a motel room in Dallas, Texas. I’m going to attend the Affiliate Incubator seminar tomorrow put on by Russell Brunson and Stu McLaren.” So they know where I’m at just like a friend would tell an old friend “Hey, what’s up with you? Here’s what I’ve been up to.” “I’m thinking about getting into the speaking circuit soon.” I talk about some of this stuff here.
Then this is really smart here. If they’re following my e-mails, they’re following along with what I’m doing; so I can leverage everything that I’ve done in the past that they are aware of to really say stuff that has power to it for the future.
So I said “I realize from doing my time management webinar that webinars are a perfect way to present information. The way I was able to break down the info I gave into specific plans for people during the seminar really was my favorite part of the whole thing. I could help them connect the dots with the information I gave them and how it applied to them in real time.” So then I’m getting them excited.
And I talk about “I need to justify this $99 a month that GoToWebinar charges me. I could make up copywriting. And that copywriting is the weakest element, and even though I created this course, most people still haven’t connected the dots. So what I want to do is walk them through an 8-week course on copywriting.”
I gave them a little bit of details, talk about my idea, how I’m going to lay it out. I’m thinking this is going to be great, but the downside is I’m going to really have to limit the class so they know a little bit about the scarcity. Then I hit them with the call to action. “Is this something that would be of interest to you? If so, do me a favor and hit reply to this e-mail and tell me you’re interested in it. And also, when you hit reply please answer this question.” This is important. If you give them a too open-ended “give me your thoughts,” you never want to do that. That requires too much work on their part to actively think about what to say. Instead, you want to give them simple ways of responding to you in a way that still gives you what you want.
So you say “What would you like to be included in this class to make it the best copywriting course ever offered?” Which is a great question by the way, because it presupposes that this will be the best copywriting course ever offered, but what would you personally like to contribute to make it the best. “I’ll take whatever feedback I get and incorporate it into the class. I hope to hear back from you soon with your feedback. Also, expect to hear from me in a few days. If I come across any new tricks or tactics at the seminar, I’ll share them with you.”
So I started with where I was at, and I ended right back to what I was talking about. So if they skip down right to the bottom of the e-mail, it would make sense still for them.
The point of the matter is that it might get them to read back. The point is “Hey, here’s a crazy idea. I don’t know what you guys think of it, but tell me what you think of it.” Huge responses I got back from that. So many people e-mailed me telling me they were interested, that they wanted to buy right then. I got that a lot. More importantly, they told me what they wanted to put in the class. I really didn’t add any of it in the class, because I already had a good idea of what they needed, but I really used the phraseology and the words and the terms and the ways they described copywriting in their replies, and I put that in my copy. That was one of the reasons why my copy was so successful for that launch. So that one got a really good response rate.
That’s when I update the program. Here’s another really big one. Notice how this is always a rolling dialogue. People that have been on my list — they really want to see what I’m doing next. That’s another hit that you want to have with your e-mail to really get people to read it. They always want to think “What’s this dude up to now? What’s he up to now? What’s he up to now? I got to read to find out.”
So this is a straight headline. I could probably come up with a better one. “Here’s a free PDF I created on the 8 habits that keep marketers poor.” I don’t give away a lot of free stuff, so when I do, I make it a big deal because it’s a rare treat. I usually sell the hell out of my list, and I make no qualms about it. People are happy to be sold when you give them far more value than what they have to invest to get that value.
But occasionally I give them free stuff when I just feel like it and I know that the timing’s just right and I got to get it out there now. This was one of the things, so I talk about it. “You probably heard that I just got back from a marketing seminar in Dallas.” I love how I start that out. Again, it’s just like we’re friends. We’re talking like friends. “This is what Jason’s up to now.”
I start talking about how I was seeing these things that just appalled my about the behaviors that people had that stopped them from making money online. It was shocking actually. So then I talk about some specific scenarios. I’m like “Because of that, I decided to write these 8 habits and make them into a report to share with you. I think you’ll find immense benefit from it. Before I give you the download link, there’s something else I want to bring up.”
This is where I tied this into that e-class I was launching, which is good to give them free stuff during the middle of a launch to really get that law of reciprocity. I totally forgot about that. So I mentioned that, and I said “Anyway, here’s the report. Let me know what you think of this report by hitting reply to this e-mail after you’ve read it.” Very simple call to action, but I’m giving them specifics. “Hit reply to this e-mail after you read it and let me know.”
Not only did I get a ton of people that read that report — here was the secret to that report and why it created such a huge response. I said stuff in that report that you really don’t hear anywhere else. I said a lot of things that most marketers are afraid to tell their customers, because they’re afraid their customers won’t buy from them anymore, which the opposite is true.
So I’m like “A lot of people say that affiliate marketing is easier. It’s not. It’s just different. Here’s why. A lot of people say information is so important, but information really isn’t important. The people you are around are more important than any e-book you’ll buy.”
So I’m telling them this stuff. I’m literally telling them things that you would think would decrease the chance of them buying stuff in the future because I’m discouraging them from lavishly spending and spontaneously spending on things that are probably not in their best interest. But what that really makes them do is want to do business with me more because they feel like they know what they get from me. They don’t always have to question my intentions. That’s a great way to create response.
You’ve got to say the things that other people are afraid to say, but that every consumer knows deep down inside is true and is looking for somebody in a more authoritative role to validate that for them. So that’s what you really want to do if you want to create some good responses.
So that was one of my best ones ever. In fact, I didn’t pitch anything, but in that report there was a link to 7 or 8 of my products in the resources section. I got $500 in sales that day just from sending that out. That was a good one.
Here was another good one. I love it when you use controversy. So in this one I was talking about why I think the arbitrage conspiracy launch was bungled. I come right out and say it. The thing that’s on a lot of people’s mind, I say. “This sucked, and here’s why it sucked.” I’m not afraid so offend some peers. This is really simple, and this was a perfect excuse for me to debut them to my blog.
But I just basically said at the end of it — and I learned from this Robert Plank, which I’m sure you’ve seen — “I need at least ten comments if I’m going to keep this blog active.” A lot of people got on board with that. I think I had 24 comments, and they were like “Yeah, this sucks. This sucks. I didn’t like this either,” so on and so forth.
Really cool. A lot of people were just like “I was wondering that.” So this is what they kept saying “I was wondering that.” And then I actually showed them — they were like “I was wondering why he was doing that. Thank you for sharing that with me .”
Let me find one more that I’m not seeing in this piece of copy. It said something like “Don’t buy ________.” Don’t buy some software — that I end up almost getting sued over because they said it was slander. That one got me great responses.
Here’s the last one in the time we have left. This is a great headline. “Jason Fladlien gets D- on copywriting test.” And this one got 40-some people to respond on my blog. I say “Hey, my favorite copywriter, Gary Halbert, gave me a copywriting test, which I almost flunked.” He’s dead, and so they’re like “What does that even mean?” Curiosity.
I’m pretty freaking good at copywriting, too. This is cool because it makes you more human to your list when you do things and admit your failures and teach them the lessons that I’m not afraid to come out and say when I messed up. That’s another great way to get a relationship.
I said, “Anyway, I learned a lot from that 4-minute quiz, more than I do with most e-books.” I make sure to tell them they don’t have to spend a lot of time on this. “So I thought I’d share with you. I posted it on my blog; so go there and take the quiz really quickly and see what results you get.”
So I had people — I was amazed I got over 40 responses to that. It was really a lot of work to respond to that blog post. You had to go through and write each answer. So this is what it is “Which headline would poll best?” I talk about it some more, and then I throw these headlines out there and make them comment. 42 responses at the end of the day. So they literally had to do it. Look at Lance here. He had to put all these in there or put them like that or put them like that.
This was a lot of work. I had 40-some people, and I think the main reason why it pulled so good is because it’s a test. People love to take tests to evaluate themselves, as if a test could really evaluate your skills anyway. But people really love to take quizzes and tests and try to see where they stand in comparison to others. So this is something to think about adding to your repertoires — these little fun quizzes. Don’t make it a hard quiz. Don’t make it an S.A.T. test, but make it something fun with an implied benefit — to not only see where you stand, but maybe you’ll get some praise.
One of the guys only missed four. He did way better than I did. I gave him a free product. They didn’t even know about that. He was really excited, and so it was really cool to see that.
So that’s it. That’s the bottom line there — some of the ways that I got really good responses and how I got people to respond. You see a lot of commonalities in what really triggers people. This is how you create relationships with people to get them to really listen to you when you have something to say. If you have something good to say about a product you’re putting out, people are going to want to buy it.
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