Sent. Emails

Is this the easiest way to generate a new idea?

Here’s a nifty idea for you.

A Fisher-Price-level creative technique is simply taking two separate objects and combining them into one.

The Swiss Army knife is a great example of this on steroids – it’s a knife AND bottle opener… and a corkscrew… and a set of nail clippers… AND an almost filled 1982 Panini World Cup sticker album.

(One day you’ll be mine, Trevor Brooking… one day)

When copywriters come up with creative unique mechanisms, “putting two things together” is often the first thing we explore.

(Though obviously, we don’t call it “putting two things together” in front of clients. You can’t charge $25,000 for something that sounds like something a blind, uncoordinated chimpanzee could do)

If you’re thinking of selling your new bookbinding glue for instance – and I know you are – can you find a new hook by sticking something onto it?

Something to help it stand out from the other, well-known, bookbinding glues… you know, like… er… Bindermax, Sheetstick, and, er… Missive Mount.

(A word of warning: if you’re going to Google “Sheetstick”, be VERY careful with your typing fingers)

When you add something, you end up with something that’s not JUST a bookbinding glue, but a bookbinding glue that ALSO:

– Is kid-friendly (only 53% toxic, so the little brats will only suffer a mild case of gastroenteritis)…

– Contains 1,253% of your RDA of Riboflavin…

– Removes nail varnish and descales your Nespresso machine

If you’re selling a course in a market flooded with competitors, you COULD spend time coming up with an interesting angle to ADD to your course to make it stand out:

– A sparkly new bonus

– Edit the videos to make it the shortest/longest course ever

– Make it Vegan friendly by printing out all the handouts on Ryvita

But ADDING stuff is hard work.

(Besides, you could tell by the way I wrote “COULD” in caps there might be an easier way, right?)

What if you could come up with a unique mechanism for your offer – something to help it stand out from the market – by adding NOTHING?

Here’s an example…

Whenever I’ve been talking about my email writing course “Sent.”, I’ve kinda casually mentioned it’s an easy way to write personality-packed emails that sell… emails that actually sound like YOU wrote them.

There are actually TWO benefits lurking in that mess of a sentence:

1) A simple approach to writing emails that sell

2) How write funny emails that sound and FEEL like YOU

There are probably a ton of courses that teach either of those things. 

But how many do BOTH?

(No, seriously. How many? I’m too lazy to research.)

I’ll be honest, I’ve not been making the most of this double-pronged unique benefit.

My derriere has been lazily perched on a pretty powerful hook for a while… 

I just had to wake up and see it.

Now I don’t know you as well as I’d like to, but…

I’m willing to wager you might be sitting on a unique mechanism somewhere in your offers. Something that might make your customers’ eyeballs pop out of their skulls in delight as they reach for their wallets.

So look at your offers again. Come up with all the benefits and features you can for everything you have. 

Is there something powerful lurking there you’ve not been talking about…

… something that makes your “Appendix Assassin” DIY Appendectomy course different from all the other DIY Appendectomy courses out there?

Find it… and start talking about it more.



Clumsily talking about “Sent.”

Last year, I put it back into the mythical vault for a while.

(On a scale of 1-34, how cheesy would it have been to call it “Holt’s Vault?” 

487? Thought so. Glad I didn’t do it)

For reasons I won’t go into now, I’m thinking of putting it back on my imaginary shelf again, along with “Endless Emails”.

If I do, I’ll give you fair warning, but consider this your first “heads up”.

“Sent.” and Endless Emails probably won’t be available for much longer. And I’ve no idea if/when they’ll be available again.

Wanna check them out before they vanish?

Here’s an easy-to-click bunch of blue text that’ll help you discover more about “Sent.”


Here’s a similarly easy-to-click collection of characters if you want to find out more about “Endless Emails”.

Why I’m watching The Mentalist at 16X speed (SPOILERS)

When I watch a TV series, I’m always a little bit gutted when it’s one of those standalone episodes that doesn’t move the main plot forward.

Or, as the Barenaked Ladies sang about the X-Files:

“I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one”

If you tuned into Mulder and Scully and caught a glimpse of an old white guy lighting up a Morley’s in the shadows, you knew you were in for a belter of an episode.

I was thinking about this over the past few days, as I’ve been rewatching The Mentalist.

For any non-mental fans out there, the main plot revolves around tracking down the notorious serial killer, Red John (no relation, though definitely an inspiration) – the man who butchered Patrick Jane’s family.

I like murder mysteries, but even I remember watching the series every week and thinking it was a bloody slog. 

I’ve seen Glaciers make faster progress.

They bled that single reveal dry for six seasons – the same time it took “Lost” to wrap up every single one of their 4,000 Gordian plot knots.

I remember losing patience with the Mentalist and giving up.

As the entire series is on Prime though, I thought I’d give it a rewatch. Only, to save me having to consume 120+ episodes to get to the big reveal, I thought I’d Google:

“Which episodes of the Mentalist feature Red John?”

The answer? 15.

Now, instead of having to time block 3 weeks out of my hectic calendar so I can finally say “wait – it was Sheriff McCallister? REALLY?”, I just need to find ten hours or so.

And as a man who has very little going on in his life, that’s a doodle.

(That sounds way more depressing than I intended)

Hell, I made it through four seasons’ worth of episodes in one day.

(Again, that’s a depressing thing for me to boast about)

There’s a lot to be said for focusing on the bits that move the needle. Not only do you get to where you want to go faster… it’s also a more enjoyable journey too, as every step feels like you’re actually making progress.

I think this is one of the reasons people enjoy my email writing course “Sent.”.

It’s not the “Encyclopedic encyclopedia of everything email” course because Lord knows, I’m not the guy to make that course.

Besides, you don’t need to know absolutely everything about email, copywriting, or hosiery repair to write money-making emails.

Instead, “Sent.” is the “Red John” needle moving episodes of email marketing – the pieces that help you sit down and effortlessly write an email that sells AND sounds like something you would write…

WITHOUT getting bogged down in boring, standalone episodes that don’t advance the plot.

“Sent.” is delivered day-by-day via email over 15 days, meaning you can either take it one episode at a time… or do what I’d do and wait for everything and then binge the hell out of it in one sitting.

There’s also a daily video, in case you prefer watching rather than reading.

Oh, and there’s also a bunch of FREE bonuses you’ll get when you join today though, in true TV cliffhanger tradition, you’ll have to click through to this page to see what they are:

(10 bonus points if you can use your Mentalist powers to spot my favourite testimonial)

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy procedural copy TV shows, I’d heartily recommend Googling the relevant episodes.

If you’re looking for a way to write an email that sells without feeling like a sleazeball, I’d heartily recommend “Sent.”.

Check out the lovely things people have said about it here:


“I’ll have a Brazilian please, Gran”

A while back, I told you I was going on a diet. 

Since I’m kinda done with it now, I thought I’d close the loop on that story, as the phone calls, constant emails, and messages have been pouring in.

I’ll keep it brief…

(Don’t worry, there’s a definite “why should I give a toss” nugget coming)

Between December and May, I lost about 50lbs 

(That’s 23kgs or 3 and a half stone in old money)

I went from being a 15 stone 2 lbs liability to the NHS to an 11 stone 10 lbs liability on my local kebab shop’s balance sheet.

I’m not posting before and after photos… 

UNTIL my gran does my full body wax and lavishly applies fake tan to my notable zones.

(I’m going for “Ready Brek Orange”)

Even though there are no photos, I did keep a record of my daily weigh-in. And I’m glad I did too.


Because I have no idea how I did it.

Actually, that’s not true. I know HOW I did it…

(Having one meal a day [OMAD] is great for keeping your calories down)


I don’t FEEL like I’ve been on a diet.

I hate typing that cos it’s the kind of hype littering every weight-based fakebook ad going.

Obviously, going from “Wait… are all these plates for ONE person?” to just one meal a day was a big shift, but after a week or so…

The urge to slaughter everyone within arms reach eventually passed I honestly didn’t notice.

Actually, that’s another fib. I DID notice, just not the hunger pangs…

What I noticed about OMAD was how much energy I had in the afternoons now I wasn’t weighed down by my “light* lunch” of four slices of bread, packed with meat and a share size bag of crisps.

* At this point, I’d like to remind you that “light” is a relative concept…

Also, the time I was usually sitting on my previously-fat-but-now-not-quite-as-fat derriere, munching away was now being used for more productive purposes, like writing an email to you, cracking the hell on with some client work, or counting down the milliseconds to dinner time.

Another thing I noticed – I needed less sleep. I started getting up at 4:30…


(I know… I’m one of THOSE people)

I started working out at 5:30am – AND KINDA LIKING IT!


As I say, I’m glad I kept a record as, looking back, I wouldn’t be able to tell you how I shifted the blubber.

With my trusty journal though I can see exactly how one small change led to the next… and the next…

Just like when you used to line up warehouse operatives with mattresses on their backs as a kid…

You played that too, right?

This “warehouse operative mattress effect” (someone should really come up with a catchier name) is one of the reasons my email writing course “Sent” is delivered “day by day” via email.

At 13,000+ words, it’s still a weighty beast but the daily emails make it FEEL less overwhelmy.

If you want to discover the approach I use make up words like “overwhelmy” and write emails like the one you’re reading now, you could do worse than check out “Sent.”.

Here – let me give you a clickable collection of blue letters to help you jump to the sales page:


 A few cautions…

“Sent.” is NOT:

– Going back into the vault any time soon, so there’s NO urgency.

– Strictly limited. I can sell as many as I want, so there’s NO scarcity.

– Discounted. In fact, the price has never been higher than it is right now… so there’s NO FOMO.

That said, if you know you should be ticking the email marketing box and you want to make more sales with easy-to-write emails that actually sound like you…

Give “Sent.” a quick looksie

John Holt

95% of the time, the answer is WAGEANOWGAS

I’ve changed one thing about this email. There might not be a lotto jackpot in it for figuring it out but there might be an answer to a common email marketing question. 


– – –

Working for clients in the US is a pretty sweet gig – it guarantees me a solid chunk of uninterrupted writing time in the morning where I at least have the potential for creating something useful.

The biggest downside?

The “what time is it where you are?” questions I ask – and get asked – on every Zoom call.

That’s a small price to bear. Cab drivers are famous for enduring “what time do you finish tonight?” queries from customers. And, as a magician, I was constantly deflecting this classic:

“No, seriously… what do you do for a day job?”.

Five minutes of back and forth time telling is a small price to pay for ping-free writing time.

The only time the time difference becomes a challenge is when I’m helping at online events.

To save you Googling – an event that finishes in the US at 9 pm means I still have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 1:59 am.

As someone who goes to bed around 9:30, that ain’t easy…

In my vast experience of working these events (I’ve done more than two of them now), I’ve found the only way I can come even close to resembling a normal human being after midnight is by shifting my entire body clock to the right about 5 hours.

That sounds simple, but as anyone who’s ever done shift work will tell you… it can be a bloody nightmare.

Most days I get up at 4:40, so setting an alarm for 10:00 makes my fingers twitch.

I have to be pretty brutal about it.

I warn my family that living with me for these three days is going to be an ordeal filled with torture and misery and to not expect anything from me (something I wish I’d added to my wedding vows).

For three days my to-do list was:

1) Set alarm for 7 hours after going to bed (AND STAY IN BED UNTIL THEN)

2) Revise my “no more coffee after 2 pm” and “don’t eat after 7 pm” rules by about five hours.

3) Drink at least 8 glasses of water.

That’s it.

Once in a while, you have to accept that you’re not going to be your usual productive, optimising beastly self…

… you just have to survive.

Sometimes shifting everything to the right for five hours can have a big impact. Other times, not so much…

Like when someone asks me:

“What’s the best time to send an email?”

My usual answer is precise and to the point:

“I have no idea”.

I’m sure there ARE stats available where emailers in white coats have tested EVERY possible niche…  in EVERY possible timezone… in EVERY kind of season.

I’m sure SOMEONE knows the absolute, optimum, peak, best, perfect time you can hit send to get three more opens than if you sent it five seconds later…

… but I don’t care.

Think about the people whose emails you ALWAYS read…

Do you read them because they always land in your inbox at 18:47… or because they’re bloody awesome?

That’s a good question to store in your back pocket whenever you wonder about “niggly” stuff like this – use your favourite emails as a benchmark.

Christians have “WWJD?”*

You should have “WWMFED?”**

* I’ve always thought “Jesus” and “Judas” beginning with a “J” allows Christians a fair bit of leeway in how they should act, depending on what kind of day they’re having.

** “What Would My Favourite Emailer Do?”

Ultimately, 95% of “What is the best…”-type questions about email can be eliminated by remembering this not-quite-an-acronym :


“Write a great email and no one will give a shit”


P.S. Did you spot I sent this email 5 hours later than I usually do?

You did? Awesome.


Do you care?

Why would you EVER choose this option?

Brace yourself… I’m gonna talk about my roomba (remember – little “r” cos it’s the Aldi version) again.

I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear I’ve now honed my pre-roomba routine to the point I can ensure his safety by only moving two objects.


Not only am I using the little scamp every morning, but I can set him off and head upstairs to do some work, safe in the knowledge he won’t Alex Honnold his way up our drapes.

(He’s actually whirring his way downstairs as I type)

(The roomba, not Alex Honnold. I don’t know where he is.)

Our relationship is blooming so magnificently, I even looked in the manual to see what all the buttons do.

I’ve never felt so alive!

Turns out there’s an “intense” setting I didn’t know about.

As a werd man, I know “intense” can mean different things.

If I select “intense”, will Rover do a deep clean, or… will he transform into Christopher Walken and start maniacally laughing or ranting in a staccato rhythm?

I looked around my lounge and decided to chance it. 

I had my phone at the ready, just in case.

(I thought an electronic Max Zorin pacing my lounge might go viral on TikTok and help me recoup some of the money I lost in my hot tub streaming venture)

Turns out it was the “deep clean” thing.

(I know, I was disappointed too)

When Rover goes “Full Walken”, he still scuttles around the room but he turns from Obi-Wan to Mace Windu (his light goes from blue to purple) and he works a little bit harder.

As soon as I saw this, I had a question. Can you work out what it was?

Here’s a hint: as soon as I discovered this super setting, I thought of the Jerry Seinfeld joke about pilots who, after taking off late, say “we’re going to make up some time in the air”, to which Seinfeld responds:

“If you can go faster, why don’t you just go that fast all the time?”

I wondered the same thing about our little Rover:

“If the ‘intense’ setting cleans my carpet better, why would I EVER choose the other option?”

That’d be like winning dinner at a Heston Blumenthal restaurant and ordering a boiled egg.

If you have a choice between two options – and one always gets better results for the same effort – why would you ever choose the other?

If you’ve got a way of writing emails that bring in sales DON’T buy my email writing course “Sent.”.

If you’ve landed on a system for coming up with an infinite amount of things to talk about in your content DON’T you dare even look at Endless Emails.

You don’t need to do more things… you need to do more of the things that work best.