Sent. Emails

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. 

Hint: NO HINTS FOR YOU!!!!

– – –

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 :

“WAGEANOWGAS”

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

John

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

You did? Awesome.

Now… 

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.

CARES GIF

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.

Am I a piece of shit or a jar of honey?

“You seem to attract a lot of copywriters.”

I was chatting with the photographer who took my new headshots. We’d arranged to meet (IN PERSON!) so I could help her with her emails.

She’d seen the comments on the FB post of my photo.

“They swarm around you like flies.”.

“You mean because I’m a piece of shit?”, I replied.

“No… I was meaning more like a jar of honey…”.

I resheathed my cutlass in my scabbard and sat down again.

Let’s see if we can rescue a marketing lesson for you from this therapy-worthy example of me always presuming the worst, shall we?

OK…

Always be crystal clear in your marketing.

“This garden strimmer will change your life!”

OK… but…

Will it change my life in a “your garden will go from Amazon rainforest to Augusta National in 20 minutes” kinda way, or a “one slip and you’ll be fishing your toes out of next doors koi pond” kinda way?

Both are life-changing, but one is decidedly more desirable than t’other.

This is why – when I remember – I‘m quick to mention that copywriters and business owners who already have a system for effortless cranking out sales emails should NOT buy my email writing course “Sent.”.

They should absolutely NOT click the link to the sales page at the bottom of this email.

If what you’re doing is working, stick with it. “Sent.” will only be a distraction. But…

If you’re on the lookout for an easy-to-follow approach to writing emails that sell so you can discover how I write emails that get replies like these:

This is gold! Also smooth! God, when can I have such a superpower?”

“Excellent – snorted tea out my nose!”

“Sent.” might be worthy of a quick looksie. Maaaaaaybe even a shufti.

I wouldn’t take my word for it though because I’m one of those shady marketing people you read about in Portable Restroom Operator Monthly.

 So here’s a testimonial I haven’t got round to slapping on the sales page yet:

“Hi John,

Have read through this [day 8] this morning – and then just sent out what I feel is one of my best emails yet to my core email list

Loving the Sent course so far. I’ve not actually had time to thoroughly put the tasks into place yet, and yet still feel I’m benefitting a lot from the email content alone.

Thanks and all the best,

Jen”

If you’re interested in finding out more about “Sent.”, you’ll find the following collection of clickable blue letters a bit handy:

https://insertgaghere.com/sent/

John

Move over Sullenberger…

It took me 46 years, but I did it…

I finally beat travel sickness…

Ever since I was a kid any trip of longer than 38 seconds filled me with dread. 

“We’re just popping to see Dawn at number 32… bring the sick bags for John”.

On school trips, I’d be the kid sitting right up front and looking pale, with 14 wristbands on each arm, one wrist hanging out the window, a damp cloth on my forehead and a neck pillow. 

Passing cars must’ve thought my school was transporting fresh cadavers for organ harvesting to earn a bit of extra cash on the side.

For a while, I had a theory that sitting in the front was a solution to travel sickness, but it’s not.

Being able to see where you’re going helps… but moving from the back seat to the front isn’t enough. 

If you want to completely eliminate the chances of you creating your own brand of uphurlstery*, there’s one more move you have to make.

You have to move to the right (or left, if you’re American)

* I have to tell you… I’m VERY proud of that.

With travel sickness, the closer you get to being in control, the better.

Putting yourself in the driving seat is the only way to eliminate it.

Unfortunately, when you do this on a long-haul flight, entering the cockpit and demanding the pilot move from behind the wheel is classed as terrorism and everyone tends to get a bit shouty. 

Being in the driver’s seat gives your body a heads up so it can adjust for braking, turning around corners, and handbrake turns when being pursued by the cops on overblown terrorism charges. 

Don’t get me wrong. You can have a lot of fun in the back seat of the car…

… just not while you’re moving.

(You should probably take your wristbands off too) 

Travel sickness is like anything — the more in control you feel, the better. 

(Can you smell the “it’s a bit like email marketing…” transition yet?)

I’ve spoken to a bunch of business owners recently who are struggling to get their email game going. 

They know they should start emailing, but they don’t know HOW. 

For most, email is a “when inspiration strikes” thing. 

They don’t feel in control.

I think control in email marketing comes down to two things – having a:

1) Reliable system for coming up with things to talk about in your emails

2) Dependable approach to structuring an email, so you feel confident hitting “send”

Once you have a process for creating ideas and turning them into emails that sell, you feel more in control of your email marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a ton of stuff to master, but with those two things, you can start hitting send and be on your merry way.

So… which one of those is the bigger problem for you?

If it’s the “what the hell do I talk about in my emails?” thing, check out Endless Emails. It’ll give you a simple system you can use to come up with all the email ideas you’ll ever need. 

(It’s the approach I used to write THIS email… HOW META IS THAT?)

And if it’s the  “How do I turn my ideas into emails that sell?” thing, you might want to check out Sent. It’s my day-by-day email writing course that shows you my entire approach to writing emails like this.

There’s a lot of stuff in Sent., but if you’re looking for a simple approach to writing emails that sell — and are unmistakably you — you might like it.

John 

Have you seen Jordan Peterson’s copywriting course?

I picked up a decent copywriting tip the other day from a rather unusual source.

Most of the copywriting value bombs I get dropped on me come from the usual suspects – Frank Kern, Stefan Georgi, Clayton Makepeace, or Mitchell Springer.

But Jordan Peterson?

I didn’t expect him to be able to help me boost my bottom line.

He was talking about negotiation… in fact, here’s what he said. 

(I’m paraphrasing due to me not being quite the intellectual heavyweight he is. Though I did get a “C” in my GCSE drama, so I’m no slouch)

“You have to have three things to be able to negotiate:

1) To know what you want

2) To be able to communicate it clearly to the other person

3) To be willing to say ‘NO’”

I think most business owners understand the importance of the first two.

You don’t need to be a genius with a “B” in Drama to understand that if you want someone to do something, you should probably ask them… in a way they clearly understand.

But the last one… the saying “no” bit?

That’s a little bit trickier…

Saying “No” to a customer coming to you with a gaping wallet is hard for a lot of business owners.

But you need to do it. Selling to the wrong people will make your life hell.

(They’re called “Nightmare” customers for a reason)

Remember – the goal of your marketing isn’t to sell as many of your $47 offers as possible. 

It’s to find the people you can truly serve.

Marketing’s a “quality over quantity” thing, like spending time with your kids or escaping to the driving range for four hours cos you’ve spent too much time with your kids and are sick to the back teeth of their constant sodding whining and – WHEN DO THEY GO BACK TO SCHOOL???

Don’t be afraid to say, “This is NOT for you if…”.

When you’re OK with “No”, you get bolder. 

Not “bad” bolder, like “slimy, sleazy, pushing the legal limits” bolder…

Just bolder. Confident-er. Assertive-r. Unapologetic-er.

(You know you’ve truly arrived when you start making up words)

Not only that, but because you’re focusing on finding the right people, your marketing feels easier.

Next time you’re writing an email, make asking for the sale easier by tapping into the power of these Powerful Peterson Promotion Principles.

Think about who this is NOT for and then toss in a:

“DO NOT buy this if…” sentence or two.

Was that any use?

John

P.S. If you’re a copywriter or business owner who’s already adept at cranking out effortless emails to your list and making sales… DO NOT buy my “Sent.” course

You clearly have a system that works – stick with that. Fight the shiny object syndrome!

But if you don’t have a system of writing emails… and you want mine…

Click the link below to find out more about “Sent.”:

https://insertgaghere.com/sent/

P.P.S Also, “Sent.” DOES NOT include any “How to add a fake name to a list to scare the heck out of copywriters who are now thinking, ‘WHO THE HELL IS MITCHELL SPRINGER???’” training.

Soz.