Category Archives for "Copywriting"

11 Proven Email Marketing Tips You Need To Know

What could you learn from reviewing 90 emails from a successful email marketer?

This is the question I set out to answer after collecting 90 days of emails from Paul Mascetta, the owner of Influence Mastery, Inc and PJM Digital Media Corporation. Once I began reviewing the emails, I started seeing patterns in his strategy. I used those to create these email marketing tips, which I hope will help you improve your campaigns.

email marketing tips with a strategy twist

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What could you learn from reviewing 90 emails from a successful email marketer?

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11 Email marketing tips

1. Every email should have a link

While every email may not be selling, each one should provide a link for the reader to click. When Paul is not promoting an upsell to a new course, he is offering the reader free resources to get more information. This helps get the reader in the habit of clicking a link with each email.

2. Become a master of the follow up

After the reader signs up for a resource, Paul likes to follow up on his next email. At that time, he'll offer more information and list the benefits of reading the PDF with the goal being to get the reader to take action.

3. Make the most of scarcity

Paul frequently uses scarcity. As early as the third email in the series, he starts with the subject SIGNING OFF and informs the reader that this will be the last email they get about this offer and it's their final notice. (Of course, in the next email, he will come back and ask them why they didn’t take action and offer them one more chance to do so.)

4. Anyone can do this, so you can too

Paul frequently informs readers that anyone can master the material in his programs. In one email, he discusses how the well-known “most prized student” of NLP, Tony Robbins, is not certified in NLP and that the reader doesn't need to be certified either. The reader just needs to know the stuff that works (which happens to be what Paul wants to share).

“That's why I spent years sifting through all kinds of NLP information until I found the gems that I needed. Now I want to share them with you.”

5. Use a tripwire to start them buying

As early as the second email, Paul offers an upsell to his tripwire (a low-priced product to get the reader to make a purchase). After receiving his free download, he tries to persuade them with the “tiniest investment” they can make to get still greater results.

This is what some marketers like Ryan Deiss, CEO of Digital Marketer, call a tripwire. It helps persuade people to make an initial small purchase to move them deeper into the funnel.

Of course he applies scarcity to help convince them to take action, “This price won’t be available much longer, so I would grab your copy now while it’s still fresh in your mind.”

In the fourth email in the series, he returns acting surprised that they haven’t purchased his small investment. “Call me crazy, but I’m a little surprised you still haven’t taken me up on this.”

And then, in the fifth email, he comes back and tells the reader that he's done talking with them about this and offers them a final last few days where he encourages them to take him up on his offer.

He also shares in his P.S.: “Remember, not only will it get you persuading people immediately, but it will also give you the momentum you desperately need to become a master persuader. Get off the fence and get started NOW.” 

6. If you can’t sell them a bundle, sell the products individually

Starting at email number 16 in the series, Paul offers “Advanced Training” which is essentially a few of his PDFs bundled together. There is a short email introduction where he tells the reader that, “This training is not for everyone. In fact I was even on the fence about sending it to you but I thought ‘what the heck?’ So I reluctantly decided to share it.”

In the sales page, he inserts multiple PDFs and other things that can be downloaded in the next few emails. This group of PDFs sells for $57.

If the reader doesn’t take him up on the advanced training PDF bundle, in the next emails, he tries to sell them on each of the books individually.

7. Use activation emails to get more downloads

One of my favorite emails arrived after I failed to download one of his resources:

“Subject: <email address> Activation
Name: Support (Paul Mascetta)
ACCOUNT ID: <email address>
LINK EXPIRES: Tuesday, 11:59 PM PST

If you are receiving this email, you HAVE NOT downloaded your training product yet.

Use the link below for immediate access:

Click here

Thank you,


If the reader still does not download the guide, he will send the same email again but with a different subject.

8. Make your higher-priced items irresistible with a virtual voucher

Leading up to higher-priced products, Paul offers a virtual voucher for $262 that the reader can cash in on a discount for training.

Here is how Paul sets it up: “Thing is, the voucher is gonna expire soon and then you may lose out. I don't wanna see that happen. Cash in your voucher here.”

Then, in the next email, he spells out the benefits using a bullet list telling exactly what they will get when they purchase the product and use their $262 discount.

He then gives them a link that will expire at midnight.

He tells them in the P.S., “I've never discounted this program down this much and chances are I'm not gonna do it again anytime soon. Would hate to see you miss out and pay more.”

9. Change the From name frequently and see how it affects open rate

Paul periodically changes his name in the From field in order to get more attention. Some examples include:

Paul Mascetta
Paul M
Private Invitation (via Paul)
Paul M.
(Important Update) via Paul
Final update (via Paul)

When he wants the reader to take action and let them know they have not downloaded, he will switch his name to something like:

Support (Paul Mascetta)
Support (The Influential Mind)

When he has a new PDF to offer and wants to get attention, he will use:
Brand New PDF (from Paul)
Second Attempt (from Paul)

When he is trying to get someone to join one of his larger programs, he will use:
Your Access (via Paul)
(Your Opportunity) via Paul 

10. Match your subject line and From field to increase your open rate

One of the areas where Paul excels is matching the From name with the subject to make the most impact. Here are some examples:

He uses this version when someone has not downloaded his resource:

Subject: <email address> Activation
Name: Support (Paul Mascetta)

Subject: Brand new PDF waiting for <email address>
Name: Second Attempt (from Paul)

Subject: Last Attempt: Issue Resolved
Name: Final update (via Paul)

He uses this combination when he has an exclusive offer:

Subject: Want to work with me on something?
Name: Private Invitation (via Paul)

And when something is closing:

Subject: 👋 Bye
Name: Your Access (via Paul) 

11. Get creative with your subject lines

Here are some of the more creative subject lines Paul used throughout the series:

Time sensitive voucher for <email address>
<email address> Activation
<email address> Activation pending
🔫 Hypnotic Weaponry 🔫
⚠ Access to Restricted Material
📖 [Download] The Storytelling Cheat Sheet
I lied. 😟
👋 I'm calling it quits
✔ [Download] The Covert Hypnosis Checklist
📘 [No Charge] NLP Foundational Concepts

How I would improve this campaign

I think Paul Mascetta has done an incredible job with these emails. If I were to pick one area where they could be improved, it would be to add open loops across the series to increase engagement.

I would like to offer a special "Thanks!" to Lynn Swayze for introducing me to Paul Mascetta's emails. She was the inspiration behind this post.

How Social Engineering Can Make You a Better Copywriter

Adrian Lamo, Kevin Mitnick, and Kevin Poulson

A few years ago, when I started interviewing subject matter experts (SMEs) about their products and services, I struggled with knowing the proper lingo (cybersecurity SMEs have their own jargon), asking the right questions, having enough confidence, and ultimately being a good enough “listener” to pick up more than just the words being spoken.

As a tech guy from way back (any Commodore 64 fans out there?), I've had a fascination with hackers like Kevin Mitnick and how they are able to get their marks to trust them enough to give them access to confidential information. I like studying what they do, and find their exploits fascinating.

Who is Kevin Mitnick?

In case you're not familiar with Kevin Mitnick, he is a famous hacker who is known for breaking into large technology companies like Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Novell in the 1980s and 90s. While these days it seems like a lot of hackers are destructive in nature, Mitnick never destroyed anything. He gained access (usually through social engineering) and made copies of information.

One of Mitnick's biggest assets is the ability to use social engineering to get people to trust him and give him the information he needs. He has the ability to get people on the phone and ask them questions in such a way that they feel comfortable enough to give him confidential information.

Unfortunately for Mitnick, his addiction to hacking destroyed his marriage and he ended up being on the FBI's Most Wanted Cyber Criminal list before being arrested in 1995.

Building trust with social engineering

As copywriters, we aren't hackers and we don't break into institutions to steal information. We don't even dumpster dive for critical pieces of information (well, not usually). However, we do need to be able to get on the phone with clients, their customers, and others and get them to trust us so that we can ask them the right questions and get them to give us honest answers.

Maybe it's asking about the customer's business or wanting to hear about their needs. It's all about getting people to know, like, and trust us, and in this way social engineering can help us obtain this goal.

Here are three things I learned from social engineering that can help you build trust when interviewing someone for your next copywriting project:

1. Know the lingo

In social engineering, when you talk to your mark, you need to know the lingo if you are going to get them to trust you. For example, if you can’t talk tech to a systems administrator, it’s unlikely they’ll give you the information you need.

The same is true when you interview a subject matter expert. If you’re discussing the latest hacking exploits and don’t know the buzzwords, you’re likely to lose credibility and they won’t trust you to write the content.

2. Dive deep into your research

When hacking, Mitnick often took several steps in order to infiltrate a system. For example, it may start with doing research and then searching for information that would help him gain access. The next step may be to call a person with insider access and build trust so they will give him the login credentials he needs.

The same is true for copywriting. We need to research our subjects and create the right questions before we get on the phone or video conference. This includes a full immersion to learn intimately about the company, its market, the product or service, its subject matter experts, and the competition.

3. Listen to more than just the words

While practicing social engineering, Mitnick needed to listen to the person on the other end of the phone and pay attention to more than just the words. Based upon their voice, is the mark buying into the story? Am I building trust or are they about to end the conversation and call the FBI?

As a copywriter, it helps to listen to more than just the words. That can include intonation and, if possible, body language. You need to empathize with your clients to help build trust. This includes understanding their stresses, causes of anxiety, and concerns. “Listening” to more than just the words can help you pick up on your client’s driving motivation and tailor your services to meet their needs.

What if you’re not a master of social engineering like Kevin Mitnick? The good news is that you don’t have to be in order to benefit from these tips. By knowing the lingo, doing your research, and listening to more than just words, you can build trust when you interview SMEs, CEOs, and more. Once you’ve established that trust, your copywriting will improve.

What Gymnastics Taught Me About Freelance Writing

Recently I had the pleasure of watching my 11 year-old daughter compete at her state gymnastics meet. There were over 50 girls in her session and we watched them perform on bars, beam, floor, and vault. While I watched these amazing gymnasts perform, I came to a realization about my writing career.

As most of us know from watching the Olympics, gymnastics is by no means easy. These girls spend 12-16 hours a week in the gym working out and trying to improve their skills. I think this is why it is always difficult to watch them fall and make mistakes, knowing that they have successfully completed the skill so many times in practice. The truly amazing part is watching these girls immediately get up, shake it off, and finish their routine.

So what does this have to do with freelance writing?

During my internet marketing career, I made a number of mistakes. I fell into some bad habits when it came to backlinking and was punished by Google as a result. I got to watch websites that made over $1,000 per month drop to nothing in one day.

I’ll admit I was mad at myself after it happened and there was a part of me that wanted to quit. I got into the mindset of it being too hard now that I could no longer predict how to make my sites rank. This kind of defeatist attitude does not help anyone and it certainly wasn’t replacing my missing income.

I can only imagine how far the gymnasts at my daughter’s gymnastics center would have gotten if they said, “Someday I might fall, so I’ll never climb up on a beam again.”. It sounds silly for me to say, but that is exactly what I did for several weeks. I stopped working on my sites because, quite frankly, I didn’t know if my rankings would fall again.

I gave up. I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s the truth. Sometimes though, tough times can be excellent teachers. Instead of producing large quantities of what Google deems as low quality content (article spinning, blog networks, etc.), I decided to give Google exactly what they wanted.

I decided it was time for me to do the best research and writing I can do. Does it take a lot more time than merely producing content whose only redeeming factor is that it’s unique? Absolutely! On the other hand I now have people who actually enjoy reading my content and are genuinely interested in what I have to say. From a personal perspective, this type of writing is much more rewarding.

I’ve decided it is time for me to climb back up on the beam (metaphorically speaking) and show the world what I can do. I’m going to provide the best quality content with the best research available. I want people to read what I’ve written and think, “Wow, I never knew that.” Then I will know I’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life.

How about you?