Hey there and welcome to another Copy Tuesday!
Today, we’ll talk email copywriting.
An email lesson I got from the 2006 magic-themed movie, The Prestige… And financial publishing giant Stansberry & Associates!
I first connected the dots to discover this lesson… And taught it… When I was interim copy chief for one of my clients in the financial publishing space.
We were in a situation where we needed to create a bunch of email lift notes…
You know, the short messages that go out by email, that have the one job of linking you back to a longer sales page on the client’s website…
And we were getting all sorts of mixed results from our copywriters — both in-house and freelance.
We needed something to systematize the process…
Get better copy, faster.
And to make sure the emails did what they needed to do — get opened, and get the click — nothing less, nothing more.
And that’s when I had my epiphany!
(I was actually reminded of this by a recent email from reader Jimmy Bradburn, who had been surprised by my very short intro to Joe Polish’s “Is selling evil?” video shared a while back. Until he realized that my intro did everything it needed to do — which was get YOU to play the video!)
Anyway, the lesson came when I realized that the most common problem with nearly all the emails that were being written was…
They were saying way too much!
You see, if you’re going to link someone to a sales page, product description, whatever…
You don’t actually have to sell in your email… You should resist the urge!
All you have to do is get the email opened, and get the click.
Get it opened, get the click.
Do anything more, or less, and your email is likely to under-perform… If not fail entirely!
Anyway, I was thinking about these emails…
What the copywriters I was working with were doing wrong… What they were doing right… And which emails got opened and clicked the most…
I also started studying emails from all sorts of other companies… Both competitors in the financial publishing space, and folks in other industries who were using the same kind of email lift notes…
And somewhere along the way, I’d wound down one night by re-watching a movie I love as much for its monologue about the structure of a successful magic trick as for the story itself… The Prestige.
And it clicked!
So I sent the team this email, breaking down one of Stansberry’s emails as an example to learn from…
I’ve been thinking a lot about these since last night. And I really think they follow the formula explained in the movie The Prestige for a magic trick.
“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”
Applying this to Stansberry’s email…
THE PLEDGE: Something ordinary but somewhat interesting — an offensive man
SUBJECT LINE: This man will surely offend you…
Dear Crux Reader,
Regardless of your political beliefs… you will be offended by the man I’m about to tell you about.
THE TURN: Something extraordinary — world traveler, befriends enemies of state, consultant to world leaders
He is a 65-year old anarchist who has spent the past 35 years of his life traveling the globe and befriending the types of people most Americans would consider to be “enemies of the state.” He told us he’s also consulted various leaders of countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Palau and Cameroon.
THE PRESTIGE: The payoff — he’s used his experiences to get rich and he can help you invest, too
But despite his controversial nature and political beliefs, this man has used his extensive knowledge of world culture and politics to become one of the most successful investors in the world. And now, he’s willing to share his insight and research with subscribers like yourself.
If you’ve ever wanted to try something different, we urge you to watch this video. [LINK REMOVED]
Publisher, Daily Crux
I wish I had the numbers before and after… But I know this clarified the whole email writing process in so many of our writers’ minds.
And for me, this epiphany was a turning point, and a quantum leap forward.
Writing these emails is simple. Almost effortless. (You should try it yourself — a few times, to let the process sink in.)
This is a great example of what having the right thinking in place will do for your copywriting — every step of the way.
When you know what every little piece of copy needs to do, it’s so much easier — and quicker — to write it.
And it accomplishes its goals.
So you can accomplish yours.
If you’re serious about accomplishing your goals as a direct response copywriter, you’ll want to watch your inbox later today…
(For email subscribers only.)
I’ll be announcing a unique service designed to take you a huge quantum leap forward in your copywriting skills and abilities…
PLUS, for a very limited time anyone who registers for this service will also get FREE admission (plus the recordings) to my upcoming copywriting workshop in November. The one I’ve been teasing for a few weeks now that dives deep into the BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER process for putting together highly-profitable direct response sales promotions… Installing my thinking, processes, and procedures — built from the thinking, processes, and procedures by many of the top minds in direct response, past and present — into your copywriting brain. This will be a life-changing event.
Again, just watch your inbox later today…
That’s enough for now…
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets