Email marketing plays a very big role in what we do; it contributes significantly to our revenue and profits. Despite that, I've realized that no one really talks about email copywriting. The few people who do are Frank Kern, Yanik Silver, maybe some of the material contained in many email swipe files, but given its importance, not many people really talk about it enough.
No one has actually quantified or qualified email copywriting as a way of making sales, nor as a category of study or to champion. I took a stab at actually trying to reverse engineer emails from some top email copywriters to see what kind of techniques they are using.
The first person that came to mind was, of course, Matt Furey. Dan Kennedy and Michael Masterson, the head of Agora, have rated Matt Furey as the best email marketer in the world. In fact, last year he charged $5,000 per head for an email copy writing boot camp for one of Agora's copywriting offshoots. He must be doing something right.
He also came to mind because his emails are really entertaining. Mind you, I'm not even the target market or audience but somehow, I actually I want to open and read every single email he sends. It shows that he is actually doing something right. I Googled him yesterday to see what he actually does. I've found that he has an Internet marketing product out as well.
Matt Furey is a multimillionaire, purely on email copywriting. His emails take him about 20mins or less to create. I came up with 5 different things I think Matt Furey does that have made him who he is today.
5 observations on Matt Furey's Email Marketing:
1. He is as aggressive as humanly possible
What I mean by that is this: if you thought Armand Morin was insane by sending 20 simultaneous mails, this guy has a 100-email sequence. Per product. I signed up for 4-6 of his lists, and gives 50-100 tips in a row. You receive a constant barrage of emails from him every day. Some days, he even emails twice a day because he has special promotions in between. In every tips/lessons email, he squeezes in an offer to buy something and often it's not even the list's product –either an affiliate product or one of his other products.
If you sign up for his fitness product, he'll push you towards his Carpal Tunnel Syndrome product. He tells one long story that has nothing to do with anything, and then at the bottom he inserts "PS. This story is related to my product, please click here to buy".
It's also really interesting that at the end of every email, his signature is a collection of links to his 6 WebPages. It actually works because after reading his story, you do want to see what else this guy has to offer.
2. "It's all about infotainment"
Matt Furey wrote this to Michael Masterson's copywriting list, and added that it's not about education. Oftentimes, we try to give value to the customer by providing them with education, tips and tricks. But, Matt Furey says, education is boring! People DON'T want to scroll through a long boring email just to gather a few nuggets of truth wedged in between long boring words. Matt Furey says it's about informing in an entertaining way.
And how do you provide information in an entertaining way? You make a story out of everything. I've observed that this is one of observations Matt Furey's techniques –he makes a story out of the smallest things – from the benefits of using his product, to case studies disguised as elaborate stories of people who have successfully used the product, to processes and even the product itself.
Examples include his 'Farmer Burns Stomach Flattener' exercises, on which he wrote 3 emails. He wrote in an attention-grabbing way, giving stories on who Farmer Burns was and what will happen when you use these exercise. He includes testimonials in his stories as well, and this is how he can write 100emails –by micro-focusing on one benefit, feature or case study and amplifying it. I can even remember his stories by head because they really were good.
One of his best stories was about a monk, one of only 46 monks to have ever run 1,000 marathons through the terrain of Mt. Hiei in seven years. That's right, 1,000 marathons through the mountains in seven years! Moreover, failure to complete the course requires suicide! It is actually a true story, by the way.
He used it for one of his fitness seminars, where he was planning to invite the monk to talk about how he used to be a loser until he started running these crazy marathons. Matt Furey uses stories like these and although you may not be the target audience, he draws you in. You don't delete any of the 100emails because each of them is so entertaining.
3. He creates something to champion
We often talk about creating business categories to champion; Matt Furey has done this really well. He decided that having used weight training for body building in the past, he would now be anti-weight training. He came up with a product called Combat Conditioning, involving Hindu Squats and Hindu Pushups etc, which he uses to champion body weight training. He also champions the 'Farmer Burns Stomach Flattening' exercises.
Matt Furey is the champion of the micro-cause. He makes every process and benefit a cause. He makes the 'Farmer Burns Stomach Flattening' exercises THE exercise, THE secret weapon that all stomach flatteners use.
When done in this way, this technique creates a halo effect. If you amplify one key benefit in your product and spread it out, the 'goodwill' generated around that one cause or benefit will cascade down to your entire product.
This is what Apple did with iPod, for example. They focused 80% of their marketing on the iPod, and every single Apple product has benefited from the coolness of the iPod. Matt Furey does the exact same thing. He takes one principle that seems novel or cool, amplifies it, and the benefits cascade down.
4. He maintains a very high level of energy in his copy
Even his lead-in has very good personality. When most emails begin, "Do you have a problem with surgery?" Or "Do you have a problem with this ailment?" Matt Furey says, "Allergies suck! Now, what are you going to do about it?"
Well, not really. Actually, he says stuff like "Start Your Day With a Donut, Coffee and a Smoke" or even, "Pain, Pain Go Away", and his emails maintain that high-energy pace throughout. His emails are fast and catchy, and none of them are more than 500-600words long; they're very short. He calls it zero resistance writing –don't care what people may say and just write what you feel. It makes people more drawn to you because this way, you write with passion and energy.
5. He builds towards a mythology
Mythology is a system of stories and beliefs. I define mythology as a network of stories, personality, expressions and causes, channeled through a sense of secrecy to contribute towards the aura and branding of the product.
Obviously, Matt Furey has a lot of stories and all of them are integrated into his mythology DNA. He has stories on how he 'discovered' kung fu sex, and he writes a Chinese phrase which loosely translates to 'on the bed kung fu' or 'kung fu on the mattress'. That particular sales letter was all story, bullet points and the close.
Although he repeats some of them, he has different kinds of stories including one on how he met the Japanese pro wrestling champion who taught him Combat Conditioning. His personality shines through in everything he does –even his Internet course is called "51 Bullshit Ways to Make a Fortune on the Internet." –that's the real title of his mailing list. His causes can also be found throughout his sales letters, and there is a consistency to the way he writes.
Matt Furey say: sell secrets –very good advice. Channel your product through a veil of secrecy, so for example, you wouldn't say you're selling 'The Hardworking Man's Way To Earn A Living Online Using PPC Optimization.' No. You'd say, 'This Is The Secret To Boosting Your Lifestyle.' Sell secrets and make everything seem mysterious.
In his Chinese kung fu sales letter, he threw around Chinese words which, to the Chinese, are very simple, everyday words like stomach ache, headache, translated literally. But, he uses them brilliantly to create aura and mythology. Again, personality, expression and zero resistance writing play an important role.
Lastly, your product should come out the world of stories and expressions you have created.
One last thing. Matt Furey is very timely. If it's Spring Break, he'll have a Spring Break story. He'll begin, "This reminds me of the last Spring break…" and he'll tell a story which has nothing anything to do with the product… yet. And unsurprisingly, as in every single email he sends, right at the end he'll say, "PS. This kind of relaxation can also be found with my products, click here to buy."
Matt Furey always writes and closes his emails this way. And perhaps, all of the above contribute, in varying degrees, to his knack of closing sales.