Today Nate Rifkin hops on the call with me.
He’s generated $5 million for Agora Publishing, the biggest internet marketing company in the world. All thanks to his sales letters and e-mails.
Listen as Nate reveals trick after trick such as why your e-mails should make your prospect’s life worse…
Why super benefits on your subject headline won’t get you read anymore.
What’s the number one selling power today?
How to promote an opportunity when you’re not yet successful with it.
A website you can go this instant and swipe tons of e-mail fodder.
And much more.
Discover the new world of e-mail marketing in today’s podcast.
This program is brought to you by the ThePodcastFactory.com.
"An email that grabs his attention and engages his emotions and makes him stop and
forget about the rest of his emails, that is not making his life better. At that
moment, it is actually making his life worse."
Hi, my name is Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, the only podcast
which delivers cutting edge conversion strategies from the online trenches straight to
your earbuds. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at
listbuilidnglifestylesshow.com. I also invite you to grab a free copy of “The Wealthy
List Builder’s Survival Guide” at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival and now
once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.
Igor: Welcome back to another edition of the List Building Lifestyle with your
host, Igor Kheifets. I first saw Nate Rifkin speak at Yanik Silver's Underground
Seminar. He was dropping bomb after bomb after bomb. Stuff I never heard anyone
else talk about before. Right then and there I knew I had to get him on the List
Building Lifestyle show and be the first to get Nate to share his wealth of email
knowledge. But first, who is Nate Rifkin? Since becoming obsessed with direct
response marketing, Nate's founded and co-founded three businesses, gone bankrupt,
and has recently helped one of Agora's largest divisions, launched a brand-new
nutritional supplement franchise. Since then, Nate's copy has sold over five
million dollars worth of supplements and products. Today he's going to reveal his
never before talked about anywhere email strategies. You'll get ideas, examples,
and even his go-to source for email marketing inspiration and content, which has
nothing to do with email. Nate, so grateful to have you on the show today.
Nate: Oh, thank you very much, Igor. I'm really honored to be here. Thank you.
Igor: Now, before we dive in, and I promise you folks, this is going to be one for
the books, this is going to be a really hot episode for anyone who's doing email
marketing and who wants to do better with that, Nate, do you mind sharing your
story with us, because I am pretty sure nobody listening to this show right now
has ever heard your name before.
Nate: Certainly. Yeah. I'd love to do that. And it's true; I really have been
spending the last several years just having my head down, grinding out sales copy,
writing emails, figuring out what makes money. But yeah, I've never really talked
about it publicly. So I first got into direct marketing, and eventually internet
marketing, well over ten years ago. In fact, I dropped out of college to do it.
And I just dove in and I really learned sales copy and I learned how to write
emails and long form sales letters and eventually VSLs, just to build up my own
businesses. I had no idea that there is even such a thing as freelance copywriting
or anything like that. So I focused on the health niche and I started selling
information products, e-books, books, DVDs, courses, that sort of thing. And I was
good enough to get into trouble. I could make money, I spent a lot of money buying
email drops to large lists, which we can talk about, and I actually made some
sizable profits. But I had no idea how to balance my books or how to run a
sustainable business. I was a pretty stupid kid. Eventually, I co-founded a
nutritional supplement company and that collapsed largely because of personal
reasons. In fact, I got my butt kicked out of that company. And right around that
time, my other business venture sort of spiraled down hills as well. So
eventually, it was around the age of, I think 27 or 26, I actually had to file for
bankruptcy. And that, I think, really changed me because I was a pretty no-B.S.
guy before, but since then I just had this ruthless, razor-sharp focus on only
doing what really generates cash in marketing and accepting no substitutes. So
since around that time I had to take some really tough manual labor jobs. I
unloaded trucks. I was a guy on the street corner spinning a sign for businesses
full time at one point. And the entire time I scraped together every last bit of
change and spare money I had to keep testing out my sales copy. I even got into
direct mail, selling nutritional supplements of my own. And this whole time I was
in touch with some other marketers, showing them my results. And eventually, this
is about... Going on three years ago, a marketing friend of mine referred me to a
Agora Financial, which was one of the largest Agora divisions, now we're kind of
in the running for the largest Agora division. And if no one knows what Agora is,
it's kind of the 800-pound gorilla in the internet marketing space. I think it was
doing about 600 million a year when I joined up. Now, we might be up to a billion
a year or getting close to that. And that's in total, all the divisions put
together. And they sell financial advice, health supplements, health advice. So I
was in Colorado at the time and I clicked with Agora Financial. They flew me in, I
talked with them, and they offered me a job. And I packed up all my things in my
car, drove to Baltimore, which was, I don't know, like 1200 miles away. And since
then, I've been busting my butt writing copy for them. We started a brand new
nutritional supplement franchise. I'm now responsible for about 90% of the copy
for that franchise. It's about two years old. And now I'm back in Denver, working
for them remotely as a contractor, and I'm also building up my own supplement
business. So yeah, like I said, or I should say, like I told you privately, like
you mentioned, I think I've generated over five million dollars for them. I'd have
to check the exact figure, but I've been pretty proud of that, and I've learned a
tremendous amount of what really works, not what people claim works. So that's why
I was excited to meet you and share today.
Igor: Wow. Quite a journey. You went through... So you've gone from owning a
business to being kicked out of a business, to filing bankruptcy, to spinning
signs on street corners, to working with and for, or should I say, with at this
point, since your contractor with Agora, who pretty much is the largest
information, marketing publishing company in the world. So they felt comfortable
enough to allow you to just run the whole copy division for one of the largest
supplement businesses they've got.
Nate: It sounds pretty dramatic when you sum it all up like that. Yeah, you're
right. And when I first came on board, supplements were new to them and I was of
course, new to them, but as things rolled on, yeah, I just had more and more fun
busting out copy for them. And we're really proud of what we've done. Yeah.
Igor: Wow. Okay. So let me then address one of the biggest concerns, which is kind
of just hovering over us at this point, what the hell do supplements have to do
with selling business opportunity, make-money-online products, and that sort of
stuff that we kind of specialize in. And guys, here is why I decided to bring Nate
on the show. In fact, I really, really, really, really chased him down for that.
Basically, the supplement niche has lots of limitations. So when you advertise,
when you do paid traffic, whether it's Google, Facebook, or any other network,
you're really not allowed to say a lot of stuff that you want to say, because Nate
works in an industry that claims to cure diabetes, to beat all kinds of different
diseases and all these advertise networks are really strict on what you can and
cannot say, which is exactly what we have to deal with every single day from
money-making products and make-money-online products, and internet marketing
software courses, etc. So the reason I really wanted Nate to kind of come in and
share what he's got is because he found a way to stop making claims and instead
say things that are way more powerful, that not only avoid getting you in trouble,
but also convert so much better. So Nate, really, I actually don't have a
question, I sort of hoped you'd kind of just jump right into it and share with us
where do most email marketers go wrong. What is that thing that nobody talks
about, that actually works.
Nate: Well, yeah. That's actually perfect; I can just dive right in. Because I've
been really thinking about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to present it, in
a way that would deliver maximum impact to who's listening to this. Which
actually, that ties in perfectly to the mindset of email marketing. There is a lot
of space devoted to email tricks and probably a hundred times more to tricks for
writing sales copy, but I've never really heard anyone take you by the hand and
say, "Hey, look. Here is how you have to approach email marketing." So I'm going
to attempt to do that. Very recently we brought someone on board, the Agora team,
who was to write our email newsletter. And I'm not talking about necessarily email
copy to drive sales; this is more of a content-focused e-letters, health topics,
and stuff like that. And she's a good writer, and she loves health. Great person
and she's doing awesome. But when she first came on board, I noticed something,
that her subject lines could have used a lot of improvement. They weren't
eye-grabbing, they weren't attention-grabbing, and the openings of her e-letter,
they weren't exactly the most enticing stuff. And I thought to myself, "The
challenge she's experiencing is actually the same challenge as an email marketer
who's purely interested in driving sales. It's exact same challenge as someone who
has a course on making money, who has a list of prospects, or they're renting an
outside list, and they want to grab some eyeballs to get them on their VSL so they
can make some cash.ö So I sat down with her one day, and I realized she had a
pretty academic background. And anyone who's gone through school, and anyone who
has had a, let's call it, a regular nine-to-five job, if they are trained in
writing at all it, they are trained in writing that delivers information and is
effective for making a person's life easier or better. Whether it's delivering
information on how to use machinery, or how to improve your health, or something
about an organizational chart management, providing updates via email, whatever,
it's all about making someone's life easier. So when I started talking to this
woman about how she can improve her subject line and her email copy to get more
people reading it, I told her, your job is not to make their lives better. Your
job is to make their lives worse."
Igor: What? [laughter] This is like against everything that you read in courses
and books about sales and marketing and copywriters, like "Improve people's lives.
We do this to change other people's lives etc." And now you're telling us we have
to make it worse?
Nate: Yes. And I'm glad you brought that up. Her reaction was very similar. And
this definitely requires an explanation. Think of it this way, now, I want to
pivot a bit, we're talking about our psychology, so I want to segue a little bit
into the psychology of our prospect, because we're intertwined. We must be
intertwined and our writing has to reflect that. We have to keep this much. So our
prospect is busy, they have a lot of emails in their inbox, and I'll tell you,
just two days ago, two or three days ago, I was on a Southwest flight, and I
happened to see someone in the row ahead of me checking their email. So it was a
neat little window into our prospects' life. They had their Gmail, I think it was
Gmail, their Gmail account opened, I mean, it was a wall of unopened emails. He
was clicking through a bunch of them. I would suspect he probably had hundreds
that were unopened. And it was this wonderful doorway into what this person was
trying to accomplish. The plane was about to take off, he was trying to get
through them all, and he really was just checking for updates, looking for reasons
not to read, and just kept on clicking through. So any boring email that just
delivers news or information that he can quickly scan and just be done with and
delete is making his life better. Just slobbing through his emails is a way of
just making his life simpler and better. An email that grabs his attention and
engages his emotions and makes him stop and forget about the rest of his emails,
that is not making his life better. At that moment, it is actually making his life
worse. It is an annoyance. It is a distraction. So when I was talking to this
woman, I told her it's like, "You need to evoke emotions in that prospect that
they would not, let's say, consciously want you to." No one's walking around
demanding to be distracted, to be titillated, to be shocked, to be intrigued, to
have their curiosity driven. Now of course, as the process continues, and this is
what I told her, as the person keeps reading your email and then does engage, and
let's assume they do click and watch your VSL and they find the product is a match
for them, and they buy it, and then they take action on that product and make
money or improve their health, or what have you, that is when you make their life
better. Until then, your chief responsibility is not making their life better; it
is to engage them emotionally, which oftentimes will make their life even worse.
It's providing them with emotional tension where there was none before. So that's
the opening frame I want to start with, and not many people realize that. Most
informative writing or how-to books is all presented in a way that it's like,
"Okay, yeah. Makes me feel good. I'm gaining knowledge." No, no, no. Sales,
especially email sales, is about actually distracting them and making their life
worse. So I can move on from there, unless you have a question about that. That's
the first one.
Igor: Yeah. For sure, for sure. First off, this is big. Okay? Even for me, and I'm
just reading marking copywriting books all the time, I write a lot of copy for
myself, even for me this is huge. Now, there are a couple of good things, really
solid things you mentioned, which I kind of want to go back on in order to
highlight and emphasize for our listeners. First off, you said the prospect is
busy and he is, or she is, looking for a reason not, and "not" you kind of just
all-caps, underline, bold, italics, everything, not to read your emails. And this
is huge. Most people who write emails do not think in that way. They don't think
in that context. And you as a copywriter, an accomplished one to that, you're
actually approaching the writing, from a standpoint of, "My reader does not look
forward to reading my email." Everything in his inbox, which is bursting with
emails, he actually is looking for reasons not to read those emails, even though
he's unconsciously hitting the inbox all the time. We're all addicted to our email
inboxes for some reason. We go there, but we look for reasons not to read those
emails, and this is huge. If you understand that, it forces you to approach your
email writing from a completely different standpoint.
Igor: A lot of things just don't pass the quality control, if that's how you judge
them. You know I mean? Now, the other thing you mentioned is create emotional
tension where there was none before. Now, we spoke about emotion. We actually
devoted episodes, full episodes, to just explaining the difference between logical
selling and logical marketing and emotional marketing and why one is better, the
latter is better than the former, but I was listening to a book today in my
Audible called Contagious, which is a book about how do things go viral, what
makes something go viral. And they prove, they actually held a sign like a
scientific experiment go on about how emotional tension increases activity in the
brain, which forces us to share more. So you know what these shows, these crime
shows, like CSI and stuff like that... During the moments when the tension is the
highest, when they go for a commercial break, these ad spots cost the most money
because the prospect is so aroused emotionally that they will be more likely to
remember the ad and more likely to purchase and more likely to share, compared to
say the end of the show, where the tension has been released.
Nate: That's fascinating. And yeah, that's also not surprising. And it's
interesting because here's a show like, let's say, CSI. Millions of people are
sitting down to watch it and voluntarily doing so, and in a way they're paying for
the privilege, and it is one long hour of taking them through an emotional roller
coaster ride and most of those emotions are not positive ones. But we, human
beings, love that. And yet, when it comes to marketing, marketers tend to neglect
that facet of human psychology, and everyone loses as a result. So I'm glad you
brought those points up.
Igor: Awesome. So go ahead, please proceed.
Nate: Certainly, certainly. So okay, with that being said, your prospect is busy,
they are an emotional creature, you are assuming that they want to skip through
your email as fast as humanly possible. What the hell are you supposed to do? So
let me take a step back, back when I first discovered direct response marketing.
I made a huge leap forward in my progress, in being able to make money, and my
ability to generate sales, when I discovered a book that really would change my
life. The name of that book was Killer Orgasms! Now...
Igor: I can see how that would change your life.
Nate: Yeah, absolutely. So if anyone was expecting one of your generic self-help
books, sorry, not on today's show.
Nate: The author of that book, the name of that author was Gary Halbert, which I'm
sure you recognize, and many of your students would recognize. I had no idea who
it was though. So I Googled him, and I discovered that he is, as he proclaims on
his own website when he was alive, the world's greatest copywriter. And this is
right around the time I studied direct response, so I thought, "This is perfect."
So Gary Halbert wrote a couple of brilliant things which I'm going to share on the
show. And I've made a tremendous amount of money following them ever since and
keeping them in mind. One was that there is a stronger emotional driver then
shouting out benefits at a prospect. I mean, here's Gary Halbert, who is dealing
in the biggest niches, so weight loss, let's see what else, how to make money,
even selling cars, that sort of thing, very competitive finance. And the point he
drove home was this, "The most powerful emotion you can engage is curiosity.ö And
in today's world of teaching sales copy, benefit-driven headlines, you talk about
how much weight the prospect is going to lose, people hammer home, you have to
give them what they want, you have to have flashy headlines telling them, "You're
going to do this, this, and this, and this." That's fine, but if you are taking a
100% cold, cold prospect and if you want to make a lot of money, you will have to
face this reality. You will have to attempt to sell a very cold prospect. You
cannot even hit them with benefits yet, because today's audience is tremendously
jaded. It always was, but I suspect more today because the ease with which we can
deliver advertisements, they're exposed to more ads. So benefits can lose their
luster, because the prospect can go, "Yeah, right. Whatever." And we had banner
blindness today. Our brains, talk about how our brains are wired, they're
literally wired to ignore banner ads today. And at the same time, I don't have a
study in front of me to prove it, there might be one, I believe that hard core
benefit-driven statements are starting to not have that active effect on the human
brain that they used to. But one thing that has not gone out of style and in fact
is probably more effective than ever before is curiosity. Engaging that "Ha!?"
reaction in a prospect that it's almost a tickle. That is your secrets to email
magic, not only getting them opened, but getting prospects to click on your link
in the email to your VSL. So do you have a question on that before I move on?
Igor: Well,to be honest, to be honest, that's how I've been doing things all
along. I've always kind of worshiped curiosity more than benefits. But it is,
again, it is so against what everybody else is preaching right now. And that is
one of the reasons why most people, at these that I talked to, are so afraid of
writing emails, for instance, because they don't think they can write a good
enough benefit, they don't think they are good enough at that stuff. But I found
curiosity to be extremely simple to do, extremely simple to pull off, which allows
me and, as I know, you, write an email in less than 15 minutes that can actually
make a lot of money. Not to mention that... It's funny that at the beginning of
the show you mentioned that our job as copywriters is to not make their life
easier, because curiosity pisses people off. And as somebody who writes blind copy
a lot, I get that a lot as well. Even when somebody applies to buy some traffic
with us, we keep a lot of the things blind until we can make sure the prospect is
a good fit for what we do and that we can actually help them. And we have a lot of
people quite literally quit and/or write angry letters to us saying how annoyed
and insulted they are because we simply don't reveal everything there is reveal
about our offer for keeping things blind.
Nate: In an interesting way, the fact that you receive hate mail shows that there
is a level of an emotional engagement going on. So it's great to hear that you're
definitely on the cusp of, like I am, in terms of curiosity being one of the most
powerful emotional triggers. So that said, I'd love to share some of the
Igor: Absolutely. Go ahead.
Nate: Yeah, specifics on how I do that. Okay. So here is the frame I use when
creating specifics for email copy. When that prospect is reading my email, my goal
is to get them to click on the link within, and that link will go to whatever VSL.
I don't give a crap if they are slamming their finger down on the key, so hard
they almost break it, because they desperately want to land on my page, or if they
are just kind of clicking it, thinking, "Okay. Fine. Let's see the answer to
this." In fact, in a way, I kind of like them engaging with that, " Oh fine, let's
see." because that is the first little string that's going to get them eventually
pulled into the VSL and eventually make a purchase. So the two keys to curiosity:
number one is I want to engage them with some sort of specificity so I'll start
with nutritional supplements, because that's my world, but then I'll definitely
provide some examples for, let's say, selling a course on how to build a
money-making business. So I wrote some copy for a supplement, for improving brain
health, or improving cognitive function, and this supplement has two ingredients
in it, and one of them was tested in a university-sponsored study showing that it
actually improves working memory within one hour of taking it. So this study
happened to take place in Australia, interesting little factoid, I keep that in
mind, this study involved, let's say, I believe it was 67 people, interesting,
specific fact. I keep that in mind. Half of the prospects, sorry, not prospects,
but half of the subjects of the study were retired, interesting little fact. I
keep that in mind. So what I want to do, again, talking about curiosity versus
benefits, is I want to present a specific news item that I can write about for the
prospect so the one purpose specificity. The second part is I want to use the
power of what is not spoken. Now, notice that I'm pausing a little bit; it's both
to gather my thoughts and also because pausing like this helps to generate
attention. It keeps people on the edge wondering what is going to happen next.
Igor: I quite physically leaned into my screen as you were pausing I was like,
"Just say it. Say it." [laughter]
Nate: See, that's great. I appreciate the feedback. And you know what? Most
people, either they don't know about this, or they're hesitant to do this. Let me
just take a 30-second, little sidetrack here. This is also especially important in
public speaking. And most speakers I see, they run on the stage, and there's like,
"Hello. Thank you. Great to be here. They just want to talk about what I'm going
to talk about." and "This is really great." If they could just pause for a second,
they can engage the audience so much more. And that same power of absence, the
unspoken, the missing, the emptiness, also applies to email. So specificity,
because you want your email to have sort of news value, because news is what
drives curiosity, or let's say, is a huge way to drive curiosity. But you also
want to use the power of emptiness, because remember, you're making their life
worse. If you deliver all the news, you just made their life better. You don't
want to fulfill them with news. You want them to click the link. Alright. So I
know I'm throwing a lot of stuff here, let me drive this home with an example to
tie it together. So I gave you the details of this brain health ingredient that
had this cool study behind it, interesting news value there. So when I craft an
email, I start harnessing the power of those specifics. So I will have a subject
line something along the lines of "Game-changing research out of Australia will
redefine brain health forever" or something like that.
Igor: That's a play on that.
Nate: Yeah. I'd shorten it. So I'd say, for instance, "Brain research out of
Australia will change baby-boomers' lives forever" Now, that one I might want to
write down. [laughter]
Nate: So it's news value. So essentially, your cheat sheet for curiosity is news.
If you struggle with "How I make my audience curious?" well, just go with news
value. That's how you do it. So essentially what I presented is like an article
for a news story. It's like what? There's this brain health study out of
Australia? Now notice I didn't just say "Brain health study that's really awesome
that'll improve your brain in one hour" and "Oh, my God. Who else wants to improve
their memory? Oh, my God, it's just 19.95." No. I used specifics because in any
news story, they would use specifics, especially odd ones, like Australia. That's
on the other side of the globe. It's not like a study out of say Maryland, but
even then, any kind of specificity is going to help, but Australia is especially
cool, so I love it. So going on the news thing let's say they open the subject
line about this game-changing study for brain health. The email would begin
thusly. It would... The salutation could be whatever you would use, you could use,
"Dear friends", "Dear reader" Gary Halbert was big on just an empty phrase,
because really, you just want them to get into the guts of your email as fast as
possible. So "Dear reader". And I always like to reiterate my subject line in some
way, because I'd like there to be alignments in all steps of my marketing. You
want to jar your prospect. If you mentioned that there is some sort of brain
health study in Australia in your subject line, the first sentence of your email
could essentially be a repeat of that. You as a marketer might think they'd be
annoyed by you repeating yourself. No, no. It's actually... Crack open any news
article, usually their first sentence is just sort of reciting the facts that got
the reader there in the first place. So I'd say, "Dear reader, recently a study
came out of Australia that could change the way you look at brain health forever.
Researchers took 67 volunteers and gave them a certain ingredient. And then they
put them through a test and were shocked at what they discovered. The volunteers
who took these ingredients had their brain fog disappear in just one hour." And in
fact, at this point, if there's a graph I can show based on the study results, I
put a little graph in there, I just feel like... "Below is a graph of these actual
Igor: Hold on. Just let me get this clear.
Nate: Sure, sure.
Igor: I apologize for cutting in like that, but are you doing this on the go? Do
you have this written down before the call or are you just...
Nate: I mean, I don't have it written down for me. I didn't do anything before the
call. But to be fair, there's a reason I started with this. This was something I
pretty much wrote several months ago, so I kind of remember what I wrote.
Igor: Okay. Because it sounded to me with all the pauses like, "He's actually
doing it on the fly." Like, "He's picking the... It's incredible." I mean, very
few copywriters are willing to go high wire and just do copywriting, just speak
their copy, on the call, on the spot, like that.
Nate: Yeah. And, well, I appreciate that. And it's just because it's a written
medium, so most copywriters that's what their strength is, not necessarily talking
about it. At fact, well, I'll tell you what. In a couple minutes I will just do
one for a course on making money. What the hell? It's fun. [laughter]
Nate: So essentially, I basically just gave you the whole email, though there's
always a final go-to line, which would be the hyperlinked one, with your call to
action. And in this case I basically said, "Here's the study results." and then
I'd show a picture of a graph. And then the final line could be, get ready for
this, here it is, your secret, super-duper advanced copywriting trick for
click-throughs. The final line would be, "Click here to discover what this
ingredient is." And it's news. It's specific news, and what did I do? I left it
empty. I made their lives worse. I told them every freaking thing except the one
thing they needed, which is what that ingredient was. Now...
Igor: This is brilliant.
Nate: Now, talk about unspoken, let's talk about... I gave you what I did, but I
think it's more important to talk about what I did not do. I did not tell them the
ingredient. I did not say that ingredient is in a supplement. I did not say I am
selling that supplement. And I did not tell them they're clicking on a link to
find out more information about the supplement. I told them none of that. They
don't need to know that. They can find that out on the VSL. I don't need to get
ahead of myself. It's sort of like the dating equivalent of, you're talking a
woman for the first time and you're arranging another meeting, and you're saying
to her, "By the way, this is really great. There's actually a restaurant really
nearby where we can meet. And the restaurant is like three blocks from my
apartment. My apartments really clean, my bed's really clean. You're really going
to like me, especially when we're in bed together at the end of the night. We're
going to have a great time.
Nate: Every part of that could be true, but leave it unsaid for God's sakes. Geez.
Igor: [laughter] That's like one of the best dating tips I've ever heard, honest.
Nate: Yeah. And the thing is, no one would really do that, and yet with the
marketing we do. It's... Igor: I got close to that. I get really close to that,
Igor: Yeah. I'm saying that I admitted this publicly many times before, but I
really sucked at dating. So I came real close to that, to that example.
Nate: Well, hey, at least that's a ballsy example. Yeah, I'll be honest too; I
think I used to suck at dating too. I think that's a commonality among all us,
direct response marketers, because unlike dating where you're interacting with a
person one on one, the power of direct response is that you can sort of be home in
your computer and you can interact with thousands or even millions of people
without ever actually having to stand in front of them. So I think that's an
interesting commonality we all share.
Igor: Yeah, good point
Nate: At least a lot of us. But that's why I love to use these dating metaphors,
because all of a sudden these two worlds clash, where you realize, "Wow. I know I
shouldn't engage in behavior in one area, but here I am in my marketing and I'm
not romancing in my marketing at all. I'm not being intriguing. I'm not taking
things at the proper pace that I should be taking them at, that my prospect is
ready for. When they're opening your email and you're engaging their curiosity,
don't slam it shut, don't resolve every thread, and then shove them on their way.
Let them in the door. Get them involved and tell them there's an ingredient and
show them how they can continue the journey to learn more.
Igor: And this extra click will serve as a micro-commitment as well.
Nate: Yes, yes. Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. And that, by the way, that brings up
the other, to close a loop, that brings up the secondary Halbert idea I want to
share. He used a metaphor of watching little tugboats haul ocean liners. He always
wondered he'd see this little tugboat with this giant, giant, massive rope; it's
like half a foot thick, tugging this ocean liner. And he'd always marveled, "How
the heck do they... What are they, connecting things? Do they drop the rope from
the ocean liner? What's going on? How do they handle this thing? It must weight
thousands of pounds. You couldn't even lift it." So he watched, and what he saw
actually was, from the beginning, he watched the process. He didn't just see it as
an event. The process was the ocean liner would share a little normal-sized rope,
like a thread with the tugboat. And the people in the tugboat would actually pull
that little easily-handled rope to them that would connect to a larger rope that
would connect to a thicker rope, and would eventually lead to that massive rope
that could actually support the opposing forces of the two ships which is sort of
the equivalent of VSL being able to support a purchase with a credit card. That's
not the email's job. I don't want them busting out their credit card yet. I mean,
I won't yell at them if they do, but the point is to get them into the VSL. And
that is designed to eventually make a purchase or get the prospect to make a
purchase. So anyway, anything else before I go on there?
Igor: No, I'm dying to hear more about the money-making example because, I'll be
honest, in our industry very few people do this sort of marketing. Very few people
approach email from the standpoint of a vagueness. I mean, anyone who does usually
just tries to do the tricks. Like, "Oh, you claim you have a $400 commission
here." But that's just bullshit. That's the kind of stuff that gets you bent. And
no one does the news value. Nobody does that.
Nate: Yeah. And I'm glad you brought that up because there are many roads to
curiosity, there are many techniques, but like you said, some of them are not only
banned from networks, but you can also just burn a list real fast. News value,
you're not going to burn your list. That email that I just kind of mumbled
through, you can send out many different variations of that and your list really
isn't going to burn out, networks don't mind that sort of thing, and I'll get into
more of the compliance stuff later. But that's why news can be so valuable for
curiosity, because it doesn't burn any bridges. You won't burn a list that. Okay.
But here's big questions, like, "Nate you had this supplement, you had this study,
you had all of that prepared. Well what about me? What about my niche?" Okay. "So
let me share with you, you heard the event. You heard me bust up that email. Let
me show with you in the process of how I could come up with that." Ideally if
you're writing email marketing, or your copywriter's writing emails for you. They
also wrote the VSL or you also wrote your VSL. That's ideal. You don't need it,
but that's ideal. Here's why. I your VSL you want to have a collection of
interesting facts and specifics about your niche, about the problem your prospects
are facing, and about your product that you can draw from to write your emails
which is what I did with that brain supplement. I focus on one of the ingredients
and then I focused on the study of the ingredients and I spun an email out of that
about the news value. Well you can do the same with your product. So let's say for
instance we're in the money making niche. We've got a money-making product, and it
is based on renting email lists, because the person who selling it, they were
banned from Google. So they found a better way to make money faster, and in that
VSL they tell their whole story, "Hey I was just like us. I was at this dead-end
job and I decided to quit and I discovered Google Ad Words, and was making money
hand over fist and then one day they banned me because of my landing page. They
didn't like my VSL. So I was almost bankrupt, my family, I thought my family was
going to break down, I thought I was going to have to go find another lower paying
job. My wife was terrified. I couldn't tell my kids, but then I started searching
for this other little known resource and discovered that I could actually do media
buys and rent email lists." Okay, so let's say that's your VSL. So what I would do
for an email is I would draw little interesting factoid from that entire VSL and I
would put together a tiny little news story that has specifics, but there's the
power of emptiness, there's a lot that goes unsaid. So like the subject line. See
here, I'm doing it again. So something could be like "52-year-old man gets banned
from Google - makes $7683 in one day as a result." So then the opening could be,
"Dear reader, three years ago I woke up one morning and discovered an email from
Google." The next paragraph could be, "They had banned me. They shut down
everything. I thought I was going to go bankrupt." And then the next line would
be, "Three weeks later, however, I managed to make $7633, and I did it in a single
day." Next paragraph. "The weird part is this, is actually four times more than I
ever made in one day with Google." And then the next paragraph, "Click here to
discover what I found." That is where I'd start in terms of like a news value
email that would be pitching a money-making course, and I have no idea what you
would, Igor, am I way of base, what do you think of that?
Igor: Oh no, you're good you're good. But I can hear an objection up in the air."
I did not make any money ever. I'm still a newbie, I'm still trying to grow this
product right here, and I don't have such proof I don't feel comfortable using
these huge numbers. What do I do?" Basically, what would you tell a person if they
want to write their own emails. They're a member of a business opportunity, or
promoting affiliate product and they can't just say, "I made XYZ dollars." They
don't have income proof.
Nate: Certainly. That's a valid point, and that's actually easily overcome because
in my business, and well not my business, but let's say when I'm writing for
Agora, I'm never writing about myself. I'm always writing about someone else. 90%
of the time I'm writing about someone else. So this is an example of where I would
go to wherever that opportunity is, and I would pour through all the materials,
like the landing page and all that, and I would pull out all the fodder I could to
make a similar case. So again, I'm going I'm going to bust a thing out then I'm
going to ask you, Igor, if this is a better example. I would say, "53-year-old man
gets banned from Google makes seven grand as a result." It would be like, "Dear
friend..." I'd say like, "One day Bob..." And I do the same email like that, and
at the end it would be, "Click here to find out what he discovered." It would
actually turn into all the third person. You'd be writing a new use article about
this other guy. You'd arrange it so, whatever the VSL says about him, it would be
applicable. Is that getting closer?
Igor: Yeah, absolutely. Every single business opportunity, every single program
out there, they have success stories, they have the founder who is usually very
successful, and there's tons of material we can pull as far as like income proof,
as far as journeys we can document, because these journeys, they sell. A lot of
people who read your emails they, will model themselves after any, like a
particular case study, which is why all these programs have like gazillion case
studies all the time because you've got to hit all these customer profiles.
Nate: Great. The person writing the email can involve themselves a little bit if
he thinks the extra report could help, because he could always just say, "I found
this 53-year-old man." Because there's extra bit of news value in there because
it's sort of like someone sharing something on Facebook where there's like, "Hey,
look what I found. I stumbled upon this. This is so weird." When it comes to the
money-making niche, what I want to emphasize is that you want to crank up this
kind of news value and curiosity because like we've discussed earlier, like we've
discussed before when we've talked in person, compliance can be a major issue. Now
from what I've seen, networks can be very strict on income claims, things like
that, and income proof, but I've never had a network come down on me for curiosity
and delivering some interesting bit of news. So there's a compliance benefit, and
the other benefit is that if you crank up the curiosity, the specifics and the
news value, you may not be able to have income claims, but your email is going to
have that extra bit of authenticity and believability that's going to support that
curiosity for the click. What I mean by that is, if you engage their curiosity and
then you toss them a bunch of money making testimonials, you're starting to get
into that area where the prospect is like, "Ah. I've solved the mystery. This is a
money-making opportunity. Thanks, not for me." So you kind of want to have this
objective feel to support the curiosity so you can let them let them in the door
and decide for themselves once they've gone through all the rest of the materials.
Igor: Yeah, yeah. I was right when I said it's going to be one for the books. Just
so you know, Nate, you're so good that midway through the episode when we kind of
went past the point... You know, we should do like 20-25-minute episode. I just
couldn't stop you. This is too good and we're now getting close to an hour. Now,
do you know who else had an hour-long episode on the show?
Nate: Who else?
Igor: Mr. John Carlton.
Nate: Oh, wow.
Nate: Again, another person that shaped my copywriting via his writing. Because he
you know he even Gary Halbert very, very close friends. So that's amazing. I will
wrap up because I know there are some other things I promise I would deliver.
There are two in particular. One is on images in emails. This is another thing
that can really drive a curiosity. If someone can take a screen grab of something
interesting from the VSL and put it in their email as a bit of proof that can
drive up clicks and always use the power of the emptiness, the unspoken. Don't
make it a photo that people can easily decipher and solve for themselves. One time
I took a picture of our, one of our brain supplement capsules, and it was like a
selfie. It was a selfie of my hand holding the pill. It was a super close up, and
it's actually incredibly blurry.
Igor: [laughter] Good selfie.
Nate: I told the marketing team. Yeah, and I told the marketing team, "This one's
probably could be better than a non blurry one." The subject line is something
like, "Game changing brain pill is going to like..." Something over there, I have
no idea. And this is a picture of this pill, it's like, "Click here to discover
what this pill is." It's like, "What?" You have to check this out. So if there's
some little weird aspect that someone can draw from their money making
opportunity, use that. Not necessarily the most beneficial groundbreaking aspect.
No, the weirdest part, use the weirdest part. I pray that this money-making
opportunity is, the voice of VSL is like some obese bald guy. Get a screen grab
with that bald guy's head. Just the head.
Nate: And put in the email. Maybe an eyeball or two. But I mean, I swear to God,
it were just going for curiosity. That segues into the last thing I want to talk
about, which is, if you're super lazy, you're not a writer, you're confused on how
to do this, I've got some great news for you. Some of the best, the best of the
best fodder for email writing that you can find is right there staring you in the
face on the internet right now. It's all those bizarre click bait ads you see at
the bottom of news articles. If you're listening to this right now and you need
write this down, just go to Forbes.com, F-OR-B-E-S.com, like Forbes magazine or
anywhere else, any other new site. Scroll to the bottom of the article and you'll
see six or eight click bait ads. Like, "Eat this before bed and lose belly fat in
your sleep." I have a page pulled up, so I'm just reading. "50 celebs that support
Trump for president", "Your diabetes could be gone with one number one odd trick.
Do this tonight" See, this is all curiosity driven, it's specific, and it's all
empty. Because you're just like, "Eat what before bed? What odd trick? What the
heck is going on? With celebs? Oh my God." So all those click bait ads that you've
kind of train yourself to ignore and that you don't pay much heed, they're just
weird to you, you don't get them, they're like, "Whatever." There are millions and
millions and millions of dollars behind those ads. They know what they're doing,
adapt them for your niche. "Eat just before bed and lose belly fat in your sleep."
ôWrite out this email sentence before bed, click three buttons and make $700 in
your sleep." So I don't know if that could apply to your opportunity.
Igor: Yeah, that's definitely not flying.
Igor: Aweber for three, clicking three buttons in your sleep and make $700.
Igor: Oh, Aweber. [laughter] Nice. We get the point, we get the point.
Nate: Yeah, yeah. There's always ways where you can just take the concept and just
new value and the power of emptiness, and there you have it.
Igor: Honestly, you're the first person I've ever heard, ever talk about the power
of emptiness, definitely heard the news value before, but emptiness is big. I mean
just kind of rearranging your vision to approach things as what not to, I notice
you're big and that, is absolutely incredible. I'm definitely going to be
forwarding this call ASAP to my copywriter, this is just ridiculous value. Nate, I
couldn't be more grateful. Thank you so much. Now. do you take clients this time?
What are you busy with besides writing for the 800-pound gorilla?
Nate: Well, you know, like I said, I'm building up my own nutritional supplement
companies. I wish I could clone myself. I'm not taking clients right now. I'm
really just enjoying building out my own business and supporting that, and also
doing calls like this, because I know doing things like this is helping folks out
and will put me in touch with great people. I love meeting. I love meeting A
players. So that's where I'm at right now. I am actually putting together a site
where I talk more about my story and how I learned all this, and also a lot of
really high level business marketing and lessons for making money. Do you mind if
I mention that at the end here?
Igor: Oh absolutely. I kind of set you up for it. Go for it. [laughter]
Nate: Okay, great, great thanks. So I don't know when you are listening to this,
it is not up yet, but the website URL is naterifkin.com, that is N-A-T-E-R-I-F, as
in future, K-I-N.com. I said, "As in 'future'" because I'm used to dealing with
customer service on the phone, they always like, "Rifkin, Riskin?" I say, "No,
it's like F as in 'future'" So naterifkin.com, that's where I'm going to be
posting a lot of free juicy content. It's going to be very bizarre content and my
hope is to get a lot of A players addicted to that content, to make their lives
worse at first, but as long as they go through it all, eventually make their lives
better. Which is again, what our email marketing is all about making a win-win.
Make the lives worse when they first click, but as they join your business their
lives are better. So thank you, Igor.
Igor: Nate, tell me you offer some sort of consulting or something because I'm
sure it's going to be a ton of people who listen to this interview that's going to
be syndicated to the entire audience, my list and anywhere I can't possibly plug
it in. Tell me there is a way to work with you.
Nate: How about this. At that website if there is ever any kind of way to do
consulting or work with me, that is where you will find it. Is that fair enough?
Igor: Yes. So folks www.NateRifkin.com, Rifkin with an F like the future.
NateRifkin.com. First of go there for the content. I mean you've just had a taste
of what this guy knows and what he's willing to share, which quite honestly I
don't get a lot. I've had the pleasure of having some, securing some big
interviews, like really big. People you would be dying to listen to that their
interviews turned out to be so empty that I did not even publish them. So I really
appreciate you Nate for sharing this, the kind of stuff that I used to pay
thousands of dollars to either go to a copywriting seminar or download like a
really expensive home study course, or go on some sort of a black hat site and
download it for free, because I was too broke to pay for it but, you know.
[laughter] This is incredible and I am extremely proud for the List Building
Lifestyle Show to be first ever media outlet to allow you to show up and then
share all this wisdom. I'm just psyched. So guys again, to find out more about
Nate, his story tap into his knowledge base, and to potentially, if he ever
decides to work with him go to www.NateRifkin.com. Nate Rifkin with an F, like the
future. So Nate, thank you so much again for doing this, and until next time we
talk, have a good one.
Nate: Honor to be here. Thank you, Igor.
Thanks for listening to The List Building Lifestyle Show, make sure to subscribe on iTunes
or Google. Play to never miss an episode because who knows just one conversion tactic
we share on the show might double your list and double your business. Download the
transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at listbuilderslifestyleshow.com and
don’t forget to claim your complimentary copy of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival
Guide” at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com/survival . This is Igor Kheifets until next time we talk, have a good one.
This is the ThePodcastFactory.com.