Street-Smart Persuasion Secrets With Doberman Dan

The internet changed a lot.

But it didn’t change a thing when it comes to making money.

It’s just another media.

The persuasion principles never changed.

Because human nature hasn’t changed.

The way you close a sale today is the same way you’d do it in 1912.

Which is why I invited Doberman Dan from “Doberman Dan Is Off The Chain” show to rap about persuasion.


Dan reveals time-tested street-savvy persuasion secrets he uses to write sales copy for publishing giants like Agora and for his own newsletter business.

If you’re making a living or want to make one with email marketing, you can’t afford to miss this episode.


This program is brought to you by the

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 from today’s episode and all future episodes at I also invite you to grab a free copy of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival Guide” at and now once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Igor: Welcome back to List Building Lifestyle, this is your host, Igor Kheifets, hosting Doberman Dan of “Off the Chain” show. He’s actually a fellow The Podcast Factory member and someone who I respect and admire a lot because Dan happens to be one of today’s most respected copywriters having worked with a giant company such as Agora having wrote for them and right now Dan is really, really influencing my life in a big way through this newsletters, through everything that he puts out because you know, Dan, there is something about your stuff that is like a smack up side the face with a wet fish sometimes. You know when I start screwing things up, I just pick up a copy of your newsletter and I’m back on track.

Dan: [laughter] I’m glad to hear that and by the way that’s not the first time I’ve heard that. Yeah, a smack up side the head with a fish that’s a good one. I’ve heard like some people say, “Man, I feel like I just got a spanking from my father after I’ve read some of your stuff.” So yeah, that’s the goal to give you a loving correction when you need it.

Igor: Oh yeah, absolutely. And you know what I think our listeners could use a correction right now because a lot of the people listening to my show are internet rookies you know people who are maybe a year into online marketing, they have still have lots and lots of misconceptions about this business and you know that’s partially why they can’t make money. So today, I wanted you to rant a little bit about the inter-web, right because a lot of people think that the internet has changed the world but did it really?

Dan: The internet, does that thing still even around? I thought it was passé now, outdated. [laughter]

Igor: So 1990s.

Dan: So 90s, I thought it all went, I thought it all ended when AOL ended. Listen, I love the internet, yeah, it has changed our lives in so many ways. I was kind of – I was lamenting the creation of the internet the other day because I’m this serial entrepreneur, what I call a serial kitchen table entrepreneur. I feel this need to start another business. Here’s how I did it in the past when I first started, Igor, because the internet was not a viable media back then. I would look at what they call the SRDS book, stands for Standard Rate and Data Service that’s a service that catalogues all of the direct mail lists available for rent. I would look through there I’d find a list that sounded interesting, something like people on this list bought books about raising mini donkeys or something crazy like that.

Igor: Is that a real thing or you are you just making it up?

Dan: [laughter]

Igor: Because I want to get a mini donkey now.

Dan: [laughter] Maybe it was more like people on this list bought books about gambling systems or something and I would see what book they bought, how much the book cost, I would get a copy of the mail piece that was sent to the list and then I would create a product specifically for that list, create a mail piece, rent the list. Boom! I’ve got another business. It was just that simple. The internet has totally ruined that for me. Ain’t that simple anymore but all the principles are still the same; all the marketing principles, all the copywriting principles, all the persuasion principles are all the same. Because human nature hasn’t changed, the only thing that has changed is we now have access to a worldwide media via the internet in various ways we can send out our sales message in email or online display ads or stuff but the concept how I started and the concepts, it’s all the same.

Igor: Oh yeah, absolutely. It took me a couple of years to get that because the first couple of years I was one of those guys that focused on the how like the techniques and the technical elements of the business instead of focusing on the persuasion element and I think it was when I started studying Dan Kennedy. At that time, when all of a sudden I’m noticing that he gives out examples from 1912 like letters that were mailed out to sell Time Magazine subscriptions and newsletters and books through direct mail and it’s ancient stuff. He talks about it as if it’s like still like right this very second it’s making money for somebody.

Dan: Well, you know he is right because the principles haven’t changed because it’s just selling to human beings and human nature hasn’t changed and we all still respond to the same things: to greed, to fear, to all of those human emotions and that’s what we do as online marketers or direct response marketers. I mean we just speak to those emotions and getting our persuasion message across.

Igor: Let’s rap a little bit about those emotions like we know for a fact, it has been proven time and time again now by scientist and then people in white robes that people made decisions on an emotional level like all the decisions happen emotionally. We justify those decisions with logic. So I mean, you’re probably one of the most experienced copywriters I know, personally. So can you tell us more about like what are those specific emotions, specific desires, pains, fears etc that make people buy things especially like internet marketing opportunities, internet marketing programs, internet marketing education?

Dan: Well, that’s a good question because it’s funny a lot of people who don’t understand marketing and persuasion will tell you, “No, I make buying decisions based on logic.” Well no, they really don’t because I mean we can verify this with MRI studies of the brain. A lot of companies have done that. One that specifically comes to mind is a company called Millward Brown that did MRI studies of the brain while people read marketing messages. Geez, I should have paid way more attention in my science classes in school and I’d probably remember exact the name of the part of the brain but a part of the brain lights up, it’s the one that is responsible for emotions, memories, spatiality and all that stuff. That’s the part of the brain that lights up when people read, hear or see a sales message, a persuasion message and so that’s the part of the brain that controls the emotions and that is the part of the brain that you’re using when you make a buying decision like you said everybody backs it up with logical reasons so you have to give both those in your sales presentations. You have to stimulate the emotions responsible for buying and give the prospect the logical reasons they need to justify it to their wife. Here is further proof that buying decisions are made based on emotions, there is no reason whatsoever for the Ferrari to exist. In fact, we could change that pretty much just insert any car in there. I mean really all we need is a basic four cylinder motor with four wheels. We just need transportation. So why in the world are people buying a $250,000 car or more? This is just further proof of what you said, Igor, that buying decisions are based on emotions not logic.

Igor: Yes, yes. And so what are the emotions that you happen to go to – what’s your dial – which emotions do you go all of the time to sell?

Dan: You know it’s kind of funny because when people ask about my process, I don’t really like – I don’t have a process where I think, “Okay, at this point now, I’m going to start trying to elicit fear and then I’m going to start trying to elicit greed.” I really don’t but I’m been doing it so long, it’s in my gut, in my head but specifically if I would have – speaking of paying more attention I probably should have paid more attention back when my parents made me go to church when I was a kid because there is a section in the Old Testament, I’m thinking Proverbs that talks about like the Seven Sins. Those are all the emotions that you need to elicit in a persuasion argument which is what a sales message is but to just name some of them: love, sex, acceptance, respect, self-respect, fear, greed, wealth, power, security, safety, guilt that’s a biggie, pride.

Igor: You know for a guy who hasn’t paid attention in church you’re doing a pretty damn good job of remembering all of these sins.

Dan: [laughter] Well, I guess some of those sermons got stuck in there. Oh, here is a great example from my church days which were a long time ago, I’m such a heathen. Immortality, people’s need for immortality or to leave a legacy, I don’t know if I said acceptance ,you know to be like – I want to be like Michael Jordan or one upping the neighbors. Revenge is a big one if I didn’t say that. All of those things, those are the emotions that really should be elicited in a sales message.

Igor: Now, obviously you don’t have to elicit – if you can you should get all of them in there but if you can’t there’s a few you can focus on that always work for me these things are fear of losing out which is scarcity, I don’t remember putting out a sales message without scarcity, like genuine scarcity attached to it either by having a deadline or maybe implying that the supply is limited that actually worked and every single time I put out a message I think we launched an offer yesterday and it bombed like it just didn’t work, not a single sale. When I showed it to Dennis, my business partner, he was like, “Dude there is no reason for them to act now.” Bam! It hit me. So definitely fear of losing out, the greed element is really powerful especially if you’re marketing business opportunities, I believe. That’s why you see a lot of people stack up the value and give you all of these extra bonuses if you act fast. A really powerful one that you mentioned is leaving a legacy. I think that is one of the most powerful ones that’s why people write books, that’s why people want to make more money to support their kids and a lot of times I will talk to a prospect of some sort, the person wants to join my coaching program for example and one the reasons if it’s a guy, one of the reasons that he wants to make money is to be a better father because a father provides.

Dan: Mhh hhm. Yup, that’s a powerful motivator. You mentioned like specifically in a business opportunity offer or a make money offer or any of those, you mentioned fear, fear of loss.

Igor: Missing out, yeah.

Dan: There are people studying human beings can get really interesting. There are people who have moved toward motivation. There are people who have moved away from motivation. Some people are just not that motivated by the potential for gain but when it’s loss that’s their motivation. If you ask most people on the job and tell them, “Hey look, if you will stay extra hours, I know you’re already putting in eight if you’ll stay just two extra hours a day for the next year. At the end of the year, I’m going to give you a bonus of X.” Very few people will take you up on that. But if you say, “Listen, we have some challenges, I’m going to ask you to stay two extra hours a day for the next year, and if you do that you won’t lose your job.” Well you’ll get takers on that offer. So again I think unconscious on my part, it’s not like I’m thinking of this when I’m writing because I just write by my gut. I’m not looking at my piecing. Well, I have to make sure of this and that and this. But it’s always good if you include both of those motivations for people who have fear of loss and the potential for gain because if all it is just the potential for gain, you’re going to make this and you’re going to make that, it’s not a bad idea. I’ll read you something from – if I can find it – something from what I just wrote in a sales letter. Great, I’m not going to be able to find it but it was basically there are a lot of changes that are going to be happening in the next 12 to 18 months. If you can understand and anticipate these changes and know how to exploit them. Here it is. “The next 12 months are going to be full of changes and surprises. Changes that if you know how to anticipate and exploit them can grow your wealth faster than you ever imagined. On the other hand, if you’re not in tune with these very significant market and demographic changes you may not even be in business in another 12 months.” So there I’m hitting on, since I don’t have the person in front of me and I don’t know what their motivation is moving towards or is moving away from, I’m including both: the fear of loss and the potential for gain.

Igor: And besides you don’t know which one they’re going to use to justify the buying decision to their spouse.

Dan: Exactly. These are all the challenges we have, Igor, as online marketers or as marketers and salespeople don’t have the benefit of having the prospect right in front of them that we can read them and their reactions and ask them questions. We have to try to hit on all of this stuff in our copy.

Igor: Yeah and when you get started with copywriting and with persuasion through a mass media such as the internet, it can be very challenging to get that unless you actually had some sort of sales experience in the past. I find it extremely difficult sometimes to teach a person who comes out of a non-sales background how to become that intuitive person, that intuitive marketer that can step into the shoes of their prospect.

Dan: That’s a really good observation. A lot of young guys tell me I want to learn how to be a copywriter. I want to be a copywriter. I want to sit at home in my underwear with nothing but my laptop and write copy and make money. Then they start focusing on the mechanics of writing and techniques of copywriting where if they really wanted to get through the learning curve as fast as possible and be the best copywriter that they could possibly be, what they ought to do first is they ought to get a job or start a business selling stuff door to door. I mean you want to talk about trial by fire. I’ve done this by the way. I’ve sold stuff door to door that is the hardest sales gig you can ever have.

Igor: What did you sell?

Dan: A long distance service. It’s hard enough to sell a product that they can see door to door. Here I am selling basically air to them, they can’t even see it. If you can figure out how make it work first of all, you’re biggest road block is you can figure out how to get people to not slam the door on you, you’ve just achieved something that will cut decades off your learning curve of becoming a copywriter so it really has little to do with the actual writing and has little to do with being a good writer, it has everything to do with understanding human nature and understanding how to put together a persuasive sales message.

Igor: You know when you mention not getting that door slammed in your face, we do have that same thing happening online when people get on our website, and they quickly take a glimpse at the headline and leave. They haven’t even read the damn copy. I always tell my students how half the battle is not selling, it’s just getting them to read the damn thing.

Dan: [laughter] That’s so true and as hard as it is to not get the door slammed in your face in door to door selling, it’s a thousand times harder in online marketing because the internet is now a portal to a million distractions. Listen, you’re competing with everything; with pictures of scantly clad hot women, with people’s email which their inbox is overloaded, it is just a non-stop series of distractions. I recently read a study that a goldfish now has a longer attention span than human beings because of all the distraction we have mainly via the internet and people’s smart phones. So huge lesson, you’ve got to work really super hard to get people’s attention online, to get them from “not slamming the door in your face”.

Igor: Well, my copy writing mentor, Ross Bowring, he described it to me for the first time several years ago. He said, “You’re not going to make sales.” I was like why isn’t the copy good? He says, “Well, what you wrote is good but no one is going to read it because it’s too intimidating.” I am like, “So what if they are really passionate about whatever solution I’m offering, why won’t they read it?” He’s like, “Well, you know you’re marketing to monkey brains.” I’m like, “Excuse me.” He’s like, “Imagine a prospect trying to read your copy or watch your sales video at the very same time, he’s got his phone vibrating, he’s got a Facebook notification, he’s got a bunch of emails coming in, he’s got his wife nagging him” and my ideal target prospect is a guy because I’m a guy and I seem to be able to connect with them better. So he says his wife wants him to take out the trash. His kids want some attention at the same time his dog is humping his leg.

Dan: [laughter]

Igor: So he’s incapable of giving you more than one tenth or maybe one hundredth of his actually attention span because it’s scattered.

Dan: That’s a beautiful explanation. I love the monkey brain analogy. It’s so true. I’ve heard people call it the lizard brain, I like calling it the lizard brain and you know it’s funny a lot of these things I use in my copywriting, I learned when I was a cop. So I was an inner city street cop for 12 years and we would show up to situation that’s highly emotionally charged and violent, usually people were in what I call amygdala hijack. Amygdala is the lizard brain. It’s the part of the brain when a deer freezes in the headlight that’s the amygdala. It takes over all your functions and when somebody is in amygdala hijack, they are like freaking out and they are waving around a gun threatening to kill their wife which you know I didn’t understand back when I was single after I got married I totally understood that. [laughter] We show up and we are supposed to keep this guy from killing his wife, killing himself, killing us, presenting a logical argument at that point, you’re just wasting breath. In fact, you’re probably going to have the opposite results that you want. That guy is going to start firing rounds at you. So I quickly learned, they never taught this in the police academy by the way, I learned everything I needed to know on the street. I quickly learned you can’t appeal to his logic; you’ve got to appeal to that lizard brain. So I would do something that was highly emotional which I knew would just stop him in his tracks and just say something crazy or do something insane that made no sense just to get that person out of amygdala hijack. After you had done that, then you could maybe start squeezing in some logic to help keep them from killing you. It’s the same thing in the copy, man. Like your mentor said you are appealing to the monkey brain. It doesn’t matter how logical you’re argument is if you don’t appeal to the monkey brain, no sale.

Igor: Yup, yup. I learned the hard way as well. He pointed out to me, I didn’t even know what I was doing wrong at the time, but ever since the kind of copy that I write and the kind of copy that I teach my students to write, it has to be short sentences, simple words, a very simple idea throughout. I see a lot of people try stuff several ideas into a single email and it just doesn’t work. It’s too confusing.

Dan: Yeah.

Igor: At this point, it’s just too confusing. So it has to be very simple. Now you write really long emails but yet these are still very simple. Like I can actually scan the email and in 10 seconds I know exactly what you wanted to say and I know exactly why I need to click the link and I even get to smile here and there because it’s full of this weird humor that you’ve got happening. So how do you do that? How do you keep things simple?

Dan: [laughter] I only graduated from high school and with the exception of a few subjects like anything having to do with music and actually did okay in English and did okay in stuff like creative writing and theater classes. All the other stuff like math anything other than basic math I just barely made it through high school. So I guess I’m a simple man at heart. I learned by emulating the greats and standing on the shoulders of the greats. My two biggest influences were Gary Halbert and Dan Kennedy. Their writing specifically Halbert’s writing when you read that you don’t read any fancy pyrotechnic stuff as I call it, copywriting pyrotechnics, any really over the top statements. You don’t read really long sentences with all of these big words. It’s very short sentences. In fact, if we were to put it on what they call the Flesch Kincaid Scale which is a rating scale for rating what level you’ve written probably all of Halbert’s stuff would be on the 6 th grade level. So that’s what I shoot for because on average people in the United States and this is like an indictment of the public school system here, on average people in the U.S. only read on a 6 th grade level. So if I write on the 6 th grade level, the PhD dude can understand me but the blue collar Joe Six Pack guy can understand me too so that’s what I always shoot for. Sometimes I actually do check it within Microsoft Word on that Flesch Kincaid Scale but that’s purpose to get across the message with clarity. That’s got to be one of the biggest goals in your copy, clarity, because if people can’t understand the message, they certainly aren’t going to buy.

Igor: Oh yes. They certainly won’t. Alright, well, Dan thank you so much for sharing all the value today. Guys if you’re wondering how you can work with Dan, I recommend checking out his show, Doberman Dan’s “Off The Chain” on iTunes and if you Google that I’m sure you can find a website where you can listen to it through Android devices. My advice if you’ve got an Android device, you should get an iPhone, stop embarrassing yourself and your family. You should also consider becoming a knight in Dan’s – what’s it called?

Dan: I call it my “Marketing Camelot”.

Igor: The “Marketing Camelot”, yes. It’s the newsletter which again I highly recommend you sign up. Actually when I signed up, I purchased all the back issues. I got like 140 of them. I only went through half. Really good advice and you can learn a lot from the way Dan writes as well. Just modeling Dan in the way that he writes and presents ideas alone can dramatically increase your sales. So there you go. Dan again, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me. It was great hosting you. Definitely not the last time for sure, you can expect another invite from me soon and until next time.

Dan: Thanks Igor, I had fun.

Thanks for tuning into The List Building Lifestyle show, if you’re digging what you’re hearing your next step is to go to iTunes and in the search bar type List Building Lifestyle. You’ll see Igor’s face smiling at you. Go ahead and click on that, subscribe to the show and if you’re feeling really generous and you want to help us out, give us your ratings and review to help other smart people like you find the show. Thanks for tuning in and we will see you on the next one.

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Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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