3 Cardinal Sins of eMail Marketing With Daniel Levis

Common email marketing knowledge says subject line is king.

It also hints at practicing click bait to increase response.

Well, according to Daniel Levis, an A-list copywriter who wrote email copy for a whole slew of direct response celebrities, including but not limited to Dan Kennedy, Yanik Silver and John Benson…

It’s all dead wrong.

Stream the new episode of the List Building Lifestyle to discover why subject line is NOT king.

Why click bait KILLS response.

And why chasing clicks is the single most unprofitable thing an email marketer can do.


This program is brought to you by the ThePodcastFactory.com.

I mean, hard teaching is what goes in the thing you want them to buy. It's perfectly fine
to give them a sample of what they're buying, but I typically do not do that in email, or
very, very seldom, or very, very little do that in an email.

Hi, my name is Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, the only podcast
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Igor: Welcome back to another edition of the List Building Lifestyle, with your
host, Igor Kheifets. Today I'm hosting Daniel Levis, who's a highly
sought-after direct response copywriter, consultant and info marketer.
He's done work in the business opportunity space, self-help markets, and
health markets where he'd worked extensively with companies that
handled the marketing and distribution of information products to
headlined by high-profile folks, like Mark Victor Hansen, Robert Allen,
Dr. Stephan Sinatra and others. Now he also collaborated with other top-
flight online marketing talents like Joe Vitale, Yanik Silver, John Carlton,
who we actually hosted on the show, Clayton Makepeace and Dan
Kennedy, my all-time- favorite guru, to produce several highly acclaimed
marketing copywriting information products. Daniel has been exposed to
and overseen dozens of high-traffic, scientific web-marketing
experiments, that have allowed him to witness firsthand what works
online, and what does not. Most recently, Daniel has launched his new
program, well actually was a re-launch of an established program, Email
Alchemy, which is a membership where he teaches direct response
marketers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and pretty much anyone with a
brain and a set of hands, so they could type, how to do email marketing
the right way. So Daniel, thank you so much for taking the time to sit
down with me. Just tell us how did the launch go?

Daniel: The launch was fantastic. You got to love launches, to do them, because
they're extremely taxing on your body and your mind, but absolutely
wonderful process. Great to get so many new members in the Elite Email
Alchemy , Elite members area. I just love it. Absolutely fantastic.

Igor: Well, I could tell you put in a lot of effort into the launch. I mean, just the
pre-launch videos were so high-quality and so detailed, I mean, you had a
bunch of graphics happening as well. It was like, when I was watching
them, in between taking notes, I was like, "Man, this guy did a lot of work.
It probably took him like a day to put the first video together."

Daniel: Yeah, that probably wouldn't be an understatement. Those pre-launch
videos, I don't know how much you want to talk about that, it's certainly
integral to email marketing. You got to send people somewhere when you
send them an email and that whole product launch thing is really
fascinating. A lot of guys when they do those, I don't know if you follow
a lot of launches, you probably do, I find a lot of the videos to be much
higher, more Hollywood production than I did. The reason I think that
people do those Hollywood production things is, if you watch a lot of
them they're kind of light, they're kind of fluffy, and it's the music and the
fancy flash and everything that drives it. Let me ask you Igor, when you
watch some of these pre-launch videos, imagine if you were watching and
there was no music and there was no flash animation. How would you

Igor: Well, to be honest, I don't like those. I don't resonate with those because,
like as you mentioned, I follow the launches, and it's getting old now.
They put in so much effort into the effects, rather than the content, that
you feel that you wasted your time when you went through the pre-launch
videos. You sort of know, when you watch those, you know they're trying
to sell you something, so it's really hard to concentrate. Now, with your
videos, and this episode is not going to be about the launch, so don't worry
guys, we're actually going to talk about email marketing list building in
just a sec, but with your videos, I got to admit, that I knew you wanted to
sell me something. Because first of, I didn't know you before the launch.
I got an email from Doberman Dan and I was sort of like, "Oh, email
marketing." It was sort of polarizing, so I went in. I was like, once I
started watching, like, "He's definitely doing a launch." But a couple
minutes into it, I caught myself. It was about 8:30 AM in the morning and
I literally, instead of reading for thirty minutes as I do in the morning, I
ended up watching the first video, because I really seen it to be so valuable
that I felt that if I missed it, if I delayed watching that, if I delayed getting
that information, I am literally leaving money on the table right now.

Daniel: Wow, that's fantastic. That's what I was shooting for. There's a certain
danger in going too far, too. So I was trying to walk the line between
actually giving you something, some content, without over-satiating you
and making you think you had the whole enchilada. So thanks for the
feedback. So go ahead, ask me something about email.

Igor: Yeah, that's right. Let's get into the interesting stuff. So first thing I want
to ask you, you have done work with some of the most famous internet
markers on the planet. I mean, Yanik Silver, Dan Kennedy, John Carlton.
It's just mind blowing. Now that you're out there, you created the Email
Alchemy and you're teaching average people, like us, you teach them how
to do email marketing. What are some of the cardinal mistakes, or
cardinal sins that you see people make with their emails, when it comes to
frequency, subject lines, pretty much anything? Like the top three
mistakes or sins that you see.

Daniel: I think the biggest sin is copying internet gurus. Doing what internet
gurus do. It's probably the most common mistake that I see. You know,
you see the big gurus and they put things in the subject line like, "Hey..."
Or just the person's name in the subject line or some goofy thing in the
subject line, and then you see everybody copying them, doing the same
thing. So that would be one of the cardinal mistakes, and that's really the
wrong thing to be doing. People say like, "The subject line is there just to
get the email opened." Well, yeah. It is there to get the email opened, but
if that's all you're doing with the subject line, you're killing the readership
of the email once people open it.

Igor: Yeah, I think... I'm sorry I cut you off, I just want to mention something,
because I'll forget and then it will just evade me. That's one of the things
you mentioned the first pre-launch video for Email Alchemy, you said,
"Don't use these misleading, cheesy subject lines, because what you're
doing is, you're violating expectations. You're literally killing your
chances of them opening that email next time."

Daniel: Right, right. Unless you give them some type of satisfaction just from
reading the email, you are lowering their responsiveness to future emails.
We talk about subject lines being the be-all and end-all. Subject lines are
important, but the subject line is actually less important than the From line
and, the From line is basically like an anchoring, like an anchoring of what
happened before. So when people are looking through their email to
decide, "Well, what am I going to read today? What am I going to delete
today?" They're actually looking at the From line. They're not looking at
the subject line first. So they're scrolling down, they're looking,
skimming, "Did I get an email from Igor today?" Then there's this snap
decision, or this snap trigger that says, "What did Igor give me last time?"
Or, "What did Igor give me over the last several months?" Or whatever the
previous history with Igor was. Only then do they look over to the right,
and see, "What's in the subject line?" and that's got to be good too, but it's
the From line that's more important. When you do this kind of like tricky
subject lines that trick people to open an email, unless the trick really ties
in and it's really fascinating and it's really instructional and relevant to
what you're asked them to click on, then you're reducing that brand equity
in the From line, so the next email comes along and they just trash it.
They don't even look at the subject line. That's generally what happens
with most of the emails that people get. Don't you think, Igor?

Igor: Yeah, absolutely. If you violate my expectation once, I mean, I either at
the spam button if you're really, really cheesy or I'll unsubscribe, or at the
very least, I'll just ignore you for a while. It's safe to say that if I ignore
you once or twice, I mean, third time you're like into my ad-blindness
folder in my brain. I'm not even going to notice your emails.

Daniel: Right. That's right. It's the same thing in the body of the email. The
typical guru approach is, they write you a tricky subject line and then you
open email and there' like two paragraphs in there [laughter] and they're
telling you about all the great things that are waiting for you when you
click, but they don't tell you a damn thing about what it is. So you click
on it and you're not very likely to buy, because you have no idea what's on
the other side of that click. So you're just really clicking because you're
curious, and when you do that, people will click a lot, but they don't buy
very much because they're just not primed. You haven't pre-framed that
click as anything, apart from some blind sort of benefit. If you want to
really do well with email marketing and you want to do well over the long
term, you want to avoid doing what the gurus do. You want to give them
subject lines that are curiosity inducing, that offer some type of a benefit
that actually tells you what's inside the email, and that also have what I
call a pattern interrupt. The gurus have the pattern interrupt, and they
have the curiosity, what they lack usually is what I call a relevant benefit.
Like some type of a hint as to what is inside of that email, so that when
you open it up, "Oh, yes, yes. He delivered. He followed through." Same
thing with the copy inside the email, don't be afraid to tell them the story.
You're going to get less clicks. I warn you that right now, but don't worry
about that. It's not about how many clicks. It's not about how many opens
you get, it's not how many clicks you get. It's how many sales you get.
You can't go to a bank and say, "Hey look, I got a bag full open and click-
through rates here."

Igor: I tried, man. They did not cash that in.

Daniel: They wouldn't cash it. So if you really want to do well, you need to get
good at writing copy, you need to be able to grab people's attention and
hold it inside of that email, and the longer you can do that, within reason,
like my emails are typically like 500, 700, 900, maybe even over a 1000
words. That's longer than most. It's not a book or anything, I mean you
can read a thousand words in like, what? Four minutes. These emails are
like two, three, four minute dialogues that I have with people, so that by
the time they have dialogue with me for three or four minutes, they are
ready. Ready to rock n' roll when they click that button, and they go to do
whatever it is you really want them to do, is to opt in, or to buy something,
or to watch a video, or whatever it happens to be. You’re going to get
people that are much more compliant when you ask them to click on that

Igor: It's funny that you mentioned the word 'dialogue'. I would like to continue
listing the cardinal sins. So just make a mental note to go back to the
word 'dialogue', because I think it is a really, really critical that we
explain exactly why I use that word. So mistake number one, copying the
gurus. Do not do that, at least not unless you know exactly why the gurus
use that particular subject line, or their particular benefit, or their
particular formula. So what's the cardinal sin number two?

Daniel: Well, I think that the cardinal sin number two is not providing any kind of
substance. Not providing any kind of value right inside of the email. I
mean, typical email marketing, common wisdom, says that email is really
just a simple notification service. We're going to send people out an email
and we’re going to judge our success or failure by how many of them
clicked, and before they can click, they have to open. So when you have
that as your goal, and you have that click as your key performance
indicator, you will err on the side of not providing anything of value in
that email and assuming that email is only about telling people, "Okay, I
got this great video for you to watch." Or, "I got this great offer for you to
check out, and so I'm going to try to get you to click." Therefore, there's
no value in that email, apart from, "Hey, I got this thing I need you to click
on." That's exactly the wrong thing if you want to have a long term
relationship with your subscribers, if you want them to trust you because
you're operating off your kitchen table. You probably don't have a big
budget to create fancy videos they can do that. Videos can certainly create
relationships, but it's a lot more expensive to create a video capable of
creating credibility and report and all those good things, when you can do
it in an email. So rather than just notifying people of something to go and
look at, build some kind of relationship, give them some kind of reward
for reading your email. Tell them the interesting and fascinating stories;
give them some insight into something that's important to them. Provide
some inspiration to them, some hope, some entertainment in the email
itself, rather than just saying, "Hey, I got this thing for you to go look at

Igor: Sweet. So I want to circle back and kind of just briefly mention some key
points you're talking about right now. So first off you're saying that it's
just as easy, I guess, or maybe even easier, to build a relationship through
email, through written text, than it is for video because a video is more
expensive, it requires a better skill set and you've got to actually be
comfortable in your own skin being on video in the first place, which I
know a lot of people are not now. Now, the other thing you mentioned is
that you used the word 'value' here, but I don't want our listeners to
confuse value with hard teaching, because I read your emails. You know
you don’t hard teach. You give, as you said, entertainment value, which is
to me, I mean, that's like the best value you can give to your readers today,
because that's what everyone's all about. It's all about entertainment
today, not really more knowledge, or hard teaching. So besides
storytelling what are some other forms, just briefly, let's just briefly go
over several types of entertainment value that should do with your list.

Daniel: Right. Well, that would be the third cardinal sin, would be hard teaching
in emails. [laughter] So there's number three for you. Yeah. I mean, hard
teaching is what goes in the thing you want them to buy. It's perfectly fine
to give them a sample of what they're buying, but I typically do not do that
in email, or very, very seldom, or very, very little do that in an email.
What I want to give people though, is as you say Igor; I want to give them
entertainment. I want to inspire them. I want them to feel empowered, so
that when they click they're in a much, much higher state of readiness to
buy. Some of the things that you want to put in an email to create that, I
have like a whole list of things that I use, one of them is, and this a little
bit deep so we won't go too far down the rabbit hole, but one of the things
is celebrity worship. People are fascinated by the Kardashians, and they're
fascinated by Donald Trump, and they're fascinated by all these people in
the media. So I'll use that and maybe I'll take something topical about
what's happening with Donald Trump or what happened with Miley Cyrus
and the finger-rubbing incident and I'll put that in an email because they
just enjoy that kind of thing. It's entertaining. It's really a lot of fun to
watch a celebrity fall on their face. Who doesn't love that?

Igor: Well, I do. I got to be honest. [laughter]

Daniel: [laughter] So that's one thing. Another thing is the bizarre, the weird, just
like really strange stuff. I can take a weird, just strange story and I can
twist that and make it relevant to just about anything. So it's a matter of
taking that weird story and then creating a series of associations between
what happened in that weird story and how does that associate to
something else that's a little closer to what you want to sell and how does
that associate to something that you want to sell. Basically, finding a
weird story online and then twisting it so that I can take that attention that
I've absorbed and then send it off to the link and have a really good
association so that it actually teaches them something, gives them hope,
gives them inspiration to do something that they want to do anyway and
channel that onto a purchase or an opt-in or whatever.

Igor: So there was number one, celebrity worship, number two, bizarre, weird
stories, or any new stories are just bizarre stuff that you can make relevant
through association to what you're doing.

Daniel: I'll give you other one. I'll give you three. Three is a good number.

Igor: Embarrassment. My favorite.

Daniel: People are just fascinated by stories of embarrassment; because they're
glad it's not them. Number two, they want to avoid embarrassment and it's
just wired into our psyche. We want to belong and embarrassment is like
you've done something wrong, you're going to be shunned by the group,
so it's just inherently a lightning rod of attention and interest. To give you
an example of an email that I wrote, and I write about embarrassment all
the time, I mean, even just putting in the word 'embarrassing' in the subject
line is going to get you somewhere. So one of the things that you may
have heard of, Robert Allen and Multiple Streams of Income, you heard of

Igor: Mm-hmm.

Daniel: I wrote an email about multiple streams of embarrassing income.

Igor: [laughter]

Daniel: Now, would you open that?

Igor: Absolutely.

Daniel: Inside I tell just horrific, embarrassing story about my past and the crazy
things that I've done to earn in Multiple Streams of Embarrassing Income.
But any kind of embarrassing story works. That's just my way of
associating it to "How does this tie in to what I'm selling?" I'm going to
help you to make some money, so Multiple Streams of Embarrassing
Income. It's kind of got a double edge sword. It's a bit of wordplay with
something that's already got a lot of traction in the marketplace, 'multiple
streams of income', and 'embarrassing'. It's kind of putting those two
things together.

Igor: Does have to be about you?

Daniel: Oh, no. No, not at all. We love to hear embarrassing stories about other
people that we can laugh at or that we can learn from or that we can just
be glad it's not us. Sure.

Igor: Nice, nice. Well, I think the embarrassment one is pretty much the most
profitable one I've ever used and I keep using it. I do my best to press
every possible button that my market has through my emails. I tried to
right their insecurities as hard as I can because I learned that, for me,
personally, the only way I do something, like the only way I lost weight
when I was really, really fat, was when I felt truly embarrassed about
being fat. If I felt okay being fat I would have never got my act together
and got off soda pops and cakes and sweets and stuff like that and got my
ass into the gym. So I think if you're listening and you're thinking, "Well,
I want to be a dick to my list and I don't want to be a bad person. I don't
think embarrassing of people is nice." Well, you're actually doing them a
huge service by embarrassing them to take an action and improving their
life, given of course, that you're selling something that is going to help
them improve their life.

Daniel: Yeah. I mean, a lot of the stuff I do is kind of negative. I mean, another
one of the hooks that I use a lot is betrayal or revenge. These are like
nasty, gutter stuff. It's the kind of stuff the drives the Enquirer, National
Enquirer. That's what gets people's attention and that's what gets people
to change. We don't do anything without emotion. If you take the E out
of the word 'emotion' what do you get? Motion. Well, we want people to
take action. So you have to stir up the emotions and a lot of times it's
negative stuff. That's perfectly cool as long as you have the good
intention behind it.

Igor: I think the first time I heard someone talk about this was Frank Kern
during the second Mass Control launch, he called it the Rubber Neck
Effect. He spoke about how if you drive down the street and you see a
wedding on the right and a funeral on the left, you're naturally, or a car
crash or something on the left, you'll naturally be tempted to look on the
left at the car crash because that's how human brain works.

Daniel: Right. Cool.

Igor: So Daniel, again, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with
me and chat about all this stuff. Now guys, you're listening to this and you
want to excel with email marketing. Now, if there's anyone who I know
who shares... Actually let me put it this way, I don't know of anyone else
but Daniel who gives you more templates and more swipeable material for
email marketing and copywriting in general than he does. I want you to
go to daniellevis, that's daniellevis.com/igor to claim a free report that's
going to give you 400, that's right, 437 proven email subject lines to
plunder, pillage, and profit. I can only of course, I mean, knowing Daniel.
I know that these are proven. These are not just something you went off
and copied off of your inbox blindly. I know these are tested and proven
subject lines. So make sure guys, you visit daniellevis.com/igor, all
low caps, to claim you free report and use those subject lines. Once you
do and you see for yourself, experience the power of what this guy can do
with words make sure you check out Email Alchemy, just Google that, I'm
sure you'll find a link, and join that membership site or community
because your email game will skyrocket as a result. So Daniel, truly and
really grateful for you taking the time to sit down with me. Any last word
of advice for our listeners?

Daniel: Yeah. Well, I want to thank you Igor. My pleasure. Thanks for inviting
me. I just want to add that when you get in the subject line madness for
email marketing mastery free report, and this should kind of go without
saying but bring your brain with you and use the subject lines as much as
for inspiration as for swiping. When you look at a subject line think
about, "Yeah, obviously I can take email marketing or whatever that's in
the subject line. I can put my thing in there and that's cool. That's one
way to do it. But also look at why is the subject line effective. What's the
hook? What's the key here? Is that embarrassment? Is a betrayal? Is it
revenge? What is it and kind of think, "Well, how else might I be able to
use that idea?" So that would be my parting thought. I'd love to see you in
the elite members’ area. We got, I think, three-four hundred people in
there now. All great group of people. All working together to make more
money with Email Alchemy. It'd be great to see you in there. So thanks
very much, Igor.

Igor: Nice. One last question, Daniel. If you become an elite member do you
get your opinion and advice on subject lines and email swipes?

Daniel: Well, you get it in the trainings if you go in as a monthly member. You
can come on a monthly hot seat. We bring members on live once a month.
We also have a lifetime membership, its a little more money, at least
upfront, and we can actually go back and forth via email and I'll train you
and coach you as you're working through your business. So you've got a
couple of different options and you'll see that when you Google it.

Igor: Well, as someone who invested literally tens of thousands of dollars to
work with some of the world's best copywriters including John Carlton, I
want to say that having someone like Daniel, or anyone with as much
experience, emailing back and forth with you and suggesting how to
improve your subject lines, how to improve your email. So it's not just the
words, it's the psychology and the thinking behind it as well, can be
invaluable. It's just lifetime value here is just insane. So if you can afford
it, I really recommend going all the way and making sure you try and get
under Daniel's wing, so to speak, because a year from now you'll be
doubling, tripling, quadrupling your income, simply because you'll be
smart enough to know what to say, when to say and how to say it, to elicit
that response from your list. Daniel, I couldn't have enjoyed more this
interview and hopefully it's not the last one we did together. So until next
time, have great week and I'll talk to you soon.

Daniel: Well, 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.

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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