Email Marketing Stand Up

I wasn’t born naturally funny.

Growing up I was fat and kept to myself.

Anytime I opened my mouth to say something funny I ended up embarrassing myself.

I learned to keep my mouth shut when I’m around people.

But I always had a passion for comedy.

I spent hundreds of hours watching stand up acts performed by the greats like Steve Martin, Chris Rock, George Carlin and others.

I always figured these guys were naturally funny.

Like they were gifted and I wasn’t.

But after reading George Carlin’s and Steve Martin’s biographies I learned I was wrong.

Turned out the greatest comics of all time are NOT funny in real life.

And that the secret to great comedy lies in understanding one simple communication concept they all use (no exception).

Wait, Igor, but what does stand up comedy have to do with writing emails that convert?


Turns out, if you know how to make people laugh, you’re 80% email-marketing-certified.

Discover how to make them laugh and take their money!


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 of 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.

Jonathan: Welcome back list builders to another edition of the List Building
Lifestyle Show, here is your host Mr. Igor Kheifets. What is up my man?

Igor: Hey, Jonathan. You know, I find there's so much in common between good
comedy writing, like stand-up comedy and email marketing. It's almost like
stand-up artists are email marketers in disguise. Because you can take any
stand-up comedian and kind of break down their strategies and the way they work,
and you can just apply their routine to email and make a lot of money.

Jonathan: No. Really?

Igor: Yes, and I noticed that a couple of times. First of, the first time it
happened is when they read my first book on stand-up comedy where I can't remember
her name, buts this lady, she broke down the rules of stand up comedy the way she
observed them. And about 6% of those rules were email market rules I was already
following. So that was the first like ding-ding-ding-ding-ding going off in my
head. So recently, and I mention this several times now on a couple of previous
episodes, I've been going through the Steve Martin's master class on the on
comedy. And he shared something, an observation which I did not know before, I
never realized that was true but when he said it was, it just again ding-ding-ding
went off. So he said that to be a funny comedian you don't need to be naturally
funny, you just have to understand one thing. You have to understand that things
are funny when there's tension. That good comedy, what it does, it creates tension
by leading you down a certain road, and then it releases is the tension with the
punch line or some other form of delivery. And he then followed with a couple of
examples of how it actually happens. I think he told this joke where, that he had
a cat and his cat just loved... He loved to give his cat a bath or something like
that, and he said that that his cat actually sits there and takes it, just the one
downside is that there's a lot of fur in his mouth afterwards, but you know, he
can deal with that. So see, it just it's not really a funny joke, but it just
leads you down a certain path, creates the tension and then you release the
tension with the punch line; same thing with emails man, same thing. We've already
done an episode with Nate Rifkin, an Agora copywriter who shared that the umber
one purpose of an email and the subject line is to disrupt. It's not to make him
feel good, but rather make him feel uncomfortable, make him feel bad, dirty,
anxious, embarrassed. Anything that's negative emotion, that's the purpose of the
email initially. And once the email begins, your job is to quite literally rattle
their cage, is to disrupt the status quo whether by mirroring a really bad
experience they've had, maybe a telling a story of your own. Like most recently I
told my list story about how I got scammed for about $10,000 by this guy who sold
me fake traffic. So when somebody who buys traffic reads that story, immediately
they're thinking, "Man, can this be happening to me right now and I don't know
about it?" There's a lot of tension building up. And then I released the tension
by offering a solution in the end email and just pitching, giving them a link to
go to. Ben calls it "get them dressed and then give them somewhere to go". For me,
it's really obvious now how a good email creates a lot of tension, and then it
releases the tension by saying, "There is a solution to this problem, click this
link to find out more."

Jonathan: I'm actually taking notes here. Now after hearing about it the tenth
time I have to go check out the Steve Martin class. What you guys don't know is
that Igor's selling them traffic, clearly. [laughter]

Igor: [laughter]

Jonathan: He's their provider, that's why he keeps talking about the master
classes. But I do like that idea of building up the tension, I feel like you could
do a better job of that building up the tension and then making the product the
release. But isn't it hard? I mean the people that are listening here, are they
experienced enough, do you think? Do they have the chops that it takes to make
this happen by building up tension in a story and then the release is whatever the
opportunity is, or do you think that maybe you can give them some tips perhaps? I
don't know which way you want to go with this.

Igor: Well obviously the more you do it, the more you try to do it, the better
you'll get at it. But there are a couple of questions that you can ask yourself
before you sit down to write an email, which I have a full list of for myself,
that can help you to come up with things to talk about that create this tension.
And if you can just give me one second I will find this list and you just have to
fill the silence here, Jonathan, while I do it.

Jonathan: Okay. Let me get my banjo and I'll play you a song.

Igor: [laughter]

Jonathan: That's the one, right? The ads is Steve Martin playing the banjo for
that master class?

Igor: Yes, yes, that's the one. Yes, yes.

Jonathan: [laughter] You're not the only one. Actually Dan Meredith got into that
same master class also.

Igor: Oh, cool, cool. Well Steve Martin, surprisingly, doesn't seem all that funny
in the master class. He's really having a hard time to come up with something
funny to say, but it just it to you know shows you that it's hard work. A lot of
what he's done is really hard work. But anyway, not to take away from his success,
he's a tremendous artist, I found the list. So let me give you just a couple of
pointers where you can go with your emails. Now, just like any stand-up artist,
they too sit down to create content. They have to find out things to talk about.
And when it happens, imagine how hard it is, because they have no industry
necessarily. They can be talking about anything, so choosing a topic is really
difficult. So a few questions that stand-up artists ask themselves before writing
material to kind of push them themselves in the right direction are, just a few
examples again: what are you angry about?; what are you afraid of?; what are you
excited about?; what are you confused about?; what's mildly annoying to you?; and
what's shocking to you?; what's inspiring you?; what's your routine?; what are
some of the stupid things you do?; what are some you guilty pleasures?; how are
you weird?; how you are the weirdest person you know?; what do you hate about
yourself?; what do you hate about other people?; what he hate about your mother in
law? You can mock people: mock yourself, mock the celebrity that you like, mock
your neighbor, mock your mother, doesn't matter. These are a couple of ideas that
can create a lot of tension. I actually remember this one email that I wrote years
ago, I don't use it anymore, was so successful. I think re-purposed it like 60
times over course of one year, it was this good. Like it would hit hard every
single freaking time, and the subject line went, "Me, my best friend, my wife and
my bedroom".

Jonathan: Interesting.

Igor: Can you sense the tension, Jonathan? Before we were to get into the email
itself, but at the email went something like this, I was promoting a business
opportunity at the time through a solo ad, and the email went to like this,
"Whenever my best friend comps to my place, because he doesn't work all that much,
he as a part time job and he just slacks off most of the time lives with us
parents, we somehow end up playing FIFA on my Play Station." Now, this is back
when I used to pay FIFA a lot, because I was an addict, and way, way, way, way
before I took it out to my backyard and quite literally smashed it on the floor.

Jonathan: Nice.

Igor: I broke it and I stabbed it with a screwdriver to just make sure it's dead,
and that was the last Play Station I've ever owned.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: [laughter] True story, I swear to God. So anyway, my friend comes in, we end
up playing FIFA every single time, and when we play FIFA that isn't like a 10
minute thing. That's like a 2 hour, 3 hour thing.

Jonathan: Wow.

Igor: And when that happens, my wife locks herself in the bedroom. Now, when he
leaves, she comes out and guess what happens? We have a big fight about it. Yeah,
so basically the email I shared how eventually to keep him busy with something he
likes to do, I showed him this method of making money online, and he went on to
invest most of his time over there. So first off, I have to acknowledge this email
is not supposed to be funny or anything like that, but it built the tension of
conflict between me, my friend and my wife. My wife who hates my friend and me and
my wife having a fight, and then it releases the tension by saying I found the
solution how to deal with that. So again, just an example of how you can get
creative about things that happen to you in your everyday life.

Jonathan: Yeah, there's a lot to that email too. There's a demonstration from
slacker to a winner. "Oh, if that loser can do it, I can do it." and all that kind
of stuff. I would like to see that list of questions. I'm going to hit you up off
the air for it. Where are we again? Email subject line is meant to disrupt the
status quo by building up tension, and then inside you're rattling their cage with
a demonstration or whatever it is, and then you're releasing that by putting your
product there as a solution to it. So it's a pretty simple formula. I mean anybody
can use this, and it can be clearly from any kind of subject matter they have. I
mean you were talking about Play Station, I never even thought to talk, I don't
even tell people that I still play video games once in a while, just damaging
ambition there. [laughter]

Igor: Yeah, I mean nothing embarrassing about admitting that. I'm not playing
because I'm getting addicted really fast. Like if I work in the same room, I've
tested this, and if I work in the same room with a Play Station, my productivity
is slashed by a minimal 40% because I end up playing half the time. I end up
justifying it to myself, I'm saying, "Okay, I'm going to do this one thing, them
I'm going to reward myself with a game."

Jonathan: Good God, are you really like that?

Igor: I am like that. You can ask any one from my staff members, when we used to
work together in an office space whether or not I was like that, because we had a
Play Station in the office.

Jonathan: That's good, that's... Well, you know what, you realized it and you got
rid of it. So any kind of crutch like that is something that other people can
relate to, because me, you telling me that story, I'm into it because I don't have
the addiction, but I get it and so now you're pulling me into your world. I can
envision all that and then now I'm seeing that, hey I could get out of this
slackerdom if I get rid of that and replace it with this because nature is going
to fill a void, and if you voided out that Play Station, when are you going to
fill it with? Well, making money, of course. I like the whole idea there. I like
that a lot.

Igor: So going back to the formula bill the tension, this is just a new angle, a
new way of looking at the very old formula of problem, agitate, solution. This is
one of the oldest formulas or one of the oldest copywriting formals in the book
ever, and it's still being widely used but very few people understand how to use
it properly. By introducing this problem and then twisting the knife, we spoke
about this I think many times before, right, twisting that knife to further
increase to kind of, the volume, turn the volume up on the tension and then
release it by offering a solution which incidentally is whatever it is that you're
selling whether it's a service or business opportunity, anything really. This is
how you truly get somebody to pay attention to you in a really, really, really
crowded marketplace because tension cannot be ignored. Tension just simply cannot
be ignored.

Jonathan: Igor, I told you about this book, right? Battle for the Mind? It's
called Battle for the Mind, a physiology of conversion and brainwashing. So it
goes into a lot of Pavlov's work, Pavlov with the dogs and all that stuff, people
can look it up. But Pavlov's work actually is like the root of brainwashing,
right? I read this book this weekend and then me with my marketers mind, I'm like,
"Holy shit, I need to be doing more of this." But the way that brainwashing works,
and I'm going to really simplify it because this book is long, you stress the
brain, you stress the brain till it breaks down to a breaking point, it's
exhausted, it breaks down. And when it shuts down, it is now open to a new
suggestion, and that new suggestion becomes a belief. So the formula that we're
talking about that is a copywriting formula, it is not a copywriting formula, it
is based on the psychological warfare. You break down the brain, you kill it, you
put in a new suggestion which is your solution, and they come out with a new
belief. This is deeper than just copywriting, this is the human brain. I love it.

Igor: Yeah. I mean, I never knew that, I never... I've already ordered the book by
the way, it's on the way here to Israel, which is going to take like frickin' two
months to get it. This is why I read Kindle by the way. Instant on my phone,
table, computer, whatever. With the books, it's impossible to get it and you were
faster than a month, and by the time is going to get here I'm going to be like not
as excited, I guess.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: Stressing the brain definitely, going to stress my brain some more. And it's
funny mention Pavlov, because I was just having a conversation with a buddy of
mine, and he told me about the thing called Pavloc. Have you heard about it?

Jonathan: Yes. Yes. A little electrocution device? [laughter]

Igor: Yes, yes. I was like I got to get it because I'm always playing with my
beard when I'm thinking, when I'm working and thinking of something, I'm always
pulling my hair is like this, and my friend told me that I can configure it so as
soon as I hold my hand near my face for longer than like two seconds, it's going
to shock me.

Jonathan: Really?

Igor: Yes.

Jonathan: Oh, my gosh. I don't want to be shocked. I don't like being shocked. In
fact, being shocked is the reason why I left the job life. I don't think I told
you this, but I was an electrician and I liked it for a long time, but they
started wanting me to work on live circuits more and more, and one time I got
blown off an eight foot ladder, like I'm up in a ceiling working and I get hit by
like 277 volts and blown off a ladder. And I had like PPTSD after that, so I was
always afraid of my work. [laughter] And I had to get the hell out of electrical

Igor: Wow.

Jonathan: Yes.

Igor: Wow. Talk about, you know. Wow.

Jonathan: I don't like the electric.

Igor: This is huge, man. I wouldn't get near light bulb after that.

Jonathan: I actually had some stress even with light bulbs because I had some
where I would screw them in and they had blown up in my face and shit and you get
glass in your face. Bro, I don't like the electric shocks. Alright, so we're
programming people. We went for email marketing to psychological warfare. That's
my fault, sorry about that. But alright, so you break people down, you install or
you have a common thread with them, like your story there with the, I called it
X-Box, but his Play Station, and then you build him back up with your solution.
What else can we talk about on this topic?

Igor: Well of course with tension; the one thing you have to train yourself to do
is to be okay with disrupting them; to be okay with twisting the knife and telling
nasty things. And when it comes to telling personal stories, the stories where
you're literally exposing yourself and sharing the kind of nasty stuff you went
through personally, the deeper you go and the more embarrassing and disrupting
things you can tell them, the more effective you will be at it, and the more money
you'll make. In fact, the deeper the confession, and the more embarrassing the
confession is, oftentimes you will find yourself making more money that day.

Jonathan: Really now Igor, I mean where's the line? Because I feel like some
people, I'm one of those people where I feel like there's got to be a line between
what I'm sharing and my personal life, is there a limit how far can you go? How do
you know?

Igor: No limit man, no limits, you're the only person who gets to decide where you
want to draw the line. Personally I have drawn the line at some point, because at
one point I received a couple of threats from people, you know threatening to come
and get to me, but still that line is pretty far out. Like if you're following me
on the podcast, on the emails and on the other stuff, you will probably know about
70% of everything there is to know about me when it comes to my stories, of my war
stories and things that happen to. There are only so many that I kept to myself
and that I'm only sharing with a close you know circle of friends. But a lot of
it, like I pushed the line pretty far out because I learned this concept early on
about the storytelling too, because like Dan Kennedy always talks about it, he
says the more personally you can get and the deeper you can go, the more likely
you are to get lifers. Lifers is what he calls really, really loyal customers that
will stay with you for a long, long time because there's just a much deeper
relationship there.

Jonathan: That is an interesting concept I didn't think of. So when you were
starting, were you sharing these deep dark stories or have you grown into that?

Igor: No. In fact I regret it so much that it didn't. But eventually I learned to
do it after reading more of Dan Kennedy stuff and after just one time going with a
hunch and writing an email about my grandmother who was really, really ill at the
time, and I think she passed away about three months after that email. Because we
got into a point where we would like take it to the hospital every now and again,
like really, really often and these time frames will get shorter and shorter and
shorter. So because it was always on my mind, I ended up writing couple of emails
about it and I noticed that my open rates and I click through rates on these
emails are sky high. Now, obviously, I can't write every single email about my
sick grandmother, but every single time that I did, that was like, the response I
got was crazy, people replied to my emails, sending well wishes and prayers to my
grandmother, and like she passed on a couple of these to her she was like, she was
thrilled somebody actually cares. So that was the first real life lesson of me
seeing the results of this and my life. Now again, let's take a step back for a
second and think. Telling a story to somebody about somebody you love that is
passing away will trigger emotions. It is going to create the tension, because
they probably went through a similar experience themselves or they're about to, or
they know somebody who has. So it's just, again, it's just another way for you to,
I guess, some will say market, to email market without literally being a guru or
top earners shoving lots of proof screenshots in their face which is the way most
people do it. I mean that's what they think they need to do. Shove a bunch of
proof screens in the customer's face. Not at all.

Jonathan: What? Then all these Photoshop work I've been doing is not going to
work. [laughter]

Igor: [laughter]

Jonathan: All these fake screens shots I'm making will not work. I think that's
right that shared experience. It comes out back to that shared experience and
being in that experience. I don't know if it was this show or another show that we
talked bout the 12 year old life coaches, but how could they have that experience?
They don't. So being able to put that in there, and you having felt that tension,
and other people going through that right now you can resonate with where they are
at. So that's super powerful and I'm sitting here just like I normally do, I'm
like, "Shit, I got to do better." Every time I talk to you I'm like, "Damn, I got
to do better." I look forward to my talks with Igor because I'm getting some
coaching while I'm here. [laughter]

Igor: I'm looking at you, I'm thinking, "Man, I got to get some new tattoos

Jonathan: Oh yeah?

Igor: You've got so many. I just got three, and they're nothing. They're like
scriptures. I got to go and get some ink work done.

Jonathan: You got to get the pain going. Got to get the pain. Alright, anything
else as we're coming close to the end? You want to impart some wisdom?

Igor: I just want to encourage people to tell more stories about themselves, the
nasty stories, to open up to their market, to allow their customers and readers to
live through these experiences together with them. Because if we take fiction or
movies, it's the heroes that live through this incredible challenge and they come
on top, or maybe even those who fail, we still root for them and we like them.
Take for instance 300, this movie 300. I mean these guys went through incredible
challenge, sure they were good at what they do, but they died of the and, yet we
still root for them and we love the story and it had impact on us. Now it doesn't
mean you have to go and fight an army of million units or soldiers whatever, but
you have challenges in your life and you can show that. You can show the journey
and create the tension in order for your customer to just fucking care about
what's going on. Because the thing about marketing is that good marketing makes
them care. Right? Good marketing does not leave them just sitting there not giving
a fuck. So your job is to tell them that emotional story that creates that
tension, so they actually care about what you stand for and what you're doing for

Jonathan: Challenge accepted, I'm going to try to make people care tonight, in
tonight's email. Alright, good stuff Mr. Igor Kheifets. Thank you, thank you list
builders for tuning in. This is the end of another List Building Lifestyle; we
will be back next time.

Thank you 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 and don’t forget to claim your complimentary copy
of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival Guide” at .
This is Igor Kheifets until next time we talk, have a good one.

This is the

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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