How To Make Your Emails Stand Out In A Crowded Inbox With John Bejakovic

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There are many ways to write a compelling copy. You can be direct and straightforward, or you can use analogies. Tune in to explore how you can use analogies to earn up to eight-figures.

Guest: John Bejakovic is an author and an A-list copywriter who writes for various seven and eight-figure businesses in the supplement space, real estate, and the real estate investing space.

[00:50] The podcast explores the effective use of metaphors, analogies, and parables in your copy to get more out of every single piece of content you’re going to publish moving forward.

[01:36] John shares a glimpse of his nomad copywriter lifestyle:

  • I’ve been moving around for the past couple of years, but in the last couple of months, have settled down. So now I’m in Barcelona in Spain, and I’m planning to stick around here for the foreseeable future.

[02:05] Why did John become a copywriter?

  • I was fascinated with the idea that you can put some words on a page and people will send you money over the internet. So naturally, I gravitated to things like email marketing because again, you send out an email to a bunch of people and money comes the other way.
  • When I was finally able to make it work, one of the first things that I did was travel. And it got even better when I was in a hotel in the Czech Republic and I was doing some email work in the morning while my wife was out and about in the old city in Prague and there was money coming in.

[03:13] John’s life as a full-time copywriter:

  • I lusted after the idea of having an income where I didn’t have to sit in an office, I didn’t have to pretend to work, I didn’t have to come to the office in the morning and leave at night, and it’s dark in the morning and it’s dark at night when I leave.
  • I got lucky with copywriting. I started out working for a very low wage, and I built that up to the point where I was getting paid a very high wage for the work that I was doing, much more so than I’m sure that any office job that I would have ever had. So that was very nice.
  • If you’re working as a freelance copywriter, you can get paid a sizable fixed fee or wages, but then oftentimes a lot of the businesses in this industry are willing to give you a share of the profits as well.
  • You can start your own business, which is sort of what I’ve done with my newsletter, and my copywriting training.
  • I just heard that my favorite soccer team, Man United, is going to be playing Barcelona as part of the European Cup. I’m planning to go on a trip soon and the only reason I can do that without having to beg anyone for some vacation time and without having to worry about money is because of the whole magic money email setup I got going on.

[07:00] The key to modeling other copywriters:

  • I think one of the key skills that I’ve developed in this industry is that I’ve been great at modeling.
  • I think one really powerful thing to be able to do is to take ideas that are already out there and just present them in a new way that will finally get through to people, that will finally get into their heads. And I think analogies and metaphors are probably the best way that I know to do that.
  • I’ve looked at other copywriters. I’ve tried to break down what it is that they do and very consciously applied what they do in my own writing.
  • You also find ways to twist it and make it your own.
  • Metaphors and analogies are things that I see the very best writers using and yet it’s not discussed very much, it’s not taught very much.
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[11:07] How to use analogies in your content?

  •  If you just come up with a simple analogy, it can be very effective.
  • I wrote an email about how there are moments in life when you form a new belief and that new belief creates a cascade of other beliefs.
  • But instead of just having that story, I introduced an analogy and talked about watershed beliefs, the way that there’s a mountain and whether a single drop of water forms at the top of that mountain and runs either the left side or the right side. And then it picks up more and it becomes a little bit of a stream. And at the beginning, it’s very easy to change the course of that little drop of water. But once it becomes kind of a gushing river of belief further down the mountain, it becomes very hard to either stop it or change it, or redirect it.
  • I got a lot of responses to that email and to that image from a lot of people who maybe would have disagreed with me and who would have disliked that I was talking about Coronavirus.
  • I feel like this is a great example of how one simple, clear image in people’s minds, which is not just an image of what you’re talking about, is an analogy. It creates this moment of insight and understanding of people’s heads which is very different from any other types of persuasion.
  • How can I compare this to something entirely different where people will form that connection in their minds and say okay, I see how those two things are similar. And once that happens, it’s a very powerful emotion that forms in people’s heads.

[15:44] The “taste like chicken” technique:

  • How can we make it sound familiar? It’s a technique I call taste like chicken.
  • It’s familiar and the moment you can do that and your brain starts grasping onto these similar ideas and it becomes very easy to get into a new space and start feeling comfortable very quickly.
  • As a copywriter, we’re actually selling ideas before we sell products. So if somebody is already sold on an idea or a concept and we can grasp that concept, I think we can quite easily help them bridge that gap and really bond to this new idea.

[16:45] John shares his thought process behind good analogy vs. bad analogy:

  • The problem with teaching metaphors or analogies is that oftentimes it seems like there’s very little you can tell.
  • People decide to take two unlike things and compare them. But there are a few things that I can definitely point out that make for a good analogy or for a bad analogy.
  • At some point I actually wrote an email about this where I was talking about how I’m critical of the school system. The school is a prison for kids is a great analogy for selling a home study homeschooling program.
  • First, emotional tone makes perfect sense. NThe second thing that I think is really crucial is that it’s something that people can either that’s clear, that’s familiar to people, and that people can understand very easily.

[21:33] What not to do when pitching to your list?

  • People will often tell a story, a personal story. They’ll go through the entire story and then they’ll say oh and by the way that’s just how my program works. And then they’ll get into their pitch.
  • My initial reaction always is like oh come on, you gotta be kidding me. I can’t believe this is so ham handed and so unrelated.
  • I think that illustrates the second point, which is that an analogy, the beginning part of the analogy or kind of the source, has to be something that people understand, has to be something that’s familiar to people and the connection to what it is that you’re trying to explain has to be clear.

[22:54] Key to making effective analogies:

  • An analogy has to be novel in order to be effective.
  • The best example of a novel analogy that I can give you is from a very successful sales letter, which was the sales letter that launched Stansbury Press.
  • It was an analogy between how in the 19th century, people were laying down railroad tracks across the US. And how this led to the rise of a new breed of very rich people in the US.
  • And this sales letter came out in the 90s where a lot of the It infrastructure was being laid down across the US. And they were saying, okay, if you invest now, you could get as rich as a robber baron in the 19th century.
  • So the idea of a money making opportunity, or even the idea of investing in It stocks or telecom stocks, that’s not new. The railroad is not new. But putting those two things together is very new.
  • When you are choosing which two things to compare, you have to make sure that maybe you don’t have to be the first person, but you can’t be the 50th person to make that same comparison.

[29:47] Using analogies that sell:

  • What is a great joke? It’s connecting to things that aren’t necessarily connected in a new way.
  • You want to create an engaging analogy, phrase, statement or story, take two things that aren’t necessarily connected and find a way to connect them which will create that, AHA, moment for the reader’s brain.
  • If you reverse engineer or model what pop comics are doing, oftentimes it’s very much an analogy.

[32:12] Benefits of using analogies in your email copy:

  • I think that there’s definitely a lot of benefits to using analogy beyond just making the sale.
  • Having that influence in people’s lives or just making yourself sound more interesting is a huge part of that.
  • You could come up with a creative analogy every day and illustrate a very kind of mundane point that people have heard 100 times. And there will be value in that email and people will find that email engaging and entertaining and they will even share it on your behalf.

[37:32] What would John change in a typical email copy?

  • A lot of people who are using or who are making analogies, who are telling personal stories, I feel like their stuff is too predictable and I want to avoid that.
  • And so lots of times I sit on my stuff until I can pair it up with something that’s new and novel.

[37:53] The analogy of sequential processes:

  • So think of Lego’s plastic cubes putting together like a structure of some kind or anything that you know about Lego in general.
  • Let’s go and sell how to learn how to play piano at home without a music teacher video course.
  • I would say, look, you take any one of those individual Lego pieces and they really have very little value and they’re very uncreative on their own. But if you put 3000 of those pieces together according to a prescribed plan, then suddenly the thing really has a life of its own.
  • What it teaches us is even a complicated structure like that is a sequential process you have to follow. You have to take tons and tons and tons of small steps in a sequence of some kind. And the reason that a ten year old can do it is because she’s been trained to follow the manual.
  • And in many ways, learning how to play a complicated piano song, even if it’s really big and really long and it requires like two hands and 2ft to play, it actually does come down to breaking it down into one note at a time and then sequentially playing and memorizing those notes.

[44:53] What happens after you deliver your analogy?

  • You want everybody to understand your message and want to make that message explicit.
  • Once you deliver the analogy so A is like B, you have to specifically spell out what those connections are.

[45:06] Niche vs. Wider Target Audience:

  • The wider you cast your net, the more important it becomes.
  • If you’re operating in a specialized environment, if you’re going into a really tiny niche, then you can afford to get rid of the analogies, and you can just speak directly to that market because they don’t get that enough.
  • If you’re talking to a market that’s only, say, 15,000 people big, it’s like a particular type of fisherman who only goes into that one particular place on the planet, and only fishes for that one particular type of salmon or trout or something, you will talk to them about that. They listen to you all day long.
  • But if you’re casting a wider net you have to make it a lot more broad and relatable for the average person.
  • When you’re doing this, make sure you pick analogies that are as far away from the very natural topic you’re trying to create content around.
  • You kind of have to move away from it as far as possible and talk about something completely unrelated.

[54:00] Igor’s book on email marketing:



Igor Kheifets is an amazon best-selling author of the List Building Lifestyle: Confessions of an Email Millionaire.

He’s also the host of List Building Lifestyle, the podcast for anyone who wants to make more money and have more freedom by leveraging the power of an email list

He’s widely referred to as the go-to authority on building large responsive email lists in record time.

Igor’s passionate about showing people how to live the List Building Lifestyle.