Manage episode 234611225 series 1433066
Our guest today is notorious and endlessly fascinating: Ben Settle. He’s an email specialist, author, anti-professional, and novelist.
People go nuts over Ben. Including me. I once wrote to him, “You’re the f’in’ hottest email copywriter on the Web now.”
But I wasn’t alone. Our recent guest Richard Armstrong says, “I start my day with reading from the Holy Bible and Ben Settle’s email, not necessarily in that order.”
And the normally sober Gary Bencivenga admits. “Good copy intoxicates me. Yours is high proof. I’m enjoying it.”
Well, that pretty much gives you the picture of what other copywriters think about Ben. He’s like… amazing!
But Ben brings another skill to the party. While it is morbid, I have a morbid fascination with it and Ben has agreed to tell us about it today.
He writes horror fiction. Let me read you this from the promo copy for Zombie Cop: The Enoch Wars, Book One.
"The blood was still warm and there was meat and what looked like veins between his teeth - hanging out like dental floss."
Nobody knew where the still-living decapitated head came from.
But when the head bit Police Chief Rawger, he becomes a zombie with an insatiable appetite for human flesh, revenge, and power. But, unlike Hollywood-depicted zombies, he can think, speak, and strategize. He's also deranged, sexually perverted, and takes absolute pleasure in his evil acts.
I think you get the idea.
What does this have to do with copy?
Nathan and I are hoping and praying that we’ll find out.
And before we jump into the world of horror fiction, let’s take a moment to remember some comforting words that help little children fall safely asleep at night:
Copy is powerful. You’re responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims... and/or if you’re writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity... you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.
Wow. Now let’s get out the cloves of garlic for our personal protection and welcome Ben Settle. Ben, thank you for joining us today.
1. A lot of successful copywriters are interested in writing fiction, but most of us, including me, kind of balk when it comes to actually sitting down and writing a book. Not you. At least, not after a certain point. Tell us how this all came about?
2. So, when you have an idea for a book, what are the steps you go through to get it written?
3. We talk a lot on this podcast about taking techniques from writing fiction to write copy. But we’ve never had someone who writes material as intense as you — and I’m talking about your fiction, although I could be talking about your emails — on here before. Could you share what’s similar, and what’s different?
4. So, your emails are just bolder and more provocative than almost any other I’ve seen. OK, I’ll level with you. More than any other I’ve seen. Have you rewritten the rules for yourself, or, did you just decide a long time ago that there are no rules?
5. Could you give us a few Ben Settle tips for writing emails that get noticed and get response?
6. What do you think gets in the way of most people doing what you teach?
7. What’s next for you — in your copy/marketing business, and in fiction?
Ben Settle's Website