SEP Episode 49: Copywriting Secret Weapons, The Search Trigger With Adam Bensman

Copywriting Secret Weapons, The Search Trigger With Adam Bensman

 

Today on the show we have Adam Bensman from brainhickey.com. Adam is going to teach us how we can sell premium priced products over email. 

He’s going to dispel a lot of the common myths that circulate around sales and email marketing as well as give you some amazing, very simple and very easy tactics to maximize conversion rates, increase sales and boost your business.

There’s a lot of very tactical and very practical information on sales and email marketing. This translates to other areas of your business such as speaking, which I explore a little bit on this interview.

 

What You Will Learn On This Episode


  • How to Write Conversationally To Connect With Your Customer
  • The Importance of A Well Formulated Hook
  • The Keys To Crafting The Perfect Sales Email 
  • Utilizing the PS Of Your Emails To Create Customer Who Read Your Entire Email

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Brainhickey.com

Russell Brunson

adam@brainhickey.com 

12 Step Sales Email Formula

 

Transcription


Kyle Gray:

Hello and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray and today on the show we have Adam Bensman from brainhickey.com. Adam is going to teach us how we can sell premium priced products over email. 

 

He’s going to dispel a lot of the common myths that circulate around sales and email marketing. He’s going to give you some amazing, very simple and very easy tactics to boost conversion rates of your emails to increase your sales and to boost your business. There’s a lot of very tactical and very practical information on sales and email marketing and it translates a lot to other areas of your business such as speaking as I explore a little bit on this interview.

 

Kyle Gray:

So without any further ado, let’s turn it over to Adam. 

 

Adam Bensman:

Hey, thanks for having me, Kyle. Appreciate it.

 

Kyle Gray:

Now I’m really excited to be talking to you because we’re getting really tactical today and talking about emails for high ticket products, selling expensive things over emails. Some people say it can’t be done, but you’ve done it time and time and time again. I’m excited to explore it with you, but first, I want to hear a story from your life that’s defined you on who you are and led you to doing what you’re doing today.

 

Adam Bensman:

Great, great question. So, my background came from, I have an eclectic background, but we’re going to bypass that part and jump right in. So my most recent background was in door-to-door sales. I cut my teeth in sales the hardest way you can, especially in this day and age. I went door to door, took myself from earning $20,000 a year to my first six figure year and within about eight months, became the COO of an $8 million a year in home sales company. From there went into consulting. So I had inner sales trainer.

 

Adam Bensman:

I decided to leave that world to pursue a better life. Landed up in the digital marketing world and really wanted to grow this new marketing program I had developed for the in home sales space that I came from. My partner and I went six months with zero sales. So everything that I had learned about selling in person did not translate to selling online. Polar opposite. I was blown away. Blogs, emails, LinkedIn posts, everything, nothing worked.

 

Adam Bensman:

We were about to throw in the towel after six months. I got a hold of the partnership agreement to use someone else’s list and I decided to start writing these emails in a way that I never had before. So instead of selling, I decided to tell a story, give value, which ties in, I know, with what you do in terms of storytelling and really just positioned our offer as the fast track solution. I read, reread and edited these emails to be incredibly, incredibly tactically precise thinking, “Hey, clearly what I’m trying to do in writing that I didn’t in person doesn’t work.”

 

Adam Bensman:

That’s when I had this big aha moment that what you can control in the selling environment in person by reading your body language, reading your cues, reeling back in attention. I’m sitting at your kitchen table, you can’t get rid of me. I’m there for the hour we scheduled and all those elements are lost when we try to communicate online, specifically in an email. I clicked send on these emails, they got queued up, the third party clicks send, I woke up in the morning within 15 minutes of them being delivered, I got our first lead.

 

Adam Bensman:

They’ve slammed in and over the next three days, booked my cell phone calls and we went from $0 in six months to over $100,000 in contracted sales in three days. At that moment, that was the defining moment of like, “Wow, I figured it out.” That’s what led me on this path today, after an unfortunate breakup with my ex-partner, led me down the path of becoming a professional copywriter. I have since sold, literally, I don’t know how many, tens of millions, but it has been tens of millions of dollars in sales that we’ve driven largely through email. So that’s the story.

 

Kyle Gray:

I love that. I’m a big fan of email. I think there’re some people out there that think it’s an old medium. That doing live streams or other things are more important. But I still am a subscriber per se to the philosophy that a great email list is a business’s best resource. One of my questions I have for you right away is, what are some of the, you meant, what are some of the key differences in writing emails for high ticket products?

 

Kyle Gray:

I think before we hopped on the call, you mentioned a lot of the conventional wisdom that most of us hear about email marketing and email sales is for maybe impulse buys are smaller products. What does it take to create an email that really engages people for a high price product?

 

Adam Bensman:

That’s a very, very good question. First I wanted to define some perimeters around what high priced means. I like to refer to it as premium priced products. Usually these are coaching packages, consulting proposals. Let’s say agency work. You’re going to do a website or something and you’re sending a proposal for $2000, $5000 plus. So premium price to me is typically between two and $15,000. What happens when the price goes up, there’s more on the line for everybody.

 

Adam Bensman:

There’s usually a larger commitment from that buyer than a smaller priced purchase. So if it’s a $100 item, a physical item, you decide you want it, you click add to cart, you buy it, it’s done. Right? It shows up. There’s no requirement on your behalf to engage in the fulfillment. But on these more premium priced services, there’s not only the exchange of funds, but there’s an exchange of time. So if I’m going to give you Kyle, let’s say $10,000, to do some consulting for me, I got to show up for those coaching calls. So you’re asking more of me.

 

Adam Bensman:

In order to do that, what you’re ultimately selling is a relationship. To get someone to take action requires a series of elements that need to be crafted in the right order. So many people say, “Well, I’m not a good writer. I’m not a good writer.” What I always tell them is that it doesn’t matter. What matters the most about your sales emails is the right content delivered in the right order. You have to create the environment and you need to create the feeling that someone’s just sitting there having a conversation with you.

 

Adam Bensman:

My grammar is horrendous. It really is. I write how I speak. I write how my client speak when I ghost write for them. Email is the best platform for it because that’s how we communicate with our friends, with our coworkers and it’s the most casual conversation medium there is. So, the grace that you get from people, when you send an email is huge. If I wrote a book and I had grammatical errors everywhere, people would look at it differently. But in an email you want it to feel like a conversation.

 

Adam Bensman:

So you can let go of that mental block that you have about yourself as a writer and engage in writing your email as if that person sitting next to you on the couch holding your hand. Just like, I know people may not see this, but you and I are having a video conference right now and even if you turn the video off, the difference in how this conversation would feel for each of us is huge. One little trick I like to give people to start to wire their brains to write conversationally is to close their eyes and eavesdrop on conversations when they’re out at a restaurant, at a bar.

 

Adam Bensman:

Imagine that when you’re hearing people talk, there’s subtitles rolling up on the back of your eyelids as they speak. You’ll start to notice the nuances that don’t translate from, quote unquote, proper writing in terms of conversational speak or conversational dialogue. It’s so different. So if you can start to wire your mind to write how you speak and speak your emails, even if they’re broadcasted to, let’s say, a list of 2000, 5000, 100,000 or millions, it doesn’t matter, you want the person on the other end to feel like you wrote that email straight to them.

 

Adam Bensman:

That’s right where people start to go wrong, is the minute they feel like they’re sending to a list that they have to get the megaphone out. Even things like saying, “Hey, I’m emailing my list today to tell you all about this.” No, no, no. I’m emailing you today. I am emailing you, Kyle, today to tell you about this. Right? So that’s the first thing is just laying the groundwork. But [bctt tweet=”The other piece about writing powerful emails to get people to take action on the spot is all the magic happens before you even start writing. It’s getting all the framing right. Getting your offer down right. Getting all of your elements essentially assembled. – Adam Bensman” username=”kylethegray”]

 

Adam Bensman:

I know Russell Brunson, he talks about his, what does he call it? The funnel cookbook? I liked that food analogy. You think about laying out like a recipe. Most people when they cook efficiently or they get proficient in the kitchen, I’m a geek, I love to cook. I geek out on all things culinary. But to cook effectively, you need the right ingredients, right? You’re not going to make a great dish on a poor ingredients. It helps to have all your stuff laid out first so you don’t have the onions, the aromatics and the Pan Sauté and you’re like, “Oh, I should go grab a bell pepper and start cutting that.”

 

Adam Bensman:

No. That should be done already. So to do all the preparation up front, the real magic happens in framing the call. I can get into some of those specifics, but I hope that answers your initial-

 

Kyle Gray:

It does. It does and there’s so many ways that I want to dig deeper into this. There’s so many interesting things, but I think, yeah, that preparation, how do we prepare? I think a great bird’s eye view of that would be an awesome place to start.

 

Adam Bensman:

Yeah. Let’s, jump in. That’s a very good question. Let’s see. There are two angles to start with. Number one is just the pre-framing piece and that’s really making sure that these combination of elements create synergy. You hear copywriters, you hear marketers talk about addressing pain, right? They’re like, drive the knife in and create pain, address their pain and then it’s the pain solutions story. That is, it falls short. Excuse me. It often falls short in delivering real punch because it’s missing a few key elements.

 

Adam Bensman:

One of those is what I call the search trigger. I’m going to touch on that in just a minute, but let’s first talk about these four quadrants of the things that need to align its energy. One is knowing your target market. Yes, everyone says, “Oh yeah, that’s Marketing 101. I know my target market.” But I’m talking about your ideal client to a T. So I’ve worked with numerous agencies who say, “Hey, our ideal client is this.” They name an industry. It’s like, no, no, no. It’s not everybody in the industry. It’s a specific person in the industry. Just for conversation sake, let’s use accountants.

 

Adam Bensman:

I like to use accountants and you’ll see why. But I couldn’t say my target market is accountants because there’s the guy who’s an accountant who works out of his basement and maybe earns $40,000 a year and he does simple tax returns for W2 employees. Then there’s also an accountant who works for billionaires and knows advanced tax strategy, right? So there’s two different types of people. There’s firms with maybe five employees, which has different needs and there’s a CPA firm with 50 employees, owner operator or not. So identifying who it is.

 

Adam Bensman:

For example, my ideal client is a premium priced service provider doing B two B service, who sales cycle starts with a phone call. Now, there’s not an industry there. They’re selling things for 2000 to $5,000 online, B to B and the only way to buy from us is if you have a phone. That’s my ideal client. So it’s very, very specific free of industry. So that’s the first step. The second step is understanding what their problems are and what keeps them up at night? Now, whatever you think is the initial thing, right?

 

Adam Bensman:

Let’s say for many businesses, cash flow is an issue, but that is very superficial. So the main takeaway, as you’ll see as I go deeper and deeper and deeper, if you say, “Hey, I work with accountants who are trying to grow their business but have cash flow problems.” Well, what does cash flow problems mean? It means that they, let’s say, can’t hire the next person they need. It means they’re going month to month, that they’re stressing at night about whether or not they’re going to make payroll for their employees. It’s about knowing what investments they need to bring their business forward, whether it’s redoing their website or putting ad spend behind a campaign to acquire new clients.

 

Adam Bensman:

So getting very granular on their problems. Now the other two pieces are repackaging and presenting what you offer. So let’s say I am a coach that teaches accountants how to grow their business. They don’t want to buy a coach that teaches them how to grow their business, what they want to buy is something different. That’s the next quadrant. So first is fully understanding what you offer and then the fourth quadrant is understanding what they want to buy and then positioning your offer, what you actually offer, in a way that appeals directly to what they want to buy.

 

Copywriting Secret Weapons, The Search Trigger With Adam Bensman

Adam Bensman:

There’s an example. I’ll leave names out because all my clients have me sign NDAs. I worked on a launch for a coaching program that help these businesses in a specific niche, essentially build the building blocks and the foundation to grow their business in 90 days. When I got involved, it was called the VIP coaching program. That doesn’t, it’s not sexy. It’s like what? I’m buying a coach. I don’t want to buy a coaching program, because that tells me what? I have to put in the work. I’ve got to show up. I got to pay this expensive coach.

 

Adam Bensman:

So we ended up renaming it the 90-Day Sprint to Profit. What that does, what does that tell someone? It says, “Hey, what do I want?” I want more profit in my business. We know it’s their pain point. We know its speed results. In 90 days I’m going to start being profitable. By making that shift alone with a few other small changes, that company doubled the sales on their launch. They used the same webinar deck, just a couple slight tweaks on their messaging and in their emails and it made a big difference.

 

Adam Bensman:

So again, those four quadrants are understanding your target market. What problems they have? The third quadrant is what you’re selling and then the fourth is what they want to buy. When you can blend all those elements to appeal to all of them with specificity, there’s your building blocks. Most importantly, where most people leave this piece out is what I call the search trigger, which I mentioned a minute ago. Did you have a question?

 

Kyle Gray:

I mean, I just have a lot to say. I want to really agree with this. I’ve done a lot of, I review, I have a group that I coach that are constantly, they’re health entrepreneurs and health coaches with premium price products. A lot of them start, you’re always asking them to go a little bit deeper and I think it’s the same experience here. It’s like, I’m going to teach you how to eat healthy and you’re like, “Okay, so what?” “So that you can start to eliminate some of these health problems in your life.”

 

Kyle Gray:

“Okay. So what?” “So that you can have energy and finally hang out with the kids.” When you keep giving them this, “so what” they get a little bit deeper and once you start, I think what’s important about what you’re saying is, you want to get results that you can picture in your mind. It’s the difference between lose weight to fit into your favorite skinny jeans again. If you can feel the experience of success when considering that, even the name of a product, I think that’s really, really important and essential to what you’re doing.

 

Adam Bensman:

Absolutely. To elaborate on what you’re saying when you were talking about specifics, you need to go much deeper about five to 10 times deeper than you think. When you say, hey, for the health products, for example, no one wants to learn, no one wants to be taught to eat healthy. It sounds like sacrifice. I have to give up the things I enjoy. When you can focus on those outcomes and or when you’re talking about the struggles that they’re having, you got to list a lot of them because what’s going to resonate for you, Kyle, might be different than me.

 

Adam Bensman:

I’m married. The next guy might not be married. I don’t have children. The next guy might have five kids, right? So if I said, “Hey Kyle, I’m going to teach you to eat healthy,” or, “I’m going to teach my 90 day program to getting fit fast and mentally sharp so you can enjoy time with your family, your wife and your kids.” But it turns out that you’re in a same sex marriage with no children, you’re like, “Well, that doesn’t apply to me.” So you need to really get, they call it, different people have different ways of naming these things, but it’s just, it’s getting, it’s magnifying your outcome in a hundred different angles.

 

Adam Bensman:

So don’t be shy to get more long winded in that section of your email or your sales copy on your page, whatever it is. That’s the beauty by the way. I was going to a small tangent, but when you learn how to write powerful sales email that applies to every single sales asset you’ll ever write. From a long form video sales letter or VSL to a sales page, to a Facebook ad, to even a high converting content piece because you start to understand the elements that are going to inspire people to take action.

 

Adam Bensman:

So getting granular with it is really, really, really important. I had one other thing to say and it completely slipped my mind as I focused on responding to what you-

 

Kyle Gray:

Well that’s all really good and I agree on that. I want to hear more about the search trigger because this is something I haven’t heard before. I haven’t heard of it before and it sounds interesting. I think that this could be a real useful takeaway for a lot of us.

 

Adam Bensman:

Awesome. Yeah, let’s jump in and I did remember what I was going to talk about, so I’ll touch on that after. So a search trigger is, it’s surprising that no one, most mainstream marketing education doesn’t talk about it? It says, know your target market’s pain deeply. What are their problems? What keeps them up at night? But if you think about it, there are certain things that move us to either one, take action, right? So take action can mean going onto your computer, going on Google and searching for something, or asking a friend for a recommendation, or trying to find a blog or a podcast.

 

Adam Bensman:

It’s going to give you answers to your question. There’s something that inspires that, which I call the search trigger. That same thing, depending on your, excuse me, depending on your product and the level of awareness surrounding your product will dictate whether or not someone intentionally searches for it or is receptive to hearing about it. So I’m working with an agency now who’s got this new fast product for a specific enterprise. These are enterprises that are working with, 10 to 90,000 people that are signed up on their system and there’s nothing else like it.

 

Adam Bensman:

So they can’t just go and be like, “Oh, well I put up a PPC ad and someone stumbled upon it.” But if that message lands right in front of you, there needs to be something that happened in your life to make you receptive to it. So we’ll start really wide and then get narrower. If Kyle, you’re fit. You climb, right?

 

Kyle Gray:

I do. I was just in Moab just last weekend.

 

Adam Bensman:

Nice. One of my favorite adult playgrounds in the world. I love Moab.

 

Kyle Gray:

Me too.

 

Adam Bensman:

So you’re fit. If I put a weight loss option, excuse me, a weight loss video sales letter in front of you, you’d zone out instantly because you don’t need to lose weight. But if something happened, let’s say you got injured, you packed on 20 or 30 pounds, and then you saw that weight loss commercial, it’s going to relate to you differently. But, now we can get more granular. It’s not just the weight gain, it’s not just that Kyle put on 20 or 30 pounds. What are those symptoms? Those symptoms are, “Man, my jeans used to fit. I cannot button the top button.” There’s a day that that happens.

 

Adam Bensman:

There’s shame, there’s embarrassment. I say this, I was 30 pounds heavier not long ago, and that was it. It was like, “Holy smokes. I used to be this pant size and now I’m pants size up and all my pants size up.” The other thing was, looking at a picture of you and realizing, and for many people it’s that picture that comes from behind you and you’re like, “Wow, I have rolls hanging over my belt.” Boom. So if we look at this from the search trigger standpoint, we would need to find out that not only is the pain of, are your pants fitting tighter, can you not button it? But it’s something that happens very specifically.

 

Adam Bensman:

So maybe it’s the day you see that picture from behind you. I like to use car analogies also because most everyone listening to this will either own a car, have owned a car at some point in their life, they drive. Who shops for tires? When will you need tires? But when you know you need tires, you don’t just go around shopping in a tire rack for tires, you shop for one of three reasons. One, you’ve got a flat, so you need a new tire. Number two, one day you walk out to your car and you realize that they’re slicks, or number three is you went to get an oil change or some service work done and they point out that your tires are low.

 

Adam Bensman:

So they bring it to your awareness and it’s like boom. So that would be the search trigger. I just found out that I need new tires. In the SAS world, I’m giving different examples because some are going to click for different people based on what industry they’re in. I was writing for SAS company and their search trigger was that someone was spending over $300 a month with a competitive solution, realize that they’re producing canned content. So it’s like one of those basically content libraries you subscribe to and then everybody’s putting up the same stuff and that doesn’t produce results.

 

Adam Bensman:

So this company, their search trigger is, I looked at my credit card statements, I realized that I’ve been paying for this service for the last six months which is accumulated, I’m horrible at math, so what is that? $1,800? Six times? Yeah, something like that. 1800 bucks for the last three months. I’ve gotten zero return. There has to be a better solution. So that’s very specific, right? So the more we can hit the nail on the head that says, this happened in my life and now I want to go find a solution. I work with a personal injury attorney as well that talk about a search trigger. No one searches for a personal injury attorney unless they were immediately injured.

 

Kyle Gray:

Unless they didn’t get notified that their tires were.

 

Adam Bensman:

And this ties in by the way, speaking of search trigger, it ties into what I wanted to mention before, which is empathy. What I love about emails is you get to be human. By the way, the best sales emails don’t sell. They do sell, but they don’t sell in a way that makes someone feel like they’re being sold. You’re sitting there having a very relatable conversation. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. It’s Sales 101. So, here’s an example of how this all ties into the search trigger piece, excuse me, because they all blend.

 

Adam Bensman:

If I’m selling a weight loss formula, let’s say, or supplement of sorts that could help you lose weight or a gym membership that could help you lose weight. The cheesy infomercial says, “Are you sick and tired of being 30 pounds overweight?” So it’s a third party. There’s no empathy. It’s just focused on pain. That’s what marketing teaches these days. Focus on pain. “Kyle, are you sick of writing blogs and not having people subscribe to your newsletter?” It’s generic, right? Anyone can list a thing and say, are you sick and tired of this, but the dynamic totally changes.

 

Adam Bensman:

If I wrote you an email and say, “Kyle, it was 36 days ago that I stood on the scale. I was 46 pounds over my high school weight. I had the belt around my hips because I couldn’t button my top button. I was exhausted every single day. My wife was no longer interested in a romantic relationship and I could barely run to third base when playing men’s softball. I know what it’s like to feel overweight.” You’re really going to be like, wow, not only does this guy get it, but we’ve blended both empathy and the ability to address our search triggers.

 

Adam Bensman:

We’ve talked to our target market, which might be someone through the story, instead of saying, “Are you a 30 to 50 year old man?” We’re talking about adult men’s softball. So we’re really addressing the target market specifically through a story, which is something you’re excellent at and building empathy to say, I know what it’s like to be there. Then we can transition to our solution.

 

Kyle Gray:

It’s so nonthreatening. I think this is really important, especially in Facebook advertising too. You don’t want to make people feel like they have a problem. I think that’s the shortcoming of the pain. Actually what you were saying there by just telling your own story, people were experiencing it in your shoes and feeling those things. But if you had said it in a way like, “Are you tired of all these things?” And just made it, directed it at them and just ask them those questions instead of explaining, this is where I was, then yeah, it becomes a lot more, it makes people feel disempowered, not as good.

 

Kyle Gray:

It’s a tough place to start even, even though it is the classic idea. Do you have this pain? It’s a tough way to really engage in a conversation. I love that simple way of just, by being vulnerable and sharing yourself, people open up more and they’re willing to listen. I assume they’re open to hear more and being taught instead of feeling like they’re being sold to.

 

Adam Bensman:

Absolutely. They feel like you’re telling their own story. Think about, Facebook is such an interesting platform for getting instant feedback. Everyone has the, how about me, I syndrome, right? That’s what my wife calls it and I love it. How about me, I? We’ve all been with that person where, let’s say, you’re telling a story. Well, I was in Prague two years ago and I’m about to tell you what I did in Prague and you’re like, “Oh, I was in Prague too.” People are so excited to interrupt to have this sense of relatability. Someone will put up a post of their food. Eating it, La casita de mama, the best Mexican food in all the land, and all you get responses.

 

Adam Bensman:

No one’s like, “Where is that place? I’d like to try it.” Yeah, that’ll happen. But the most common responses, “I’ve eaten there too. I love it.” People love to relate to the story. So if you can take a step back and stop selling in your sales email because so many people think, especially tying back to what I mentioned up front, the hook shouldn’t open with the main, meaning the hook, the first sentence of the email, the first sentence of your sales page shouldn’t try to sell your product. That’s not what it’s there for and that’s where people go wrong. You’ve got to hook them with something they want.

 

Copywriting Secret Weapons, The Search Trigger With Adam Bensman

Adam Bensman:

If I sent an email like, “Do you want to lose 30 pounds?” It screams I’m about to sell you something. But if you opened up this email saying, “Last week I had this major epiphany.” What are you thinking in your mind? Can I ask, what would your question be? If that was the first sentence. Last week I had this epiphany?

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah. I mean, what was it, or what was it about, or where is it? Yeah.

 

Adam Bensman:

Exactly. You’re going to ask a question. Well, what is epiphany? So that’s all that first sentence does. Draw you in. The epiphany was, I wish I knew what I know now about fitness and weight loss or whatever it is, but it draws the reader in. So if you can stop trying to sell, then relate to people through a story and resonate with them through empathy, address their pains through empathy in a story and address your target market, now you’ve set the selling environment. Which is why, if you think of any time you’ve gone into, let’s say, the Apple Store or to buy a car at a car dealership, they control every aspect of the selling environment.

 

Adam Bensman:

I’ll use the car thing, for example, because it’s the best one. Most people have been through the miserable process of buying a car. You walk on the lot and you get bombarded by a sales guy. Then they force you into a car to test drive it, to experience it. Then you play the negotiating game and they pretend that they don’t have control so the guy’s got to go to his sales manager. Then once you’re ready to buy the car, they lock you in a small room with the FNI guy, the finance guy, where he’s going to try to upsell you. He’s got all the literature, the fancy laminated things, and they slide them.

 

Adam Bensman:

“Do you want this? Do you know the average price of a flat tire and dungeon rem is $5 million these days. But with this package, it’s free. But it’ll only costs you x amount.” So they control everything. But when we’re selling in an email, we can’t, but in the real world, meaning not the person to person world, we’d be in a nice store. If you walk into a Tesla dealership, it’s a very nice location with leather chairs and you’re given a bottle of water or whatever you’d like to drink when you show up. So we have to think of our emails, like we’re constructing the environment.

 

Adam Bensman:

We have to control the environment, create and frame the right environment that someone’s creating in their head as they read your email to want to take action and answer the questions that come up in their head, which I’ll talk about in just a minute. But before I get long winded, I want to pause.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah. Take a pause because I have a question. So you mentioned here, or like, I did that too, effect. You talked about it on Facebook, but I think it can apply into emails as well. This is something actually that. I’m a speaking coach, and we work on this as well and great talks. Probably not unlike emails. You don’t want, when you’re choosing the stories that you want to share in, probably, in your emails or on stage or wherever, the best stories aren’t the ones where it’s like, wow, you went shark cage diving and had to wrestle one to death. That sounds awesome. That’s a cool story.

 

Kyle Gray:

People, those are fun, maybe stories to see in movies and things, but the stories where it was like, yeah, I had, or I visited Prague, or my grandma cooked the same meal for me, just having somebody come up to you and respond after your talk with something that’s really simple, really relatable and something that I think most people write off as boring. Like, no, I don’t want to tell this story about hanging out with my kid on the beach, them stealing the ice cream cone and what I learned on that because that’s super boring. But really the power comes in these ordinary stories and setting them up appropriately.

 

Adam Bensman:

I love how you put that. I think the ordinary part is the key. It’s relatable and there’s, we could be doing a whole other podcast on the reasons that people buy and take action is often an identity piece. That’s the same reason that you’ll find, food and religion are no different in my opinion because of how people feel. So, my food choices are so personal. My religion is so personal. My beliefs are so personal. But you’ll find people will assimilate. You could be the rogue person of this one religion in a foreign land and you run into one person who shares a common belief and you’re best buddies in that place because you bond on that connection.

 

Adam Bensman:

Or, if you are traveling abroad and you weren’t speaking, able to speak English and we’re fumbling your way through for three weeks at a time and you meet an English speaker, they’re your best friend because you can have a dialogue. Now, I’ve heard stories, this hasn’t happened to me personally, but I’ve heard stories who’ve had that experience. Then they come back to the states and that connection, that profound deep connection they had with their travel buddy is completely gone. They realize that they really have nothing in common. There’s no connection there, but their environment creates a bond because they’re both English speakers and that’s their commonality.

 

Adam Bensman:

So when you can connect with your audience and they feel like when you’re telling the story that you’re telling them their own story, it creates such a strong connection and bond with them that builds a level of credibility and trust that you couldn’t buy and you couldn’t advertise. The way that you can do this, especially in emails, which Facebook is bordering on this now too, becoming more of a conversational in casual platform, is very different than anywhere else. I mean, it’s just, it’s what people expect because it’s a medium where people engage one on one.

 

Kyle Gray:

I like that a lot. Just to give us the overall grasp of how these emails play out. Can you give us a high level view of, you’ve given us some specific details, but what does it look like all put together in a good email? Then, I guess this is kind of stacking the question, So the story you told me earlier, it sounded like you sent a single email and were getting leads already through the phone. Are you, in this system that you’re working in, do you have several sequences set up that each email tries a different angle or is it really falling on just a single email that’s driving these results?

 

Adam Bensman:

That’s a very, very good question. So I follow a format. It’s a 12 step formula. The 12 wasn’t designed to be a sales tactic of saying 12 because it’s a good number. I created my own formula, my own template, which I call the sales email formula because I have tested, I cannot even tell you how many emails. I’ve lost count. My emails have been delivered over 10 million in boxes and I’ve had a lot of fortune experience to do a lot of testing.

 

Adam Bensman:

These 12 elements stack in a very particular order to, I know it’s the age old cliché in marketing like dating. You can’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. This framework provides, at least what it did for me and I’ve heard this experience with others as well. When I have writer’s block. Have you had writer’s block before you write?

 

Kyle Gray:

All the time. Yeah.

 

Adam Bensman:

When you have, writer’s blocks to worst because you don’t, the hardest part is getting started, right? That is writer’s block. How to get started. So when you have an actual framework in a swipe file, so to speak, that is more like assembling than writing, the process goes faster. So I’ll give you an example. If I know who my target market is and I have different ways to speak about it, I can address someone in my email saying, instead of, “Are you a CPA?” You could say, “Hey, is your firm having trouble this quarter getting new business in the form of x, y, and z?”

 

Adam Bensman:

You can get very specific depending on what product you’re delivering, what topic that email is addressing. But the answer to your question is, could it be one email? Absolutely. Could it be 10 emails? For sure. It all depends on the application, but when you follow a systematic process, because here’s the thing, depending on how someone gets on your email list, you can sell them something and that’s, people need to, that are here listening to this say, “I hate selling. I hate selling. I don’t want to sell.” It’s just life. We’re always selling. There’s no shame in selling.

 

Adam Bensman:

When you do it right, that’s the one thing that I like to differentiate my own approach, when people say, “Oh, it’s persuasion.” I think that’s all hogwash. You’re not a magician that can overpower someone’s brain to hand over their wallet. That’s stealing. It’s not, one, it’s not ethical, two, I doubt it’s really possible. [bctt tweet=”For business to last in the long run, you have to believe in what you do, you have to provide a game or life changing service and you got to stand behind it and people got ta love it because people chat, people talk. -Adam Bensman” username=”kylethegray”]

Copywriting Secret Weapons, The Search Trigger With Adam Bensman

Adam Bensman:

So, this framework allows you to sell without selling. I’ll give you an example. You need to have a hook. You need to get someone to start reading. Well, let’s take a step back. First get someone to open the email. What people often focus on is a subject line. There’s all this stuff online. Here’s how to get your emails open. I’ll be the first one to tell you that 95% of that is garbage. I’ve tested them. I have data from emails I sent for info products that break all the rules of email marketing that say, “Hey, have you heard this one by the way?” Only put your link at the bottom of the email because the reader needs to get to the bottom to be qualified. Have you heard that one as a best practice?

 

Kyle Gray:

We have it in the PS too, just because I don’t know why.

 

Adam Bensman:

I’ll tell you about the PS. I’m a fan of the PS. Have you heard that one that put the link at the bottom?

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah.

 

Adam Bensman:

So, if anyone takes anything from this,[bctt tweet=”The biggest takeaway for a powerful sales email is to include a link at the top of the email – Adam Bensman” username=”kylethegray”], usually, in as high as the first sentence. But you do it in a specific way. I call it a passive call to action. So I’ll give you an example. I’m going to, I’ll read the intro of a sample email I wrote and literally just the first sentence. So here’s the subject. The subject is Three Subconscious Triggers that will Three Times Your Click through Rates. So if you’re on my list, which by the way, let me wrap up what I said about subject lines of why they’re not relevant.

 

Adam Bensman:

People open emails from people they know, like, and trust. Your sender credibility will trump your subject lines every day of the week. So if I get emails from you, Kyle, and I know that every single one is going to bring the value or entertainment, I will continue opening them. But the minute that I feel like you’re spamming me or you’re selling me and I see that, you know that image preview on the far left email from Kyle on an email address, how people associate your name in their inbox is the number one influencer on whether or not they’re going to open your emails.

 

Adam Bensman:

So, takeaway number two, don’t worry about your subject lines focused on building trust, not selling. Don’t spam people. Yes, subject lines are important. I do have seven rules of things that you should not do in your subject line. One of them is to not ask closed ended questions by the way. So don’t ask anything that could be answered in no. If they answer no, they’re never going to open it. So there’s a few rules of thumb there, but typically your subject line’s at least the important thing.

 

Kyle Gray:

Wow. Yeah. That’s not at all what I was expecting, but it is, it does feel, it is, as a content marketer, it’s reassuring to me as somebody who’s providing value regularly. It’s good to be building this relationship and making sure that it’s there. So when the time for these other emails bells come. That’s one of the things I love about content and sharing your story. But, yeah, continue.

 

Adam Bensman:

So back to back to this, but yeah. So anyways, subject lines, are they important? Yes. But what’s more important is the right assembly. So again, subject line three, subconscious triggers. It’ll 3X your CTRs, your click through rates. This is just a sample email. Hey man, I’ve been getting my email recipients to click to my sales page without even realizing it. So that’s the opening sentence, which is the hook. And it always ends, not always, but often with an ellipsis. So three dots.

 

Adam Bensman:

The reason that we want to have a hook, and I’m giving you just a sample of how this format flows, is the only role, the subject line is to get someone to do what? Open the email, right? But again, we figured out that the name associated with it is more important. Then once they open the email, they’re going to quickly assess whether or not they want to read this. So what I want to do is get them captured into a story. I want to hook them through curiosity. I want to set up the stage that something’s going to happen. One really powerful way to do that is to not complete a thought because the human mind hates in complete things.

 

Adam Bensman:

That’s why soap operas are so good. They cut to a commercial break when the guys on the edge of the cliff and someone’s coming at him with a bat. Cut to commercial break, they come back and they’re at the next scene of the two love birds sitting at the kitchen table. But what about the guy on the cliff? Right? So when you end an incomplete sentence, which I encourage really poor grammar intentionally in emails, I’m going to keep reading, right? So I’ve been getting email recipients to click to my sales page without even realizing it… That’s implying that something else was to come.

 

Adam Bensman:

So they go on. Sales have been skyrocketing and I haven’t done anything else to my funnel. So that’s my hook, right? Immediately, if I said sales are skyrocketing and I haven’t done anything else in my funnel, what’s the question that you would have in your mind Kyle?

 

Kyle Gray:

What are you doing? I want to know.

 

Adam Bensman:

Exactly. So the dance that you and I are doing, this role-play, this is also a profound piece of when you make a statement, you want them to start a dialogue in their own mind. If you can control the dialogue, I don’t mean this in manipulation, but that was very much by design. You asked the question they want you to ask, which is how? I know you’re going to ask how so then I can go into it. So here I go into it. By the way, I don’t go into it right away. It’s called a loop. So I’m going to open this loop, I’m going to leave you hanging and drive into something else.

 

Adam Bensman:

So it says, I’ve been nervous to share this information with other email copywriters, but as I shift my business towards teaching copywriting, I just decided to share my wisdom with a select few who I knew would actually put it to use. I’ll show you how to do it in a second. So there’s another loop. Okay, I’m going to show you how to do it in a second. So I’m not going to do it right away. So I’m going to keep you engaged to read more.

 

Kyle Gray:

One of the things that you did in there though that I just have to comment on is you hinted, “Hey, I take on clients, I’m teaching people.” But you’re not saying, “Hey, I have this program that I want you to buy.” You’re just saying, “Oh I have… This is going on and I want to teach you something from it.” But, you’re planting the seeds so they’re already starting to imagine themselves as the client as well.

 

Adam Bensman:

Exactly, exactly. The other piece is kind of a bonus. I said, I decided to share my wisdom with a select few who I knew would actually put it to use. There’s many different schools of thought, theology and psychology that talk about the power of language from NLP to triggers and all these different things. But when I say a select few who I knew would actually put it to use, I’m doing two things there. One is I’m addressing someone by making them feel special by calling it a select few. Okay.

 

Adam Bensman:

The second thing is, would actually put it to use, I’m priming you by saying you’re going to actually put it to use and that you can actually put it to use. So it’s both a command actually put it to use to statement. Hey, Kyle, actually put it to use versus who I knew would actually put it to use. So it’s really a linguistic trick in a way to start to prime someone to think a certain way. So that’s the opener. My insert, my passive call to action is I decided to put this together in a quick video series to show you exactly how. What’s hyperlinked is a quick video series.

 

Adam Bensman:

Its fictitious thing sells a video training on email copywriting. By the way, none of this exists. This is just fictitious for the sample. But up top, if you’re intrigued by wanting to increase your click through rate by three times, you would click through to see what it is. I call it a passive call to action because I didn’t say I put it together in a course that I’m selling to teach you how to sell each cell in emails. I don’t say that. I say in a quick video series. If you click through to that page, chances are you want to learn.

 

Adam Bensman:

The other thing that’s really important is the people who will click through right out of the gate, you’re giving them an easy path. You’re making it easy for them to take action because if you’re already hooked in and you’re excited about that opportunity, boom, you’re there. Plus your sales page, or your call booking page, or wherever you’re sending traffic, the main function of that page is to convert that visitor in the next, down the next path. Whether it’s booking a call or checking out or whatever it might be. Too many people try to sell in their email, but no one’s going to hand you their credit card through the email.

 

Adam Bensman:

They can’t do it. So you need to remember that, what’s the goal of your email? What’s your one action goals on call? Is it to get someone to click through to a sales page or to schedule a call? So when I put together that passive call to action, that’s grabbing all the low hanging fruit. That’s the people who are excited. Why make them wait? Because they may not make it to the bottom. I tried those tactics of only putting at the bottom and my sales suffered. I have my best info product sales, which we’re talking premium priced. The same goes for getting calls booked, by the way, when you put that link up top.

 

Adam Bensman:

Then you give other links towards the bottom, including the bottom of the email, which is more direct. Then using your PS at the bottom of the email under your email signature to use for scarcity. To touch on the PS just very briefly, the reason that you, you mentioned using the PS in the link, you do it for two reasons. One, is you do it 100% of the time. Why? Because it gives someone, you’re literally training your readers how to communicate with you. If you always have something all the way through to the bottom email, they’re going to scroll to the bottom all the time.

 

Copywriting Secret Weapons, The Search Trigger With Adam Bensman

Adam Bensman:

So you need to be consistent. Number two, is the emails. When you use the PS, you need to use the PS to do two things. One, imagine the people, when this happens, they open it up, they scroll all the way to the bottom email. So you need to do a simple summation of your email and inspire them to take action now through either scarcity, meaning the offers, they’re going to go away, exclusivity or time pressure. Cart closes, the program starts in just two days, this is your last chance, whatever it is. But you use that to push someone over the edge to give them a reason to take action now and not wait till tomorrow because humans naturally procrastinate.

 

Adam Bensman:

So we use the PS as a summation for people that scroll to the bottom, the train readers to scroll to the bottom because there’s always value. The third reason is to get them to take action now as opposed to waiting. I realize we’re running short on time, so I’m going to pause.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, I mean bam. I love it. We’ve covered so, so much. We’ve gotten really good stuff. We’ve both had, I think you’re drinking a seltzer water. I think we’ve both come to the end of our seltzers waters. So, now I’d love for you to share, if there’s any way people can connect with you, learn more about you or start to learn your process, I’d love for you to share it, share that with our audience and where else people can connect with you and reach out to you.

 

Adam Bensman:

Yeah. Great. Thank you for asking. So first and foremost, my life in the social media world is very sparse. I work very closely with clients and have it my time. So I’m going to give you direct access to me. If you want to reach out, you can email me directly @adambrainhickey.com. The other thing that’s exciting that is not yet released but will be coming soon is a course called The Sales Email Formula where I’ll be teaching this 12 step process we talked about today for selling premium price products and services through email.

 

Adam Bensman:

What I’ll do is I’ll create a unique link for you, Kyle, to share with your audience and the best way to engage, it’s a free offer so jump on. I’ve got a webinar put together to give you the overview and do even a deeper dive than we did today on that. So, I’ll provide a link for that, what do you say? We just put in the show notes. Will that work?

 

Kyle Gray:

We’ll have it in the show notes. I think that sounds great. I’m excited to check it out too. I think there’s a lot of depth in this and you’ve shared a lot of wisdom. I think that people can start taking and improving their emails right now but I’m sure there’s so much more to explore. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your wisdom with us today.

 

Adam Bensman:

Yeah, absolutely Kyle. Thanks so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure as always and happy to collaborate.

 

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co. If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.

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