Another segment of "What Not To Do" for your Friday fun.
Below are 7 sure ways to tank your sales. If you catch anyone guilty of them, be sure string em up and spank them in the town square.
Without further ado:
1) Ignore your customer service -- let's face it, it's way more fun to sip bubbly at the beach then service your customers (sounds dirty). But today, when nearly every industry is creaking at the bones with a glut of products and service providers, customer service can be THE thing that separates you from the mindless pack.
2) Sending incongruent offers -- nothing sucks trust faster than incongruency. Just ask Hillary (or any other politician that succumbed to a similar fate).
3) Failure to communicate -- what's more fun: Counting your Lamborghinis? Or creating lots of quality content for your fans and customers? Easy choice. But one logically follows the other.
4) Going all Trump on your customers -- I love mockery and trolling just as much as the next guy, but if you come off as an unlovable arsehool (as opposed to a lovable arsehool) no one will want to buy from you, give you referrals, or consume your stuff.
5) Being an arteest -- business ain't art. As Eugene Schwartz said, if you want to write a novel, write one. But don't write novel copy. Yes, self-expression is important and your customers want to see your unique little noggin at work. But what's more important is making lots of sales and creating lots of happy customers. And you do that by creating the right offers with the right messaging. Not by creating art.
6) Savior complex -- your prospect's aren't perfect, and you shouldn't be either. People like people like them. So be like "them"... a little unperfect.
7) Being your own worst enemy -- to repeat the above: nobody is perfect. And if you sit on your project until you've jotted every I and tittled every T, you may miss your chance to take your shot. If I waited until this email was perfect, it'd never get snet. Negative self talk happens. But sometimes, like a barking chihuahua, you just gotta ignore it.
There you have it. 7 fun and exciting ways to tank your sales.
Chances are you are guilty of at least one of these at least some of the time (I know I am). But that is ok, because now you can string yourself up in the town square of your mind and give yourself a good paddling.
If you need my help (with writing copy, not paddling your bum), head to my client waiting list here:
Enter your information into the form and you will be added to the waiting list where you will be notified when I have an opening in my schedule.
Sent Thursday, July 9, 2020
Look, I love my mom. So nothing I say henceforth should be taken as anything other than CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
Constructive criticism plus a warning of what not to do.
And that is whether you're telling stories in your emails, sales copy, interviews, at parties, or whatever really.
Here is what I mean:
My mom, bless her soul, is a notoriously bad storyteller.
Why is she such a bad storyteller?
Well it's not just because she tells stories at the wrong time (when you are focused on something else). Nor is it because she tells stories you don't care about (though she does that too). And it's not just because she gets so excited telling stories that she jumps ahead of herself and struggles to find the right words (though that is quite common as well).
The real reason she's an abysmal storyteller is a far more grievous storytelling sin.
And the truth is, she can be forgiven for this sin. As she's never needed to get good at telling compelling stories. Nor has she ever put any practice into the matter to my knowledge.
But still, this "sin" of which I speak makes it all but impossible to listen to her tell stories of any length.
And if you commit this sin, you make it all but impossible for your readers to read your stories too.
So what is this "sin"?
Put simply, it is:
Spending too long to get to the point.
You see, in an attempt to fill you in all the details, she, like so many others out there, gives you far too much of the backstory.
It's like, sorry mom, I did not need to know that your friend once competed in a sack race competition in 1982 to hear the story of how she stubbed her toe (yes that's a made up example... but it's not far off).
And thus it is with your stories.
You must know which details are necessary for the reader and how to give those details succinctly.
And the "trick" to doing that is learning how to say more with less. So that any requisite details seep into the "action". So that the backstory and the plot seamlessly flow into one.
Speaking of requisite details...
If you'd like me on your team, spinning your yarns and spanking up your sales, head to my client waiting list here:
On that page, enter your information into the box and you will be notified when I next have an opening in my schedule.
I once heard the late, great Clayton Makepeace give a "2-step formula" for selling anything to anyone (he didn't call it that, but that is effectively what it is).
Now this "formula" isn't a plug and play template.
Nor is it a sales letter format.
Nor is it something that takes zero work or brain power.
So if you are the "just gimme the answer as thinking hurts" type, this probably won't help you (nor will anything else I share in this newsletter).
Because even though this formula can be used to sell virtually anything to anyone, it takes an incredible amount of research and a deep understanding of your market to do so (which is why copywriting is less about writing and more about all the things you do before you start writing).
So what is the "formula"?
The "formula" is simply asking yourself the following questions:
1) What must my prospect believe to make this purchase utterly mandatory?
2) What must I say, do, or show them to make that belief strong enough to carry the sale?
I know that might sound boring or simple or too mundane.
If so, fine.
Just know that the boring, simple, and mundane things are what separates the pretty good copywriters from the really great copywriters.
What's that? You don't want to do boring and mundane tasks but you still want great copy?
In that case, head to my client waiting list here, where you will be notified the next time I have an opening in my schedule:
Yesterday was strange.
One of the strangest days of my life.
One of the most painful days of my life too.
Well hold your pants because I am telling you.
What happened is that on Sunday I decided to go to the beach with a friend. It was a great day for the beach. Bright and sunny and not too crowded. And the waves were crashing with the force of nine gales.
So I swam out there to swim amongst and bodysurf the giant waves. (The biggest and most powerful waves I've ever caught bodysurfing btw.) And things were fine.
Until they weren't.
Because after a while my friend asked me if I wanted the boogie board. And even though those things are floating liabilities (because they don't allow you to dive under waves and are essentially buoys attached to your body) I took it for a spin.
And within minutes I got the walloping of a lifetime.
I got walloped good.
The undercurrent hit me so strongly that it felt like having a giant grab me by the skull and drag me along the ocean floor. In fact, that was the first time I've ever had to get out of the ocean from getting wave walloped.
Long story short. I woke up the next day with a throbbing headache. And within hours I was completely incapacitated and unable to do anything other than lie in bed and moan and groan.
Every time I moved I would have throbbing pains shoot into my skull.
It got to the point where I had convinced myself that I had brain swelling or bleeding. I even went so far as to ask my roommates if they thought I should go to the hospital.
I am glad they convinced me no. Because over time it was clear the problem wasn't my brain but my neck.
In other words, ya boy got whiplash. Ya boy got whiplash real good.
All in all I feel very lucky. I had zero memory loss, or trouble forming words, or any of the other problems associated with a brain injury. Even still, I couldn't help imagining myself sitting in a hospital bed with tubes running into me as I sat there drooling. I also couldn't help but read a few horror stories, including one where a guy had to get his skull cut open to prevent his brain from swelling.
Call me weak, but I'm not sure I could handle that.
To make matters worse, I had my day jam-packed with things I wanted to accomplish. I even had to cancel a meeting I had planned with a potential new client.
And it got me thinking, no matter how tightly you have things planned, no matter how detailed your strategy is... life is going to throw a few curveballs your way.
It can be a debilitating brain disease. Or trauma to your spinal cord. Or even a pesky little virus that takes over the globe.
So if you're going to do something, best do it now. Because you never know what life has in store.
That is what I've taken from the first half of 2020 anyway.
It's like a Zen monk I follow always says:
"Do you know how to know when you've made a plan? When it doesn't happen."
Tomorrow I will get back to sharing marketing and copywriting tips with you. But today, this was really all that was on my mind.
If you've been planning to get me on your team, best go to the waitlist below before a wave comes and washes it away:
Yesterday I visited my grandmere (the "mere" because she is french).
She will be 95 in just a few short months. And, like so many people at 95, she is no longer able to move around and care for herself.
Which of course is sad. And hard for her. But I do not think of it as a bad thing.
Because I think of it like the squash plant in my garden that is growing out of control and escaping down the hill to my neighbors house. Right now it has vibrant green leaves. It is reaching it's tendrils in every direction. It is shooting out dozens of beautiful, bright flowers. And of course it has been giving me round juicy squash.
But in a few months?
In a few months it will stop growing. And it will begin to die. And in its place will be a space to plant something new.
But because of the squash plant, the space it leaves won't by "empty".
Because while it was here, the squash plant made the world more beautiful and nourished. It helped break down nutrients in the soil for plants that will come after. It gave a home for the worms and bugs and microbiotics in the soil. It provided tasty shoots and leaves for critters to nibble on. And it will go into the compost where it can "live anew" and provide a new layer of soil for the fall planting.
Because of this a farmer does not grieve the squash plant.
I've also learned a lot from my grandmere in the past months. She's told me stories about when she was young. She's told me about my grandfather I never met. And she's taught me a lot about people.
Yesterday when I visited her, I sat by her bedside and held her hand. She kept looking up at me and saying, "You're sweet. Thank you for visiting an old lady." And I realized something.
When you strip everything away. Our ego. Our vanities. Our desires to chop up and control each and every aspect of the world. When you strip all that away and get to the core of a human, one thing remains.
And that one thing is simple.
All we really want, at the end of the day, is for someone to sit by our side, hold our hand, and smile.
It's tough to remember that with everything going on. KPIs, getting the kids out of bed, paying bills, and the 10,000 other things life throws our way.
So I am thankful for the reminder.
I also hope that is what reading my emails feels like to you. At least in a sense.
I hope it feels like I'm sitting by your side, holding your hands, and smiling. So that you can feel confident to go out and accomplish your wildest dreams.
Go get em slayer.
For more help, head here:
In your family, do you have certain stories that have taken on mythological proportions?
The stories that are told and retold over and over again? To the point they almost become a cultural artifact that is imbued with meaning and passed down through the generations?
Yeah, my family too.
And a lot of these stories are completely inane and trivial.
For example, I am constantly reminded that as a mere babe, I went on a flight with my parents, where I proceeded to poop, pee, and throw up on my dad, all in a few hour window (what I now affectionately refer to as "hitting for the cycle").
I was so young I do not remember. And yet, I've heard this story so many times it would be impossible to forget.
Or like my older brother, who after seeing his first fireworks show turned to my parents and said "more works" as if they had any control over the matter (spoiler: they did not).
I am sure you have many relatable stories that your parents love to tell and that make you cringe and roll your eyes and think "ugh, do we really have to talk about this again"... And if you are a parent telling those stories, I'd bet my last cup of coffee that is exactly what your kids are thinking (ask and you may be surprised just how embarrassed you make them feel).
Regardless of how much parents embarrass their children, yesterday I had my own "more works" moment. Specifically after the deadline of the critique service I launched.
1) Because people wrote in telling me my link did not work (which I do appreciate, though the link did not work by design as the deadline had passed), and 2) People wrote in pleading (one even sent a crying emoji which I thought was cute) to let them slip past the barbed wire and gunners surrounding my dug-in deadline.
It was almost like they looked up at me with their big, round eyes and said "more works".
Alas. If only 'twere possible. But rules are rules. And just because I make the rules, doesn't mean I can break em.
So if you missed out, keep a closer eye next time.
In the meantime, join the waitlist here:
Freedom is an interesting concept.
A concept that seems to follow me around.
I have always been driven by freedom in one way or another. As a kid, it was freedom from the government-funded indoctrination camp called "school". As I grew older, it became freedom from normal states of consciousness (what exactly that means I will leave to the freedom of your imagination to decide). Even later it became freedom in the sense of the American ideal. Freedom from oppression and tyranny. Freedom of expression. Freedom to set your own course in the pursuit of happiness.
Freedom means something different still.
The freedom I am after now, the same freedom that I'd like to share with others, cannot be easily explained.
The freedom I am after now is much deeper, greater, wider, more encompassing, and more interesting than the freedom's I sought in my youth.
But they are connected.
Because this type of freedom isn't easily found sitting in hard plastic chairs while a "teacher" drones on about nonsense they think you should believe. This type of freedom takes a looseness of mind, a willingness to step out of the normal state of consciousness we find ourselves in. This type of freedom cannot be government-mandated. Nor can it be commanded. And it certainly can't come from tyrannizing others under our control.
The type of freedom I am seeking, and the type of freedom I want to share with you is much deeper.
Now, I am not claiming to have found it.
And maybe I never will.
But I am searching.
And whether or not we find it, I hope you will search with me.
Maybe, just maybe, there is freedom in that.
I know this has nothing to do with marketing or business. But finding freedom, and sharing it with others, is the thing I was put here to do. And I know it's against every law in copywriting to talk about "me" in an entire email instead of talking about "you".
But there is a reason I am doing so.
The reason I am doing so is that each person is a mirror in which we can see ourselves. And I hope, regardless of whether I talk about "you" or "me", you have been able to see yourself in the pages of this periodical.
Because no matter how different we may seem, there is something we all share as the same.
We are a web of diamonds.
And each facet of our diamond, reflects each and every person equally. So we can all shine and glimmer in one beautiful crescendo of life.
If that's not freedom, I don't know what is.
In a past life, when I thought freedom was ditching class and getting high with my buds, I would say something like: "Have fun today. Make it a party."
But now, with an extra decade under my belt, here is my wish for you:
Find out what freedom really means.
Then go out and meet it.
The world is counting on you.
Just a reminder, the deadline to get your copy critiqued by me for the small fee of $284 is in less than an hour. If you want to get up to 10 emails, 1 sales page, 2 opt-in pages, or a combination of the three critiqued, go here: www.copybymccune.com
If you simply want a story, read on:
Long ago, before I lost my youthful innocence, I was on a call with one of the best living copywriters. This copywriter is rarely spotted in the wild, which made the call more valuable than a whole bushel of rare Pepes.
And because he is a great copywriter, he taught many of his lessons via story.
One story was about - incidentally to today’s offer - getting your copy critiqued. Specifically, how getting critiqued can feel like stripping naked so everyone can point out your flaws.
Quite a visual.
And while there is an aspect to critiques that can feel that way, and it IS recommended to bring a box of kleenex to your critique, the truth is there are many ways to give someone feedback on their copy that is wholly constructive and not at all hurtful.
This is a “skill” I developed as an English major in college.
Because a big part of what we did was read each other’s work and give feedback on things we liked, and ways to make it better. And so I’ve developed a very specific methodology for giving critiques in a way that spurs you forward rather than tears you down.
I want to encourage you and get you writing better, more profitable copy. Not discourage you, after all.
That granted, if you are a business person that fundamentally cares more about the success of your business than your ego's wittle feewings, you will understand that any critique of your copy is not about your value as a person.
It’s about getting better. And, of course, making more money.
Which is why I always say “constructive criticism is my kink” (fits in perfectly with the subject line, eh?).
To reserve your critique before the deadline passes in less than an hour, best scooch here:
Sent Friday, July 3, 2020
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I abhor "Dr." Phil ("Dr." in quotes because he has not been licensed to practice psychology in over a decade).
I think what he does is pure evil.
Getting people to spill their guts about their deepest, darkest insecurities on national TV. All so he can make a buck.
Worse, he does it with a veneer of "I'm just trying to help".
But even though Dr. Phil is Voldemort incarnate, there’s a lot you can learn from watching his show.
Especially how the “pushers” (aka producers and editors) get you addicted. Because even though the show is a dumpster fire… it's hard to look away.
In fact, given the way the show is shot and edited, it is clear the editors very consciously “inject” that addictive quality.
Yes there’s drama… yes there’s controversy...
But there's another tactic they use in the cutting room which not only can be applied to your emails and sales copy... but can be applied extremely easily. And when you apply this 100% purely "mechanical" copywriting skill, you make it practically impossible for your prospects to look away.
And no, it’s not just Dr. Phil who uses it.
You can find this sprinkled throughout pretty much every great piece of writing, copy or otherwise (if you have ever read something that you just couldn't put down, it was likely due to this "tactic").
So what is this tactic?
And more importantly, when can you start using it?
That is something I am saving exclusively for my clients. Specifically, the clients who take me up on my copy critique offer by the deadline below.
Simply go to this link: www.copybymccune.com
Pay the measly $284 fee before Friday, July 3rd at 5 PM PDT, and I will promptly email you with directions and next steps. And yes, during the critique, I will be sure to point out this tactic, and exactly how to apply it to your copy.
Here is what you can get critiqued:
1 sales page
2 opt-in pages
Or a combination of the above (5 emails + 1 opt-in page... A sales page lead + 5 emails... etc)
[If you need more copy than that critiqued, or have specific needs, simply email me letting me know and we can work out a deal]
In your critique, you will receive notes of the major changes I suggest to make your copy better... rewrites and ideas for headlines, subject lines, CTA’s, and other key areas of your copy… and a concise video of me walking you through each and every change.
Deadline is soon. So you better saddle up that dog and pony show:
P.S. Just so you know, I take my own medicine. Recently, I had the chance to get my copy critiqued by a top copywriter and I threw this email on the chopping block. She told me the email was very strong already, so she didn’t have much criticism to give (which is a huge compliment coming from her). But the few things she did point out, made the email that much better. And one of those things was a huge power lesson for me that I will be applying to all my copy moving forward. If you sell to boomer’s especially, this lesson will make your copy much easier to read and understand (it takes only half a minute to explain, and maybe a half a minute more to apply to your copy). And even though this lesson is extremely obvious once it is pointed out (it is something you can’t unsee) I personally have never heard it taught by any other copywriter or marketer. And yes, I will share that lesson with you too. But only if you buy before the deadline using the link below:
AHA WARNING: Two dogs were harmed in the making of this email
Recently my cousin and her husband visited from Louisiana. They came to visit my nearly 100-year old grandmother (as when someone in your family is that old, you never know when you will get another chance to see them).
But while they were away from home, something sad happened.
What was it?
Well as you can probably guess from my gruesome subject line, it involved the death of a dog (sadly two dogs in fact).
Now I should note for the quivering masses, that despite the subject matter, we love animals around these parts. My dog is pampered and spoiled more than most children. He sleeps in my bed whenever he wants to, lays in the sunshine half the day, and eats more nutritious meals than most humans I know.
My cousins love animals too. In fact, their home and property very much has a “farm vibe”.
And occasionally on farms, things die.
While they were visiting, here is what happened:
One of their dogs (who is big and has a mean streak, though has never done anything quite like this in the past) went insane and attacked their small dog, leaving puncture wounds and gnarly gashes on her back, neck and shoulders. (They showed me pictures, and it was not pretty.)
To make matters worse, my cousins don’t have a ton of extra money (they live in an extremely rural area -- hence
why I jokingly called them "hicks" --, are supported by the husband who works construction, and have four kids, one of whom is going to college next year). So they have to watch their budget like a velociraptor.
So instead of having their kids immediately bring the dog to an emergency vet clinic, they elected to wait until a friend could go over the next day and give the dog antibiotics and care.
Unfortunately, it was too late as the dog passed away.
Now before you write hate mail telling me that is bad doggy parenting or whatever, I honestly don’t think the poor pup would’ve survived either way. It clearly had some internal damage (most likely the big dog took it in its jaws and shook it as big dogs are apt to do. We are not entirely sure as this all happened when nobody was home).
Plus, I sorta agree with you.
Despite the fact I feel for my cousins and know they want nothing but the best for their animals, if it were me, I would’ve taken out a loan or sold a kidney to bring my dog to the vet, even though it was unlikely to have helped.
Otherwise, I would’ve been haunted for the rest of my days.
I can just imagine waking up in the middle of the night and thinking about my decision, never being able to quite put the image away.
It is literally haunting.
Which is the point of why I am telling you this story.
Unlike other copywriters and business owners, I am not wholly driven by money, wealth, luxury, and all that jazz. But I am driven to provide the best life for my dog, friends, and family (and help my clients provide the best life for their friends and family too).
Maybe I am weak, but I don't think I could handle the emotional toll it would take deciding between spending in the red... or saving your dog's life. Between making the car payment, or seeing something you love suffer.
Which is one of the reasons I work so hard.
So I can take my friends out to eat and not worry about picking up the check. Or order my dog a bucket of new toys and see his eyes light up with joy. And be able to make those decisions without worrying about racking up debt.
Unfortunately, my cousins aren’t there. They do have to think about every little purchase. And so their dog passed away. And to make matters worse, they will have to put down the dog that did it.
So not only are they losing one dog, they are losing two.
Thus is life.
It’s also one of the reasons I strive to help my clients amass wealth. So that they don’t have to find themselves in such tricky situations.
So they have streams of income and buckets of cash stored away for just such a time.
Because the more people live "in the green"... and the more they enjoy their business (and thus, are less stressed), the kinder and more uplifting they can be.
And that is what drives me.
Which brings us to the offer:
If you currently have some copy that is falling flat, and you’d like my eyes on it to boost your response, creating an asset to your business that can bring in lots of extra cash over the coming weeks and months, head to the link below:
Pay the $284 I am currently charging for critiques (up to 10 emails, 1 sales page, two opt-in pages, or a combination of the three), and I will reach out to you with details and next steps.
Deadline to do so is tomorrow, Friday June 3rd at 5 PM PDT
P.S. I will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire before your critique in order to better understand your market, offer, goals, etc. This questionnaire is the abridged version of the questionnaire I give to every new client (which I have been told is quite valuable and worth money in and of itself as it forces you to get clear on many important aspects of your marketing). To get it along with the critiques, head here: