Direct Response Email Copywriting with Stories that Sell

Stop Sending Dreary Email Newsletters. Send Stories that Sell Instead

My Email Copywriting Method Combines the Emotional Appeal of Dating, Dr. Cialdini’s 6 Persuasion Principles, and ‘High Stakes’ Storytelling to Turn Cold Leads into Red Hot Buyers

The money is in the list. 

You hear it all the time in direct reponse email copywriting circles.

But if your open rates are barely in double digits and clickthroughs are close to zilch, you’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell of making your email marketing profitable.

Let’s not beat around the bush here.

Making money from an email list is tough.

People are more distracted than ever, and they now officially have worse attention spans than goldfish.

Direct response email copywriting that sustains attention for longer than a goldfish

That’s the bad news.

The good news is…

Most direct response email copywriting is TERRIBLE

99% of marketing emails just yell offer after offer.

Or they’re so dull, nobody bothers to read them at all.

Because you see, if you’re going to have any hope of getting your emails opened, read, and responsed to…

They’ve got to light a firecracker under your reader’s chair…

They’ve got to rattle some cages…

And hurl a hammer at the TV screen projecting the reality of your reader’s humdrum life.

Instead, your emails need to harness drama… mystery… and triumph.

But most importantly of all, they’ve got to present a path over something your reader is struggling with, and towards greater happiness and fulfilment.

What am I going on about?

A method I’ve developed for writing emails filled with high drama… high stakes… and high persuasive appeal.

A method that welds together:

  • The emotional appeal of dating
  • Dr. Cialdini’s ‘6 Principles of Persuasion
  • ‘High stakes’ storytelling techniques used by elite high ticket sales agents

This being The Copywriter’s Crucible, I’ve called it my ‘Customer Conversion Cauldron‘ method.

Allow me to break it down for you in reverse.

When I say ‘high stakes’ storytelling, I’m not talking about some run-of-the-mill ‘hero’s journey’…

Or a storytelling structure taught in fiction writing class.

I’m talking about storytelling techniques developed by elite high ticket sales agents.

Techniques with which they’ve secured multi-million dollar deals by triggering people’s subconscious ‘lizard brain’ into action.

Because you see…

It’s the subconscious ‘lizard brain’ where buying decisions are made.

Sure, we like to think our logical brain is in control of the wheel.

But it’s actually the lizard brain that directs us to make instinctive decisions based on a vast array of factors we barely register.

Yet reacting to these factors has been key to our survival and advancement for millions of years.

And it gets better.

Because whether you sell supplements, info products, coaching programs, or services…

Want to breathe life into a tired list…

Or kickstart a new one with a motherload of mojo…

Adding a ‘high stakes’ storytelling to your emails can instantly make your product more unique… more valuable… and more desirable.

Now, I know this all sounds like a lot of direct response email copywriting ‘woo-woo’ nonsense.

But stick with me a couple more minutes.

Because I’m now going to quickly explain how my Customer Conversion Cauldron harnesses the emotional appeal of dating to generate more LOVE for your brand and product.

Who Says Romance is Dead

From my bald head and wrinkles, you can tell I’m not a millennial. 

And if you were to hear about some of my dating disasters and triumphs, you’d know I lived through a time when dating involved more than swiping right.

First, you had to find a good excuse to spark up a conversation.

Then you had to build rapport… 

Find out about their challenges…

What they’re into…

and reinforce why you’re the perfect match.

And this didn’t happen over 5 minutes of instant messages neither.

It could take weeks of emails, SMS texts, and phone calls before you felt confident enough to ask them out (without it feeling like you’re presenting your heart to be stabbed with a pencil).

direct response email copywriting is exactly like dating

Well, guess what.

Email marketing is EXACTLY the same.

Unless you’re happy to treat subscribers like digits in a spreadsheet…

bombard them with offer after offer…

and burn through your list like a pyromaniac… 

You’ve gotta romance the HECK outta your readers before they’ll buy from you.

And it starts with getting them to like, know, and trust you.

What’s the best way to do that?

This brings me to the first ingredient of my Customer Conversion Cauldron

Dr. Cialdini’s Six Principles of Persuasion

When it comes to using psychology to get people to like, know, and trust you, there are few better people to learn from than Dr. Robert Cialdini.

In his seminal classics The Psychology of Influence and Persuasion and the followup Pre-suasion, Dr. Cialdini turned selling into a science.

Best of all, he boiled persuasion down to six core principles:

1. Commitment 

Another word for this is ‘consistency’. People respect those who always do what they say they’ll do and when they said they’d do it.

In other words, if you say you’ll be emailing them every Wednesday, make sure you’ve got it locked in your schedule. 

And if you make big claims about what’s coming up in future emails, make darned sure you deliver.

2. Authority 

There’s a reason why a Gallup poll found people trust doctors, high school teachers, and police officers the most (while salesmen and advertisers languish at the bottom).

They all have positions of authority. And in the performance of their roles, they’re seen as having people’s best interests at heart.

So if we want people to trust us, we have to establish authority.

This doesn’t mean reeling off diplomas and awards.

It means sharing a personal experience of having the same struggles as the reader and how we overcame them to develop a new solution they won’t find anywhere else.

Creating 'liking' is an essential part of direct response email copywriting

3. Liking 

People like those who are similar to them. 

So mirroring the language, attitudes, and passions of your audience is ESSENTIAL for getting them to LIKE you.

This is when all the background research you’ve done on your market pays off.

In fact, you should know as much about the customer as about how the product works. And be able to imagine walking a day in their shoes.

Where do they work? How many kids do they have? Which restaurants do they eat at? Which political party do they support? What do they do for kicks?

Thankfully, there’s any easier way of finding all this out without stalking them. And that’s with Facebook Audience insights.

Women, in particular, Like companies and communities that collaborate to solve challenges (thanks to Lo Morgan of Red Hot Copy fame for this insight). 

So try to project in your emails how you’re all part of a team and are working together to make the world a better place.

4. Scarcity

Another word for this could be ‘exclusivity’.

Cause, people like stuff that’s rare and hard to obtain.

This means going beyond countdown timers and faux limited stock claims.

What you need to do is create a discovery story on how hard your product was to discover and create.

And you want to make it as GRUELLING as possible.

In Pitch Anything’, high ticketing selling machine Oran Klaff dissects how making the solution seem hard to obtain instantly increases its value.

So by giving your product a dramatic discovery story, you increase its perceived value beyond the number of speed settings or ingredients it has. 

An emotionally charged, gruelling discovery story also places your product in the ‘blue sea’ of exceptionalism, rather than the savage red sea of competing on price.

Social proof is a vital element in direct response email copywriting

5. Social Proof 

I’ve been cliff jumping a bunch of times.

But rarely will you see me jump first.

I want to know there are no hidden rocks or waiting sharks before I’ll step off the precipice.

Selling to your list is no different. 

They want to see someone else has landed safely and laughing from the thrill of it, before they’ll risk their credit card details on your site.

So you’ve got to do everything you can to placate their doubts and remove risks before you present your offer.

What Dr. Cialdini calls ‘preselling’.

Providing ‘social proof’ in direct response email copywriting is one of the best ways to do it.

This can include case studies, testimonials, and stories of how your product has taken people from struggle to salvation.

And providing social proof is essential.

Without it, no amount of emotional triggering or hypey language in your emails will get them to jump over the edge.

6. Reciprocity

Sure, offering free trials, eBooks, cheatsheets and other lead magnets is a great way of building a list.

But to maximise deliverability, open rates and sales, you don’t want freebie seekers.

You want buyers, action takers, and players with money.

So having a micro transaction, like a $7 template, is a smarter way of building a profitable list.


Once they are subscribed, giving away an unexpected bonus is a great way of over delivering to solidify your bond.

Because when you overdeliver, you increase the chances of them buying from you again.

This is due to the legendary ‘rule of reciprocity’.

A rule that describes why people feel obligated to reward generous acts.

Dr. Cialdini’s ‘Six Principles of Persuasion’ for geting people to like, know, trust, and BUY from you.

They’re six rules I implement in every email sequence and the third pillar of my Customer Conversion Cauldron method.

So there you go. All 3 pillars of my direct response email copywriting method

Now, I’m guessing you’d like to see my Customer Conversion Cauldron in action?

Well, it just so happens that I’ve created a template on how to do it.

This template layes out EXACTLY what to write in a 3 day email sequence harnessing my Customer Conversion Cauldron method.

If you’d like a copy, just pop your BEST email (no ‘burners’ please) to get a copy delivered faster than lightning strikes the tree:

Get my direct response email copywriting method - Customer Conversion Cauldron


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if you’d like me to implement the entire Customer Creation Cauldron method for you, let’s talk.

I’m currently looking for 2 or 3 clients to work with on an ongoing basis.

Because collaborating together long-term gives me the best chance of understanding your customers and products…

and lifting your open rates, clickthroughs, and conversions as a result.

If you’d like to see my copy skills in action, here are some sample emails:

NASA pillow gives me best sleep in years

Don’t train like a millennial. Do this instead

Unearthed – $1B Fat Loss Study Big Food Tried to

And you’ll find examples of advertorials, sales letters, and VSLs on my direct response copywriting page, along with testimonials from some of my 7 figure selling projects.

Here’s the type of client I’m looking for:

  • Ideally, you’re in health (as this has been my focus the last few years)
  • You run cold traffic to your offers and actively get new subscribers
  • You’re willing to share metrics on the success of previous campaigns and those I work on (so I know what’s working and what needs a rethink)
  • You can afford to pay $200 per email or $5,000 for 30 emails a month

Does this sound like you?

Then drop me a message or book a slot on my Calendly.

We can then get started on breathing life into your list or kickstarting a new one altogether with the power of ‘high stakes’ storytelling…

the emotional appeal of dating…

and Dr. Cialdini’s ‘6 Principles of Persuasion’…

all welded together into one high impact, high converting direct response email copywriting strategy.

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