Here’s a tip for you to use in your own marketing:

If ever there is bad advice in your market, and you need your customers to see a better way, instead of battering at them with logic, it’s better to look at the source of those bad arguments.

Attack someone’s beliefs and they’ll just hold on to them tighter. Show them that the source of the beliefs is corrupt and they’ll give you a chance to show them a new direction.

Bad advice comes from one of two places:

The first set of villains, are the ones with vested interests.

This is where the great conspiracy theories come from so you need to be careful not to come off like too much of a flat-earther. Only go after this angle if the person with the vested interest isn’t popular.

In email marketing this is the technology providers.

Their business model relies on you having lots of people on your list, and emailing them forever.

They don’t really like people like me who mail their customers intensively to find out who is really in need, and who is “just interested” and who actively cull the “just interested” ones.

They’d rather your list grew grey with age and that you mailed them once every couple of weeks to see if they’re still alive.

The second villains are what I call “careless whisperers”.

These are bits of advice that get trotted out and somehow repeated so often that they become common knowledge.

The Chinese have a proverb for it: “Three men make a tiger.”

If one man says there’s a tiger near your village you might think they’re mistaken (especially if you live in Surrey, lol).

If two men say there’s a tiger you start to open up to the idea it might be true.

When the third man says it, you’re a believer.

The problem is that our second and third people often heard it from the first!

This is how a lot of consultants work. They have no skin in the game, no active business to practice on, not enough end-customer contact, so anecdotes become wisdom pretty quickly.

If you’re a marketing consultant, especially one paid by the project or by the day, you don’t need a lot of clients so you probably don’t need a very big list.

You don’t get much data to see what really works.

If you only get paid on sales performance, like I insisted my agency does, you get sight of ALL the data about what really makes sales.

(As well as this list, which is admittedly quite small by my standards, I run another one aimed at the Boomer market that has over 100,000 names on the list. Then there are the client reports I see every week, some of them have lists getting close to 8 figures now.)

The vested interests and the careless whisperers both suffer badly by trying to serve too many different types of customers.

Physical products, consultants, service businesses, information businesses. There’s no way they can know the sales triggers for them all

I have one market:  People with expertise who want to sell it online.

That means I can bring what other experts can’t. I bring specificity.

So, here’s a tip about people who buy higher ticket informatioon products.

It doesn’t apply to big business consulting, it doesn’t apply to entertainment, it doesn’t apply to fast fashion and impulse purchases.

People who buy high-priced products are in pain and they want to act NOW.

They’re not just “interested”, they’re in physical and mental pain.

Yes, physical pain. Headaches, lack of sleep, churning stomachs at the thought of the problems they face.

You don’t have to be in a fight with another person to get hurt, you can beat yourself up quite happily, thank you very much.

If you’re going to spot these people you need early indicators that:

  1. They have an urgency about sorting out their situation
  2. They are willing and able to pay to do it

Are you starting to guess what the “First Dollar” emails are all about?

If you’re in the business of selling entertainment, impulse buys, and fast fashion fads, then you should scroll down a little to the unsubscribe button.

Otherwise, if you have the solution to a problem, you’re either a vitamin, a nice-to-have, a little shot of feel-good.

Or you’re a painkiller. Something your customers shouldn’t be denied

If you can provide real help to people who need it, then click this link for the next email, and  I’ll tell you how this works, and give you the tools to do it.




Stephen Pratley
Copy & Conversion Consultant
The Conversion Co.


This might sound a bit hypocritical of me.

After all, this is the 3rd email you’ve had from me and I’ve not asked you for your First Dollar yet.

Click this link for the next email and I’ll explain why not.

c/o The Conversion Co., 2a The High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
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