Category Archives for Marketing

A Day In The Life Of An Online Entrepreneur

The thing that originally attracted me to marketing, email and copywriting was the dream of “passive income.” I loved the idea of creating products and setting up automated email sequences that would increase my income and give me more free time. So how close to that dream is my current daily reality? inquires marketer-turned-software developer […]

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Can You Guess What This Customer Was Thinking?

I know this software developer who’s been trying all kinds of things to sell monthly subscriptions to a membership site. The site teaches other developers how to do complex calculations in an obscure programming language that’s uniquely suited to these sorts of intense computational tasks. Not a lot of competition out there for him, so […]

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Email Courses: A Trendy Fad Soon To Pass?

Not too long ago I signed up for one of those “grow your email list” tools. It looked pretty good, so I invested a couple of hours to get it set up, then let it run for a week— And netted a grand total of 11 new email signups. Blech. I’m getting more and more […]

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How to Get More Traffic From the Blog Posts You Write

One of my biggest frustrations with online marketing is how the rules keep shifting. It can start to feel like you’re on a treadmill where every 60 seconds the speed automatically increases 0.1 mph. A brisk walk turns into a steady jog which turns into an all-out sprint—and all this just to stay in one […]

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Do You ‘Need’ A Different Sales Funnel For Each Product?

I’ll be the first to admit it— The way I run the email list for Simple Programmer is WAY more complex than most businesses need. Multiple email courses, behavior-based automated triggers, segmentation… Most people would do much better to take a simple approach. Just how simple? That’s what subscriber Javier is pondering: If you have […]

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How to Keep Landing Page Design From Killing Your Copy

In a recent email I wrote: “Good design can’t fix bad copy, but BAD design can destroy good copy in a heartbeat.” And reader Juan responds with a query: Would you say that good design can enhance good copy?? Or it really doesn’t matter? This question is EXTREMELY relevant to what I’m working on right […]

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How To Warm Up A Crufty, Crusty Old Customer Email Database

Here’s a common story sent in by a reader named Trae: First of all thank you so much for your time and resources. Super helpful! Here is my question…. I have a customer list of about 13,000 email addresses. The problem is all of these emails came from the transaction of when they bought my […]

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Should You Ever Delete ‘Dead’ Email Subscribers?

Should you delete “dead” email subscribers from your list? Subscriber Jason is pondering the pros and cons. He asks: What’s your view on culling inactive subscribers from your list? On the one hand, culling reduces costs, and increases open/click rates. But I’ve heard of research done which suggests that inactive users may still be valuable, […]

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Confessions of a Compulsive ‘Word Hoarder’

In college I had this problem whenever I went to write a paper. The professors would always assign some arbitrary length—”10 pages, double spaced.” Invariably I’d be working on my draft, and around 8 pages in I’d slam into a wall. I’d covered all my points, said everything I wanted to say. Where on earth […]

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Do You Need Your Own Product To Start Mailing Your Email List?

There’s this product I’m *dying* to sell to the list over at Simple Programmer. It’s a course about how to survive the brutality of the “technical interviews” used by many companies to hire software developers. These “coding interviews” are unique to the software development world—and they tend to blindside a lot of new developers. Basically […]

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5 Tips for Writing Emails When You’re Short on Time

Subscriber Chad recently took the plunge and signed up for CopyHour (excellent decision—I’m sure he will not regret it). However… He now finds himself in a time crunch: Josh — Loving CopyHour. But, my daily email efforts are a mess now. I’ve got ideas whirling and I’m off message and letting too many typos slip […]

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Planning Your Next Product: How to ‘Test the Waters’ for Free

Lately I’m sending a LOT more email to the Simple Programmer list. Most of our subscribers hear from us just about every day now. One thing I’m doing with these near-daily broadcasts is testing out different topics to see what sparks the most interest from our subscribers—which in turn gives me a good sense for […]

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Away From Pain Or Toward Pleasure: Which Is Better?

One of the most frustrating things when you’re learning a new topic is all the conflicting information and advice you hear. Occasionally the conflict arises because the information is just BAD. Based on myths, junk science, political agendas, what have you. More often though, the problem is that a particular piece of advice works SPECTACULARLY […]

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How To Transition From Weekly To Daily Emails

Confession time: You know how I email you like clockwork, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year? Well until recently I have NOT done that for my “day job” at Simple Programmer. My excuse is I’ve been just soooo busy building out evergreen email sales funnels and email courses… How could I find time […]

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How To Create REAL Scarcity (And Get Your Prospects Moving)

Couple weeks back I shared how I landed a $4,000 advertising deal for Simple Programmer with a single email. And I mentioned that the email worked because I included an offer, a deadline, and a little dash of scarcity: The email said that another potential sponsor was wanting to buy the same space in our […]

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The $4,000 Email I Almost Didn’t Send

Sometimes I almost wanna slap myself. Take yesterday for example. I nearly let a $4,000 opportunity slip away just because I was feeling a little uncomfortable about sending an email. Here’s what happened: A month or so ago I did a deal with a software development company that wanted to sponsor the Simple Programmer email […]

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Marketing: ‘Tricking’ People Into Buying Stuff?

Lately my wife and I are watching reruns of “Last Man Standing.” Tim Allen plays Mike, a gruff marketing director for a retail chain called Outdoor Man. In one episode Mike’s daughter confronts him about his job: “You trick people into buying stuff!” To which Mike replies, “We prefer to call it ‘marketing.’” This pretty […]

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Are You Turning Off Customers With This Social Proof ‘Sin’?

This one hit a raw nerve for me. Subscriber Sara writes: I just have to ask, because I’m sure you get a LOT more subscriber/customer responses than I do: I can’t be the only person who get’s annoyed with “testimonials” and “I’ve been featured here, here, here, here, and here” -type homepages and welcome emails […]

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How to Capture Attention with a Winning ‘Sales Argument’

I just wrapped up a product launch at Simple Programmer. This project had a couple of unique twists to it. For one thing, I was NOT the one writing most of the copy. Instead I was “copy chiefing” a software developer and (relatively) new copywriter named Dan. Then there was the topic of the course […]

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After the Email Course: What Do You Send?

Back when I first stumbled on the idea of creating email courses, I got really excited. This approach eliminates the “so what do I say?” problem with writing followup email sequences. Well, kinda… Actually it’s more like kicking the can down the road. Eventually the course ends, and you find yourself asking the same question […]

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What to Expect When You Email Your List More Often

Usually when I tell people that I email my list every day, they look at me like I’m nuts for a few seconds… “Really?” Almost invariably the next question that pops out of their mouth is: “How does that affect your open/click/unsubscribe rates?” The natural assumption is that you’ll burn your list out if you […]

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From Reluctant Marketer to Confident Copywriter

This is a story about my longtime buddy Derick. Like me, Derick is a software developer and entrepreneur. He runs a website called WatchMeCode, where he sells screencasts about software development. There’s something you should know about Derick: He is without a doubt the most RELUCTANT marketer I’ve ever met. When I first got to […]

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