You open your eyes.
It’s dark, and you’re strapped to a chair.
Your head is throbbing, like you’ve been hit.
You tug on your right arm.
It won’t budge.
Same for the left. Your feet are stuck, too.
You mutter to yourself: “Where the …”
You look around. The room is dimly lit, so you can’t see much, but it looks like some kind of … prison cell?
And then … footsteps.
A figure enters the room, and flicks on a light.
You wince as your eyes adjust … and you get a good look at your presumed kidnapper.
He’s tall, dark, and dressed in a pair of blue narrow jeans and a black tee-shirt. His hair is combed and he wears a pair of glasses. Not quite the ‘mad scientist’ you were expecting.
And then, he speaks, in a shocking Australian accent that is completely unbecoming for a villain …
“Well, g’day there.”
Ah yes, allow me to introduce myself.
My name’s Daniel Throssell … and you’re now a prisoner on my DAILY email list, where I share my best copywriting tips.
(Don’t worry, though — I assure you that Stockholm Syndrome will kick in quite soon, and you’ll begin to enjoy it here.)
But first, a lesson.
Look beside you. You see those empty chairs?
Those are the fools who fled the safe confines of my evil lab.
Usually, they run out screaming: “Too many emails!!!” “He tried to SELL me something!” “Give me more FREE STUUUUUFFFF!!!”
They’ll realise their horrible fate soon enough.
You see, you’re free to leave at any time …
(At this point, I shock you by stepping forward and unlocking your shackles.)
See? It’s painless.
If you want to leave, just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email to do so.
But what you don’t realise, boy, is that the world out there is nasty.
The old ways of selling by email don’t all work the way they used to.
And I’m here to show you what—
(At this point, I’m rudely interrupted by your protest.)
“B-but wait … this isn’t how autoresponder welcome emails are supposed to go!” you cry. “You’re supposed to give me some lame backstory, promise me weekly updates, and create some dumb ‘open loop’ by promising that next I’ll learn—”
I cut you off with an electric shock.
“I will be the one who decides how these emails work!” I roar.
(Besides, I was just about to get to that part. So quit interrupting.)
So, why listen to what I have to say?
Well, a wise, successful man (actually, Australia’s bestselling author) once called me “the best damn marketer in Australia”.
I won Ramit Sethi’s ‘Call to Action’ copywriting contest in 2015, with the first ever sales letter I wrote.
Immediately I quit my Chevron engineering job, and started freelancing on Upwork …
… and within 12 months, I was one of the highest-earning writers on the site (and to this day I have one of its most ripped-off profiles).
Since then I’ve worked with famous authors and millionaire course creators, media moguls and info-publishing behemoths …
And I’ve peered deep under the hood of eight-figure email marketing businesses — and seen what works, and what doesn’t.
And even better—
I slipped into my ‘pitching voice’ again, didn’t I? That all sounded very copywriter-ish.
Got to keep the villain thing going for a bit longer …
(You stare at me, morbidly fascinated with this strange Aussie guy who seems to be having an internal dialogue in front of you.)
Anyway, of everything I’ve done, there’s just been one thing missing:
In other words, I’ve spent years growing my clients’ business empires … but only recently bothered to start building my own audience.
Hence, these daily emails I now write.
They contain my best stories and battle-tested tips for writing powerful, personality-filled and profitable copy.
And the reason I dragged you in here was so I can read them to you each day, and watch your reaction.
(Oh, come on. It’s not such a bad deal. You’ll learn a thing or two.)
So, my young apprentice, here is your first lesson:
Look how far down this email you are.
It’s certainly far longer than a welcome email ‘should’ be.
And I haven’t followed the ‘conventions’ in any way, shape or form.
This is called the power of storytelling.
(And also the power of not caring what ‘best practices’ are, and gleefully doing your own thing … but yeah, mostly, it’s storytelling.)
That’s something I do a lot — though fear not, they’re not all as long and creepy as this one.
And in skilled hands (i.e. mine), telling stories can be worth many millions of dollars.
Stick around long enough, and you might even learn a bit about it for yourself.
And one last pro-tip: the best lessons will come from watching how I email you, not just from what I email you.
Anyway, I’m getting tired of speaking, and of this whole ‘villain’ schtick … it’s not really me.
(I showed my wife, Hayley, this email, and it disturbed her. Then again, she’s all into young adult fiction and hates movies “where people die”, so of course she didn’t like my Matthew Reilly-inspired opening.)
The next email (which you will get within 24 hours — these are DAILY tips, remember?) will probably be a lot more light-hearted, depending how I’m feeling.
No more kidnappings, lucky you …