Fat Squirrel proves Zig Ziglar was right

I just got back from my daily walk.

As I was walking, a squirrel accosted me.  What I mean is it skittered over – while I was in full stride – planted itself in front of me, sat up on its hind legs, and stared me down.

I’ve never seen a squirrel behave so brazenly.

So I stopped.

I said hi.

(It seemed like the thing to do.)

My furry friend then cautiously crept forward, even touching my shoe.

I knew he was looking for food.

I said “sorry bud, don’t have any,” and went on about my merry way.

What struck me about this close encounter of the rodent kind is that he was the fattest squirrel I’d ever seen.  And why not?  He’s clearly not afraid to ask for his meal.

It reminded me of Zig Ziglar’s famous quote:

“Timid salespeople have skinny children.”

The point is to ASK for what you want.

The email marketing equivalent is having a clear and highly visible call-to-action for your reader to follow.

When someone reads your emails, do they know what you want them to DO?

If there’s even the slightest bit of confusion about this, you won’t get many sales/leads/appointments.

Squirrel-food for thought…

For more on how you can have done-for-you emails that deliver you new customers each week on auto-pilot, book your stress-free brainstorm call and get your fat-squirrel-nut-lovin’ here:


(There’s a call-to-action in action.)

Happy Asking,

Conor Kelly
“The Muscle” @ Marketing Muscle

A 6-yr-old’s guide to writing persuasive emails

Let me share a brief story.

This story is 100% true and illustrates a rule of good copy.  Fail to do this, and dollars will leak from your emails like sand from a bucket with a hole in the bottom.  Do this, and it will instantly make your emails more persuasive.

The other day, as we were headed to school, my 6-year old daughter Olivia was giving her old man all kinds of grief.  She didn’t want to wear tights under her jeans.  She didn’t want to put her winter boots on.

I tried gentle cajoling, “ok, please just put your boots on.”

I tried explaining it’s the coldest day of the year (-12) and she’ll freeze.

Finally, we were getting late.  So I said, “I don’t want to do this but you leave me no choice.  You have until the count of three to put those boots on or they’ll be no T.V. tonight.  One…two…”


Still no boots.  BOOM. Officially sanctioned.

Fast forward to pick up.  After some pleasant exchange she queries, “what are we gonna watch tonight?”

I reply, “nothing, remember?”

At home she asks for a sheet of paper.  She begins to write.  Every now and then she stops to ask me how to spell a word.  Here then, is her first plea bargain attempt:



And written just the way she talks, “like, c’mon Dad, ugh!!”

I tell her it’s cute and funny — great start.  But here’s the problem: it’s all about how SHE feels.

What about how I feel?

Try putting yourself in my position, I say.

Show me you understand and you’re sorry — but only if you mean it.

She watches and listens intently, eyes narrowed, then picks up her pen with a fresh piece of paper.  Again she goes to work.  She gets some spelling help on the big words but the sentiment is all hers.  Here’s attempt #2:


Much better.

(Notice the well-placed call-to-action of the yes and no boxes.)

Anyway, here’s the point…

Being cute, funny, or clever in your emails doesn’t hurt (indeed I’m using a smattering of all three right now).

But people are motivated by self-interest.

What are your market’s most fervent fears and desires?

Why should they care about what you have to say?

For more persuasive emails, then, speak to what matters to them.  And note that this has little to do the features of your service or product, and everything to do with the outcomes you create, or the problems you solve for your customers.  One of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of effective people is seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Go back and reread my second paragraph.

You’ll see how I framed my story to appeal to the reader’s self-interest.

Unfortunately, many of the newsletters I get leave it up to their subscribers to bridge that gap.

Don’t let yours be one of them.

At bedtime, Olivia said: “I learned a valuable lesson today.”


Hope you did too…

Happy Persuading,

Conor Kelly

P.S. I’m looking for one more case study to add to the collection.  If you’d like me to do all this “marketing stuff” for you, just reply “Case Study” in the comments, and I’ll get you all the details. 🙂


The Governator’s secret to winning at email

I’ve been ruminating on the Arnold Schwarzenegger clip I shared earlier this week.

All the books, audios, and courses I’ve ingested have more or less turned my brain into a search bar for self-help content.  Re: Arnie’s comment on it being ok to fail, the software of my memory turned up this little ditty…

I recall someone saying that the most remarkable thing about Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, was his ability to laugh about failure.

Whenever one of their initiatives flopped, and many did, he’d get a wry smile on his face, shake his head and go “wow that really didn’t work.”

Then he’d simply say “what next?”

During my brief stint in stand-up comedy, I wrote pages full of set ups and punchlines.  I quickly realized about 10% of it was funny.  The catch is the only way to know which 10% is to stand in front of people and let 90% of your stuff bomb.  Do that ten times and you wind up with five minutes of material that will do reasonably well with most audiences.

Call it accelerated failing.

That’s the great thing about email.  As a format, it’s very forgiving.  Most emails aren’t runaway successes.  Some might not resonate.  But there’s always the next one.  And if you have even a tiny bit of good will built up with your reader, they’ll quickly forget about any duds.

The only way you lose is if you stop.

Going back to the comedy thing for a moment, there were many times a joke landed and all I got back were crickets.  It never occurred to me those could be reasons to stop.  I just figured that was the process.

In fact, I’ll go you one further…

I embrace failing.

Because the more I fail, the smarter I get.

Besides, if that’s your approach, and every attempt results in either a win or a lesson…

Do we ever truly fail?

Happy Failing,

Conor Kelly

P.S. Go here:

=>Double Your Customer Base With The FREE 4-Week Challenge.

Why spellcheck might be killing your sales

Here’s a strange story for you.

A few years ago a company called Porter Stansberry Research used a plain Jane video sales letter to sell a whopping $200M worth of subscriptions to their Investment Advisory.

The video was called End of America.

(You can watch it on YouTube if you’re curious.)

I mean this thing is ghetto.

It’s black and white, and conspicuous by its lack of images…in fact, there are no graphics at all, just words.

The late, great Eugene Schwartz, the Granddaddy of the modern copywriter was famous for saying:

“The ugly thing in the world of beauty stands out.”

(The video also tells a great story, topic for another time…)

Similarly, when most businesses are sending slick-looking, branded HTML newsletters with fancy graphics, your plain text emails complete with typos and all stand out.

I’d go as far as to say that trying to make your emails ‘professional’ is the kiss of death.

For one, professional is common, drab and uninteresting.  And it screams corporate – a good way to ensure no one cares about your emails.  Finally, many of the newsletters I review are busy, click-baited hot-messes that lack a clear call to action.

The best emails are simple and personal.

Like a message from a friend.

And most people that are not corporate mouthpieces write in a conversational tone, use imperfect grammar, and can’t spell worth a dime.

As hard as it will be for the graphic designers of the world to swallow, looking good and making sales – sometimes – are competing ideals.

To learn more about how my simple email system can generate a flood of new clients for you, mosey on over here to book your stress-free brainstorm call:


Happy Misspelling,

Conor Kelly

“The Muscle” @Marketing Muscle

The #1 most important line in any email

What is the most important line in any email?

I’ll give you a hint.

It’s NOT…

*your opener

*your subject line

*your call-to-action

Or even your link.

Would you like me to tell you what it is?

Ok, enough suspense.

The #1 most important part of any email is…

The sender’s name.

That’s right.

WHO the email is from matters more than almost anything else.

It’s not that things like subject lines aren’t important.  Indeed, if you know your market well (and you should) there are ways to make your subject lines almost impossible to ignore – like an itch they simply have to scratch.

But if your subscribers know, like, and trust YOU…

THAT’s what ultimately gets them to open your emails and devour your words like freshly baked cookies.

You see, intelligent email marketing is about the relationship.

And relationships are like bank accounts.

Every time you send a funny, inspiring, or personal note with a story, a relevant tip, or an interesting fact, you make a deposit.

(And the great thing about email is it’s easy to make REGULAR deposits.)

If all you do pitch, pitch, pitch… or you’re (gasp!) boring…or if your emails are about your product or service and not your reader’s problems… you make a withdrawal.  Then you risk your sendee losing interest or worse, tuning you out altogether.

On the other hand, when the relationship account is sporting a healthy balance, the people on your list who vibe with what you do will be delighted to see your name in bold when it pops up in their inbox.  “More cookies, yay!” is what bubbles up from their subconscious.

Then, not only are you welcome to send them more emails, but you can sell them more of your service or product via said emails.

See how that works?

That’s accounting I like.

Remember, lead with a giving hand and you won’t go too far from the mark.

Before you hit send, ask yourself, “Will this serve in some way”?

Happy Depositing,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  Find out how I get my clients 3x-10x their sales by sending simple fun emails like this one.  Schedule your Email Income Consultation today by replying to this email or going here:


Robert DeNiro: Legendary Actor, Idiot

Not sure if you caught the Tony Awards last weekend.

But Robert DeNiro caused quite a stir when he opened his segment as a presenter by saying:

“F**k Trump”.

Got a big round of the applause, in fact.

It seems to be quite trendy in Hollywood these days for celebs to use award shows for a little indiscriminate Trump-bashing.

I gotta say…

As a somewhat-impartial Canadian observer (don’t care for the current administration’s tendency to dick with our trade agreements, hence the ‘somewhat’)…

I don’t get it.

Don’t these people understand that every time some pompous wind bag takes a stand on Trump (does anyone really care what DeNiro says?) it ENERGIZES his base.

Yet another member of ‘the elite’ telling us what to think.

(That’s how Trump supporters will take it.)

It’s this kind of stuff that got him elected in the first place.

When will Hollywood get a clue?

They’re playing HIS game.

And last I checked, he’s still President.

Mr. DeNiro, with all due respect, I’ve loved watching your movies over the years, you’re one of our time’s greatest actors, but THIS….not your best performance.

My point is not to defend Mr. Trump.

(Although I daresay DeNiro’s outburst doesn’t add anything intelligent to the conversation.)

I honestly can’t say that I agree with ALL of Trump’s policies.

(Some I do respect.)

Much less his tweets.

But I’ve never underestimated him, like, it seems, 50% of the population.  I was one of the few who called his election victory.  Seriously.  I told several of my clients on the eve of the vote to expect a surprise.

Anyway, that’s enough of this claptrap.

I’m not gonna hold it against ol’ Bob.

I’ll even borrow a page his book:

F**k newspaper ads.

Let’s do email marketing for your biz instead:


Happy Tweeting,

Conor Kelly
The Muscle @Legal Marketing Muscle

P.S.  What’s your take on all this?  Am I wrong??  Leave your comments below, I’m curious.

Would a client-generating machine help your business?

I feel I can share this with you…

I’m not always the most organized cat.

But I can recall a few occasions when I had the whole machine of my fit biz operating at near perfect efficiency.

My trainers had checklists for managing client programs, and reviewed them with their supervisor each week.  My admin had a handle on operations.  My CFO was ‘Count Du Money’.  My salesperson was crushing it.  And my marketing hummed like a finely tuned engine.

I could figuratively not do much more than enter the cockpit, tweak a few dials, and leave.  I remember coming to the office one day and realizing there was literally NOTHING for me to do.  So I went for a walk instead.

Of course, this wasn’t always the case.

(I can count on one hand the # of entrepreneurs I’ve met who’s whole existence is characterized by the utopia I tell of above.  They do exist though.  Bastards.)

Parts break down.

Employees leave.

Systems lapse.

But damn.

For a while there…

Life was goooooood.

That’s why I’m all about SYSTEMS these days.

Seldom will your business run 100% smoothly.

But for starters, what if you could systematize your client-acquisition process?

How much would be it be worth to you to know that new clients and prospects are finding you each and every week, on auto-pilot?

That the pipeline’s full of high-quality leads?

Think of the sheer peace of mind.

THAT’S what Google Adwords is…

It’s a client-generating machine.

A salesperson that’s fully automated and never sleeps.

Want one of those?

You betcha.

If you build it, they (clients) will come:


Sleep well my friend,

Conor Kelly
A.k.a. The Muscle