TCC Podcast #394: Email Copywriting with Daniel Throssell - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #394: Email Copywriting with Daniel Throssell

Someone’s got to be the best. And at least a few people believe that Daniel Throssell is Australia’s best copywriter—even if only because Daniel told them he was : ). In the 394th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, Kira and Rob brought Daniel into the studio to talk about his email strategy, world building, and how he turned a children’s book into Australia’s best selling book. And Daniel got real when it comes to what a day in his life really looks like. This is the second time, Daniel has been on the podcast (the first episode is here). Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript of today’s appearance on the show.

Stuff to check out:

Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
Tough Titties by Laura Belgray
A great book (Dark Matter) by Blake Crouch
Master and Commander by Aubrey Maturin
Stop Reading the News by Rolf Dobelli
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Daniel’s Website

Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh:  If you’re going to say you’re the best at something, eventually you’re going to have to back it up. The late Gary Halbert once sent out a newsletter titled “why I am the best copywriter alive”. Of course, any one can make a claim like that. But eventually you have to back it up… and at least when it comes to Gary, he had the clients, the sales, and the results to make a pretty strong claim on the title. Which brings me to the guy that many people call Australia’s best copywriter.

Hi, I’m Rob Marsh, one of the founders of The Copywriter Club. And on today’s episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, my co-founder Kira Hug and I interviewed copywriter Daniel Throssell, who has been called Australia’s best copywriter by many in the marketing world. But does he have the chops to back it up? Indeed he does. We covered a lot of ground in this interview—we went really deep on his approach to email, which in many ways he treats as if he’s writing a novel. He also shared a few of the details about his strategy for pushing several books to #1 on the best seller list, a strategy by the way that works for all kinds of products, not just books. And Daniel got real when he talked about what a typical day looks like for him. We think you’re going to like this one.

But before we get to the interview… you’ve heard me talk about the copywriter underground and what it includes. If you’ve been thinking about joining this amazing community, I want to give you two reasons to jump in now. The first is a limited time Client Emails Masterclass with copywriter Michal Eisik. Michal launched her business after completing the copywriter accelerator and think tank. What she’s built is amazing. We asked Michal if she would share her masterclass with The Underground. But because Michal actually sells this to her own email list, she asked us to limit access to just a couple of day in May.  Which means if you want to get the Client Emails Masterclass for free, you’ve got to jump into The Underground now.

We also have a second bonus… it’s the strategic plan that today’s guest Daniel Throssell used to make his client’s book a best seller in Australia. You’re going to hear a little bit about it in this episode, but Daniel only scratches the surface here. Because the only other time he’s shared his strategy was with his paying subscribers and he wants to make sure to honor them by not sharing it elsewhere. However, he has made one exception. He’s sharing it for a limited time with the paying subscribers of The Copywriter Underground for just a few days in the month of May. If you want to learn more about the strategy he teases on this episode, jump into the underground today so we can share the details of how to get your hands on the whole thing with you.

There’s never been a better time to visit to claim your free bonuses now.

And with that, let’s go to our interview with Daniel.

Kira Hug: All right. Welcome, Daniel. I want to kick off with a question about the last year in business. So we can zero in on the last six months, last year, but I’m curious, what has surprised you the most about your business in particular over the last year or so?

Daniel Throssell: Wow, that question kind of hit me. That’s the most surprising. I was not ready to answer that. The last six months.

Kira Hug: I don’t think I’ve ever asked that.

Daniel Throssell: So yeah, I wasn’t even expecting that as the first question. I thought it was gonna be like, Daniel, nice to nice to finally get on the podcast with you. 

So okay, last six months, what’s happened? Honestly, what has surprised me? I don’t know how relevant this is going to be to people. But I’ll just be honest—how well my monthly subscription has gone. I don’t follow a lot of news, but I’ve heard people saying, you know, bad economy, whatever. People are not spending as much. I literally have a zero news policy. I don’t watch anything. There was an eclipse, not the one you saw, Kira, recently. There was one last year and the eclipse went over Perth and I didn’t know everyone in Perth knew and I was sitting in my house and I was like, Why is everybody outside looking at the sky? The sun’s dying. Well, no, no. I was alone. There was no one there. And I was like, I think the sun’s dying. Because I’ve just been listening to some sci-fi Audible books. I was like, maybe this is like Project Hail Mary. This is really bad. What’s going on? Because the sun just went dark. It wasn’t a circle. And so that’s the only thing that has been a negative out of my no-news policy. Otherwise, I’m a happier person. But the point is, I just don’t know. 

I have heard people saying the economy is no good, whatever. I have personally found that my business has done really well the last six months and again, I don’t know how relevant this is to your people but, it does make me think there’s a lot of people who get really caught up in listening to what other people say about the economy or no one’s hiring no one’s buying, people are being more conservative with their purchases or whatever. 

All I know is that by keeping my head out of that and just focusing on what I’m doing each day, which is nurturing my list, working on good products and selling them as best I can, I have not seen any big hits. And supposedly, as copywriters, we should be really exposed to that sort of thing because we’re intimately connected with the selling of stuff. So if people aren’t buying stuff, they don’t need sales copy. And my market is entirely copywriters. 

So that’s been the biggest takeaway for me for the last six months. I’m just not noticing whatever other people are saying about an economy being bad. If you just keep your head down and focus on what you’re doing, it seems to work out really well. Now, I don’t know if that is just going to come off as like, you’re so insensitive, because everyone’s losing their jobs. I’m just being honest. I got hit with this question out of the blue first on the podcast. So I hope that was insightful.

Rob Marsh: Fair answer. The last time that you were on the podcast, I think it was 2020, just coming into the pandemic, if I remember right. Well, I should have looked it up before we started recording, but I feel like it was spring of 2020. And so maybe in case somebody hasn’t gone back and listened to the entire back catalog or heard our previous interview with you, Daniel, maybe just break down really quickly what your business looks like and exactly what you’re doing. Those who know you are probably going to know you do a daily email. You’re widely known as the self-proclaimed Australia’s best copywriter, although there are a few people who seem to agree with you. But yeah, tell us what your business looks like.

Daniel Throssell: Yeah, so like my business model, what I’m doing.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, or just the pieces of what’s going on.

Daniel Throssell: Well, just a quick backstory kind of thing. I was a freelance copywriter for several years. I started copywriting in 2016. And so I worked for a long time freelancing first, and then I worked with an author called Scott Pape for several years. I was kind of the right hand man in his business from maybe 2016, 17-ish until he shut down his newsletter in 2020, I think. So, after 2020 is when I started building my own brand. Before that, I’d never really done anything for myself. 

And so, I think you had me on shortly after that, maybe a year after I started. It might have been 2021, I think, Rob. And so, I just started building my own brand, which is just kind of teaching the things I had learned And that’s mostly what my business is now. Like I don’t do any client work anymore. I create copywriting training and sell it. So I write a daily email. I’m very inspired by Ben Settle and what he did. He was a huge influence on me. So his business model, I’ve taken a lot of that and applied it to myself. So it basically revolves around publishing a monthly newsletter, selling courses, and I sell them with a daily email to an email list. It’s a very simple business model, but it’s very fun, very effective for me.

Kira Hug: Okay, so you mentioned building your brand. And I think when you were on the show last, you were building it, you were becoming well known. And since then, you’ve become a bigger name in the copywriting space for sure. So when you look back, are there certain ingredients that you think have helped you build that brand that you’d recommend to other writers?

Daniel Throssell: Well, one of the biggest things I’ve done—and you know, it’s just a very unpopular message. I talk about it all the time, but I’ve just continued to write that email every single day. I have written something new to my email list and I did it from very early on when no one was watching. No one was paying attention. I had like 40 people on my list that had opted in for some old lead magnet and I was, it was like a dead list. 

I am a big believer that you know if you are putting the work out there if you’re doing well nothing can happen if you’re not doing anything so number one is, I have consistently showed up even when I didn’t feel like it to create create stuff. And that’s, that’s probably number one, because a lot of people who are asking this question, they’re just not doing much to actually promote themselves. You know, they’ll write an email once a week, or they’ll write some content once a week, but it’s just not enough what they’re doing. It’s also got to be really good. I don’t want to say you got to spam stuff. Cause I also put my heart into making everything really good. So the foundational pillar was doing enough work to actually get noticed.

And I’ve also, it’s not really everyone’s cup of tea, but I have aggressively pursued, how should we put it? A self-aggrandizement strategy—self-promotional. And I’ve really embraced playing that character, if you will. In person, I’m not really outspoken. I’m actually very shy and conflict-averse, you know. So people who know me in real life are often shocked when they read some of the stuff I write. And frankly, I am too sometimes. But it’s like this persona that I put on. I was like, I am not interesting enough to have people talking about me on the internet. And if I want to build a really well-known brand that people talk about, I got to be more interesting than I am in real life. And so there’s this sort of persona that I’ve had which you alluded to Rob, very, um, boastful. You know, even talking about my persona is kind of awkward for me because it’s like, he’s just a different guy—very obnoxious, very cheeky, takes shots at people all the time. And what I found is there’s a lot of people in the copywriting industry who really take themselves very seriously or don’t really have a sense of humor. 

Over the years, over and over again, people have gotten really wound up by me. It’s like, this guy calls himself “Australia’s best copywriter”. Who does he think he is? Whatever. And, you know, they’ll get mad about it. They’ll talk about me. And part of me finds it really funny. I think this is fun. I don’t know why you guys are so mad about it, because it’s funny to me that you’re talking about it. I’ve used that to get people talking about me. And I’ve done really, really well in a series of affiliate promotions over the years against some other copywriters, placing first on the leaderboard. In person, I probably wouldn’t talk about that. But, you know, in my emails, I’m like, I’m the best copywriter in the world sort of thing. It is tongue in cheek, but it also people like that energy, people like that obnoxiousness. And I think that’s another big thing that I’ve done. 

I’ve been creating content so there’s something for people to actually look at. And I’ve also had this persona that’s had people wanting to talk about me. And I think if I had a third pillar in there, it’s that I have tried to come up with new ideas that are worth talking about. And in fact, the first thing that you guys had me on the podcast for was that parallel welcome sequence that I came up with, which is kind of a creative new way to do welcome sequences. And so I’ve come up with things like that, ideas or techniques that are actually worth talking about or interesting. And things like that have opened the door to me. It’s how I got on your podcast. Rich Sheffrin had me on Steal Our Winners to talk about it. So there are things like that. 

And I guess if I could put those three things altogether, it has made it harder than not. That doesn’t even make sense. It’s made it harder for me to not grow a brand than to grow a brand. Because when you’re doing interesting things, you’re coming up with genuinely interesting ideas, you’re constantly creating new content, and you have a very interesting personality. It’s hard for people not to talk about you and be like, oh, go and check out so-and-so. 

Honestly, most of the growth that I’ve had over the last, especially two years, I think, I have really dialed back on any kind of promotional strategy. I’m not even really advertising or anything aside from one little arrangement I have with one guy’s website. It’s almost all referral and word of mouth. So even this, this is the first podcast I’ve done in probably a year. I just don’t really do that sort of stuff because at this point people talk about you organically. And I think it was those three things, putting them together helped get to the point where I am now, where I sort of can step back from that a little bit and just kind of focus on the work I’m doing, the emails and the newsletters I’m publishing.

Rob Marsh: So Daniel, you mentioned you’ve modeled your business a little bit off of what Ben Settle built. I can totally see the influence. You seem to be a “nice” version of Ben. Although I will say this, in credit to Ben, I think the Ben of today is a lot nicer than the Ben of three or four years ago. He’s kind of mellowed out. I think probably because he has a kid now. You know, family. But let’s talk a little bit about world-building because obviously that’s something that Ben does. That’s something that you’ve done with your emails. When you pick up a Daniel Throssell email, you’re sort of stepping into, or maybe the better way to say this is, I’m stepping out of reality and into whatever it is that you’re building. Sometimes you’re writing question and answer type emails, which are kind of fun. You oftentimes will use, insert first name, list merge techniques to make fun of your readers, which I know sometimes doesn’t go over very well. You already talked about self-aggrandizement but all of this stuff kind of plays together to create something that’s really unique or pretty rare. There’s three or four copywriters. I can think who do it and you’re one of them.

Daniel Throssell: So you mean what’s going on with the email strategy?

Rob Marsh: Yeah, if somebody has been reading your emails and they see this world-building and they think I want to replicate it, but obviously they don’t want to copy—how do you build your own world? 

Daniel Throssell: Yeah, that’s definitely a Ben thing. I think world building is sort of his concept. And I’ve been influenced by Ben for sure, but a lot of what I’m doing actually came from my work with Scott. So I mentioned that I’d worked with Scott Pape, the author, also known as the Barefoot Investor. I’ve helped him with his book launches, which I think we’re going to talk about. 

One of the things he has done very, very successfully for a long time is to create his, if you want to use the terminology, because I hadn’t heard it at the time, world building, where he would use people in his life as characters in his emails and columns and stories. And one of the best pieces of advice I ever got from him, and this was probably before I’d even heard of Ben, was make characters of the people in your life. It’s what he does, and it’s what I’ve done from day one, really. I have recurring characters or themes that come up in my emails, and I want people to have “a sitcom style” email marketing. I want people to have the same experience when they’re reading my emails that they do when they’re watching an episode of Friends or something. Because there, what you have is the continuity of these characters that you know, and these settings that you know. And what’s interesting is seeing how those people interact and you get this payoff from in-jokes that were set up a long time ago. The longer back the joke was set up, the funnier it is to you. So I will have things like that. 

For example, I have a recurring gag that my wife is the bad idea zombie. And that’s just a name that I came up with for her a long time ago, because she always gives me these terrible ideas. So it’s a recurring gag. And when it comes up, the longer you’ve been on my list, the more satisfying that joke is, because you get it. And someone who’s new to the list isn’t going to get it as much. 

So in a way, you create this thing where the deeper people get into the world of your stories and so on, the more rewarding it is for them to see those things. And so what I have done from the beginning is to take characters and things from my life and themes and have them repeating. So my wife, my kids will always come up. I try to make sure to introduce people like my brothers and so on who are regularly in my life and make them recur with enough familiarity that people start to get to know them. So you have that sitcom effect. 

So the first part of the answer, Rob, when someone’s saying, how do I do something like that is—you’re never going to have the same world as someone else because your life is unique. Your people. Your characters and so on are going to be unique to you. One of the big problems I have seen especially with students of mine in the past when I’ve looked at their emails is they took what I was doing but they wrote their characters the same way as I wrote mine and especially my projection of myself in my characters. I have a caricatured version of myself in emails and I’m not talking about the arrogant jerk guy, I’m talking about when I tell stories about my daily life. It’s meant to be a representation of me in real life. There’s a certain way i portray myself and often it’s kind of hapless and chaos is going on around me like i’m at subway ordering a sub and I ask for a tiny bit of chili sauce and the girl’s like slathering it on and I’m like too nervous to say please stop and I’m like you’re just killing my dinner here lady. It’s just this certain characterization of myself and one of the big mistakes I’ve seen when people are trying to use the same kind of storytelling is they’ll characterize themselves the same way as I characterize myself. They’ll use the same kind of humor, they’ll have the same quirks, and they’re not really making their own character. So that’s an issue that if people are going to be inspired by what I’m doing, you can take the style, but don’t copy the characters and their personalities as well. That’s one big issue. 

Now, the sitcom style storytelling is kind of one half, I guess, of what I’m doing in the e-mail, Rob, because I also have this thing—and I think this one is, as far as I can tell, it’s unique to me—I’ve never seen anyone doing it, but it’s that I blend half of that with, with fiction. And so in the welcome sequence, the parallel welcome sequence, which we talked about on the first podcast, I set up this parallel universe, if you will, where it’s fictional and it’s like this island and I call it copy land. And it’s part of my world building that it’s this fictional place where there’s like giant copywriting themed monsters. And all my products are weapons in this world. And I actually have—I think I showed you Rob—I’ve got a mobile app that integrates with my business. And I got my designer to design it like Pokemon, because I flippin love Pokemon. You can probably see all the Pokemon on the wall behind me. I was like, I want this inspired by Pokemon. And so it’s meant to feel like that. And so half the time I will—not half the time, but often—I will also tell these fictional stories. I’ll take real emails I got and I was like, I was in my evil lab on Copyland and I got this request. And then suddenly sirens were blaring around the island because there’s this customer service request. And I’ll write this really tongue in cheek, fictional thing. 

What is kind of strange I guess you could say about this is I have these two worlds. One’s like real life and one is fiction and I freely blend them. Sometimes I will start telling a story from real life and then I’ll cross into fiction. I will just start writing wild fiction like things explode or you know a plane crashes in my front room or a ninja comes in. I don’t know… some giant copywriting robots invade the scene. And it’s really, really fun for people. And I think, again, you can do that, you can have fiction, but make it your own style of fiction. 

And the the error that people are going to make if they’re trying to copy that—I don’t mind if you want to do it, if you want to say, I want to do what Daniel does, and I want to blend fiction with my real life—but just make the fiction your own. Make the characters, make the style, everything should be unique to the way you write. And if you do that, you can build something for yourself. It was my idea to sort of do that in the first place, but there will probably be a way to integrate that with your own personality, your own world, your own storytelling style, where you could build something interesting for yourself. 

It’s not for everybody because it is quite silly. And one of the things I’ve done is embrace that. Before I started doing this, like I said, copywriting was really, really serious. A lot of people were really serious about it. And I was like, I’m just going to make this really fun. I’m going to have silly stories, giant monsters, weird stuff. And some people are going to say, this is so dumb. And some people are just going to say, I love this so much. And they’re my people. And that’s kind of how I’ve looked at building that world, if you will.

Kira Hug: Yeah, I think we’ve written a couple of emails where Rob and I are fighting. And I think there was one, Rob, where I tied you up and put masking tape on you and strapped you to a chair.

Rob Marsh: When you say we’ve written them, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a say. Let’s be honest.

Kira Hug: Right. That’s right. That’s why it’s fun. Yeah. So I definitely, I’m with you. I love the idea. And I think that we can have so much more fun. And even recently, I feel like I’ve moved away from that. And it’s just like all very truthful. It’s like, this is what happened. These are the details of my day. And it’s almost like we forget, because there’s so much beauty in the truth, but we forget that we can also pull fiction in and have more fun with it.

Question is, how could someone listening who maybe isn’t familiar with your work, integrate characters like just the basics… is that we start with our partner if we have a partner and we’re like that’s character one and then character two is a parent or uncle what are some basics? 

Daniel Throssell: Well that’s how I started so for me in the beginning it was my wife and honestly with one character you can do a lot and a mistake a lot of people make will be to try and set up too many characters too soon and what’s a lot of the characters I have introduced have been, they were kind of there by chance once. 

For example, there was a guy at my supermarket who worked behind the deli counter. And every time I would order some meat from him, he would just do this weird passive aggressive shtick where he’d be like, I’ll think about it. And I was like, bro, just give me my meat, man. I just don’t want this. And I wrote about it to my email list. I wrote a little story about it. And it really resonated with people. And so I’m going to write about him again. And I went there the next week. And he did something similar. And I tried something else. And I wrote about it. And he became this character called Rude Deli Guy. And I ended up riffing on him a lot. So that wasn’t planned, necessarily. Sometimes there would be just guest characters, if you will, And I’m like, oh, that worked out really well. Or I might introduce someone. And I won’t even think about them. And then like a year later, I’ll do a little callback to them. And people who saw the original email, I remember that guy. So it doesn’t have to be this big plan. And I think honestly, if you try too hard to do that, you’ll go wrong. Because what I started with was just using my wife and then occasional little scenes from my kids. And that’s like one main side character and a few little guest characters. And over the years, as people have recurred, they start to build up. But it’s not like every email has everybody. Honestly, some of these people, they come up like once every few months. 

So I’m not trying too hard and I think that’s a mistake some people make is that they are trying too hard to jam all these people and all these scenes and it’s like you will understand my world. It’s like just back off and make it a lot more organic. And it’s really about just telling stories that have other people in them. 

The biggest thing for me is, and one of the biggest keys is using dialogue. If you can actually show someone a scene that has two or more people talking in it, it’s so much more engaging. than just writing as yourself. And so that to me, that’s the gold standard. I don’t always have the energy to do it because I’m writing an email every day. And honestly, it’s hard to find a scene every single day that you can make super funny or interesting or that’s worth talking about. But I try and do it as much as possible because people love it. People love seeing dialogue in emails. It’s just one of my favorite things to do in email and that organically builds characters. So you don’t have to sit there and think about, what does this character do? What is their personality like? You just put dialogue in. What are they saying? Because that’s how we see, that’s how we perceive things in a sitcom. We just see what they’re saying and what they’re doing. So it’s just kind of, that’s my storytelling style, I guess. I try and put a lot of dialogue and a lot of visual storytelling. 

I will show often what characters are doing. They put their hands on their hips. you know, they’re leaning on the door, whatever it is, you can see it. I learned that from a guy called Matthew Dicks. I don’t know if you know of him. He’s written the book Storyworthy. That book was a really big influence on my storytelling. I got a lot from him. And one of his things was, you always want people to be seeing the story as you’re telling it in their mind. You don’t want to have the equivalent of a movie where there’s a black screen and dialogue voiceover. Always have something they can see. And so that kind of infused itself into my email writing style. And to answer your question, Kira, that organically builds the characters. When you’re just showing what people said and what they did, it automatically builds them up without you having to tell them.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, if anybody wants to see how this works in real life, they should sign up for Daniel’s email, which we will promote at the end of the episode. So stick around because it’ll be worth getting to. But I want to shift gears here a little bit, Daniel, and talk about the thing that you and I have talked about several times offline. And you teased just a moment ago, and that is the promotion strategy that you use to get Scott’s book to the number one bestseller spot, at least for a while. And just to set it up, I know you’ve only shared it with your own list, and so you don’t talk about this. So when we said, hey, let’s come back on the podcast, I’m like, okay, but I want some of these details that you don’t talk about anywhere else. So let’s spill the tea.

Daniel Throssell: Right, so I’ll give you a bit of backstory so people have the context on what happened. So I mentioned I’d been working with Scott Pape from around 2016. The very first thing he hired me for, he was like, I’m actually launching a book and I need someone to help write the copy. And so that was the first job I did and neither of us knew at the time. So I actually came on to write a little launch funnel for this book, which went on to become the best-selling Australian book of all time. It was called The Barefoot Investor. Following on from that, a couple of years later, I helped him with the writing and editing process of a new book, and we launched that one. It also became a number one bestseller nationally, and that was called Barefoot Investor for Families. But the one that we’re talking about now was his third book. It’s called Barefoot Kids, and we launched that in 2022, I think. And that became, I think it might, I haven’t checked, but at the time it had the record for the biggest pre-launch in Australian publishing history. We sold 120,000 copies in the launch, which was bigger than anything that had ever been done in Australia. 

So that’s what you were like, oh, can you come on and talk about that? And so there are a few big ideas to the launch that kind of made it work. And as a bit of backstory, in 2022, Scott actually flew me to Melbourne and we were planning the launch. And one of the things that I actually did, I actually pulled up while we were in this meeting room in the heart of Melbourne, I pulled up these notes from a course that I actually sell to my email list. which was built on how I do affiliate promotions and how I’ve been really successful at them. And so the first thing that we decided was that we were going to try and base the launch around an email list. So in your traditional book launch, you kind of have all these parts like PR and book tours and deals with bookstores, book signings, podcasts, and so on. The author is spread very, very thin. And so one of the strategic decisions we made for this launch was we are going to primarily focus it around our email list. 

I mentioned that we’d done two launches before that and we hadn’t used emails to launch the book and that had been effective, but we hadn’t really gone all in on creating a promotion, especially the way that I had learned how to do on my own email list. And so that was the big thing is that an email list can really move the needle more than anything else if you do it the right way. Which kind of leads, do you have any, do you want me to just keep talking or are you going to jump in?

Rob Marsh: Yeah, keep going. And you’ve set the backstory. So let’s talk about what you did to make this happen.

Daniel Throssell: Yep. So one of our big ideas around this, I guess, was that the way that most people do their launches is backwards. And by that, I mean, they kind of write their book and they sort of, go into their shell, they don’t really say anything about it. And then they come out of the woodwork and they’re like, “hey, got a new book to buy, go buy it.” And they start, they do this long promotional period where they are trying to get people to buy for as long as possible and just keep pushing and pushing and pushing people to buy. And one thing that I had found in my experience, selling to an email list—and you’ll remember this, Rob—In 2021, there was this affiliate promotion on Black Friday that all these copywriters in the industry were doing. And it was a really, really big deal. And I ended up selling more than everyone else put together. And what I did was really weird because there was this 10-day cart open for that promotion, and everyone else promoted for 10 days, and I only promoted for four, and I made more sales than anyone else put together. 

And so one thing I had been finding over the years was that with these really tight launches, you could make more sales if you did them right than really extended one week, two week, longer cart open windows. And so what we did when I went to Melbourne, I was talking to Scott, I was like, I think we should do a really short launch. And we’re going to flip it on its head instead of not much beforehand and then a long push afterwards, we decided we are going to tease for a really, really long time. We’re going to talk about the book as much as possible and say, the book’s coming, the book’s coming. And I’m talking for months and months in advance. The book is coming. It’s going to be fantastic. And then we did a very, very limited launch window. I think it was three or four days. And the entire pre-launch, all those 120,000 copies were sold in those three or four days, compared to normal book launches, which are, they’re coming in over weeks to add up to that much. And a lot of people think if I close my cart, early, I’m going to miss out on a lot of sales. I get that logic, but it just did not prove to be true because we set the Australian publishing record with one of the shortest launch windows you’ve ever seen. 

My friend, Laura Belgray, when she was publishing her book, Tough Titties, and I gave her this advice, she was like, that’s completely opposite to anything the publisher has ever told me. You’re the first to ever tell me that, but she went and applied some of this stuff and she, I think she made it to the bestseller list too. So it worked really, really well to limit our cart open. As for what we, you’re probably asking like, well, what did you do in that, in that cart open window?

Rob Marsh: Yeah. Let me jump in and ask the question while you’re taking a drink of water. Daniel, what did you do during the cart open window?

Daniel Throssell: So the other thing, and I’m just going to backstory that one too, the other thing we realize is that most people don’t want to buy a book. And so the problem with most book launches is they’re selling a book. The thing is, only book buyers buy books. And it’s like, duh, that’s obvious. But think about it. Most of the people on your email list probably aren’t book readers. Like they’re not the kind of people who are like, I will buy that book and I will sit down and I will read it. There will be some, sure, but those people are going to buy no matter what you do. Most people don’t want to buy a book. And that’s the real problem you have with any book launch. 

So what we did, again, this was taken from principles of email marketing. It’s like, well, how do you sell products in an affiliate launch? How had I successfully done over the years? Well, you offer bonuses with the book. And the bonus should be something that people want even more than the book and actually targeted to the list, even if the book isn’t, so that people are actually buying for the bonus. So what we did in this short launch window is we actually came up with a bunch of targeted bonuses that were each individually more valuable to the list than the price of the book. And essentially, we weren’t selling the book so much as we were selling the bonuses, because we’re like, yeah, well, a small percentage of people on this list are going to want to buy a book that is for children about money. But they all are going to want this report on how to survive the coming crash, for example. And this was a financial list. That’s something that is appealing to a lot more people, even if they don’t want the book. And so we had a few bonuses like that. And our strategy was, these are only available for this three or four day launch. They’re never going to be offered again. and if you want this stuff, you have to buy during this launch window. 

And during that launch window, if you are doing this, you have to go really, really hard. You cannot just send one email or two emails. You have to push hard. And I say that, and even with Scott’s List, we actually canned a few of the emails. I think I can’t remember how many we sent. It was nowhere near what I would have done because I have sent like 5, 6, 7 emails on the last day of a promotion and I definitely would have put on my list, but his list was 500,000 people or something and he just did not want to get his account shut down. We just had like maybe four or five emails go out because we canned some that we’d written because the sales were coming in so fast. He was like, okay, I just don’t want to push it. We’ve already done really well. But you have to be aggressive about it. In this short window, you have to make sure people are opening their inbox and seeing you in there and seeing that there is a limited time offer. And by reframing it so that we weren’t actually selling the book, but we were actually selling the bonuses and doing it over a very short period of time, we ended up making more sales than anyone ever had when they were pre-launching a book with these week-long windows and bookstore interviews and signings and so on. 

It was just so effective to just go back to the principles of email marketing. As copywriters, we’ve kind of known about this stuff for a long time that it works, but authors don’t really know it. They don’t really know how to apply it. So all we did really was apply good email marketing principles to the launch. There was, you know, I did say this to you guys, there was other stuff that we did that like incentivizing the average order value. And there were certain ways that we wrote the copy on the sales page that we’re pushing to that I kind of don’t want to talk about because I had people buy this info from me. So out of respect to my customers, I don’t want to give it all away. But it was honestly a large part of it was reframing to this short launch window, focusing on an email list and reframing that we’re not selling a book, we are selling these bonuses. And that turned it kind of into an internet marketing launch, if you will, which was a really unusual thing for an author to do. And yet it worked really, really well.

Kira Hug: Amazing. Are you comfortable sharing some of the numbers from your subscription business as far as like, how many people are on your list and how many people are part of your subscription and paid community or just like rough numbers, rough?

Daniel Throssell: Yeah. Okay. Well, my list, I think it’s 12,000 active subscribers at the moment for the newsletter, and for my paid newsletter, I haven’t really talked about that publicly, so I don’t really want to give numbers away. It’s in the hundreds, I will say, but I just don’t really like talking about my revenue too much in public.

Kira Hug: I ask because I think there are a lot of copywriters, freelancers, creatives who would love to use this model in their own business or transition to this model and consider a subscription similar to yours, and pulling their own ideas into it, obviously. Do you have advice for them on what it really takes to make this model work? It’s obviously not as easy as it looks on the outside where it’s just writing an email and then you get paid subscribers. What does it take?

Daniel Throssell: Yeah, so are we talking about copywriters doing this for, you know, their lists or helping their clients set it up?

Kira Hug: The reason I asked… Yeah, they could help their clients. I was thinking more for their own business. This is a great model we could all use. We’re all writers.

Daniel Throssell: Sure. Okay. So the biggest thing is you have a lot, like a lot of people are teaching copywriting. So one of the hardest things in running a model like this, I will say, I see where your question was coming from now. So I’ll say the business is very profitable for me. Okay. So it does very well. I’m not worried about anything. So I think that was the intent of your question. I just get uncomfortable sharing numbers. It’s kind of like pyramid scheming to me. It’s like, look how much money I make selling training to you showing how much money I make. It’s like, come on. So I deliberately make a thing of not selling that way. I don’t talk, I say, yes, I do well, but I don’t really want to talk about numbers. But yeah, it’s good. It’s a good model. 

The biggest problem with it is it’s very, very hard to have something genuinely worth paying for month after month. And I’ve been doing this for 20 months and you know, I’m not feeling like I’m running out of ideas or anything, but I will say like, I hate my life the week before I’m publishing. Like it’s just, Oh my gosh. I’m like, why am I doing this? This sucks. I hate deadlines. And uh, no matter what I do, that happens every single month because you will have a lot of people get really, really excited about signing up for this thing. But to actually retain people is really, really hard. Because number one, they get bored of stuff, like they stop opening it. We’ve all bought stuff that we don’t open. And with a one-off course, you have enough of a dopamine hit that you can get them to buy it and not think about the fact that, wait, I have 17 other courses I haven’t finished. But when you have the same product, a newsletter that you are selling every month, It’s very, very hard to get away with that. 

I want my people to open the thing, but you cannot rely on someone just continuing to buy it month after month and not use it. They will get sick of it and they’ll be like, yeah, I’m not using this, I’m going to cancel. It’s really, really hard to come up with ideas. What I’d say is first, you have to be really confident in the value you are offering to people. You need to be really, really good at whatever it is you’re teaching so that you have ideas that other people can’t sell. And so that’s one of the big value props that I try make in my marketing. It’s like, these are ideas that you’re not going to find taught everywhere else because copywriting is such a competitive market because everyone you’re competing against is a copywriter. They’re supposed to know how to sell this stuff. And so a lot of people are jaded. They’re like, oh, well, I can learn this. It’s just the fundamentals that you got from some old copywriting books. And so I have to work really, really hard on saying, no, this is stuff that I’ve come up with that you’re not going to find elsewhere. So I would say that’s the biggest challenge. You need to be like, do I have enough ideas that I can teach them and that they will be useful to my audience? 

I would also say it really, really helps to know who that audience is and have it really niched down. Because even me, I like to say that I’m only selling to copywriters, but I have a huge amount of business owners who are who are on the list and they have different challenges to copywriters. And frankly, they are better customers. 

Copywriters are really, really flaky. I mean, okay, I just realized I can rant and you guys have just been nodding your heads because you saw the copywriter… It’s like, copywriters will be like, oh, yes, I found a YouTube video. I’m a copywriter now. I watched this video yesterday. How to make six figures in a year. I’m a copywriter. And then three months later, that guy’s like, copywriting sucks. I’m going on to the next thing. 

If you are selling to florists or bakers or something, he’s not saying I’m going to be a florist today. And then three months later, being a florist sucks. I’m going to sell my shop. They can’t. They have to be whatever they are. They’re too invested. Copywriters, nope. They’re not invested. So I have people who’ll subscribe and they’re like, this is the greatest thing ever. I love you. You’ve made me, I just closed my first client. I’m like, well, sweet. You know, I’ve changed your life. And then three months later, they’re like, I’m not a copywriter anymore. I’ve moved on to something else.

Dude! What? There’s a lot of that. And you are both so familiar with that. So, you know, as much as I would like to focus on the copywriters, they’re also a big bunch of flakes with all love to copywriters out there. they’re very flaky and so you kind of want to appeal to the business owners. 

But then that makes things harder because if I only sold the copywriters and I think you, Rob and Kira, have an advantage over me in that regard, you are even more niched about like we are for copywriters and so you can just talk about getting clients, for example. I can’t publish a newsletter on getting clients because that would alienate half my subscriber base. They get nothing out of that because they’re not looking for copywriting clients. And so the reason I bring this up is if you’re going to do something like this, you need to have a really good idea of who your product is going to be for so that you know you are delivering things that are useful to them. And so me, I would love to say it’s for copywriters because then I could talk about getting clients, but I can’t. 

I know that everything I write has to be related to something that you could use if you’re a business owner or if you’re a copywriter. And that makes it a lot harder. So those are two things related to coming up with ideas. So you have to be really comfortable with coming up with enough ideas and you also have to know who you’re going to be writing for. 

And then I would say you have to actually have that subscriber base of a free list that you are going to start selling into a newsletter. And I know like, it does seem really appealing to have this kind of thing. And it’s good to have a recurring newsletter. But I spent three years building up that list to the point where I felt comfortable in actually having those ideas to share, committing to doing it once a month, and being able to get enough people in through the free list to sell to. And if you If you haven’t first built the discipline of mailing a list regularly and building that relationship with them, you’re not going to be able to take the next step and start actually selling something. 

So I’d say if you’re looking to do this, you need to make sure like, do I already have a list of, I’d say a few thousand at least you want to have, because I probably had around 10,000 on my list when I launched Adventures in Copyland. I’m not sure. But you want to have at least a few thousand that you are regularly in contact with. They’re buying your other stuff. They’re buying one-off courses and offers from you so you know that they are going to buy from you before you take the next step, which is to get them to commit to something recurring. Because that’s the hardest thing to do, recurring things. 

I have a policy that I got from Ben Settle, which is once they cancel, they can’t come back. And it’s intense. And even as a customer, I used to hate it on bans like that. I feel trapped in that. It was only when I started running my own that I realized why you do it. Number one, cancellation is a hassle for me. I don’t like it. Number two, I’m selling really, really good stuff like the book launch model. I thought the whole book launch strategy, which probably could have been a several hundred dollar product, and I sold it for $50 in an issue of a newsletter. I was very honest. I said, I just don’t want people coming in for one month, paying me $50 to learn something so valuable. And then canceling and being like, I’ll see if next month is for me. You know, I want people who are committed, who are like, yes, I trust you, you’re going to deliver because to me, it’s a two way deal. You need to trust me to deliver and then I need to not have to worry that you are just going to keep cancelling every month so I can just stop worrying about retention and so on. I say, I know I’ve got the subscriber base. I’m going to focus all my energy on coming up with really good ideas. And to me, people who buy, cancel, buy, cancel, buy, cancel were violating that trust and they didn’t allow me to focus on just coming up with ideas because they have to keep worrying, oh, I’m going to lose my entire subscriber base. To me, it’s kind of a trust relationship. It goes both ways, and that’s why we have the policy there.

Rob Marsh: A lot of what you’re saying rings a bell, feels familiar. Obviously, we sell to copywriters, so we deal with a lot of that. And one of the things that we advise a lot of copywriters to do is once they start seeing, hey, I’m actually pretty good at this thing, maybe I will start talking about some of these skills and helping other people do it, is to not focus on other copywriters, but talk to your niche, who don’t know anything about copywriting or know very little about it. They know very little about marketing. You’re so far ahead and it becomes so easy to provide value to your niche that just is the same old, same old if you’re talking to other copywriters.

Daniel Throssell: I completely agree. I think that’s what I was getting at too with, if you’re trying to do this to sell to copywriters, it’s so, so hard. If you’re teaching copywriting to people who’ve never heard copywriting, you can be like, write to one reader and they’re like, oh my gosh, wow, this is so cool. So it’s just playing the game on easy mode. I would completely agree with you there. I think it’s just a very advanced thing to do. You have to know that you can deliver. You can deliver on your deadlines, that you can hit deadlines, that you can keep coming up with ideas. And to me, that’s even more important than any numerical things like, do I have enough people on my list, blah, blah. It’s like, am I the kind of person who can thrive under this model? Because I will tell you, before I started this newsletter in September 2022, I didn’t have any subscription stuff. I made all my revenue through launches and new products. And frankly, I did really, really well for myself. I’ve made a lot of money doing that. And yeah, it’s nice to have the recurring revenue, but it’s also an added layer of stress that you don’t have if you’re just coming up with individual products. And there are some people in the industry, they just launch stuff, they just sell new products. And honestly, that has more of a new shiny object appeal to it than a recurring newsletter. 

And people are way more likely, I actually lamented about this the other day in my emails, like the total cost of my newsletter until now has been $1,000. And I have taught so much good stuff, it blows my mind and yet, Like people are still like, oh, I don’t want to commit to a $50 a month thing. And yet they will. buy a $1,000 course like, oh yeah, sure, no worries. They’ve probably bought five of them over the last two years. And it’s like, I can’t make people see that. So it’s very, I will say like, you know, the grass can look greener on the other side. Yeah, it’s nice to have the model I have and it works for me, but you need to be the kind of person who enjoys that, who can deal with that. And if not, if you don’t like the deadlines, if you don’t like the stress, you know, maybe just stick into a launch model or offering services or productized services that can actually be a way to do it because it takes a kind of person more than any business metric. You have to be the kind of person who is able to show up every month and say, I’m going to deliver something fantastic, no matter what. And frankly, people have to be honest with themselves. A lot of people don’t have that in them, I don’t think. And you have to be, you have to know the kind of person that you are. And so I had written a daily email every day for, you know, three years running when I launched that thing. So I kind of had that idea that I’m the kind of person who can do this.

Rob Marsh: Or they have it in them for six months or nine months, but not for years and years and years, which is probably why most newsletters end after I think 12 or 14 issues is kind of the standard. 

Kira Hug: Well, and unfortunately or fortunately, I mean, there’s deadlines with subscriptions, but there’s deadlines with services. If you’re a copywriter working with a client, you’re going to still have deadlines.

Daniel Throssell: I’m not disagreeing with you, Kira.

Kira Hug: The deadline will always exist. We just have to adapt to the deadline.

Daniel Throssell: It’s true. It’s true. I cannot think of anything I hate more in life than client work. It was just the worst thing I’ve ever done. I just wanted to be out of that as soon as I could. It was my goal from day one. I don’t want to work with clients anymore.

Kira Hug: So to thrive under this model, you are focused, right? You have this consistency that we can see from the outside looking in that’s allowed you to be successful in this model and to grow your business. I’m curious about your day and how you structure parts of your day. I also know you have kids. How old are your kids?

Daniel Throssell: Seven, four, and two. And they’re running around outside this office right now. I can hear them.

Kira Hug: I love hearing them. I also have three kids. So yes, you’re in it and you’re doing all this and you have this focus enough to bring in new creative ideas, which is not easy. Being creative is not easy. So how do you structure day to day so that you’re able to execute at this high level?

Daniel Throssell: The important thing for me is understanding what my goals are at the moment. And so my view is that everything, everything is just going to be for a season. Like that’s just one of my philosophies. Everything’s just going to be for a season. And there’s going to be times when my kids, when I’m going to have a newborn, and not a lot is getting done in that season. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean the rest of my life is going to be like that, but it means for that season, it is going to be. And so that’s, that’s a big realization. It’s been a big realization for me over the last few years to not judge the stage that I’m in now by any stage that’s come before and compare my output to, to whatever I’m doing. So a few years ago with just one kid, it was very easy to find a lot of time to do stuff. And you know, with one kid, you outnumber the kid two to one, parents are like, great, you know, even with like, you can handle it, you can split up, but when you have two or three, it’s just not like that. And so what I have had to do, as of late, is I mentioned, I had pulled back on a lot of you know, promotional stuff and doing things like this is the first podcast I’ve done in ages. 

I realized my main goals right now are getting that email done every day and getting that newsletter done every month. If I do those two things, I will at least maintain, if not grow my business. Frankly, like I told you, it’s been growing, it’s been doing very well. I’m going to have my best year ever this year, I think. But I know that I’ll at least maintain what I’ve got if I do those things. And so I organize my day around like that’s the goal. I don’t have to come up, there’s other courses I wanna make, there are advertising strategies I wanna pursue, there’s other things I want to do, but they are not the main goal right now. So if I get them done fantastic, the truth is I haven’t made any progress on them for the last six months, that’s also okay, because I’ve hit the main goals. And the main goals are, do the email, and do the newsletter. 

So the days don’t really look like super productive, honestly. Like yesterday, I’ll be honest with you, yesterday, what did I do? Like in the morning, you know, I wake up, I’ll do some Bible study for like an hour and then I’ll do a workout. Yesterday’s workout took way too long. It was like two and a half hours.

Rob Marsh: Every workout takes way too long.

Daniel Throssell: It’s just the way they are doing this program. My brother’s a personal trainer. He has me on this special program at the moment. It’s just taking so long. I hate it. But yeah, so I finished the workout at like, 10:30 or something like that and then I get a call from Scotty who’s like, oh, can we can we talk about my column for this week? And so I’m on there for the next hour. I was talking to him and so I was like 11:30 a.m. And I haven’t done anything at all for my business yet. And by the way, I have my youngest kid there because I’m looking after him because Haley’s gone to work so then I have to feed him lunch and put into bed and now it’s midday. And so I’m having my own lunch, and I still haven’t done anything for my business. And so I’m like, Hmm, what am I going to write an email about? And I came up with an idea. And I wrote it in about half an hour. And then I sat there for about an hour and a half trying to work out how I was going to end that email. And literally I did nothing else. I was just like, I don’t like this. And I’m just, I will often write at my coffee table, and I’m just like lying there on the floor, like looking up at the roof and my wife walks past me. She probably thinks I just don’t do any work. I think she knows she can see the thinking look on my face, but I’m just literally lying there on the floor. It’s like, what am I going to do? And then I get distracted. Then I go think about it again. And so by about three o’clock, I think I finished. I finished that email and I loaded it up. So that was yesterday’s email. That was the first goal achieved. And then I’m like, okay, I’m going to start working on an affiliate promotion that I’m doing. And so I opened up Google Docs, and I started writing some notes for that for about half an hour. And then I was like, yeah, I should probably just go and call it a day now. And so that was the output of my day yesterday. 

I share that with you, because that was a very real day. I’d love to be like, oh, I wake up and do a cold shower, and then I do the 10-mile run. But it doesn’t look like that often. Because at about 4 PM, I went, and I was playing with my kids. And then I went and cooked dinner, and I watched football. That was the ultra productive day of an entrepreneur there yesterday. 

But what was important to me is like, I am always going to get that email done. I’m going to get it done. I know that’s not negotiable. Because I published the monthly newsletter on the 15th, today is the 19th. So I kind of give myself five days to just be in holiday mode and not think about it because it’s so miserable. The week or two leading up to it just sucks so bad, like the publishing deadline and everything. So I’m just like, yes, I’m on holiday. So that wasn’t part of my day yesterday, but if we were closer to a deadline, that also would have been part of the day and I would have got that done. So it’s not that it looks super productive or anything. It’s just, I know the things I have to do and I make sure I do them. And if other things happen, that’s fantastic. They probably won’t. That’s lamentable, but that’s okay. And one day my kids will be older. I won’t be working out for two and a half hours that day, whatever. One day this season will be over and I maybe will get more done. And that’s how I console myself. I don’t lose hope. I’m like, okay, this is my current season. This is what I can do. And so I’m very pragmatic about it in that regard, I think.

Rob Marsh: I’ve been on your list a long time, so I’ve seen the breadth of what you write, the different things you bring to your emails, and even some of the courses that you create. I’m curious, aside from just living life, where else do you get inspiration? Are there particular books that you love reading? And by the way, a long time ago now, you recommended Blake Crouch on some of your emails. I immediately went through all of his books. His books are so good. They’re just good enough to reread or re-listen to. But where else do you find any inspiration?

Daniel Throssell: For emails, honestly, I try number one is daily life. And for the reasons I said earlier, dialogue is my favorite thing to have in an email. So I will try and get a moment from my life because that’s just the gold standard. If I can’t get that, the next place I’m going is my inbox and just riffing on things people have sent me from readers or other things I’ve read from other copywriters, what they’re doing. Because to me, dialogue, my stories is number one. 

Number two thing people love is just clashes of opinions and controversy and just opinions on opinions. That’s why I watch a YouTube video for five minutes and then you spend half an hour reading the comments. You know, just this long argument between two guys who just resorted to calling each other idiots. And it’s like, you’re fascinated by it. You just can’t stop reading. So I will try and just do opinion or commentary on anything I’ve seen that someone else has said, because people find that fascinating. 

And if I can’t do that, those are the days that I’m sitting there lying on the floor next to my coffee table for two hours. Like, what am I going to write about?  I don’t know. Sometimes I just have to make it up on those days where I’m like, you saw the email that had 15,000 O’s in it. Like that was just sometimes things like that happen.

Rob Marsh: That was, that was Daniel fell asleep at his laptop and somebody hit send. Yeah.

Daniel Throssell: It’s really just trying to react to things that I see online. And I don’t like doing that because I don’t like spending time on the internet. I hate the internet. I don’t like watching news. I don’t have social media. And frankly, I don’t like being in my inbox either. But sometimes it’s a necessary evil to come up with. When you’re creating daily content, you can’t really escape it, unfortunately. I just don’t think I’m getting inspiration for emails from books or anything because Most of the books I’m reading are fiction. And copywriters, I don’t know, there’s not many ideas I get out of fiction that I can write about. And one of my pet hates with people in the copywriting industry is that, especially newer people trying to come up with content, it’s like, three marketing lessons I got from watching this or reading this. It’s like, what a miserable way to live your life that you’re just enjoying fiction or a work of art and you’re like, what’s the marketing lesson in this? I just, I rebel again.

Rob Marsh: I’m going to be the email promoting this episode is going to be titled marking lessons from listening to this podcast.

Kira Hug: Yeah, unfortunately, my brain is also wired that way, where I’m like, oh, there’s a marketing lesson. And it just goes there. And it’s hard to shut up.

Daniel Throssell: Yeah, I get it. Because you’re actually a copywriter. And you think in terms of that. And that’s okay. But I mean, people who approach fiction thinking they don’t approach it as a work of fiction to enjoy, they approach it as like, yeah, what marketing lesson am I going to get out of this? And I’m just like, that’s true. There’s no joy in your life when you live like that. So I will. Yeah. I listened to audio books. I love the Sherlock Holmes audio books. I love the Aubrey Maturin series. I just like fiction and it was a shift I made a few years ago to stop reading so much self-development and start reading a bit more fiction. And it’s just enjoyable. It’s nicer than listening to self-development stuff. 

Kira Hug: All right, I have three quick questions like a real lightning round.

Daniel Throssell: Oh, I’m nervous. I feel like I butchered some of the questions.

Rob Marsh: There’s no such thing as a lightning round with us, Daniel, just keep that in mind.

Kira Hug: I can’t even remember all three. And if you don’t answer one, that’s fine. So first one, when was the last day—you said you don’t read the news typically, but like—was there a certain date where you cut it off? And you’re  going to make this change and go from this to this?

Daniel Throssell: I read a book called Stop Reading the News by Rolf Dobelli. I think it was 2021 that I read that book, maybe 2022. Just fantastic book. Honestly, I recommend that book so much. Stop Reading the News by Rolf Dobelli. You’re like, oh yeah, well, I know what it’s going to say. Sure. But it’s the arguments for it. So whenever I read that book, I was like, I’m not reading news anymore. And I use an app called Freedom. It’s blocked on my devices. I can’t. I try and load a new site, it won’t open.

Kira Hug: Okay all right so should we tell you when the next eclipse is happening? Should we look that up for you?

Daniel Throssell: That’s the one hole in my system is the other copywriters I’m subscribed to and they talk about stuff and I’m like dang it stop. You know Sean McIntyre you had him on recently. He’s a good friend of mine. I actually unsubscribed from his investing thing. I was like, dude, I’m sorry. I love you. It’s a great newsletter, but I just don’t want to know. My whole investing philosophy is about passive investing. I invest. I buy the index fund. I don’t look at it. And then Sean’s sending me this weekly email like, gold is going up 3%. You better buy. It’s like, dude, I love you and your writing is fantastic, but I have to unsubscribe. And he’s like, I understand that. So yeah, I even just try and pursue active ignorance about things that I don’t consider important to my life. So if there is an eclipse coming over Perth, yes, feel free to shoot me an email and let me know. That way I won’t freak out.

Kira Hug: Not on social media, but we’ll email you. Okay, second question is, how do you feel about AI in a sentence or two?

Rob Marsh: This is not a lightning round question with Daniel.

Kira Hug: You have to answer in a sentence or two. Those are the constraints. You cannot go past that.

Daniel Throssell: Overrated. I don’t know how I can answer that in a sentence or two. I want to share this one thought, like everyone talks about AI, like, give it five years. It’s gonna get so good. One day it will do everything we do. And I just want to give a perspective. It may not even be right, but no one’s even thought of it. What if that’s not true? What if like people say in 1960 we’re gonna have hover cars just you wait look we’ve gone from horse and cart to petrol engines like by 2024 we’re gonna have flying cars just watch it’s inevitable. Maybe it’s not, maybe it actually has a ceiling. And I just want to put that out there. I’m not going to argue for it. It may not be true, but everyone is just so hooked on the idea that AI will get better and better and better. What if it doesn’t? What if it actually has an inherent limit to how creative it can be? And it’s currently, in which case it’s not that good.

Kira Hug: That’s fair. And we don’t argue in the lightning round. We can’t argue.

Rob Marsh: I’m not going to argue, but I’m going to throw out my two or three sentences, which I think the limit is actually going to be energy use and cost of equipment, because at some point the VC money dries up. And if it doesn’t pay for itself, AI doesn’t work anymore. So a lot of the tools that we use are going to get more expensive. A lot of them are just going to go away. And I think that’s where we’ll start to find the limits. But there might be some intelligence limits, too.

Kira Hug: All right.

Daniel Throssell: There are severe intelligence limits on that thing.

Kira Hug: Moving on with the lightning round. Sorry. Third question. Final lightning round question. Is there someone that you’d like to have a battle with online? They don’t have to be a copywriter online.

Rob Marsh: I’m pretty sure Daniel put me in the hospital in an email one time.

Kira Hug: Someone else you haven’t had a battle with that you would like that you’ve been eyeing and that you’re like, oh, I might battle that person at some point, but I’m not quite ready.

Daniel Throssell: I am not going to say anything on the record for that.

Kira Hug: Give us a hint. Give us one hint.

Daniel Throssell: Aanyone who’s been on my email knows very well, I have been in several. There are a couple. There’s more than one when when we stop recording, I will regale you with tales that I would just not want on public record. 

Rob Marsh: You do take on groups like copywriting on Reddit, the Reddit subgroup copywriting. That’s one of your enemies.

Daniel Throssell: It was. Yeah. A while ago, that was one of my targets. I don’t like people who don’t really have their audience’s best interests at heart. And there are some in the industry, they’re selling stuff. They’ll literally say, which of these products will you buy? And then they’ll make the product that people will buy. There’s no question of, is this really going to be the best thing for you? Is this really going to help you? It’s just about, can I make money? And I really rail against that kind of stuff. And I feel a lot of my hatred for AI stuff stems from that, from people who’ve tried to use AI as a way to make money off copywriters rather than helping them. And my anti-AI stance is that when you are relying too much on it, it’s actually really cool. I use AI all the time, but just not for copywriting. But if you’re relying on that to paper over the skill gaps that you have as a copywriter, you’re not going to progress. And the reason we talked about this in this episode, like if you want to have a business something like mine, you have to be the kind of person who can come up with creative and valuable fresh ideas worth paying for. AI will not help you do that. And so I just really feel like it’s not good for people and a lot of people selling AI prompts and so on. It’s going to get outdated. It’s not valuable. It’s just a cash grab. And I just really have an issue with that. So that’s probably a serious answer to your question, Kira.

Kira Hug: We like to end on a serious note. That’s perfect. All right. Where can listeners go if they want to connect with you? Obviously not LinkedIn. Tried to connect with you there. Not there.

Daniel Throssell: So, yeah, LinkedIn’s blocked on my computer. I set up the profile to link to my homepage and then I blocked LinkedIn. So, I can’t even go and change that now. So, I don’t see anything there. I only have one point of entry into my world and one alone and that is That’s my website and my email list is the only place I create anything. So, it’s very simple for people to find me and very simple for me to manage. I’m just not on all the socials or anything.

Rob Marsh: Okay. Well, thanks Daniel for opening up a bit about the launch plan as well as, you know, what you’re doing with emails. There’s a lot of stuff here to consider and think about. So we really appreciate it.

That’s the end of our interview with Daniel Throssell. 

I want to add just a couple of thoughts to the discussion that we were sharing. While we were talking, Daniel mentioned the Black Friday promotion where he doubled the sales of all of the other participants put together. on that promotion. He did an incredible job. We were part of that promotion and saw what he did firsthand. And when it comes to promotions that work and turning ideas on their head to find new ways to do things, Daniel’s really good. He’s worth listening to and paying attention to. 

Also, don’t miss the fact that Daniel has written and sent an email to his list every single day for more than four years. That includes when he was on vacation, sick days, he doesn’t miss. In fact, I think he’s missed one in something like seven years. There’s a lesson in that. You can call yourself the best, but it’s stuff like showing up every single day that actually proves that you’re the best. And like Daniel said, nothing happens if you’re not doing anything. I’m encouraging you to take a lesson from that. How can you show up, maybe not every single day, although that’s definitely not a bad idea, but how can you show up consistently more than once a week over and over to prove that you’re the best at what you do? It’s worth thinking about. Actually, do more than think. Once you know what you want to do, start showing up. There’s a little bit more to it than just showing up because most of what you have to do has to be good. Now, not everything’s going to be a hit. You’re going to make a few mistakes. You’re going to fail, especially as you’re getting started. And as Seth Godin likes to say, half of all of your posts will be below average. But by continually doing good work consistently, you’ll eventually build the audience that you need to support your work. 

One other piece of Daniel’s approach that I think is worth thinking about is the fact that Daniel’s online character is a bit brash. He mentioned how he’s self-aggrandizing, and that’s part of his approach to every email and to the character that he’s building. And while that kind of character may not ring true for you, there’s something about that kind of self-assurance that attracts attention, and sometimes it attracts criticism. But even critical attention helps him build his brand. Like I said, this isn’t going to fit most people, so think of it as showing up larger than life. What can you emphasize or use to play big? If you know the answer to that, then you may be on your way to being the best at what you do. Whether that’s copywriting or marketing or some particular deliverable, you want to be the best. 

I want to thank Daniel again for joining us to talk about his business and the characters that he’s building, his launch strategy. Be sure to jump on Daniel’s email list at That’s the only place that you can connect with him. His approach to writing emails is unique, and it’s probably worth paying attention to if you write emails for clients or if you write emails for your own list. 

And don’t forget, if you want to get your hands on the full strategy that he used to help Scott Pape get three different books to number one on the bestseller list, and remember, this strategy can be used to sell a lot more than books, you need to be a member of The Copywriter Underground, which you can join at We’ll be sharing details with members there shortly. 

That’s the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please share it with a friend or an associate or anyone else who might enjoy it or learn from it. And you can always leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. We’d love to see your reviews at Apple Podcasts, where it really does make a difference. 

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