• Blaze Arizanov

The Secret To Writing Great Marketing Emails – Lessons From Derek Sivers

How can you tell the difference between an average copywriter and a great one?

By the number of fucks they give.

Mediocre copywriters don’t give a fuck.

Great ones give lot of fuck. To a lot of things.

There are books like The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck teaching us, well, how not to give a fuck.

That’s good. It leaves more green pastures for those of us who decide to give a fuck.

Can I stop writing the word “fuck”?

Meet Derek Sivers.

He is an entrepreneur who created CD Baby in 1998, the largest seller of independent music online which grew up to $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.

That’s one.

But that’s not why I want to have his babies.

His random, probably written in a toilet Shipping order email notification became a worldwide copywriting case study.

This is what his customers used to receive whenever their CDs were ready for shipping:

Dear customer,
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Contrast that with the standard Shipping order email template we are all used to:

Your order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive. Thank you for your business

It makes a world of a difference, right?

That’s why giving a fuck to little things pays off.

Who would have thought to customize something as insignificant as the Order shipping auto responder.

This email template has received over 20,000 citations online and became viral.


Because it gives a fuck

Because it is a random act of kindness.

A random attempt of giving someone a laugh.

That one goofy email created thousands of new customers.

That is the power of copywriting

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Well done. Chat you on Friday!