Selling Like a Surfer Dude Hell Bent on Revenge

This post by Brenda Do,

Posted in Advertising, Communications, Customer Relations, E-Commerce, Marketing, Uncategorized

Selling Like a Surfer Dude Hell Bent on Revenge

I received an email today written by the highly respected marketing dude, Frank Kern.

Frank doesn’t have a typical guru personality. He’s super casual, fun-loving, and talks like a college frat boy with a surfboard under his arm. But don’t let that persona fool you. He’s all business, smart, and works hard.

He gets away with talking and looking the way he does because he has an impressive track record.

For fun, I decided to take apart his seemingly casual email to show you how to sell through storytelling, without looking like you’re selling.

And to show the value of being true to your unique voice – which helps support your brand. Below is his email and my comments in italics:


Interesting use of all caps. I’m assuming it’s to make the email look like an urgent alert and get your attention. Besides, when something really is a problem, wouldn’t you be more emphatic?

OK so I’ve got this consulting client. Let’s call
him “Chris”.

He’s a really successful businessman but
DAMMIT! He’s a total pain in the ass!

The reason why is because he’ll only take
my advice after arguing with me for like
an hour.

Hey – it’s his dime and all, but still. That
gets old.

In just 56 words, he set up his story and is leading up to the reason for emailing you. Besides how he sounds personal as if he’s kvetching with a buddy over a beer, he also probably kept your attention because you likely can relate with him. Most of us have customers that drive us crazy or a know-it-all who we want to prove wrong. This similarity helps Frank bond with you by using a form of the “common enemy” psychology.

Anyway, I was talking to him last week
and I told him the best way to generate
fast revenue AND a bunch of goodwill in
your marketplace is to offer something

See how he just gave you the big promise of his email and product benefit all in one easy sentence? Pretty smart.

And naturally, he starts arguing with me.

So I decided to shut him up forever.

I told him that I’d PROVE this works and
that if I’m right, he’s got to publicly admit
defeat AND buy me a case of Champagne.
He’s setting you up for a pitch here…

(Dummy forgot to even ask what KIND of
champagne lol so naturally I’m gonna find
the most expensive kind possible.)

Anyway – here’s how I’m gonna prove him
wrong …

This is his “reason why” for emailing. So he sells you without seeming like he is.

Here’s the deal:
I like how he says this. Sometimes, you just need to spell it out by saying things like “here’s the deal.”

From now until May 26th, you can get
my legendary Mass Control 2.0 for

Get it here while supplies last.

Notice how he places the link at a natural pause in the conversation and after he already gave the main selling elements.

Oh – and to make it even better (so I’m guaranteed
to win), I’m also giving you an AMAZING
BONUS worth (literally) $2,000.
But wait, there’s more! This is extra incentive for people to click the link if they didn’t click the strategically placed link above. Some people need a bit more incentive and he provides it.

Seriously – this is an amazing bargain and the
only reason I’m doing it is to shut this guy
up for good.
For those who are still skeptical, he brings us back to his “reason why” and pulls us back into his story and to get us on his side. Kind of a good cop, bad cop thing.

You’re saving over $1,000 today by taking
advantage of this crazy deal …AND you’re helping
me beat my problem client into submission
by proving this approach works.
He restates the offer and benefits here to appease your logical brain. Then ties it back to your emotional brain by talking about beating his client. It’s smart because it makes you feel you’re the one beating his client when you buy the product! 

So click here, save over $1,000, and get an amazing
bonus, too.

Another smart link location. He just reminded you why you want to click the link. Heck, the link itself is a benefit statement instead of a boring “click here.”

Talk soon,

P.S. If you know of any ridiculously expensive champagne,
let me know lol.  I’m totally going to make him buy it for me.

He keeps the energy level high all the way to the end. And by asking for a champagne brand, here-engages you into his personal battle so it’s personal for you too.

Go here and claim $1,000 savings (and a cool bonus).
After that last bout of emotion, it’s smart to include another link.


So there you have it. I have no idea how well this email pulled, but from his other campaigns, this one likely made him six figures in the first couple of days.

I’m sure he’ll follow up with other emails over the next few days to remind people to show the guy who’s right by clicking the link (notice he doesn’t say “buy” anywhere so he doesn’t scare you off). And likely giving updates on how well “we’re” beating his annoying customer.

Also, notice he’s not trying to sell the product on his email. He’s selling the link because that steps you logically into his sales process.

His only goal here is to get you to click the link. Once you do, his landing page video and copy will do the rest.

As an aside, I’m sure Frank really does have a customer he’s trying to prove wrong, so he’s not lying to fool prospects into buying something. He’s just wisely using the opportunity to sell his product.

That’s the power of storytelling.


Brenda Do is a freelance, direct-response copywriter in Reno, NV and President of BL Copywriting, LLC. Contact her at: or 775-223-3637.

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