This is NOT your typical guest post!
This is something every entrepreneur and marketer NEEDS to read and UNDERSTAND…
Below you’ll learn about the advanced marketing concepts and sales funnel techniques used in every successful marketing campaign out there…
BONUS – If you make it to the end, you’ll be rewarded with Daniel’s own Email Templates to copy & paste your way to success!
Read it, bookmark it, then read it some more!

We’ve grown up in an age where choice — or at least the illusion thereof — is at a premium.

At this point, technology allows us to pretty much choose exactly what we want and get it (almost) instantaneously.

  • From choosing exactly what song to listen to at any given moment (remember when we had to use the radio and hope our song would come on?)…
  • To choosing to skip commercials or watch movies on demand (Neflix, please take my money)…
  • To selecting the precise flight we want and paying a better price for it…

The funny thing about all this convenience? It makes us feel “in control.”

We really think that we control what we buy, when we buy it, and how much we pay for it.

This makes me laugh. Ha ha ha! Do you hear my evil laugh?


Because this illusion — the facade that you’re choosing what to spend your money on — is in part, a world I’ve helped to create.

I’m an advanced digital marketer for brands that you know and love — and over the course of my career, I’ve helped them make millions upon millions of dollars by presenting you with exactly what you want, at precisely the right time.

The best part of my job is that, if done correctly, you will think that YOU made the decision.

Today, I’ll show you exactly how those powerful psychological forces come into play and how you can spot when they’re being used on you — then, how you can use the same forces benevolently in your own business to boost sales and crush your competition.

I’ll sharing the exact strategies and tactics I’ve used to make my clients millions and millions of dollars.

Whether you choose to implement this and make millions yourself— well, that’s up to you. It takes time and effort. But the framework is here for the taking.

Warning: This isn’t like other guest posts you may have read. It’s very long. It’s involved. It will take a bit of an investment. If you’re not prepared for that, run now.

Article Breakdown By Section

Section 1: How Marketing Really Works (A Bachelors Degree in 1,143 words)

Section 2: The Narnia Effect: How Savvy Marketers Create Invisible Funnels And Hack Your Wallet With Psychology

Section 3: From Initial Concept To The Deepest Levels Of A Million Dollar Funnel (And Why All Of This Matters)

Section 4: How To Create Your Own Money Machine (With Exact Email Templates)

Section 5: The Emotional Trigger Funnel (Copy This And Make Money)

Section 6: Get all the ADVANCED secrets I couldn’t cover here — FREE — Plus access to me


Section 1: How Marketing Really Works (A Bachelor’s Degree In 1,182 Words)

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Nobody likes to be “marketed” to, and marketers don’t even like being referred to as such.

The word “marketer” has gained a slimy reputation from being batted around by unscrupulous salesmen for the last 20 years, and now we’re left trying to dig ourselves out of the used car lot.

question mark guy

“Hello, I’m here to sell you something.” Ugh.

As a result, ads have had to become much more creative to get your attention, keep it, and ultimately, guide you to follow through with their intended call-to-action.

The secret: We don’t mind being sold something if we LIKE the message.

Companies like Old Spice have MASTERED the use of creative messaging to make us love their brand and buy into it over and over again. Practically every piece of content they’ve produced for the last 5 years has been Super Bowl worthy.

The “Mom Song”. If the woman at 0:33 doesn’t make you lose it, nothing will.

Are they proclaiming that Old Spice is the “best smelling body spray in the body spray market”? Not really. Unlike advertisers of the 50’s and 60’s, they’re not trying to convince you of their place in the market.

While the ad may not look sophisticated at first-glance, this 60 second clip is a Master Class in creative marketing, psychological triggers and subtle cues that reinforce the brand — and end up selling a sh** ton of deodorant.

NOTE: I’m going to address several elements that this ad employs. Stay focused, and I’ll bring it full circle by showing you how these deep strategies are embedded in the million dollar funnels I create — and how you can learn to employ the same strategies.

Here are just a handful of the elements employed:

Benefit-driven positioning

The entire ad is focused on a single point: Old Spice will make a man out of you. In the commercial, the viewer sees all the things that being a “real man” would entail — primarily, great success with women. The ad doesnt focus on all the features of Old Spice, attempting to pump up the brand (think about the 1950’s car advertisement). Instead, it puts the focus on the viewer by showing them how their life will improve after using Old Spice. Basically, use Old Spice, get girls. I hear you loud and clear.

Laser-focused niche/market

The Old Spice creative team knows who their target is: Young males. It’s pretty obvious by the ages of all the actors, and the clear focus on getting girls, exactly who the brand wants to attract.

Shared experience

One of the most powerful psychological tools you can leverage is the shared experience. In this case, the shared experience of the mom theme leverages three different types of psychological triggers: humor, love, and community.

As a twenty something male, every single one of us can relate at some point to having a clingy mom who’s scared to let go. We’ve listened to our moms reminisce about our childhoods and become skeptical of the people we date.

We’ve felt pressure to become more private with our social lives because our moms all up in our business (check out the mom at the beginning of the video hiding behind the door. Wow.)

The fact that so many of us can relate to these experiences creates one giant inside joke that makes us scream, “OH MY GOD. MY MOM DOES THAT, TOO!” This not only makes us laugh our assess off (humor trigger), but also makes us think of our mom (love trigger) and then relate all that to Old Spice (community trigger).

Talk about a powerful strategy at play.


Most of the ad revolves around sexuality and the guys getting lucky with hot girls. We project ourselves into the things we read and watch, which is why movies (and porn) are so entertaining. Seeing other guys “conquering” by hooking up with a girl subconsciously makes us think about the same need to conquer in our own lives.

Part of this tendency to project ourselves into the fantasies of others is probably due to the deeply ingrained cultural effects of the Monomyth, or “The Hero’s Journey” — which is also a shared experience (see above).

Easily digestible format

The entire ad is 60 seconds. Just enough time to grab our attention, and make sure that we see the entire message without getting bored. The short format makes us much more likely to share.

Also, the song itself is very catchy and easy to remember.

Repetitive product placement with subtle Calls To Action (CTAs)

You see the iconic red can a lot. You hear the word Old Spice several times — and you see the men actually spraying it on their bodies. Subtle instructions, or Calls To Action that say, “Spray it like this, then you’ll get this result (girls).” Classic “If This, Then That” programming.

They also use the same whistling outro for every commercial, which helps to further embed the messaging.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a concept in psychology that refers to the effect on an individual when they hold two or more contradictory beliefs/values simultaneously. Often times, the result is bewilderment or agitation that can lead to compulsive thoughts about the contradiction.

In the ad, take a look at what all the moms are doing.

They’re hiding behind doors, cutting holes in curtains (SO CREEPY), falling from the sky and popping up from the sand. One mom even slides out from inside of a couch cushion BACKWARDS and slithers across the room like a snake in slow motion, then proceeds to start… knitting.


They are physically impossible and our brains know this. Yet our eyes are seeing them. So we think to ourselves, “Wait…but how…that’s hilarious…but that would never happen. Right?”

Our knowledge of physics directly contradicts the experience of seeing these atrocities (what else could I possibly call them?) and leads to cognitive dissonance. Then we laugh. And we can’t get the commercial out of our heads. Ever.


Obviously, the commercial is freaking hilarious. ‘Nough said.

Their strategy is simple, and it’s based in the most basic tenets of human psychology: Make someone laugh and they’ll feel good about you.

Rather than sell you on the product, the goal is simply to make your day better by giving you something funny to laugh at — knowing that next time you’re at the supermarket looking for a body spray, their brand will be top-of-mind.

Remember, the object isn’t to force people to buy anything. In the end, you can’t do that. People make their own decisions, and if your product is shit, most people will return it anyway.

The key is doing this benevolently, with an offer that really WILL help the user  — all the while, using the advanced psychological triggers to make them realize how much they need what I have

This distinction is important to remember as we dive into how all these elements translate into a successful 7-figure campaign.

Section 2: The Narnia Effect: How Savvy Marketers Create Invisible Funnels And Hack Your Wallet With Psychology

Commercials like those for Old Spice are awesome, and they are very compelling — but at the end of the day, it takes effort to watch a commercial, get in your car and go buy a deodorant stick.

Old Spice knows that, and they’re playing the “long game.” Just like Nike, Coca-Cola and Disney, they are in the business of brand ubiquity at this point. It’s in their best interests to be on your mind 24/7, regardless of whether you’re in buying mode — and if all their efforts result in you buying one product, one time, it was worth it. Their market is huge, and they want to be top dog.

But what about DIRECT sales? How do brands get you to take out your credit card and purchase something right now?

To figure that out, I’ll have to bring you back to 4th grade.

door to narnia

I think we all know where this door leads…

Welcome to Narnia.

The coolest part about a sophisticated marketing campaign is that if it’s executed correctly, you won’t even know it’s happening. You may see an email or to pop in your inbox, but for all you know, they’re just random messages that happened to make it past your spam filter.

You couldn’t be more incorrect.

It’s all an illusion. I call this “The Narnia Effect”, because so much more is happening behind the door than you’d ever expect. It’s INVISIBLE.

Let me show you what I mean…

Yes, even “advanced” marketers can fall prey. Look what happened to me…

About a month ago, I bought tickets for my girlfriend and I to fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for a Skrillex concert. Super excited! It was our first time there!

I used Expedia. I’m sure you’ve heard of them.

Let’s be honest: I don’t have any particular affiliation to different airline ticket brokers. I’m pretty much a free agent, and at the end of the day, I’m looking for the cheapest price. Period.

Expedia knows that price is a big factor in my buying decision — although sometimes they won’t have the cheapest price. But they want my money.

So what are they willing to do to get my business over other (possibly cheaper) competitors.

They’re willing to hit me at home. It’s a little bit like a drive by shooting.

First, you should know what a basic sales funnel looks like.

I’ll cover what all of these levels are doing in a minute:

6 level sales funnel

A simple sales funnel with 6 levels

The concept here is pretty simple:

  • Run some sort of campaign
  • Get people interested in your cause/service/product
  • Show them the opportunity and benefit they’ll receive by buying
  • Give them the opportunity to buy
  • They become clients
  • Sell to them again and again with different offers

GOAL: To move the prospect as quickly as possible from one end of the funnel to the other and turn them from:

A prospect >> to a lead >> to a client as quickly as possible.

Of course, all of this has to be part of a seamless, invisible process that coincides with what the customer wants already.

The absolute BEST for Expedia to do this is to pop up in a place where my guard is down — preferably in a place where I’ve already purchased a product. That way, the feeling of trust is passed from the company I’m already doing business with to Expedia.

(Side note: You can also do this type of “piggybacking” to start a business RAPIDLY as a freelancer. I’ve outlined the entire concept in a framework I call The Marsupial Method.)

Expedia’s sophisticated funnel started completely off-site, and hit me right in my soft spot: Spotify.

I was in a great mood listening to my man Skrillex, so I pulled up his artist page on the app. Here’s what I found:

skrillex spotify app sales funnel

A seemingly innocuous notification that the Skrillex concert was coming up

Hmm…along with his albums and other song info, there was a notification of live events happening in my area.


I’d just entered the funnel for several different companies, including Expedia, without even knowing it.

“Skrillex, on tour?!” I thought. Excellent.

Of course, I wanted to know more. Here’s the next step in the process:

skrillex spotify app sales funnel cta

Check out that juicy, green button for me to press. Notice that it says “tickets” and not “buy now.” Why? Because now wouldn’t be the right moment to present me with a sales offer.

There’s actually been quite a lot of research done on what makes certain button text convert better than others. Check out this case study by Lead Pages.

So now, I have to qualify myself by clicking “tickets.”

Here’s that that means: Essentially I’m saying, “Yes, tell me more about these tickets you’re offering.”

That’s akin to me raising my hand in class and asking to be called on. It’s a huge interest indicator disguised as an innocuous button.

Next, TWO important things happen:

  1. I’m transported OFF-SITE for the offer to begin
  2. I’m presented with a direct Call to Action, and I have a decision to make
skrillex spotify app sales funnel upsell

The direct CTA to buy

I’m already several steps into the sales process, and now, I’m going to be presented with the offer.

I saw tickets were only $20-$50 and decided to buy. Awesome price, and I only ended up spending $70 for two tickets. I felt good about the purchase.

NOTE: I was ONLY presented with this information because I asked for it — so I didn’t feel sold-to, I didn’t feel marketed or schemed. I legitimately wanted to learn more about the Skrillex concert, I clicked through and the offer progressed in line with the natural order of my desires.

At this point, you may be wondering where Expedia came into play.

As it turns out, they were waiting in the wings to hit me with the good ol’ 1-2-3 (“wings…heh, no pun intended).

Suddenly, an inline popup appeared and asked, “Need a flight to Las Vegas?”

I’ll harp over and over again about presenting customers only with offers that you know they want, or that they specifically ask for. If someone says, “Man, I really love Thin Mints” and a freaking Girl Scout shows up at the door, they are buying at least 3 boxes.

Expedia is the Girl Scout in this scenario. Well played, friends. Well played.


drug dealer

Knock, knock. Your drug dealer is at the door.


The link in the popup transported me to the mobile version of and guess what I found?

expedia confirmation

The perfectly-timed offer from Expedia


Awww hell no!

Nope, you’re not hallucinating. That’s a perfectly curated selection for the exact flight I need to Las Vegas. Already sorted for best price and travel time. Holy shit.

Take a second to soak in the can of psychological whoopass that was just unleashed on me:

I listen to a song that I enjoy (emotional tie) in a trusted application, Spotify (established history) >> Spotify knows I like Skrillex, offers me tickets (logical) >> I buy, they know I need a flight (GPS) >> I’m offered a flight

I can’t be the only nerd on earth that’s completely fascinated by this. I can’t be the only one who realizes how brilliant

Obviously, I clicked through to learn more info about the flight, and I found the price was only $150 per flight.

A scary bonus that helped remove even more objections:

In the shopping cart field, Google Wallet had already filled in all my information, including my credit card info…(no idea how this happened). All I had to do was click “BUY.”

Literally, that’s it.

I just went ahead and bought the flights. It was a little impulsive, but since they had removed absolutely all barriers to me making the choice, I felt like I barely had a chance to reconsider.

This entire funnel from listening to music to buying concert and plane tickets happened in about 7 minutes or less, and I ended up spending about $400. But I didn’t feel “marketed” to, and I got exactly what I wanted.

Section 3: From Initial Concept To The Deepest Levels Of A Million Dollar Funnel (And Why All Of This Matters)

Oh, ye of little faith. Many of you still may not see the totality of what’s happening here.

You may take this type of transaction for granted, but that’s only because you’re so USED to these things happening, you don’t even realize how advanced the psychology, technology and strategy is anymore.

What you’re saying in your head:

“Big deal, I was listening to Skrillex and decided to buy some concert/plane tix.”

The reality of what actually happened is far more complex. Remember, the Narnia Effect is invisible, when deployed correctly.

Here’s how you fall into the funnel without even knowing it (refer to funnel diagram in section 2):

  1. You begin on Spotify, innocently listening to music you like. Little do you know, companies are strategically placing offers in all the places you’re most likely to pay attention (Level #1: Campaign)
  2. You find a particular artist you like, and see they have a concert coming up (Level #2: Leads)
  3. You demonstrate interest by clicking “Tickets” to learn more about possible dates (Level: #3 Opportunities)
  4. You’re presented with an intelligent offer to buy the tickets you’ve already said you were interested in a second ago (Level #4: Sales)
  5. You purchase and become a client — and are primed to buy more things. It’s psychologically easier to make more purchases after you’ve already made one. Even if the first purchase is just $1
  6. You see an ad for the exact plane tickets you need. Since you’ve already been qualified, you skip steps 1-3 and head straight to Level #4 (Sales), but this time in Expedia’s funnel.
  7. You buy from Expedia because they present you exactly what you want with as little friction as possible. They even fill out all your information for you
  8. You’re now in the retention (Level #5) phase of 3 companies: Spotify, Flavorus (the concert ticket broker) and Expedia. They will continue to send you highly relevant opportunities to buy, like this:
expedia upsell

The inevitable upsell

Will I end up getting a concierge service? Probably not this time. But somebody will. It doesn’t need to work every time for Expedia to make a ton of money.

Finally, all of this goes even one level DEEPER… all the companies involved in this sale were getting a piece of the pie:


Spotify was getting my membership money and money from the concert ticket vendors for permission to advertise on their platform. They will continue to get money from me monthly, which will continually expose me to these offers.

down arrow

The Ticket Vendor (Flavorus)

Flavorus was getting money from me for the concert ticket sales, and most likely paying Spotify some sort of small affiliate commission, like a little “kickback.” Since they pulled my contact info from Facebook at sign up, they’ll email me later with more concert info, and if I buy from them, they’ll keep 100% of that money.

down arrow

Skrillex and his crew…

He’s the artist/service provider for the concert.

down arrow


Expedia  gets money from me for the airline booking, but pays money to Flavorus for the opportunity to advertise on their site AND to the airlines they booked me with for providing the actual flight.

down arrow

Airlines, Rental Car Companies and Hotels

Expedia will email me later with other offers (hotels, rental cars, etc), the profits from which they will share with other service providers. Remember, Expedia just books things, doesn’t actually fulfill the service.

Lots of money changing hands here, but to the consumer, all we see is one or two transactions and it’s over.

And this is the magic of a well-orchestrated, million-dollar funnel: It’s nearly invisible. But it’s extremely powerful.

Imagine that the exact same process that happened to me from Spotify>>to concert tickets>>to plane tickets, happened to just 0.005% of Spotify’s 24 million active users on a daily basis.


sales funnel comic

Even a very low conversion rate in a big sales funnel can mean HUGE profits

That’s 12,000 people per day. At $400 per person, that’s $4.8 million dollars per day.

That’s 144,000,000 per month.

That’s $1.72 BILLION PER YEAR spread across Spotify, Flavorus, Expedia and the airline.

I don’t know the exact numbers behind the system — these are estimates. But look at the math. Even if we cut these numbers into tiny fractions, it’s still millions of dollars per month, and billions per year.

I woke up that morning with no intent of buying concert tickets or plane tickets.

But these companies found me in a place where I was already hanging out (Spotify), then worked together to use well placed ads, advanced psychology, compelling design and fluid technology to create an experience that made me WANT to open my wallet and do their bidding…THEN, think that the entire transaction was my idea from the beginning.

Now are you beginning to understand what’s really going on here?

Next, I’ll show you exactly how I set this up for my clients — and how you can create a funnel like this for yourself that generates revenue while you sleep (even if it’s not millions, or you don’t run a site like Expedia).

Section 4: How To Create Your Own Money Machine (With Exact Templates)

Ok, ok. I’ve built up the hype machine and created some mystery (hopefully). But the question remains — how can you actually apply this knowledge to:

  • A) Build a new funnel that will make you lots of money
  • B) Enhance a funnel that you already have to make much more money

Step 1: Build an email list

The first thing you’ll need is an email list of people that want to hear from you.


I command you to stop whining!

Building an email list/online brand is not that hard.

30-Second crash course in building an internet brand/email list:

1.) The first thing you’ll want to do is start a blog that has something unique to offer — make sure it stands out (here’s how).

2.) Write honest, original content that people want to read — so compelling that they MUST share it. I owe my success (and THOUSANDS of subscribers) in large part to my Open Letter To Frustrated 20-Somethings, which went viral and ended up getting featured on Under30CEO, Lifehack, Huffington Post and others.

3.) Don’t just wax philosophical – write step-by-step content that actually HELPS people — hint: the monster post you’re reading right now is an example. Then, find other, bigger blogs where your content will fit and offer it as a guest post. For instance, check out this guest post I did for Under30CEO. MASSIVELY helpful to others (look at the comments – almost 200!), and sends me hundreds of readers/month. It’s truly a gift that keeps giving.

4.) Don’t just wildly pitch blog owners to do guest posts — use a strategic approach. Ramit Sethi breaks it down well here. TL;DR — Provide real value. My post here on Paid To Exist is a perfect example. I’ve been in touch with Jonathan on and off for over a year now, helped him get one of his posts on HuffPo, and only after writing something epic did I offer to collaborate with him.

There are many ways to build an email list, but the 4 steps above can get you thousands of subscribers without doing anything else.

Step 2: Learn basic copywriting

Once you have the email list — even a small-ish list of a few hundred people will do — you can start monetizing it by offering products and services that people want.

They can be digital products, physical products, services or experiences. It really doesn’t matter. But how you communicate that offer DOES matter.

We covered the list-building part. Naturally, copy is the next part.

The amount of money you make will be in direct proportion to:

  1. The size/responsiveness of your list — more people = more $$$
  2. The quality of your content/copy — has to be compelling
  3. The quality of your product/service — and how well you communicate that
  4. The construction of your funnel — the more sophisticated/personalized, the better

I don’t have the space to go into the basics of copywriting here. It’s an art form in and of itself. What I can tell you is that it’s not as simple as slapping a few words into an email, pressing send and hoping to make sales.

Will you make sales even if your writing sucks? Honestly, probably. But you’d be astonished how much MORE you can make if you just learn the basics of how to write direct-response copywriting.

My suggestion – don’t scour the internet reading 5,000 articles trying to “figure out” copywriting. Dive in and take a short course — like Neville Medhora’s Kopywriting Kourse.

At the very least, buy his book: This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better. Solid, actionable advice you can use right now to become a better writer. And the book is like $2 on Kindle, dude. There’s no excuse. No, I don’t get any type of commission or props for recommending his products. I just know that they work, and have bought over 40 copies for friends and family.

Ok. Done with that.

Step 3: Construct the funnels

Alright, you’ve made it this far. Yes! We have our list. We know how to write purty good.

Now it’s time to start building these funnels.

Now, to clarify here: There are  3 funnels that have made clients of mine over $1 Million.

  1. The Emotional Trigger Funnel
  2. The Multi-Variate Funnel
  3. The Live CTA Funnel

Since they take a long time to sketch out and this article is already over 5,000 words (yikes!) – here’s the deal I’ll make you:


Today, I’ll show you a #1 on the list, a powerful funnel called the “Emotional Trigger.” Although it may look a little complex, it’s actually the simplest of the 3 funnels, and the easiest to implement immediately.

The “Emotional Trigger” funnel is the foundation of every great funnel, and mastering it will teach you 90% of what you need to know about this creating compelling, systematic sales processes.

The other 2 funnels are even MORE powerful, and I’d be happy to show them to you, so I’ve created the Advanced Funnel and Copywriting Blueprint. It’s a free “mini-course” on the most powerful material I’ve used to make my clients, quite literally, millions of dollars. You can use the lessons in it to do the same for your business.

The blueprint even includes actual BATTLE-TESTED copy that I’ve written so that you can reference and see how bluprint everything fits together — and you’ll get access to me if you have questions.

I’ll send the Blueprint right to your inbox — just click here to get it.


In the meantime, take a look at the “Emotional Trigger” funnel.

Something to remember: These are all “launch funnels”  — meaning that they are used to launch products periodically. But with a little tweaking, they could always be turned “evergreen”, which means that they would become automated, and they would be sent to new leads automatically upon signing up.

For the sake of simplicity, I won’t differentiate between the two here. I’ll just call everything a “funnel.”

As I stated above, there are several elements to maximizing your revenue  — but putting the pieces of the funnel in the correct place is one of the most important aspects.

And it’s also the aspect that nobody ever talks about. People who don’t know exactly how everything works speculate.

And those who DO know how to create these systems tend to play coy and keep the information for themselves.

No more, I say!

Funnel #1: The Emotional Trigger Funnel

emotional trigger sales funnel example

Glossary of terms

1.) Pain points are emotional trigger button issues that are universally felt and understood. Things that feel uniquely personal, but at the same time, are shared experiences. Dr. Suess really understood these pain points and used them to create deeply touching works that connect with kids and adults alike.

My favorite example, The Sneetches. All of them had stars on their bellies, except for one unlucky fella — and he felt like an outcast. What starts as a simple story about fictional creatures in a make-believe land evolves into something personal: “Hey, I’ve felt like an outcast before.” Hit these universal, emotional pain points.


The Sneetches

The Sneetches

 2.) CTA means “Call To Action.” Basically, just instructing the reader to take an action. In some cases, it may be to click a button, leave a comment or email you back. In a sales situation, a CTA would be “gain instant access”, etc. A green light at an intersection is an example of a universally-understood CTA.

You have to TELL people what you want them to do. They’re much more likely to do it when instructed. Remember the TV psychic Ms. Cleo? She built a multi-million dollar business not by asking, but by telling people, “Call me NOW!”

Look at this brilliant CTA:

3.) “Open loop” refers to something that you start in one email, pique the reader’s interest, then intentionally….

….don’t finish the interesting statement until the next email.

It’s great for connecting emails and making people want to read.

Get it?

P.S. – this works well if you put it in a “P.S.”

4.) Crunchy tactic – Something actionable, that the reader can actually DO.

5.) Magic bullet – the solution to the reader’s biggest problem

Section 5: The Emotional Trigger Funnel (Copy This And Make Money)

The “Emotional Trigger” is the most important funnel because it is the basis of so many effective email campaigns. It’s the bedrock. It’s square one. This isn’t the ONLY way to construct a funnel — but it’s a simple format that’s been tested to work.

Remember, our entire goal is to use psychology to delight our audience and make them identify with us (reference the Old Spice campaign). This funnel leverages emotional triggers, especially pain points, to dig deep into the psyche of our readers and compel them to feel an emotion. Later, we’ll leverage that emotion and show them a product that we know will help them.

(Insert evil laugh)

If you look at the diagram above, it’s laid out over 5 days, and each day, the reader gets a new piece of the message that leads them further down the rabbit hole of pain, eventually compelling them to buy something that you can provide.

Think of your campaign as carving out a unique piece of the customers brain, like a puzzle piece, in a shape that can only be completed with the matching puzzle piece — your product offering.

To illustrate how this works, let’s create a sample product. Something simple.

Let’s say we’re selling digital courses on how to play the guitar.

Why did I pick that? Well, I just looked around the room and saw my guitar. But this doesn’t have to be an information or course-based product. It could be a physical device or a service offering. The guitar course is simply an example.

ASSUMPTIONS: We’re going to assume a few things about our demographic/list to guide our copy here. Do your own research for your market and email subscribers:

  • Primarily males
  • 18-35
  • 40k average income
  • Native English speakers
  • No experience playing guitar/ very beginning level

Here’s a day-by-day bulleted breakdown of how the email sequence might play out.

I’m not going to write the entire funnel for you because, damn, that would take a long time and you can’t afford me. But I’ll give you enough to get the idea.

SIDE NOTE: I linked the skill of guitar playing to to attracting women because of the assumptions I’ve made about my fake demographic. This is an arbitrary decision I made because linking things to relationships/sex/social pain can be powerful.

You definitely don’t have to take that type of positioning.


Email #1 — Monday: Emotional Story

SUBJECT: I watched from the sidelines as he impressed her…

  • Emotional story about your high school experience. Relatable.
  • One guy was so cool, always played guitar and girls swooned over him
  • Looked so rugged playing in the back of his pickup truck. Held “parking lot concerts”
  • He wasn’t smarter or better looking than you — he just had a cool, in-demand skill
  • Pain of having no attention, not even knowing where to begin
  • CTA: Email me back – have you ever been envious of the attention somebody got because of a unique skill they had? Do you find yourself STILL thinking about it years later?
  • PS – Tomorrow, I’ll tell you exactly what I did to snap out of my “mental haze” and actually start learning guitar — and getting more attention

Email #2 — Tuesday: Overcoming Obstacles

SUBJECT: The moment I held my first Fender

  • Narrator makes a decision that he’s going to learn – no matter what
  • Goes into music store – picks up a Fender guitar
  • How it feels in his hands – he’s inspired and a little afraid
  • But then, realizes that he doesn’t have to master this overnight – it’s a process
  • Crunchy tactic – take learning a new skill one day at a time
  • Once I had this realization, a feeling of ease
  • Now I help my students get that same feeling – and it actually makes them see success much faster
  • Tease: If this sounds like something that’d be helpful to you, keep reading, I’m working on something special that I’m going to reveal tomorrow.

Email #3 — Wednesday: Turning Point (soft sales)

SUBJECT: Finally…it all started to “click”

  • Narrator starts playing, slowly, painfully but progress is there
  • Starts to learn one of his favorite songs – and actually gets it!
  • Not 100% confident, but brings the guitar to school where the cool guys are
  • Starts playing and attracts a little crowd
  • Girl he likes says “OMG, I love that song!”
  • He can’t stop smiling – and at that moment, it “clicks”
  • He realizes guitar isn’t about the instrument, it’s about self improvement and expression
  • His confidence is up 1000% and he keeps learning and getting better
  • Why did he wait so long??
  • Now, he wants to other people to have the same amazing feelings- so he developed XYZ course
  • CTA: “I’ll be telling you more this week…but If you’re sick of waiting for this transformation, you can check out the course here.”
  • PS – course will only be open until XYZ – add LINK

Email #4 — Thursday: Sales Open

SUBJECT: XYZ course is now open – learn more here

  • Yesterday I told you about my turning point blah blah blah, and now, I want to tell you about the course I put together to help you get there even faster
  • Here’s a tactic/strategy you didn’t know
  • Lists features of course
  • List BENEFITS of course*
  • What if you had this? How much better would your life be
  • CTA – click here to join the course LINK TO SALES PAGE
  • PS – Tomorrow is the last day LINK TO SALES PAGE

NOTE: The difference between features and benefits — features tell what the product does/consists of, benefits tell how it will help/change the user’s life.

Quick example:

Feature of a guitar training course: 10 hours of modules in HD video

Benefit of a guitar training course: Learn to play 2X faster than trying to teach yourself

Email #5 — Friday Morning: Sales Close #1

SUBJECT: Is XYZ course right for you (closing tonight!)

  • Identify all objections and prove they are wrong
  • This course is right for you if…
  • This course is NOT right for you if…
  • “Future-casting”: Where will you be 6 months, 1 year, 5 years from now if you don’t take this step?
  • Testimonials from current customers
  • Guarantee
  • PS – Scarcity: Course is closing tonight, get it now! LINK TO SALES

Email #6 — Friday Evening: Sales Close #2*

SUBJECT: XYZ course is closing in 4 hours – last chance!

  • Last chance
  • Hazards of not taking action (doom and gloom!)
  • Examples of people who were skeptical, but it worked!
  • Challenge yourself, nothing to lose
  • This is the last time you’ll hear about this for a while
  • Brief recap of benefits

* Sometimes a personal video works well with this video. Just open up your laptop and speak openly and honestly.


That, in a 6,609 word nutshell, is how you sell anything via email.

Now, you understand the basics. Just to recap, we covered:

  1. The origins of contemporary marketing strategy
  2. How advanced marketing can catch you off guard
  3. The basics of funnel psychology
  4. The exact way to implement the “Emotional Trigger” funnel, including an outline

Properly used, the information in this article (which should be a mini-book, actually) is worth at least $500k in the right hands.

But what about the advanced stuff?

Section 6:  Get all the ADVANCED secrets I couldn’t cover here — FREE — Plus access to me

I’ve put together an entire advanced course for you called the just click here to get it., completely free.

The course contains a HOURS of material that I couldn’t fit here.

It includes:

  • Step-by-step diagrams for building and running multiple high-profit funnels at once
  • Specific formulas for automating your funnels to be “evergreen” so that you make money in your sleep
  • The real copy I’ve used successfully so that you can see exactly how everything works.
  • Worksheets and checklists to maximize your copy and make sure that you’re not forgetting anything
  • Access to me for 1-on-1 help with your project

Get Daniel’s Advanced Funnel and Copywriting Blueprint — click here.

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Avatar for Daniel DiPiazza
Daniel DiPiazza

Daniel DiPiazza teaches young people start businesses that they care about and live happier lives. He also loves writing about himself in the third person. Click here to join the Rich20Something tribe and get helpful advice.

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    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up
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  • Avatar for Pavlos Giorkas Pavlos Giorkas says:

    Stunning Article Daniel !

    I’m blown away by the simplicity – yet detailed – this article is written.
    I’ll use it one my website for sure !

    This post just entered my bookmarks list !

  • Avatar for Paul Paul says:

    Hi Will, i enjoyed reading your blog about the skrillex thing. I had to chuckle though about Spotify. I think you’ll find that Skrillex would not have benefited at all from any of that though, he’ll get paid for the gig, but be sure he won’t get a thing from Spotify. No musicians get paid from those sharks. I am a proffessional musician, i see the statements, and my friends statements. A friend in particular has had over a millions plays on one track and as the artist he saw less than 5 dollars. The ironic thing about the funnel is its probably only Spotify making the money….. Skrillex won’t be getting a dime from any of it. Meanwhile the CEO of Spotify has just bought a $20 millions dollar house. Im not bitter, honest 🙂

    Anyway about the blog, I’m really looking for a new home business opportunity to make some money on the side with my wife. Ive become so jaded by sifting through it all online, as there seems to be so many scams and people out there that are just ripping off lots of people. There seems to be so many people showing others how to make millions, with a system so to speak which can’t be that simple or why aren’t they doing it and just showing others how to? Because people will always buy into a “magic formula” right? I got caught up in a Victor guy Wealthy Affiliate page one day, who after googling turned out to be a fraudster. Many horror stories of after signing up, there were 4 up sells, and if you didn’t do the expensive one ($4k) you didn’t get access to the proper system and even if you did pay the money, he would disappear and the no support and he would shut it down a few months afterwards. I saw Bob Proctor endorsing this, which obviously he’s affiliated with it. Bob Proctor is another guy who seems to charge a fortune for selling a service that doesn’t actually exist. He seems to charge up to $7k for information of self motivational tapes and pdf downloads, before leading you to believe you would have him as a mentor and helping you directly with a business when its automated recycled information from books we’ve already heard of. Sure there are some great things to learn, but it all seems like its taking advantage and robbing everyone at every opportunity. Like i said, everyone wants to buy into the “Magic formula of making millions”

    I wanted to look at Affiliate Marketing, and also a importing business on Alibaba, but just been a bit put off by it. I would love to chat to you personally if there’s an opportunity. Thanks so much.


    (P.S Next time you need a Skrillex guest list, let me know 😉 )

  • Avatar for Ryan Ryan says:

    I find it hilarious how he basicly just explained how he convinced you to click on the link and sign up for his email. Thanks for the article it was a great read just like many others on this site.

  • Avatar for jamie flexman jamie flexman says:

    Crikey, I think I need a bit of a lie down after reading that. I’m not what you would call the most business minded of people so a lot of these concepts and ideas were pretty new to me, so thanks for putting together this article.

    I never thought about Coca Cola or other popular brands as playing the long game with advertising, but it makes so much sense. They just plant the seeds and let you figure out which item to go for once you’re in the middle of your weekly shop. I’m already thinking up ways to take advantage of this concept.

  • Avatar for danny sneedn danny sneedn says:

    Very interesting Daniel! How can I apply this to selling katana swords that I bought from China? Thanks!

  • Avatar for Olivier Olivier says:

    Hey dude, that’s awesome stuff ! Good job.

    Tell me, for this 1 million dollars deal, is it possible to work for a company ?
    You know, a thing like: give me the money, I tell the company to send you the package.
    I wonder if this is possible with Alibaba companies ?

    How would you proceed if you had just a couple thousand bucks ?

  • Avatar for Adam Dukes Adam Dukes says:

    Awesome post, Dan! There are millions in this blog post if applied. Love how you tied your story into the blog as well. The funnel diagram is killer! Very well laid out. Unfortunately, I’ve paid more for less!

  • Avatar for Joey Joey says:

    Unbelievable value in this post… Really blown away! Thank you! Working through the extra materials now!!

  • Avatar for Duke Rogers Duke Rogers says:

    Incredible insight Daniel, love to see how you extract marketing nuggets out of everyday living. That’s how you know you’re thinking like a marketer!

    Wish this info was around when I was getting started online – these concepts were typically ultra-advanced, protected trade secret! Different world we live in now…

    Keep going Daniel, I’m expecting big things out of you!

    The Duke

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