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    Sell Me This Pen: How I sold $2,220 of sports training (knowing NOTHING about sports)

    Sell me this pen

    A talent of a great copywriter is the ability to sell almost anything, even if they currently know NOTHING about the product.

    There's this famous scene in Wolf Of Wall Street where the star of the movie (a scammer named Jordan Belfort) says to someone at a conference:

    "Sell me this pen."

    He hands them a pen and expects them to sell it to him.

    I personally think it's kind of stupid, and the techniques used to "sell the pen" are very high pressure sales tactics.  It's personally not how I would want to be sold.

    HOWEVER, it doesn't matter what the object you're selling is.  The point is knowing HOW to sell.  Then instead of learning just how to sell a pen, you can:

    Sell me this pen.

    Sell me this bowl of cereal.

    Sell me this life insurance policy. 

    Sell me this 400 watt industrial tract lighting system.  

    So without knowing ANYTHING about sports, I was able to extract the information needed to sell advanced football training to football coaches.

    For this experiment I had a team of radiologists scan my brain, and here's the scientific results of how much of my brain is dedicated to knowing things about sports:

    Neville Sports

    As you can see the Neville Brain knows nothing about sports.  HOWEVER, the Neville Brain knows copywriting, and therefore can figure out the exact information he needs to sell.

    I sat down with the owner of CoachTube (a site that sells training for sports coaches and their teams),  and in exactly 1 hour together we made a quick promotion and emails that generated $2,220 in sales from sports coaches.

    This is a common thing I tell people: If you learn proper copywriting, you can sell anything no matter which industry.



    Can a copywriter who knows ZERO about football successfully sell to a group of people who are obsessive about football?  Let's find out.

    Below, with the help of the owner of coachtube logo, we will craft an offer, write an offer email, and write a Closer email.




    Step 1.) Figure out the offer:

    I asked the owner of CoachTube what a "hot topic" was at the moment.  He said he went to a football coaches conference recently and pretty much all the buzz was about how to do R.P.O. plays and how defend against R.P.O.'s.

    I asked him if a coach wants to fully learn about R.P.O. plays and teach his team about them, which are the MUST HAVE trainings we could bundle together on the topic.

    He named 5 different training courses:

    We took these training courses and put them in a package called the "RPO Domination Bundle."

    At this point, I still didn't even know what the hell an "R.P.O." was.....but as the copywriter, it didn't matter JUST YET.  I was going on the instincts of the owner of the company who intimately knew what sold well, and what the best courses were.

    Sidenote: I hate the name "RPO Domination Bundle", but after hearing what football coaches respond well to and how everything in their career is about competition, I agreed "domination" would fit well.

    Here's the landing page they whipped up in a few minutes.  Nothing special.  It was literally just the images of the trainings with copy/pasted descriptions of each:


    This was an extremely simple page with essentially no design or fancy sales page stuff.....just a list of the trainings in the bundle.



    STEP 2: Write an email for the offer:

    At this point I still had no idea what an "R.P.O." in football was.  However I'm about to speak to a group of football coaches through email, so I better learn SOMETHING about it quickly!

    I proceeded to ask the owner of CoachTube some key questions which would help me fill in my email:

    Neville: "What are the main benefits for coaches to learn RPO's?"

    Loyd: "Right now all the top teams are winning because of RPO's.  It's also crazily hard to defeat an RPO, so if you are coaching a team, you DEFINITELY want to know how to pull these moves."

    Neville: "Is it dangerous for a coach to NOT know how to run RPO's?"

    Loyd: "Oh yeah....all the coaches in every district are studying up on RPO's now, and if a team doesn't know how to defend against them or run them, they'll pretty much lose."

    Neville: "So an RPO is just a single play?"

    Loyd: "Well there's a bunch of different types of RPO's like Inside Zone Bubble Screens, Y-Sticks, POP Concepts, Man Beaters etc). "

    I continued to ask questions as I was typing on my laptop.

    Although I (Neville Medhora, Copywriter) know zero about football....I tapped Loyd's extensive knowledge of football to write this email.  From just a few pointed questions, I ghost-wrote this email for CoachTube:

    Subject Line: RPO


    From our quick discussion about how these football coaches act and talk, I found out they talk quite aggressivelyu.  The tone of the email almost had an "internet market-y" quality to it.

    The email took about 1 hour to write together with the owner of CoachTube, and it got sent out the next day.  Here were the results of that email:

    Email #1 Stats

    • Sent on Feb 6th, 2017 (Monday).
    • 2,545 Emails Delivered.
    • 1,136 Opened (44.64% open rate).
    • 147 Clicks (5.78% click rate).
    • 11 Sales (.43% total conversion rate), (7.5% conversion from clicks).
    • $660 Revenue.


    So after hastily creating an offer and quickly writing an email together, we shot out this email to 2,545 football coaches who were already signed up to CoachTube.

    CoachTube had NOT been regularly sending offers like this to the coaches, and therefore we were working at a disadvantage from a "warmed up" list of emails.

    From the 147 people who clicked on this email, 11 people bought the bundle (7.5% of the clicked).  We brought in $660 from this so far.  Not bad for such a quickly written and created bundle!  But we're not done......



    STEP 3: Write a "Closer" email:

    When you introduce a new deal or product, most of the sales will come from the CLOSING email.  By this time people have had time to mull over if they want the offer, and the "Closer" email notifies them the offer is going away.

    Already 11 people bought the bundle.  So 6 days later on a Sunday we sent the Closer email notifying the coaches the special price of the bundle (normally $125, but for now only $60) was about to end.

    Here's the "Closer" email we sent, it took about 10 minutes to write and format for sending:

    Subject Line: Last day for RPO Bundle


    Email #2 Stats:

    • Sent on Feb 11th, 2017 (Sunday).
    • 2,539 Emails Delivered.
    • 849 Opened (33.44% open rate).
    • 87 Clicks (3.43% click rate).
    • 26 Sales (1% total conversion rate), (29.9% conversion from clicks).
    • $1,560 Revenue.






    Final Results:

    So with a very limited amount of time and effort, we were able to drum up $2,200 from existing CoachTube customers

    • Total People Emailed: 2,545
    • Total Sold: 37
    • Total Revenue: $2,200

    closing email results

    Email #1: Monday, February 6th. Bundle starts.

    Email #2: Sunday, February 11th. Bundle ends.

    Economic Breakdown of Bundle Profits and Revenue Shares:

    • Sales: $2,220
    • Coach Mike Rowe: $925
    • Coach Jason Hahnstadt: $629
    • Stripe Fees: $66
    • CoachTube: $300
    • Expert Kopywriter: $300

    I told CoachTube if I was allowed to publish this experiment (including all numbers) I'd just take 50% of the after-expenses profit. This deal was put together so quickly there was no time to negotiate better rates and such.

    This was a small deal for just a single promotion.  For much larger deals a 50% split can mean A LOT of money.

    However even a newbie copywriter could arrange to write deals like this for a split of the profits.

    Instead of waiting around and hoping people buy from you....a skilled copywriter can craft an offer that brings in money.....even if they know nothing about the subject!

    Hope you enjoyed this experiment and learned something!


    Neville Medhora - Kopywriter


    P.S. A special thanks to CoachTube for letting us publish these numbers.  I do a lot of client work and get to see juicy numbers all the time, but very few places will allow those numbers to be released in public....so those cool experiments never meet the public eye.

    P.P.S. I still don't know what the hell a football R.P.O. play is.

    P.P.P.S. Is seeing experiments like this useful?  Would you like me to try another subject I know nothing about....like maybe tennis??

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Great write up and details!

    Just wondering... Aren't these conversion rates quite low? Being a "hot topic" and all, would make you think many coaches would jump on it without too much thought.

    To be honest, I'm not experienced at all, but other case studies and statistics would point to this as a rather low conversion. Was it a dead e-mail list?

    Maybe I'm completely wrong and these are actually high or moderate conversion rates. You're the expert and would love if you could give insight if these are common results.

    Thank you, Neville!

    Link to comment
    Guest Jason Hahnstadt


    Hey Neville! Thanks for writing this up...if you can't tell, I'm the coach of a few of those courses! It's great to see a step by step write-up for my exact niche. Really helped open my eyes to how the copywriting process is applied to what I'm selling. Can't wait to learn more!
    Link to comment
    Guest Neville


    Oh wow.....literally just published a draft of this before the big email, didn't expect anyone to see it yet (nevertheless the creators).

    I'll throw you some links in the updated version of the article for your transparency! A lot of people never get to see the inner workings (and numbers), so thank you :-)

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville


    Hey Cris, it's hard to say for SURE, so I'll give you my "broad numbers" explanation:

    Generally only 1% of a general traffic audience will buy in an ecommerce situation. This was an email list that's existed for a while, but no offers have been made.

    So considering we just randomly hit these people up with an offer, I'd say this was a resounding success!

    Even with a targeted and loyal audience, something like only 11% of people will be in the right state, right financial situation, and right timing to buy your product.

    So based on the number of clicks the emails had a 7.5% and 29.9% conversion rate. That is REALLY high.

    Link to comment
    Guest Jason Hahnstadt


    Thanks and your welcome! I'm happy to help any time. This has really helped my own copywriting.
    Link to comment
    Guest Hoo Kang


    This was helpful Nev!

    Thanks! I love these case studies.

    I'd love to see you do one for mom and pop services like restaurants, dry cleaners, auto repair places, etc...

    Link to comment
    Guest Alison Tugwell


    Hey Neville,

    Love the Coachtube team! They're awesome! Curious as to what your subject line was?

    Link to comment
    Guest Safwan Khan


    This was fantastic. I will definitely use the copywriting technique you used in selling products. thanks
    Link to comment
    Guest peter


    Really cool stuff Neville,

    I'd really like to see one about TENNIS. And as Alison, the subject lines I am curious about too.

    Thank you very much for this breakdown!

    Link to comment
    Guest Oscar Harry


    The first email said that the deal was only available for 48 hours...

    Email #1: Monday, February 6th. Bundle starts.

    Email #2: Sunday, February 11th. Bundle ends.

    That seems like a deliberate lie, are there any laws or regulations that you could have tripped up on? In the UK where I am based I think someone could report this to the Advertising Standards Agency (not that it's likely they would).

    Also I understand that this is a tough question, I'd appreciate it if you face into it head on rather than delete my comment (I won't be the only reader who notices this). Love ya work! Oscar

    Link to comment

    Hi Neville,

    Nice post. But, I see a weird in the first email:

    "...and it has 4 courses inside:" (you show 5 in the bullet list)


    "This RPO Domination Bundle this is only $60." (weird sentence)

    I like the urgency feeling you use in this mail. You are afraid of missing out and there is time pressure.

    Best, Alex

    Link to comment
    Guest Carolyn Richardson


    Great blog on how to write conversationally as well as the successful case study. Thanks-great job!

    "How to sell a public speaking course" is my pick. It's hard to get people to take the course & overcome fears, but the ones that do are over-the-top enthusiastic, newly skilled and waaaaaay more confident.

    There aren't any bundle options either; not sure what could compel them to enroll right away.

    Link to comment

    This was a great case study!

    You make it seem possible for a newbie to do this. Building your portfolio & bring in some money, win, win.

    Brick & mortar businesses, or B2B without online transactions would be intersting.

    Link to comment
    Guest Rick Siderfin


    Very helpful Neville. Thanks for sharing. Yes, please do more like this.

    Love how you ramped up FOMO on this promotion. One thing that stuck out as not so good is the 6-day delay after a 48-hour promotion - was that intentional or...?

    Link to comment

    Hi Neville,

    Huge fan of your work and loved the detailed breakdown. It was nice to see AIDA in practice again (I bought your book a while back). Your emails get more useful as the week's go by - please keep them coming :)

    Link to comment
    Guest hazwan


    Hey Neville, saw your consultation offers in the link.

    Keen to take one of the deals in the future. But, I'm not sure which one to buy.

    Can I confirm that you write copies for that specific timeframes?

    Link to comment
    Guest Andre


    Superbly done, awesome result. Would like to see more case studies like this, I mean this is gem and everyone can learn a lot. I'd even willing to pay to see a bundle of this (HINT HINT!!)
    Link to comment
    Guest matias from argentina


    Hello, it seems like you have used part of your salary to pay for our kopy-writing education haha that is great, thanks a lot, your teaching are really usefull, artificial inteligence will never do this kind of work, so, so you will have a good job in the future, best regards.
    Link to comment
    Awesome, this does help, now how would you do something similar without access to an expert in the topic?
    Link to comment
    Guest Pedro


    Hey Neville,

    Thank you a lot for this great content.

    Two quick questions:

    1. What were the subjects you used in both emails?

    2. How did you convinced Phil to do this and get him on board?

    Thank you,


    Link to comment
    Guest Zakaria Desai


    Love it Nev!

    Your rate was insanely low for the skill you bring...but anyhow, CoachTube scored.

    What I love about posts like this - is it has a more real-world feel to it. It's a small enough gig to make it feel like any of us can pull it off :)

    Link to comment
    Guest Mary McD


    I noticed the same thing - I'm about to close a course, and wanted to find out if anyone else noticed that also -- I like "closer" emails, but was curious about why it didn't say "extended by popular demand", etc. after the 48 hours...
    Link to comment
    Guest Travis Newton


    Great write up! Very useful for sure!

    I'd like to see an experiment on a service. House cleaning, mobile car wash, dog grooming, whatever.


    Link to comment
    Guest Mary McD


    Great example, Nev, and thanks to CoachTube for allowing their numbers to be shared - brings a realism to the case study that we rarely get to see!

    Would love to see you write on another topic you know nothing about - maybe something technical instead? For those of us who sell to bigger businesses, I'd love to see copy for B2B sales...

    Good stuff freely shared - thanks so much for this!

    Link to comment

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