Ray Edwards Show
Ray Edwards is a sought-after Copywriter, Author, Speaker, and Communications Strategist. His clients include Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Jeff Walker, Robert Allen, and more. On this show, Ray helps you start, run, and grow their Internet-based businesses. The show includes interviews with well-known experts like Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, Dan Miller, Cliff Ravenscraft, Michael Stelzner, Amy Porterfield, Don Miller, and many others.

So what books have you read that changed you? This show is about my list of some of the life-changing books I have read.

Bookshelf in library

Some of them may surprise you.


Tip of the Week:kenu

I discovered a neat little device that easily lets you clip you iPhone to the AC vent in your car. Surprisingly simple. It's the Kenu Airframe – Portable Smartphone Car Mount.

Spiritual Foundations:

How many times have you tried to lose weight, or quit smoking, or change some bad habit? Did you use willpower? How did that work out?

Most will end up going overboard and binging on food cigarettes, sex, or whatever their “bad habit” was. Often you end up worse off that you were to start with. The reason is: you tried to do it on your own. God's promise is that he works in you both to do and will for his good pleasure.

Repeat after me: “God, I can't do this, but you can!”Feature Segment: How to Write Emails That Get Response

Feature Presentation: The Secret Book List That Changed My Life

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

  1. Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola
  2. Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince
  3. Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince
  4. Business For The Glory Of God by Wayne Grudem
  5. 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall
  6. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
  7. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
  8. The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren
  9. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  10. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  11. Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
  12. Platform by Michael Hyatt
  13. Accidental Genius: Using Wiring to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content by Mark Levy
  14. Secrets of Dynamic Communications: Prepare With Focus, Deliver with Clarity, Speak with Power by Ken Davis
  15. The Stormlight Chronicles by Brandon Sanderson (Way of Kings, Words of Radiance)
  16. The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
  17. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear)

Get The Transcript

Click here to get the transcript. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.

Question: So how about you? What books are on your list? Click here to leave your comments.

Direct download: REP124.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:43pm PDT

I hear this complaint a lot: “People don’t respond to emails anymore. It’s like they don’t read them, or don’t have enough courtesy to write back.” Usually the person doing the complaining will then expand on how Western society is crumbling around our ears.

businessman and businesswoman using computer at airport

Rather than spend our time complaining about how inconsiderate people have become, I suggest learning how to write emails that demand a response.


Tip of the Week:parcelapp

Use the Parcel App to track your packages. This is a handy little app that lets you track all your packages on your iPad or iPhone, without having to log into a website.

Spiritual Foundations:

Don't let “Christian Stress” trip you up.

Feature Segment: How to Write Emails That Get Response

There are really two challenges here: first, to make sure people read your emails. Second, to make sure they answer your email while the message is still fresh. Here are five keys to doing both:

  1. Make your subject line attention-getting. The subject line of your email should be riveting, like a newspaper headline. The subject line’s job is to get the recipient to read the actual email. One way to do this is simply make your request in the subject line itself: “Can you come to dinner with me Thursday night at 7 PM?” Or, for example, “Do you have a copy of Michael’s PowerPoint slides?”
  2. Clearly ask for what you want. Don’t write a vague, rambling narrative, and then expect the recipient to figure out what you want. Get right to the point, and make your request clear: ask them to “deliver the report before 5 PM”… or to “bring the extra projector to the meeting room”… whatever it is you need, clearly make the request in the email itself.
  3. Let them know if you even require a response. If you need a response to your email, say so, and make it clear what the response should be. If you don’t need a response, you can simply in the email with, “no response required.”
  4. Keep your email short. Nobody is excited to see a novella show up in their inbox. Keep your email shorter than a page. Most email communications can be conveyed in five sentences or less. In fact, you might want to give this service a try.
  5. Only one subject per email. You’ll get a quicker response to your email messages if you only address one subject in each email. This makes it much easier for the recipient to get you the information or answers  you need. Your response won’t be held up by the recipient, as she tries to find an answer to just one of the seven questions you asked.

What To Do Now

  1. Grab the Parcel App to track your packages.
  2. Use the above tips to write an email that gets a response!
  3. Forgo the “Christian Stress” in your life.

Get The Transcript

Click here to get the transcript. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.

Question: How did you get better response to your emails? Click here to leave your comments.

Direct download: REP123.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:44pm PDT

Last week we focused on writing powerful, persuasive copy. This week I'm bringing you an interview with a leader in the direct response marketing world – and the guy who has hired almost all the great living direct response copywriters.

Sunset over Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.A.

This is a rare interview with Brian Kurtz of Boardroom, Inc.


Feature Segment: Interview With Brian Kurtz

What To Do Now

Claim your $2,500 bonus (1 hour of consultation with yours truly) by doing the following:

  1. Register for the Titans of Direct Response Marketing using this link.
  2. After you have registered, send a copy of your receipt to my support team here.
  3. We'll get on the phone and arrange your consultation.

Get The Transcript

Click here to get the transcript. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.

Question: Have you ever hired a great copywriter, or used the power of copy to sell your products or services? Click here to leave your comments.

Direct download: REP122.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

One of the most important skills you can develop is the skill of writing persuasive copy. Copy that sells products and services.

Notepad on a wooden table

There is a formula for writing such copy, and in today's episode, I will share it. You can start using it today..


  • If you enjoy the podcast, I would consider it a great favor if you subscribe (and leave a review) in iTunes. This helps new people discover the show. A big thanks to Camilla-NoMoreHamsterWheel, and DayneDad,  for giving us a review on iTunes in the last last week.
  • I'm speaking at the Platform Conference in November. Register using this link, and as you check out enter the promo code RAY to save $100 on your ticket.

Tip Of The Week 

Split-test your life. In direct response marketing, we  test different elements of our marketing, honing on on the most effective variation. This process allows you to be constantly improve the outcomes you are achieving. It occurred to me that I could do the same in my personal life. Here are some routines and habits I am split testing in my own life:

  • Doing my quiet time/”hour of power” each morning first vs. doing my most important work task first each morning.
  • Exercising in the early morning hours vs. exercising in the afternoons.
  • Recording my podcasts weekly vs. recording them 6 weeks in advance
  • Caffeine intake vs. no caffeine intake.
  • Naps each day vs. no  naps each day.

The possibilities are endless. What can you split test in your personal life?

Spiritual Foundations

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, overworked, and anxious – there is rest and peace for you. The Lord wants you to enter into His rest. Now, in the Kingom, everything is upside down. He who wants to be lifted up must bow down, those who want to rule must serve. and those would wish to be first must be last.

To achieve God's rest does not mean that we are inactive. It means we understand that while we may labor with God, the outcome is up to Him, not to us.

It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Psalm 127:2

So go ahead, and do what needs to be done – but rest. And when you have done all you can do, then stand. Leave the outcome to God.

Feature Segment: How to Write Web Copy That Sells

Here is the formula for writing web copy that sells your products and services.

  • First: why it's necessary.
  • People don't take any action initially.
  • They don't know you, like you, or trust you.

Copy fills in the gap.

Why it's so long.

We need to answer all the objections ahead of time.

Better for us to raise and answer all the questions first.

It's time for a new paradigm.

To Sell More, P.A.S.T.O.R. Your Customers

A Five-Part Framework For Better Sales Copy

If you want to sell more of your products and services, or even simply sell more people on your ideas, you must learn the basics of the art of copywriting. But what is copywriting, really? One of my favorite definitions was given by a man named John E. Kennedy, back in 1904. Kennedy defined advertising (and copywriting) as: “salesmanship in print.”

If you can write effective sales copy, you can literally write your own paycheck. There really should be no such thing as a “broke copywriter”. By definition, good copywriters can create money out of thin air. So why does copy so often fail?

Copywriting Fails When You Ignore Universal Principles

There are universal psychological triggers that help you sell more effectively. The problem is, the field of copywriting is strewn with misleading, manipulative, and even in some cases malicious techniques.

You can hardly “swing a cat” without hitting a copywriter who has a “formula” for writing copy. Most of these formulas are actually quite good.  Many however, are based on tricks of manipulation and psychology that are more than a bit morally wonky.

The framework I’m going to share with you today, though, is intentionally based on universal principles that are focused on doing good, and helping people make decisions that are in their own best interest.

To Sell More, P.A.S.T.O.R. Your Customers

Most people associate the term “pastor” with the preacher at church. While this is certainly true in most cases, the original meaning of the word “pastor” was actually “to shepherd”. And what does the shepherd do? He or she cares for, feeds, and protects the flock.

Now, before we go any further, I should address the habit that some marketers have of referring to their customers as their “herd”. It seems to paint an unflattering picture. This kind of imagery is not what I am invoking here. The actual role of a shepherd is a loving, caring, and protective one. In fact, Jesus, who called himself the “good Shepherd”, actually laid down his life for his flock.

I am not suggesting any religious overtones for your copy: what I am suggesting is that you adopt the same loving, caring, and protective role as you write copy for your prospects and customers.

And, as you might’ve guessed, P.A.S.T.O.R. is also an acronym for the major sections of your copy. Here is the explanation:

“P” is for PROBLEM

You must begin by identifying  the problem that you are solving. The simplest, most effective way to do this is to describe the problem in great detail. It’s a psychological principle: the more accurately you can describe your reader’s problem in terms they relate to, the more they instinctively feel that you must have an answer to that problem. Use the reader’s own language, the very words and phrases they use to describe the problem they want to solve.

For instance, if you are writing about fitness and weight loss, you might begin by describing their current situation this way: “You've tried every fad diet that’s come along. You’ve started and stopped a dozen different exercise programs, perhaps joined several different gyms, but the truth is you just can’t seem to take the weight off (or keep it off.) Perhaps you’re even feeling a little disgusted with yourself and your inability to control your eating and your weight. You feel like no matter what you try, it’s not going to work.”

Remember, you’re not judging their behavior, rather you are describing their experience as it currently is. This means you have to understand their experience as it currently is. You have to know your audience and what they are thinking. As the great copywriting legend Robert Collier said, you have to “join the conversation that is already taking place in the reader’s mind.”

“A” is for AMPLIFY

The next step is to amplify the consequences of not solving the problem. This is really the key to making sales, and it is probably the most neglected step in the process. What will motivate people to buy your product, invest in your service, or accept your idea is usually not the beautiful outcome framed in a positive light. It is rather, realizing the cost of not attaining that outcome. In other words: what is it costing them to not solve this problem?

When I’m writing copy about a business improvement program, for instance, I may have the reader walk through a simple exercise like this: 

“Write down your average monthly income over the last 12 months. Then write down what you want your average monthly income to be. Let’s say that your average income is $5000 per month, and your goal is actually to make $15,000 per month in your business. That means the “gap” between where you are and where you want to be is $10,000 per month. You’re paying a cost of $10,000 every month you don’t solve this problem.”

“S” is for STORY and SOLUTION

 Once you have described the problem, and amplified the consequences of not solving it, it’s time to share the story of how the problem can be solved. This will be different depending on your situation. It might be the story of how you yourself finally solved this persistent problem.

It might be the story of how you helped a client or customer discover the solution on their own.

It does need to be more than simply a description of what the solution is: telling the story of Bob, the frustrated business owner who was on the edge of bankruptcy, whose family had lost faith in him, and who, out of desperation tried one last idea that saved his business… is infinitely more powerful than simply saying, “One day, Bob figured out the answer.”

It should go without saying, but I will say it just in case: the story must absolutely be true. Don’t make these things up. And if you’re thinking, “But what if there is no story?” I would suggest you just haven’t looked closely enough. There is always a story to tell.


The next key step in writing your copy is to remember that whatever you’re selling, whether it’s a home study program, a book, a seminar, your consulting services… anything at all… what people are buying is not the “stuff”, it’s the transformation.

When people buy the P90X workout program, they did not wake up one morning and say to themselves, “I sure hope today somebody tries to sell me a bunch of DVDs and a wall chart.” 

Those things (the DVD’s, charts, etc) are the “stuff”.

What buyers of P90X are actually purchasing is that lean, healthy, youthful physique they want for themselves. The transformation.

It’s also important that you offer testimony, real-life stories of people who have made the transformation that you are teaching, and who have done so successfully. Study the most successful infomercials, and you'll discover that they consist of about 70% testimonials.

And while most of us will not be writing infomercials, it’s important to remember there are three questions people are asking when you sell them coaching, consulting, or instruction about anything. The questions are:

Has this person been able to do what they are describing for themselves?

Has this person been able to teach other people to achieve the results they are describing?

Will this person be able to teach me how to achieve these results?

“O” is for OFFER

So far, you have defined the problem, clarified the cost of not solving it, told the story of the solution, and helped your reader visualize the transformation through testimonials from others just like themselves. Now is the time to describe exactly what you are offering for sale.

This is the section of your copy where you lay out your offer. You can even create a subheading for the section called something clever like, “Here’s Exactly What You Get”.

Make certain that you focus 80% of your copy on the transformation itself. You do have to talk about the deliverables (the class schedule, the DVDs, etc.), but that should only occupy about 20% of your copy in this section. Just remember that as you describe the deliverables in the offer section, you must keep tying them back to the transformation and benefits your buyers will receive. 

So instead of simply writing that the buyer will receive “8 DVDs, each containing a 45 minute workout session”, you might instead write that they will receive “8 DVDs that each contain a body-sculpting, fat-burning transformational work out that will help you craft the lean muscle you really want.”

“R” is for RESPONSE

This is one of the areas where copy tends to often be the weakest: the response request. We are asking the customer to buy. At this point, you should not be shy about making this request. You should tell the customer exactly what to do in order to get your program, your consulting, your book, etc. You should remind them why it’s important o do so.

I often write copy similar to this: “You're at the point of decision. You can either continue down the path of least resistance, the path you have already been traveling, or you can choose the road less traveled. The path of least resistance will probably result in you getting the same outcomes you’ve always received. But if you want something different to happen, if you want to change the direction of your health (or your relationships, or your finances, etc.) you’re going to have to do something different. Make a new choice, and pursue your new outcome.”

And then I will write very specific, directive copy telling them exactly what to do next: “Click the button below, fill out the order form, and we will immediately ship your entire package to you. It will contain everything you need to get started.”

Some people shy away from strong language like this, but the fact is, if you truly believe that you have a solution that will solve a problem for people, why on earth would you not be as direct as possible in telling them how to get that solution? In fact, aren’t you doing them a disservice by not making the strongest case possible?

My suggestion is that you use this framework to write or rewrite your sales copy. The key to making this approach to writing sales copy successful is the having the mindset of being a “pastor”.

If you apply the principles of being a shepherd to your readers, and you follow the sequence of the P.A.S.T.O.R formula, my prediction is you will experience more sales, more profits, and more happy customers… more often. 

What To Do Now

Steps you can take to put this week's episode content to work for you:

  1. Split-test elements of your daily life and habits.
  2. Sign up for the free webinar training on how to write a book in 30 days or less.
  3. Run your sales copy through the P.A.S.T.O.R. framework.

Get The Transcript

Click here to get the transcript. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.

Question: What one action will you take from today's podcast that will move you toward the success you seek? Click here to leave your comments.

Direct download: REP121.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Most small businesses will fail. According to StatisticBrain.com, 25% of businesses will fail in year one, by year five the failure rate is 55%, by year ten it's 71%. Why does this happen? There are many explanations being offered, from industry changes to economic environment.

Going Out of Business

My strong belief is that most of these so-called reasons are excuses. And when we get right down to the real reasons most businesses fail, it turns out the top 10 reasons are all within your control. In this episode I will explain what the 10 true reasons are, and how to control them and increase your odds of success.


Tip Of The Week run-pee

Did  you ever sit squirming in the movie theater, because you needed to run to the restroom but didn't want to miss an important scene?

Now there's an app to help you out. It's called RunPee! RunPee lets you call up the movie you're watching and the app will tell you when is a good time to go to the restroom, how long you have, and even tell you what happens while you're gone.

It has silent alarms you can set up, letting you know when it's safe to go to the bathroom, so you don't have to take out your phone in the dark theater.

The best part is… it's free!

Click here to get the RunPee app.


Spiritual Foundations

Following Jesus can be confusing sometimes. First of all, Jesus himself said some of the most puzzling things. And now, 2,000 years after he rose from the dead, there are many conflicting opinions about what he said and did.

How do you know who is telling the truth? Who really represents the Spirit of god, and who is a false teacher or false prophet? I think there are 5 distinguishing characteristics that should be warning signals of false teachers or doctrines. (For further reading, see 1 John.)

  1. Claims to be the “one true way”.
  2. Promotes an “us against them” mindset.
  3. Sets up one person as the “ultimate authority” who must be blindly obeyed.
  4. Over-emphasizes one doctrine or scripture in a weird way.
  5. Uses fear and manipulation to control followers.

Remember what Jesus himself said: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Feature Segment: The 10 True Real Reasons Your Business Will Probably Fail

Most businesses do not close because of competition, the economy, regulation, or any of the other excuses businesses owners use to explain their failure. Most businesses that fail do so because of preventable mistakes on the part of the business owner. The most common reasons are:

  1. Mediocre product, customer service.
  2. No employee training system.
  3. No marketing system.
  4. No investment in business/staff improvement.
  5. No clear objectives.
  6. No testing and tracking.
  7. Inefficiency.
  8. Laziness.
  9. No advisors.
  10. No cash.

In the audio, I explore each of these in depth, and provide solutions to each of these problems.

What To Do Now

Steps you can take to put this week's episode content to work for you:

  1. Get your business or web site promoted on my show by givings us a review in iTunes!
  2. Review the list of the 10 reasons businesses fail and ask yourself: could I improve in any of these areas?
  3. Do what it takes to correct any of the mistakes you or your company might be making right now.

Get The Transcript

Click here to get the transcript. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.

Question: What action will you take this week to strengthen your own business? Click here to leave your comments.

Direct download: REP120.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 4:00am PDT