Once in a while you will be unexpectedly reminded of an email you wrote because a reader hits the reply button and brings an issue to your attention.

Like a broken link.

That’s how I rediscovered the following email written to promote an anti-aging product. After pondering the message contained within the reader desperately wanted to get a look at the sales letter but the poor fellow could not get the sales page to load.

The interesting bit here is that we were selling anti-cancer prevention strategies…

Why is this interesting? Because in general it is fairly difficult to get people to pay attention to copy written around prevent strategies. And when it’s cancer? Forget about it.

Who wants to read about a serious disease they don’t yet have and which is scary even to contemplate?

Ordinarily, no one.

But this guy did, and it got me to re-read the copy I had written to elicit just such a response. As you will see, at the time I wrote the email this conundrum must have been at the top of my mind, because I did the one thing that can rescue you in situations like this.

SWIPE #1: A Tale Of Two Witches

I told a story using some completely over-the-top characters who undoubtedly knew how to write copy even better than I could. In other words, I lifted the dialog right out of their mouths.

Here’s what ended up in the message that had the reader frantically emailing the vendor for the location of the sales page:

SUBJECT: Isn't this just the real Horror Story of aging?

It's really no fun gowing old, as Fiona Goode, the all-powerful Supreme discovers in season 3 of American Horror Story.


Fiona is a witch, but she's dying.

Another victim of that awfully mortal affliction known as cancer.

In Fiona's case she's absolutely determined that she won't be "going out bald and shriveled and... begging for morphine."

Hey, it's Carolyn Hansen again, and I had thought to try to convey to you the sense of terror that has invaded Fiona's life.

But then I realized she is more than capable of describing in her own words her resolve to withstand the approach of a truly horrible death:

"Meningeal carcinomatosis. That's what the doctor called it.

"Tiny seedlings that the cancer planted in the lining of my spine.

"The little bastards are Satan's diet pill."

At this point we see her kneeling in the bathroom, retching as a result of her last-ditch attempts to beat the disease with chemotherapy...

"I used to think I understood pain. A burn, a cut, a broken bone... Heartbreak.

"But this is as if I've been dipped in the River Styx and all the suffering of all the souls that ever were or will be has soaked my body.

"My body doesn't belong to me - not that I'd want it in this state."

Fiona Goode is played by Jessica Lange who in real life is 66 years of age.

Lange doesn't look too bad for her age, but the true miracle of the flesh in this story is Fiona's nemesis, the witch Marie Laveau, who she turns to for help.

That's because Marie knows the secret to eternal life.

She never ages.

And it is here that the creators of American Horror Story really strike gold by having actress Angela Bassett play the role of Marie.

IMAGE OF THE AGELESS MARIE LAVEAU (enable images to see)

At the of age 56 Basset could easily pass for a woman 20 years younger.

Photos don't do her justice.

Her creamy complexion, devoid of the usual tell-tale signs of aging that we call wrinkles, seems to defy the laws of human biology.

And she has somehow managed to maintain her physique.

Slim and accentuated by taut muscular limbs.

There isn't a woman alive today who could look at Ms. Bassett and not be convinced that this lady has something special going on.

Fiona Goode is no exception.

"I want what you have," she tells Marie Laveau. "Whatever it is that has kept you young all these years."

Of course, Marie's not telling.

Especially since to her eternal shame she's had to make a deal with the devil to cast off her mortal coil.

Luckily, there's absolutely no need for you to sell your soul to learn Angela's secrets to peeling off the effects of aging and rendering powerless the ravaging effects of life-threatening diseases like cancer.

In fact I'll have more to say about how you can put the brakes on "The Big C" in an upcoming message.

It's a secret that, had she known it just 20 years earlier, might well have entirely changed the course of Fiona Goode's life and perhaps extended it for another 20, maybe even 30 years.

Angela Bassett's secret to longevity?

Nothing more than the very same strategies of healthy living laid out in my "Reclaim Your Longevity" program:

This works even better on mortals than it does witches!

Adherring to a Paleo diet is one of those secrets.

Saying NO to sugar is another.

Maintaining a well-chosen set of exercises to perform nearly every other day is a third.

There's no reason anyone should have to endure the miseries that Fiona Goode finds forced upon her at the end of her life.

As she sits in front of a mirror trying to explain to her lover why she is leaving him she says:

"A month from now, I'll be a... a balding and toothless skeleton.

"I don't want you watching me decay.

"I'm not scared of dying.

"I'm scared of living like this.

"The constant pain and the ugliness."

This is the real horror of the third season of American Horror Story.

Not the macabre goings on at Miss Robichaux's Academy for witches.

It's the true-life depiction of what lies in store for roughly one out of every four people who die today.

Those are the odds of having your life cut short by cancer.

Assuming of course that you don't act now to dramatically lower your risk of disease.

If that sounds like a plan CLICK HERE and I'll show you how to get started...

Or you can be like Fiona, and seek out the most powerful voodoo at the last minute to right all the wrongs you have subjected your body to over the years.

I have to admit - that's at least a possibility if you're a Supreme like Fiona Goode.

But for the rest of us?

I'm putting my fate into the hands of a scientifically solid longevity program.

What's your plan?

To living the longest most enjoyable life you can,
Carolyn "supreme health and fitness consultant" Hansen

Oh, those television script writers, they make us copywriters look like chimpanzees at the keyboard. I would be handicapping myself not to steal from those guys.

Also, it certainly does not hurt that the two women around which this story is constructed happen to be two of the finest actresses of the day. They are completely recognizable even if the reader has never come across “American Horror Story”, the show from which this tale of woe is plucked.

Now I am going to get all copywriter historical on you and paraphrase one of the real A-List copywriters from the “MadMen” era of the 50s and 60s.

Eugene Schwartz, who was best known for writing highly engaging direct mail and print magazine pieces, said that the best way to understand what it is that captures people’s attention is to bath yourself in whatever is considered high entertainment at the time. Blockbuster movies. Sold-out broadway shows. The most-watched and talked about television series…

So all the time I’ve dedicated myself over the years to watching Netflix in the dark of my apartment? I like to tell myself this was all in the pursuit of Schwartzian copy mastery.

But you know what? There’s a little bit of truth to it because otherwise I’d not be able to write pieces like the one shown above. Left to my own inclinations I tend towards curious facts and solidly undeniable truths. But those don’t engage the audience the way the morbid thoughts of a soon-to-die witch are likely to do.

Also it is highly unlikely that I could get away with telling the reader that the pain associated with having cancer of the spine would be as if one were dipped in the River Styx and all the suffering of all the souls that ever were or will be had soaked their body. Not without sounding pretentious. But Fiona Goode can get away with it because she is living the experience.

Of course it is all fiction, but fiction told by a good liar (an actor/actress) is in general a lot more believable than the truth from the mouth of a straight shooter like me.

Let’s take a look at another message from this series.

SWIPE #2: A Bread And Butter Prevention Message

This one is far more conventional and tries to engage the reader using those “curious facts and solidly undeniable truths” I mentioned earlier. I don’t think it works as well as the “tale of two witches” message, but not all your lessons are going to be inspired by well-crafted and emotionally-rich screen writing. Most are going to be of the bread and butter type where you throw in the facts and the figures to demonstrate competence in the subject you claim to understand so well.

Again, the focus of the message is on cancer prevention strategies. Read through it, take some mental notes about what is going on and then compare them with what I have to say on the other side of it…

SUBJECT: How to eat to starve the pre-cancer cells inside you...

That's the bad news - in case you hadn't already figured it out...

If you are older than 40 years of age you probably already have cancer.

IMAGE OF THE WORSE POSSIBLE NEWS (enable images to see)

Say what, Carolyn?

Unfortunately I'm not kidding about that.

But there's good news as well, about how you can keep this unwelcome cancer diagnosis in check.

In fact, before we go any further I'm going to give you a valuable tip in the fight against cancer:

Drink Earl Grey tea.

To see why this is such good advice just keep reading.

The news that spontaneous cancer cell generation isn't at all uncommon once you hit middle age shouldn't be too surprising.

Because it's not long after the age of 50 that we see a huge uptick in the number of reported cases of cancer.

At some point in our lives cell regeneration simply starts to go wrong and the result is small clusters of cancer cells throughout our body.

These microscopic cancers are usually no larger than about a half a cubic millimeter.

That's about the size of the tip of a ball point pen.

Luckily most of them STAY that size.

They cannot get any larger because they just don't have access to enough blood vessels to support the influx of oxygen and nutrients needed for their growth.

But have no doubt, those tiny but potentially deadly precursors to full-blown cancer are just waiting for an opportunity to begin their explosive growth in your body...

And there really is NO DOUBT about either the nature or the existence of these stealthy but ticking time bombs.

But if you're still skeptical that you may already have cancer lurking within you, then consider this...

Studies from autopsies carried out on victims of car crashes reveal the following surprising statistics:

[ - - - - - WHAT THE DEAD TELL US - - - - - ]

* Roughly 40 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 50 years have microscopic cancers in their breast tissue.

* About 50 percent of men in their fifties and sixties have microscopic prostate cancers.

* By the time we are 70 years of age there is almost a 100 percent chance that we have miscroscopic thyroid cancers.

[ - - - - - /WHAT THE DEAD TELL US - - - - - ]

But most of these cancers will never become a problem for us because they won't ever get the blood supply needed to turn malignant.

In other words cancer WITHOUT disease is an absolutely routine part of aging.

So how do some cancers turn deadly?

That's the other bit of bad news I have for you today.

Because at some point some of those microscopic bundles of cancer cells acquire the ability to release "angiogenic" growth factors into the tissues around them.

Angiogenic is the fancy way of saying "it causes blood vessel growth".

That's good news for those previously harmless cancer cells and bad news for you.

Because now they finally have what they need to grow like wildfire.

But here's some more good news.

About 90-95 percent of all cancers are environmentally induced.

That means you potentially have a LOT of control over your level of cancer risk.

For example, diet accounts for 30-35 percent of environmentally-caused cancers.

Which naturally leads to the following important question:

Is there any kind of food we can eat that has an anti-angiogenic effect?

IMAGE OF SIBEREAN GINSENG PLANT (enable images to see)

Meaning that it reduces the likelihood of blood vessel growth so that those budding cancer cells can be held in check?

In other words, can we eat certain foods to starve cancer?

Yes. It turns out we CAN!

Red wine has been found to inhibit blood vessel growth.

Strawberries are also potent inhibitors.

Actually, dozens of foods turn out to be naturally anti-angiogenic including:

green tea
earl grey tea (remember this?)
red grapes
bok choy
soy beans

The list goes on.

Notice the tomatoes on that list?

A Harvard School Of Health study conducted on 79,000 men showed that those who consumed 2-3 servings of cooked tomatoes per week had a 40-50 percent reduction in risk of developing prostate cancer.

Here's the really interesting thing about those foods.

They're not in any sense hard to obtain.

You'll find them on the shelf at your local food market.

They're components of what can simply be described as a healthy eating plan.

Much like the one you'll find spelled out in my "Minimalist Nutrition Program" which is just one of the elements of my "Reclaim Your Longevity" program found here:

Click here to discover my "minimalist" approach to nutrition

Here's the bottom line when it comes to protecting your health as you age.

Disease, and cancer in particular, does not suddenly emerge out of the blue to threaten your life.

There are processes going on inside you right now that will STRONGLY influence both your quality of life in the coming decades AND the number of years you can expect to stick around.

But by acting intelligently when it comes to your physical needs RIGHT NOW you can dramatically influence how the future will shape up for you.

That's something I can help you with.

But not if you are prepared to simply "wait and see" like most people are happy enough to do.

Because MOST people die well before their alloted time at birth.

They let life whittle down the time they are owed and they die without ever fully appreciating what it is they have allowed to slip away.

Don't let that happen to you {!firstname_fix}.

Join me today and begin making the changes to your life that crush your risk of disease and help to secure the long and high-quality life you deserve in the years ahead.

Join me today here to begin reclaiming your longevity

Carolyn "say no to cancer today" Hansen

So the most immediate concern when you are writing any kind of direct mail copy, like the example above, is to say something which suggests you know something the reader doesn’t know, but should, and all will be revealed if they just keep reading.

In this instance I am telling them that they probably already have cancer, they just don’t know it yet, and here is why. This should come as a bit of a shock to most people, and naturally they will want to know the potential consequences of this.

But before proceeding to offer the explanation for the unnerving claim I give them what might appear to be a remedy to this not-so-good news.

I tell them they might want to drink Earl Grey tea. Now they have to keep reading to find out if this is in fact the antidote to worrisome news, the nature of which has yet to be made apparent…

Whenever you can offer your reader a visual for an abstract medical idea it generally works to your benefit. Hence the introduction of the “size of the tip of a ball point pen” imagery. I introduce the idea of microscopic clusters of cancerous cells that find themselves blocked from further growth.

This “present but harmless” claim is likely to be accepted by the reader without the need for further proof because (a) cancers clearly come from somewhere, and (b) because their growth is physically constrained these microscopic tumors have no immediate consequence, so their behavior matches with what the reader knows about the threat of cancer before the age of 50 years – that it’s just not that large…

But to make sure the reader believes me I back up my facts with some figures – microtumor incidence rates by age.

If you are a middle-aged woman reading the message you are going to discover to your dismay that microtumors are already present in your breast tissue.

If you are a man your prostate is at risk because of them.

In other words there is a little in the way of bad news for everyone.

If my reader has made it this far they know what is at stake and now I can dive into the real story I want to tell – the story of angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) and what it means to your long-term prospects of escaping a cancer diagnosis.

This is where the reader gets the payoff for having continued to read. They learn that certain foods inhibit angiogenesis (and thus cancerous cell growth). This includes the specific herbal tea we brought to their attention at the beginning of the message.

Finally, proof of the abiity of food to perform this small anti-cancer miracle is presented before the reader learns that this is just one of the anti-cancer strategies offered in the product this email message was designed to promote.

Let’s look at one last message from this prevention strategies series.

SWIPE #3: An Inevitability Of Success Message

I am not a big fan of self improvement messages. But that does not mean I have not written a few at one point or another. The product being promoted in this series happened to contain a self improvement type title, so when it got to the point where I was scratching around for unexplored subjects the following one came up.

It is a simple “inevitability of success” message – if you take these strategies I am offering you and you faithfully carry them out… then you are eventually going to succeed.

The trick in this one is to convey to the reader the idea that there is a consistent, machine-like regularity to this process and that it can end with only one outcome. Success.

SUBJECT: Borrow MY mindset, upgrade YOUR life

I'm a great believer in the philosophy of peak performance living.

The idea that you should strive to attain excellence in everything you do.

Of course it goes deeper than that.

IMAGE OF THE ZONE (enable images to see)

It's about trying to put yourself "in the zone" and then stay there so that you can achieve great things in short periods of time.

The thing is though, it's near IMPOSSIBLE to do if you don't have the right mindset.

And you don't just wake up one day and discover you have it.

You have to put in the grunt work to build the thing.

Put it in place one brick at a time.

That's probably the biggest benefit you get from joining my "Reclaim Your Longevity" program.

You get to be slowly indoctrinated with the peak performance philosophy.

Just a little at a time.



Until the pool of desire for a decidedly better life, a decidedly healthier, wealthier, and longer life, takes hold somewhere inside you.



Until you wake up one day and decide the IDEA of the better life just isn't enough for you any more.

IMAGE OF THE POOL OF DESIRE (enable images to see)

If until now you'd fantasized about dropping 40 pounds and saying goodbye to the shameful cloak of fat that has been hiding your true self from the world...

Well, now you start pinning images of that ideal body on the wall so that you cannot fail to be reminded of your goal.

Suddenly your mind is RIPE FOR CHANGE and it's no longer a question of whether you have the ability to achieve your goal, it's simply a question of what you're willing to sacrifice to make it happen.

That's when the obstacles that had once blocked your every movement suddenly begin to seem like mere choices to be made.

This or that.

Now or later.

Fast or slow.

A lot or a little.

Just choices - and you can make choices.

That's really the KEY to getting what you want from life.

Recognizing that most obstacles to progress aren't obstacles at all.

They're just choices you haven't had the strength to be able to make so far.

But once you've decided that you REALLY want something bad enough you'll be able to begin seeing the world in a different way.

One where most things you believed were simply impossible to achieve aren't so impossible after all.

When I first began competing for prizes at the professional level I would turn up to bodybuilding contests believing that I was there to showcase my physique.

It never occurred to me that I could not possibly win an event without first achieving the mindset of a champion.

At that point in my life my mindset was just one more obstacle that guaranteed someone else would be taking home first prize.

It was only later, when I could already see myself as the winner long before the day of the event, that I could MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES beforehand to ensure that I arrived on the stage the first place winner I believed myself to be.

Mindset made ALL the difference.

And when you join me in my "Reclaim Your Longevity" program I'll slowly go to work on your mindset too.

Preparing you for a life of peak performance living:

One where every day presents you with CHOICES


Doesn't that sound like a better way to live your life?

Carolyn "it's always a matter of choice" Hansen

Yes, self improvement messages. Not really my thing.

Give me the option and I will go with a story of witches every time.