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Email Marketing and Jawbone

Ways in which: Email Marketing and Jawbone

Ways in which is a blogging series that looks at ways people could do things differently to improve their marketing efforts. Ways in which covers all things social, content and copy.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of the individuals, brands, or companies mentioned and my opinion is strictly my own.

Alongside that, if you notice anything I didn’t, comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas.

In this edition of Ways in Which, we’ll be looking at e-mail marketing, specifically from a company called Jawbone. Jawbone  is a world-leader in consumer technology and wearable devices, building hardware products and software platforms powered by data science.

The following is a collection of their most recent e-mails, and my commentary on ways in which they could improve.

Weekly overview’s: good email marketing technique

email marketing

This first email marketing technique from Jawbone is great. This is sent weekly to those who have connected their Jawbone band to their email. It’s a weekly overview of how well you’ve performed and whether or not you have reached your targets.

Why it works:

  1. Gives a visual representation of your past week for amount of steps you’ve done and the amount of sleep you’ve had.
  2. For those who forget to log into the app, this provides a quick way to review your previous week, giving you an opportunity to optimize for the next week (the core aim of the app and the hardware).

How it could improve:

  1. Where it says “you hit your goal 2 times“, they could add to this a small sentence that says “our average user hits their goal 4 times a week”. This way you have an indication of how well you’re performing compared to other people.

Valentine’s message

email marketing

Joanna Wojcik of freshmail wrote valentines is the second most important peak in Q1 after Mothers’ Day. With Valentine’s Day in February, Jawbone obviosuly saw a great opportunity to offer a deal for those who might wish to spend some money this holiday season.

However I think they made a few crucial mistakes with this one:

  1. If they knew anything about me, as a person, they would know I already own a Jawbone UP3, so why would I want to buy another?
  2. Okay, so maybe I want to buy a second for a loved one. That makes sense.
  3. However, the offer states once you buy the second Jawbone UP3, I then get 40% off a second tracker…
  4. Who am I buying this second tracker for, if I already own one and i’m about to buy one for my loved one?

What they could’ve done:

  1. Realised I already owned a tracker and offered me a smaller discount for a second one:

Example copy:

Hey, we know you’re using your tracker so we’d love to offer you 25% off a second tracker this Valentine’s day so you can treat someone special. Hurry, offer ends soon.

This way they show personalization, they understand and acknoledge that I have a tracker and they make the assumption i’m actually using my tracker.  If both of these statements are true, then it’s likely I might want to buy a second for someone else, especially if offered this limited time deal.

Jack Simpson at econsultancy suggests you should split your email list into targeted segments so you can deliver content to a more specific audience. This is likely to be more effective than blanket-emailing everyone on your contacts list. 

I can’t understand why I’d want to buy two trackers, when I already own one, and I only get discount on what would be the third purchased tracker.

As Eric Krattenstein said for, Mashable: failing to organize your database according to your customers’ needs, wants and likes means your targeting will be off, and your campaigns will be trapped in the inboxes of the wrong readers.

Friendly reminder

email marketing

Jawbone did what any good email marketing expert would do and sent me a reminder email for the previous deal. However, the problem I found with this was the email subject. Now, although my previous concerns with this deal still stand, my problem with this email was the clickbait title.

Looking at this email in my inbox, it seems like i’m going to get 40% off any tracker, it doesn’t say 40% off second tracker, which is what the actual deal is.

Achievements

email marketing

Finally, Jawbone sent an email about a service that allows you to duel people in order to create a sense of competition to spur you on to achieve your goals.

This email marketing was good because:

  1. It was timely. They talk about lovestruck and they sent the email around valentine’s day
  2. It didn’t assume anything that wasn’t true. With Jawbone, you are able to duel with your friends and family who also have the app and the hardware. However, they don’t know whether I have any friends or family who have the app of hardware. So instead, this email pushed me towards a link that would allow me to duel one of their experts.

Overall takeaways:

  1. Consider how you are grouping your email list. Some people might be subscribers who don’t have a Jawbone, and other people are subscribers who do have one. Consider separating these people if possible, so all correspondence is relevant to both parties.
  2. Jawbone send updates quite regularly,  so too many irrelevant emails will cause people to unsubscribe
  3. Continue to offer weekly updates of progress to encourage people to continue using the app, and also achieve their goals.
  4. Brilliant CTA’s so continue to use those.

Like I said before, I’m not affiliated with Jawbone in any way. I’m just a user who receives their emails and has an opinion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on their email marketing and if you think there are other things they can improve or other things they’ve done well, then please do leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

If you are a copywriter, you are also a salesperson.

Put your hand up if you’re in sales?

Put your hand up if you’re a copywriter?

If you put your hand up for the second question but not the first, think again. If you are a Copywriter, you are also a salesperson. That is the point of copy: to sell.

This is where people go wrong. I hear it all the time. “Oh, I’m not a salesperson, I’m a coppppppywriter, did you hear that? I write coppppppy.” They always emphasise the word ‘copy’. I get where they’re coming from, we’ve been conditioned to think salespeople are annoying.

When I say salesperson, you imagine someone on the phone pestering you to buy their latest product.

It’s not nice when you think you’re a wordsmith to find out, you are actually a salesperson, I get that. But until you come to learn that you are, in fact, a salesperson, your copy is not going to improve.

There is a difference between writing good copy and writing well. Writing good copy involves selling something to someone or persuading them to think the same way you do. Writing well involves understanding theory.

You tell someone you’re a copywriter they say wow, you tell them you’re a salesperson and they think of this guy.

http://tkographix.com/are-you-a-good-salesperson/
http://tkographix.com/are-you-a-good-salesperson/

But you don’t have to tell people you’re a sales person, you just have to know inside that you are.

If you cannot sell your product to a person in real life, how do you suppose you’re going to sell it online?

One exercise I do with my clients is to get them to sell me their product. The catch? The only words they are allowed to use are the ones on their website. Do you know how many times I have been blown away and considered buying something from someone? NEVER. They find it difficult, some are even embarrassed by their copy because it’s just not what they would say out loud, so why, oh why would anyone ever want to read it? If they don’t want to read it, how do you expect them to be persuaded to buy something because of it?

There are FOUR steps I want you to take. Once you’ve taken these steps, you should understand the purpose of copy but also understand how you can start writing copy that actually sells.

 

Step 1: Tell yourself you are a salesperson. Write it down. like this

[NAME] – Copywriter & Salesperson

When people land on your website you have a chance to sell to them. You only have one chance. Don’t fool yourself into thinking If they don’t understand it they will come back. They won’t.

Step two is to reach for the sale. Have it in your mind.

Don’t focus on writing the best piece of content you’ve ever written. You’re not looking to win a literary award. Focus on ensuring your copy sells.

Don’t try and be everything to everyone. If you have created a piece of software, don’t spend vital selling time trying to explain everything about it, listing endless reasons why everyone should buy it. When you sell, keep one person in mind, your ideal customer and pitch to them and them only. If you do this, they are more likely to buy from you.

Intercept their questions, get to the point and cover any um’s or ah’s they may have. Ideally, to sell something successfully you need to have been a customer. Would you buy this product if someone else was selling to you, why or why not? Tackle the why nots, and make sure they’re covered in your sales pitch.

  • Perhaps you wouldn’t buy it because you think it’s too expensive. Write down that the price has been reduced.
  • Perhaps you wouldn’t buy it because you don’t trust the person. Add testimonials.

You might think what you have to say is cool or interesting but look at everything you’ve written and ask yourself this question.

Is what I am trying to say in any way going to push these prospects towards a sale?

Step three: Use the language of your audience. If you’re selling something light-hearted, do not use technical language you only understand if you read your copy alongside a thesaurus.

IF PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY, THEY WILL NOT GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY.People think copywriting is about buzzwords, or token phrases used to improve conversions. THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

I read a book once called 150 copywriting words that sell. No one could write a good book of 150 copywriting words that sell unless they wrote one for each website that existed. There are no “set words that sell” because it’s different for each business or website.

The best way to know what words to use is to simply take the words your customers give you and rewrite them into something that’s your voice. Think about it.

Your customers are the ones who are talking about your product, they are also the ones buying your product. Use what they say to sell to other people. Salespeople have, for a long time repeated what their customers have said to them. It’s just the way it works.

Here’s an example of two conversations. The first one did not convert, but the second one did. I wonder why.

Salesman BOB: Hello, sorry to bother you, I have a hoover here it’s really good for getting up dust, I would love to show you more about it.

Homeowner 1: I’m sorry, we use a brush because we find it’s better at tackling the carpets.

Salesman Bob: would you say brushes are better for carpets?

Homeowner 1: Yes I think so, my old hoover used to get clogged up, it didn’t work well. If your hoover had magic suction plates I might consider it, but thanks for you time. Goodbye.

 

Salesman Bob: Hello, sorry to bother you. I just noticed you had carpets in your hallway. I’ve got a hoover here and if you like I could show you the magic suction plates. They’re a lot more effective in getting up the dust than say using a brush. It’s free of charge.

Homeowner 2: Oh wow, that does sound really good. I’ve been looking for something like that, sure if it’s free why don’t you come in.

*30 MINUTES LATER*

Salesman Bob: There you go. I know how aggravating it is having to switch from a brush to a hoover, but this hoover just has it all, as you can see. Thanks for your time Ma’am.

Homeowner 2: How can I buy this? I would like to buy one today!

Do you see. Use the words of the customer, get in their mind. Let them know that you think the same way and they’re much more likely to give you their money.

STEP FOUR: Make sure the customer can buy with ease.

Don’t fall at the final hurdle here. You have them hooked, they want to buy your product or service, but where is the buy button? Let me tell you a secret, your customers are fickle. You might have won them over with your copy, but the minute you ruin their experience, they are unforgiving. They will not return.

Do not:

  • Request them to fill in 20 form boxes including giving you the name of their first friend, childhood pet and mother’s maiden name
  • If you can cope only knowing their postcode, then only take their postcode.
  • Ever heard of PayPal? Use it as well. Give them more than one way to pay.
  • They’re trying to buy, they’re happy to buy, don’t distract them. Let them make the sale
  • Let them know they can trust you. So far, you have made them like you or your product, but remember this relationship has only been there a short while. The lady bought the hoover from the guy because she trusted it would work as she SAW it in action.

Where to go from here:

  1. Look at the content you’ve already written and question whether you had sales in mind when you were writing it. Remember, you’re not writing a poem, you’re not trying to write a novel or epic piece of academic content, you’re trying to sell.
  2. Write a list of any barriers that might stop someone buying your product and make sure your copy addresses all of these barriers.
  3. Let me know if you have managed to do this. I would love to hear your experiences. You can contact me directly at hello@jordieblack.com

How to write blog posts people want to share

How to write a “YES, YES, YES” blog post.

Have you ever read a blog post and said “oh boy, I sure wish I could write like that”? I know I have. I read blog posts regularly & I totally understand the almost overwhelming feeling you experience when you read a good one. I also understand the utter boredom of reading uninteresting blog posts.

Maybe you’re the person writing the dry and boring blog posts? If you are, I am here to help you start writing blog posts that have you and others saying: “yes yes yes”.

The different kinds of content.

There are different kinds of content in any genre of writing. 

The two types of content.

  • Filler content
  • The content that often gets people saying “yes, yes yes”.

For many people, maybe for you too, creating content is not your only job role. You have other things to do as well. For this reason content perhaps isn’t a top priority.

The first kind of content people think of is filler content. If your content isn’t being received highly, chances are you are writing filler content. Filler content is everywhere. I guarantee if you have an idea for a blog post, it’s already been written. Filler content generally doesn’t interest anyone because it says nothing new.

Think of filler content as buying a card for your great-aunt. You don’t really like her so you buy a generic card like everyone else and she ends up with a series of almost identical cards for her birthday.

Granted, filler content is easy. All you have to do is Google your proposed blog title, read a few of the already existing blog posts and with that knowledge, write your post. Simple, right? It may be simple, but doesn’t mean it’s any good.

See the chances of filler copy going “viral” is slim to none. No one cares because they’ve read it all before.

Think about it like this. Suppose you have a blog all about natural disasters. Filler content would be a blog post called “Ten largest volcanoes in the world”.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 11.51.07

Why would anyone want to read your list of ten volcanoes when they can read all these other lists of 10?

The problem you might face, like so many others is you think filler content is all you can create because of how long it takes to create the other type of content. You believe the other type of content takes months to put together, especially with your already busy schedule. But that simply isn’t the case.

THE SECOND TYPE OF CONTENT

The second type of content is what people miss out on. It’s the content that often gets people saying “yes, yes yes”.

The second type of content has people saying “yes yes yes” because it SAYS SOMETHING NEW

Let’s go back to our volcano example. Okay, you want to write something about the biggest volcanoes because you think your readership will appreciate that.

I’ve already shown you the amount of “top ten largest” articles that are out there. So you need to put a spin on it. You don’t always need to do endless research, you don’t need to spend months writing your post, you just need to SAY SOMETHING NEW.

Examples:

  1. Ten volcanoes that are bigger than small islands
  2. Ten volcanoes that are younger, yet bigger than you are
  3. What would the world be like if the top ten volcanoes all went off at the same time.
  4. Already you have content people might pay interest in because you’re saying something DIFFERENT.
  5. Anyone can compile a list of large volcanoes, and a few people and go out and conduct first hand research of the volcanoes but everyone can, despite not many doing so, can create epic content that leaves you saying “yes”.

Do you want to know another secret about “yes yes yes” writing?

It’s all in the aim. The aim of good “yes yes yes” writing is not to write an academic piece only lecturers can understand; the aim of “YES YES YES” writing is to help your readers understand something more clearly.

Look at a blog post you thought was good and had the “yes yes yes” reaction to.

  • Their writing isn’t good because they use good words.
  • Their writing isn’t good because they have good use of Grammar.
  • Their writing isn’t good because they have used 10 statistics per paragraph.

Their writing is good because they look at the content through new eyes and give you information in a way you haven’t yet considered.

How to stop yourself writing boring posts?

To stop yourself writing boring posts I say there are three steps.

  1. Decide what sort of content you want to write
  2. Do a google search to see how most people present the information (remember there is a very small chance you will be able to write a blog post no one has ever written before. If you do, chances are the blog post is not relevant.)
  3. Think about the topic and try and think of it through a new eyes. How can you say something new?

Now you’ve stopped yourself writing boring posts, how do you write interesting content?

People come to me and say they’re trying to think of content through new eyes but the only thing they can think of is a generic boring response.

There are four key ways to look at content. Today I’m going to let you know these four ways. Once you’ve read them, try using it with your content  to see if you can see it in a different light. At first, you will need to keep checking back to my descriptions, but if you do it often enough, you will be able to do it naturally. If you can use all four ways even better.

Empathy: Empathy involves showing the readers you understand their problems. Example: You’re unsure about a scientific fact, would you rather a P.H.D lecturer say this to you “this is so easy how the hell do you NOT understand this? Wow you must be really dense” or would you prefer someone to sit down, explain and let you know it’s totally normal to not understand; and it’s easy to move from not understanding to understanding?

Through empathy, you reassure the person their problem is okay, is simple to fix and you will be the one to fix it. Do this and you’re going to have the person “yes yes yes’ing” by the end of your post.

Reality: Show the problem affects real people. Write things like “have you ever had the problem of….”, “it’s really common to feel like….” let them know their problem exists in the real world; and they’re more likely to listen to your solutions. Remember a blog post should always try and address and solve a problem.

Emotion: You need to appeal to people’s emotions. This is not to say you write a sob story at the beginning of every post. Convince your readers they’re reading content from a real person who feels things. How many times have you read the information the aircraft give you before take off and said “yes yes yes”? My guess is never, because it’s not emotional, it doesn’t mean anything (apart from life or death if you follow the instructions incorrectly). But the truth of it is, you don’t really care.

Story: Craft your content around a story. “What would Goldilocks and the three bears think of these three reasons to upgrade your website”. People by nature are gossips. They love stories. The truth of it is, stories are easier to read and digest than other forms of content. We get lost in the story and the message behind it follows. It’s the perfect way to add “yes yes yes” moments to your content.

How do you put this all together?

Back to our volcano example:

Headlines: How I almost died trying to take a photo of the largest volcano in the world. (Story)

I’ve been to all 7 wonders of the world. Nothing, however, quite compares to seeing your first volcano. (Story).

Most people have never seen a volcano in person, but want to. Today i’m going to show you how I almost died trying to take a photo of the biggest volcano in the world (reality). I’ve always been a dare-devil and i’m the sort of person who take risks if I see an opportunity. (Emotion).

I made some mistakes trying to take the photo of the volcano but i’ve since then learnt better and safer ways to do it. In today’s blog post, i’m going to show you how you can too. (Empathy).

See, not hard at all is it? Why not write a blog post for your own company. Pick a generic, boring done-before topic and turn it into something really fascinating. When you’ve done feel free to send it to me at hello@jordieblack.com

I would love to see what you created.

How to understand your customer and write better copy

Understanding your customer – The Problem-GAP-GAP-Solution method

People in the copywriting circle always say: in order to successfully sell using words, you need to understand your customer. The best technical writer in the world is no match to the writer who understands their customer.

This blog post will teach you:

  • Why you need to understand your audience
  • How you understand your audience

For the sake of our understanding, imagine you have created a new kind of mobile phone with a week-long battery life. You think it’s pretty cool! I have drawn a picture of said mobile phone if your imagination is poor.

phoneetc

Now imagine you have 100 potential customers. Each customer has the potential to buy your product for £100. If you could sell them all you could make £10,000. That’s a lot of money, right? You need to find a way to convince every single customer they need to buy your product.

Your first lesson in selling: Be clear and concise.

Remember at school you were told your essay was okay, but the point wasn’t clear enough? Your teacher may have said something like this:

“If the examiner cannot understand what you are trying to say, you will not get the marks.”

It’s the exact same for copywriting. If your customers do not fully understand the benefits of buying the product, or more specifically buying the product from you, they will not buy it. 

There’s something I want you to remember. Your customers are selfish. They do not have any sort of allegiance for you. They are not “rooting for you to make a good product”. If they can find the same product cheaper somewhere else, they will buy it there. So how do you stop them doing that?

You get in the mind of the customer and try to understand them.

Let’s go back to our £100 phone with 100 potential customers. Suppose you put the product out there and 30 people buy it. They bought it straight away as it was EXACTLY what they were looking for, plus they have bundles of excess income.  

Congratulations, you have just made £3000. I am very proud of you. But don’t you wonder what it would be like if the other 70 potential customers bought your product too? Don’t you wonder what it would be like to have £10000 in your account, rather than £3000? I know I would.

THE CUSTOMER DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU – please if you do anything, remember this. 

The method you will use to understand your customers is the “Problem-GAP-GAP-Solution” method.  Say it out loud Problem-GAP-GAP-Solution. There are two steps we need to take before we get to the solution.

Untitled Diagram

So the Problem-GAP-GAP-Solution method begins with the problem. Put your product aside and think about the problem. What problem do they have? It might be one of these:

  1. They find it annoying that their phone battery dies so quickly.
  2. They miss phone calls and important messages because their phone dies.
  3. They have to spend extra time remembering to charge their phone each night.

Now with every problem, there is usually more than one solution. The first thing to do is fill the first GAP. Write a list of all their potential solutions and see which falls closest to the one you are offering:

  1. Use your phone less
  2. Get a phone with a better battery
  3. Have two phones

At this point they might not even be thinking about buying a new phone. The first step is to get inside their minds and convince them they need to buy a new phone.

Once you’ve persuaded them to buy a new phone, you need to persuade them to buy YOUR phone. There could be 30 other companies who are offering the same phone, if you don’t convince them to buy YOURS they could go elsewhere. This is a process that should be done methodically you need to take the customer on a journey.

The next step is to get into their mind and convince them they need to buy a phone with a longer battery. Consider what their thoughts are.Untitled Diagram (1)

Let’s pretend I am someone with the problem. I might take to Google to discover what I can do.

These are a few of my Google searches:

  1. “How to make my phone battery last longer”
  2. “What can I do to stop my phone dying so quickly”
  3. “Phone with the best battery”

What you want to do is to tap into the minds of the people who are searching for these & intercept them so they look at your product. 

If they are searching for “phone with the best battery”,  the copy you write needs to reflect this.  

Have a look at the two examples of search engine headline copy and think which is best. Remember you are trying to understand your customer and give them a solution to their problem. You are also trying to sew the seed of thought, that they need to invest in a new phone.

  1. “MOBI-Phone with a lithium power X3452 super battery”
  2. “Never worry about your phone dying, get a phone with unlimited battery life”.

If you chose option 1, please go back and have a think and come back when you think it’s option 2. If you chose option 2, well done, you’re learning. You’re just that little bit closer to understanding your customer and thus writing copy that converts.

This is one of the mistakes people make, especially with technical products. You might be very proud of the fact you have created a “lithium power X3452 super battery” but your customers are not.  All they care about is whether you can give them a solution to their problem.

If you’re currently sat in private, stand up, place your hand on your chest and repeat after me:

“My customers only care about the solution to the problem”  All good things come in threes so let’s say it three times.

My customers only care about the solution to the problem”

“My customers only care about the solution to the problem”

“My customers only care about the solution to the problem”

If someone cared about your “lithium power X3452 super battery” they would be searching for “lithium power X3452 super battery” Remember, it’s not about you. You’re simply the messenger, you are not important.

If your product is techincal but your ideal customer is not: don’t write with technical language.You will confuse and disengage them. The ideal customer who just wants their phone battery to last longer does not know what a “lithium power X3452 super battery” is, nor do they care. Think about it. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, OR EVEN YOUR PRODUCT. IT’S ABOUT THE SOLUTION.

Whether you’re trying to sell a physical product or a service, everyone is selling the same thing, a solution to a problem. If no one is buying your product/solution at all, it might be the case that your “solution” isn’t actually a solution at all. 

Let’s pretend you move into a new apartment. It’s smaller than your old apartment therefore you no longer have space for all your books. You decide to buy a Kindle. The kindle solves your problem because you’re still able to read all your books.

Suppose two weeks later you decide you don’t like reading anymore. Do you still need the Kindle? No. Are the Kindle’s features still the same? Yes. Are they important to you anymore? No. Because the solution is not important, therefore the product is not either.

The reason we have broken the process into steps is just because the solution is obvious to you, does not mean it is obvious to other people. You need to bring people to your line of thinking slowly, especially when asking them to make a commitment like buying your product.

Untitled Diagram (3)

You are now ready to pitch your product to people who have an interest in what you have to offer. You need to think carefully about how you pitch, and what you say. This is probably not a good time to spend an age discussing how amazing your “lithium power X3452 super battery” is. The main thing you want to do from these pitches is: answer any questions they might have.

Two example e-mail subject lines: pick which one is best:

  1. “never have to worry about charging your phone each evening, our MOBI-PHONE lasts 1 week.”
  2. “Cool new MOBI-PHONE has lots of apps and the best processor”

If you’ve been following and understanding you should have chosen option 1.

Option one you are directly answering their questions. Option two you are talking about yourself, again. It might be the case that the phone has lots of apps and the best processor, but people are not looking for that. They are looking for a phone with a long battery life. 

You are now going to write four emails. The first two will be emails you pitch to a company to see if you can stock your phone in their shop. 

The second two emails are going to be pitching to customers. The first two people have signed up to your newsletter. They filled in a survey on your website and gave you their e-mail address. This is perfect opportunity to contact them.

Before you read what I write, why not try and write an email to the phoneshop and an email to the potential customers.

When you’ve written it see how close you were to my example. If you were closer to my bad example than my good example, try and look for the differences between the two. If you don’t understand, I am always contactable by email on hello@jordieblack.com

Good example

Hello,

I know your customers continuously complain about your phones having poor battery life. We have created a solution to everyones problems. We have a created a phone with a battery life of one week. That’s right you can use the phone continuously and it will last for a week. If you use it less than that, it will last even longer, but the smallest time it will run out is a week.

We know this is something your customers have been looking for. We conducted a survey for you here.

*ENTER SURVEY WITH OVER 1000 PEOPLE SAYING THEY WOULD BUY THE PHONE*

On the technical side, we have created a “lithium power X3452 super battery”. This is one of the best on the market and we’re looking to offer exclusivity. This means you will be the only retailer able to sell the phone in your stores. We’ve created a press package attached to this email for you to use.

In exchange for selling the phone, we’re willing to give you 30% of the profits, alongside exclusivity rights.

This phone is the answer to your customer’s problems and we think you’re the perfect match to sell the phone.

Bad Example

Hi, I have a new phone you might be interested in. We’ve created a “lithium power X3452 super battery”. You can sell it in your stores and take 30% of the profits. It’s one of the best phones on the market and we think you will love it as we’ve spent a long time making it perfect.

Good Example

Hi person-who-filled-in-the-survey,

Thank-you for taking an interest in the MOBI-Phone. You wrote in the survey you would be interested in a phone that had a longer battery life. That’s brilliant because we have something you will be able to use.

We know how frustrating it is when you’re lost, trying to get somewhere but your phone died. We also know how frustrating it is when you’re listening to one of your favourite songs but your phone dies half way through. It’s tough and as much as we all hate to admit it, we depend on our phones. i know I feel lost and disconnected from the world without my phone.

The phone we’ve created has all the features of an ordinary phone but contains a special battery. If you’re technical, this battery is called “lithium power X3452 super battery”, if not it just means it lasts a long time.

We think this phone is something that could be of use to you and because you’re one of the first to express interest, we’re giving you the chance to trial the phone. No contract, no commitments, we just want you to try it and see what you think. You can trial it for a month and if you like it, we’ll be very happy to sort you out with a deal, to say thank-you.

We’re contactable on the phone 12 hours a day, and can even have out of hours phone calls if this suits you better. Just give us a ring on 01-RING-US.

Thanks NAME,

Bad example

Hello,

Thanks for filling in the survey. We think you will like our new product.

We’ve created a phone with one of the best battery lifes in the world. it has a “lithium power X3452 super battery”. This is an exciting time for us, and we’re all very proud of what we have created.

We think everyone is going to love this phone and we think you will too as it is the best phone with the best battery.

We would like you to try the phone if you want to and if you try it we hope then you will buy it, which we are sure you will.

Please get in touch whenever you can and discuss where we should send the phone to.

Thanks,

As you can see, the good examples are good because they follow the golden rule:  YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT, THE SOLUTION IS.

Aim not to talk about yourself. Talk as little about yourself as possible.

In the case of the retailer, a good pitch is one that lets them know what would be in it for THEM. They don’t care what benefits you get from selling the phone, only what benefits they get.

In the case of the potential customer, you got behind their mind. You knew they wanted a phone with a longer battery life and they expressed interest in your phone. Give them a reason to buy from you. Don’t waffle on about the phone’s specifications or why it is important to have a phone with a longer battery life. They already understand that – that’s the reason they’ve signed up to your newsletter.

So now you have built the bridge

Untitled Diagram (3)

You’ve built a bridge between the problem the customer has and the solution.

You’ve made them see the benefits of your solution over another. And you’ve made them understand the benefits of buying from you.

You did this through understanding them. You got to know them, what they want, and how they want it. Only once you do this can you successfully write copy that will convince them to buy something.

Do you struggle to understand your customer? Have you ever thought about it like this? Comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Do you know your customer?

Understanding your customer

I’m currently offering free online consultations on your website to see if you truly understand your customer. Fill in the form and I will get back to you as soon as I can. The form

Take the best writer in the world, pitch them against an average writer. If the average writer knows their customer, they will write better, more persuasive copy EVERY TIME

Copy is there to persuade. How do you expect to persuade your audience, if you do not know them?

Consider what it means to know your audience

Suppose you are a parent wanting to convince your child to eat their vegetables. Would you give them a list of the vitamins you get from vegetables? Probably not, because they probably don’t care. As a parent, you know your child. Because you know your own child, you’re well seasoned to persuade them. 

Think about it. The way you would persuade a five-year-old to eat their vegetables is different to how you would persuade a 15-year-old. No matter how flashy your writing is or how many cool technical words you include, If you don’t know who you’re pitching to, you will never be able to sell to them or persuade them.

Let’s write a letter to our five-year-old and a different letter to our 15-year-old to convince them to eat their vegetables.

Dear 5-year-old-child,

Hello, it’s your Mummy/Daddy here. Today I want to tell you a story about a special superhero. This superhero has really cool powers and everyone thinks he is super awesome. Sometimes…he can fly. The reason this superhero is so awesome is because he eats his vegetables. He eats them all up and guess what? He actually likes them!

Maybe tonight, if you eat your vegetables you might get super powers too, just like the superhero. *ENTER SUPER COOL PICTURE OF SUPER COOL SUPERHERO PHOTOSHOPPED EATING A CARROT*

Untitled-1

Dear 15-year-old-child,

Look, you haven’t eaten vegetables for a really long time and it’s really not cool. I know you don’t think it now but in twenty years time you are really going to regret not eating them. This is a picture to show you what can happen if you keep denying your vegetables. *ENTER IMAGE OF A REALLY ILL LOOKING PERSON*.

Now i’m not trying to tell you what to do, I know you wouldn’t like that, but i’d hate to see you end up like that.

P.S So yeah, tonight there will be some vegetables on the table, if you want them, go for it.

See? Perhaps your two letters were similar to mine? The letters were different because although the problem was the same (kids aren’t eating vegetables) the subjects were different. 

Why do you want to know your audience?

Don’t get me wrong, learning how to write IS important but that’s only half the battle. The other half of the battle is getting to know your audience so you can tailor the copy to them. 

The difference between knowing your audience and not knowing your audience:

Often when I talk about understanding your customer, people ask what the big deal is. They say “I doubt copy really has that much effect on someone, they either want my product or they don’t.”

If I make a good product they will come….I hear this over and over again and it really isn’t true.

When you create a product or service, try and think of your customers split into three different groups.

  1. Those with no interest in your product who do not wish to engage with, or purchase it
  2. Those interested in your type of product, but perhaps have not seen your specific product before
  3. Those who are interested in your product specifically.

Now the way you pitch and write for each different group is going to be different. You are not going to pitch to group number 1 because they are not interested in your product. 

Let’s pretend you own a bike shop. If you were going to pitch to groups 2 and 3, you would write different things to different groups because although you want both to become customers, the journey they take to get there will be different.

Group two are people who are interested in bikes. They know they want a bike, but haven’t heard of your specific bikes at this point. Those in Group 2 want to know why they should be interested in YOUR BIKES.

You do not need to:

  • Tell them the health benefits of cycling
  • Tell them the top five reasons people choose to get a bike.

They already know this. That’s the reason they’re researching which bikes to get.

Group three are people who know about your bikes, and they want a bike. It’s crucial you respond to each group differently because each group are crucially different. Group three are different in that they’re considering giving you their money to buy one of your bikes. What you need to do is to prove to them why they should buy one of your bikes TODAY.

Look below at the two e-mails and try and guess which is for Group 2 and which is for Group 3.

Hello, [NAME]

We’re super grateful you have been following our journey and we want to repay you. Today we’re offering you the chance to get one of our bikes half price! Not only that, if you come down to the store and get it today, we’re gonna let you become an ambassador.

As an ambassador you get:

  • First knowledge of when a new bike is coming out
  • The option to try our new products before we start selling them
  • Reduced rates on our most popular items
  • Unlimited bike repairs for you and your family.

That’s it. All you have to do is come to the store today, bring this e-mail and buy one of our bikes (half price)!

Look forward to seeing you!

Or

 

Hello [NAME],

We noticed you signed up to our newsletter today, so first of all: welcome!

We promise to never send you spam or anything we don’t think you’ll be interested in. If we do though, just hit reply to this e-mail, let us know your concerns and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

We hope you’ve had a good luck around the website, but if you haven’t why not watch this video one of our customers made about riding their bike through the jungle. It’s a pretty awesome thing to watch!

Again, if you ever have any questions, just drop us an e-mail!

The first e-mail was sent to group 3 and the second email was sent to group 2. Did you get it right?

Writing copy is as much about psychology as it is about the actual writing. In order to write believable, persuasive copy that converts, you need to understand your audience.

I’m currently offering free online consultations on your website to see if you truly understand your customer. Fill in the form and I will get back to you as soon as I can.The form