This article will be part 1 of 2, brought to you by FMPG and Profits Run, and it will focus on, as the title says, copywriting and you!
The first thing people think when copywriting is sales pitch and hype…but I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT all about that. It’s truly about response and performance…and often you can get better results without a sales pitch and sans ANY hype.
This series is more focused on copywriting as it pertains to you marketing for others. Sometimes they’re affiliate partners, sometimes they’re advertisers, but they ALWAYS want a good performance. Go with me here as this can be applied to more then just marketing for others.
So let’s begin…
More often than not, when asked to market for someone else, said company will more than likely provide you with ‘swipe copy, that you can simply copy and paste, and then send or post. This copy is often written by a highly paid (or highly underpaid in my case ;)) copywriter. They’ve spent hours analyzing the product or free offer, and they tailor the copy to get the best performance possible for you and from your list. They think about every possible reaction that a reader might have, and they figure out a way with words to keep people reading, and get them clicking. They often use html templates that cost them thousands of dollars to create, and hours to test and analyze. The copy is tested over and over again, constantly being tweaked and changed to elicit a better response from your efforts…
But all the testing in the world won’t get the BEST results possible (which often means more money for you).
Nope sorry to say, but their time and money spent could have been saved with one simple sentence…WRITE YOUR OWN COPY AND RESULTS WILL GREATLY IMPROVE!
See, no matter how hard a company tries to write you good copy, there’s one thing they CANNOT do…write in YOUR VOICE! Copywriters, like myself, try to do this as much as possible when writing copy for a large group of people to use. I try to dig down into what’s happening right now in the markets, and world overall, to try to write authentic copy and still pitch whatever I’m trying to sell. But it’s impossible to completely tailor copy when you’re writing for such a diverse audience.
People opted into your list, or read your site, for a reason…they want to hear from you! They know what you sound like, they like your opinions, they want your analysis, and most important of all, they need your directions.
Now I know what you’re thinking…“Brad I just don’t have time to write copy, I’m too busy trading (eating, thinking, etc) to put the time and effort in.”
My response to that…“You don’t have 5 min to make more money?”
Because, honestly, that’s ALL IT TAKES! You don’t need to write 16 pages of copy, with multiple tests, and link location changes, to be a good copywriter. Nope…all you need to do is take 5 min, see what you’re pitching (free report, video, new article), and share the link with your audience with your honest opinion and insight. It’s that simple!
For example, let’s say I come to you and say “YOU, I want you to pitch this Options Strategies Guide from J.W. Jones (part of TheTechnicalTraders.com), and I’ll pay you 35% for all leads that you send that convert to buyers! And I’ll pay you 35% recurring commission for 2 years! Here’s the copy I wrote for 250 other affiliates that you can use to drive traffic and leads…INSERT COPY TO BE USED BY OTHER AFFILIATES HERE”.
Instead of copying and pasting the copy I gave you, you wrote something like this…
“Hey name, I was just given an inside look at a new options strategies guide from J.W. Jones, and at first glance there are some real gems…but you should take a look for yourself. Here’s the link where I found it: AFFILIATE LINK.”
It’s not long, it’s not salesy, but I can tell you an affiliate wrote almost that exact very personal email INSIDE HIS NORMAL newsletter, and got click increase of 33% over my copy, and a 57% increase in conversions vs my copy…YES 57% CONVERSION INCREASE!
It took him less then 5 minutes, and already there’s been a lead conversion for an 88 dollar commission…
So WHY should you write your own…
Affiliate marketers who write their own copy out perform ‘swipe copy’ affiliates often 3-1! For every click they send, there’s a 75% higher chance that click converts!! For advertising clients who let you write the ad yourself, you’ll get them 35-45% MORE clicks! Those are huge numbers and all you need to do is write your own copy. The example above is 100% true, and replicated time and time again across many affiliate programs.
So now to the HOW…
Actually this is where part 2 and Greg Poulos and Kevin Smith from Profits Run come into play! They’re going to be explaining the HOW for LAUNCH marketing! Kevin, Greg, and Profits Run are the best product launchers out there and they’ll attest to the fact that their top affiliates are often the affiliates writing their own copy!
Part 2 coming soon, but I’m looking forward to questions and comments BELOW about your personal experience regarding writing your own copy…COMMENTS AWAY!!
All my best,
P.S. Part 3 will be coming from me, and will look at the HOW for content marketing. This will be the one you’ll want to pay careful attention to as it applies to helping you improve internal sales.
Good stuff Brad. I think the thing we need to remember is the folk on our lists are intelligent, they can recognize when something has been written by someone else and that turns them off. As you say if it’s not in our own voice/style, even things such as the length of emails, the “swipe” copy will stand out a mile. The short answer you gave as an example is great because it was just like two friends passing on a recommendation in a bar.
Hey Brad, this is great advice. I too have fallen into the laziness trap in the past and it’s not a good idea. We should all remember that our subscribers may be on more than one list. Seeing the same message from two different affiliates is likely a conversion killer.
Great article as always, Brad… This is a topic I’ve been in a few debates over recently. To sort of take the devil’s advocate position here, I’ve seen lots of compelling anecdotal evidence, of the type you described above, but no hard empirical study to prove that editing the swipe copy actually leads, consistently over time, to more income. Such a study would be quite a massive undertaking though. If the editing is done as you say and you make only small changes to swipe copy that help your readers quickly identify with you* and don’t spend much time doing it, then sure, couldn’t hurt. But anything more than that, and my guess is that a reader wouldn’t know the difference between swipe copy and your own original copy. More work does not always equal more money.
*I’m fascinated by our friend Norman and how he adds the exact same line at the very beginning of each email he sends. I wonder to what degree that small change contributes to how amazingly responsive his list is.
Without a doubt…a HUGE undertaking to fully drill down and study. But being here over the past 5 years I’ve seen who really stands out and does well over time…that’s the key really.
Agree, too much editing gets away from ‘you’ when editing and or using swipe as a template. With Norm…the results speak for themselves!!
Nice read as always Brad. Really looking forward to Kevin and Greg’s input.
Jack said it best, “Like two friends passing it on at a bar”. This is very true, and a “style” of promoting that I noticed has been working very well.
Thank you casey. Sorry, my response might be a bit long here, but I think Brad has a really good point. Too often we think marketing is about special tricks. Bear with me…I am a big ski nut, I love the sensation but I am lazy on what is happening with the latest gear, so I ask my good friend Dave, who is a fantastic skier (I taught him, now he his going to better than me, doh!) and he reads all the magazines and reviews and I buy the kit he recommends to me in that “bar conversation”, I am not really interested in why he recommends it, I just take his recommendation because I have already decided I trust him and I don’t want to do the research. Translate that into marketing, and 1. its about realising that someone who has signed for your list appreciates your style/ability/knowledge (as Brad said in this, and previous posts) 2. Don’t destroy that relationship by introducing them to the annoying person in the bar who either talks too much, or too little, depending on the person/style you have projected, which your sign-up has connected with. My point here is that in marketing you do have to hit the key emotional triggers, but you have to do it with a consistent style, as Brad phrased it “voice”, and the way you do that is know that what you are selling is good and that when you promote something from someone else you are talking to an individual, not a “list”. Brad love all your posts, they are very common sense style 🙂 Sorry if I laboured my point 🙂
Jack, sometimes points need to be labored my friend!!
Good post Brad,
Having fallen into the “sales pitch” trap myself in the past, this is good advice.
Being yourself is the way to go…
Look forward to the next posts.
I dont spend much time on copy writing and I get great sales and conversions, Instead I spend time on people on helping and educating them. Then I ask them what they want and I give it to them.
I found a great quote on Twitter today, I get some great wisdom from Twitter 🙂 Sometimes 🙂
The art of #sales is to stop selling and start helping.
I think that pretty much sums it up.
One other tip is to make sure you have a great offer.
GREAT QUOTE CASEY!! When I write for clients, my mindset is ‘how can the product or service I’m writing about help you’. Makes all the difference and results speak for themselves!!
Your dead on Brad…
The individuals communicating with their followers MUST always talk in their own voice or readers will opt-out of their lists left right and center slowly dwindling the number of contacts to market to…
Exactly Chris. People will opt-out…it happens and there’s only so much you can do! But if you can control your message then you can be assured that they’re not going to be offended or annoyed by what you do.
Good point, no matter how good the copy is it can’t reflect what happened this morning in the markets and what search words are trending at the moment I click that key to post. I am guilty of all of the offenses and with Brad’s help changing fast!
Great stuff guys! I’ve been very impressed by your launch styles… we’ll be right along with y’all for 2011!
– Chris Dunn