IF I hired John Carlton....

11 replies
If I have a page that converts at .5%, and I hired a SUPER copywriter like John Carlton level, would I see a spike in my conversions, to like a total of 2-4% overall?

Or would it be much smaller?

Because, as much as I love good copy, I still think the product, the niche, and most importantly - the offer -- overrides copy.

What are your thoughts?

Also, what are standard conversion rates on the net, with search engine traffic ? 1%?

Thanks
#carlton #hired #john
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

    If I have a page that converts at .5%, and I hired a SUPER copywriter like John Carlton level, would I see a spike in my conversions, to like a total of 2-4% overall?

    Or would it be much smaller?
    Almost certainly much smaller if your page actually converts search engine traffic at 0.5%. The expected return based on the "skill" of a copywriter decreases in a reverse exponential manner.

    In other words, a $197 sales letter might get you 0.1%, a $497 0.5%, a $1000 copywriter might get you to 1% but then its going to taper off. Doubling your investment is not going to double your return at this level. And the higher you go, the lower the payoff will be.

    IN GENERAL!!

    $197 guys can hit it out of the park and $20,000 guys can bomb. When I was getting $500 a letter, I destroyed $3-5,000 copywriters in a heads-up competition.

    Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

    Also, what are standard conversion rates on the net, with search engine traffic ? 1%?
    There is no such thing as a standard conversion rate. Its all about ROI. There are products that can make you millions a month at 1% and there are products that need 4% and a backend to break even. It depends.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
    Bruce.

    I appreciate your great response.

    Maybe I am rock-dumb but I am kind of confused.

    My site currently converts at 1/2 of 1%, which is .005. Was that you understood? So about 1 out of every 200 visitors via SEO buys.

    Is that what you understood?

    I do understand what you're saying though -- you're saying it levels off at a certain point, despite what you invest...

    I am just converting 1 prospect out of every 200, and I want to juice up my copy. Its for a $17 product and I am contemplating if its worthwhile. Of course I'd not hire JC for this job, but I was just asking -- if I had it written by the BEST copywriter in the world, would I see amazing results? Or is it more small numbers?

    I realize in the long term small numbers make huge differences, but I was just curious if it would bring it from .005 to .05 or something remarkable.
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Oilman,

      It's all hypothetical. There are no guarantees.

      Even the best bomb.

      That's not to say the copywriter isn't good at what they do, there's just a variety of variables. Too many to count.

      Let me give you a for instance:

      Years ago, I worked on an offline mailing. I thought, the Client thought, the piece was good.

      But guess what? We mailed right after 9/11. Nobody was buying anything. No matter how good the copy was.

      As I said, it depends upon a variety of factors.

      - Rick Duris


      PS: Wanna to hear something kinda funny?

      Right after 9/11, there was an "Anthrax in the mail" scare. Remember?

      Well I did a Client's "lumpy mail" promotion where I attached a couple of aspirin to a sales letter and put it in an envelope and we mailed it.

      Unfortunately the US post office with their machines crushed the aspirin and it leaked out of the envelope. Looked kinda like Anthrax I suppose.

      A pile/B pile? Who knows?

      But at least one of those letters found their way into Disneyland. I can take personal credit for shutting down the park for the better part of a day.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
      Yes, I understood 0.5%. Depending on traffic, that may not be bad. It is higher than FatBurningFurnace and they make $20+ million a year.

      If you send me a link to your site, I'll give you my opinion about increasing from 0.5% to 5% but frankly I'd be surprised if you could do that, especially on search engine traffic. That would be huge.
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
        Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

        Yes, I understood 0.5%. Depending on traffic, that may not be bad. It is higher than FatBurningFurnace and they make $20+ million a year.
        Apologies for the brief sidetrack, but last I heard FBF was doing about 1.5% - FatLoss4Idiots was the one doing .5%

        Of course things may have changed and I May be wrong... but thought I'd mention it just in case.

        -Dan
        Signature

        Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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        • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
          Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

          Apologies for the brief sidetrack, but last I heard FBF was doing about 1.5% - FatLoss4Idiots was the one doing .5%
          Sorry, you're correct. I had it reversed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Hey Oilman

    Sales page conversion (i.e. unique visitor to sales) is a product of MANY factors, including...

    (a) How presold visitors are,
    (b) How familiar they are with the product creator,
    (c) The quality of the product,
    (d) word of mouth,
    (e) The effectiveness of the sales page.

    If I had a product converting at 0.5%, I'd hire a copywriter to write not just the sales letter but also the PRESELL material. Also, I'd want the copywriter to make great suggestions (that I'd implement) on how to make the product even better, so it stands out from the crowd.

    (Actually, as a copywriter, I'd do all these things myself... but I'm putting myself into your shoes.)

    If John Carlton ONLY wrote your sales letter, he'd still by limited by how much your product stands out (or not) from the crowd, in a beneficial way, and he wouldn't be in control of your presell funnel, or the word of mouth your product generates (i.e. if it's crap, this negative word of mouth would hinder sales). Therefore I'm sure he *could* bump up your conversion rate... but as Bruce implied, he (or any copywriter) would probably be limited in how far could bump it up.

    So my personal preference would be to NOT hire Carlton, but hire a good copywriter who could create the whole sales process, including a preselling funnel.

    Again, this is not a negative reflection upon Carlton... I'm simply saying that a copywriter ONLY writing the copy gives him/her only limited influence on your conversion rate.

    I'd say, even more important than the offer, is the way you presell your visitors.

    For example: if you're selling "Wonkam Widgets" and you target widgets in the search engine and send them directly to your sales page, they're only presold to the extent they're looking for widgets in general.

    On the other hand, put them through an autoresponder sequence that gradually presells them (in a subtle way) on the benefits of certain types of widget (ideally that your "Wonkam Widgets" product offers)... and build trust between you and the reader... and when you finally send them to the sales page, they're much more presold.

    They're much more likely to buy, and therefore you should get a higher conversion rate. The offer becomes the "clincher".

    Personally, I'd want to hire a copywriter that could also create that kind of presell material and funnel for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Rogers
      Excellent summary, Paul. Really great answer.

      I served as Carlton's head writer for a year (until August when I relinquished to tend to my own biz and the great Jim Curley took over)...

      ... so, I just want to clarify that this is a hypothetical question. No one can hire John Carlton because he retired from freelancing a few years back to focus on teaching and consulting.

      The closest you can get to John is to hire a top level writer from his "Stable of Copywriters", (John Carlton's Stable of Copywriters - non-affiliate) which is basically John's way of formalizing his referral process.

      (There are only a few copywriters in the world John trusts enough to refer out to clients and then stay on the project as a consultant. However he does stay VERY active on those jobs, even writing entire sections himself if needed... and they are developing a cub class to take on "smaller" jobs.)

      Having said that, Paul and Bruce are both dead on (as usual). Oilman, your OP missed a major element of the conversion equation... and that's traffic.

      Cold traffic vs JV traffic can swing conversions in the double digits -- easily.

      So, short of answering for John here... I can promise he'd be the first to tell you that "hiring John Carlton" is not a magic bullet for a broken campaign. In fact, he'd gladly recommend a $2,500 consulting session to help you fix holes and grease slides in your campaign, rather than allow you to waste $20 - $30K on a new copy funnel into a broken offer.

      Paul makes (what I see as) the most important point here though:

      Originally Posted by Paul Hancox View Post


      If I had a product converting at 0.5%, I'd hire a copywriter to write not just the sales letter but also the PRESELL material. Also, I'd want the copywriter to make great suggestions (that I'd implement) on how to make the product even better, so it stands out from the crowd.

      ....

      If John Carlton ONLY wrote your sales letter, he'd still by limited by how much your product stands out (or not) from the crowd, in a beneficial way, and he wouldn't be in control of your presell funnel, or the word of mouth your product generates (i.e. if it's crap, this negative word of mouth would hinder sales). Therefore I'm sure he *could* bump up your conversion rate... but as Bruce implied, he (or any copywriter) would probably be limited in how far could bump it up.
      This theory that "a new sales letter" can fix your woes is what makes so many rookie marketers question the value of a good copywriter.

      It's the #1 question we get asked: "How much do you charge for a sales letter?"

      If you've ever contacted a copywriter with that question, got an answer you liked and hired them... chances are -- even if you did defy the odds and increase conversions -- you still left a bunch of money on the table by "ala carting" what should be a full coarse meal.

      That doesn't mean you can't find affordable copywriters to work with you through the entire process, just the opposite.

      It means that for the same money you spend hoping for "magic bullet" copy, you could get a fresh minted copywriter to learn your niche along with you and help you create a long-profiting campaign and partnership.

      This is the kind of relationship I coach young and capable copywriters to seek. Same with marketers. If you're looking for something cheap and dirty, hang out on elance...

      ... but if you want someone you can bring home to mom, work it slow and steady. Dig in deep together and combine your strengths to realize the true potential of the campaign. Then branch out and create more, or enter new niches.

      I guarantee, if the relationship works, you'll find yourself six months later in exciting and unexpected territory. Probably making stupid money.

      Kevin
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    • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
        Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

        This is huge and most people never consider it...

        And beyond the landing page or whatever... the ads are critical. Not just the CTR but how the ads convert.

        It's crazy how one simple little text ad can make you a fortune and another can make you go broke when they both go to the EXACT same site but that's the way it is...
        Precisely, and that's why I'm writing a "report" on exactly this subject... 135 pages so far, sheesh ... and I'm going to be adding videos, too.

        But preselling goes way beyond even the ads you use. It's about the relationship you build with your list. It's about priming your list to be ready to buy. It's about getting them "in the mood", as it were.
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  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    I think the bump you would see going from any page to one written by a top-notch copywriter would depend largely on how much room for improvement there was. Imagine a sales page for an iPod back before anyone knew what an iPod was and imagine that sales page had a headline "Small Device Holds Large Amounts of Music" and then it was filled with stuff like
    -- automatic synchronization between computer playlist and iPod

    I mean no one would "get it". No one would understand why they should buy an iPod.... so I think if a top-notch sales writer took THAT page -- there could be a HUGE tenfold increase in sales, maybe more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Topgunb
    I think if you hired him or someone like him....

    They would rewrite it

    I would

    If you not making their tastebuds go wild by addressing their core desires, then it will not covert really well.

    Are you addressing the correct market?

    Are your traffic coming from your target market?

    There you have my 10c
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    swdcomputers@gmail.com For the best real deal in town!
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