List building, and copywriting skills

22 replies
I'm looking into list building and it seems most of the successful builders have copywriting skills. Would you say that is an essential skill to have? The big roadblock I have is sending out daily emails. Yes, their are people who will make them up for you. But I'd like to do it on my own. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated..
#building #copywriting #list #skills
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by Wounded View Post

    I'm looking into list building and it seems most of the successful builders have copywriting skills.
    Content-writing skills.

    Email-communication skills, if you like.

    Not necessarily copywriting skills, at all. "Copywriting" refers to the writing of sales copy. Many successful list-builders are affiliates, who pre-sell, rather than sell.

    Originally Posted by Wounded View Post

    Would you say that is an essential skill to have?
    Not necessarly "essential". It's possible to do it successfully, for example, albeit in rather a limited and short-term way, by using pre-written emails supplied by the vendors of products/services you promote as an affiliate, and to chose your vendors accordingly. But some email-communication skills, and an overall understanding of the entire "list marketing process" are certainly hugely advantageous. It's variable to what extent writing skills constitute part of that.

    Originally Posted by Wounded View Post

    The big roadblock I have is sending out daily emails.
    For me (and for many email marketers), "daily emails" would be an income-block, rather than a roadblock. (I send them every 5 days, myself, and if I send them more often than that, my income declines.)

    Ultimately, what matter are subscriber expectation-setting and continuity. If your subscribers expect and want daily emails, and that's what they specifically signed up for, then yes: you'd need to send daily email. (It's certainly not for me, at all.)

    These are all learnable skills, Brian. None of us was born knowing how to do any of it, at all.

    The Email Marketing folder will interest/help you: Email Marketing

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    • Profile picture of the author Wounded
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Content-writing skills.

      Email-communication skills, if you like.

      Awesome.. That is a great lead.. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions. Many thanks,
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  • Profile picture of the author masterjani
    If you want to make a good buyers list, then write your message and do a proof read by ordering any good service from fiverr. By writing more messages, you will learn it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Luke Dennison
    I think with email copy, you really need a "voice", just like when you write articles.

    Everyone thinks they are a copywriter these days, but it seems everyone is trying to HYPE in there emails, and hard sell something straight away. Here's something ya'll didnt know. But i gotta warn you

    When someone is exposed to an opinion "Such as "this product is great", automatically there brain goes into the same state as fight or flight mode.

    This causes narrow mindedness, which is why you see arguments escalate so quickly.

    If you wan't people to buy, you need them to be open-minded, because as humans, we are naturally sceptics.

    That's why you don't want to force anything on anybody, as naturally they will go into a defence mode and no amount of hard selling will break those barriers.

    This is where your patience needs to come in. I know it's nice sending out an email to lots of subscribers and seeing some sales come in, but first of all, you need to bring people around to what you are trying to sell to them.

    This is why you will see much better results by sending them a few emails before you try to get your sales, providing free content that is going to get them thinking "oh this works".

    Say you wan't to promote the new kindle ebook for example, you should send them emails with links to articles and other reliable sources where the subject is about "how good kindle marketing is" etc. Get them interested in it, and get them motivated to do something with kindle before you send your offer.

    When they are warmed up, send them an email with your offer. Say it was a kindle book I was promoting, my copy would go a little bit like this.

    How's it going today? It's only 1pm here but I'm going to take the rest of the day off after sending this email. It's just been one of those days...

    Anyway, keeping up with the kindle theme we've been rolling with for the last few days, do you think your ready to take action with it and get to work, or do you just like reading about it?

    If the last few emails weren't enough to warm up your appetite about kindle, you can check out my review of the "latest product" here on my blog.

    If your raring to go already, and just looking for a place to start, I recommend this "latest product", as it's perfect for beginners, and super cheap considering the quality content that's inside.

    Anyway, that's all for today folks, the Formula One is starting.

    PS: Come on Jenson Button
    PPS: For those of you who do go ahead and get the course, I'm starting a private facebook group where we can share tips and experiences, so if you need an invite just reply to this email."

    Raise your hand if you think that would generate more sales, than hyping the sh*t out of something they have never seen before.

    *Raises Hand*.

    TLDR: Find a voice
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  • Profile picture of the author Wounded
    Thanks everyone for providing such valuable feedback. I among others surely appreciate it
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  • Profile picture of the author Derek Thomas
    There's been some stellar advice provided in this thread, most notably from Alexa Smith and Luke Dennison.

    Here's one observation I would add...

    You mentioned you were just looking into list building, but your biggest roadblock is sending out daily emails. I would ask, do you have a niche, a squeeze page, a giveaway, etc.? If not, then your biggest roadblock is not necessarily the sending out of daily emails, but actually getting started.

    I'm not saying this is the case for you, but I do see it quite often and have even been there myself... people getting stuck worried about "step five" when they've not even taken "step one".

    As Alexa as already said, these are all "learnable" skills, so don't let what you don't yet know prevent you from taking action on what you do know or on that which will allow you to learn.

    Hope that makes sense. Hope that helps.

    Thousands of happy Warriors agree...
    This service is a MUST - so worth it - Barry C.
    Derek is a keyword genius - Alan W.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    List building and copywriting goes hand-in-hand to me. I've seen emails strictly driven by good copywriting skills - that led to a ton of product being sold. And i've also seen "info-driven", content-informative emails that leads to perceived credibility, and still... more product being sold.

    Both models are effective (especially the copywriting style emails in the dating niche), but if i had to choose one over the other.... i'd choose the "info-driven" emails... which is what i use now.
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  • Profile picture of the author fr33flow
    This is helpful. I can write a nice article, either technical or personal, but the second money is on the line I don't know what to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Originally Posted by Wounded View Post

    I'm looking into list building and it seems most of the successful builders have copywriting skills. Would you say that is an essential skill to have?

    The whole point of sending out those emails is to sell (or pre-sell). So copywriting skills will come in very handy.

    Let me put it this way...

    List building when you have copywriting skills is kind of like getting into a knife fight while you're carrying a bazooka. It's a nice advantage to have.

    So start studying up. In fact, here's your first lesson:

    Unless you're a big celebrity, nobody cares about YOU. They care about what's in it for them. In other words, they care about the BENEFITS they'll receive.

    (So if you write emails and find yourself using "I" a lot -- rather than "you" -- you're probably on the wrong track.)


    P.S. Ignore Alexa. She's a better copywriter than she realizes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee Murray
      My own emails contain loads of humor, direct communication (using the word "you" a lot, as Johnny12345 stated above), and a provocative demeanor. I like to tease my peeps a bit. Both email marketing and writing quality copy are so much more fun and effective when you just drop the fear and allow your inner jackass to come out and play from time to time.

      For me, the combination of these things consistently results in 20-35% sales conversions, and I send emails as frequently as I wish. But I'm in the good ol' IM space, so this could be a dramatically different story than it would be for an audience not conditioned for the onslaught of marketing emails that my particular TA receives on a daily basis.

      That said, I am convinced that the more skilled you are at eliciting emotion in people via the written word, the better off you'll be. And niche dependent, you can send more emails without any significant drop (and in fact, a noticeable increase) in your income.

      At the end of the day, the best way for you to learn this stuff is to just put your head down, check your fears and reservations at the door, and do it. Try, fail, learn... try, fail, learn... try, succeed, learn... try, succeed, learn...

      Testing will give you answers that are light years ahead of the varying opinions you'll get from others. We all have different personalities, and will naturally all get different results doing different things. After doing this full-time for 6 years, I'm absolutely convinced that effective email marketing is more of an art than a science.

      But as Alexa mentioned above, this CAN be learned. It's not something you're born with.

      So yeah...
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  • Profile picture of the author smoor2012
    I have to agree with Alexa, Lee Murray, and Johnny12345 on the points they made.

    We all have to learn this by doing, crashing, doing some more and simply working at it.

    There is no silver bullet online without a list of loyal readers. You earn loyalty from readers by providing valuable information routinely.

    The better you are at copywriting, the better you will be at keeping readers on your list. They do go hand in hand in many ways.

    When you finish writing an email, read it a few times, then send it to yourself and read it again. Would you stay on this list yourself after reading it a few times.

    Provide quite a bit of value routinely asking nothing in return for a few emails. Then, continue providing value but tell your reader to contact you if they are interested in learning more about the benefits your email describes.

    Copywriting helps you write better emails, because you learn to describe the benefits your readers will receive and the benefits are more important than the features of whatever you promote.

    Maybe that helps some.


    PM me and I will respond as soon as possible

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  • Profile picture of the author collison
    See email as essentially talking not writing .The style is one of making comments, telling anecdotes, and pointing up things of mutual interest.

    A good way is to sign up to other sites in your niche, and see how they communicate in emails. Then mimic that style and language , as this the way people communicate in the niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris_Custer
    The sort of emails you send out totally depends on the makeup of the list you're building. If your list is made up of freebie seekers and newbies, you may have to spend more time educating and giving away content first.

    On the other hand, you could build a list of people who don't give a crap about all of that. They actually want promo emails so they can stay up on the latest new shiny toys.

    My advice, subscribe to several lists marketing to the same people you're going after. Setup a special email address just for this. Now you have a done-for-you swipe file building on auto-pilot.

    Go through the messages you're getting and see which ones resonate with you. Look for similarities. Study the subject lines (most important btw). And model the emails you think are most effective.

    This is the fastest way I know to short-cut the copywriting process.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Yeah I do not necessarily think you have to be a great Copywriter per say to do Email Marketing. Of course, it does not hurt.

      But writing email copy and content is different than writing traditional copy.

      Email content should be more casual and conversational.

      You should not try to put Sales Copy within the content of a Follow Up/ Broadcast.

      It will turn a lot of your Subs off.

      Be discreet about it when promoting your products. But make sure they can see it and check it out.

      - Robert Andrew

      Nothing to see here including a Sig so just move on :)

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  • Profile picture of the author Tonester
    Yes, yes, yes, copywriting is ESSENTIAL if you're going to be writing anything that's trying to sell something - whether it's on a sales page or emails.

    Copywriting is not just about choosing the right words, its' about creating a feeling and selling WITHOUT looking like your selling.

    I think that without good copywriting, the odds of success are less, and it certainly can't hurt to learn it.

    The thing about copywriting is, although there are certain "rules" or "best practices," it's not an exact science. No one knows what kind of copy will sell. It depends on the product, the market, the customer, etc. etc. So it's always a "test and tweak" kind of thing that only comes with doing it and practicing.

    So in a nutshell, I'd recommend studying it.

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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      You should realize that most people ignore even the best of copy-writing. A conversion rate of 1% is considered standard, which means 99% don't respond the first time. Conventionally, it takes multiple exposures to establish credibility and obtain reasonably acceptable conversion rates.

      A much more powerful marketing principle is "branding" yourself. Marketing pros build lists first, then engage their prospects with a series of messages designed to establish trust, sometimes with an emotional bond commonly referred to as a "relationship". IMO, intimacy is not a requirement; branding is quite adequate. But, that's just me.

      A marketing principle practiced historically for at least two hundred years is that people buy with their emotions and tend to justify it logically. This phenomenon is why companies spend millions building their "brand" for differentiation against the competition.

      Some excellent classic tutorials detailing this "branding" concept is "Permission Marketing", by Seth Godin, and "Brand Against The Machine", by John Morgan.
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        IMO, intimacy is not a requirement; branding is quite adequate. But, that's just me.
        Interesting. I think being intimate can't hurt if done in the right way, though.

        - Robert Andrew

        Nothing to see here including a Sig so just move on :)

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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by discrat View Post

          I think being intimate can't hurt if done in the right way, though.
          At some point, you may regret getting too "intimate" with your customers as it could get rather complicated fairly quickly. Although this approach can be automated with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, it's generally much simpler to establish a good rapport.

          Being a simple kind of a guy, I would just say to define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms. Engage customers by exposing your brand through every possible media including email, social networks, chat, phone, direct marketing, etc.

          "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
          - Leonardo da Vinci
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  • Profile picture of the author gmarklin
    I would look into ad wtiting. Basically the emails are no more then ads.
    I took some ad writing courses, and my success rate increased very nicely.
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  • Profile picture of the author IvoryPearl
    Believing that each day you have to come up with dynamic copy is too stressing. Send out dynamic copy when you have something dynamic to say and your results will be dynamic!
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      As others have commented, you're confusing copywriting skills with content writing skills. Although copywriting is a powerful skill to have. If you're planning on sending out emails daily (challenging to most) hopefully you have
      • A strong passion for your subject!
      • A strong passion to talk about it to others!
      • And more information, anecdotes, experiences and engaging stories to tell than time or space to tell them!
      If not, you should find (or research) a subject you can do that with.

      If you do that, content or even copywriting won't be your biggest problems. Stopping yourself from overloading your readers with too much content at one time will.
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  • Profile picture of the author danielmcclure
    If you focus on providing value to your readers and clearly communicating what you are trying to get across copywriting to some level will come naturally. When you start to look into some of the psychology behind successful copywriting you will probably start to recognise it around you and may even find that it begins to creep into some of your communications automatically.
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