[WAMA] Joanna Wiebe - Conversion copywriter and creator of Copy Hackers - March 5, 2015 at 5PM EST

by copyhackers 36 replies


Howdy! I'm Joanna Wiebe from Snap Copy and Copy Hackers, where startups learn to convert like mofos.


I'll be doing a WAMA in a few days - and I'm ready to answer basically any Q you've got when it comes to conversion copywriting.

For example, you might be wondering what the hell conversion copywriting is. Let me answer that right now. Conversion copywriting is a term we made up after we got tired of saying "conversion-focused copywriting" all the time. It's web, email and mobile copywriting that's based in the science of persuasion, that's measurable - as in, it's tested - and that's targeted at a conversion improvement of some kind.

It's not "creative copywriting."

It's not "wordsmithing."

It's not direct response.

It's not even content creation - unless you're talking about optimizing content to drive leads and sign-ups.

So... if I'm here to talk about conversion copywriting, you may want to ask me questions like:

- Joanna, is it true that the headline is the most important element on the page?
- Joanna, what's a great trick for increasing my email open rate?
- Joanna, I've increased clicks throughout my funnel, but I can't seem to get people to use their free trial - what am I doing wrong?

Stuff like that.

Got Qs about copy tests you should run? Or about how to optimize your copy so it performs for today's audiences using today's devices? Cool! Fire away.

Watch the Joanna Wiebe WAMA Replay Here


Joanna Wiebe is the original conversion copywriter. She's sold more than 40,000 copies of her popular Copy Hackers ebook series and focuses largely on helping startups write better-performing copy. Find her at Copy Blog - Over 50,000 Readers | Copywriting by Copy Hackers | Conversion Copywriting and Web Copy Ebooks for Startup Marketers and Snap – Outstanding Outsourced Copywriting
#warrior ask me anything (wama) #conversion #copy #copywriter #copywriting #creator #cro #hackers #joanna #joanna wiebe #wama #wiebe
  • Profile picture of the author danieljb
    We're really excited to be having our WAMA with copywriting legend Joanna Wiebe.

    This is a special event where Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie will be co-hosting the event with Senior Director of Warrior Forum, Alaister Low.

    Watch the Joanna Wiebe WAMA Replay Here


    Transcript of the Warrior TV WAMA Event with Joanna Wiebe and Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie:

    Welcome to Warrior TV. This is Warrior Ask Me Anything where we bring to you the world’s best internet marketers and online entrepreneurs for you to interact with.

    I’m Alaister Low and today I’m joined by Matt Barrie CEO of Freelancer.com who will be co hosting the event with me.

    Matt: Hi Alaister, thanks for having me.

    Alaister: So today’s guest: We are really excited to be joined by Joanna Wiebe. She is the original conversion copywriter and author of the popular copyhackers eBook series. She also runs a successful blog where she teaches start ups and online marketers to boost sales and increase revenue through a series of articles, books, and videos on conversion copywriting. She is also the cofounder of Snap Copy where she brings together the world’s best copywriters and offers them out as a team. Welcome Joanna.

    [00:59]

    Joanna: Wow, thank you. I love those intros.

    [01:02]

    Matt: Joanna, I was really really really excited when I heard you were going to come on as a guest today because let me tell you, reading your books, the Copy hackers series really just changed my life. I can’t stop talking about them here at Freelancer. I think I’m a bit like a stuck record; I keep going on and on and on. Every time I see some copy I tell people to read your books. Let me just give you an example of how you have changed my life. The minute I opened the first book in this series; so this is a seven part series. The first book, page four where you start off, it says, “When you are writing copy, you are not selling a product, you are not selling a service, you are not selling a solution, an App, a pair of shoes, a device, a SAS plan, an upgrade. The only thing you are selling, no matter what business you are in and what you ship, you are selling your prospects a better version of themselves.”

    And from the minute I read that I was absolutely hooked, I just thought you kind of reached inside my head and you turned it around and I think it is an incredible book series. I’m so excited to be here today.

    [02:05]

    Joanna: I’m so excited; that is so amazing. I mean I’ve never really heard myself read aloud before, but you’re right that sounded really good.

    [02:14]

    Matt: I will give you another example. So this is a seven part series and so for the Warriors there is a whole book on [02:18 where some of our messages come from.] It is 75 pages long. Let me tell you when I first came across this series, I was blown away that you could possibly have a 63 page book on writing a headline right. I just thought this was absolutely impossible right, there is a whole book on how to write the copy that goes into a button and call to action CTA’s which is 55 pages long and so on and so forth.

    To give you an example of how this has completely changed everything I knew about copywriting, before I read Copyhackers I didn’t know you could write a 63 page book on writing a headline alone, but I turned the page over and I got to the first headline on the first page and it said, “Why you must spend 90% of your copywriting time on your headline.” And two minutes later my mind melted right. It was just in a headline itself, you just changed…it is a book about headlines and how important they are, and I just didn’t think it was possible to write a big book about headlines. And in one headline it just changed everything I knew about copywriting right.

    I mean before that when I wrote about copy for the web, you know I usually thought about SEO, I thought about keyword density, I thought about things like that. What you kind of showed me is it is kind of like, you need to think about what customers are coming to your site, how do you segment them, how do you find the most important segments. And then you need to reach inside their mind and find out their dreams and desires, and amplify them right. And it just you know it really has changed my life. And so it is just a fantastic book series.

    [03:50]

    Joanna: Amazing. It’s true though, I think it is easy to look at writing for the web as just a series of quick things to do right, like, oh you just write the headline, so just put a headline together, right. It is very easy to look at things as words, just words on the page and that is what I like to say that the second greatest trick the devil ever played was telling the world that copywriting is just words. It is not, right. If you think of it as just words you are probably not going to do a very good job with it. If you can sit back and say, "Okay our headline is hugely important and guess what our button is the site of conversion, it is the place at which conversion actually happens," then we probably should take a little more time to optimize at least those two things right?

    As you say it is like each book is based on those things but once you read it I think you find that there actually is quite a bit to think about. And if you think about those things then you are probably far more likely based on tests we have done, more likely to see better results than if you just look at short copy as like, oh just say whatever you can. Just say the thing in as few words as possible. “People are too busy to read, they will move on with their lives” and all that kind of stuff.

    So there is definitely a lot to be said about those two things alone, buttons and headlines yeah which we are going to deal with.

    [05:17]

    Alaister: In your book I think the sole purpose of a headline you say is to stop people in their tracks and obviously it stopped Matt in his tracks with your headline. And you say that it is important to spend sort of 90% of your time working on the specific headline. How did you come up with this number and what sort of, where did you sort of get that from? And what do you actually do in that 90% of the time when you are coming up with that headline?

    [05:47]

    Joanna: Yeah well I mean Ogilvey was saying that before I was born right, so I know that…and he wasn’t saying 90% of your time but like once you’ve written your headline you have spent 80cents of your dollar, which is kind of saying the same thing right, like holy crap spend time on this thing or you are going to waste a lot. So for 90% I think that you can, I don’t want to simplify it but there are a lot of parts of your page that will be relatively easy to write compared to the headline I guess.

    The headline because it has so much work to do, like I like to believe it has one job. Most elements on your page should only have one job that they are tasked with doing right, so a button’s job is to get people to click it. If you make it do more than that, if you put more than that on it, it is probably going to fail but if you focus on that one thing, for a button in particular, then it is more likely to do its job right. You can say, “Well that’s how we measure success. It is what we are writing it for. If we write it in such a way where it doesn’t get clicked, then walla we know what to do to fix it.” But when we look at a headline, although in a perfect world it would have just one job to do and I’ve tried really hard to figure out what that one job might be it seems that there are a lot of things that it has to do. The job that it has is to grab attention right, to hold people. So really it comes down to keeping people on the page. That is what the headline has to do otherwise…and then you can measure it. Okay if people are bouncing, if our bounce rate is high it could have a lot to do with our headline, so we might want to look at optimizing our headline.
    But like you say there is a lot more to it than that right. You are grabbing people’s attention. You are worrying about SEO keyword optimization right, which hopefully you shouldn’t have to worry about too much, especially as the algorithms keep changing but there is a lot of work, a lot of burden placed on your headline. And so it behooves us all to spend time making that as ideal as possible. And that might not mean ending up with one headline. It might mean that you end up with, that you are constantly working on optimizing the headlines for every page on your site. So 90% of your writing time when you first sit down, it might be that you spend only 25% of your writing time on the headline. But from that point on you should always be working on optimizing your headline above almost anything else on the page. I guess in combination with your button. I know that was a really long response.

    [08:19]

    Matt: So I mean do you spend a lot of time doing AB testing on those headlines and actually looking at statistical tests? I mean I think when Tim Ferris wrote the title to his book the Four Hour Work Week he actually used Google ads and he came up with a bunch of headlines or titles for that book and statistically tested it to see what the click through rate would be from those Google ads even though the book wasn’t really written yet. I mean do you spend a lot of time doing these statistical tests on the headlines as well as coming up with the copy?

    [08:45]

    Joanna: Definitely. And I mean that was so genius of Tim Ferris to do that. Everything he did with The Four Hour Work Week was like super cool but that is a really good example. Yeah I mean I think that again because there is so much resting on the success of your headline, if you are not testing it, how do you even know you are putting your best foot forward right for your different audience, for different audiences that are coming? Unfortunately they might all be coming to your home page right, so you have got a lot of people coming in there and you are trying to optimize that headline. Maybe you have personalization tools that you use to serve up different content for different people, but nonetheless you are still working on optimizing that headline.

    So yeah we do. I don’t think we work with any clients where we don’t split test where that is not part of or built into our contract. We are always building that in to make sure that if you’re going to measure the success of a headline, it can’t be what the three of us sitting in a room think is going to work, obviously right. It goes without saying this, you wouldn‘t make a business decision based on what a couple of people in a room think. Much better to put that headline out there and have your prospects themselves kind of vote with their clicks or vote with their credit cards. Put that headline out there, put variations out there with a strong hypothesis for each so you know what you are learning, and then hopefully if you are doing the test right and you are coming into it with good ideas that are informed by something real, then you can end up with a higher performing headline that you actually know performs better and if you did it right you should know like why it performs better and what to do from that point on to write more copy that is going to perform well.

    So a lot of people say they wish they could write copy faster. One that is crazy, but two if that really is your goal then the best way to write copy faster is to know that what you are working on is the right thing to work on, to know that what you are writing is what your prospects are going to respond to. If you have to sit there and guess all the time at what you should be putting in a headline, you will waste a lot of time and you will be frustrated. If you run a split test where you say, okay this message is all about selling, it is all about a green world and we are testing it against saving money by switching to green energy, or something like that, then you have got a strong “what” and if you see which one wins, okay so now we have learned this one thing we can always talk about this, or we can at least base the rest of our writing that we do on the winning variation rather than on just a guess. Does that make sense?

    [11:28]

    Matt: So I guess based on that maybe we should spend 90% of our time talking about headlines, is that right? But look no seriously, you have talked about the importance of segmenting your market and figuring out what different types I guess personas are interested in your product or service, finding out what motivates them and then really trying to affirm the motivations and desires of that segment but ignoring, really focusing on a niche that is most important and ignoring the rest of the audience. Can you talk about this a little bit more and why segmentation is important?

    [12:02]

    Joanna: Yeah it is a big risk right, like it sounds risky when you tell especially to my audience, we are largely teaching tech start ups where they are like, “No, no, no, no, every person who comes to our site we need to convert.” But that is the quickest way to not convert. It is the old idea that you know if you try to please everyone you please no one. And that is true in copywriting. A lot of the stuff seems like common sense until you look around and say, “Oh well nobody is actually following that rule though.” So I recommend that you focus on the 20 to 35% of your visitors that are most likely to convert and in converting be happy with that decision and be more likely to share, ideally, those final to things. We want everybody to be happy when they turn into a customer but will they all share? That is another question. It would be great to focus entirely on the people who are going to become a paying customer, be happy to have done so, and then tell people about you right, that is the ideal person to target. If you could target anybody coming to your site it should be that person because you will actually get pay off in the long run.

    But anyway the idea really there is just focus on the people that are actually a really good fit for your product. You are going to get a lot of people coming through your site that aren’t a good fit. We do at copy hackers and Snap Copy too all the time, where you just have to not write to those people, turn them away, unfortunately that is what it ends up feeling like most of the time, but that is the best way to write clearer and crisper messages that are more likely to convert because they are actually specifically intended for one group, the group that you know well.

    And it also makes it a lot easier to go out and find your message. If you are trying to write messages for everybody coming to your site versus that narrow group that you’ve identified, writing for everybody is, where do you even start? Practically speaking when it is time to do that, where do you start versus okay well I know I’m more about what my ideal prospect, where they are from, what they want to get out of the product, what they are going to use the product for, who they are going to use it with, if anybody. Things like that the more you know about them then the more you can say, “Okay well people like that, these are the masses, this is where we can go to find what they think, to tap into their fears and hopes and desires and anxieties and all those things and to really understand them more so you can write for them better. That is why it makes a lot more sense when it comes time to practically sit down and write to focus on that smaller group.

    [14:49]

    Alaister: Yeah like you said, a lot of startups and people that we talk to, they try to write copy and try to target a large audience and they don’t really write specifically for an industry. And time and time again we hear from different people, I think two weeks ago we had Perry Marshall who was talking about 80/20 marketing, basically concentrating on the 20% of your audience that is going to generate 80% of the results which is the exact same thing .So it is funny how we hear this time and time again. However we really kind of fail to implement it in our businesses. I’ve got a question here…

    Matt: Actually before you go on to that, the other interesting thing about what Perry said was, “Make sure that segment has money so they can actually pay for your product or service. Don’t focus on a segment that doesn’t have any money to actually pay.

    Alaister: That’s right.

    [15:34]

    Joanna: Yeah and that is like the people who will actually buy from you and then right where they are going to be happy with you, and even further from that if they are more likely to share. So if you have got good Moms, Moms are great sharers. If you have them in your ideal audience, that is a pretty good segment, unless they are Moms with no money. But if they are Moms with money then that is really obviously…it is a good, there is a lot of great segments to target. But when we think about getting longer term value with every customer you acquire, it is great if they do go out and share. But anyway that is a side note.

    [16:10]

    Alaister: Just going back to actually writing the copy, we have obviously spoken about the importance of writing a headline and the call to action and a lot of people spend a lot of time writing the actual body of the copy whether it be a landing page or an email, they write the body and then often as an afterthought at the end work on a headline or a subject line or maybe the call to action text. Would you recommend reversing that and actually writing the headline and the call to action first and then working on the body?

    [16:40]

    Joanna: I recommend starting with the call to action first because that is the goal right, that is what it is all about. And when people go on too long it is usually because they weren’t clear on what the goal of the page was. So like landing pages in particular for like lead generation, if you want somebody to sign up for a free consultation with you or to get your free eBook whatever it is, if that is the goal of your page then the only content that should go on that page should be content that will make it easier to want to complete that goal.

    So yeah that is kind of the idea with starting with the call to action first and then writing backwards from that. Even with an email right if you finish with your call to action, how do you work back from that and get people to the point where they actually want to click that? So rather than starting with the first line of copy and writing your way down and hoping you will end up at a call to action that is convincing, instead if you start with that, know what you are trying to get to and then kind of work backward, then you are far more likely to kind of stay succinct, stay on point and build up to the actual goal rather than just like writing stuff. Like, “Oh I think people might need to know this. Well does it support the goal? If it doesn’t support the goal what is it doing there?

    But when it comes to the headline what I actually do, I put a placeholder headline down when I am writing something. So I will start and say like, “The job of this page is to get people to be really excited about signing up for my eBook.” Okay that is a placeholder headline, and I can look at that as I am writing and then write the page with that, which is basically the same thing as starting with your call to action, instead I can flesh the idea out a bit more. And then write from there.

    And then once you feel you got it to a place where it is achieving what you want it too, the call to action is supported, that headline has been kind of satisfied, so I get rid of that placeholder headline and go from there, write about 25 is what I generally do, 25 different headlines that can actually work for the page. Not a placeholder, they are there to do what a headline does, grab people’s attention, to hold them, to get them interested, all of the things that you have to have a headline do on your page. Then go through and write 25 of those even if you are like super exhausted by the whole thing, by headline number 20 finish the 25 and then you can go through those, you can short list the ones that, you know sometimes it is on gut, sometimes it is all on data, sometimes “Those three feel really good, they feel really close. So I am going to make one my control and I will take the other two and I will split test them and see which one actually works for the page.”

    And that is how I go about it. Start with the goal and then use a placeholder headliner. Then write the page. Then replace the headline.

    [19:46]

    Matt: So I mean it might be a good idea to give some examples to the warriors of just how powerful copy can be. So have you got any examples from some of the work you have done, maybe for some clients or even for yourself where you have taken bad copy that converts at a certain rate and then turned it into great copy? What does that mean concretely? I mean what did you see in terms of lift conversions, lift in sales. How powerful can the magic of copywriting be if you get it right?

    [20:12]

    Joanna: Well that is a great question; there are so many answers, so many things flooding my head now. So I will talk about Beachway and then I will talk about Dressipi. I’m like mentally, “Okay remind yourself of that Joanna.”

    Okay so people who have read my stuff are going to be familiar with this, or have seen me speak at a conference. So Beachway treatment center is this Florida rehab. Rehabs are like, for them for Beachway every bed in their rehab in their actual treatment facility is worth about $20,000 a month. And most people are there for about two months. So every customer that they acquire is worth at least $40,000 to them. So you can imagine that an empty bed is very expensive. If you have empty beds, you don’t have people flooding in to your place and you are not worried about expanding to keep up with demand, you are probably losing a lot of money.

    So, they brought me in with another CRO consultant. We were working on optimizing their website overall for Beachway. So I was working on the homepage headlines, speaking of which, and in it I went out and we didn’t know really what was going to convert people. So you go around and you research what other people are saying and not to swipe from competitors are saying but just to get a sense for the market, like what is really happening in here. And then I came up with, I wanted to obviously develop a bunch of different headline ideas. So what we did was we had the control headline which was just like some random placeholder headline, like “Choose Beachway because it’s nice” or something like that. And then we came up with different variations. And one of them was a social proof point, or data point, around I think success for people who check into treatment centers, success rates and things like that.

    The second one was using a testimonial as the headline. So a really great social proof point, from an actually person who successfully completed treatment there.

    And then for the third one, I’ve been doing what a lot of people have heard of since and that is Amazon review mining. So with that, Amazon review mining is just going through a book, usually multiple books. You can do it for products too. I generally use books. So go through the book reviews of products, for books that are related to the thing that you are trying to sell. So in this case in trying to sell people on choosing rehab, I went and looked through the book reviews of books about families who are dealing with alcoholics, overcoming addictions, six different books. And what I was doing, the quality of the book wasn’t the point, that people were sold on it and what they were trying to achieve with it was the point. And in the reviews they left people are talking openly and friendly about what they expected to get out of it, what their problem was going into this, what made them buy the book in the first place, how it helped them, what it didn’t do for them. All of that is extremely useful to a copywriter.

    So I went through and I mined the reviews for these six books, a hundred or so reviews, pouring through it, really looking for that kind of sticky language. And I pulled out this one phrase that someone had written, where he said, “If you think you need rehab, you do.” And I thought, that is a pretty good way of putting it, it is a little sticky, it stuck with me. So I thought, well let’s test it as a headline. And we did and it blew the other ones out of the water right, everyone was banking on the testimonial winning. People internally were like, “Oh no, no, no we will test it Joanna, we will test if you think you need rehab you do.” So we did. And I think we got depending on the different goals that you are measuring for, a 200% or 400% increase in actual leads.

    So you have to click through to the next page and fill in the form and that is what we got this huge lift on, is actually the movement through to the next page, and statistically confident lift where they had 200 and 400% depending again on what you are measuring there, but let’s say conservatively 200% lift in leads which meant for them that they didn’t have empty beds any more, as soon as they got somebody on the phone right away.

    All we had to do was go and listen to what people were saying. I didn’t have to write anything. I didn’t have to do anything more than just go listen and pay attention, note what sounds interesting and then test it. And those are the kinds of results that you can get. And we do kind of consistently, obviously everything loses some times, but we had a really solid win rate with this.

    Then Dressipi is another example. So Dressipi is this dress service sort of out of the UK. They help you find the right clothes for your shape as a woman. So they had a control headline that was something like, “Clothes you will love, perfect for your shape and size” which is fine, but it is kind of talking to everybody it is not really saying anything very specific or memorable. It is not really grabbing my attention. It might not offend me, I might not leave the page because of it, but is it going to make me do anything?

    So we went out and we went through, again we did forum mining, where we looked at their ideal prospect, where they were hanging out and talking online. So the language they were using about their bodies, and again Dressipi is about, “Perfect for your shape, whatever your shape or size” which means of course it is perfect for non model physiques.

    So normal people who are out there talking normally were being pretty kind of self deprecating, other times just really natural about their bodies and they were using words like bum and boobs and things like that, right, the way people talk. So we though okay well let’s try really kind of stickier, riskier headline. So we took some of the language that we found amusing and we turned that into a new headline that we tested against the control and it was like, “Big Bum? Big Boobs? Find what you want” or something to that effect, “Find the outfit that is perfect for you just as you are.” Something to that effect.

    But we were using their language that we stole indirectly from them, “swiped” in the copywriter’s vocabulary, but we had stolen it from them. And we tested that. And we got a pretty good lift on it. We didn’t get a great lift; we got a pretty good one. And what is important here is that we then tested the new headline plus a new call to action. So we went from, “Get started now” to “Show me outfits I’ll love.” And when we had the new headline plus the new “Show me outfits I’ll love” the conversion rate was crazy, through the roof crazy. And again statistically confident.

    So you can do, it is pretty incredible what you can do just by like listening to what your prospects are saying and then testing what they’ve said. So your job is no longer copywriting, it is just copyediting. You are the person sitting around listening, you’re an eavesdropper, and you are somebody that then takes what they have overheard, writes it down in a testing tool, hits “Launch test” sees what happens and that is all you have really done in there is acted as a copy editor.

    [27:58]

    Matt: So the really amazing thing here is you just get the copy right or the headline right, you could potentially lift your sales by you know multiples.

    [28:07]

    Joanna: Definitely. And I know we have the numbers written on the blog, sorry I don’t actually have those handy, I apologize, but they are on there and they are definitely worth looking at because it is pretty incredible what can happen, measurably increased conversion rate.

    And in the past I’ve written like way back at the beginning of my career, I didn’t go out and try to find the messages and the voices of our customers, you know you just sit around like a lot of copywriters do unfortunately, you sit around and look for the message in your own head and that is just the wrong place to look.

    [28:44]

    Alaister: Yeah we will add all of those links to those blog posts so everyone can have a look at the actual results of the tests in the forums.

    Joanna: Sorry I meant to have them but I lost my tabs.

    [28:51]

    Alaister: No problem that is fine. It is obvious that this is a lot more than just copywriting for you. You spend a lot to time trying to understand people’s problems and actually trying to empathize with people. I think most people don’t do this. Most people when they come to write a piece of copy whether it be an email or a landing page, they spend a lot of time building the product, building up the feature set and then just writing a piece of copy that they think will sell the product. Do you think that is the biggest mistake people make, they don’t really understand who they are talking to, they are not mining Amazon reviews, they are not looking at what people’s language is? Is that the biggest mistake people are making?

    [29:28]

    Joanna: It is. I think there is a lot of mistakes being made, but I think that is a core mistake because it means your message starts out pretty wrong right. You are building a business on a shaky foundation essentially, as overused as that cliché is, which all clichés are. So I would say that is a big opportunity for almost every business out there, is to stop looking in the mirror for your message go out and listen o people and then importantly extract what they say. Don’t go to the next level up and say. “Oh well everyone was saying that they really wanted to save time. So if we just put a headline that says ‘Save Time’ then everybody is happy.” No. That is probably not going to perform that well either. Don’t go the next level or two up, stay down there with that specific messaging, and again that goes back to the 20 and 35%. 100% of Dressipi’s audience does not want to read the word “Bum” on the page, but a small section, a small segment of their audience did want to and converted really well on that. Then the next question is, okay are they converting to paid customers which is something else to measure when you are obviously testing? But nonetheless that is a critical starting point, is listening to people and then using their specific language because it will be stickier than anything you can come up with on your own; I would put money on that.

    [30:56]

    Alaister: What are some of the other biggest mistakes that you see a lot of copywriters making. You mentioned that was probably the biggest one, what are some of the other ones?

    [31:08]

    Joanna: I think the use of the word “free” is a huge problem right now. “Free” is such a big opportunity and there is so much to say about the word free. So one, what does free actually mean to your audience? Two, does it devalue your product or the thing you are offering to them even if it is a free trial. Three, is it really free? So if you say free shipping, is it really free shipping or is the business paying for the shipping because that is a very different way to look at things.

    And we had a friend who tested this, he is in Australia actually, and he tested Free Shipping versus, “We will Pay your shipping for you.” And he saw an increase in conversion on the “We will pay your shipping for you” and that was the only variable, that was the only thing that changed on the page. So there is strong reason to believe that positioning free differently might be important for different audiences.

    And then you look at even like free can kind of sometimes introduce a bit of anxiety. And then there are different audiences for whom the word free is really tacky right. So look on Louis Vuitton on the U.S. Louis Vuitton site, they have free shipping, they do not call it free shipping obviously, they call it complimentary delivery. Like more syllables means it is more expensive or something. But there is these different ways to position “free” that I think people overlook because there is this myth circulating that if you say “free” people will sign up and want it, when I think most people who have studied decision making and language and marketing know that it is not just about free. Your free trial is not the point, you have to really express what the value is inside of something that you are giving away free. And you might not always want to use the word “Free”.

    So I think that more businesses need to explore what they are doing when they are using the word free.

    [33:15]

    Matt: I think it is probably time we get some questions from our audience; they are flooding in.

    Alaister: Yeah. I’ve got a question here from Ahkmal A. that has come in and he is asking, “Is sense of urgency effective in trying to drive conversions? So whether it be a time based offer or maybe an exclusive offer, do you find that sort of works or do you find that people glaze over that when they see that now?

    [33:37]

    Joanna: It would depend on…I would say I would hesitate to do it if I wasn’t aware of the state of awareness of the prospect. So if I am brand new to your brand or to your product, if I am new to the world or new to your world, I might not be that motivated by urgency. Like I could show up on your site and see that if I don’t order today I’ll miss out on free shipping, but I don’t even know you, so why are you pushing me? That could actually introduce anxieties that people don’t need. Whereas if you are someone who is very brand aware, you are solution aware, you are way at the point where you are most aware and you see a message about urgency, like a countdown or whatever it might be, then you are probably more likely to respond well to that urgency versus someone who is in the early stages of awareness and won’t.

    So urgency works generally, but there comes a point at which it doesn’t work.

    [34:40]

    Alaister: Yeah I think that is a really good point. And often with urgency a lot of the time you can actually push people away. You mentioned trying to find people who are maybe already aware of your product and they have kind of read some of your blog posts and things like that. And I think that is where maybe retargeting campaigns can come into effect and really kind of drive and increase the effectiveness of urgency triggers and things like that.

    [35:01]

    Joanna: Definitely. Returning visitors are more likely to respond well, people on your email list will more likely respond well to it, but someone new on your landing page that is not branded, like you are not found by your brand’s keyword page, or people who come into your homepage even especially first time visitors, are they going to respond well to urgency? As far as testing, but I wouldn’t default to it as like the magic bullet, the way to get people to convert; no.

    [35:28]

    Matt: There is a question here from Ricky D. who says, “How do you keep up to date in knowledge of copywriting? Are there any great books or websites or resources that you go back to time and time again? Or do you highly recommend for someone who wants to improve their copywriting?” Other than your own books.

    [35:45]

    Joanna: I was going to say. No I’m just kidding. Yeah so I think there are the ones that I have kind of built my, I’ve read through my career which really, it is just eleven years now I think. But copy bloggers has been a really big one for me and blogs like that, Perry Marshall has been great obviously he is awesome, but for me I have found I am more likely, I am self taught, so I hadn’t read a copywriting book before I even went out on my own. I hadn’t read Gene Schwartz before I went out on my own and I already had seven years under my belt. So in that time, but I was doing a lot of split testing in that time too, so I was learning things just by testing those things which is sometimes good but sometimes bad because you run some bad tests in that time then. But what I would say is what I do to stay abreast of what is really going on out there, is I keep an insane swipe file. Everything, like almost every site I go to, if it is my first site there, I am either recording it with Camtasia recorder or I am taking screenshots throughout the experience and then adding that to my swipe file.

    I think a lot of it is about just being attentive. That doesn’t mean it is all swipe worthy it means it is just part of my education of what is happening online, it is just being fully aware of, like being conscious as we go through and capturing what you are seeing that is interesting and then you might see it again and again. You might sort of see it as a trend and then it might be worth moving away from because it is a trend, or moving closer to because it is still a trend on the rise, stuff like that. But there are great resources out there but I think that one of the best things you can do is really just be a student of life, or whatever, where you are going and you are paying attention to the different things.

    So if I get a series of emails from a marketer who is trying to sell to me, I have two choices. One I could buy it. Two I could get annoyed by trying to be sold to and I could you know write to that person, tell them “Stop selling me” or I could unsubscribe or whatever it might be. Or three, I could pay attention to what is going on here, note how I am responding as a human being, as a potential member of the market. If I am not a member of the market then there is a different way to look at it, but if I am someone they should be trying to sell to, I can learn from that.

    And so I know that sounds like, is that what you do? No but that is what I do. That is how I have got to where I am. It is just plain paying attention to people who are doing interesting stuff. It doesn’t mean copying them but using that to inform tests that I run and seeing what falls out of that. So I think a swipe file is probably the best education you can get.

    [38:39]

    Alaister: Yeah I think that is really interesting how you sort of actually record how you feel when you receive that email and the kind of emotions that brings out because I think a lot of people they don’t think about that. They just write the email based on what they are trying to achieve, whether it be getting more leads or trying to sell a product, but they don’t really think about the person receiving the email whether it be the time of day, what they are feeling, the problems they are experiencing and how they are trying to solve their problems. So I think that is a really great tip on how to improve your learning and your knowledge in copywriting.

    With conversion copywriting, so that is a concept that you basically came up with where I guess the principle is writing copy to increase conversions, how do you see that different from writing for something else whether it be maybe writing a blog post or writing a press release for example? What are the major differences and are there different approaches that you take to conversion copywriting as opposed to something else?

    [39:33]

    Joanna: Yes definitely. So conversion copywriting is focused on a measurable conversion. Now we could say that a press release is also supposed to result in a conversion of a sort and that might be getting someone to actually write a piece about you or reach out to you for more information so they can write about you. But, anybody who has written a press release knows that is not what it comes down to right, a lot of it is about having the snippets, I forget what they are called, it has been five years at least since I worked with a PR team, but most of the time, like look at an apple press release they have done. Every sentence begins with Apple Inc. blah blah blah, so a journalist can just copy and paste that exact…what is it called? Do you know what it is called? It is not a snippet, there is a real word for it, I don’t remember what it is, I apologize. But that is very different, that is a different goal right than conversion copywriting which is about trying to get your prospects to convert into customers and your customers to stick around and then tell other people about you. So that is a key difference there. A blog post can help you generate leads but I guess it depends on how you write that blog post.

    So a conversion copywriter might write it very differently than a traditional content creator would do. Where a conversion copywriter might look at this and say okay what is the goal? If the goal is to get people to become leads then what are we doing in the post to compel people to want to sign up? Whereas a lot of content creators would say, okay well we are going to have a longer term pay off and people will, we will put a form at the bottom of the page that says, “If you want more of this sign up here” but a conversion copywriter wouldn’t want to do that. We follow more of a Trojan horse approach. Are you familiar with that?

    Matt: Tell us a bit more.

    Joanna: The Trojan horse thing, so a lot of content creators don’t like it because it is a terrible type of analogy because everybody does or half the world does, but the idea is that when you write anything that is content you should have, you are kind of burying inside of it these little warriors for your brand that are going to pop out right. So you are not writing just to create content, you are not writing just in the hopes you will get a share. You are writing really consciously to get people to act by the end of your post. And a lot of content creators just don’t want to do that. So that is kind of a big difference from between content creation and commercial copywriting.

    [42:11]

    Matt: Let’s talk a little bit now about long term copy.

    Joanna: Ah, okay.

    Matt: Now when should you use long form copy, how should you write it, what is the purpose behind it, how should you think about it as a copywriter when you are writing long form copy?

    Sorry there is a bunch of questions there.

    [42:31]

    Joanna: This is like the biggest question ever. So it is tough to say because long copy doesn’t work for everything which I think a lot of people would be irate to hear me say and others would say, “Hello obviously.” But it just doesn’t. So I mean when you are asking that question can you kind of unpack that question a bit more for me? Because I feel like I am going to give the world’s biggest answer here.

    [43:01]

    Matt: Okay. I mean when should you think about using long form copy versus short form copy?

    [43:06]

    Joanna: Okay, so, thank you. So I would say that long form works especially well in the miracle cure realm which it doesn’t mean it is only good there, but the more likely it is that your product could be described as curing something; the better long form will work for you. The more your product can be demonstrated on the page the better long form is likely to work for you. The higher, the more expensive your product is, to a point, the better long form will likely work for you.

    So it is unusual, I wouldn’t jump to recommending that a SAS company use long form because they usually have a monthly subscription so it is not expensive, there is not barriers, like there are not huge objections to price necessarily. It is probably not a miracle cure. It is going to help you but every product is supposed to help you in some way. So it doesn’t really meet the criteria whereas you have got, obviously weight loss is like a no brainer, dating, things like that, all of these charm schools for boys lately that I’ve been seeing everywhere, that kind of stuff works especially well for long form. So, it really depends.

    Of course everything depends on your goal and then from that point on it is about what your audience needs to see most. So does your audience need to read through a long description about why they should choose your product? If they do, if you have seen that they have a lot of objections, a lot of worries, they need to see it demonstrated to really buy into it, then long form could be a really good starting point for you. It could be a great place you could at least test it versus other products that just aren’t in the same space. And so many products aren’t. And long form could potentially work for them for certain offers or campaigns.

    I know for Intuitive, Quickbooks might not seem like the ultimate product to sell with a long form sales page but I wrote them all the time and we sold really well and we beat forecast repeatedly with the fear mongering long form sales pages that we did as well. They were called fear mongering by a CEO at the time who didn’t want us to go forward with sending it out, but we did and it did really well. But there was a key opportunity there where it made sense to do a long form sales page.

    Let’s talk very briefly about that. In this particular case it was for a merchant solution we threw into it, where others, their competitor had done something very bad very publicly. So they were giving all of their subscribers a chance to cancel their subscriptions no matter where they were in it, cancel your subscription and either stick with it or move onto someone else. So it was a huge opportunity for Intuitive. Everybody suddenly given the chance to get out of their contract; what can you do to pull them in? So great moment, we could use some very public data to help compel people and then for those who might not have been that familiar with the brand and who had perhaps fears and anxieties around switching their payment providers, like with their merchant service solution, that is a scary thing and that either requires you to get on the phone and talk with them or it requires you to have your copy be that online sales person who is “on the phone with them” on the page.

    So that worked extremely well, I think it beat forecast by, I’m not allowed to say the action number but 1.7 I think was what we ended up at where 1 would have been meeting the goal. So there are different times it can work. But for testing, don’t test it if you have got a 99cent App. Really when it comes down to it you probably don’t need long form for that.

    [47:16]

    Alaister: What is powerful about long form sales copy that I have found is the ability to really drive emotion and paint imagery in someone’s mind. Before this event, I was reading some direct copy from Ogilvey and I think in 1998 he wrote a piece of copy selling a rolls Royce and the headline was something along the lines of, and you have probably seen it, “With the new Rolls Royce at 60 mph the loudest noise you will hear is the ticking of the clock.” So that really painted like an emotion in my mind. And I read the entire copy and he didn’t talk about the actual product. He didn’t talk about the mechanics of the car or anything like that it was just basically painting a picture.

    And when I read long copy now I see the difference. I see long copy that really drives emotion and long copy that is just talking about the features of the product and it is really dry. How do you go from something is dry especially when it is really long and actually trying to paint a picture and a story in someone’s mind that captivates the imagination and actually creates a feeling that you know they need your product?

    [48:22]

    Joanna: Yeah I mean and we are comparing there that is like as an ad, which is meant to move people to go and go down to the dealership if you have a Rolls Royce dealership near you and do something with that, or call in. But compare the length of that ad to a long form sales page today and it is a fraction of it. So what he was relying on was hooking people with an interesting story that matters to them. The idea of a quiet car, an elegant quiet car, that is what he decided to describe it, the how of his message. So we break every message into what and how. His was all around the quiet and the elegance. How he delivered that message with the copy was you know more about the sticky image, this word picture you are talking about where it draws people to visualize exactly what he wants you to see.

    So now he is like in your head, you are all seeing the same thing, everybody who reads it sees the same thing and that is closely tied to something desirable, which is this quiet car, is extra powerful. So some people can get a word picture right but it might not be tied to that important what that needs to be expressed to people.

    And you know some people would look at that and say, “Oh that was just clever, he was just being clever.” And it is clever but sometimes clever beats clear right. It still is clear; it is just a clever approach to a clear message. But you know long copy when done well, long copy should include those important word pictures right. But the word picture has to be, often times we will see long copy with word pictures in it that is really aggressive right where it is about explosions and stuff like that. And it might not necessarily match the way you want your prospects to feel, like Ogilvey was very elegant with what he did and people who used to write this style of copy were potentially far more elegant than, I hope nobody gets too mad at me for saying that, but than people we are seeing a lot of times today where they go for something that is a bit easier and potentially not as attractive.

    And of course for a Rolls Royce audience they want to hear an elegant message more likely than they want to hear about you know, explosions and crazy stuff that we see in word pictures today.

    So it is a bit of a rambling response I know but the point being about, yeah word pictures can be really powerful but they can also be powerful in short copy. That headline could have worked extremely well in short copy, it is just would today’s marketers dare to use a headline like that in short copy? It takes guts.

    [51:06]

    Alaister: I have got a question here that carries on from word pictures and generating imagery from Sandler and he asks, “Would you recommend using sales videos and demo videos in your landing pages and as a compliment for your sales copy?

    [51:25]

    Joanna: Yeah definitely. It depends on the sales video right so there are different strategies you know and different tricks to do this well but what is powerful about a video is it is even more controlled then a long form of sales page narrative. So long form copy works especially well because it is a narrative, it is supposed to hook you right away with a really interesting story where they are dropping you in, “in media res” where you are in the middle of the action and it pulls you in from there and you can’t pull your eye away.

    Of course people are wise to this and they will scan the whole thing and not read the way you want them to read a long form sales page. So if you have a video in there either as a compliment to or as the stand alone where you don’t have long copy you just have a video sales letter, the good thing about that video sales letter is usually that people have to sit there and watch the whole thing. You can fast forward. In some cases some players don’t let you fast forward or roll along and get to the end point where you know there is going to be an offer. So if you can control that better, it is annoying a little bit for the user, so again you have to be careful, and is that what you want to do or if there is a reason to potentially but yeah, you can actually make sure everybody is getting every message that they have to get in the order you want them to get it. And that is where a video sales letter is hugely powerfully and potentially more powerful than traditional written long copy.

    [52:57]

    Alaister: I’ve seen a lot of marketers nowadays using video sales letters to drive a specific action whether it be download my eBook or get my ten page guide and things like that and it seems as if people are being really aggressive in trying to get people’s email address to build their list. And for an email address exchanging and giving an eBook or whatever it may be. Recently you wrote a blog post about reciprocity and the power of that as a persuasion technique. Could you tell us more about how that works and how to go about implementing effective reciprocity in your copy and your marketing?

    [53:34]

    Joanna: It is tough right. My thing with that post is I’m increasingly cynical, but I don’t see a lot of examples online of reciprocity working, that is my problem with reciprocity. And I don’t know if it is about this sense of entitlement that has been built up. I sound like some old crotchety woman who like, “Argh those kids” but what is it about people can, I can create a high value eBook and I can position it. I can write all the right copy around it that makes it sound really desirable and it is exactly what I need to solve my problem, and all I have to do is enter my first name and my email address.

    Sure. So one, do I do those things? And I have seen if you put like click tail…there is a lot of tools that do this similar thing, it doesn’t have to be click tail, but it records user sessions alright so everybody who comes to your website or your lead generation page you can see recordings of them typing in your fields. I am sure you guys have seen this right. So you can have two fields for people to have to enter their information to get this high value eBook and you will watch them type. You can see the little letters for their first name. They move and they start entering their email address, and then they stop.

    And I’m like it was too much work, that was too much work for you? I don’t understand. There are only two fields and you would have got all of this stuff for free. I know that is not directly related to reciprocity but there is more to it than just that. There is once you get the eBook and…so recently, I’m just going to tell a bad story. Sorry to the person I am telling this about. I am going to make it anonymous. Recently I did a seminar with a co-host who is just brilliant with SEO, we have hired him for SEO. And he is just awesome. He is a very clever British guy, he is very nice, he is a good funny guy to listen to. So we did this webinar and in it he gives away all of this information, so much powerful information where you could actually walk away and go make five different changes on your site and then start seeing results. Of course you won’t see them immediately it is SEO, but start seeing results.

    If you weren’t doing anything before this at least now you are doing something.

    So mid way about 40 minutes into it, he pitches his course. And of course people start dropping off, and that is fine you are used to that. But what was bad was that what happened afterwards is this person reached out to him and said, and just basically ranted about the idea that he would think that he should start selling to them. And I’m like, “What? Where is reciprocity here? Because you just got all of this incredible free stuff. It was free, like you have to pay him an hour of his time to get that kind of information. You got it free. All you had to do was sit there and just put up with this, you don’t have to buy, no one is saying in order to proceed in life you must click ‘Buy now’ you can just tune out if you want to or you can close it down.” But when people go to this link, I know I’m ranting, I’m sorry, but when they go to that link of actually writing that email where they got this free value, but they still (”free value” I guess that is the problem) but they still find a way to complain about it,
    I walk around in life right now thinking that of all [57:09_] principles and there are six of them, they all seem very genius offline; I don’t know that they work the same online.

    Social proof, sure, influence, liking…or sorry, authority, and liking, those seem to. Commitment, I don’t know. Reciprocity: I definitely have doubts about it.

    So I know I went on a long time about that but I t feels like when we are disconnected as human beings where you don’t have to look me in the eye and say. “Don’t you dare sell to me again”, you just get to do it anonymously where I just write you an email and move on with my life after kind of bitching you out about it, then that is a big problem, reciprocity. And people who are depending on reciprocity to get those free trials into conversions would be wise probably to change the strategy or consider adjusting it.

    I’m mad about it aren’t I?

    [58:01]

    Alaister: Yeah I can see you are really passionate about it. Yeah so just going on from reciprocity, I mean you obviously have given a huge amount of value in this event and I can see that you are very passionate about it. Let’s just spend a few minutes right now talking about what we spoke about earlier and the deal we actually have.

    So Matt previously spoke about the seven books…

    Joanna: Good timing. Good time to bring it up.

    Matt: Oh man let me tell you, here is my endorsement, my headline endorsement. I mean this series of books changed my life. It is not just if you are a copywriter and you kind of want to learn more about copywriting, if you are selling a product or a service, you have to read this book series, it is absolutely phenomenal. I mean I opened it up on the plane, from the very very first paragraph it was like being hit with a sledgehammer and I was hooked. And it just changed everything I thought about the world upside down and on its head. I’m a big believer. I think it is absolutely phenomenal book series. Alaister what is the deal?

    [59:08]

    Alaister: So specifically for the Warrior’s right now we are doing a deal on one book. It is book five and it is called The Dark Art of Writing Long-Form Sales Copy. So it is usually $48.99 but very generously Joanna has offered us an exclusive deal just for the Warriors, and for a limited time, and it is $7 right now.

    So if you just click the link below this video you will be able to access and read more about the book. And you will be able to access it for $7 and that is a saving of over 85%.

    And just to carry on from Matt’s point I remember when he was on that plane, he was flying I can’t remember where specifically but he had WIFI and as soon as he read that book everyone in the office had a new book that he had to “compulsory read.” And he wouldn’t stop, he wouldn’t stop. So I mean it was crazy.

    [59:55]

    Matt: Yeah. No it is phenomenal. I guarantee you, once you read the book we are offering you will want to buy the entire series and I highly recommend it. It is probably the smartest investment you can make with your money. So absolutely go read the Copy Hackers series. Go read Joanna’s blog, it is copyhackers.com. Absolutely phenomenal book series, absolutely phenomenal blog and I was really excited to be here today, so thank you very much.

    [01:00:22]

    Joanna: That is so awesome, thank you. I was very excited, nervous to have you here so brilliant, thank you.

    [01:00:29]

    Alaister: So just before we wrap up Joanna, what are some last thoughts for people looking to improve their copywriting or maybe even get started with copywriting that you would like to leave them?

    [01:00:38]

    Joanna: To begin like writing their own copy for their own product or site?

    Alaister: Yeah.

    Joanna: Yeah I mean, I think that there is a pretty simple process. One, I think that in most cases if you do it right, you will be your best copywriter and again by copywriter I really mean copyeditor because you are listening and then choosing the right messages. So more than potentially even hiring a copywriter if you have the bandwidth and the interest you can do a phenomenal job writing your own copy, if you do the right things.

    So those things are, one, get out of your head. Stop it. It is not about you. Get right out of your head. Don’t look internally. I can say it a billion times; people still end up doing it. Don’t do it. Go and listen to people’ there are lots of different things you can do.

    Book one as you mentioned has lots of different tactics that you can do like Amazon review mining, like going to You Tube looking through You Tube comments, like simply eavesdropping on your audience. Like really sitting there. If you are like targeting Moms at a daycare, which actually that is a pretty bad thing you probably shouldn’t hang out at daycares but if there are places you can go and listen, honestly take your little phone and hit the recorder, have the recorder App on there and like record how people are talking to really get that cadence down, to hear the words they say, things like that. Then go back and send it to Rev and get it transcribed, or have any of these other tools to get it transcribed and go through and look at the sticky messages in there.

    There are so many places you can go. Plus surveying you know, the traditional stuff, interviewing customers, interviewing past customers, on and on and on and on. So many places to find messages you should not be looking inside yourself. Do that research, document it, try to figure out a messaging hierarchy which maybe sounds fancier than it is. It is just an organization of messages for different audiences and different segments in different stages of awareness.

    And then go from there. Then when you are ready to, once you have gathered all of that information, that voice of customer data and you are ready to kind of, “Okay I am going to write a landing page for this keyword phrase today” then do as we already said. Start with the call to action, work backward from that, using everything that you are pulling in from that research you initially did. Finish it off by replacing your placeholder headline with a better headline.

    The split test that, you can use Unbalance and easily split test these landing pages or any number of other solutions out there. And go from there. Whatever you learn, actually learn from it. And take that learning and apply it to the next thing you do.

    So I think, that sounds like it is oversimplifying but if you do all that work up front where you do spend a lot of time on finding your message then the actual writing part becomes super easy and fast. I know that is really minimizing it, but I don’t think it is. I think if you pay good attention you can do a great job just by being a copy editor who listens.

    Does that help?

    [01:03:42]

    Alaister: I think that is amazingly valuable. Being able to be a copyeditor I think is very powerful and not trying to look in the mirror as you say when writing your own copy. I think that is extremely powerful.

    [01:03:53]

    Joanna: Thanks. Glad people think so.

    Matt: Well thank you very much for being on the show. It is a phenomenal discussion, a phenomenal series of books and I’m happy to do whatever endorsements you want me to do because I actually really can say it changed my life.

    [01:04:11]

    Joanna: That is brilliant. Wow, thank you and thank you for having me on too, it is great meeting you both and hopefully I mean hopefully Warrior Forum finds value in this, everyone finds value, I can hope right? Kidding.

    [01:04:26]

    Alaister: We are really excited, next week we have Armand Morin, he has got an event and it will be on Thursday 12th March, 5:00pm EST. So Armand is one of the most well known internet marketers in the world and his personal businesses have generated over $80m in revenue. So we are really excited to have Armand Morin on the next Warrior Ask Me Anything Event.

    [End Recording 01:04:42]
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  • This event sounds very important and is something I don't wanna miss.Thank you Warrior Forum for bringing Joanna this week.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourBizAid
    I noticed of late the Warrior Forum seems to be teaming up with some great folks like Perry, Joanna, et al to bring members great stuff.

    Alaister and co, I really appreciate what you guys are doing. Trust me, the forum will soon get flooded once again like in the good 'ol days

    Thanks Joanna for coming in this week. Trust me, I stumbled across CopyHackers about two weeks ago when browsing some stuff on copywriting. And to be frank, Joanna writes great stuff and knows more than some dudes with high profiles in the copywriting field.

    Keep it up Joanna!
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    • Profile picture of the author KatieVega
      Awesome! Looking forward to this Joanna
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      • Profile picture of the author bijutoha
        Thanks Joanna Wiebe, I'm very much interested about this topic. You nice to see here. your voice lights me up to get more information about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author zhengjialin
    cool, I will be checking it for further updates!
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  • Profile picture of the author ifediri
    Seat Reserved
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  • Profile picture of the author JimintheWeb
    Hi Ms. Joanna Wiebe:

    Just got back from your “How Long Should Your Pages Be?” article @ Should You Write Long Pages or Short Pages? . Your answer to the comments alone are worth the visit to anyone reading this here comment.

    Get this -for whatever reason, the very question of content (long vs short) had been rolling around within my brain for 2 or 3 days now. Then vua-la, I gets me an e-mail from the Warrior and so I gotta go N check you out. Is this Joanna gal worth my ear?
    What I find out is way Nice. You’ve got what it takes, Ms. Wiebe (Talking bout what you preach is backed with the RESULTS / history. Therefore, please advise your husband / boyfriend to back off.). And yea, I do wonder where you’ve been all my (pewter) life.

    Anyhow, here is a Q fer ya.
    If you were starting out again, from scratch, with laptop in hand:
    • What would you do so to accelerate to where you are today?
    • What books would you highly recommend for the library?
    • What sites / websites would you investigate / study?
    • Who, outside of yourself, would you hook-up with via e-mail / newsletter / whatever?
    • Who’s minds would you allow yourself to study, even emanate?
    Oh kay, this looks like more than ONE question, yet it really is just one question. Saying you just left your life-long job as a high end waitress, what would you do &/or seek out today so to get in the game as a major player such as the respected Joanna Wiebe is today? -ASAP {Yea, this is looking for the L-O-N-G answer}

    (future tense) Thank you,
    Jim
    P.S / post comment: Yea, I’ve had trouble with the “copywriter” thing too. Took me the longest time to realize that it is not some “c” with the circle around it or some trademark thing. So Joanna, it is ok to talk / to explain / to teach us as if I am 10. Or 12 @ the most. {hope the rest of the warriors don’t beat me up for this}
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    • Profile picture of the author copyhackers
      Originally Posted by JimintheWeb View Post

      If you were starting out again, from scratch, with laptop in hand:
      • What would you do so to accelerate to where you are today?
      • What books would you highly recommend for the library?
      • What sites / websites would you investigate / study?
      • Who, outside of yourself, would you hook-up with via e-mail / newsletter / whatever?
      • Who’s minds would you allow yourself to study, even emanate?
      Oh kay, this looks like more than ONE question, yet it really is just one question. Saying you just left your life-long job as a high end waitress, what would you do &/or seek out today so to get in the game as a major player such as the respected Joanna Wiebe is today? -ASAP {Yea, this is looking for the L-O-N-G answer}
      Thanks for your awesome Q, Jim! I had to cut some of it from the quote, but I appreciate it.

      My As to your Qs about what-if-starting-from-scratch:
      1. To accelerate success, I'd start by niching out. Choose a niche and go to town on serving the niche - be it Kickstarter startups you want to write for or drip campaigns for women's health supplements. Get specific and own copywriting in that space. From there, I wouldn't keep a blog - not initially. No, in my first two years, I'd pitch and write the most epic guest blog posts for those blogs my niche/market most visits. I'd create landing pages for each of those blogs and, in my byline for my super-epic-mega guest posts, I'd link to those landing pages (which are lead gen pages). Build my list that way; get them to hire me. Every time I guest post, I email my list. Two years later, I start my own blog and I've already got tons o' subscribers to email, and I'm recognized as a thought leader in my space. That's what I'd do.

      2. The best books on copywriting are either a) old ones from old-school copywriters, b) new books on the psychology of human behavior and decision-making and c) Copy Hackers. hahahaha - kidding on the last one! Well, not kidding, but I put that in there 'cos I'd only vote for a politician who'd vote for herself. I'm not someone who reads 3000 books a year. I tend to re-read a single book so many times that I essentially memorize it. That's where my library would be small with heavily dogeared copies of anything by Caples, Carlton, Schwartz, Ogilvy and Bernbach, and anything by the Heath Brothers, Cialdini, Nir Eyal, Godin, etc.

      3. I'd study Nir and Far, Copyblogger, Marketing Experiments, Social Triggers......... and Copy Hackers. And I'd get a subscription to DeepDyve.com and read everything psychology and marketing journals are publishing about recent studies into how people think, buy and act.

      4. "hook up with" - you mean other than Jeremy Renner? hahahaha! You asked for it with that phrasing. The people I'm soooooo very pleased to be able to email include Brian Clark, Demian Farnworth, Noah Kagan, Rob Walling, Andrew Wilkinson, Oli Gardner - the list goes on. I'm actually a very shy person who worries about overstaying my welcome, though, so I'd like to just get better at reaching out regularly to the many incredible contacts I've made. I was particularly thrilled to hear the folks at Warrior Forum - like Matt and Alaister - say they <3 my stuff. So maybe I'll be pestering them with emails going forward, too.

      5. I think storytelling is at the core of all great communication, including copywriting. So as much as I'd want to study business minds that intrigue the hell outta me, I think I'd most like to sit down with a storyteller of the highest calibre, like a JK Rowling. If I could choose anyone. The ability to connect with people deeply and engage them to the end that they'd rush to your defense and champion you when you're not even looking is worth aspiring to. Novelists have that power. That's worth studying.
      Signature

      Joanna
      Conversion Copywriter + Creator of Copy Hackers

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  • Profile picture of the author aymbrbr
    too bad it would be 2:00 am my time
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  • Profile picture of the author xxspinalxx
    sounds like just what im looking for, talk about good timing! Hope there will be a recording for extra notes afterwards?
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  • Profile picture of the author MrAndMrs
    I am really looking forward to this! Thanks, Joanna!
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  • Profile picture of the author BrandyW
    I am looking forward to the event. I know I will take away some valuable information.
    Signature
    Brandy Werczynski
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  • Profile picture of the author FrednCO
    I'll see you on the webinar!
    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author arelle
      Reserved a seat, definitely willing to wake up very early just to catch it my time.

      Q: Is there a guide we can follow or pick up on to learn at least the basics of copy writing, your way :-)? One a beginner like me can easily follow :-) Thank you.
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      • Profile picture of the author copyhackers
        Originally Posted by arelle View Post

        Q: Is there a guide we can follow or pick up on to learn at least the basics of copy writing, your way :-)? One a beginner like me can easily follow :-) Thank you.
        Sure! Any of the Copy Hackers ebooks are a great starting point. They're all on promotion right now for Warrior Forum members, so watch for that link. It's around here somewhere.
        Signature

        Joanna
        Conversion Copywriter + Creator of Copy Hackers

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  • Profile picture of the author MrJaswal
    It Sound great, Am following you in this event if possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author NRabosa
    Excited to watch this WAMA!
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  • Profile picture of the author solvemyhow
    Reserved the Seat and super excited to watch this WAMA

    Shout from SolveMyHow
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  • Profile picture of the author hilhilginger
    Its a surprise that you want to educate people like me who are only know the basics. I would Like to use this opportunity to take more advantage on writing articles for many website.
    Signature

    They have over 2300 Offers, Instant PayPal Payments and Free Training Articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author valmillercorl
    Seat reserved! Been following for a bit now. Love your site! Thanks for this fantastic opportunity WF!

    Sincerely,
    Valarie Miller
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author lowriskinc
    Great topic. I'll be there!
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  • Profile picture of the author prbarton
    Thanks for doing this Joanna. Really looking forward to your talk.
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  • Stunningly brilliant stuff!
    Thank you!
    Signature

    We measure success one lobster at a time.
    Wat.

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  • Profile picture of the author ProdigyMike
    I've got my spot reserved, looking forward to a great discussion.
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  • I'm so looking forward to it! I'm updating my website and I'm sure this will help us!
    Signature

    Maria Marsala,
    Financial Advisors Coach, Author, Speaker at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/

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    • Profile picture of the author sdwyermc
      Seat reserved, I'm there.
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  • Profile picture of the author copyhackers
    Thanks to everyone for commenting! Really looking forward to it. Feel free to tweet me anytime @copyhackers and connect on our blog at CopyHackers.com.
    Signature

    Joanna
    Conversion Copywriter + Creator of Copy Hackers

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  • Profile picture of the author javrsmith
    I can't believe that I'm in time for this event. I usually miss them. I'm looking forward to it, Joanna.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gregster
    I don't know if this is finished now, but I cannot see how to get to listen to this webinar.

    I have come to this WAMA page as per the link in my email, but now what? Where, or how do I access this werbinar????
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    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Originally Posted by Gregster View Post

      I don't know if this is finished now, but I cannot see how to get to listen to this webinar.

      I have come to this WAMA page as per the link in my email, but now what? Where, or how do I access this werbinar????
      Hi there,

      Unfortunately you have missed it. We upload all of our Warrior TV - Warrior Ask Me Anything events to our War Room.
      War Room - Warrior Forum
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Draper
    I haven't seen any wama uploaded in the war room since February. when will it be uploaded?
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Originally Posted by Jake Draper View Post

      I haven't seen any wama uploaded in the war room since February. when will it be uploaded?
      Hi Jake,

      Sorry for the delay. We have uploaded Joanna's WAMA - WarriorTV event to the War Room now. You can view it here:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/war-room...snap-copy.html
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  • Profile picture of the author mmarc
    Hey Joanna, What are the shortcuts to Syndicate content to Go Viral? Can you please share your processes /tools/strategies/agencies to make a content to go viral? Big thanks.
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