Good copywriting for membership websites

This month we’re working on two clients both with membership businesses.  They need strong copywriting on both their home page and the landing / squeeze page where the pitch for members is made.

We got out and tried to find some good examples of membership sites where a really compelling landing page lays out the offer and the benefits.

It was surprisingly hard.

I had hoped that Copyblogger would be good – but despite moving much of their content behind an email registration wall, the old landing page is no longer there – maybe they’re so well known that the benefits are no longer needed.

We did find some….

Blogging Concentrated Prime

A subscription service for monthly coaching and education on all aspects of blogging for profit – this page really lays out the details of what a member gets and shows archive material which is also available to each new joiner.  The video welcome is a nice touch.

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center

A totally different approach is used by expert business coach, Tom Poland.  He uses a letter form to make a strong offer in the headline and a personal offer – with a guarantee.

Tom Poland's 8020 Center offer

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center offer copywriting

EConsultancy and Digital Marketer

Both offering education services to modern marketers, these sites have a near-identical page layout and copy style.  Interestingly, the DM list of advisory courses look like individual tiles, but they all go to a letter-style long copy landing page from the founder, Ryan Deiss.

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

 

Got any other examples?

Case study: email marketing drives sales for Space Saver

We take pride in our ability to create successful email marketing campaigns that deliver measurable results. We meticulously plan emails to be sent so each one is effective and engaging to the target audience. Here are two case studies:

The sports equipment brand

Space Saver Rowing Systems (SSRS) is a rowing boathouse equipment retailer. They recently launched a new product – The Wraptor Balance. We worked with them on a campaign that generated responses and resulted in sales.

The new product launch campaign

Gathering the right media for the product – The Wraptor Balance is an innovative tool best experienced before purchase. We can’t bring an experience through the internet but we can bring the experience to the reader with videos, photos and the offer of a free trial.

A landing page – Our next step was to create a landing page for the product on the SSRS website. We focused on clear messaging showing how the product was important to use for beginners and why it makes a difference.

We then created web buttons which led readers to the next step in the process: a trial or purchase. Landing pages are incredibly important to product launch campaigns as it is the one consistent place directing customers to an action. As long as you can lead a customer there you’ve got them interested.

A series of blog posts – We then went about scheduling several blog posts that were short and exciting while directing readers again to the Wraptor Balance landing page. This quickly achieved our goal to find interested prospects and get them invested in learning more about the product.

The email blast and its format – Emails are great if you already have a mailing list, which is the only catch.
We sent out 2 emails – the first being a lengthy description of the benefits of having a Wraptor Balance in a rowing club boatshed. The second was more focused with more emphasis on customer experiences through testimonials.

The results

The email campaign saw a whopping 40% open rate accompanied by 10% clicking through to links we included…

1

Over time we continued to generate small pockets of interest as well…as the graph below shows.

2

As a result of the campaign Space Saver Rowing Systems has provided 15 clubs with a trial of the Wraptor Balance with 3 confirmed sales to date (and more on the way).

The business consultant

Nick Muller runs a leadership program called Coaching for Change. This is a 4 session training program run over a 6 month period that teaches leaders how to bring change about and lead small businesses to success.

He embarked on an email campaign using our services with the hope of boosting attendance to his program, and we delivered. 9 emails across a 4 week period were sent to two separate email lists which brought him a handful of new signups to his high price coaching course. Each email was unique. The first was an introductory message; the second email followed the first but was a lot shorter and used as a reminder. The final one in the series split our lists between those who had clicked on a prior email and those who hadn’t. For those who hadn’t we focused on the email title more than the content. For those who had clicked on a prior email we focused on convincing them to make contact.

3

From the graph above it’s plain to see we maintained consistent email open rates around the 30% mark for each of the 9 emails. Normal campaign opening rates are often around 20%, with more successful campaigns reaching 30-40% (yes, that’s us!). Sending the 3rd email out to people who hadn’t clicked on a previous email worked well with a maintained 30% open rate also. This means, as a result of sending that extra email, we expanded the reach of the campaign.

4

This graph (above) shows the click rates of links within the emails we sent. It once again proves how effective our repeat emails were. The stats suggest that with our third email we managed to convince those who hasn’t opened an email before to both open the email and click a link.

Creating campaigns that count

Our email campaigns consistently demonstrate our attention to detail and planning. By isolating how to get in touch with our the target markets of our clients, crafting the right message and adapting that message based on the recipients’ actions we can create an effective email marketing campaign.

 

Get more out of your email campaigns:

Contact us

for a Skype or email conversation and start your planning as early as possible.

 

Free training: What can we do to improve our Search Rankings?

The Blogging Concentrated team are coming to New Zealand in May from 1st to 9th 2015.  Creative Agency Secrets are their hosts and we are running one-day training events in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch for you to learn about how to make your business website effective as a marketing and sales tool.

Ahead of the visit, we organised 3 free training sessions for you to gauge the quality of training and to get you excited and signed up for the NZ events.

The first was yesterday – and here’s the recording for you to listen and share SEO Improving your Search Rankings.

SEO improving search rankings

Join us for the event in your city:

Each link page shows you the curriculum, the venue, the times and the amazing food you’ll be eating (only joking about the food – but it is amazing).

Join us for the next free advance taster event on April 13th on The Business Mindset of Blogging.  Sign up by clicking the “YES” I will watch button.

 

Writing a price change email for Event Marketing

Occasionally I receive the PERFECT message – well-written, timely and full of lessons to copy and adapt.  Copyblogger Media is running an event and…. well you work out why you think they needed to write this message.

Use the same paragraph topics if you need to use a similar tactic to fill your event with paying punters.

Subject line: Authority Rainmaker price drop!

We’ve dropped the price of Authority Rainmaker registration from $1,295 to $795 for a limited time. Head over now and grab your spot:http://authorityrainmaker.com

Still here?

Then perhaps you want to know why …Last year we sold out the event months in advance because we were limited to 400 people. We also had to make the ticket price somewhat expensive, because we didn’t want to skimp on anything – food, parties, the audio/visual experience, and so on.

This year things are different in two key ways.

And this is allowing us to lower our ticket prices and get this party truly rocking.

First of all, this year we sold sponsorships. Thanks to the generosity of cool companies like Moz, AWeber, Feedblitz, TopRank Online Marketing, and our Legend Sponsor, Spears Marketing, expenses have been drastically reduced. We had no idea that we would get such an enthusiastic response from our friends in the digital marketing community!

Secondly, we’re in a much larger venue that is turning out to cost us less than the 400-seat venue we had last year. Working with the team at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House has been amazing, and it’s a real treat to have such a magnificent venue without being charged an arm and a leg.

In short, if we would have known earlier how well things would go on the expenses front, we would have sold tickets at a much lower rate so no one was excluded by the high ticket price. We don’t produce this event to maximize profit … we do it to enhance the strength of our community.But it’s not too late to adjust. So we’ve lowered the registration rate to $795. We even issued partial refunds to anyone who paid more than $795!

Cool, right? The event is shaping up to be even better than our high expectations. And now it costs you less to experience it. Check out the details, but remember, the price won’t stay this low forever:http://authorityrainmaker.com

See you soon …

Brian Clark

Founder and CEO

Copyblogger Media

Email text for freelancer pitching a brand

I am working with a newly freelance graphic designer and am introducing her to possible clients.meeting reminder
This is the email she sent to follow up on one introduction and I just had to edit the text.
An introduction is the MOST favourable way of getting a new business face to face meeting.  These folks won’t turn you down, generally.  So what was wrong with this message?

Hi

I hope this finds you well and the new year has got off to a good start for you!
I wanted to get in touch with you following Rebecca’s introduction in December last year, as I am now in a position where I am able to provide brand packaging design on a freelance/contract basis.
I’ve attached my CV and portfolio of work with this email. If it suits you, I’d love the opportunity to come in and introduce myself and have a chat. There would be no commitment required, just an opportunity to see if there is a fit between my skills and experience and your company.
Kind regards,

Elements of email to improve

So what was wrong with that message?  The first paragraph is fine.  The second leads off with the right information in the right order but it uses too many words to make the point.  Making it two sentences is punchier.

The mention of the portfolio being very short is deliberate – don’t show everything until you have a commitment to meet.  You are more impressive face to face than showing finished work.  So just send a taster.  Select products that align with the recipient’s likely needs.

Then move onto a focus on them – talk masculine words like ‘investment’ and ‘role of design’ – philosophise a bit – you learn a lot about their attitude to good design if you can find these things out in a meeting.  And that will inform your likely future work more than just showing a portfolio – discuss how design can help them achieve their business objectives.

Email introductions that get meetings

 Here’s my suggestion of a re-draft of the email which may get better result outcomes.
I hope this finds you well and the new year has got off to a good start for you!
 
We were introduced by Rebecca in December last year, and you said I should “get in touch in the new year”.
 
I am now providing brand packaging design on a freelance/contract basis.
 
I’ve attached my CV and a very short portfolio of work with this email
 
Understanding XYZ’s business is very important if you are to consider working with me.  And so I would like to invest my time learning more about your products, markets and the role of design.
Can we meet during the week of 15th February?
 
I will call you on (name date) to discuss fixing a date and time to suit you.
 
Kind regards,
So, can you see what I’ve done with the text?  I removed all the “maybe” and “if it suits you” and “no obligation” words.  These are very cautious.
You are good at your job, you will not be wasting their time meeting you.  Sound and communicate your confidence that you are the best thing that’s happened to them and that you will help them achieve their business objectives.
Let me know if you try both which comes out best!

 

Writing a cold email that gets response

It’s difficult – I know what I want from you when I send a cold email, but it is very hard to get you to respond.

Here’s a great tip – don’t ask for what you want.

Yes, seriously, don’t.  I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me, I’m going to show you an insider’s trick.

So what do I ask for in a cold email?

Start with offering something for the recipient.

Take a read of this example from Chris Hines.

Cold Email text example

Cold Email text example

Do you see how Chris leaves you in no doubt about what he wants (it’s in the P.S.) but because he starts by offering me something I would value, when I get to reading the last lines my frame of mind is set to take up his offer.

The Principle of Reciprocity is a fundamental human value found in most societies, Chris uses this because he offers me a service (introducing me to his contacts) first knowing that when I get to reading the PS I will interpret it as a reciprocal requirement to complement his offer of service.

Cleverly written.

Now, can you use this in your business?

Buy a Workshop on how to use email for your business marketing.successful selling with email

FREE eBook: Cold Emails – Doing it right and netting yourself leads

Cold Emails Book CoverEmail is a vital tool to growing your business. It’s non-invasive, interactive, and most of all – integral to business communications, so often get noticed.

One way to use email is through cold emailing, which is emailing to people you don’t know. It can come across as underhanded, but when done correctly it’s a marketing practice that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Find out about cold emails and how to write them in our free eBook…

Cold Emails – Doing it right and netting yourself leads

In this eBook, we’ll go through how to:

  • Write cold emails that encourage a response.
  • Tailor your cold emails to the right clients.
  • Personalise cold emails.

Looking for more insight on how to build great email campaigns, and sell directly to your audience? Contact Us!

A note on subject lines for cold email

I am subscribed to get emails from Nick Johnson from Incite.  His copywriting is exemplary and I regularly find myself wanting to take the actions he requests.

Look at this picture taken from my in box of recent messages I’ve received from Incite.

Cold email subject lines

Cold email subject lines

Did you notice that few of the subject lines actually say what’s in the message.   So if I want to know what it’s about I HAVE to open the email.

some of the message subjects aren’t written with capital letters – makes it look like Nick wrote it quickly and forgot – but it’s more a feature of personal email not mass email and so I think this is clever, if used occasionally.

They clearly experiment with subject lines – one of them is a ‘Newsletter’ and is titled as such, but the content of many of them could be classified as news.

I have highlighted two parts because they show best practice.

The Red box surrounds subject lines in which they’ve included my name.  It feels like it was written just for me – but I know it’s just a personalisation insert from their database – but nonetheless it’s effective.

The Orange box encloses a subject “a quick heads up” which they used twice.  The first one follows the pattern of not saying what’s in the body of the email.  The second is sent with the same subject but as a forwarded (FW) message from Nick’s colleague, Kate.  It is the same message inside, but it makes me think I’ve overlooked the earlier message and so I feel more inclined to open this one.

Very clever people – I recommend you subscribe to their newsletter – Insight and Debate on Marketing Innovation.

copyright & trademark symbols

The Legal Side of Marketing – what you need to know

Whether you are a young entrepreneur looking to venture out into the world of small business, or you are a high level marketing

copyright & trademark symbols

Image from auocoms.com

firm, you need to fully comprehend the ins and outs of basic marketing and law.  It’s important to know what will get you (or your clients) in hot water, or even worse, put out of business. Claiming ignorance will not work as a defence when you’ve been dragged into court over trademark or copyright issues. There is a very thin line between what is protected and what isn’t; the following are ways in which you can assure that you are properly protected from a costly and time consuming lawsuit.

Trademarking

When it comes to names, catch phrases and images it’s generally a good idea to check a Trademark Database. If you find what you’re looking for in the database, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use it; however, you would be wise to ask permission from the trademark holder. Unless you are a direct competitor of the trademark holder, they tend to give or sell permission. This rings especially true in regards to using stock photos for websites and catalogs.

Copywriting and Ad Copy

If you make your living writing ads that capture and engage an individual into purchasing your product, it might behoove you to check and see if your country has specifics on what is and isn’t acceptable. I check in with The American Writers And Artist Inc frequently to ensure that no new laws have been passed regarding copyright or trademark infringements.

It astounds me the number of websites and marketing ads that promise unobtainable results due to their products. Perhaps the most abused clientele are those attempting to purchase weight loss diets, pills, and exercise equipment. An example of this would be using false testimonials in advertising.

Copycatting Isn’t Only for Serial Killers

Anyone who has ever watched a crime show eventually sees an episode about a copycat serial killer. It’s inevitable. Now, I’m not saying that those in marketing that copy other people’s work are perpetrating as severe a crime, but nonetheless, it is a crime (and like all copycat serial killers, they will get caught).

It’s a simple concept to grasp. It was cheating to copy a friend’s homework in school, and it’s cheating to copy someone’s marketing work in the real world.

Just because someone else was successful using an idea or phrase in his or her ad copy does not allow you to copy it into your advertising campaign.

Faking It on the Internet

Possibly the fastest growing form of illegal marketing is the growth of black hat SEO techniques. This is the attempt to use hidden text, improper link building, and cloaking to raise a company’s website profile in search results.

Another illegal form of online marketing is creating fake reviews of companies and products. In a recent case, in which nineteen companies were fined for created fake reviews on Yelp and Google Local, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, stated:

“What we’ve found is even worse than old-fashioned false advertising. When you look at a billboard, you can tell it’s a paid advertisement — but on Yelp or Citysearch, you assume you’re reading authentic consumer opinions, making this practice even more deceiving.” Schneiderman continued “This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution.”

Without a business law degree, it’s not always possible to know what is and isn’t allowed. Thankfully, the internet is always full of advice and answers, and there are always sites like Legal Vision that make it their goal to provide insight and solutions to legal needs.

When all else fails, remember the words of Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, “Being good is good business.

If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong…