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The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

I’m back with my crystal ball (aka angel snow globe) with a few predictions on copywriting trends to watch for in the wacky world of copywriting over the coming year.

But, before I dig into those copywriting trends, let’s define what copywriting is.

Copywriting is writing promotional materials for businesses, nothing to do with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something (notice the difference in spelling).

My specialty is a subset called “direct response copywriting,” which entails crafting copy that your ideal prospects directly respond to. For example, when you write an email asking your community to click on a link, you’re writing direct response copy. Those long sales letters you’re scrolling down forever, all-the-while asking yourself, “How much does this actually cost?” and wondering if anyone actually ever reads those things anyway … yep. That’s direct response.

(And by the way, the short answer is yes—people read them.)

The Internet is littered with direct response copy, mainly because it’s a fabulous way to leverage yourself and your marketing efforts, especially when you’re using the Internet to market yourself. Direct response copy does the selling for you, so you can market and sell yourself one to many.

But, as much good as it does, people still hate it. That’s partially because traditional direct response copy uses a lot of fear-based triggers (which doesn’t feel very good). It’s also because a lot of people just hate writing, and would rather not do it at all. (It’s okay if this is you, we’re all friends here.)

Needless to say, there’s a lot of misinformation around the future of copy, so I thought I’d take a moment to sort out the facts from the fiction—and what better way to do that than by talking about five copywriting trends I see happening now?

Without further ado, let’s dig into those copywriting trends.

Trend 1. Copywriting isn’t going away (and yes, that includes writing email copy). Yep, I hear those proclamations too: “Email is dead. Facebook is the place to be. No, maybe it’s videos. Or podcasts. Or …”

So, first off, nothing beats building your own sandbox versus playing in other people’s sandboxes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using Facebook and Youtube—you absolutely should have a presence on any platform your ideal prospects are on.

You just shouldn’t build your entire business on them.

An excellent way to market and build your business is to spend time in the places your ideal clients are hanging out, with the intent to inspire them to join you in your sandbox.

Ideally you’d love for them to join your email list, so you have permission to reach out when the timing is right for you. But, even if they regularly visit your blog or have subscribed to your podcast, that’s a step in the right direction, too.

And, for any of that to happen, it’s important to have harnessed the power of copy in your marketing. No, that doesn’t mean YOU need to do all the writing yourself—hiring it out is perfectly acceptable. But, you need to come to terms with the fact that as long as you own a business, you’re going to be generating copy (and likely a lot of it).

And that leads us to the second of the five copywriting trends.

Trend 2. Connecting with your ideal clients is key to future success. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when you could generate an awful lot of money simply by harnessing the power of “new” in your marketing.

That time has come and gone (and frankly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, as I would argue very few entrepreneurs who had mastered the power of “new” actually had a solid, sustainable business.)

So, if you can’t use “new” to attract customers, clients and buyers, what can you do?

Easy. Focus on connecting and building relationships with your prospects. (And, if you are looking to attract more ideal clients to your business, connecting and building relationships is hands down the best strategy to use).

Copy is one of the best ways to connect and build relationships, especially when you use it in an email. (Emails are one-to-one medium: people are getting emails in their inbox, so by it’s very nature, it’s a personal connection. It’s just a matter of you remembering that, when you craft emails to your subscribers.)

But, this is just the first step to building more rapport with your ideal prospects.

Trend 3. Focus on giving your prospects exactly what they want. And I guarantee what they want is plenty of content, and maybe even to be entertained.

What they DON’T want? To be sold to constantly.

That’s why so many entrepreneurs have email lists that are, for all practical purposes, dead. They’ve sold to them so much that their prospects have stopped interacting with them.

(Note: Constantly sending your subscribers to other people’s “free” launch content, such as free books or videos or webinars, constitutes selling. Yes, yes, I know the content is usually pretty solid. But, it’s still designed to sell a program, likely a high-ticket item, and anyone who says “yes” to that free content WILL get inundated with emails for a few weeks. Your subscribers know this, and are tuning it out. I’m not saying not to promote other people’s launches or to stop doing your own; I absolutely still believe product launches are an important tool in your marketing toolbox. However, what I AM saying is to count those emails toward your “total sales emails” quota. You only have so many sales emails you can send to your list before they stop paying attention, so choose wisely.)

Your subscribers don’t mind some sales emails, but it’s important to balance those sales emails with what they’re really looking for, which is most likely content and entertainment.

But, there’s an even bigger prediction on the horizon (a.k.a. the fourth of five copywriting trends)…

Trend 4. Segmenting is the future. While this is a more advanced tactic, having a way to segment your subscribers and allow THEM to decide what sort of content and communication they want from you is going to become more and more important.

I’ve seen stats showing far better results when emails are tailored to your subscribers based on their answers to a few questions you ask them.

So, how do you do this? Some email programs, such as Infusion Soft (although there are cheaper email software programs that are coming out now that are offering these options) allow you to “tag” your subscribers depending on if they click a link, or how they answer a question. You can then send an email to just the people who were tagged.

For instance, maybe you send out an email asking, “If you’re brand new to business, click here,” you can then “tag” everyone who clicks on that link. Now you have a segmented list of new entrepreneurs, and you can send them content and offers that are tailored specifically to them.

See how powerful that can be?

It’s always been the case that the more you can speak directly to your ideal prospects concerns and what’s keeping them up at night, the more they’ll buy from you. Until the Internet, it was far more complicated to give them tailored offers.

Of course, this is a bit of a catch-22. Now that it is easier, it’s likely your ideal prospects will be expecting it more. Which means if you’re NOT segmenting, you could be losing potential clients, customers and buyers.

But, there’s still one last of the 5 copywriting trends that will also be important when it comes to writing copy.

Trend 5. Use passion, vulnerability, and stories in your copy. Remember, people want to do business with people. And, you connecting and building relationships with your ideal prospects is going to be even more important now, as it truly is one of the top trends in marketing and business.

One key way to connect with them using copy is to do things like tap into your passion, and show your personality. Reveal your vulnerabilities and share stories in your copy.

As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories. So, the more we can use stories in our marketing, the more our ideal prospects will pay attention to us. And, if they’re paying attention, they’re far more likely to become buyers, customers, and clients.

I know it can feel strange to use stories and share your vulnerabilities (business IS supposed to be professional after all, and if you came from corporate, it can feel even more alien), but sharing something you’re vulnerable about can go a long way in making you far more relatable.

And, now, for a last, bonus prediction (because 6 copywriting trends didn’t sound nearly as sexy as five).

Bonus Trend 6. Fear-based copy that focuses on shaming and scarcity is on its way out, and love-based copy is the new black. So, as the founder of the love-based copy philosophy and the love-based business movement, I get that this might seem more than a little self-serving.

It’s also not completely true.

Yet.

While fear-based copy and marketing DOES still work, it’s definitely not working as well as it used to. I do believe it’s on its way out, and selling and marketing yourself with love is on its way in, but we’re not quite there yet.

As a species, we still psychologically respond to fear-based triggers. The more we do the inner work and shift to building our businesses and living our lives on a foundation of love, the less fear-based triggers will work.

And, if you want to dig into love-based copy at an even deeper level, you may want to check out my books: Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites and Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.

 

Email Writing Tips for Effective Emails, Part 2

Email Writing Tips for Effective Emails, Part 2

Note: This is the second post in a two-post series, where I’m sharing my favorite email writing tips that convert prospects into buyers or leads into customers. For Part 1, go here.

By now, you know it’s important to use email to connect with your potential buyers on a personal, authentic level. When you do that effectively, your emails convert: readers take the actions you want them to take.

That’s why this series has focused on email writing tips to encourage people to open your emails, feel engaged with what you’ve written, read all the way through AND take some kind of action.

Now, let’s dive into the next three email writing tips that are designed to help you get your emails read from start to finish—or from subject line to PS!

Tip 4. Make Your Emails Personal.

The reason email works so well is that it is personal by nature. Your communication is like a letter to each of your community members. So when you’re writing an email, pretend you’re writing a letter to one specific person. When you master this, each of your ideal prospects will feel like you’ve written specifically to him or her. When they get the sense that you’ve taken the time and energy to focus on them and write something that matters to them, they’ll reward you by opening and reading your emails.

Tip 5. Write Great Subject Lines.

Think about it: when you’re looking at that long list of emails in your inbox, you’re filtering: deciding which ones you’ll trash immediately, which ones you’ll read later, and which ones you’ll read right away. How do you make those decisions? You look at the subject lines. So, what makes subject lines great, or effective?

  • Being specific. If you have a deadline coming up, or a webinar showing on a certain date, include that in your subject line.
  • Being a little “off-the-wall” or invoking curiosity. Some examples are, “Winter is coming,” or, “It worked … kind of.”
  • Mixing it up. If, in most cases, you write straightforward subject lines, try throwing in a few “off-the-wall” subject lines every few emails. Or, if you typically write mysterious subject lines, throw in a few straightforward subject lines here and there. This may help you cut through the email clutter.

Tip 6. Write Powerful PS’s.

Did you know that it’s extremely common for a reader to skip from the top of an email straight to the PS? In fact, the PS is known to be the second-most-commonly-read element in an email (behind the subject line). So this is “hot real estate” in your emails! There are several different ways to write a powerful PS — to get you started, I’ve included a few email writing tips below:

  • Address an objection. The most common objections people have when buying your product or service are time and money. They’re not sure whether they can afford the time or financial investment. So think about what you can say to overcome those objections.
  • Share one of your clients’ real-life success stories. Whether you summarize the story in your own words, or insert a quote from one of your clients, this is a powerful way to illustrate that you’re helping people get great results.
  • Position the reader’s choice about whether to invest with you as a choice to remain in their current situation, or to move forward and get the results you can provide them.
  • Recap a juicy benefit of the product or service you’re selling. For example, set it up as an “imagine” statement: “Imagine finally knowing exactly what to do when it comes to your marketing, rather than feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do, when.”

In Conclusion …

I think the best part about writing effective emails is that it’s fun! It’s fun to be yourself, share with your community, and build relationships that thrive as your business does.

If this topic resonates with you, you may be interested in my book, “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.” It’s available here.

Tips for Writing an Effective Email, Part 1

Tips for Writing an Effective Email, Part 1

Note: This is the first post in a two-post series, where I’m sharing my favorite strategies for writing an effective email that convert prospects into buyers or leads into customers.

In today’s world—the world of building businesses online—most entrepreneurs understand that building an email list is extremely important.

An email list is one of the best ways to build your business because it gives you the opportunity to connect with potential buyers on a personal, authentic level.

But (you knew that was coming, right?) an effective email is only as effective as your open and click-through rates.

If nobody’s opening your emails, and nobody’s clicking on the links you put in them, then your email list is not actually working to build your business.

And that can be discouraging.

It takes lots of time, energy, mental power, and money to build a list and to write content regularly.

So today, I’m going to share three of my favorite tips for writing an effective email that converts (and I’ll share three more in my next post, so be sure to check back in a few days).

Tip 1. Make Sure Your Emails Are Mobile-Friendly.

I know. It sounds pretty obvious. Also, emails not being mobile-friendly doesn’t really sound like a deal-breaker, right? Wrong.

Here’s the thing: an increasing number of studies and statistics show that a growing number of people use phones and tablets to shop (not computers). In fact, one of the reports I read said that up to 70% of sales happen on phones or tablets.

If your emails look “off” or load improperly and aren’t easy to read, your readers are going to click “delete,” period.

So here are some mobile-friendly-related considerations to make as you create and compose your emails:

  • Whether to use a banner. Recently, I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs see better conversion rates when they do not use a banner.
  • The user experience: technically. People reading on teeny tiny mobile devices are more likely to skim than people who read on computers. Make it easy for people to consume your emails by incorporating white space, shorter paragraphs, and shorter sentences.
  • The user experience: emotionally. Be sure to think about how your subscribers feel when they get your email. They’re living, breathing, busy people, so give them something worthwhile.

Tip 2. Make Your Emails Easy-to-Read and Understand.

As I mentioned above, your ideal prospects are likely skimming your email. That being said, is it easy for them to follow what you’re saying? Are you using words they quickly and easily understand?

Are you making them think too hard?

Of course, I’m not saying you should “dumb down” your message. But you should also be sure to use language that your ideal prospects use (not jargon from your industry).

On another note, be crystal clear about which action you want your readers to take. Set links apart so readers know exactly where to click. If it’s not crystal clear, your readers likely won’t take action at all.

One of my favorite tips for creating a crystal clear call to action is to start with the end in mind. Before you even start writing the email, be clear in your own mind about which action you want readers to take—whether it’s to enroll in your new course, buy your book, or read your newest blog post.

Building your email that call to action is a great way to make sure you’ve just created an effective email. And don’t forget to keep it simple!

Tip 3. Connect with Your Ideal Prospects.

Your community is unique. It’s important to ensure you are connecting with the members of your community on a personal level.

Here are a couple of examples:

I’m on a list where the business owner writes very long emails a few times each week. To be honest, although I’m seeing better conversion rates with shorter emails, this entrepreneur’s emails are entertaining—a great mix of content and stories from his life.

And, they always include some kind of offer at the end.

I’d typically caution entrepreneurs against sending out too many sales emails, but this particular business owner has it nailed: I am certain he gets a lot of email opens and a lot of click-throughs because his emails are informative and entertaining!

One of my clients has had a great response from shorter, punchier emails that have a kind of “hook.” She’s often directing people to read her blog posts, and she makes her emails short and sweet and to the point. Although this effort is the opposite of the one I explained in the first example, it works!

It’s all about knowing what your ideal prospects want from you.

In Conclusion…

The next time you sit down to write an effective email, I’d encourage you to keep these tips in mind. When your emails are easy to read, when they are easy to understand, and when they resonate with the members of your community, you’ll see your conversion numbers improve.

And your business will grow as a result.

Check out Part 2 and the next 3 tips right here.

Meanwhile, if this topic resonates with you, you may be interested in my book, “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.” It’s available here.

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Check Email First Thing in the Morning (and 4 Things to Do, Instead)

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Check Email First Thing in the Morning (and 4 Things to Do, Instead)

Raise your hand if the first thing you do in the morning is check email. (Oh, come now. We’re all friends here. It’s okay — you can raise your hand.)

That was me a few years ago. Before I barely dragged myself out of bed I would check email — never mind making coffee or even taking my dogs outside. (In fact, I sometimes hadn’t even gone to the bathroom myself before I was into my email.)

Yes, I admit it. I was addicted.

It took me awhile to break the “check email” habit, and part of the reason why it took me so long is because I didn’t completely believe that it was bad for you.

I can handle it.

Oh, I’m just taking a quick peek and then I’ll do my morning self-care routine.

It’s not a big deal to check email first thing in the morning.

Yeah, well … I learned the hard way that’s not true. And, for anyone else who is a “check email first thing in the morning” denier, I offer you these 4 reasons you should stop.

  1. You lose control over your energy.

As soon as you begin reading emails, you’re in other people’s energy. You’re reading about, thinking about, and handling other people’s needs—and you’re not doing the same for your own needs. That’s a slippery slope. Once you go into reactive mode, you often don’t end up reclaiming your time until the end of the day, when you’re usually too tired for self-care.

  1. You never know what you’re going to find.

I used to tell myself (and others) that I was checking my email first thing in the morning just in case one of those messages contained amazing news! But the truth is, I checked it first thing in the morning also because I was afraid it might contain bad news, and I wanted to know about any crises as quickly as possible so I could deal with them. If there is good news in your inbox, great! But what if there’s bad news? Then you’re starting your day off in a bad space (this does overlap a bit with the last reason I mentioned).

  1. You start your day off with anxiety.

If you’re in the habit of checking your email first thing in the morning, you won’t be able to relax until you’ve done it. You’ll be thinking about what’s in there—how many unopened emails, whether they’ll require responses or other action, or whether there will, in fact, be some sort of crisis.

And then …

  1. You get into your day without the right preparation.

Because you can’t relax until you check your email, you check it right away and before you know it, you’re officially in full swing. You’re responding to emails or checking on projects before you’ve even had your coffee.

Which leads me to the solution section of this post!

I’d love to share with you some ideas for how to start your day off right, so you can maintain your inner peace (also known as sanity) while dealing with anything your inbox—or your day—throws at you. These tips will help you be more productive, happier, and more successful, every day!

Step 1. Breathe into the feelings that are compelling you to check your email first thing in the morning. Breathe through those feelings until they subside. Meanwhile, don’t check that email! Keep your finger off that button. Make a conscious effort to stop the story you’re telling yourself—about whatever’s in that inbox, or what might happen if you don’t find out RIGHT NOW.

Step 2. Create a new, healthy morning routine that includes self-care. When you create a morning routine that allows you time for ritual, self-care and solid preparation, you begin your day grounded in positive energy, refreshed, and mentally prepared for whatever life throws at you!

My own morning routine includes getting up and letting the dogs out, before drinking some water. I meditate, for about 20 minutes, and then I connect with God (sometimes I pray, other times I write, and other times I simply listen). Then I move around in my body, which may mean I stretch, do yoga, or do some breathing.

The meditation, connecting with God, and movement are all self-care items that ground me in calm, positive energy, setting me up for a successful day.

Finally, I pour myself some coffee. Then, I get down to work.

Step 3. Create lasting success habits. There are several success habits I recommend when it comes to staying in control of your energy, your time, and your emotions:

  • Take the time to plan your day (and maybe your week) in advance. This takes about five minutes, and dramatically increases your productivity and sense of balance.
  • Check in with your business and personal goals regularly. I recommend doing this once a quarter or so, to make sure you’re connected to your vision and staying on track.
  • Make your health a priority. Eat well, get enough sleep, drink enough water, and get some exercise and fresh air. I’m not saying you have to go vegan and run marathons, but make choices that support your overall health!
  • Practice gratitude. Gratitude is the highest vibration you can be in! So when you’re practicing it, by taking notice of what you’re grateful for and why, you’re raising your own vibration to be in alignment with abundance.

At first, breaking the email habit may be difficult. You may find yourself going through withdrawals, and experiencing amplified versions of the emotions you associate with first-thing-in-the-morning email checking.

But with perseverance, you can develop new, healthy habits that set you up for daily and long-term success!

If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in “Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul.” It’s available at most online retailers. Learn more, here.

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

If you have an online business or you’re looking to start an online business, you’ve likely been taught to build an email list — which is a list of emails belonging to your ideal clients — and market to them by sending out emails.

And, that’s a very solid business strategy. Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective way of marketing your business.

The problem is, it certainly seems like it’s a lot less effective than it once was. The number of people opening and clicking on emails seems to be going down all the time. And, while it used to be you could send an email out to your list and make some sales, now you may only hear crickets.

If that’s happened to you, it can feel really discouraging.

So, what gives? Is email marketing dead?

Take a moment to watch and decide for yourself.

 

(Wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.