Joanna Wiebe— "I Know This Much Is True"

(This article is part of the MicroConf 2015 Recap. Want to explore more talks from the event? Go back to the Recap Hub)

Main Concept

Everything in your copywriting has one job to do. Focus on enabling that piece — headline, button, whatever — to do that one job well.

Share This Recap

[mc_tweet]”I Know This Much Is True” (@copyhackers’s MicroConf Talk)[/mc_tweet]

Key Points

  • Optimize headline and button copy together for maximum results
  • Repeat headline copy in buttons
  • People want their lives to feel better. Everything we’re doing or saying on our pages should make lives feel better.
  • Focus your subject lines on getting your subject lines working hard to get opened. 

Talk Recap — 3 Undeniably Real – and Sometimes Disturbing – Test-Proof Truths That Will Shake What You “Know” About Copywriting

Background for Joanna

  • From Copyhackers! Write and test copy — the words on your page, the words in your email, words.
    • The things that connect you with your prospects.
  • Doing this for 11+ years. Sharing a lot on their blog
    • Doing it so long, it’s started to warp her brain and view of copy.
    • There’s so many ‘best practices’ that you’ve heard about writing copy, connecting with people, that seem true, but sometimes do not seem true.
  • Lots of things that people believe are true
  • Make copy as short as possible?
    • FALSE!
  • Always use long copy to sell?
    • FALSE!
  • Never use a text link for a major CTA?
    • FALSE!

The Headline Is Not God

“When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent 80-cents of your dollar” — Ogilvy

  • People think you only need to focus on your headline
    • FALSE!
    • The great ad-men that we continue to quote were saying this 30+ years ago, not since the web
    • We’re taking this old advice and treating it as the gospel — when it’s anything but
  • Attention grabbing headlines do a lot of great work

What happens if you write copy that makes you uncomfortable?

  • Control: Clothes you love, perfect for your shape and size
  • Test: Big bum? Thick waist? not-so-perky boobs…? Find outfits you’ll look fab in – just as you are
    • 14.3% life
  • If you work on your headline, you can get some improvements

But bland headlines work just as well

  • Control: VueScan Scanner Software
    • Is this good? (For SEO? Maybe?)
  • Tested 3 different headlines
    • ….and the control won!
  • You don’t actually always have to improve your headline; it might not be the low-hanging fruit.
  • The headline show is over.

Headlines Work Better With Buttons

“This is what I know to be true” — Joanna

  • Remember the previous test for Dressipi?
  • Something is happening that’s making it unfair.
    • Measuring success based on clicks
    • If the button is unattractive, maybe that’s making the headline underperform
  • New test
    • Control Button: Old Headline, Sign Up Now, Button: Old Button
    • Test: Risky Headline, Button: Show Me Outfits I’ll Love
  • Buttons are how we measure conversions — that’s a step deeper into moving different into the funnel
    • Just the difference in button copy? 129.9% more clicks to sign up!

Case Study Examples

  • A: Default Headline and Button
  • B: No Change
  • C: Optimized Headline and Button (10.3% more leads)
  • Good trick to figure out if you’re optimizing headline and button — repeat headline copy in buttons

Don’t Imply Work In Your Buttons

  • Use your buttons to make your subject feel that their lives will become easier when they click the button
  • Example: “Try It Free Now”
    • All good words!
    • Thought process: If this solution is meant for people who will us WordPress and they can install it immediately in WordPress, isn’t that what they’re using for?
    • Button test: (Version B) “Add It To WordPress Now (15% fewer clicks (and poor signups))
  • Problem — What if you don’t want to add it to WordPress now?
    • People want their lives to feel better. Everything we’re doing or saying on our pages should make lives feel better. 
  • B: No Change
  • C: Optimized Headline and Button (10.3% more leads)
  • Good trick to figure out if you’re optimizing headline and button — repeat headline copy in buttons

Everything Has A Job

  • Every word on your page has one word to do. It has one job. That’s it.
  • But. Just. One. Job.
  • Cannot emphasize this enough.

PPC Ad Example

  • PPC Ad:
    • What’s the job? Get a qualified click! That’s what it’s resposible for. Getting the click
  • Landing Page Headline:
    • What’s the job? Get the person to stay on the page.
  • Landing Page Body:
    • What’s the job? Move them closer to that opt-in form.
  • Landing Page Form:
    • What’s the job? Get the person to fill out the form.

And you’re able to see what happens when you apply ‘jobs to be done’ to copywriting.

  • Make each element responsible for one task and one task alone, you’re able to see what the job is and how it’s performing.
  • Measure and focus on that one job per element.
  • You can dramatically simplify optimizing your website.
    • People aren’t clicking email CTA? Okay, that’s that place that has to be optimized.

Thinking About Jobs

  • Headline has one job: Keep Them
  • Button has one job: Get Clicks
  • Email Subject Line has one job: Get Opens

Emails, Emails, Emails

  • Email Subject Line has one job: Get Your Email Opened
    • What can your subject line do to get your email opened?

Case Study: Flow

  • Testing 3 subejct lines
    • Get Started With Flow
      • Problem: Implies work
      • You’ll need to read the email, go to app, etc, etc,
      • Doesn’t talk about the work in the email
      • Open Rate — 39.6%
    • Welcome To Flow
      • Is it really working hard?
      • Doing better — 45.5% open rate
    • Can I ask you something?
      • Doing best — 54% open rate
  • Focus your subject lines on getting your subject lines working hard to get opened. 
    • BOOM! This is how you get more traffic and…
      • This gets ATTENTION.
      • If you don’t get attention, you don’t get noticed.
      • Empty Suitcase Technique — The ‘This’ gets people interested
  • Email Hook has 1 job — keep people interested
  • Email CTA has 1 job — get readers to click to the landing page
  • If something isn’t doing work in the copy you’re writing, it has to go

Case Study: SendGrid

  • Control: Sign Up For Free Webcast
    • Doesn’t imply what actually happens
  • Test: Preview the Agenda
    • This is what you can actually do as soon as you click the button
      • 83% more clickable!

You Don’t Have A Clue

You don’t know what you should actually be saying to your customers or prospects. ONLY YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THAT!

  • Your messages don’t come from looking in the mirror, they come from listening to your customers. 
    • End. Of. Message.
    • Find what other people are saying.
    • Steal it.
    • Edit it into your page.
  • Trick: Don’t write; swipe!

Case Study: Keep and Share

  • Value Prop Test for Headline
    • Testing what’s unique about your product in your messaging
  • Reading through testimonials, found one that said:
    • “Keep and share has helped us eliminate most of our paper files”
  • Test: “Eliminate up to 99% of your paper files”
    • 103% increase in engagement!
  • Don’t swipe from polished testimonials; swipe from raw, initial testimonials.
    • Swipe from…
      • Support emails
      • Amazon reviews
      • Places where your customers are speaking and writing naturally

Swiping From Amazon Reviews

You should be doing customer interviews; this is a good substitute. Go through Amazon reviews.

  • Find a book on the subject that you’re solving for.

Case Study: Beachway

  • First step: looking at competitor landscape; identify what people are looking for.
    • Content audit of competitor site.
    • You’d see a wall of test full of floral messages.
  • No one was daring to say anything at all
  • Looked at 6 books on living with addiction, overcoming addiction, etc,
    • Books? Didn’t read.
    • Reviews? Read. Looking for that sticky message.
    • What are the people who actually experience this feeling and thinking and worrying about?!
  • “If you think you need rehab, you do.”
    • This stuck.
  • Tested as headline against the control (and two others)
    • No one thought “If you think you need rehab, you do.” would win
      • 400% increase clicks in buttons
      • 26% increase in leads on the next page
  • What did we do? Listen. Go out. See what people are already saying.

Swiping From Swipers

Case Study: Testing against Cabel’s ad

  • 30% fewer conversions
  • Do not try to borrow other people’s success and use it for your own success

Your Action Items

  1. Optimize headline and button copy together for maximum results — Might not be that great for learning, but if you don’t have a lot of traffic, it helps.
  2. Repeat headline copy in buttons — results in a good lift by connecting the two concepts.
  3. Give everything one job to do — Don’t expect something to perform
  4. Listen To Your Customers — Your messages don’t come from looking in the mirror, they come from listening to your customers.

Share This Recap

[mc_tweet]”I Know This Much Is True” (@copyhackers’s MicroConf Talk)[/mc_tweet]

Questions

  • Can curiosity trump the ‘threat’ of work
    • Yes! The curiosity can trump the threat of work implied in a headline and button.
  • Can you tell us about the minimum about of traffic beofre A/B testing headlines?

Links to Speaker’s Websites

Share This Recap

[mc_tweet]”I Know This Much Is True” (@copyhackers’s MicroConf Talk)[/mc_tweet]

(This article is part of the MicroConf 2015 Recap. Want to explore more talks from the event? Go back to the Recap Hub)