8 Effective Steps to Writing Compelling Copy

compelling copyCopy refers to words used on web pages, ads, promotional materials, etc. to sell your product or service and convinces prospective customers to take action. In many ways, it’s like hiring one salesman to reach all of your customers.  Compelling copy convinces your audience to take the action that you want them to take using techniques that help lead the audience gently toward conversions. Copy writing is a skill that can be learned. It just takes practice, patience, and testing to get it right.  Using the following tips will get you there faster.

Essential Steps for Writing Compelling Copy

Step #1:  Start Simple – Your first pass through whatever you’re writing should be simple. Just get the information down without any embellishments. Write down what you want to impart to your audience. Tell them what you have for them, what it’s going to do for them, who you are, and what they need to do next.

Step #2:  Define Who You Are – Now, go back to the section in the copy that talks about who you are; usually you want to get this over with very quickly because you want to focus more on the audience than on yourself. But, your audience is going to want you to answer the question, “Who the heck are you to recommend this to me?” Giving your background, telling your why, and explaining how you came up with the idea is important to help you relate to your audience.

Step #3:  Add in a Story – You’ve told your story; now you want to tell their story by providing case studies, examples, and more to tie it all together. If you don’t yet have specific case studies of someone succeeding using your product, you can be more creative by finding more general examples of people who succeeded without giving up, then relate that idea to your product. When you do have some specific stories to share, add them in later.  A compelling copy inspires others to take action based on success stories.

Step #4:  Add Facts, Figures, and Stats – Now go in and fill in some facts to back up every bit of your assertions you’ve made in the copy so far. Your audience will enjoy reading some stats and facts because it’ll make it easier for them to believe the things that you say your product will accomplish. When your audience sees details with numbers, it will help them visualize the solution much better.

Step #5 Make It Personal – Now you want to go back into the copy and add in language to make everything a lot more personal. Break grammar rules and use personal pronouns like “you,” “our,” and “we.” Avoid using the word “I” other than when you are telling your own particular story. You want to draw the people into the story thinking of themselves and visualizing how your solution will help them.

Step #6 Bring the Dream – Now go back through the copy and add in some dream words and imagery to really let your audience feel the emotions you want them to feel with your choice of words. For example, “close your eyes and imagine yourself” or “Six months from now you’ll either be 50 pounds lighter or not – it’s up to you.”

Step #7 Get Endorsements – If there is a mover and shaker that your audience values and admires, and you can get them to endorse your product, that’s a great thing to accomplish and will help your audience make a choice. You can also get endorsements from people who are just like those in your audience by offering advanced copies of your product to them.

Step #8 Make It Beautiful – After you’ve perfected everything, go back in and make it look beautiful. Add the right fonts, the right colors, and the right images. Check it for errors, layout, and test it on many different devices as well as browser choices to make sure the imagery is appealing no matter where it is viewed.

Writing compelling copy is an important skill to master if you want to create high-converting sales pages, advertisements, and information that leads your audience to make the choices you want them to make.

How Can Market Segmentation Help You?

market segmentationIf you want to market and advertise effectively with your business, it is crucial that you learn about market segmentation. So what is it?  Simply put, it is identifying the main market for your products and services and narrowing down the market further into groups. This is has great value in helping to target your marketing efforts and get results!

How you categorize your audience varies based on whether you are a business-to-business marketer or a business-to-consumer marketer. The more you can learn about your market, the better. Some types of segmentation are actually determined by the market, such as behavioral segmentation.  As an example of this, consider the following:

Your prospect visits your website and sees a sign-up form to receive an important checklist that will help them accomplish an important goal. The prospect gives you his/her email address; your autoresponder sends them to the download page for the free checklist.  Now, the lead is on your email list. They have converted and have moved from cold to warm in terms of marketing. They have shown interest and given permission to you to send them information about your products and services.

Based on the fact that they downloaded your targeted checklist, you know something about them that you didn’t know before. You can now send planned autoresponder messages based on that download. You can follow up with them to find out how well the checklist worked. You can send tips about how to use the checklist. You can up-sell a paid product or service that is related to the checklist.  This shows how market segmentation based upon a prospect’s behavior can really help your future marketing efforts with clients who exhibit the same behaviors!

Other Forms of Market Segmentation:

In addition to behavioral segmentation, there are several other ways that you can categorize prospects for marketing purposes.  Othr areas of market segmentation include:

  • Demographics
  • Lifestyle
  • Life stage
  • Household
  • Preferences
  • Motivation
  • Industry
  • Purchases

All of these may not work for your particular business, or there may be even more, depending on the type of business that you have, whether you sell physical or digital products, and whether your business is product-based or service-based. All of these factors play into how you use segmentation, and how you perform it.

Tools to Help with Market Segmentation

No matter how big or small your business is, there are certain tools to help you to make this process more streamlined. Some of those tools include:

Active Campaign – You can use this or any similar marketing automation tool to do the research and crunch the numbers within its analytics. This gives you the ability to move people to different lists based on their behavior and where they sign up.

Lead Pages – This is landing page software that keeps stats and helps you automate the process of list building. List building is a great way to build your audience, and it is also a good way to segment the information you’re sending.

Google Analytics – Using this software on your website will enable you to find out, even before you build a list, what types of people are coming to your website to get the information you’re putting out there. If it’s not the type of people you’re expecting, you may need to adjust the type of content you’re publishing.

The more information that you can collect, the easier it will be to segment your market. With that information, you can define each audience within your market so that you can meet their needs more effectively. This will help you to target your marketing efforts which will help you to grow your business!

Make Your Landing Page More Targeted

landing pageWhen you send an email marketing message to your audience, you want them to click through to a landing page that is promoting something. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is to have subscribers click straight to a buy page, and another is to have them first click to a sales page that helps further convince the reader to buy what you’re selling.

You can create very targeted and specific landing pages for each email marketing message that you send.  This can be made easier by using software like LeadPages.net or Instapage.com. These tools help you to quickly and expertly create pages that convert. Not only that – if you create special pages for each email message, you’ll be able to to track some key data from your email marketing efforts by watching which types of email messages are working best for your marketing efforts.

Targeted Landing Pages Should:

Answer Any Concerns of Your Audience – If your audience has any concerns about the solutions they need, then you should be able to address and answer those in the landing page.

Provide a Good Headline -– When you create landing pages that are directly targeted to specific visitors, you can create compelling headlines that mean something to that particular visitor.

Use Known High Converting Designs – When you use well-known landing page software, you can take advantage of using templates that are proven to work without having to reinvent the wheel.

Not Have Distractions – Landing pages should only have one column to avoid distractions for the audience. You want them to read the information that you want them to read, then act on it. If you have too much on the page, they won’t do what you that if they are distracted by the other things on the page.

Have a Single Call to Action – Your CTA is very important, so it should get the special treatment it deserves by being the only CTA on the page. That way there is no way your visitors won’t know what they are supposed to do.

Keep the Language Straightforward – Use clear, concise language in your landing page in order to not blow smoke, or give the sense that you are tricking your reader in any way.

Load Quickly – You want your website to load quickly and not get hung up. This is very important, because if it loads slowly, people will not wait.

Avoid Too Many Images – Images will slow down the page, and while they do help get your point across, too many images will distract.

Use Video When Appropriate – A video of you explaining your offer is a great way to make a landing page that is welcoming to your audience.

Avoid Duplicate Content – Landing pages should have unique content on them. If you clone one landing page to make a different one for your audience, be sure to change the language and make it unique.

Don’t waste your email marketing messages by sending them to boring, unfocused landing pages. Be sure to make it special, focused, targeted, and relevant to your audience.  When you do, you will see many more conversions for your efforts.

Turn your Support Questions into Videos

support questionsMaybe this should be obvious, but it is often overlooked – one of the best sources for content and especially video content is by looking at the support questions you get. This should be obvious, but to some people it’s not. An often undervalued area to find video ideas is support questions and discussions in forums or groups. These areas offer exceptional ideas to spark new video ideas.

8 Ideas to Create Videos from Support Questions

Look to Your Competition – You don’t have to wait for questions to arise in your own discussion groups. Instead, go to the competition’s discussion groups and FAQs to find out what questions are being asked. Formulate answers in video form and post to your website, blog, social media and YouTube.

Check LinkedIn – LinkedIn has groups where people start discussions, post articles, and more. Go to the groups that consist of your audience and read the questions they ask. Take any question that relates to your audience and answer it in video form. You can literally find unlimited ideas on LinkedIn.

Read Facebook Groups – Join a few Facebook groups that consist of your audience. When you see people ask questions, don’t worry about reading the answers; just collect the questions and use those as ideas for making future videos.

Do a Twitter Search – Look for your niche on Twitter by doing a search on your topic to see if anyone is asking questions about it. Use those questions as your start for any video you want to create.

Check Pinterest – On Pinterest people don’t really ask questions, but they do post information in the form of images. They often group things together that they’re researching. For example if you have a food blog, and you want to make videos, you can find great recipes for any genre right on Pinterest.

Help Desk Questions – If you have a help desk, whenever you get a question in there, answer it like you normally do but make it in video form. Send the video to the customer, and then post the video in your FAQ for more help when people are searching.

Make a Compilation Video – If you find a lot of the same questions being asked, combine all questions into one subject of the video and try to answer them all in one. Still keep the video short, though.

Ask for Questions – A popular type of longer video on YouTube is a Q & A. Participants ask on social media for questions that they’ll answer at a specific date on a future YouTube video. Using this method means you’ll have to act fast to answer the questions within 48 to 72 hours of asking your audience to submit their questions.

Making videos is easy once you realize that ideas are everywhere. Keep a notepad or Evernote at your fingertips so that you can notate ideas immediately. Don’t rely on your memory when you get an idea. Write it down immediately so that you won’t miss out on making that video. The big thing is to take some time and look at your support questions to see what will generate a great video and then get to work on getting it done!

Generating On-Site Experiences That Bring Attendees Back for More

memorable eventsHaving face-to-face meetings and events is invaluable. They help foster relationships, build trust, encourage openness and offer a way to have immediate and clear communication with others. In this day and age, it seems that online events are the only way to do events, but nothing could be further from the truth.

However, in-person, on-site experiences need to be much more exciting than sitting hour after hour for presentations that one could have watched online. In person, on-site events require something that will make the attendees want to do it again. There are many ways to make your event amazing. Let’s go over a few.

Tips on Generating Amazing On-Site Experiences

Use the Best Technology You Can Afford – There is so much technology you can use today for on-site meetings and events that will help such as an app that will help like-minded attendees find and locate each other, and technology that will match up businesses that need each other. There is also technology that enables audience participation and questions to be asked and answered more easily. Get what you can afford that is above a traditional “presentation” type meeting.

Choose the Best Location You Can Afford – If you really want people to attend your event, then the location does matter. Not only does location matter, timing the event right to coincide with something important in that location can also help so that attendees (given the time) can do both. For example, have an event in Washington DC during the time that the cherry blossoms bloom, or in the Ozarks during the fall colors.

Make Sure the Food Is Awesome – You want to give people plenty of food choices. Today people care a lot more about their health than they used to. You may consider polling those who sign up for the event and pay about their food choices so that you can do a better job with food provisions.

Someone Should Greet Everyone – If you have to hire greeters, do so. Nothing is worse than going to an in-person event and feeling like a nobody, with no one greeting you or helping you know what to do or how to get involved.

Have a Meet the Speakers Special Event – Offer an upgrade to VIPs where they can have a dinner with the speakers at their table. Kind of like a “captain’s table” event on a cruise ship. People will pay good money to be able to hobnob with the speakers.

Offer Breakout Sessions – If your event is large, having smaller breakout sessions with 10 to 20 participants with a speaker will be an amazing way to help people get closer. You can arrange them together based on answers they give in the questionnaire you give them at the time they register.

Ramp Up the Content – The content that you and the speakers have at a live event should be even better and tighter than for a webinar or teleseminar. The speakers need spot-on slides, or visuals, and a good story to engage the audience.

Attract Well-Known Speakers – Even if you can’t get a lot of well-known speakers, pay at least one well-known person to speak at your event. Do ensure that they’re relevant to the event and can speak to the target audience.

Design for Relationship Building – Ensure that there are plenty of breaks, and even planned tours of the area around the event location. These are all networking opportunities for the individuals that come to the event.

Be Specific about Priorities – Know what your point is for having the event before you even start, so that you can stick to your priorities. You don’t want to have an event that no one understands the point of.

Build in Networking Opportunities – Set up after-hours drinks, dances, and other activities that can help people with networking. Do some in the morning, some at lunch, and some after dinner and some in the evening so that you can have a little something for everyone.

Inspire and Motivate Action – Don’t just talk at your guests; talk with them. Invite them to comment, invite someone or a few on stage to tell their story in a spontaneous way. The more you can inspire them and motivate them, the better they’ll feel when they leave, and the more they’ll want to come back.

Making people want to come back involves a well-oiled and planned event. If you can afford to, hire an event planner to help you get everything organized well so that you can focus on the content. Using these tips, your on-site experiences can lead to not only successful events, but add potential leads to your pipeline as well.

Book Recommendation: The New Rules of Marketing & PR

new rules of marketingThe New Rules of Marketing & PR, 5th edition
Where to buy: www.amazon.com

When it comes to reaching your target audience, there is an art to it. Online marketing is about being visible to people just when they want to hear from you. “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” offers updated information for all sizes of companies to have the impact that they need to increase sales and visibility.

This edition was published in 201 and provides relevant information for online marketing techniques. This includes using Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, press releases, Twitter and more. The best part is that you can accomplish it all without shelling out your entire budget for marketing. For anyone who wants to make a splash in the online marketing world for their company, this is a good place to begin learning about all the ways it can be accomplished.

If you’re skeptical, the author, David Scott includes case studies to support his strategies. Use your content to attract new customers to your business as well as maintaining a relationship with current customers. Get your copy and start applying the principles.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

How to Develop an Email Course

Wemail coursee’ve all seen them before, right? You arrive at a website for the first time and while you are looking around you are invited to sign up for an email course, something like the image to the right from www.marketingtechblog.com. Email courses are effective ways to connect with prospective clients and really show them who you are and what you have to offer. In fact, they are an essential part of any marketing campaign that attempts to communicate their value by getting people to Know, Like and Trust them. See our post, “Creating Your Prospect to Client Experience through the Marketing Hourglass” for more on this topic.

So how do you do it for your website? Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to do. An email course is usually delivered in “drip” mode. This means that whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, part of the course is delivered to those who signed up for it via their email, through an autoresponder service. An autoresponder service like Activecampaign.com, Convertkit.com or Mailchimp.com, can get the job done delivering an email course.

7 Steps to Building Your Very Own Email Course

1. Determine What the Purpose of the Course Is? Is this a free or paid course? Is the purpose of the course to encourage your audience to buy something from you when the course ends? If it’s a free course, what will the offer be at the end of the course? If it’s a paid course, how can you deliver exceptional value to your audience and make them feel as if they got their money’s worth?

2. Decide What to Teach. Teach your audience about or how to do something that is unclear, frustrating or hard to do for your audience. If you’re not sure what this could be, look be ask your audience for the answers. You can ask them directly, or you can find groups where they ask questions. Any question is a likely a good choice for an email course.

3. Organize the Subject. Choose your topic or question to answer so that you can now organize the subject into subtopics. You’ll want to pick one focused subtopic for each part of the email course. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information at one time. Instead, think of it like teaching one point of a problem at a time in a logical order.

4. Choose How Long You Want the Course to Be. Usually an email course consists of five to seven emails for free courses, but sometimes a topic will require a lot more than that – especially if it’s a paid course. Decide how long, but more than six to eight weeks might be too long. It’s important to consider your audience so that you know how they’ll deal with shorter or longer courses. Making it too long might mean a lot of people don’t finish, but you do want to give enough information that they learn the material.

5. Tell the Subscriber What to Expect. Before and after the subscriber signs up for the course, you should let them know what to expect. Be explicit about what is in the course so that they’ll know what’s coming and know what to look for. How many emails will be in the course? How often will they come? Will you send other emails and information to them? Let them know what to do if there is a problem. Probably the best place to do this is on the sales page, plus on the thank you page, plus in the first email.

6. Format Each Email Similarly. You want each email to look like part of the same course by branding it the same. Use the same fonts, images, colors, intro and exit. Always tell them what you have already told them, and then after the body of the email tell them what to expect for the next part of the course. This will help hone their expectations in a way that keeps them interested and involved.

7. Make Each Email Simple and To the Point. Once you’ve created a template for your course, it will be simple to fill in the details for the course. Give them one strong lesson each email, and keep the emails on the short side – no more than 700 to 1500 words per email. Otherwise it will be too overwhelming.

8. Craft Subject Lines They’ll Recognize and Open. The subject line is important because it will be key to ensuring that your subscribers know to open the email. You probably want to put the name of the course and the lesson name inside so that they know.

9. Give your audience a way to report problems and ask questions. You can do that via a special course email address or by making a private and closed Facebook group only for people who have signed up for the course.

Once yo have all this information sorted out, all that remains is to setup the technology and plug it in to your site. Here’s a great article from Convertkit.com that shows you exactly how to set this up using their automation tool – http://kb.convertkit.com/article/understanding-email-courses-convertkit. Let me know if yo have any questions and please feel free to leave your comments below.

Are You Using the “Hulk & Bulk” Strategy? [Strategix Video Tip]

You may be more than a bit curious as to what I have to say today based on the title of this weeks video tip and I will not spoil the fun. You will have to watch to find out what I mean, but if you are reading this because of the title then my message to you today is simple – how can you use creative titles to engage your audience? Really think about how to do that so you can authentically lead people to the information you have to share. Thanks for reading (and watching), I’d love for you to comment on your thoughts below .

10 Essential Mobile Website Tips

With the announcement that on April 21, Google’s algorithm will focus more on mobile friendly websites for mobile search, we thought it would be good to take a look at some great tips to make sure your mobile website gets the biggest bang for its buck.

If you don’t have a mobile website then your website will be penalized in mobile search results – which could be a game changer for some businesses. Here are a few choices for creating a mobile website – 2015 Mobile Website Review. We are a huge fan of Duda Mobile, but if yo have a WordPress website, you may only have to make a few tweaks and you will have an awesome, smart-phone-friendly website. Contact us and we can help you with building your mobile website.

Once you have your website built, here are 10 great tips to optimize it.

Mobile Website Tips

Dare To Be Different [Strategix Video Tip]

In today’s marketplace it is essential not differentiate yourself from all the other businesses out there. It isn’t enough to say you have better customer service etc. So how do you stand out in a crowded marketplace? Take a look at this video tip for a few new ideas.