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Go Long: How to write uncomfortably long and stunningly high-converting copy


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In this talk at Learn Inbound (Oct 2016), Joanna Wiebe talks through case studies for ecommerce and SaaS emails. The common theme among the studies? The winning copy was 2 to 3x longer than the control. Watch and download - and get your team on board with using more words to create high-converting websites and emails.

Published in: Marketing
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Go Long: How to write uncomfortably long and stunningly high-converting copy

  1. 1. GO LONG How to Write Uncomfortably Long and Stunningly High-Converting Copy Joanna Wiebe @copyhackers
  2. 2. COPY IS Joanna Wiebe @copyhackers TOO F**KING SHORT YOUR
  3. 3. You’ve got 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell visitors what they’ll get. @copyhackers - NN Group
  4. 4. The average visitor spends 15 seconds on your website. @copyhackers - Someone trying to derail things in a webinar
  5. 5. So? @copyhackers
  6. 6. We’re not trying to convert the average visitor. @copyhackers
  7. 7. When you use data points like that to influence what you write or don’t write on your website and in your emails, @copyhackers you murder copy.
  8. 8. “BE MORE AVERAGE!!!”
  9. 9. Don’t murder your online salesperson. (That’d just be bad business.) @copyhackers
  10. 10. I’m not saying you should do this:
  11. 11. I’m saying you should not do this: Put everything in a video Make images do the lifting all alone
  12. 12. You should not do this: Cram all your copy into an unreadable lump
  13. 13. And you should not do this: Summarize everything in as few words as possible
  14. 14. You’re not average. You’re just trying so hard to be. @copyhackers
  15. 15. As many as 60% of sales are lost to“no decision.” Source: @copyhackers
  16. 16. So the real threat is i n e r t i a. @copyhackers
  17. 17. “I’ll just keep doin’ what I’m doin’, thanks.” @copyhackers -Your visitor
  18. 18. What if we forget about word count… and you try to convert just 1 person? @copyhackers
  19. 19. Roses are red, Violets are blue - Donate to a teacher With the same name as you. @copyhackers
  20. 20. Dear Joanna - Roses are red, Violets are blue - Donate to a teacher With the same name as you. Mr. Wiebe French novels for his junior high students.
 $68 remaining Donate to Mr. Wiebe’s project 3x more likely to give to a project Gave 3x as much Reactivated lapsed donors Source: Donors Choose Annual Review 2014 - 15 @copyhackers
  21. 21. @copyhackers “That’s me!”
  22. 22. @copyhackers “That’s me!”
  23. 23. @copyhackers “That’s me!”
  24. 24. This doesn’t mean that using someone’s name is a silver bullet. @copyhackers
  25. 25. It just means that we’re overwhelmed with messages we have to make sense of. AKA noise. @copyhackers
  26. 26. 1986: 2,000 ad messages a day Sources: Research firm Yankelovich, in the NYT. Marketo at Uberflip Experience. 2016: 5,000 ad messages a day We recognize 50. We remember 4.
  28. 28. How could the answer be to write MORE copy? @copyhackers
  29. 29. “Save time and money” @copyhackers
  30. 30. Summarized, timid and vague messages make you 1 of the 4996 @copyhackers
  31. 31. To be 1 of the 4 that stick,try this: use your words @copyhackers
  32. 32. Your copy is too fucking short. Your prospects NEED your words. • Help your visitor visualize • Make concepts concrete • Answer your own questions • Spell out those summaries • Show your visitor herself on the page
  33. 33. We tested 2 home pages that were approximately the same length.
  34. 34. But Variation B replaced summaries with real detail.
  35. 35. Help me visualize CONTROL VARIATION B
  36. 36. Make concepts concrete CONTROL VARIATION B
  37. 37. Answer your own questions CONTROL VARIATION B
  38. 38. Spell it out CONTROL VARIATION B
  39. 39. Variation B beat the control by 108% (paid lift).
  40. 40. Then we ran a second test against the new winning control.
  41. 41. So while the product was the hero in the control… In the new treatment, the visitor became the hero…
  42. 42. (Delaying the product reveal is uncomfortable for every online business on the planet.)
  43. 43. We used a PAS framework. This let us dig into the details and get specific.
  44. 44. The new variation beat the high-performing control by 49% (paid lift).
  45. 45. “Make it about me”
  46. 46. An 8-email series that brought in 3.5x the paid conversions @copyhackers
  47. 47. coincidental insignificant short copy 3.5x @copyhackers
  48. 48. CONTROL (EM 2) 18% is a lot. That’s the improvement in play rate that Wistia customers see by customizing the color of their video player appearance to reflect their company branding on their website. It’s that easy. Get more plays on your videos by customizing your player colors. Customize your player
  49. 49. “I’ll just keep doin’ what I’m doin’, thanks.” @copyhackers -Your trial user
  50. 50. VARIATION B (EM 2) We saw 18% more people click “play” when we did this Joanna We customized the color of our video players. That's all it took to get nearly 20% more views of our videos. The Wistia video player defaults to grey. Which is nice. But grey. So why stick with grey when you can go with hot pink... or dollar-bill green... or, well, Wistia Blue? Take a look: copyhackers-customize.jpg You can change a video's player color in 2 clicks in Wistia Getting 18% more views is pretty major.
  51. 51. VARIATION B (EM 2) Videos that used to get 100 views a day now get 118 views a day. In a month, that's an extra 500+ vides. And it only takes something like 11 seconds to make this very simple but very powerful change to your videos... Sounds really easy - I want to change my video player color now PS: Watch this to see how to optimize your videos in Wistia...
  52. 52. Make concepts concrete CONTROL VARIATION B
  53. 53. Spell it out CONTROL VARIATION B
  54. 54. Meet Wistia customer ZeeBlu There are a lot of creative ways to grow your business with video. Collecting email addresses is an easy way to fill your database with sales-ready leads. We thought you’d enjoy reading how ZeeBlu, a digital marketing firm, collects leads with video for their client (the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch) and uses coupons to connect with their customers. Want to collect leads with your videos? Upgrade to a Wistia Pro Plan and use Turnstile in your videos. CONTROL (EM 3)
  55. 55. @copyhackers
  56. 56. Without the pic, what would your brain see? @copyhackers
  57. 57. Words are supposed to create pictures. @copyhackers
  58. 58. Words are supposed to engage our imagination. @copyhackers
  59. 59. The greatest thing you have working for you is not the photo you take or the picture you paint; it’s the imagination of the consumer. They have no budget, they have no time limit, and if you can get into that space, your ad can run all day. Don Draper Season 6,Episode 4 @copyhackers
  60. 60. Video marketing with Wistia turns viewers into leads What if you could double your leads without doubling your PPC spend... ...without doubling your content production... ...without doing anything more than switching on Wistia Turnstiles? When we stopped using on-page lead- generation forms and started using video turnstiles, we went from a 6% conversion rate to an 11% conversion rate. That's nearly double the leads. Without any extra effort. "Sounds great," you say, "but what on VARIATION B (EM 3)
  61. 61. earth is a Turnstile?" This, my friend, is a Turnstile: {{turnstile gif}} It's a really elegant content gate in Wistia. Here's how it turns your marketing and demo videos into Lead Collection Machines: 1. Prospects land on your page. 2. They see your video front and center, not squished next to an ugly form. 3. They click play. 4. They watch. 5. And then, just at that moment when you're about to reveal an incredible data point or the climax of a killer story, voila! The Turnstile appears... 6. You can add a Turnstile at the beginning of a video. At the end. Or at an exact point on your timeline. And anywhere you embed the video - on VARIATION B (EM 3)
  62. 62. any page or any site - you can collect leads. Where do all those leads go? We've got over a dozen one-click integrations. So you can send leads straight to your email provider, like MailChimp, Infusionsoft or Emma. Or to your CRM, like HubSpot. Grow your list. Fill your CRM. Let your marketing videos do the work they're meant to do. @copyhackers VARIATION B (EM 3)
  63. 63. Help me visualize CONTROL VARIATION B
  64. 64. In almost every case, the winning email copy was 2 to 3x as long as the control @copyhackers
  65. 65. “I’m not afraid to read.Just make me want to.” @copyhackers -Your prospect
  66. 66. Generalized,summarized and vague messages don’t work.Long or short. @copyhackers
  67. 67. Your copy is too fucking short. Your prospects NEED your words. If it doesn’t pass the Closed Eyes Test, rewrite it until it does. If there are dots to connect, connect them. If there’s a question on the page, question it. And if your brand name or the words “we” or “I” lead a sentence, rewrite it to lead with “you.”
  68. 68. Use your words. @copyhackers
  69. 69. They’re free. In unlimited quantities. @copyhackers
  70. 70. THANKS! Here’s what you should do now: 1. Rewrite at least 1 email 2. Write everything better at 3. Come say “hi” @copyhackers