Here’s what I hope business owners understand. Most copywriters take their craft very seriously. Whether you’ve commissioned 16 scrollable pages of an online salespage, or asked for a simple email series, we do our very best work. Because we know how important your marketing is in helping you grow your business. Personally, I would lay awake at night wondering if there was something more I could have said or done to make each copy piece more effective. I put my heart and soul into my work. That’s why it’s so frustrating when a client comes back and says, “Remember those emails I asked you to write? They didn’t convert.” And somehow, I’m to blame. I’ve written an ebook that produced over 200,000 leads in a single year. One of my sales pages produced $60,000 in sales within 2 hours. I’ve written an email sequence for a webinar that maxed the webinar attendance (1,000 people), maxed an encore presentation, and filled almost ¾ of an additional encore presentation. As a copywriter, I know my craft. So why blame me when your copy doesn’t produce the results you hoped for? Here are 5 things you might consider revamping before you blame your copywriter for her “failed” efforts:
9 times out of 10, when a new client asked for copy help, they had no idea what they wanted written. They were just told they needed a copywriter. But it is up to you, the business owner to decide what strategy you’d like to pursue. Do you want a free report? Are you offering a video series? Do you offer free consultations? That decision is all on you. I’ve given clients numerous suggestions on what they could be doing with their marketing, only to have them choose the strategy I believe will be the least effective. You’ve got to have a game plan. And unless your copywriter also promotes themselves as a business coach or strategist, the responsibility of the strategy rests on your shoulders. Are you sure the strategy you choose is going to be effective?
A Dead List
As copywriters, we do NOT have the power to resurrect cold leads. Sure, we might pull in the occasional lost soul, but if your list is dead, the most persuasive words in the world won’t do you any good…because your “dead” contacts won’t even read your message. If you’re not getting average (or close to average) open rates from your marketing list, your copywriter is not likely to get them either. If you want to know how persuasive your copywriter is, use a responsive list and see if your “click rates” increase from the emails you typically send out. “Open rates” don’t tell you whether the copywriter did a good job or not.
Even as I wrote that last paragraph, I cringed a little. Because there is one more factor that goes into getting someone to click your link besides just how persuasive the copy is. And that “factor” is your offer. When I am reading my emails, if I’m offered anything less than a 25% discount in a sales email, I don’t click. 10% discounts are the worst. In my mind, it’s a non-discount trick. If your offer fails to reach people and help persuade them to take action, the copy is, again, not to blame. If you don’t make your free consultation worth attending, then the email won’t get people there. They have to want what it is you’re offering before persuasive copy can push them into taking action.
As a marketer, I’m always surprised to see the varying degrees to which someone emails their list. You’ve got the hesitant business owner who only emails once a month (and, coincidentally, loses the attention of their contacts because the contacts can’t even remember who they are), and you’ve got the people who send as many as 3 emails a day. If you email your list frequently, you can expect the enthusiasm for your products and/or services to die quickly. Most consumers can only read so many emails from the same person before they start to tune out. If you marketing list is tired of hearing from you, your copywriter is not to blame. Try sending a letter or other direct mail piece as a way to break up the email fatigue. Chances are, your copywriter could write you a dang good direct mail piece.
The Product or Service
If there is not a market for what it is you’re selling…there is not a market for what it is you’re selling. Copywriters cannot create a market out of thin air. They need to be as convinced to buy your product or service as you want your contacts to be. When people can’t see the value of your product or service, you don’t need to waste time and money asking them to buy a hundred times. What you need is content that proves the value of your offering and helps them understand the benefits of having it. Until that small parameter is set, you’re not going to get the sales numbers you had hoped. Have your copywriter focus on the “proof” of your product rather than sending out emails that do absolutely nothing to further your efforts. Copywriters can do some amazing things…but they are not magicians. If you want to see your content get big responses, you’ve got to make sure all the pieces are in place for conversion to start happening.