Hey, guys! Bobbie is an expert copywriter and a member of the Affiliates Ask Anything group on Facebook — you might have seen her commenting on some posts, giving copywriting-related advice. I met Bobbie in person about four months, and she gave us some really great actionable advice for copywriting. We brought her on for a specific project, and now she is here to give you guys some good value here.
It all started with computer science in college where she learned programming and troubleshooting skills, which translated really well into copywriting later on. She had a career in IT, but she realized that she did not want to do the same stuff every day, over and over again. So, she joined her husband’s internet marketing company to manage its infrastructure needs. She built the entire back end infrastructure, and the previously frequent downtimes of up to 72 hours (server problems, ISP issues, code-related bugs, etc.) were brought down to about 2. With no more massive downtimes, their affiliates were really happy.
The next task in the company was coming up with new ways to market, in an effort to innovate and experiment. With her background in data, doing split tests was a natural exercise: changing the headline or the image, etc. and testing CR that way. They started to massively grow and increase the conversion rates on their offers.
Next, they changed the product completely. Their company had a women’s hair care product, and she had the bold and revolutionary idea of completely changing the target demographic, and they started marketing the product to men. She single-handedly led all the research to build the offer, all the marketing, and the complete copywriting process. Although the original product had a $15 million yearly revenue, this revamp turned it into a $32 million figure for the company.
What most affiliate marketers miss
Find a unique angle for a product or offer. Try various ways to bring the traffic into the offer. In this particular success story, Bobbie’s company did two major split tests regarding angles: How do you approach the offer for this new product? With the sex angle? (The “women love a man with a beard” approach) Or the manliness angle? (The “be rough, be manly, show the world you’re a man” approach). In this case, both ended up working for the affiliates, but testing is very important.
From her analytical IT background, she found herself heavily involved with this eight-figure company doing creative copywriting. What a contrast! Despite her roots in data, she has always had a creative side, e.g. with music. Her interest in changing the way they did marketing – initially not even knowing that it was called copywriting – led her down the path of learning about the psychology of buying patterns: following the buyer’s journey, finding out what motivates people to make a purchase. Making people transition from not even knowing there is a problem, to realize there is a problem, to realize there is a solution, and to finally discover that OUR product is THE solution.
What resources did Bobbie take advantage of?
There are hundreds and hundreds of resources out there, many of which are free. She has a few favorite books – the older copywriting books in particular from Claude Hopkins or Eugene Schwartz. The advice found in those books from nearly 100 years ago is still relevant and valid today, only the medium has changed (from direct mail, print ads, radio programs to the internet). The way that we think is the same: how we process information, how we are motivated to buy. She recommends Eugene Schwartz’s affordable book called “How to write a good advertisement” as it breaks down the steps to learn how to do good copywriting. Eugene’s other famous book, “Breakthrough advertisement,” is also excellent but expensive and no longer in print.
Emotion is key, but don’t overdo it
She asks: “What is it that you think will trigger somebody to buy?” Is it a need? Well, perhaps; it starts from a need, an uncomfortable feeling. But it’s actually an emotion that triggers a decision. We want to make ourselves believe that we are logical creatures, yet every decision we make is first recognized as an emotion, and then we justify it with the logic. Most people whose copies fail to convert miss one of two things: They’re either missing the emotion or they’re missing the emotion followed by the logic (the justification). If you’re writing an advertorial as an affiliate that takes somebody through a beautiful story, it doesn’t always have to end in death or in the hospital for it to be emotional. Advertorials often try to overdo the emotional impact — creating far-fetched, dramatic, or tragic stories — whereas much simpler narratives can have even better effects on our emotions. If you tell a simpler, believable story, people can relate to them naturally.
The crucial key is understanding your audience and writing for your audience, not writing for the product. Statistically, most affiliates are men, yet many affiliate products are designed for women. There is, therefore, a communication barrier. Men and women are quite different: in the way they talk and, of course, the way they think. So, if you write your advertorial from the viewpoint of a woman, but it’s written by a man who doesn’t understand what women are feeling, you’re going to have a disconnect, and it’s not going to convert as well.
Bobbie learned it the hard way at the beard company. She fully believed that she understood men (after all, she is married to one). The end result was that the first version just didn’t resonate with anybody. It forced her to do actual research, getting into the mind of men: What is it that makes them tick? They don’t think about things and experience things the way that she does.
For something as simple as beard growing, all a man has to do is just stop shaving. How do you get them to buy a product that helps them have a better beard? What do they want most in life? Is it merely the “I’m a man” thing, or is it more nuanced like “I’m the man of the house. My woman loves me because I’m a man”? Even the inflection that comes through in writing matters; saying the right words or even how and when you say things.
Get in touch
You can contact her on Facebook or at Bobbie@conversionhacker.com. She is more than happy to answer questions and even help people through their journey of learning what copywriting is and how to get better at it.