Grow Your Business

Your (First) Move: The copy tips that got me to a 92% conversion rate

Welcome to Your (First) Move: a new series in honor of our brand new e-book that asks established entrepreneurs for an actionable way to quickly kickstart a business. Today’s post: Jenni Waldrop.

Despite having a master’s in writing, Jenni Waldrop’s biggest challenge with her business was, well, the writing.

“[My education] teaches you how to write for business, but not how to write for people.” And in online business, if you don’t speak the language of your customers, no one is going to buy your products.

Waldrop’s business, Fuzzy and Birch, is designed to help Etsy shop owners go full-time with their handmade business, something Waldrop had lots of experience with as a successful shop owner herself. But when it came time to sell her courses, she was seeing conversion rates hovering at 1.6%.

Screen Shot 2017 06 13 at 12.48.20 AM
Jenni’s initial copy, converting at 1.6%.

After talking with GrowthLab Accelerator coach Marc Aarons, Jenni sussed out the issue. She was being a bit too casual about the whole thing.

“Marc was pushing me to make my headlines more sensational. There’s a struggle as a woman, where I’ve found that bragging about what you can give people feels false,” she said. “But Marc was like ‘who cares?’”

So they changed the copy to be less about the Etsy shop and more about the effect a successful Etsy shop would have on her readers’ lives. In other words, she focused on the second order effects of success.

“We changed it to ‘Are you ready to quit your day job?’” says Waldrop. “I wasn’t sure I could even say that, but that’s what I was teaching my readers!”

They decided to A/B test the more aggressive copy with the current version and the difference was immediate. The old one converted at 2.1%. The new one spiked to 10%.

Opt-ins skyrocketed after adjusting copy - copywriting tips

“Watching leads come in used to be like watching grass grow. Then the day I implemented the copy changes across the blog, I got 100 opt-ins — 30x more than normal. It doubled the size of my list.”

Using the same technique to hone in on other easy copy wins, Jenni used Sumo to install heatmaps on the site to see exactly what content and headlines were engaging her readers and leading to opt-ins. And she began to triage them, one at a time.

Use a heatmap to see which headlines convert - copywriting tips
Looks like Pinterest is a winner…

“People didn’t want fluffy tips, they wanted me to actually walk them through the process,” she said. “I spend a lot of time in my opt-in process getting real with them. Basically saying ‘You know you want this, why are you fucking around?’”

Now? She has pages and opt-ins (like this one) that convert as high as 92%.

How to stress test your headlines

We asked Jenni’s coach Marc for his top copywriting tips for crafting showstopping headlines. He suggested going through the following checklist when writing:

  1. HEADLINE: Will the reader read past the headline?
  2. Does your reader instantly know who this is for, what it does, and how it does that?
    1. No? Name either vague or doesn’t exist. To fix, write the 3 “offer” elements in Plain English:
      1. Who is this for?
      2. What does it help them get (desire), avoid (pain), or overcome (barrier)?
      3. How will it do that?
  3. Brainstorm your “top-level” ideas
    1. Who is this for?
    2. What’s the #1 desire?
    3. What’s the #1 pain?
    4. What’s the #1 barrier?
    5. What’s the #1 solution (how)?
  4. Write your copy in chunks
    1. What are 3 ways your audience describes themselves?
    2. What are 3 ways you could write the #1 desire?
    3. What are 3 ways you could write the #1 pain?
    4. What are 3 ways you could write the #1 barrier?
    5. What are 3 ways you could write the #1 solution?
  5. Draft multiple headlines
    1. Get Desire, Desire, and Desire
    2. Got Pain? Remove Barrier. Get Desire.
    3. Barrier? End Pain. Get Desire.
    4. Get Desire without Pain (just remove Barrier…)
    5. Get Desire even if you have Barrier (no Pain…)
  6. Pick the best one.

For more actionable ways to kickstart your business, be sure to order a copy of Your Move: The Underdog’s Guide to Building Your Business.

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