• Email Copywriting
  • Is there a “we” in your email copy?

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    Last Sunday, even if you don’t like golf, you probably heard about Jordan Spieth’s collapse during the final round of the Masters.

    He was leading by five shots halfway through the final round. He had a spectacular front nine. Then after two bogeys he got a quadruple bogey on the 12th hole. “Buddy, it seems like we’re collapsing,” he said to his caddie.

    And that’s the thing with Jordan. He always uses the pronoun “we” when talking about his golf game.

    “Of course we’re going to fight back. There’s no give up in us. We tried but it was just one bad swing.”

    “I’m confident in the way we play golf. When we’re on I believe we’re the best in the world.”

    Sure, you could dismiss it as false humility, but I think it’s the case that golf at this level is now a team sport these days, and he fully recognizes and appreciates that.

    Copywriting is similar to golf in that it appears like it’s an individual sport but in reality you need to view it as a team sport.

    Do you ever say, “We wrote a great email series?”

    It can be hard to do if you’re a freelancer, or if you have your own business and write your own copy, but it’s a perspective shift that makes it possible to write better copy.

    It’s important to develop a team, and by team I mean more than Facebook groups, a mentor, and masterminds.

    I devote a lesson to this in A Year of Email Copywriting.

    The more voices your team has, the stronger your own voice will be.

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  • Email Copywriting
  • Why an email is like a mustard seed

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    As Seth Godin likes to remind us, small is the new big.

    Jesus had the idea first:

    “The kingdom is like a mustard seed that a person planted in his field. It’s the tiniest of all the seeds, but when it matures it’s the largest of the garden plants and becomes a tree.”

    A mustard seed is so tiny you could easily overlook it.

    Yet Jesus chose this as an image for describing a kingdom

    Email is easy to overlook too.

    Sales letters and VSLs get so much attention.

    But a single email and blog post, sent one by one, builds rapport and trust, and yields more fruit than a sales letter.

    In thinking of my own freelance email copywriting experience, I recall two times I wrote an unsolicited email for free for two prospective clients, who then went on to hire me for many projects.

    There was the time I left a comment on a John Carlton blog post, buried way near the bottom of 100+ comments, yet a few years later a prospective client came across it and hired me for a project.

    Those little seeds add up.

    If you were looking for an image for your own business, a mustard seed might not be the thing that would immediately come to mind.

    But it’s those tiny mustard seeds that will entirely transform your business.

    If you’d like 52 of my mustard seeds, you’re invited to my A Year of Email Copywriting course.

  • Email Copywriting
  • Should you email your list every day?

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    I’ll let Jesus answer this one:

    “Salt is great, but if salt has lost its tang, how can its saltiness come back? It’s not good for the soil or for the manure heap. Throw it away. If you’re not deaf, listen.”
    — Luke 14: 34-35

    Replace the word “salt” with “email” and you have yourself a maxim that every email copywriter should read regularly.

    I love how blunt and to the point Jesus is. Not only is lost of tang not good for the soil, it’s not even good enough for the manure heap. Throw the salt away.

    How many emails are you throwing away?

    That is probably the more pertinent question to ask rather than how many emails you send per day or week.

    In a recent interview Seth Godin, who writes a daily blog post and sets the gold standard for every marketer, says his ratio is about 3:1. He usually writes three or so different post drafts and only publishes one.

    The reason the composers Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven are remembered today is because they wrote a much greater volume of musical works than any other composer. Their fantastic works are only a tiny fraction of what they actually produced. Because they threw away more music than other composers, they had more great works than their peers.

    Therefore, the more blog posts or emails you write, the more you’ll be throwing away.

    If you’re not throwing some away, then the emails will lose their tang quickly.

    Throwing away is painful. I write a weekly humor column for my local newspaper and it pains me when I have a great idea but can’t come up with a great closing sentence. So the draft just sits there in purgatory.

    I’ve thrown away countless emails for clients that my clients never saw.

    They may have hired me for seven emails but I threw away more than that.

    So if you have a commitment to writing an email every day is a commitment to throwing away perhaps as many as 100 email ideas per month.

    Inside my A Year of Email Copywriting I share a strategy I observed from my behind the scenes perch writing email copy for successful clients. It gives a more nuanced spin on the “to email every day or not to email every day” question.

    I also show you can get tips on writing daily emails from a small town police sergeant, of all people, who writes for over 100,000 Facebook fans.

    After you sign up I’ll send you a separate email with a document that has all of the emails I’ve written so far in the course, Plus you’ll continue to get the emails one by one each Sunday for 52 weeks.

    Do you like business books? I’ve started regularly posting reviews of business books here on my blog. Click here to check out the recent ones. I also occasionally post my humor columns. To see all my posts as they appear, feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter.

  • Email Copywriting
  • The cold in your email copy never bothered me anyway

    Frozen is the tale of sisters Anna and Elsa, whose relationship is captured in music by songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

    There’s a little known fact about the movie Frozen that, once you learn it, will improve your email copywriting.

    Before the song Let it Go was written, Frozen was a very different story.

    Elsa was originally meant to play the role of villain. But the songwriters viewed her as someone struggling to come to terms with her powers. They decided to not make her a villain and focus on what they thought Elsa really felt.

    They went with their gut and the result was the hit song “Let It Go.”

    But then the producers had to make a decision.

    Keep the song and change the story?

    Or keep the story and ditch the song?

    They went with the former and the rest is history.

    Now, how does this apply to business and copywriting?

    An email is like a song in a soundtrack.

    It advances the larger story in your business. The Hero’s Journey story, as I like to call it, and as I go into detail about inside my A Year of Email Copywriting course.

    Like the “Let It Go” song, sometimes a single email story will have such an impact that it changes the overall Hero’s Journey story or the direction of your business.

    Years ago I wrote an email for a list of mine that resulted in dozens of new opt-ins to my list because, apparently, the readers enjoyed the story so much that they forwarded it to friends. It was a funny story about driving around in a Wisconsin snowstorm and I never would have guessed that one email would have an impact.  It prompted me to change my business approach and the way I communicated with this list.

    Not only do you have to understand the importance of stories, but you also need to be open enough to know when your story should change. The more you include stories in your email, the more dynamic your product will be and responsive to the needs of your market.

    The first three months of A Year of Email Copywriting are complete and three of the lessons are all about how to write stories. When you sign up, I will email to you a document that the first three months of emails in it. You will also receive each email on a weekly basis for 52 weeks. I enjoy interacting with students by email and look forward to your questions and input.