092: How Tech Plays Into Copywriting and Funnels

On today’s episode, I am speaking with Jenn Robbins.  I am so excited to have her on the show to share, from her perspective, how tech plays into copywriting and funnels. Jenn Robbins is a conversion copywriter. She supports mostly establishment business owners with high converting websites and sales funnels because she found that funnels can be a super important part of any business.

We’re talking primarily about a sales funnel.  A sales funnel is the journey you take your customers through to have them learn your business.  They learn what it’s about, why they should care, and how you can benefit them as a business owner.

Jenn is an expert in all things copy and funnels.  The reason why I really wanted to bring a copywriter onto the podcast at this point in the year is because so many of you are getting ready to launch in 2020.  It’s just around the corner! And I know that there are launches and new opportunities coming. I thought that it was a great time to talk about the relationship between the tech you are using and the words that are being written for that technology.

The words that you have on your screen may look different depending on what tool you are using.

You may end up wanting to create long form copy where it’s page after page.  Or you may want to create short form copy. And sometimes, the tech tool you are using will dictate that.  Other times, your copywriter or whatever you are selling may be what dictates that.

So let’s get into today’s episode.  I cannot wait for you to give us your takeaways and feedback in the Facebook Group.  The Tech of Business Facebook Group has recently been renamed. It is now Expand Online: Strategy, Support, and Tech.  And as always you can still get to the community by going to techofbusiness.com/community.

Jenn’s view on the importance of funnels.

A lot of people she knows, including herself, rely on referrals.  Those can sometimes dry up.  But if you have a funnel in place then you have leads coming in.  That means you’re not having to go out and search in Facebook groups and try to get people to tag you in things.

You have people actually coming in as leads on a regular basis.  If you have a funnel, you’re able to kind of keep your business going. Jenn went on to add that most of the women she works with are moms.  They have families! And they rely on their business for an income. So funnels are an important part of that. I think that everybody needs to have at least one funnel if they want to make online business connections.

So let’s talk about what Jenn’s definition of a funnel is.

Jenn shared that a funnel is basically an automated customer journey. It’s your way of moving them from just kind of seeing you around to becoming a client.  That can look a lot of different ways. And most people have some sort of community already, but they have some sort of funnel in place.  That may be sending people a Facebook message and then they send them random messages along the way. And then they get them on a call that technically is part of a funnel.   But actually, automating it is usually a little bit more complicated, but it’s essential to actually keep things moving in your business.

I totally agree with this.  But by us saying automated, we really mean using tech tools.  Which is why it makes sense for us to be talking about this now on the Tech of Business podcast. So the automated tools that Jenn as a copywriter and a conversion and funnel strategist matter.  It’s not like Jenn can just say, “Okay, here you go, here’s some amazing copy. Now have fun.” Jenn as a copywriter needs to know what tools are currently in play.  She also needs to know what tools the client might be interested in working with and what they may have decided they don’t want to even touch.

So let’s talk a little bit about the tools that Jenn sees online business owners using.

A lot of her clients work within ClickFunnels. Jenn shared that’s kind of the gold standard. It’s not necessarily her favorite, but it is one of the most popular tools out there because it has landing pages. It has templates already set up for you. So it has landing pages, sales pages, and all the steps are there if you want to just go buy a template.

And then you have some sort of email marketing system. There’s MailChimp (which she doesn’t love), Active Campaign, or Convert Kit.  ActiveCampaign and Covertkit tend to work better for funnels, in Jenn’s eyes, because they have more automation options. I actually set up Jenn’s email marketing system for her.

Jenn shared that there is usually some sort of website people use. Squarespace or WordPress are popular ones. There’s always Wix. There’s so many out there.  Jenn shared that that can be very overwhelming. Especially because she’s not a tech expert. She writes the copy. But as I said, she needs to know what her clients have in place because that can limit what she does. She needs to know what their capabilities are before she writes a whole bunch of different options and take people through different parts of the funnel that they can’t actually do.

Let’s unpack here for a minute.

I wanted to spend a little bit of time on this because you, as the audience, may be saying, “Okay, I’m going to go with ClickFunnels.  Or I am going to go with a WordPress website.”  Then you may come to someone like Jenn and say, “Okay, help me set this up.” And Jenn may only be giving you the words and not the other stuff.

So I asked Jenn when it comes to ClickFunnels, what kind of questions does she ask her clients to figure out how deep they’re going to go into ClickFunnels and if they’re going to use the pre-made templates?

Jenn shared that she hasn’t always asked them in the past.  Sometimes it’s just made assumptions. Especially if it’s a larger business, she kind of assumes that they have a tech person in place. So they have something that’s going to go in and they can have the capabilities for it.

But if you’re working with more of a solo printer, and you’re not really sure, it’s helpful to know where they’re at.  Are they using a free plan? Do they only have seven pages available> She shared that you would be surprised, when you get in ClickFunnels, how many pages you use for a basic funnel.  Because you have to have one like a landing page and a “Thank you” page and a sales page. And if you want to do a tripwire, they’re all of these different ways you can go and it adds up very quickly.

She also shared you want to know like what integrates with ClickFunnels because not everything talks well to each other.

Again, this is something that as a copywriter,  she hasn’t always been aware of as she got into more, looking into funnels, and actually helping people implement a little bit more.  She shared that she doesn’t love implementing the tech tool anymore. And that’s why she thinks you need a tech person like me to come in and do that.

As a copywriter, she knows how funnels should work. But she doesn’t always know how to make sure it all talks to each other. And oftentimes the client doesn’t either.  Sometimes you need that third party to come in and be like, “Okay, look, you actually can do it this way. We can do it this way instead.“ And sometimes the copy or maybe even the strategy has to be adjusted a little bit based on that.

I think that makes a lot of sense.  What I’m hearing Jenn say is that your copy can dictate what tech to use. If you are restricting your tech, then you have to let whoever is writing your copy know these restrictions.  This is so that your customers and your leads can navigate through the process as appropriately as possible.

I think that it’s important for you, as an entrepreneur, to understand the flow of traffic and that your copywriter is on the same page as you.

Because if your copywriter, for example, says. “Okay, we’re going to do a landing page and a thank you page and the sales page and a tripwire and this, that, and whatever else.”  And then you look at them like they’re green in the face, then you’re not going to have the kind of success that either of you want.

So it’s important to make sure that you are on the same page that you’re like, “Yes, all I want is the very simple process to get someone on a phone call.” Or you say, “All I want is to get someone into my automated 20 email sequence.” Knowing what you want and working with your copywriter on the strategy to get there is really where the genius lies in outsourcing and bringing in people who are experts in their domain. It’s also a lot more fun, as an entrepreneur, when you know that your tech, your words, and your systems are all flowing together to help support your business.

Jenn doesn’t want people to be afraid of funnels.

She knows it can get a little intimidating.  Especially as I talked about all the different options. Jenn shared that if you don’t have a funnel, you can start very simply.  You don’t have to sign up for $200 a month ClickFunnels account. She said that it can be as simple as a landing page. And if you use MailChimp, you can actually do it on MailChimp.  It may not be as pretty, but you can have that landing page, link them to your email list, and give a thank you page if your only goal is to get them on your email list. That’s a pretty simple thing to do.

We can also make a little more complicated.

Jenn personally uses ThriveCart on WordPress.  So she can build my own landing pages. Then they connect to ActiveCampaign.  And then she has an automation in there. That was still more complicated trying to make everything talk to each other because she has a couple other things happening at the same time.

But you can keep it very, very simple.  It doesn’t have to be scary. And it doesn’t have to be expensive to start out with at all. It can be as easy as you want to make it. But if you’re worried about that, then talk about that with your copywriter, or whoever you’re hiring.  If they come in and they’re like, “Okay, we can do all of this stuff.” And if that’s not what you want, then tell them that.

Jenn shared that the way to start is to keep it simple.

She thinks that everybody should have at least one funnel.  She calls it the White Rabbit funnel. Because it’s what kind of leads you down that rabbit hole of your business. But that’s basically just some sort of offer, which is on a landing page, and then an email sequence with the final offer that could go to the landing page or could just be in the email. That is a very simple funnel and that would not take you spending hundreds of dollars on ClickFunnels to do that.

I totally, totally agree with that. I’m curious to know if there are any kind of buzzwords that are relevant right now? Are there any terms or different ways of communicating on your landing pages at the start of your funnel that Jenn has seen that are effective for most of her clients or for a lot of her clients?

Jenn shared that you need to make it as custom as you can make it for your audience.  She shared that some people tend to go a little too general to bring people in. And that works sometimes to be honest.  But if you’re talking to everybody, nobody’s gonna listen. You have to really narrow it in. For example Jenn works with established business owners, which is still kind of general, right?  But she has a general funnel that brings people in. It’s a quiz and they go through an email sequence.

Right now, she’s in  the process of duplicating that and making it just for photographers because she did a podcast for photographers.  So she’s customizing it so that it’s speaking just to them. And that’s going to probably convert a lot higher than her general one because it’s just talking to them.  She’s going to be specific about what they need in their funnel along the way. So that’s not really a buzzword but getting as specific as you can is important.

Marketing that is getting push-back.

There’s a big push back against bro marketing right now.  Bro marketing is ads that you always see the guy on the Lambo who is flashing the money and that’s usually leading you through some ClickFunnels offer.  It’s not something that is associated with the offer necessarily, but it’s a tripwire and upsell and upsell and a down sell. There’s like 45 different parts of the funnel. And it feels very disingenuous.  At this point, they probably rented that Lamborghini. And they took a loan out for the cash and then took it back to the bank.

Jenn is seeing a lot more of a push towards empathy marketing.

So more like connecting with people. It’s more about building relationships, as opposed to just kind of throwing something up and pushing people through a funnel. You want to kind of customize the language. The big thing she has found is that you need to make sure you’re talking to your audience.

Jenn shared that a lot of people, especially if they write their own copy, everything is in the “I” voice.  It’s like, “This is my business. I do this. And I do that. I grew up in this place. And I wanted to do this.” So it’s basically just their story without telling the audience why they should care.

Jenn shared that if you’re going to say you’re open for business, tell us what you do and why we should care. Because as humans, we’re kind of inherently selfish. We want to know what’s in it for us, especially if I’m going to be hiring you.

So maybe on that land page, you’re telling us kind of who you are and why we should care and then doing some sort of relevant offer. People don’t seem to care as much about like a free checklist or a basic PDF anymore. We’re kind of getting a lot more marketing savvy.  You need to be a little more on your game. Maybe it’s a video that goes with the checklist. Maybe it’s a challenge to something that’s not just a PDF you created in Canva, download it, and give me your email address. That just doesn’t work anymore.

Now I have to say that if someone is a successful entrepreneur, working offline, and they want to come online, they have that expertise that they can showcase.

If you are someone who has had so much offline business, you may be able to get away with something a little bit more general.  Why? Because you are coming at this from a different angle. The audience that you are attracting may not be as familiar with the bro marketing or with all the PDFs and those types of things. So making sure that you understand who you’re trying to attract.

Jenn and I, we work with a broad spectrum of different entrepreneurs.

They may have seen 40 different PDFs that they could download. They may have only seen two. So we want to make sure that whatever we create is relevant and makes sense for the audience that we are trying to attract. And in our case, the quiz for Jenn, that just seems to make sense.  For me, people want nuts and bolts. They want checklists. They want to say, “Oh, okay, I’m doing it right.  I’ve got the right tech tools”. So it’s relevant for me to create a PDF that takes someone through things. So just because, in general, PDFs aren’t enough, that doesn’t mean that PDF might not work for you.

Jenn agrees that it totally depends on who you’re trying to reach. It also matters what your PDF is.  If we’re talking about an in depth checklist or something or something like “Five Ways to Increase Your Audience”,  that’s way too broad. If you’re getting specific, absolutely.

A lot of people think you have to recreate the wheel every time.

Jenn shared let’s say you have a checklist PDF.  And maybe you have one of those that she just mentioned that isn’t great.  You don’t have to get rid of that funnel entirely. Duplicate it and then just come up with a new offer. And you can leave both of them up and test to see which one is more effective.

So maybe you have that checklist.  Maybe you have a video instead that is just walking them through and then you have that checklist at the end. But you can definitely re-purpose what you have and just see what what works for you. Because a lot of this is testing and seeing what actually works. Your business is always changing.  And your audience is changing. The tech is changing. And the entire marketing world is changing. So it’s just constantly a test of what’s working, what’s not, and making adjustments along the way.

But you don’t have to just like scrap everything and start over if anything Jenn has shared hit a nerve. So just say what you have and then keep going. It’s okay. It’s always okay to look at things every quarter probably, see where your numbers are at, and see if you want to make adjustments.

I think that there’s a lot of validity in that.  You created your opt- in and your landing page for a reason.

Go back to the reason why you created it and say, “How can I double down on creating even more value with this landing page? With this copy? And with this freebie? What else can I do to make this version to version 4 of that?” 

I really like that approach. Because I know sometimes I will start working with a client and they say, “Yeah, I’ve got these three PDFs and they kind of all work.  But I think we should start something new.” So before we even get a chance to evaluate how one of them may work or how to do split testing, they’ve gone and decided that they’re going to do something completely different. And there may not be a reason to do that.

I want to go back to like words on the page. What you need to be thinking about.

This may get a little technical, but we’re going to try and keep it at a high level. But aesthetics wise, when a copywriter provides a Google Doc with text in it. Obviously, as a copywriter, you’ve got a few ideas of how you want it to look on the screen. So I asked Jenn to talk a little bit about when to use different fancy fonts or different fancy colors or font weights and things like that as you’re interpreting whatever copy might be received from a copywriter?Jenn shared that she’ll start with email first because that’s kind of easiest.

Don’t make anything fancy with email.

Jenn feels like the fancier you get, the more likely it is that it ends up in spam or just doesn’t get delivered. So don’t use fancy fonts because sometimes it doesn’t come through right. There was a coach who was a pretty like high end coach.  And her emails were coming in. But Jenn shared that she couldn’t read them on her phone, because she was using this MC script font that wasn’t just wasn’t coming through on iPhones. So she’d written this whole launch sequence that nobody could read.

So just keep emails as simple as possible. Use some photos, use some gifs, and make it fun, but don’t do too much because people don’t care, honestly.  They’re going to read it. And most the time they’re reading it on their phones anyways. Some of that really fun stuff just makes it come through wonky when you’re reading it on your phone. So keep email simple.

Now, landing pages.

Jenn is a big believer that she doesn’t think design is as important because you can have a beautiful design, but if you don’t have the words, nobody’s going to buy anything. But design is important. Because if you have words and it’s just thrown up there, it’s still not going to convert.

Jenn shared that she has known some people who have used a Google Doc as a sales page. But even within that Google Doc, they’ve formatted it properly.  They have headings. So you do have to make sure you’re calling out certain things. Your header should have some sort of something that stands out. It doesn’t have to be a bright color..

It should be talking about who they are and what they want. She actually just did a review earlier this week on a landing page for somebody.  And she reworked the headline and it got better. But you want to kind of look to the future and think, “Why should people care?” 

A lot of times people are like, “I’m introducing this free offer!” Well, why do I care about this free offer? So “This free offer will help you do x” is a better headline.  We want to understand. Jenn shared that a lot of people will come to that page, and if it doesn’t get them right away, they’re clicking out. They don’t care. So grab them in there.

So let’s talk about the design through the page.

Jenn shared that you want the words to kind of flow.  You don’t want everything center text if you’re having like long, long sections.  For example the “who it’s for and who it’s not for” sections can be a little longer. Make sure everything is like left aligned, because it’s much easier to read. If you’re doing everything centered, your eyes can go cross trying to read like paragraph at a time.  Bullet points are helpful. But don’t do only bullet points.

It’s a lot about breaking the copy up.  If you have a couple of paragraphs and bullet points. You have some fun images. But it’s just making sure that you’re hitting all of the points that they need like your “overcoming objections”.  Even if we’re talking about an opt in page, people still want to care. They still want to know why they should download it because people are a little more precious about their emails. At least their emails that they actually check.

Jenn shared that she has one that she uses for free offers that she doesn’t really check. She just does it to get the free 10% off on the website, or whatever it is. So if you want a legitimate email address that people care about, you need to tell them why they should care through the copy, and then use the design to make them actually go through and hit the button.

This made me think of one question about the button text.

I don’t know why this came up.  As Jenn was going through the design through the page I found myself wondering if there are any words that work really well on button text that she has seen to get those opt ins, to get people actually starting out? Is there a specific kind of language or colors or whatever it might be? I just it just kind of came to me. And if it came to me, it probably came to you, the audience, too.

Jenn shared that button text is super important.

That’s what’s actually going to get people to click. So having “Enroll now” or  “Sign up now”, nobody’s going to click on that unless they really want to buy it already.  WHY? Because that’s not enticing! Jenn shared a way to increase conversions is to use “I” language.  Use phrases like “I’m ready to buy” or “Sign me up”. She shared that she can’t remember the exact statistic, but it’s like at least 75% higher if you just have something that is empowering, like, “Sign me up!” It just feels a little different.

And then so that we’re making it related to the offer. So using something like “I’m ready to increase my conversions” or “I’m ready to get my tech handled” is a better way to phrase it.  You want to use something that describes what they’re going to be getting. Then that depends on how big the button is and how much space you have. But give them something that they’re going to get in that button. Jenn said to just use something that makes it a little more empowering because the basic “Buy now, Buy now” is a little done at this point.

This made me think of some landing and sales pages that have a button that then bring up the opt-in box versus having the name and address with a button that is submitting the form. So submitting a form that is the procedural technical language.  Don’t ever, ever, ever use the word “submit”. That’s my personal thing. If I see submit on there, then I’m like, “Oh, someone didn’t change defaults.”

I asked Jenn if she could speak a little bit about which way she likes to see things.  Whether she likes to have the form there and then the button to send the information in? Or if she prefers to have a button that tells someone to take action, which then brings them to the form itself?

Jenn shared that she likes to have everything on one page. She shared that she feels like the more pop ups you have, the more you try to get someone off that main page, the more likely you are to lose them. Even if it’s a pop up that shouldn’t be affected by pop up blockers.  You never know. Just having a basic like little form on your website. Or like the old bar, the opt in bar, which is like name and email address, click here. She just thinks that tends to work better. You tend to not have as much space, but she thinks it works better.

We’ve covered so much in this session.

Jenn has talked about understanding how your copy and your tech relate to one another. And we’ve talked about, how to format the copy. We’ve also talked a lot about language and a few other things like that. I asked Jenn if there was something else that she was dying to get out and make sure that we actually included in this episode where we’re talking about entrepreneurs using effective copy and funnels to drive their business.

Jenn said the last thing she wanted to say is that she’s a big believer in the rule of one when it comes to writing copy.

I learned that from Joanna Wiebe with CopyHackers. It’s that you have one goal. So your landing page shouldn’t be just another page on your website.  Or if it is, it shouldn’t have the navigation bar at the top. There should only be one option for that landing page. And that’s signing up for whatever you’re offering. That goes for sales pages as well. There’s one goal.  There’s multiple buttons, but it’s all the same thing, same goal, and that goes for emails as well. Your email shouldn’t have like, follow me on Facebook, buy this offer, and sign up for a call. It should say to find me on Facebook. And then another email that says sign up for a call.  Then another email that says to buy this offer. If you ask people to do too much at once, they won’t do anything. So kind of follow the rule of one when it comes to making offers or having someone to do something.

I love that! That is so succinct and it makes it easier for you as the entrepreneur or for you when asking your copywriter to create something to do something with a single solitary goal.

Jenn and I recorded this audio about 3 to 4 weeks ago.  And I’m glad that I had the opportunity to listen to it again as I was completing the outro for the podcast.  It gave me so many actionable nuggets. And I hope it gave you a few too. I love what Jenn suggested in our curve ball on the podcast.  So over in the Facebook group Expand Online: Strategy, Support, and Tech, let’s talk about what our offers are and be able to work backwards into the copy and into the tech so that we can get more people taking up our offers.

I want to thank Jenn so much for coming on the Tech of Business podcast today.  If you have any thoughts on this episode please reach out to me on Instagram. I’m @techofbusiness.  I love having conversations with you about the podcast episodes.

Thank you for listening to the Tech of Business podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe, share, rate, and review on Apple podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, or wherever you download your favorite shows. You can also learn more about me at techofbusiness.com.

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