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Higher conversion rates through direct-response marketing, with Alyson Lex (MNM Season 2 Episode 3)

January 14, 2022

141 Email Ideas

Higher conversion rates through direct-response marketing, with Alyson Lex 

Episode 3, Season 2 – Alyson Lex

 

Welcome to the third episode of the second season of  The Micro Niche Mastery Podcast.

Our guest for today is Alyson Lex, a copy coach and a direct-response copywriter who can help you with some hot marketing tips.

If you want to learn more about copywriting that converts, listen to this podcast episode

  • Find out the two things to consider when writing a copy in the first part

  • How to find out if your email campaign is successful? Figure out Click-through rates in this episode

  • What affects email open rates and how important are subject lines and preview lines

  • Why is there no one-size-fits-all solution for email marketing

  • Alyson revealed how many call to action she puts on her emails. It’s on the second part of the podcast

  • Why does Alex prefer text-based links to button

  • The secret to making a person buy from you

  • Alex is using the “Poking the Bruise” technique to convert clients. Learn how it works

  • The best time to use automation and broadcast schedule emails

  • How often should you send emails to your list? As much as you can get away with

  • “It’s all about the personality that you put into your list. And it’s about the expectations you set up.”Alyson Lex

 

Transcript:

Click Below to see the full transcript of this episode

Open Transcript

 Welcome to the Micro-Niche Mastery Podcast, where we help you establish yourself in the perfect micro niche so you will get noticed and grow your business faster. And now your host, he moved down from the village to the big city for a year, just to give his kids a different experience. Ziv Raviv

Ziv:

Hello, and welcome to the Micro Niche Mastery Podcast. I have the pleasure here to discuss today with Alyson Lex from Maryland, Baltimore USA. Alyson is a high conversion copywriter and someone that I really appreciate her views. Hello, Alison, how are you?

Alyson:

I am awesome. Thank you so much for having me today.

Ziv:

Well, we shall have passion about the topic of copywriting and our listeners are always interested in what works and how to convey their message with the email list, the people in the email list. So I want to start by just talking in general about like the psychology of copy. How do we actually know what to write about so that people will take action?

Alyson:

And there are really two things that I like to consider with every piece of copy that I’m writing. The first thing is where is my ideal person in their journey with me? So are they brand new? Do they know they have a problem? Are they super motivated to solve that problem? What steps have they taken to solve that problem? What obstacles are they coming up against understanding all of those things about their history and our relationship? How long have we hung out? How much do they trust me? What have they, what interaction have we had so far, just understanding that part of them is going to be really beneficial to figuring out what kind of content, what kind of hook, how much we need to explain all of those things. Then the other thing that you really need to think about is where are they in their day when they’re getting your marketing message.

Alyson:

It’s really, really important to think about how they’re receiving it. Are they scrolling through on their phone at 10:30 at night, after a really long day with all their kids and all of these things, okay. Maybe let’s lean into that or perhaps they’re completely fixed on you and you have a hundred percent of their undivided attention. That’s going to give us some insight as well, because frankly, the ones scrolling on their phone at 10:30, they’re half asleep, they’re thinking about their next day. They’ve got 85 other things on their mind and they really need a little more handholding and you have to keep them a little entertained than the people who are a hundred percent focused on you. So considering where they are in their journey and where they are in their day, it’s going to help you think about their current mental state, so you can communicate more effectively with them.

Ziv:

So we were basically talking about like putting ourselves into their shoes and really trying to be so empathetic that we even noticed stuff like how aware are they for their own problems and for their own, like just actually situation like now.

Alyson:

Exactly. And you know, this isn’t a new concept. So when I worked at Glazer Kennedy, we used to send a lot of direct mail. And so we would think, okay, what are they doing when they pick this letter up? We would actually think, how is this letter going to land in the pile? And that’s why we would send lumpy mail full of fun, little toys or things like that, because it would get it put to the top of the pile. You can’t stack flat mail on top of something that’s lumpy. And so by really practicing that kind of consideration, they’re going to be looking at it over a trash can or, you know, when I get the mail from my mailbox and this is just an illustration, but when I get the mail, I walked and I go to the mailbox and then I walk up my driveway and at the top of my driveway sits my recycle bin.

Okay. And so by the time I get to the top of my driveway from my mailbox, which is about a 25 second walk, if I’m kinda mosey on, right, I have made a decision whether or not I’m going to keep your letter that quickly, because if I’m not going to, it’s going in the recycle bin that I literally walked past. And so that’s the kind of thing when you send the direct mail and this applies to everything, but stay with me for a second. When you send the direct mail, we want to figure out how to keep our recipient from throwing it away in that 25 seconds. We’ve got to grab their attention right now. And by thinking she’s walking up the driveway, that means probably the end of her day. And we know where she is on our journey with us because we’ve got our data and we have an idea of what she’s looking for and we’re super targeted with our messaging. So what do we need to say to get her, to keep that letter and open it inside the house? That’s the level that you have to think about these things. And I know that sounds like a whole lot of work because it is

Ziv:

Indeed, indeed, even is harder when we’re talking about emails because you don’t have 25 seconds. You have like a two seconds away from looking at the open or the subject line to clicking archive or delete. Right?

Alyson:

Yeah. And so that’s why so many people are so interested in talking about subject lines because opens are a thing. Now, personally, I prefer to look at click-through rates. That’s going to tell me more about the success of my email, but it’s not going

Alyson:

It’s not going to get clicked unless it gets opened. So really thinking about what well, but that’s also think about the outside of an envelope. If I’m going to put something on the outside of an envelope, that’s a subject line. What do I say to get it opened?

Ziv:

Yeah. I like the, this debate because there’s controversy. It’s going to have us dating different opinions, whatever works for you at the end of the day, a couple of ideas to help you generate sales and don’t check your links, then it’s going to be a little bit hard unless they reply. But at the same time, I want to just note open rates that are affected mainly by the subject line. They’re not affected only by the subject line. They’re also affected by the relationship and was that relationship nurtured and by the reason. And they actually joined was the reason strong enough that will actually make a huge difference. The biggest difference is, did they sign up for something they actually want. And how far are you in, in the relationship or was the relationship maintained? But I think, yeah, there’s two more things that are also important for just the beginning of like this nice feeling of opening up the mail and deciding that you’re excited to see what’s in it. And that is the preview line. And even the first line of the email, which like that attention grabber, that can actually just turn you away immediately. Even after you opened up the mail, what do you think about that?

Alyson:

Yeah, I’ve seen, so I tend to like my subject line and preview text or work together. So I really look at a couple of different types of subject lines. There’s the curiosity driver, the straight shooter. If I’m trying to come up with a name, I haven’t really named them all. And then, you know, like the question or that kind of thing, but I like to use a more personal curiosity driver and then kind of explain it in my preview text so that they’re not opening it cold because like I said, I do look at click through rates and I could use like the weirdest curiosity driving subject line and then get no click through rates because they don’t care. So I really try to make it all match. I’d rather them not open it at all, then open it and discard because I feel like that takes away from the relationship piggy bank.

Alyson:

And that’s something that I’ve kind of been talking about a lot lately is if you have a piggy bank, every time you give, or every time you show up the way you say you will, or every time you prove, that they can count on you to deliver you add a coin to the relationship piggy bank. And then when you make an offer, you cash out or when you don’t show up the way they think you should you cash out. And when you do this, you, so I don’t want them to open it and make a withdrawal from the piggy bank if they’re not likely to click. So I do like to be very upfront with what I’m saying on my subject line and my preview text. Yeah. The opener, I think is it’s kind of that reassurance, if you will, that yes, you opened it and yes, it’s valuable and yes, you want to keep reading. So it’s a headline straight up.

Ziv:

It’s really like tied with glue to the preview line and the subject line without if you go to a totally different direction, you already disappointed the reader for the first time today.

Alyson:

Exactly. And you’re making that withdrawal from the piggy bank 100%.

Ziv:

So what are some of your tactics to improve click-through rates? Like how many links do you prefer putting the, you play with that? They’re short or they are long give us some of your insights.

Alyson:

Okay. So the first thing to improve, anything to do with your emails is, and I hate this. I hate that there is no one size fits all solution. I wish, oh my gosh, I would be so popular if I could come and say, I have tested every possibility in the world. And this is what’s will be guaranteed to work for you. You could be literally doing the same exact thing as the next person. And because you have different lists because you have different personalities because they have a different relationship with you, different things will work for you, then work for other people. So a friend of mine actually refers to your email list. And I really liked this as a living breathing thing. Think of your email list as something that will continually grow and change and evolve, but it is a person and that person is different than any other person on the planet.

Alyson:

So number one, understand what your list likes, understand what your list doesn’t like. My list, frankly, they do not care about my personal life, unless I can tie it directly into a lesson or an offer. My list does not hate one when all I do is send them offers. It’s awesome. I have a unicorn list I can just sell. I will ignore my list. And I’ve, I’m really getting better about that. So do not do as I do, but I have ignored my list. And then when I said, Hey, I’m sorry, I ignored you. Here’s an offer. I got literal replies in my inbox, thanking me. Look, that’s crazy. Okay. I’ve never met anybody else that has a list like that. And I don’t know how I got it. So really understanding what they like and what they don’t like is going to be the first thing I do like three call to action links that all drive to the same place.

Alyson:

No, I don’t do this click here or click here thing, option a, or option B. I don’t like to do that one call to action per email. End of story. I like to put one toward the top, usually texts. So for instance, I sent one this morning about a webinar and I said, oh, I’m getting ready for this webinar. And I highlighted the name of the webinar and I linked it to the landing page. Then I use gifs in my email because gifs are my love language. And so I had a little bit of texts that talked about what the webinar was about. I had a GIF in there and then I threw in a button that said, sign up now with an arrow. And then I had a little bit more. And then in the PS, I said, oh, by the way, there’ll be a replay. If you want to grab your seat now. And that I did text-based link again. So I don’t put lots of buttons, but I text-based link. I make, I write my sentences and then highlight texts and make that link.

Ziv:

I resonate with those advices. I like how you like you diversify the type of links. And I think that’s two to three links that all lead to the same place. Definitely makes sense. I just want to note, I really think it’s important. Like you said, to listen to your people, to your list, to your tribe and see what they like. And the only way to do that is to look at the data really. And that’s something that is so different from one tribe to another. We’ve seen tribe, tribes have specific businesses where it was mainly women and they really clicked more on emails that has, that had a very short, almost hidden links, just like this tiny words here that was highlighted. And that’s it. And when we put a very big, like ugly link HTTP type of link, they click through rates, went down significantly and consistently. So we gave them what they wanted. They just need to listen. So tell me, once you get people to actually click right, you still need to motivate them who actually buy what will motivate a person to buy something from you.

Alyson:

Oh, that’s a big question. All right. So it really can be boiled down if I want to make it super simple without talking your ear off for three and a half hours, you have to offer them the solution to the problem that they want to solve right now. Not the problem they want to solve next week. Not the problem they want to solve in six months. The problem they want to solve right now. And people listening are probably saying, but Alison, how do I know what, like, we, you just talked about having to understand their day. They’re walking to the mailbox, have they don’t want to solve this right now. It’s your job to make them want to. And so I call this, poking the bruise, and I’d like to come up with fun names for things. Can you tell our name, everything, but I call it poking the bruise, because if you’re like me, you’re clumsy and you might run into a door knob once a week or so.

And so you, it, it hurts when you run into the doorknoob. It hurts when you first do it. After a couple of hours, maybe a day, all that’s left is the little purple circle. And that’s what I call. It’s a bruise, the little purple circle on your arm. And that serves as the reminder of when you were clumsy and you ran into the doorknob and the little purple circle, it doesn’t hurt. It. Doesn’t throb. It doesn’t ache. It’s not sore. Unless you touch it, bump it, brush it, a cat jumps on it, or you poke it. Then it hurts again. And so that’s my metaphor for pain. Your people are in pain. They have purple circles for every problem that they have, but they don’t hurt right now. They don’t hurt because it’s not active pain. It’s passive pain. They’re not walking around their lives saying, oh, I need a new job. Or I need to do this. Or I need to do that. I want to lose weight. I need a partner. They’re not like head down, mumbling this themselves over and over again. It’s just there. And then when it’s activated, when it’s poked by someone, hopefully you, it reminds them, it brings that pain to the surface and it makes them eager for a solution. So that’s the, one of the biggest parts of your copy is to activate the purple circle or poke the bruise.

Ziv:

I liked the visual nature of this metaphor because like we copywriters, we use all sorts of graphic description of how to take people’s pain and agitate it so that they will take action and solve the problems. Right. We come from a place of wanting to help people to solve their problems. But we, we basically, we need to agitate. And you’re talking about with your metaphor about a different type of pain. Like it’s not a cat, it’s an it’s, it’s a bruise and stuffing that doesn’t, they don’t even notice it yet, but you can see it. You can look at them and see that they were bruise and you actually have a solution for them. And by probing it, they, you can just remind them, oh yeah, it is painful. Oh. And you can think that for me. Awesome.

Alyson:

Exactly.

Ziv:

And like also how, you know, it forces you to listen to people because you only want to sell to them or they actually right now want to solve.

Alyson:

Yes. You have to have the right moment. A hundred percent. Yeah.

Ziv:

So I want to ask, I like just open one quick additional topic, and that is the topic of automation versus broadcast type of emails. And just like to see where are you on the camp of that? And we will finish also with talking about the frequency of day-to-day type of communication. So let’s start with your opinion about automation.

Alyson:

I love automation for anything I can get away with. I think, I mean, frankly, in a perfect world, I would have five bajillion emails set up and day one on my list is the same for everyone. And day a hundred on my list is the same for everyone. But I also recognize that that doesn’t feel very personal to people. So I don’t think you can get away with it as much as I wish we could, because I think automation is amazing. And I love using automation to, especially at the beginning of somebody’s journey with me, or if I am having them touch in with something, whether it’s a webinar, a survey, any kind of touchpoint, I think use automation for your regular emails. Just work ahead, you know, your weekly content value, keep in touch. And I know you mentioned frequency, those emails, write them a month ahead, schedule them out, update them then that kind of thing, but everything else should absolutely be automated.

Ziv:

So I agree. And of course, like a welcome sequence just makes sense too. If they just talk to them, having automation for it, if they’re taking action, if you like doing a launch or something, it just easier to manage it with an automation

Alyson:

And you can segment, you can personalize the experience really well to them because of it. So, you know, I hosted a webinar earlier today and when I sent the messaging out to my list, there are really two, well, three things that could happen. One, they don’t click, I’m not measuring that at this point, but one they click or two, they click an opt in. So I wanted to know who clicked. And so I set up an automation because it was a special niche topic and I wanted to make sure I started identifying people on my list. So I just tagged them. So then later I have a segment automations help with that. There’s so much you can do. If, if your email marketing system has automation capability and segmentation and all that stuff.

Ziv:

These days, even the low cost, email CRMs type of services, they support the tagging and the automation. So it’s like really no experience, except for just sitting down and finding the time or finding some help to get it done. So the million dollar question, how often should you send an email to your list?

Alyson:

Very much as with automation, as much as you can get away with. So just like what your list wants to read is different, how often they want it is going to be different too. Some people are happy to get an email once a month and they’re highly engaged. I would do more than once a month. I would do once a week at minimum. And that’s what I personally strive for actually I’m at about 10 days again, do, as I say, not as I do, I am not a good role model. I’m about once every 10 days, sometimes seven, if I’m in promo, obviously it’s much quicker and if you can get away with every day, awesome. And I think you can get away with every day, as long as that’s the expectation you set up from. So part of that welcome sequence that we talked about is to set that expectation.

Alyson:

Hey, and I tell people, Hey, I sent an email about maybe once every 10 days, you know, like I tell them you’re not going to hear from me all the time. Cool. Come find me on Facebook or Instagram. If you, if you have questions, I’m here for you. It’s all about the personality that you put into your list. And it’s about the expectations you set up. If you say, I’m going to send you a, a short three sentence email every day with an actionable tip, do it, they’re expecting it. They’ll want it. They won’t revolt.

Ziv:

And I totally greeted setting the expectations is so important. That’s our role when we are like, as business owners, as tribe leaders is the people that are sending those emails. You know, you should do that. I, if anyone is interested in getting some help, because high conversion copywriting, that is a big deal for many businesses, they need a sales page to convert. They need the funnels to work. And a lot of time they need even specifically a second opinion of, Hey, look at this funnel. It helped me with the conversion to have it in a high conversion copywriter. Sometimes what they look for is not the words. They look for the visuals of it. They look for the relationship, the look for the positioning of the actual solution. And so on, like you said to probe, but if someone needs help with any of these types of things or where should they go and what type of services do you offer,

Alyson:

You can always had. And you’re so right. A second set of eyes is amazing, but they can always head over to alysonlex.com And that’s a L Y S O N L E X.com. Blame my mother, she named me with a weird spelling and you can check me out and see what, that’s my home, my home hub on the web. I am pretty much copy and marketing strategy. So, you know, reach out, ask me questions. If I can’t help. I probably know someone who can, I’m always happy to point you in the right direction and just be of service.

Ziv:

And I want to thank you, Alyson, for sharing with us, some of your views on open rate and click through rates and automation. It’s a topic that you can always hear more opinions and get some advice and get some reminders. So thank you so much for being here in the Micro Niche Mastery Podcast. Thank you everyone for listening. See you next week.

Voice over:

This show was brought to you by daily cookie.co, where you can finally feel supported daily email love. Now delegatable visit daily cookie.co for a collection of free resources on how to use copywriting at daily emails to grow your micro-niche business today,

 

 

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