“Lots of people tell me my welcome email is their favourite”
“Then we need to re-write it, fast.”
I was going through the welcome email sequence with a new client last week when we had this conversation.
I'm seeing it a lot on Twitter, and increasingly on LinkedIn with the growth of “creators” over there.
There's a lot of talk about writing, writing styles, writing for the social algorithms, writing for SEO, but very little about writing for action.
To get good at writing that makes sales, we need to unlearn a bunch of other styles.
Academic writing – the type we learn in school and university, and that gets worse the longer you spend in academia. Its main function is to show off to your peer group whilst making it as unintelligible as possible to the rest of the world.
Creative writing – the stuff of fiction and more high-brow magazine articles. This is a little better, and at least it's entertaining, but it doesn't lead to any sort of action.
Business writing – writing with its heart and soul taken out and replaced with one from an enslaved robot who's given up on life.
Finally there's copywriting. Writing which persuades the reader to take action.
Copywriting isn't supposed to be “clever” or “witty”, and while it can be entertaining, it should't overwhelm the reader with the writing. The writing is just a servant to the idea that you want to plant in your reader's mind.
Sure, we borrow from other types of writing. We use stories, drama, and humour to keep people moving along and get them engaged. We use logic to cement the idea as acceptable.
But we don't want praise for our writing.
Copywriting is absolutely not about you. It's about them.
In fact the best copywriting isn't usually written by the writer, it's just paraphrased from people in the market. Just like this email.
The guy in question came to me because although he was getting lots of nice comments, he wasn't making sales.
It reminded me of a story by legendary copywriter Gary Halbert:
Copy needs a personality behind it, but it doesn't need an ego.
If we get praise, it's with sales, not applause.
Go back and look at your emails today.
Are they bigging you up, or getting your customer to believe in themselves?
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