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My experience of The Copywriter Club (not) In Real Life conference -3-5 April 2021 – Part 1

In real life it was me sitting on the bed with my laptop 🙂

I have been wanting to write a blog about the conference I had the good fortune to attend over a month ago now, which I had the good fortune to get a ticket for after winning a prize as part of a networking competition in the Accelerator also headed up by copywriters, Kira Hug and Rob Marsh whose membership groups The Copywriter Club and The Copywriter Underground I’m part of.

I’d heard of the conference before as it’s been happening every year since 2018 in different locations in the States but for real-life events, I have to figure out costs of travel, childcare and such.

The conference started each day with networking via Airmeet, which I hadn’t used before but was fun and in some strange way more fun than in-person networking where ambiverts like me can get distracted by background noise and such.

Carline Anglade-Cole How to get 2…3…or more controls from one sales promo!

After a warm welcome to the conference, the first speaker up was Carline Anglade-Cole who was among the speakers who I was looking forward to hearing speak and I’m probably going to say this often in this blog series because there were some amazing names in the line-up. Carline wrote the book ……, which I’ve read and although she is in a different niche from me, more specifically in healthcare she is an incredible force with the first of many brilliant stories. It was through Carline that I first heard about ‘copy controls’ in the sense of having a piece of writing that really hits the mark and can be used as an example for future clients of what great copy is. If you have ever seen those sales brochures selling pharmaceutical goods, Carline is one of the big names behind these.

She brought the seminar to life by asking us which of a few examples of headings did we think were most successful and was then able to share which was the right answer.  

After the conference, I kept thinking to myself “Mama gotta pay the mortgage” and had attributed this quote to another speaker but it was Carline who used this as an incentive. This resonated with me as a mother and someone who really wants to make it as a writer. Carline also confirmed to us that the way to become an ‘A Grade’ copywriter is to have more winners than losers. I hope I’m on my way slowly but surely as I’m accumulating my winners.

Kira HugCreate Your Brand Personality

https://kirahug.com/I fell in love with branding after completing a workshop on it as part of another membership so I knew that I had to see Kira’s Figure out your Brand Personality, which was the next workshop at the conference. 

I love Kira’s vibe and personality and this workshop included a few examples from fellow writers who were looking to go deeper with their own brand.  

The first volunteer, Caitlyn is in the Health and Wellness space and is very much one of the writers whose journey I love to follow as she has a funky spirit and is ahead of the times with her ideas. She was encouraged to put together a brand board of what her ideal living room would look like as a metaphor for her brand and then explore what ‘toast’ she would give if she were to host a dinner party. I loved the Caitlyn was able to deliver her toast there and then on the call and knew that this is a woman who holds cool dinner parties. 

Much of my notes for this workshop ended up being about what I would love my brand to be about and to give you some idea I’ll share it as a Pinterest board as part of this article.

Joanna Bain Toward a Better Class of Clients

Joanna Bain (nee Wiebe)’s seminar was mind-blowing for a different reason. Now I’ve attended plenty of talks, lectures and seminars in my time though I think Joanna was the first person to make so much value that she was going ahead of her slides. I started writing notes but I just couldn’t keep up and she has the kind of energy I would love to have. The subject of the seminar was ‘Towards A better class of clients” and she started the presentation by asking us rhetorically “You wanna make more money”….You bet I do, that’s why I’ve been surrounding myself with talented copywriters and will be for another two days or so!.

Joanna followed this up by suggesting that we write copy that no one else could. She also listed reasons why copywriters have been fired, including not asking clarifying questions.

She described a better class of client as one who:

– Pays well
– Has good values
– Has more projects
– Can send referrals
– Does send referrals and 
– Can easily give case studies.

Joanna also shared the acronym DAMR and I do love an acronym. This one stands for 

Do great work
Attract a better class of client
Make easy money
Repeat.

Joanna also reiterated what Carline had said which was to ask whether we are analysing the control. This was a really helpful tip for me as a relatively new copywriter because I’ve written various kinds of copy including webpages, Facebook ads, Instagram ads and carried out research and I’m aware that I need to keep getting better. 

One of the best pieces I’ve done was for a test and I know that for any future piece of work I can compare it with one that has gone before to assess which is the better of the two.  

Joanna Wiebe is well known for being a conversion copywriter and an excellent one at that who has gone on to sell other courses and membership programmes.

As mentioned earlier there was so much value packed into this presentation that my notes ended up looking a little garbled though I will end this section by sharing the discovery process that Joanna shared with us which was to:

– Identify the problem that your client has.
– Share with them the cure.
– Show the client the proof that you can help them with the cure and 
– Present your offer to them.

Next week I’ll be continuing the TCCnIRL blog series with notes from Bree Weber, Rob Marsh and Eman Ismail.

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Digital Marketing Hacks to Dominate Your Market — Week 6 Review

Make sure that your sample size is large enough and the test is long enough to reach 95% significance. Your website act like a salesperson and to understand the biases you can use which are cognitive biases such as comparison fade which is the predisposition to behave more compassionately towards a small number of identifiable victims than to a large number of anonymous ones.

The Persuasion slide Overview

Andre Morys spoke at the digital camp in 2015 and is the presenter of this module. I’m pleased to say that although I wasn’t too keen on the module at first as I found some of the videos rather boring, they definitely got much better as the module went on and even becomes interactive with some brilliant experiments that I’ll mention in this blog review for the CXL course

Morys mentioned in the introductory part of this module something similar to what Roger Dooley said in the previous module, which is not to believe A/B studies as they only show aspects of what is real. When you carry out a test make sure that it has the power to change the behaviour of the Users.

There are various factors that will encourage someone to want to purchase something and one of the influences is social proof. As part of this CXL course, Dooley mentioned a framework called The Persuasion Slide which consists of four parts:

1. The Nudge — How you get the user’s trigger

2. Gravity — the customers initial motivation

3. The Angle — the motivation that is provided be it conscious and non-conscious

4. The friction — The difficulty whether it is real or perceived.

I think that this framework process is a genius idea and I haven’t really come across something like this before. This works on a conscious and sub conscious level as well.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Gravity

This is what makes a website work. It is the why of when a person comes to you. The focus is on how what you have to offer matches up with your clients wants and needs such as in the case of the website Hussle, which shows a happy young woman in a gym. The talk of gravity reminds me of the analogy of going with the flow. When a customer buys a product or service they are going with gravity but if we have to do extra in order for a customer to buy then we are going against gravity.

As a copywriter I love the example that Dooley gave of a copy editor whose call to action was to tell the prospective buy to “Place an order”. This is completely jumping the gun because a buyer usually has to qualify the seller before they buy. For me as a yoga teacher and writer, buyers have the opportunity to do one of a few things. People can come to a yoga class if they live in one of the areas where I teach in Surrey. They can contact me by email if they would like me to write or edit for them, though I am planning to allow people to set up appointments via Calendly so that we can speak about their requirements. One of my favourite copywriters, Kira Hug has discovery sessions that have been described as being rather similar to a therapy session, that’s how deep some of us copywriters can go!

Nudge

The nudge is the same as a trigger and how a company gets customers’ attention. One of the companies that is successfully in the news for this is Lululemon who even in pandemic times are set to expand again. This popular clothing brand started in Vancouver, Canada and spread across the world. Dooley mentions another brand that I’m interested in, LinkedIn and showed how this social media site will include a photo of the user and include it in an advert.

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay 

Angle

The angle is also known as motivation and features an element of physics where the steeper the slide is the faster the move to the finish line. These motivators are both conscious and unconscious.

Freebies are great “angles”. I think CXL gave a fantastic nudge when they asked me to apply for a scholarship for their course. The requirements for the scholarship are also an excellent incentive which will see me through for other courses I go on to do. Ratings and trends are a great subconscious motivators. Using influencers is another motivator such as Jay Shetty who advertises for various companies on his podcast and Oprah Winfrey whose promotion of products has led to what is known as the Oprah effect.

Friction

These are the issues tht can arise and can be perceived or real. It’s whether a site is clear or not. For me it’s a website where too much information is required for me to be able to look at the niche. A good example of friction for me are the trading websites albeit in a different way because I had the experience of signing up to a website where you have to put your phone number only to be contacted by scam companies who do not give up easily. I’m now more wary of inserting my phone number onto any website.

Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay 

As a yoga teacher and practitioner, I absolutely love the Yoga With Adriene brand. I came across her because of my interest in YouTube and she has done so much to bring yoga to the masses. Although I can sign up to take part in a zoom class, I prefer to put on a YouTube video so that I can practice when I want to. She makes it easier for people by being so consistent and providing monthly classes. Her website is fresh looking and there is no added pressure to pay for anything though she explains what you will get if you pay for a membership for her Find What Feels Good membership community.

When it comes to the names of services and products, I smiled when Dooley started to speak about friction. Although I’m happily married, I’m fair more likely to use my maiden name, Marshall, for work as people tend to find my married name of de Araujo hard to pronounce and spell. Incidentally, it is a Portuguese name that is pronounced exactly as it’s spelt, “de Ara-oo-jo”.

Applied Neuromarketing — Brain Fundamentals

Most of this course is run by Morys who mentions disruptive growth. Basically, any new company comes as a result of a problem with the current offerings. Uber is an excellent example of this. It’s so straightforward to use and I’ve used Uber fairly often over the years. I love that I can use an app and see whereabouts on the map the driver is coming from. I can also rate drivers and choose my favourite ones.

In next week’s blog for the CXL Psychology of Persuasion course week 6, I will be continuing this exploration of applied neuromarketing and touching upon how attention is controlled in advertising and the limbic system of the brain.

Learning, Memory and Neuromarketing – Week 5 Review

One of my greatest passions in life is learning.  I studied Psychology at A level and degree level because I wanted to find out more about why people the way that they do and I trained and worked as a yoga teacher because I love the effects of yoga practice and coming together with others as a community.

One of the first experiments we studied was about Pavlov’s dogs which demonstrates the process where a connection is formed between a previously neutral stimulus and anther stimulus which evokes a response.  In the case of this well-known experiment dogs were taught to associate the sound of a bell with receiving food.

Image by woodsilver from Pixabay 

When we learn anything, this can be associated with positive and negative engagement.  The CXL course gives as an example of smoking with gruesome pictures of what can go wrong when a person smokes.  For me it didn’t take this much for me to not want to smoke.  I knew that I didn’t want to smell of cigarettes and that the smell of smokers’ breath is dreadful.  On the other hand, I also know the negatives associated with being a diabetic but this is a much harder addiction to crack.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I really like the website http://www.Beachbodyondemand.com for operant conditions where good behaviours are reinforced.  This website does this in several ways.  I can work out, which leads to encouragement from the instructor a mark of completion for each day that is carried out and the more I spend the better the bundle I receive.

Observational learning was made well known by Albert Bandura who showed that kids would imitate behaviour shown by adults. In this experiment he showed an adult punching a doll and saw how ids imitated this behaviour.  Positive examples are shown on yoga websites where different teachers share their practice, and this raises the profile of the teacher and the profile of the website.  By doing this money has been raised for charities and businesses.

There are four processes which are crucial for this to work.

  1. Attention
  2. Retention
  3. Reproduction and
  4. Motivation

Once we learn something it is encoded into our memory in one of a few ways. Encoding, which is how the information can be used. Storage, which is when information is kept in our memory for use at a later date and retrieval which allows us to bring stored information into conscious awareness.

This can be applied to online marketing through user testing where the user can be asked questions to show how much information they have taken on board.

Some of the tests that can be included are sticky.ai, hotjar and userzoom.

I’ve been reading more about Neuromarketing as part of the CXL course on Psychology and Persuasion.  This module looks at how psychology is used in marketing and starts with ethics and believability. Gerard Zultman of Harvard started that only 5% of our decision-making process is conscious.  Roger Dooley the host for this course explained how as company Disney have done a brilliant job of showing how our emotions guide us to make decisions.  For example, this was shown in a lovely film I saw called Inside Out where a girl’s emotions are shown as characters in her head.  The brain is similar to a factory where there are a few key emotions: happiness, sadness, disgust, anger and fear.  The main promise of this film shows how it is important to have even sadness as an emotion.

Dooley set up the website www.neuromarketing.com and has written several books about neuromarketing including Brainfluence and Friction: The Untapped Force that can be your most Powerful Advantage.  He describes the similarities between digital and traditional marketeers.  The subject of neuroscience shows how the soft sciences can be used to explore marketing decisions.

As shown previously marketeers can use eye tracking to look at the response for information.  EEGs are used for neuro marketing studies.  Eye tracking shows a person’s response to advertising and biometrics using heart rate tracking.  This heart rate tracking shows what affects people when they watch an add.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

There are also social facial coding experts who can measure behaviour. Whereas traditionally a person will observe another’s behaviour this can now be done through web cams and videos which increases the scalability of a person’s behaviour.   As a massive bookworm I love that this course suggests further reading and in this case Malcolm Gladwell’s, Blink as recommended reading.

Neuromarketing is a relatively new area of marketing though this is one of the things I love about studying psychology.  It’s constantly evolving.  One of the things that psychologists do is attempt to replicate research.  Even a few years ago neuromarketers as a concept was dismissed and this is no exaggeration.  50 eminent neuroscientists wrote a letter basically saying that a neuroscience is garbage. This was found in the New York Times (2011).

I love that as part of this course the creators have gone to the trouble of producing videos and the subtitles which are shown at the bottom of the video as a kind of article. So, in an attempt to discover whether studies are true or false scientists attempt to replicate the studies though they found that the research could only be replicated in 30 out of 100 times.  This was more down to bias than fraudulently manipulating the research.  This section of the course goes on to say that for each study there is another study which refutes the first.

Even research on Facial coding has been questioned by Lisa Feldman Barratt who has done work on emotion and who questioned Paul Ekman’s work on facial coding and that it has to be placed into context. I was worried a bit when reading about the lack of successful replication but it is also possible that the studies were not replicated precisely enough to yield accurate results. The solution seems perhaps a little too obvious however it is to test, test and test again and also to use established principles of Science.  In marketing this comes in as an AB test where something is tested in two different ways. One of the most recent acceptances of neuromarketing was carried out by Temple University who compared the results of their research.

Next week I’ll be continuing my blog series by looking at neuromarketing hacks, which  can help to dominate the market.

Decisions…decisions…decisions Week 3 review.

“A decision is a determination arrived at after consideration”. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decision)

I’m not sure if this is down to my Libran star sign or something else but I’ve always thought of myself as indecisive so this week’s CXL module about decision making and emotions was of great interest.  One of the most important aspects of buying is decision making and whether our heart or head is ruling our decision making.

CXL’s module and research states that there are 4 options which influence decision making and these are:

  • Cognitive Biases, which relate to the decisions people make based on their way of thinking.
  • Memories and how these can have an impact on decision making.  People will decide to do something again based on past good experiences and will avoid repeating past mistakes.
  • Reasoning, where people will make decisions based on testing and using the best information that is readily available and
  • Emotions, which is one of the areas I’m most interested in with regard to copywriting. 

People can make decisions on the basis of goals and their wishes and also their pain points.  A fantastic example was giving in “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert P. Cialdini where he spoke about how he and a logistician colleague went to a Transcendental Meditation seminar and were able to use logic to explain where the meditation might not work but people still wanted to pay a lot of money to pay for it.  An example closer to home was when I was part of a Network Marketing outfit which had very convincing tactics to encourage people to buy yet they were dishonest and lacking in the information that people needed to truly make a decision.

<a href="http://Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/qimono-1962238/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1767562">Arek Socha</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1767562">PixabayImage by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

In Cindy Dietrich’s article – Decision Making: Factors that Influence Decision Making, Heuristics Used, and Decision Outcomes.  She discusses the elements that are involved in decision making, which are also mentioned above.  Heuristics come into play when someone takes into account all the factors and then uses the most straight forward elements to make a decision and this also becomes easier over time as people reduce the effort involved that is required to make a decision. The full version of the article was placed as a link on the CXL website. I definitely agree with this because as I’ve said above, I’d describe myself as indecisive yet with time and experience I have found it easier to make decisions as I’ve gotten older.  Even recently I’ve had to make some tough personal decisions, which I’ve been able to use my gut instinct for.

One of the things that I love about getting older is my experience with regard to making decisions and being able to rely on my gut instinct as well as knowing from past experience whether a decision is a good or bad one to make.  Julisson, Karlsson and Gärling studied this as part of their article “Weighing the past and the future in decision making”, which was provided as another link from the CXL intro, 4 Factors that Influence Decision Making.  Something that interests me but wasn’t mentioned here is our personality with regards to decision making.  If you have ever taken an MBTI test, as part of the results you would be classed as relying on your senses or your intuition when you’re making a decision.  This is quite similar to the Left for intuition and right brain for senses, which is what Schutz discussed in his studies.

In persuasive journey mapping we look at the sequence of events that lead to a decision.  The course includes a high-level presentation by the Psychologist and instructor for this CXL module, Bart Schutz, which looks at what it takes to get from A to B with making a decision.  He discussed what he referred to as the Behavioural Intelligence Gap and what the drivers of customer’s behaviour are.  This process also looks at the cognitive function that contribute towards brain function.

The customer could be considered to have a dual functioning brain, which is more commonly thought of as the left and right hemisphere.  The left or process 1 refers to the subconscious or emotional processes and the right hemisphere or process 2 are the conscious rational processes.

When we look at this in terms of testing, we can refer to it as A/B testing.

Schutz in his presentation also referred to the Stroop test, which was pretty much the first test I carried out with the other students in my classes for my A level in Psychology and then again at Uni.  It looks at the error load when people read the name of a colour in the same colour or a different one.  The first example is when we see the colour black and it is also in the colour black though if we see the same word black in a blue colour there is likely to be more confusion in deciding the name of the colour.  I remember the groups were split into two where one had to read the word regardless of the colour and the other group had to name the colour regardless of the word. A placebo group in this case might have to read the strips of colours, which appear like flashcards and these would always have the same colour as the word so you have black, blue, yellow and red.

Interestingly enough this also applies in website testing where users claim, using the rational side of their brain, that they don’t like pop up windows.  Yet it has been shown that they will buy in response to seeing a pop-up window.  One of the explanations given for this is because it looks as though someone is putting more work into the creation of the pop-up window.

Karsten Lund, similarly spoke about the point of decision making and shared that as part of his testing he noticed that there was a 25%-win rate. In an effort to increase this level he looked at joining a neuro marketing start-up and made a study alongside some of the largest corporations in America.

Each one of us makes 1,000s of decisions over the course of a day though we have gotten so used to making decisions that they are made in a split second and it’s only with the beauty of hindsight that we can say why we made the decision that we made.

Next week I’ll be sharing with you, information about learning and memory in the fourth module of the CXL Psychology of Persuasion course.

Can I have your attention please? Week 2 review.

This week I was looking at the subject of attention when reading websites.  I knew that people tend to do business with others who they know, like and trust but did you know that the chemical Oxytocin plays a part in this.  Baumgartner carried out an interesting study, which tested this by exploring the links between people’s trust and the application of the chemical oxytocin which looked at how much risks people were likely to take.   The participants were then given small amounts of money and were in two groups of people who either had the oxytocin application or a placebo. 

The delegates were then split into another two groups one group where they were told that their investments were not paying off.  The way they approved things was then explored. There were two different types of breach, trust or gambling.  The results only showed up clearly when the trust game was played rather than the risk game.  Overall people with higher levels of Oxytocin are more likely to forgive and forget.  I think that this means that the more that a person loves a product the more they are still likely to love the product or service even if there is a setback

An important aspect of business is first impressions and in this case the responses to viewing a website can happen as quickly as 0.5 seconds according to Google.  It also follows that a website must remain straightforward with a few levels of headlines and not too many visuals competing for attention.

For simplicity I love the Neal’s Yard Remedies website.  I love that the main two colours for the site are white and navy blue and the products are clearly set out with description, price and review.  It also contains the compelling visuals and graphics required for a website with medium sized products which can then be clicked on for a larger version of the graphic with more detailed information.

Another aspect of a website that elicits trust is appealing to people who are similar to ourselves. Although Neals Yard Remedies does not feature people it includes badges which shows its credibility for sustainability, cruelty free products and chemical free products.  It is also a rather luxury brand which reflects in its pricing. 

Whether we buy from a website is very much dependent on internal and external factors.  The internal factors are very subjective and could be as simple as remembering the smell of frankincense on a holiday and wanting to buy that product even more, whereas an external factor are things that are objective such as the font, sounds and images on a website.

Image by Hebi B. from Pixabay

As well as the type of information on a website or in an advertisement, writers have to be careful to not to overload the reader with information.  This is known as cognitive overload and there are several ways to avoid this from happening.  For example, websites that are overrun with banner ads and items with clickbait titles, which cause distraction due to the competing elements on the page.

Cognitive load theory was first described in 1988 by John Sweller, an educational psychologist,  who claimed that the higher the level of cognitive overload the harder it is to focus on, rehearse and remember different elements of information.  This was tested in particular with regard to banner ads  on clarity especially on website homepages.  The test that the CXL Institute used for their study was the homepage for Colonial Candle as it considered to not be immediately clear what the website is offering in terms of product.  The results of tests on the sample of 1,200 people showed that 66% of participants were clear about what the website was offering.

Visual cues are also extremely helpful as was shown in an visual cue eye tracking research was carried out on the Lemon Law Group, which found that when users were given 15 minutes to review a website they were most likely to contact the firm if the pointer from the information to the form was triangular or if the form was prominent on the page with little other information. 

Similar to this are eye gaze pattern tests, which show where users eye gaze is likely to fall on the site.  This is different if the task is difficult.   This comes back to Fitts Law which shows that the focus is dependent on the size of the visual that the user is focusing on and the distance of the user from the screen.
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The CXL Institute carried out a study showing the pattern of reading a website.  Growth Marketer and Consultant, Sophia Eng explained that the most common reading patterns are in the sign of an F, a layer cake or a spotted pattern.  This is dependent on the information that the user wants to read.  A way of drawing the user to the most important information is by using bolded words, numbers long words and words in quotation marks along other items.

Another study was carried out by Nielson Norman Group’s 2008 study, which showed that internet users read just 28% of an article during an average website visit.  Most people will skim an article for the information that they want to find out.  A more in-depth study looked at the difference between one group of 18-30-year olds and another group of 50-60-year olds and found that the reading behaviours were quite similar.  I had a feeling that this was the case, especially as I tend to scan articles on the web for the information that I want as well.

The researchers created areas of interest (AOIs) on the article page and found that both groups were most likely to read the first part of the article and then a featured image.  The younger readers tended to read 62.9% of the article and the older readers read 54.5% of the article. The researchers took into account the possibility that some participants adapted their behaviours because they knew that they were being watched.  There was also the possibility that users didn’t have enough time to read the entire article because the testing platform only allowed a maximum of 30 seconds for a picture to be shown.

A more precise example was shown from a 2004 eye tracking study of the New York Times, which was then replicated in 2016.  The CXL Institute looked at an eye tracking tool which showed that the main focus was held in the top left-hand corner.  Out of the group of 200 participants only 132 had accurate enough information that could be used.  This study showed that the large banner ads were distracting.  However, the priority ads did not vary much.

Next week I’ll be exploring decision making and emotions.