Jeremy Weisz 2:38

Does that stem from something or just I

Joanna Wiebe 2:41

just didn’t take lessons growing up and then you get like this fear of what you don’t know and how it could kill you know, I have like the nightmares of my recurring nightmare. My life right now is a giant tsunami wave coming in. I’m sure that means a lot of things. But it’s very vivid this idea of being like drowned.

Jeremy Weisz 3:06

Well, my wife, a child psychologist, I’m gonna have her watch the beginning of this. Don’t pick it apart. No, I’m

Joanna Wiebe 3:12

really messed up. I know.

Jeremy Weisz 3:14

The other fun facts about us. You’ve published a young adult novel and you have two more under contract. And you’re the fourth of five children or the middle of seven if you include your step brothers, and tell me about growing up as the fourth of five children.

Joanna Wiebe 3:30

Ah, you’re easily overlooked. In fact, my biological mother with whom I’m not very close, but my bio mom didn’t even know I could speak until I was having a conversation like a little baby conversation whatever with my grandmother, and she was like, this girl can talk. Yeah, cuz you’re, I was, you know, the fourth of five and you get it, you get kind of quieted down a bit. So I think the rest My life has been a reaction to being quiet. And the first part I got I got.

Jeremy Weisz 4:04

So what was a big influence for you growing up?

Joanna Wiebe 4:08

Yeah, I think that’s a really good question. I mean, nothing like starting with the biggest question, right? Um, but yeah, big influence. For me. I think when I look back at my 34 years, I think for me a turning point in my life was when my dad returned to school. So my dad had been a truck driver all his life. Well, as we were children, then he and my mother got a divorce. And he took us which was in the 80s, which is kind of rare for the father to get sole custody of five children. And so he took us and moved to a different province and just kind of started again and went back to school. God has, you know, GED, I guess and then went to university and became a French teacher, or like, Who is this man like, what are you doing? This is not the man that we saw as a child. As children, right, and so for me, that’s been, I haven’t, I think stopped hearing that message in my life. Like, everywhere I look, it seems that there’s so many examples of people going out and doing something that they’ve wanted to do people maybe told them like surely my dad living in extremely lower middle class to just higher low class, or whatever we call it growing up kind of impoverished, you’re surrounded by people who don’t necessarily say, Oh, do whatever you whatever you want to do, you can do right there. So he didn’t get that message. But somehow, he fought through that and went and did it anyway, even at an extremely low point. And so for me, that’s like, Well, shit, if it didn’t hold him back, and he had five kids,

Jeremy Weisz 5:48

five kids.

Joanna Wiebe 5:50

It’s crazy, right? Like you would be nuts to do that. Like, you’d have to just be like, well forget it. It’s this or I just don’t live a satisfying life or life that I really Want to live? And I think, you know, he believed himself and I think he knew that he was going to be teaching us a lesson in this too, right? Like watch your dad go through four years of you thought you didn’t have money before wait till your dad goes back to school like now you have nothing but you’re gonna see something really cool guys and then we did you know we eventually did but it was definitely hard during that period, you know, I was I think in grade six through nine is when he went back to school for me. So those are pretty formative years and he definitely saw you know, we were buying bread from the old place like eating honestly, Twinkies, like that was the staple of our diet which sounds like crazy and I know that he would be like,

Jeremy Weisz 6:46

join us It wasn’t that bad writers hoping but

Joanna Wiebe 6:48

but that’s like what six of me right like it was it was it was hard. But it really makes you I think a real fighter and informed by it are not just a random flying fighter but someone who like Maybe guess what it is to fight?

Jeremy Weisz 7:03

Did you ever ask him years later how he did it? Or what motivated him to do that? Because doing that with one kid or no kids is hard for people to kind of their they’ve been in career forever and they go back to something else. And now you have five kids and you move to a different city to the ever express that.

Joanna Wiebe 7:18

I didn’t ask him and I wish I had, I can only imagine, right? He was like, really at that point where you honestly have very little to lose, right? Unless they take your kids away for it. Like that’s the last thing you’ve got. So that feels to me like, you know, there’s nothing that why not like, forget it. Like why go for it don’t have a good job. You don’t have anything you’re necessarily proud of outside of your children. And so, go try it right, but I don’t I wish I wish, you know, he’s your dad. You don’t talk to him until it’s, you know, too late to talk to him. Right.

Jeremy Weisz 7:56

So you saw him go through that. So what were the early days of your career Like,

Joanna Wiebe 8:01

for me, oh, they were like, like living like a royal lifestyle compared to that. But for me, my I started in copywriting I dropped out of law school my dad actually died the first day of life law school for me and I was like, holy crap, like, I don’t want to be a lawyer. My dad just died. Like it was kind of a thing for me too at that point, right? Like we have those moments in our lives where you’re like, make a choice, what are you going to do? And so I chose to drop out of law school and like, floundered for like a month. But then I had a friend who was working at an agency, and they were looking for a creative writer, and I was like, cool. I was an English major. I did creative writing classes there. I got some awards as a creative writer and undergrad scholarship. So I thought, well, let’s try it right where could an agency but a few taglines together so it was kind of fun. So I got that job, thankfully. And it was Very low paying, I think it was like 27,000 a year. But I was happy just to be doing it right and doing something that wasn’t law school. So that’s how I kind of got started. And you know, you work in an agency, you’re doing everything and learning so many different things. So it was exciting.

Jeremy Weisz 9:23

What you learned from the agency days that you

Joanna Wiebe 9:25

still not to work for an agency. No, I’m just kidding. Um, I yeah. A lot about I think relationships, but I’d really learned that I think I’d learned that in Japan when because I’d been in Japan the year prior to that year ish prior to that. And it was all about getting friendly with people, right. That was the whole thing. You go there to teach English but you end up just like socializing and that’s all people really wanted from me was like, oh, come sit with us and talk with us. And, and so you learn a lot about I did, I learned a lot about keeping a clean desk. Which I still have today, I’ve actually got papers moved off to the side that are driving me a little crazy right now. But keep a very clean desk, and you are a friendly person who like invites relationship building. And I think that’s taken me a long way. It was definitely something that got me the job at the agency. They actually mentioned that to me when they hired because I’d written thank you notes after every interview, which they were like, nobody else did that for one. And then one of my notes was like, written in this like, way that they really liked. So that’s how I got hired, right. But this is like the beginning of, okay, you were willing to nurture this relationship. And that’s, I think one of the biggest things that I took away from working in an agency is you can have lots of great ideas, blah, blah, blah. But if people don’t really get you and know you, you’re just the one who came up with that random idea, which is kind of a commodity, right? It’s just you can get ideas anywhere. But if they know you and like you and trust you, you can do so much with that to grow your business.

Jeremy Weisz 10:58

And I remember reading on your business Paige Joanna that you did not like the word copywriter early on and you think this set you back three years? easily so why? Why are you not like the word and how did it set you back three years? You know,

Joanna Wiebe 11:12

I was talking with my boss, so I got hired and they’re like, okay, it’s first day, and you’re sitting there and you do the thing where you know, you’re getting on boarded and they talk about the business card. Well, what are we going to make your title? And I was sitting there with Ted my boss at the time. And he was like, so should we call you a writer or copywriter or a creative writer and we were both like, he turned his nose up a copywriter and so I kind of did too. I didn’t know what it was. It sounded really dry. Like it sounded like that is gonna be boring. I did not do that. So we called me a creative writer. And yeah, it’s just to it’s to me when I look back on that I just didn’t know any better. Right? Who knows that like I fell into this world just completely like stumble into it. So I didn’t know that copy was essentially what I think now about copy ahead, I did not have anything resembling those thoughts when I first started. And so you develop this idea of yourself as like a creative collaborator. But now like, because in the AV testing world in commercial optimization, I would not lean towards creativity first and foremost. So it’s like, you know, you spent two and a half ish years or whatever it was, and then moved on and got hired as a copywriter at into it. So tech company, and I had to there be kind of trained out of the idea that we’re going to come up with copy that sings right and, you know, clever taglines and all that kind of like a concept for an email campaign about buying QuickBooks in the spring and we come up with like, something to do with spring training. What does that even have to do with anything you’re not gonna move any units if you’re just like coming up with something creative, right, or at least we found that that wasn’t it didn’t So if that’s what set me back is this focus on creativity? So what

Jeremy Weisz 13:05

worked into it when you were there? Well, it worked. Yeah, that you that you wrote, you know, like you said, someone’s like sprinkling, like, That’s horrible. I’m not writing that, what? What kind of stuff that you write it into it that

Joanna Wiebe 13:17

I did write that. Okay,

Jeremy Weisz 13:19

it’s that one.

Joanna Wiebe 13:21

Now you don’t like it?

Jeremy Weisz 13:22

No, I don’t like it. Now,

Joanna Wiebe 13:23

I would know much better than to do that. But it was, uh, you know, the creative department. Um, but things that work there it was when I started to get into AV testing, and really, that there were a lot of people this was about, you know, seven or eight years ago, and a lot of people like conversion rate experts were starting to post a lot more meaty content about optimizing your copy in particular. So I was reading so much of these things that I hadn’t really read before, and doing a lot more with long form sales pages. And so I had This idea that we wanted to do this as one really good example, there was this Intuit merchant services, which is what was called at the time merchant account, right? You want to sell things with the right merchant account already. So that is right. There, there was a great opportunity to get people to switch from another provider to into its solution, because the other provider had done something bad with their contracts, and there was a lot of negative PR for them. So it was everybody who was using that solution was out of their contract instantly, and allowed to go choose whatever they wanted to or stick with them. And we’re like, hallelujah, right? Like, yeah, let’s do something with that. So I was like, let’s do a sales page, like an open letter, I think was I think it was an open letter to businesses who have blah, blah, blah. We have essentially done this thing or been affected by this negative I can’t remember the details of that. But anyways, I wrote this long form sales page. It was like so exciting because We’re allowed to we can quote people who are saying bad stuff about this other solution. And really, like do something with it. It was so meaty and amazing. And we wrote it, we put it all together, we presented it to the CEO of the global business division. And so and he was like, that’s fear mongering, you can’t do that. And I was like, it’s not fear mongering, like it’s not it’s saying, you know, you’re in this bad position, we can help you into a good position, but he didn’t want to do it. So um, we snuck it out without his knowing. And we, the goal was, I don’t know we’d beat the forecast by like, it was a 1.5 or two x, right, like it was. It was amazing. And there was an aggressive forecast as it was everybody was like high fiving but we couldn’t tell the CEO how we got there. So anyway, but that was like that was one like cool when right that we had in a in a tech company with this, right where there’s a lot Rule, right?

Jeremy Weisz 16:01

Yeah, company.

Joanna Wiebe 16:03

huge company, huge company. So with shareholders, less likely to necessarily take a lot of risks. Yeah. And so um, but the outcome was was really good. Unfortunately, I don’t think that because we can talk about it. The leader didn’t know that oh, we should take that risk from this point on so Oh, well, at least I get at least I have the benefit of

Jeremy Weisz 16:25

your personal satisfaction. Yeah. So who did you learn from at that time when you were getting started in what when you discovered that you should be calling yourself a copywriter? No.

Joanna Wiebe 16:36

I really wish like, I kinda have people have good answers for this. I don’t because I am still like, I only started reading, you know, shorts and caples. Three and a half years ago, and I’ve had a 10 year career in this all 11 now, I think And I just I didn’t I didn’t I was mostly observing what

Jeremy Weisz 17:06

I think maybe there was there influential blogs that you were reading regularly or anything like that.

Joanna Wiebe 17:11

I was reading a lot of the kind of copy that happens online today, like 37 signals would post a lot about how coffee is part of their organization, right? Like, there is no copywriter, everybody writes coffee and tests it and does better and better with it. That’s like job one. You have to be a good copywriter before you’re anything else. So reading that reading, you know, early with conversion rate experts, as I mentioned before, I went and worked with them after that, but I started by reading their stuff, and that was really eye opening. And then of course, you know, when you read those and people keep referencing things Cialdini had been reading I guess I’d read that early. That was definitely one of the first books that switched me over to like persuasion. But so those were really the top ones and then you know, from there, there wasn’t have now there’s a world to discover right now there’s everything we’ve already talked like, shorts and all of that amazing stuff. And then more stuff like, like habits, right? And those types of books that are published today. And that teach you things that are more about getting inside people’s heads and writing copy that will convince them in different ways than than what we’ve traditionally seen in advertising and marketing.

Jeremy Weisz 18:26

Jim, what I know you’ve mentioned big turning points for you and traction is when you’ve done a B testing. Tell me about some of the the findings, some of your, your favorite findings. Did you get passionate about this stuff? I do. I really like it.

Joanna Wiebe 18:43

Um, I think everybody should like it. Although you know, it’s frustrating but whatever. That aside the challenges of AV testing aside, we did we did this. This is on my blog to

Jeremy Weisz 18:55

check checked out Copyhackers and a blog. Your posts are at phenomenal. There’s so in depth, and pictures, text. I mean, I’m like, well, this thing. So in depth you just keeps going on and on. So I love it. So people need

Joanna Wiebe 19:10

to know, people are like, Can you just shorten it down please, Joanna. Um, but no, yeah, so that’s thank you for saying that. We do try with that. But we’ve posted like about our mad Mimi pricing page test. So mad Mimi is his email marketing solution. Very cool. new platform is kind of kind of competing with MailChimp, I guess. We did a pricing page test for them. And I love testing pricing pages and catalogs, I adore it. So we did this test, where we were switching things around just really like they had a four column layout with the four skews or the 4 million plans. And we took it down to the three and like subordinating, the biggest one, the enterprise level one which was like a $500 a month plan or no 1049 a month. We coordinated that. We’re measuring Mike Conversion a lot of the time so just like a click just to see if we can get people to the next stage and then optimize that page right or do more there. So we’re playing around with this and it one of the variations where we moved that thousand 49 down and subordinated it and really just made the text link. We got like a 2,000% lift in clicks on that with

Jeremy Weisz 20:25

a low price

Joanna Wiebe 20:26

on enterprise one. And of course, the reason that we feel that we got that click is because we didn’t say what the price was. And so it was a curiosity click right but if we had been able on the next page if you know that and you can get that many more people through then of course that an opportunity is on your next page to really position that price. Right like take that opportunity to not just like most pricing pages will just have the price and then you choose based on price right? But if you instead a lot to me, but what you could do In the software world, to make your prices more desirable, and really take time to position, everything that you’re doing right and anchor that price against other things if you dedicate a page to it. So we saw that but we also saw, we just saw crazy stuff going on. And there was like, insane lift, like everything was like in the 200 and 300% range, right? Like things were just going wild in this test. So I encourage people to check that one out, because there were a lot of interesting learnings. And then there’s the flip side, which I love, which are the losing tests. And I know my clients don’t love losing tests, but I learned so much from them. And there’s so much we can take away. So we had this one we’re working with metta geek, and their audience is surprise surprise geeky people. So they had this they were trying to increase opt ins or like sorry downloads for this their most popular free product. They get insane traffic, you know, those businesses are like, you’re that big, like, I don’t even know who you are. And you’re doing this like, amazing business anyway. They’re one of those businesses, they’re insane. They’re getting all of these downloads, but they just have text links on the page. And this was during what we call the summer buttons where we were really a be testing to see what people click on what they don’t across a ton of sites. They’re like, Okay, this is your most popular product, it’s free. Why like all you have to do is turn this text link into a button and Hello, like people can more easily acquire it, you can say things like, instant download under it and you know, make it like a cool, juicy button. So ready to like just slam it on this like explode their conversion, like they’ll they’ll be like sending us gifts and things or whatever. So we tested it. We tested I think four variations against the control, which was the text links, and they all every one of them that had they all had buttons, and they all lost, like lost embarrassing, like where the clients like, Who are you?

Jeremy Weisz 23:07

What did you think that happened?

Joanna Wiebe 23:09

Well, so we posted about that. And we like to ask these questions of our readers to write because we can make guesses but better to kind of hear what people think about it right. And they were saying some interesting stuff about missiles and I agree with a lot of people said that, um, they’re dealing with people who are technical, and highly savvy in the world of online and downloads and things like that. And a button that’s really juicy looking can appear scammy or spammy. So it raised new flags or refer for that audience in particular raise flags, and I believe this to be true to about what’s going to happen on the other side, the anxiety of when I click this button, which looks like they’re really trying to get me to click it. Is it gonna be bad news? So, um, that’s what that’s what we take away from that. And that’s, I mean, there might be other things, you know, the copy could have been wrong on it right? There’s lots of things that they could keep testing. But I wouldn’t encourage them to test for artistically savvy

Jeremy Weisz 24:12

group to text link worked.

Joanna Wiebe 24:15

Yeah, right. They like text links, they go on forums that have a lot of text links, right and they trust those as soon as you see a button I don’t know they get their backs up a bit about it, or that’s what it seems to be. But right there’s an interesting story there. There’s something you can actually like, look at and go Oh, wow. Right. Like, what the hell was going on there? Like how how that even happened. Um, and that’s so those as much as I like, you know, great winners that are obvious, like a headline test that does, you know, really well. It’s those other weird ones that are so cool to like,

Jeremy Weisz 24:49

unexpected results. Yeah, yeah. And you also have a post about humble button, humble button versus the powerful or the power of a headline. You And that was an interesting one too.

Joanna Wiebe 25:02

Well, a lot of more traditional copywriters don’t like it. I’ve heard bad things about it. Well, mostly because I’m what I’m doing. So in it, I’m saying like, okay, we ran these tests, which we we did recently, at the end of this summer, we conducted these 13 ad tests on like different sites, where we’re asking, we were hypothesizing that if you use really attention grabbing and kind of risky copy in your headline, you can increase conversion rates. Let’s just try it. Right. Let’s see. So we did didn’t pay it didn’t pan out that well, it did kind of it did for some, and it’s always questionable was your copyright, right? You can’t just there’s still more testing to do. But for

Jeremy Weisz 25:48

the testing, I mean, you could

Joanna Wiebe 25:49

infinite isn’t that unfortunate that there’s no end to it? But it’s good because it keeps us in business. Um, so we we conducted these tests. Were we were testing the headlines largely. And it’s probably a limitation of the testing tools and what they’re able to track and not track right? So you don’t know you can easily track a click on a button. How can you with a testing tool, really be sure that you’re testing the quality? Like how does someone show you that that headline is working for them? But maybe something else on the page still wasn’t people would say, Oh, well, it’s because it’s controlled. So it’s gonna be it can only be that headlines that’s affecting it. And that’s true if you have like a ton of traffic like a ton like Amazon style traffic. But when an element may not be directly tied to a click or conversion, it might be good like the job of the headline everybody says the job of the headline is to get you to read the next line right?

So do expect to get a click out of it is actually a lot more

Jeremy Weisz 26:55

Yeah, multiple steps between the headline and giving click

Joanna Wiebe 26:58

totally. So I’m looking at so these were testing all these headlines. And the lifts are good, but they’re modest, right? And they’re barely reaching significance. So we don’t feel good about them at all. Some of them did reach full competence, but it was again with like a really modest lift.

So I’m looking at these headlines on these pages. And I’m looking at these awful buttons that are on the page, like the thing that you have to convert on is right there, and it’s not very good. So we then went and tested optimized buttons with optimized headlines and without optimized headlines. And repeatedly Of course, we saw a huge lift again and again, like mega lift, like for recipie calm, which is this cool UK girls, like try on clothes virtually no matter the size of your body, shape your body and things like that. So it’s this cool little service that they just want to get people into like it’ll be you’ll use it, it demonstrates and then it’s Right, that’s like demonstration is like sells most things, but it really sells that too. So get into it and get started. So we tested a headline that use the language that prospects people who were using recipie were using to describe their body some kind of natural language. It was risky.

Jeremy Weisz 28:18

It I read it and I was like, oh, like, Is someone gonna be offended? Or it’s like, you can go either way.

Joanna Wiebe 28:24

Yeah, so we were testing against like, clothes you love perfect for you shape and size. That was the control, I think. And then our headline was, I think, big bum thick waist not so perky boobs buying clothes you love or something like that? Yeah. But like it was meant to grab your attention and speak to a specific audience using words that they use. And so I’m looking at this going this is this is a pretty good headline for like the tech world, right? Like it might not be a direct response headline at all. But for this, this world, this website, this homepage, it should be doing something thing we had a I think it was a 14% lift with 98% confidence or something like that that we finally got to and that was that took a while to get there for the headline when we tested the button copy changed with the headline change we saw 123.9% full competence hundred percent competence is ran for it’s still running and still at full confidence. Um for this new headline that instead of saying Sign up now it said find outfits you love or shop or show me outfits all love. So we saw this enormous lift when we did the headline and button together. So I wrote a post. I was like, okay, world, what’s up with that? Like, how can it be that this headline that headlines which I’m a copywriter, I believe in the power of headlines and be like, Who would I even be if I didn’t, but how can it be that we saw such a poor result compared to only optimize the headline plus button so All I was saying was, if we’re going to be testing online, and we’re going to try to jump to conclusions after having done a test, right, or we’re going to try to reach a conclusion, hopefully not jumping there, but get there statistically, where it’s valid, then we can’t ignore the button. And so I wrote this post about that, like, headlines are great, but if you’re testing online, you better be sure that you’re optimizing your button while you’re at it. People responded well to it, but some people there’s the most recent comment on there i think is um, is a gentleman who’s a copywriter who’s worked for Ogilvy and all that kind of stuff. Great, cool stuff. And he is adamant that we are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong wrong. So

Jeremy Weisz 30:39

whatever gets people thinking because they just go to the default, which is click here or sign up or download and they really need to just not just blow that off and think about what’s on that button.

Joanna Wiebe 30:50

Yeah, because if I mean, what’s problematic is that headline was good. And what I took away when we did the headline and button test together is that The button when it was optimized allowed the headline to prove its worth right because people found the button easy to click, and they wanted to click it perhaps more because of that headline. Now people could be saying, oh, you’re just trying to like, really like validate your belief that headlines are great or something. But if you don’t optimize your button to and you’re measuring based on clicks, even though your headline isn’t going to hundred percent drive the clicks. Just be careful, right? You have to optimize that button. So

Jeremy Weisz 31:29

Jenna, I love that post, by the way, and people have to check that out. Now, what are some of the most successful campaigns that you’ve run and why they were so effective?

Joanna Wiebe 31:40

You know, campaigns where we optimize the whole funnel are usually the best and that takes a lot of work and investment of course, but when you go from getting better leads into your, onto your list, getting better subscribers on that list, and then also optimizing your drip campaign, optimizing the sales emails and optimizing those sales landing pages. Those are the ones I mean, for me, businesses that only focus on and I work in the tech startup world, right like I work with, that’s largely my thing. And so these are people who often think that they’re running a web business. And that’s it, right? Like, come optimize our homepage or optimize our pricing table. And then you talk to them and realize, no, no, no, there is a huge email business to be done here, right? Anybody who is a SaaS business software as a service business is doing its best to get trial users, right? get lots of people into try it, and then letting them try it. What do you mean let them try it? They don’t know what they’re doing yet. They don’t have any idea right? So, um, so that’s where email Of course based on what they click on what they do or don’t do where they are. Email is huge for most businesses. I think of themselves as web businesses and They’re email businesses that let people convert on the web. And so most of most of the work that I’m doing right now is in email, because it’s so exciting. And there’s so much you can do to really grow a business fully. So that’s, that’s, those are the most successful ones that I have. I mean, um,

Jeremy Weisz 33:22

why don’t we your book, you have a book that people can get on an email? Don’t you?

Joanna Wiebe 33:29

know, we’re actually working on a course right now. That should be out. We’re gonna launch it on appsumo, hopefully in November. So yeah, that’ll be easy to get because it’s app Sumo. So they’ll grind us just kidding. No, cuz they’re awesome. We love the people at appsumo. We have a relationship with them. But yeah, that’ll be coming out. But it is. It’s something that we haven’t really spent a lot of time teaching. But more recently when we’re seeing a lot of great results from some tests. Running in email, and now we have something to teach based on. Right? I that’s I think that’s one of the things that makes a Copyhackers products. higher quality or people feel really good about them is because they’re based largely, they’ve got so many case studies in there where it’s not just like Joanna says you should do the

Jeremy Weisz 34:19

writing was fantastic with case studies and specific examples and showing people more than a lot of the ones I’ve seen. What have you found Joanna, that’s worked. One thing that people should think about when they’re trying to convert a free trial user to a paid paid user. One heavy question.

Joanna Wiebe 34:42

Yeah. Well, I hope that my answer doesn’t suck. Because this is what I am. I’m saying it a lot more recently, and people seem to be connecting with it like it seems to resonate with it. And that is not to ask anything to do more. Then one job that one job that is most obvious for it. So what the hell does that mean? Right? Okay, so that means like, if you want to get people to click your button, that’s the job of the button to get people to click it. Right? That’s all that button is allowed to be asked to do. If it does more great, that’s his job. headline has one job to write on a lot of pages. You can’t expect a headline to sell period, right? Unless it’s on your cart, and it’s a headline in your cart, then it might be closely connected to that. But this idea of everything having one job, your subject line has one job your body copy in your email as one job the call to action there as one job and if you ask him to do more than that, it’s going to fail. If you narrow it down and people disagree with me on this all the time. I’m like, Okay, you’ve tried it your way and it doesn’t work trying to get your subject line to summarize what’s inside your email isn’t working having your subject line SAS business, you’re trying to convert people from trial. To pay user, and you welcome them with a welcome email that says Welcome to flow or whatever your product is. And nobody opens it, shocker, because that’s like that subject line isn’t actually doing the job of getting of that one job of getting people to open. Now, obviously, the caveat is don’t do it in a scammy way. So you could say Jennifer Lawrence naked photos inside, and some people might open them. That’s a bad way to get those opens, right? It’s a bad subject line. It’s doing its job very poorly in the wrong way. And so if you were to do something that gets people to that has that one job so we did this for Metalab, which is very cool agency based in Victoria. They have a lot of sass products, one of them is flow. Flow is a project management solution. So we tested Welcome to flow against get started with flow against and this was the one that we worked on. Oh can I ask that You something question mark? Which one do you think got the most opens? Can I ask you something? Right? Yeah, of course, welcome to flow Ma, do I really want to open that that’s not doing the job of trying to get me to open it. Get started with flow. But that’s not what I’m actually going to do. I’ll get started with flow five steps from now when I actually end up back on your website. So it’s not doing the job of getting me to open it necessarily. But can I ask you something did and we saw 50% more opens 45% more opens on that one. Yeah. And so if you’re a SaaS business, Are you someone who’s trying to convert trial to paid you will be using email marketing, if they’re not opening those emails, if they don’t get in the habit of opening those emails, you are not going to convert them into a paid user except in the rarest of cases. And that’s where people are like, this is exactly the solution I need. I need it right now. I’ll pay you whatever right and if only we had those people like knocking at the door. Right That’s so rare right so um yeah so focusing on that kind of stuff when you’re working your email marketing i think is critical to moving more people from trial to to eventually paid for is having a great product goes a long way

Jeremy Weisz 38:14

Yeah, I could probably spend the next hour asking you free to paid how do you how you convert more free to paid but I’m gonna hold back for a second because there’s so much more to ask you but I’m also want to ask you join us What do you advise startups in business you work with a lot of startups a lot of businesses, what do you advise them against that sometimes they don’t want to listen to you.

Joanna Wiebe 38:39

I advise them largely against lorem ipsum which shouldn’t surprise any copywriter if I advise him against letting design lead copy, so design shouldn’t lead copy I believe and I found that copy should lead design and I think most copywriters will would agree with me, a lot of designers would not agree with me. But conversion focus designers are more likely to write and this kind of stems back to that initial like 37 signals now called base camp, of course, they’ve done so much work in the tech world for elevating the role of copy the need for great coffee and for letting coffee lead design. So they’ve done a lot of heavy lifting there to get the world on board with that idea. And so that’s helped, but it hasn’t made it like oh, okay, everybody who reaches out to you is willing to let copy lead design, it takes a lot more work but that’s, that’s, that’s one of the biggest things because if, if you try to cram your message into something some designer put together like what it seems so like, so kind of archaic, almost like you don’t get to shum, your important sales message into whatever space the design thought would be enough space for a message that he or she wasn’t even thinking of yet. But it’s very, it’s very hard to convince people largely, I think, because the design world has done such a good job talking about how important design is. And we are maybe not doing as good of a job yet talking about design and copy working together online and an email the need to do both and to consider both and to let copy lead design as like the the side note that we eventually get to, but that’s one of the biggest. The biggest thing Another one is, of course, getting people to use email to sell.

Jeremy Weisz 40:43

Yeah, you have a strong opinion on this. So

Joanna Wiebe 40:45

I do I do. I’ve seen so many, these tentative sad little attempts. If you’re going to email somebody, you’re going to interrupt them. You have a solution. they’ve opted in Hear me, I’m sure every copywriter listening is like, obviously, but so many businesses are not like, obviously, but you have a solution. They have indicated an interest in that solution. Connect them, right, like, What are you? What are you doing? You have this great solution here. You have a person, why do you think

Jeremy Weisz 41:18

back? Why do you think they’re holding back? Um,

Joanna Wiebe 41:21

because selling is ugly. It’s the devil’s work. Right? Like I did a talk at micro comm which is for micro printers in the tech world.

Jeremy Weisz 41:32

And it was called love with Rob. Oh,

Joanna Wiebe 41:35

yeah, right. Yeah, Rob’s awesome, right? Yes. And he is willing to sell so there are some that are, but this how to sell without selling your soul. Right, this huge fear that if you have to work to sell your product and read Hacker News, right, where all the developers and tech startups hang out, or at least have hung out. I don’t know if they’re all there necessarily right now with growth, growth, hackers and things like that.

But if you go through Hacker News I’m looking at what a lot of like a technical co founders say about in response to attempts to sell, they’re all like, essentially they go back to Apple doesn’t need to sell.

Have a conversation with that, because there’s so many obvious things. You’re not apple. So there’s that. And there was a time when Apple needed to sell. And if you think that what they’re doing now isn’t selling you crazy, like you’re not looking at all, but people get they think that they shouldn’t have to if their product is good, it should sell itself, which is tech world. How did

Jeremy Weisz 42:36

I get it? How do you win in the tech space into it

Joanna Wiebe 42:40

helped a lot, right? Because you’re working at selling software. But we’ve also you know, we’ve built a little hobby startup things, right? So you hang out on Hacker News and learn right and you communicate with and connect with other people who are building little tools and stuff like that. And so it just kind of fell out of that. And we just love people who are building their own tool or who are actually getting traction with that tool. And now,

Jeremy Weisz 43:10

you’re right, that you’ve come out with.

Joanna Wiebe 43:12

We do. It’s in beta. It’s called try disco. It’s an incentivized survey. So you know, you get a pop up on a website that says, hey, you know, you asked your visitor a question and then you like, say thank you and vanish. And they’re like, thanks for interrupting me in the middle of trying to use your website. And so we’re like, well, and because we use surveys so much at Copyhackers and less my partner at Copyhackers and in life, he is in conversion rate optimization. He uses surveys all the time. That’s where you’re going to find a lot of your best messages I find. So if we’re recommending people interrupt visitors to their site and try to get good information from them, What’s that? What might that be doing for their conversion rate? And is there not a better way, you know, in a more of a thanking economy, to thank them for that and to reward them for that. So that’s what this goes about. You can, you know, answer this question, and we’ll give you 8% off your purchase. what some

Jeremy Weisz 44:18

of the interesting data you found from people using surveys, are you using the tread disco?

Joanna Wiebe 44:25

Like, for disco itself, as on

Jeremy Weisz 44:28

our website? Yeah, like you Actually, yeah, it was implemented on a website or your website. What was some interesting data that you discovered from users?

Joanna Wiebe 44:36

We have Well, yeah, I mean, what we found a lot of things, right. But we got a really high response rate and we get people answering five questions in a row, right, because they’re watching their incentive go up. You’re not sure what it’s going to go up by. And there’s also research that says you know, gamified and incented Surveys are more likely to have more accurate data. So fewer things that are just just they just want to click an answer in order to, like close the thing down or something when they see that incentive that can go a long way. So so we’re seeing them complete five questions in a row, which is kind of amazing, right with drop off being very minor, although, when you’re incentive doesn’t go up as much unlike so if you’re on question three, and you’ve seen your incentive go from, say they present to okay as answer one more question and save 11% Okay, do you have time for one more save 12% if it’s small on that one, instead of being saved 15% the drop off is high. there but we’ve also strangely seen that people will complete this survey and then write to us later and say like, I didn’t even want to buy anything from you. But I like the survey so much and I kept doing it and I ended up with 25% off

So I did. So we’re like, Okay, this is not just a great, potentially a great tool for conversion rate experts who are trying to learn about their visitors, but also for conversion rate experts who want to increase conversion using incentives. So that’s some of what we’ve found for disco the products, if that’s what you meant,

Jeremy Weisz 46:18

yeah, yeah. So what kind of questions because I’m sure you went through a lot of questions before you put them on there. What was a question you came up with that is especially powerful that people should be using to ask their their users? Um, one of the

Joanna Wiebe 46:36

I guess some of the easier ones, though, it depends At what point you’re in, in the survey to get the best responses. But one of the things that I found most useful is trying to get down to their awareness level with a question, right? So figuring out how much they really know about you. And you can do that by asking these, you know, five questions. in a row, if you’re looking at the five stages or states of awareness, then you can actually ask those five questions to get them their message and wording it in the right way. So they’re not like, hey, what stage of awareness? Do you think you’re in? All these things are like, go away. But saying more like, if you have you believe that people are product aware, you think that people coming to this page are aware of your product? versus like solution aware or this pain aware? That asked me a question about like, have you had you heard of our brand before today? And then getting a simple yes or no, they’re right. And you can start to say, okay, people landing on this landing page, or people landing in our cart, which disco is one of the few tools that I would recommend you put in your cart, because who wants to interrupt someone in their cart, but you’re getting an incentive. So somebody if you learn those things, then you can do a lot more with understanding if you need a long copy with understanding where people how people are getting to a point where they’re ready to purchase mean, if they weren’t aware of your brand today, and they’re in your cart buying, that says some interesting stuff about how your site’s performing or what your messages are saying, and then you can figure out new questions to ask. So there’s, there’s those kinds of questions I find are very valuable. If you’re ready to use the data to go optimize the page on what you asked that question, you just want to ask random stuff, or God knows why and I can’t really help you. Right? There’s ask anything then, but their birthday is Who knows? Right? But, but that’s, I think that’s been perhaps one of the most valuable ones.

Jeremy Weisz 48:36

So there was another question I want to ask is some of your favorite headlines,

Joanna Wiebe 48:40

huh? Yes.

Jeremy Weisz 48:43

What are some of your favorite headlines?

Joanna Wiebe 48:44

What are the ones that like, though, that we’ve done

Jeremy Weisz 48:48

the one that you’ve done or that you’ve seen?

Joanna Wiebe 48:51

Okay, um, okay, so we have for betway, which is a rehab center in Florida. very competitive. Anybody who’s worked with treatment centers of any kind knows just how competitive they are the AdWords are very expensive, highly competitive, and we’re talking like $60 per click. And there’s a lot on the line, right, an empty bed is $20,000, at least last month from that one bed. so important to fill up the rehab center. So we were working with beach way. And we were trying to optimize their homepage, which is great and great fun to do. And I was so I went in, I did what I normally do, and that’s like, I I’m not in the rehab space. So I don’t know what people are looking for there. I can make assumptions but good lord, that’s like a nightmare who would want to make assumptions and then write copy without learning, right? So I went and looked at what other rehabs were saying on their websites. And they were all saying basically nothing in like, like, no one can commit. No one can make a claim no one can really say anything. And then they’re saying it in this like really clinical, but like floral way, you’re like, what am I getting here though, like, I’m an addict or I am the loved one of an addict. I am in a heightened emotional state likely or something bad has happened recently to get me here. And you’re going to talk to me in this bs way, right? Like I encourage anybody like watching to go and Google like rehab center and just click on what comes up there. So you know, trying to be calming and peaceful and stuff. And I was like, I don’t know if that’s a tone that would necessarily resonate with people who are landing on your homepage and like, trying to get the phone number to call you to get their loved one into a bed like tomorrow, like how do we get them there? Do you have Do you accept my insurance plan? That’s like what they want to know. Right? So I went I looked at those sites didn’t didn’t agree with the tone they were using. And but in the end, sense of being able to speak with actual clients of each way, which would be great for getting a sense for tone. But, again, it’s so emotionally charged everything about it and you go in one way you feel one way while you’re in there, and hopefully you come out a different way. When you come out, do you have real recollections of what motivated you to get in? Or you’ve changed so much that to me, it didn’t feel like interviewing people, especially given the the scabs you’d be pulling off that are really quite rosto. Is it worth it? So I went to Amazon, Amazon, and Google and on their search for books on dealing with loved ones who are attics dealing with, with being an addict trying to overcome alcoholism, try and overcome a drug addiction. And I look through the reviews on those books, which is something that I recommend and I’ve heard other people recommend it too. It’s a really, really great strategy for finding the way your prospect talks and what they’re talking about. I look through to try to get Have a sense for their expectations when it comes to resolving a problem of addiction, and a mind all these reviews looking through for interesting language. And there was a lot of interesting language there and a lot of you know, things that came up that I could use for a messaging hierarchy. But one line that a gentleman wrote in his review of a book was if you think you need rehab, you do and it’s stuck with me. Yeah, right. It feels powerful. And so I put it in there was just one of many kinds of sticky messages that I put in this document where I captured all of this stuff. And then I put it aside, went back to it, and that line kept sticking with me. So I was like, Okay, let’s get it let’s see if there’s something to it. So we put it as a homepage headline and we tested it. We also tested a testimonial, which is interesting and a data point about, you know, success rates. And this if you think you need rehab, you do blew the other ones out of the water and like nobody asks Back to this right the guys that I was working with the actual consultants that I was working with at betway. They were like taking bets on which one was going to lose. And this one was supposed to lose like, they’re like, why do we even test this stuff? And then like this test, it was just tested. So we did 26% more leads and those leads were completed on the next page, right? So it wasn’t even on that homepage. But that headline was powerful enough. And I think a headline only has one job to do. And it’s not to complete leads on the next page. But those leads were directly tied to this one change that was made sure this if you think you need rehab, you do we were saying it’s so differently from the way that people were saying things and I think using the right language and that that brought in big results. Right. So that’s one of my favorites. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 53:45

yeah, the strategies behind that are very valuable. So thanks for sharing that. So you should put in now if you think you need to try disco you do with that?

Joanna Wiebe 53:55

Yeah, give that a shot.

Jeremy Weisz 53:58

So I know we’re running out of time. Jenna wanted to get to more questions in, you know, because it’s inspired Insider. And I mean, there’s so much I wanted to ask you, but we have a limited time. So I wanted to ask you a low point. And how you push through that low point.

I promise I’ll end with something upper. But I want to get, you know, get that. What motivates you and how you push through the low point.

Joanna Wiebe 54:34

Yeah, I mean, I’ve definitely you know, there are a lot of a lot of things right. But I think that you know, we talked about my dad early on, and emotions, emotions reading, I’m just kidding. Um, no, but he when he died, he died of brain cancer of Brittany had a brain tumor at 51 He’d been a teacher for like, eight years or something gone back to school and he’d had like this brief period of time, but you know, in the scheme of things, it’s a brief very, very brief period of time on scenes for what he should have what you know, you feel he should have had, right? Like he did all this work to like, raise five kids on his own essentially, doesn’t demand deserve more. So that was like a low point for me, but it was one of those, you know, major points, right, like a shift right? It made me change everything and made me feel different about myself and what I wanted. What we should do it, you know, everybody has that when someone close to them dies, but this idea of having such a limited time and wanting to do something good with it, and that that can change at every point to right but that was I was low and I think that’s probably a interesting place or a good place to start. a different sort of life. That was a low point but getting past it, you know, it’s helped to put things in perspective right a lot of things in perspective and there’s this um there’s a sketch I’m sure you’ve seen it, everybody has seen it. But it hits me for some reason I get these you know, for what pushes me to move forward and get past Lowe’s is this idea that you’re like this far away from that breakthrough that you’re looking for? Right and I feel that I’ve had a lot of breakthroughs thankfully a Copyhackers from the startup community if you’re like, not sure what world to work with, work with startups because they’re so the whole community is so it’s accepting it allows everybody in as long as you can just like do it. It’s like very receptive to you like joining the team. But you know, there’s a sketch that is this, these two miners Have you seen it? miners, right, and there’s one guy he turns away and he’s got his pickaxe, over is saying he’s been tunneling and now he’s done because he didn’t get there. And the guy below him is still tunneling away and you can see on both of them they both got this like the jewels just on the other side

Jeremy Weisz 57:11

inches from the jewels. Yeah,

Joanna Wiebe 57:13

exactly right. So you’re like just keep just keep kind of going it’s so cheesy some things will stick with people, right? And that’s just happens to be something that sticks with me. So that’s kind of an image I keep in mind when I have to you know, push through and it’s like, Oh, isn’t that you know, all of those things, right? Is it worth it? is you know, is this really if I were to die tomorrow? Is this something I’d want to die doing? Right those lower points, which is what can you really say? Yes to right outside of like, bathing in cheesecake or something? Yeah, okay.

Jeremy Weisz 57:47

That’s gonna be the title of this interview is bathing with cheesecake? No. Last question, what’s been one of your proudest accomplishments.

Joanna Wiebe 58:01

Uh, yeah, um, one of the coolest things for me, makes me the proudest. Um, you know, when people that you really admire, reach out to you, right and I’ve been thankful to get that I’m grateful to get that and blessed with that I had actually. So I was working at into it right and you feel like you’re just like part of like, you’re a cog, right? You’re doing stuff nobody gives a damn about copywriting you know, you kind of hate everything. And you go out on your own and as you’re doing that you’re reading all these people like Darren Rose problogger and you know, Brian Clark copyblogger, things like that. And everybody else right in the hole in all of this copywriting space, it’s your like reading. Right? It’s gonna say something else and I decide not to, um, and so I was about a year and a

Joanna Wiebe 58:50

half into Copyhackers and I had written this guest post on kissmetrics about pricing, how to make your your product look like a total steal. I think it was called a total steal or something like that in the URL. Um, and so it was this like, epic post, right? Nine ways.

Jeremy Weisz 59:09

Epic post,

Joanna Wiebe 59:10

there you go, right. Um, and so I post it, blah, blah, it’s great. And then a couple weeks, weeks later, I get this email in my inbox. And it’s from Brian Clark. And I’m like, Okay, I guess it’s just, you know, it’s but it’s not in my promotions tab. It’s over in my like, main part of Gmail, like, like, where a direct message comes to you. And he was saying how much he loved the post and I want to speak at his copyblogger authority intensive, and I was like, What is Brian Clark doing reaching out to me? This is amazing, right? This is so cool. So that was like, you know, and then and since then, we’ve actually developed a nice little relationship, which is like, even more stunning to me, right? Like, I’m always like, like, what, how did this even happen and then I got to meet Darren rose through him. And then Darren invited me to do some stuff with him. So you know, this is these moments that I’m very proud of that I wouldn’t have expected to have happened when I was like adding to it and trying to get people to like change coffee and worry about coffee and think about coffee and feeling like nobody was listening and so that’s definitely one of my proudest accomplishments.

Jeremy Weisz 1:00:23

So Joanna, thank you so much I just want you to take a second tell people where they can find out more anything that you’re working on lately that they should check out

Joanna Wiebe 1:00:32

Sure, um, they can find me at on twitter at Copyhackers. That’s what I am with an S poor at copy hacker guy is always like, it’s not me what it’s her. So it’s at Copyhackers. And then online copyhackers.com and you can send me emails through the contact form and it’ll go really great to me right? So that’s where that’s where I’m really at Twitter and on my on my website.

Jeremy Weisz 1:00:59

Fantastic. blog you should read. It’s definitely definitely a blog you should read generally be the first one to thank you. I really appreciate this.

Joanna Wiebe 1:01:07

Thank you. It’s been great. It’s really nice talking to you. Thanks so much.

Jeremy Weisz 1:01:10

Thank you, Joanna.