Not All Copywriters Write To Convert… But They Should

If you haven’t invested in copywriting or email marketing, it’s time to reassess your life choices, methinks. Copywriting is one of the best places to invest your energy – if you want to grow your business through email marketing.

Most of the writing you see online is meant to get you to take some action or another. In other words, to convert.

Which is the type of copywriting I focus on when I work with online brands and top marketers. Particularly I like to focus on selling through email and converting the audience on the landing page.

Writing compelling emails and growing your list is possible for anyone in business. However, before you can write someone an email, you gotta get their email in exchange for a free offering. Brian Clark calls this an “Ethical Bribe.”

Here is a growth hack for your opt-in that I’ve been using with my clients to dramatically increase their lists and opt-in rates.

We used to run pop-ups that would ask for your email in exchange for a free offering. Location-wise, we’d place them on the sidebar and they weren’t doing that well for us. Our traffic was strong and our list growth was still slow. Then we switched over to the Bounce Exchange’s two button pop-up.

One of the partners I work with is Bounce Exchange. They are the people behind the highly effective two-button pop-ups that have become popular. Yes, there are some bona-fide pop-up haters, however, these pop-ups work really well. And if you’re clever with your copywriting, they can work extremely well. When we put this new two-button layout into use, we went from the double digits in daily sign ups into triple digits.

This pop-up activates when a visitor shows exit intent, and there’s some sophistication behind how they define exit intent so it doesn’t misfire. The pop-up is large, usually containing a small animation to catch your eye. You have two buttons to choose from. The copy usually goes something like this, “Yes, I do want your amazing offer!” and “No, I’m an idiot!”

Not all of them have super strong language on the “No” button. Frankly, I didn’t think that my audience would respond well to strong language there, so our “No” button was softer.

The true power of the two button layout is: now there’s a felt consequence for not opting-in.

Before, you just clicked away and got on with your life. But spelling out the consequence clearly changes the dynamics in your visitor’s decision-making process. We’ve put this layout into every pop-up on our site. I can’t imagine going back to the Wild West days of consequence-free pop-ups.

One caveat is that this layout technique works really well with pop-ups. If you tried to implement on a webform, well, it doesn’t have the same effect. The pop-up conveys an urgency and forces them to make a decision one way or another.

So what to write in your copy? You want your headline and button copy to work as a pair. You want the context of your headline to make sense with your button copy. What we’ve found is that your heading should convey a call to value, and your button should be a call to action.

It’s important to remember that your two buttons are not created equal.

You don’t want to accidentally optimize for your opt-out button! You want to make sure it’s as undesirable as possible. When designing the opt-out, you don’t need to antagonize your prospect. But you want them to second guess their decision to not take your offer.

This helps to move any undecided visitor into a “Yes” and then you’re off to the races.


Action Steps

    1. Add a two button layout pop-up to your website.
    2. Write a headline for your offer / ethical bribe that acts as a call to value for your offer.
    3. On your opt-in button, write copy which makes a call to action.
    4. For your opt-out button, write copy that conveys the consequence your visitor will face by turning down your offer.

Bonus: Don’t accidentally optimize your opt-out button, you want to it be as unpleasant as possible to click it.


Result You Will Achieve

Pop-up opt-in forms that will increase your daily list growth by providing a consequence to visitors who choose to opt-out.

Mentor: Joanna Wiebe

Founder at Copy Hackers – conversion copywriting expert with a track record of campaigns with open rates of <90% & a decade of experience writing & testing emails for companies as QuickBooks, Invision & Quick Sprout.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.