How to join the conversation happening in your customer’s head

Presented live on Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018

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When you write copy, you’re supposed to join the conversation happening in your customer’s head. But how? In this tutorial, conversion copywriter Joanna Wiebe gives you a simple 7-minute exercise to start finding out what your customers are thinking… starting today. You’ll also see how to make sense of what you learn so you can use it at the top of your page (i.e., where you join the conversation they’re already having with themselves).

This tutorial is brought to you by Airstory writing software, used in this tutorial.


Joanna Wiebe: Good morning everybody, good afternoon, or good evening, depending on where you are. Joanna here from Copyhackers and Airstory and I have Sarah here as well. Hello Sarah.

Sarah: Hello Joanna.

Joanna Wiebe: Hello, hello, hello. Okay. As people are filing in, some very quick housekeeping before we begin this morning’s tutorial. Hello to those who are chatting over their hellos already. Brings me to my housekeeping, if you want to just chat something to us, to tell us something, please use chat and note that you can select to send it to everybody or just to panelists. I’m not 100% certain what the language is there, but if you want everybody to see it, just say, just choose everyone.

Otherwise, it will go straight to myself and Sarah. And Sarah will be handling any chats that come in that she can handle at the time, obviously, which are all of them. I’m just saying I won’t be looking at them very much. I’ll try to, but I’m going to be showing you my screen right away, and we’re going to walk through a pretty cool tutorial. I’m really excited about this one. I’m always pretty excited about them, but this is a big problem solver.

So we’re going to go through that so use chat just to say, “Hey,” and whatever other things that might pop along the way. Use Q&A to ask us questions that need real answers, where you’re like, “Please, please don’t stop this training until you’ve answered this question.” Put that in the Q&A area.

One more thing, we are recording this of course, so you will see the replay later on in case you have to hop off, or in case you want to see something a second time. Again, we’re going to be showing you something that’s, it’s actually got four parts to it today. It’s ambitious maybe, but I think I can do it. I think we got this. So I’m going to now start, hello everybody’s still saying awesome hello’s, that’s cool, and I’m going to start sharing my screen.

What we’re talking about today is … I have a cat distracting me as usual. What we’re talking about is one, putting an end to your dead end thank you pages, getting more out of those.

And two, actually finding your message. So those are big things, and I sent out an email this morning about it and you might have already send that email where I recommend that you take a few steps and just solve one of your business problems today. It takes like seven minutes, so I’m going to show you exactly what that looks like, and you’ll see that the setup takes maybe seven minutes.

So your job is to take, to go out and find a thank you page that you have, I would put money on almost any thank you page you have being a bit of a dead ender, so you might have, oh go over here to like us, or whatever, but usually thank you pages, cool, thanks go check your email now.

Go check your inbox and either confirm or setup your account or whatever it might be, but it usually happens at the thank you, sends people over to their inbox or to some other place, rather than asking them to do something next like while they’re waiting.

And your thank you page happens at this critical seducible moment, where the person has just said yes to you. They just said full yes to you, they were like, “Yup I’m going to sign up for this, yes.” Or, “Yup I’m going to buy this, I’m going to try it.” It’s a yes, it’s the thing that we’re always looking for.

That’s a key moment because everybody’s feeling pretty good about things at that moment, and you can ask people for a favor. It’s a good favor because it’s going to help everybody in the end. And they’re more likely to say yes to it.

So I’m going to show you what were going to do. Yeah it’s a seducible moment, it’s a real thing if you google seducible moments it’s like a real thing in user experience design. So let me share my screen.

Okay so what I want you to do is identify a thank you page on your site or on your clients site and if you have no clients right now, or you have pass clients, you can go and look at their sites and then make recommendations like “Hey, do you want to bring me in for this project I can optimize your thank you pages and help you find the right message.” So you can start like pitching this job to clients if you’re a freelancer otherwise if you’re in house this is something you should do immediately.

And this is if you are a freelancer too. Go do this on your own site where you’re like getting people to sign up. So I want you to take your thank you page and make it work for you and that means finding the right messages for you going forward.

So showing right now step one, create a type form with one question. Type form is free, so basically free for everybody. So there’s really no like Ooh nope just use it, it’s free, and it’s really nice and easy to use too. You can see it showing on the screen right now. You’re going to create a one question type form with a long or short answer space, just you can see how much room there is right here. I chose long answer.

And I recommend that you do too because some of these answers you’re going to get are so detailed. Some are going to be short, a lot are going to be detailed so give people room to talk. So this is the one question I want you to ask, what was going on in your life that brought you to try or join or buy? Then you insert your product name then today. That’s the question. Now I’ve been using this question since I was at Intuit, when I was consulting at Conversion rate experts. I have been using this for forever, this isn’t something that you have to mess around with and reinvent. Just take it exactly as it is that’s showing on the screen right here, what was going on in your life to do X today? It’s really like to try, to buy, to join whatever that thing might be then your product name and the word today.

Cool, do that. Set that up and that’s it and then have a quick thank you that’s like cool whatever thanks. Then I want you to go find your thank you page or thank you pages and embed that question in there. So that, this is what we did for copy school, just a simple thank you page but instead of just saying “Hey thanks go check your inbox.” We say “Hey your credentials are on the way to your inbox, while you’re waiting for that to happen, can you just answer this quick question?” And then we embed it so all you have to do is, I’m using LeadPages. We love LeadPages, we love Unbound, Kickoff labs and other ones I just use leap pages a lot.

So you can embed that HTML from your type form right there. Publish the page and LeadPages has a WordPress integration so you can hit publish here then go over to WordPress and chose the right LeadPages and publish that right away. So it’s easy peasy, it’s amazing.

So we’ve got those two things set up which brings us to a thank you page that looks just like this. So a person that’s just bought Copy School lands on this page right after finishing checkout. Cool they’ve got like a little bit of a value prop there, they know they’re reminded of why they did this in the first place and then we ask them this question. Our response rates have been really good. I’m gonna go show you the results. Okay, so then once you’ve got those results you go back to type form. You are in create, you shared using this embed part here.

Now we want to go through the results. So this is where, when we get the results, so the first part the seven minute thing is everything up to the point of publishing your thank you page. From that point on you’re going to start getting responses to that question going forward, from now on you’re always going to get those, which is phenomenal because we’ve got, I mean we didn’t have everybody of course answer.

We had a pretty solid response rate, so far we have 230 responses. I think that’s like 65% or something of all students. So maybe, something like that, I’ll do the math later and follow-up with you. But what we’re looking at here is we’re getting lots of responses in that we can go through one by one to find what it was that drove our prospect to actually chose us today. That means in that moment, what made them say yes to us and this is where you find headlines.

This is where you find your messaging hierarchy. This is where you get into all of the messaging that you can use. This is the voice of customer data that we are always talking about. It always sounds hard to get right like ” Uh I have to do a whole survey, I have to do a customer survey?” No you have to embed the survey on your thank you page and just sit back and wait and its amazing.

So what we want to do now is you can export these, export these if you want to but then you’re like going through and highlighting one by one. I have been down that road before, I don’t love it and what I do love is going through, type form has this very easy interface I can, you’re looking at it right now.

So I can go through each question and hire myself to be the copy righter whose looking for the right message here.

So we’re trying to find sticky language. We’re trying to find objections. We’re trying to find drivers, things that brought people to say yes to us today, to even consider us today. And so we go through those one by one. It might sound like “One by one.” This is the job. It’s good, it’s good work so you’ll get good results out of actually doing this work and it’s pretty fast.

So what I do at this point, is I open up our air story researcher. I start highlighting, so I’m gonna go through each response and I’m going to look for things that will help me get a better understanding of my customers.

Share that understanding with people on my team or my clients. Their language that they’re using, the things that matter to them the things that they want and desire. So I’m gonna go through and say okay so if the questions was what was going on in your life that brought you to join Copy School today, Can see some of us planning to go 100% freelance. Okay that means to take on bigger and better projects then.

So this an interesting single point.

I’m going to save that as a card, a note, we call them cards for two years and now we call them notes in air story. So I’m going to do that, highlight it, click done and then I’m going to send it back to a project, it’s just moving slowly right now. So I’m gonna send it back to a project inside air story called copy school messaging and because it’s slowing down for some reason I’m gonna go over and show you some of the ones I already did in advance.

When you go through, you capture these individual pieces of information from your customers and then you go through and you tag them. So one of the respondents days I want to grow my copy righting business. So I’m going to go through and tag, like okay so they’re a copy righter. They’ve got a freelance interest and they use the phrase grow my business or they care about grow my business.

Not grow my clients business, grow my business, okay so that’s an interesting insight. So I do those tags and I keep going through with every note that I create from these responses, tagging as I go and over time or in the course of like a weekend or whatever it is or like the next three hours if I wanna just go through them all and look at what I’ve got.

Now I can start to see trends in what my customers are saying to me in the actual language they’re using and sometimes it won’t even be like a message that’s like they want to grow their own business but it might be something more like look at what we have here, which I just call sticky language.

So enough with good intentions it’s buckle down time. That’s interesting language, it doesn’t mean it’s the language to use but my actual customer, paying customer said this, I’m going to listen to it. It doesn’t mean you always have to repeat everything that feels like sticky language but I’m gonna call it that and all of the clipping that I do, all of the notes that I make whenever I find something called sticky language or that I tag as that.

From that point on whenever I want to find sticky language inside air story I can just click the tag. So in this case, I’ve grown my business is one that, and again I already did like seven of these in advance to give you a sense for what’s going on.

But I can click the grow my business tag and if I had 30 different notes in here because I’ve gone through everything and they all said grow my business.

Now if I wanted to write an email about to convince people to chose Copy School to grow their own business, I’ve got great insights that are all tagged right there and I can just start using them on the page.

So, holy Moses mappy land that is 10 12 minutes, we did that oh 13 minutes. Okay 13 minutes still we did very well for tutorial Tuesdays, which usually take an eternity for me to get through but that’s really, that’s the whole point that everything you’re doing here. Seven minutes to set it up.

Maximum seven minutes to set it up and then you go through and find your message.

Sara you came off meet do you have something to add?

Sara:                                           I do, can you just show them their thank you page again Jo?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yes. So that’s the thank you page built in LeadPages. Pretty straight forward drag and drop stuff. Really easy to use and of course that type form survey. It’s just that easy to embed it and it’s free. So and now we all of the results, which of course for some reason … I’m just going to refresh this, that’s always the thing just hit refresh. So yeah so that’s what we are looking at here and I see we just have one question, which is amazing. So I’m going to answer that question right now.

Okay so, Lee ann sorry putting this type form on opt in thank you pages as well or just purchasing pages? On all of them, so instead of in this case I said what was going on in your life that brought you to join Copy School today? I didn’t say buy, I said join because that’s the verb we use a lot, join or enroll.

So I used that verb, if it was to get you to … And it doesn’t always have to be like it might be what was going on in your life that brought you to download an ebook about your own messaging today? That kind of thing where if you really want to know the answer like if you’re offering them an ebook on finding their own message and you want to know what brought them to do that just ask the question but just make sure you phrase it the way that I’ve got it here.

So sub in the right verb, sub in the right product name but everything else stays the same. So yeah you can use it on all of your thank you pages and not just purchase ones.

Jennifer says “I work at a non profit that provides housing to graduate level students, cool. The housing application is free to start $50 to complete. Do you recommend asking type form survey from prospects to register? Why not both?”

So you said when they register or when actually pay the $50. It might feel like you’re asking it a lot, you don’t have to ask it for the rest of your life. You can ask it for now, collect that information and then ask it again like six months later or a year later or whatever it might be.

But, which is the part that most needs optimizing?

When you look at your sign up funnel here, which part would you most like to optimize? And if you’re like well I kinda want to optimize the bottom of the funnel because if I can get more people who start the application to pay the $50 fee then that’s a really great lift for my business.

If I can get more people to pay the fee that’s a very good thing. So it’s often good to start closest to where the money actually is but there are different schools of thought on that. If you want to get results faster and you don’t have the luxury of a huge amount of time and a lot of budget to deal with like you’d need to start selling some of these applications already. Then I would start by asking this question after a person actually pays.

Put it there on that thank you page, see how it goes but if you’re only getting like four people completing an application a day.

What if you only get two answers a day and what if they’re not that useful?

But if you get a lot of people going through the beginning part of it where there are more people at the top of the funnel usually right, then if you ask that question at that moment you might still get the kind of insights that can help you further down the funnel.

So hopefully that makes sense when were talking about top of funnel and bottom of funnel. Which, where to put it, I would say put it at those places but if you only want to chose one place start by thinking about choosing the place that’s closest to where the money actually changes hands and if the traffics too low there then go up to the next part of the funnel. Cool? Hopefully.

Lane says “Do you recommend type form instead of a WordPress form because it’s simpler to create and embed for a non web thank you’s?”

Yes, I’ve used every form you can honestly imagine. Like Zoho forms from way back before google forms, which were so ugly I’m so sorry but they’re just so ugly. A type form is beautiful and it’s like honestly it’s free and it’s gorgeous and you get, look how you get to collect your results or you can download them all. Like it’s just, they’re building for users here. They’re building a really great product for users. I completely recommend type form all the time we’ve used it since forever and we love the people there too. So there’s that. So I recommend that, yeah.

Enrique says, “Do you recommend a specific type form template?”

I just use the standard one like the white one. You can see there’s nothing fancy about it, when you go here you can modify it and add all sorts of stuff. I didn’t even change the branding on here, thankfully the greens kinda go with what’s going on, on the page anyway. Yeah I just use the standard one, I just want to get this done, right? Like you don’t have to worry about fiddling with anything just use what ever fonts come standard, use whatever it is. Throw it on the page, hit publish, move on with your life because we’ve got a lot of stuff to do. Start collecting those results and then if you find you want to optimize that form then go back later.

Okay Maureen says “If I’m using a fun quiz to get opt ins would this still work or is there another question that would be less serious?”

Okay so you’ve got a quiz that’s driving people to become leads for you. Okay they expect when they land on the thank you page that they’re gonna get their quiz answers. If they’re not, it’s a little irritating already for them. We know that when we do that right with quizzes that are meant to generate leads.

When you say great go check your inbox for your answers its that seducible moment that’s like a smack right, it’s like it’s not good. Things just went really bad because they expected their quiz results right there.

So, if you’re not going to give them their quiz results I’d be careful not to do anything where the responses that you get are built in like kinda like a sense of frustration like where are my answers. I’m sure you’d get it again and again, I just want to get my quiz answers, where are my results? So yeah I would be careful with that just because the whole experience to begin with is a little off.

And then you said or is there not a question maybe less serious and still work as well or do you think this is fine. Yeah and this is … I’m not saying put a survey on your thank you pages for the sake of putting a survey up there. This is the question that we ask when we consult with people. When we’ve been consultants at other organizations. When I was in house at Intuit. This is the question that you asked to find your message. There are other questions for different things but this is like if you want to find out what’s really going on in your prospects head you ask this question. If you don’t want to find that out, then you don’t ask this question.

Ophelia says “If the audience is B to B would you recommend substituting some other language in place of in your life?”

So might be on your team. So if you’re like what was going on, on your team that brought you to chose that today? But now you’re making … You have to already believe as you get more narrow with what you say, you have to have a reason to believe that, that would be a driver.

So what if it wasn’t something going on with me team? What if it was something going on with something else? So, when I say in your life that means that a big huge bucket to chose from.

If I say in your career or in your team or in your family or with your friends or anything more narrow you just have to believe that, that there has to be a cause for you to use that language. In your life is nice and broad and if you want to get more narrow just have a good reason to.

So I can already hear the push back from the AE’s in my next strategy meeting, people push back. It’s part of our job. This is why copywriters aren’t the most beloved member of a team because we’re constantly pushing to get the right answers to these questions that we have.

You can still push back in a nice way, this is part of the job of working with other people. When there’s pushback you have to negotiate that. So do your best to convince them of the importance of having a large bucket and if they want to go with something more narrow that feels like B2B.

Don’t get me started on B2B is still people to people like it’s still a people world, real humans making real decisions so but with that aside I would push back, gently, on those team members who push back on you and ask them why they believe what ever language they would sub in is the right language instead. And you can be open to that because if they have a good reason, what if they have a great reason? Like oh heres why, cool. You don’t want to sound like you’re totally insistent that it must be in you’re like because what if they’re actually right. So listen to what they say and then if there not right push for yours and say alright, cool. Do it.

Simon says, Simon says that’s awesome. Ah sorry Simon I’m you get that all the time and it’s annoying to you. Okay.

“Would what was going on in your work be okay?”

Again the same thing if you have reason to believe that it’s the thing that drove somebody to chose you today, cool. What ever that thing is that I, you have to have reason to break from this pattern. You can’t just break from it because you feel like it because if you do I can’t say anything about the results you’re going to get. When you stick with this, again this is the phrasing I have used for an eternity when you stick with this you’re more likely to get the kinds of results that can help you. If you go a different path it’s on you my friend.

Okay, cool, so that is I think we have all the questions answered. It’s Sara?

Sarah: There’s one more question Jo from LO West fall. “Can you review what these answers are for again? Get in your audience’s head? Find your messages for what?”

Joanna Wiebe: For anything, you’re going to write. So for this for Copy School, when we ask you after you sign up for Copy School … Which closes today by the way … When you sign up for that we want to know for the next time that we go to message Copy School. We really want to know like what’s going on for you? And it’s one part messaging but anybody who’s been involved in message finding also knows it’s about developing your product, making sure that you’re including the right incentives that their looking for. Optimizing your offer, figuring out who on your list is actually a good fit and who you shouldn’t promote a product to anymore. You’re really learning a lot about everything, so much.

The good thing is that because it’s a long answer question then you also get this insight into what each individual customer was going through. So you can look for trends and themes and actual sticky language and things like that. So you can create your messaging hierarchy. So you can if you’re doing a problem agitation solution frame work for your page, what’s the problem you start with? What’s the problem? You either have to sit there and figure that out or you can go in and look for the problems that people are saying drove them here today like I need to grow my business. Then you look for stickier language then that to see if there’s something better you can say then just grow my business, which kinds sounds like white noise. So that’s what we’re doing, does that answer that? I can’t see the question so I hope it answers it. Yes?

Okay so Colleena has one more question than, I hope I’m saying that right? “I won’t understand why our clients chose our agency, what made them contact us above other agencies. We give an email for contact but no contact form to fill. How can I implement this question in this case or should I restructure the contact page completely?” So to ask why you don’t have a contact form so it must have been a business decision there like we want people to email us directly because it’s going to go in CRM’s somehow, I don’t know. But if there wasn’t a business decision that lead there it was just like oh were just going to put the email address down, okay cool.

Then maybe try it, test instead putting a contact form in there. That doesn’t mean AB test because [inaudible 00:24:44] you can actually AB test that. So I’m not suggesting you AB test but maybe for a period you try doing a contact form instead and then see what happens. And if your real goal is to be like okay we don’t know, like you said, we don’t know why someone chooses us today. Like why us, why now? Then you want to ask this question and so I would recommend yeah. You do what sounds like your saying you might do, which is sub a contact form in, when they complete it and they could just … The contact form could be your type form, it could be this like enter your name, enter your email address and now tell us what was going on in your life that brought you to chose us today?

So you don’t have to do it as separate things either you can embed this as your contact form. But if you decide to use a traditional contact form and then land people on a thank you page like this, then cool. You don’t have to do that forever, so you could just do it for a period Learn a bunch of stuff and then go back to your old method of getting contacts by email.

Okay I think that is it for our questions today. Thanks everybody, I really hope that you take the next seven minutes to go and set this up on your thank you pages. If you don’t know what your thank you pages are go into your CMS like WordPress or go into LeadPages if you uses that or where ever that might be and just, you can usually search thank and you will come up with all sorts of thank you pages that you have. And then just go in and make these modifications. It’s superifically easy and I hope that you get really good language out of it. So thanks everybody, thanks Sara for taking all of those questions as well as we went. Thank you for asking your questions and we will see you in the next tutorial Tuesday. Thanks guys, bye.

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