Everybody wants the freebie, but nobody wants to buy.
Is that really true? No way! Buyers are out there, and as a copywriter, you’re in the unique position of being able to help your clients find them. In this article, I’m going to let you in on five non-negotiable steps you must take to successfully move audiences from the freebie list to the red hot buyers list.
The best part is, these five steps work at any stage of the client’s marketing strategy and can be used to move audiences from free opt-in to the tripwire and on up the value ladder to the main offer and beyond.
Step 1: Provide Value
There’s a common three-step digital marketing strategy that goes something like this:
Lead magnet (free opt-in) > Tripwire (low-priced offer) > Main offer (moderately priced offer)
It looks super simple on paper, but is it though? Is it really? It’s so frustrating to slave over a beautiful opt-in and a flashy tripwire, only to end up spending a bunch of ad budget generating leads that never become buyers.
The first step to moving people into becoming paying clients and customers actually starts with the free lead magnet. Make no mistake - just because a lead magnet is free doesn’t mean it’s worthless.
A good lead magnet contains valuable information or services that the audience is willing to trade their email address for. In this day and age of spam-filled inboxes, people are less and less motivated to give away their email addresses. In other words, make sure everything you offer is GOOD.
But just because the lead magnet needs to contain a lot of value doesn’t mean it has to be labor or time intensive for you. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make sure the lead magnet doesn’t require your personal time and energy beyond the initial creation of it. You’ll quickly burn out because that’s not sustainable.
Good lead magnets should be things that are one and done for the business owner or entrepreneur. Some examples of good lead magnets are downloadable guides or cheat sheets, e-books, or short training videos. These items can be easily delivered to an email inbox over and over again without needing the client’s direct input.
Step 2: Create a Measurable Result
There are a lot of lead magnets out there that contain a lot of value that still don’t do a very good job of moving people from freebie-seekers to buyers. Yep, there’s MORE. The lead magnet also must, if implemented, create a measurable result for the user.
For example, let’s say your client has a lead magnet that has 16 pages of information on why dentists need online sales funnels. Is that information valuable? Sure. There are plenty of dentists out there who could benefit from understanding what an online sales funnel can do to help grow their practices.
But it’s all facts and ideas. It’s a nice read, but it doesn’t give them a measurable result. There’s nothing there for them to say, “Wow, that’s amazing! Look at what that did for me. I’m going to stick around to see what else this guy has got!”
What if, instead, your client’s lead magnet was a step-by-step checklist with 10 steps they can take right now to make sure their website is ready for traffic? Now THAT’S a lead magnet with actionable steps and a measurable result. They read it, they do it, and when they’re done, they have a website that’s ready for traffic - something they didn’t have before.
Now your client is the expert in their eyes, and they’re going to pay attention the next time they see something your client puts out.
Step 3: Give Them the Next Logical Step
Once the audience has been primed with an actionable, results-driven lead magnet, they’re ready for a paid offer. Not just any paid offer will do, however. There’s one main mistake I see clients make with the tripwire that practically guarantees the tripwire WON’T sell - and totally preventable.
They don’t offer their audiences a tripwire that’s the next logical step to the lead magnet. I’ll illustrate this with an example many of us can relate to - ice cream.
A Tale of Two Ice Cream Cones
It’s a super hot day, and you’re outside walking your dog in the park. Fido needs his exercise, hot or not, but you’re dying. Then you hear the happiest sound in the world - “Ice cream! FREE ice cream!”
You pivot towards the sound so fast that Fido gets whiplash. There, in the corner of the park, is a little ice cream stand, and sure enough, they’re handing out cones for free. YES! In about two seconds you’re in line with your hand out, and as your scoop of vanilla is made, the ice cream man asks, “Would you like a bowl of flamin’ hot chili for just $5 more?”
“Are you kidding me? It’s about a million degrees out here!” you exclaim. “A bowl of hot soup is the LAST thing I want.” You thank them for the free ice cream, and you wander off with Fido at your heels, happily licking your ice cream cone. You never think about the hot soup offer again.
That’s how it feels to people when the tripwire doesn’t match the lead magnet. Now, let’s look at this example again, only a little differently this time.
Same day, same dog, same ice cream stand. Only this time as you watch the ice cream man scoop your cone, trying not to drool, he says, “For just $5 more you can turn this cone into a double scoop and have access to the add-ons bar.”
You look where he motions, and there, next to the ice cream stand, is a salad bar display set up with all kinds of toppings - crushed candy bars, fruit, whipped cream, sprinkles - you name it, it’s there.
No brainer, right? You fork over your $5, doctor up your double scoop, and wander off with Fido at your heels, happily licking your (now enhanced) ice cream cone.
Now THAT’S an offer. See the difference? Although the bowl of chili and the toppings bar were both food items of the same price, one was a raging success while the other was a flop. Why?
Because when the freebie is valuable (ice cream on a hot day) and provides a measurable result (something yummy that cools you down) people WANT to take the next logical step to whatever the freebie is.
When your client’s tripwire is the next logical step for the audience member, they will be MUCH more likely to buy it.
Step 4: Ask More Than Once
Of course, not everybody will go after the paid offer straight out of the gate. A number of people will walk away before taking the bait (even if it is as good as an ice cream toppings bar).
Humans are skeptical, and this is a normal human reaction. Studies have shown it takes approximately seven unique “touches” to get people to take action. In other words, don’t give up too early!
Remember when you were a kid, and you really really wanted something? Like, REALLY really? You would dog your parents for days about it until you finally wore them down and they gave in, right?
I’m not suggesting that you do that to your client’s list. At all. But what I am suggesting is that sometimes our clients get discouraged and just plain give up too soon. So send the follow-up email. Engage the Messenger chat bot. Give those freebie fans one more chance to buy.
Step 5: Stay Visible and Present
Of course, the end goal is to continue to move the tripwire buyers up the value ladder so they’ll become main offer and potentially high-ticket buyers. Post-tripwire purchase is not the time to drop them. In fact, it’s time to turn up the heat, and by heat, I mean nurture them towards becoming red-hot buyers.
So make sure they’re added to the post-purchase email nurturing sequences. Have your client invite them to Like and Follow their Facebook page. Encourage them to keep up on their social media posting.
This is the long-game folks, and so many business owners forget that. They take the sprint, then die out before they ever reach marathon status, thinking that’s just the way it goes.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Continuity and longevity is possible, and it’s vital to the growth of any business. This is the perfect opportunity for your client to stay in the game and use that amazing lead magnet tripwire combo you’ve helped them create to keep people in their spheres and serve them better.
More from Christa Nichols Messaging
Make sure the lead magnet and tripwire copy is a perfect match for the target audience by asking your clients the eight questions I ask all my high-ticket copy clients in my FREE guide, “8 Must-Ask Questions For Copy That Connects & Converts”.
"Yeah, I’m a runner,” she said as she laces up her Nikes and heads to the treadmill for her daily two-mile jog.
“Yeah, I’m a runner,” he said as he slips on his Vibram 5-finger runners and hits the trail for a ‘short’ 20-mile loop.
Are they both runners?
Heck no! She’s not a runner. She couldn’t handle a hardcore ultra race.
He’s crazy! That’s not running. That’s torture to the extreme!
In the general sense of the word, sure, they’re both runners. But when it comes down to what they actually do and how they do it, the word “runner” seems to have multiple meanings depending on the circumstances.
The same can be said for the term “copywriter.”
Two Types of Copywriters
There are two main types of copywriters - content copywriters and sales conversion copywriters (sometimes called direct response copywriters). People outside the copywriting industry tend to group all public-faced writing under one umbrella and often don’t recognize there’s a wide gap between the two types.
Let’s break down the two types of copywriters, what they do, what they accomplish for their clients, and where you might see examples of both types of copy.
What they do: Content copywriters write the words that fill the spaces target audiences go to for information about their clients (hence the term “content”). Don’t let this definition of content fool you - content copy isn’t just throwaway copy, not by a long shot. Quality content copy makes a huge difference.
What this does for their clients: The main purposes of content copy are to engage and entertain the client’s audience, keep them visible and top of mind, and educate and indoctrinate the audience about the client’s mission and vision. Content copy also helps drive search engines by providing the SEO-based keywords needed to attract Google’s attention and push traffic.
Where you’ll see content copy: You’ll see content copy on websites, blogs, social media profiles, and everyday emails.
SALES CONVERSION COPYWRITERS
What they do: To put it in really simple terms, sales conversion copywriters write the words that sell the things. They write super targeted copy that urges readers to take a specific action.
What this does for their clients: The copy that sales conversion copywriters create accomplishes five objectives:
Where you’ll see sales conversion copy: You’ll see sales conversion copy in ads, sales emails, sales funnels, direct mail sales letters, and sometimes in social media content.
“VS.” OR “AND”?
Is one type of copywriting better than another? No way! Content copy and sales copy are both important, they just accomplish different goals. The truth is, clients need both types of copy in their businesses. Why?
Because nobody likes to be communicated with in the same way all the time.
If all a business did was entertain and engage their audience, it wouldn’t be a very profitable business, right? On the other hand, if all a business did was sell, sell, sell, the audience would quickly tire of it and feel used.
A healthy mix of content copy and sales conversion copy helps balance both sides and give the target audience an enjoyable customer experience. When it comes to business growth, it’s ALL about serving the customer and nurturing the customer experience.
SHOULD COPYWRITERS SPECIALIZE?
If content and sales copy are so different, what does that mean for copywriters and business owners? Should a copywriter specialize by choosing to focus on either content or sales? What’s important for the business owner or entrepreneur to know as they search for the right copywriter to support them?
The longer I serve clients as a copywriter, the more convinced I am that you can get better, more consistent results for clients if you specialize. Can one person write both types of copywriting? Yes, but it can be a challenge. As you switch back and forth between the two types of writing, you’re constantly requiring your brain to go back and forth between sales mentality and content.
Specializing allows you to stay in one zone for your clients. When you can devote more time to one type of copywriting, you grow those skills faster and can more quickly become known as an expert in that area.
As for the business owner or entrepreneur looking to hire a copywriter, understanding the difference between content copy and sales copy and which type they need is really important. Hitting the market with “I need a good copywriter. Anybody know one?” will send a mixed bag of recommendations to their inbox. They may end up having to wade through a bunch of copywriters who don’t have the expertise they’re looking for. Bummer.
Does that mean sales copywriters and content copywriters can’t coexist?
Are they destined to live on separate planes, never crossing paths like two ships in the night?
Not at all! Copywriters all have the same bottom-line goal - to support the client. When content and sales copywriters work together to present a unified and cohesive messaging across all channels, it’s SO powerful. Campaigns are enhanced (and so are conversion rates!) when the content copy messaging matches the sales conversion messaging. The best-performing campaigns I’ve ever worked on had content and sales copywriters to cover both the engagement and sales spectrums simultaneously.
THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
Will our two runners ever run the same way? No, probably not … and that’s okay. They don’t have to, because they’re doing two different and equally valuable types of running.
Content copywriters and sales conversion copywriters are in a similar position. Will they ever write the same way as each other? No, and they SHOULDN’T. This can be a tough one for the client to understand sometimes.
“Why doesn’t my sales page sound more like my website?”
“Why can’t my blog be used as my Facebook ad copy?”
Just as our runners in the example above wore different kinds of shoes for different kinds of running, so copywriters must use different strategies and techniques for different types of copy.
It’s a GOOD thing.
More About Christa Nichols
So what about me? What do I specialize in? I’m a sales conversion copywriter - I write the words that sell the things. Want to learn more about being a sales conversion copywriter?
Download my FREE 8 Must-Ask Questions For Copy That Connects & Converts PDF Guide. It gives you eight of the questions I ask every client before I ever write a word. These questions are so foundational, and no one ever talks about Question #2!
Have you ever just gotten something SO WRONG that all you can do is laugh?
I have. This week, in fact.
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that we’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks. You’ll also know that while we traveled through the Western states, something special arrived at our farm.
Two pot-bellied pigs.
If you’ve ever seen a pot-bellied pig, you know that they’re really something. And by something, I mean they’re so ugly they’re cute.
These two have it all going on - the smooshy snouts, the hanging bellies, the wiry, bristly hair. And the willingness to eat anything and everything you offer them.
So, of course, we gave them names befitting their appearance. They look like big, bad piggos, so we named them after some big, bad personalities - Hambo and Chunk Norris.
I love it. I’m still laughing at “Chunk Norris”. It’s definitely the pinnacle of my pet naming career. Or so I thought …
A Shocking Discovery
And here’s where it all went wrong. Last night a friend of ours stopped by and asked us a question that stopped me in my tracks.
“So are you going to breed your pigs?” he asked.
“What do you mean? Wait - are they GIRLS?” my husband replied.
Yep. The “minor” detail we had neglected to verify was that Hambo and Chunk Norris are, in fact, female pigs.
I was instantly horrified. We gave our girl pigs boy names! What is the world coming to!?!
Getting Your Audience Right
Of course, Hambo (Hambina?) and Chunk (Chunkita?) Norris could care less. They get back scratches and leftover spaghetti. They’re living their best lives.
It’s not quite the same when it comes to digital marketing and your human audience. Get the target audience wrong, and you’ll know it. How? Well, either the campaigns won’t convert, or you’ll get backlash from the audience you are targeting. Probably both.
Target market research is SO important. It’s more important than just about anything else in marketing, especially when it comes to writing sales copy that converts. If your client doesn’t know who needs their products and services …
… and I mean KNOW know, as in who they are, what they do, and what their needs, desires, and pain points are …
Then they don’t really have an offer - not one that will sell anyway - and you will have a really hard time getting results for them, no matter how good your sales copy is.
Your clients’ products and services exist for someone else, and that someone else will not buy them if they don’t feel your clients understand and relate to them. And the only way you can communicate well with someone else’s target audience is if you put in the time and energy on target market research.
Getting the Job Done
Target market research is a necessary step, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. I do it over and over again for my clients, and I’ve broken it down into a step-by-step process that’s easy to follow, yet very effective.
Want to see it? I have a FREE downloadable cheat sheet that will help you dial in on exactly who your clients’ target markets are so you can serve them well and write sales copy that’s specific to them.
Not Hambo and Chunk Norris.
Click here to download the FREE guide now.
Hi, I'm Christa, an Iowa-based messaging expert specializing in targeted messaging, copywriting, and ghostwriting services. I have one handsome hubby who's my partner in crime (not literally) and two great kids who keep us busy (Track and field! Volleyball! Basketball! All the sports!) Using words to help people promote what they love is my favorite!