Will Wang's business is to get above-average responses to his clients' marketing. What does this mean and how does he achieve it?
James Schramko has brought back one of his favorite guests to explain. Listen and discover what it takes to succeed beyond expectations with your campaigns.
02:02 – More clickthroughs, more opens, more conversions
02:52 – The place you want to start
04:43 – A lot of people doing cold outreach wrong
05:50 – Putting some real thinking behind the template
06:57 – Gauging the market sophistication
08:33 – As the audience gets more savvy…
11:41 – The example of the surfing market
13:03 – An updated strategy applied to the car industry
15:22 – Making advances in targeting
17:30 – Other people are amplifying – what’s your move?
21:48 – The huge importance of data
24:34 – When you’re talking the last level of sophistication
30:14 – More dimension on the emotional aspect
35:31 – The worn-out story people insist on telling
40:37 – Can you actually have too much story?
43:38 – Knowing how your approach is doing
47:31 – Does segmentation make a difference?
Will Wang is no stranger to SuperFastBusiness, having been on the show several times. Among his areas of expertise are copywriting, offer creation, database generation, cold marketing, warm marketing, and marketing for startups. The subject of his latest appearance: how to constantly beat industry averages.
Which averages are those? you might rightfully ask. Clickthroughs, Will says. Email open rates. Conversions. In short, the audience response to your marketing.
The place you want to start
Say you’ve got an offer that converts. You may not have done any advertising, or have just started in the journey of advertising. Or your ads have done okay, but you’d like to get better results.
Tactics aside for the moment, Will goes into the strategic thinking. What will let you position yourself so that you stand out from everyone else in the market? What will convince people that you can help them where your competitors can’t? That’s where you want to start.
“If everybody’s doing it, that should be a massive warning sign.”
Putting some real thinking behind the template
Too many marketers are being generic and fading into the background. They go in with sob stories and false scarcity, and teach others to use their templates without even considering their relevance to the audience. The result is that people look at their stuff and decide, who cares? It doesn’t apply to me.
If you can step back and ask whether your audience would resonate with what you’re saying, you’d be ahead of 90 percent of people in the game. Everyone else is taking the template and taking a shortcut, whereas the real work is in the thinking behind it.
Gauging the market sophistication
Will takes as an example the “make money online” market. If he were to enter the market, he’d look at it and ask, how sophisticated is this market? Meaning, how much marketing have they been exposed to, and what level of marketing do they see day in, day out?
If the market hasn’t really been tapped into much, or it hasn’t been marketed to very heavily, it’s a pretty clean market. At that point, sob stories and long-form copy aren’t really needed. You can simply go in and make a claim, i.e. I’m going to help you make money online. That’s the first level of sophistication.
The next level is where a simple claim no longer does the job. Everyone’s saying, make money online. What you need to do then is amplify your claim. An example of that is going from, make money online, to making it more specific, with a timeline. For example, make $100,000 online in 30 days or less. That’s when you’re taking your claim and putting more weight behind it.
“Get sophisticated before everyone else does in your market or you’re toast.”
Note, says Will, even if you’ve got an unsophisticated market, there’s no harm in skipping step one and going straight to step two. Step two, he says, is typically where they start anyway, just because you do get some better results.
Another example might be the area of homeschooling. In its more unsophisticated stage, you could simply claim, “I’m going to give you a resource that’s going to help make homeschooling easier.” Now with more people homeschooling, it would be more effective to say, “Here’s our three-step process to help you create your homeschool plans in two days or less.”
How do you beat amplification?
The next level of sophistication is where you focus on a unique mechanism, or your USP. This is the thing that makes your product or your service completely different from everyone else’s.
The perfect example of that would be, if you started with the claim of make money online, amplification could be, make 100K online in 30 days or less. The unique mechanism could then be, this unique way of writing copy is going to help you make 100K in 30 days or less. So you’ve got the same claim but now you’re attaching some form of difference to how you make that claim happen.
Will takes his own business, Growth Labz, and identifies their unique mechanism as their being a data-driven, copy-focused direct marketing agency.
Deciphering one’s own USP can be a challenge. How do you come up with the thing that sets you apart? Will suggests looking at case studies, or the times when you’ve done really, really good work. What did you do, specifically, that you haven’t heard of elsewhere and that allowed you to get results for your client?
Or look at your background. Will, like another of our repeat guests, Ilana Wechsler, used to work as a data analyst. Hence the emphasis on data in his business.
The last level of sophistication
Some markets are at the stage when claims and USPs no longer work. They’re so saturated with offers and uniqueness that a whole different element is needed to get attention. The areas of weight loss and fashion are two good examples.
“USP is great, but we need emotions, we need stories.”
When that happens, you have to turn to the emotional side of things. It’s about feeling, stories, branding. In the case of Nike and Adidas, they sponsor athletes. Sports figures and their emotional stories become the brand, the face behind the product.
Story is compelling. It goes beyond logic and cuts through sameness. Take for instance our recent guest, Dan Norris. In Episode 784, he recounts how story and branding got his brewery voted number one in Australia, without a cent of advertising.
Weight loss is a highly sophisticated market in which emotion plays an important marketing role. Will speaks of painting a common enemy, which can mean taking blame off the prospect. They’ve tried everything, bought every package, and are still not happy with how they look. Is it their fault? The savvy marketer can come in and say, “Look, it’s actually not you. Everyone’s feeding you this rubbish information that hasn’t really tackled the root cause of this. Let me show you what actually works.”
Letting a customer off the hook might help them feel more interested in listening to your solution. It gives them that sense of relief that there is actually a way.
You can then relay your own personal story, your own journey, and tell them,”We’re similar. I’ve tried every package. I’ve tried every diet. And it didn’t work for me until I did this one thing.” There are still unique mechanisms in there. But you’re positioning it very differently. You’re positioning with emotion first, and then transitioning to, why you?
And if you don’t have a rags-to-riches story? Call out the fact that you don’t. “I don’t have that kind of backstory for you, because you are more intelligent than that. I’m going to respect you. Here’s what I do have.”
Too much of a good thing?
Story can be overused. If every email you send begins with a story, people will start wanting you to come to the point. Markets have a comfort level and a level of things that they’re used to. If you go too far outside of it, it can seem strange to people, and they’re not likely to take action.
How do you know your approach is working? This is where data comes in. Will and his team look at the numbers, at historically how rates have been trending. When people stay on your email list for a period of time, some emails start working well, and some emails don’t. It’s really about using open rates, clickthroughs, replies, to look at what people are doing against specific types of emails, and tracking that back to what you should send more of.
A tactic used too much can numb your audience or wear them out. You’ll see it with email, and you’ll see it with Netflix. With that in mind, James mixes up even our podcast episodes to include a mix of topics, from SEO to marketing, to fitness, to Japanese business philosophy, to case studies, to solo episodes.
Does segmentation make a difference?
Another way you can beat industry averages is by simply being more relevant. A good way to achieve this is by segmentation. Depending on user response, what channel you’re on, or how far the prospect is in your marketing, you can deliver different emails, different messaging. You can have branches and sub branches in your marketing, depending on user actions.
If a reader feels like, ‘Hey, you’re referencing something based on my actions, you’re actually caring about what I do and what I see,’ that’s going to get you better open rates and better engagement.
At Growth Labz, Will and his team actually sit down with prospective clients and map out the customer’s journey. They take into account the business goals, versus the market, versus the assets they’ve got, and literally plan out, if they could go and get the perfect customer, what would be the process to do that?
Summing it up
Will ends with the takeaway that you’ve always got to be innovating. If you’re operating above where your market sophistication is, pretty soon the market is going to come up to where you are, and you’ve got to always be one step ahead. It’s about constant innovation, testing, using numbers to direct where your tests are going, but also understanding from a psychological perspective what your audience wants, and also what they’re experiencing.
Access the lead generation skills of Will and his team at GrowthLabz.com
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