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Ep. 27 - Using Humor to Add Punch to Your Copy with Lianna Patch

Today’s guest, Lianna Patch, is a conversion copywriter at Punchline Copy and a comedian. She’s written copy for Freshbooks, Manly Bands, GhostBed, The Contract Shop, and more, and regularly speaks at ecommerce and software conferences all over the world. Her work has been featured by Copy Hackers, HubSpot, Conversio, Autopilot, BigCommerce, ConversionXL, and lots more.

We’ve talked about copywriting on the show before, so you know how important it is. Lianna uses her interest in copy as well as stand-up comedy to get better conversion results. She shares how you can use a little humor in your copy to increase your brand’s likeability and increase sales conversions.

To learn more, visit: https://electriceye.io/podcast

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Transcript:

Annette Grant

Welcome to Honest eCommerce where we are dedicated to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners.

 

Chase Clymer

I'm your host, Chase Clymer

 

Annette Grant

And I'm your host, Annette Grant.

 

Chase Clymer

And we believe running an online business does not have to be complicated or a guessing game.

 

Annette Grant

If you're struggling to scale your sales, Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us. visit electriceye.io/connect to learn more.

 

Chase Clymer

And let's get on with the show.

 

Annette Grant

On today's episode of Honest eCommerce, we welcome Lianna Patch from Punchline Copy. She's a conversion copywriter and comedian whose greatest dream is to make your customers pause, smile and click.

 

Chase Clymer

Alrighty, welcome back. Here is yet another episode of Honest eCommerce. I was actually looking at our stats earlier today and we're catching up on Kurt Elster. He just got a million downloads and we've got like 3000. So, we're doing good.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. Watch yourself, Kurt. We're coming for you. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, we're coming for you, Kurt. (laughs) So with that being said, I'm welcomed by Annette across the table from me.

 

Annette Grant

What's up, everybody?

 

Chase Clymer

And across America from us, --I guess that's technically across America-- Today, we welcome to the show, Lianna from Punchline Copy. Lianna is a professional conversion copywriter and a comedian, so we'll see what we can get out of her today. Welcome to the show. How're you doing?

 

Lianna Patch

I'm good. Thanks for having me. Thanks for the no-pressure intro to be funny.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs).

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, no. Now, you have to give us a knock-knock joke and it has to be related to Shopify or we're just going to cancel this thing.

 

Annette Grant

Oh, yeah. We should have had one teed up.

 

Lianna Patch

Okay. I'll come up with one by the end.

 

Chase Clymer

Okay, well, we'll see if I remember that.

 

Lianna Patch

I will not. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

No, no, no. It's perfectly fine. It's cool. So, copywriting. We've got a few copywriters on the show and I can't explain how important copywriting is, to our listeners. There is just... You can't describe your products well enough on your website.

 

You can't describe your services well enough. Whatever you're doing, just writing a copy that appeals to the senses, appeals to your customer avatars is so important so anytime that a copywriter wants to jump on here, we're always super excited about it.

 

So let's get into it. Let's talk about eCommerce copywriting.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

What brought you to be Punchline Copy today? What's your tall tale in five minutes?

 

Lianna Patch

Well, I have this deep-seated need for validation. So, I was doing stand up, as you do, when you feel empty inside. And that was a few years ago. And I was... I've been copywriting for probably 7 years at that point and I was just like, "I wish I could combine these 2 things that I enjoy: Stand up, and also improv, and things that make me money."

 

And then basically, a couple of people were like, "Well, why couldn't you?" And I was like, "Oh my god, I have permission now."

 

So that's when I rebranded and I started focusing on humor copy and I specifically work with eCommerce and software clients because A, they're the coolest people and B, they're the ones who are the most focused on ROI of copy.

 

So, I always want to make sure that people are spending money where it makes sense and not just throwing thousands of dollars away in copy that doesn't convert, so being able to track those conversions works out well for all of us.

 

Chase Clymer

Okay, I got to know. How do you track your ROI from your copy? I'm curious about that. What do I do? Do I do in Google Analytics?

 

Lianna Patch

Well, if you are running a store and you're running a test or if you have a testing program where you're like, "Okay, I'm fixing all my technical issues, I'm doing qualitative research so I know what messages I need to say, and I'm swiping those messages --and that's part of what conversion copywriting is.

 

That messaging research--" Then you're probably like, "Alright, I've identified that the copy on this page is an opportunity or it's not performing as well as it could. Let's try some new copy and see how the conversion rates change."

 

Annette Grant

Do you test your copy? Like one with comedy and then without to see which converts better? Or is all of its comedy now?

 

Lianna Patch

I have in the past. It's hard to find clients with that much traffic who are like, "Let's split test between the control and the original. The straight version and the funny version."

 

Annette Grant

Okay.

 

Lianna Patch

I have tested in the past though. And in the 2 or 3 cases that we did that, the funny version won.

 

Annette Grant

Love it. I love that.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. Essentially, its traditional split testing with the copy So, how deep are you getting with this? Are you just testing subject lines on like a... Not subject line, I'm sorry. But a product title, or are you testing the product copy, the call-to-actions. Are you doing them all at once or are you doing them one at a time? What's that process look like?

 

Lianna Patch

Usually, if I'm working on a product page, I'll evaluate the whole thing. So things will usually start with a heuristic audit, and I'll do a screen share video and I'll say, "As a visitor to the site, knowing nothing about the analytics, it's very hard for me to see this button." Or "This link is broken." Or "I'd like to be able to zoom in on the product images and I can't."

 

All of these are potential opportunities to improve conversions. And then I'll say, "Also this copy, it doesn't tell me much about the materials. I might want to know, where were these diamonds mined? Or who made this shirt? Or what does the material feel like on my skin? Or whatever it is."

 

So I come at it from this whole hog perspective and then when I deliver the final copy, I'll give those heuristic and UX feedback points along with the new copy. And often when I rewrite copy, it ends up being longer than the original.

 

And I think there's some resistance to that, because like "All people just want to get in there and buy." But there's evidence to show that if you give the information people need, they will read it.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, I think that the long-form sales letter is tried and true. It still works. I mean, half of the great marketing books were written as long-form sales letters at the beginning,

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. And sometimes, you just have to get out of people's way and that's where short copy comes in handy. If you have a low dollar item and it's like an impulse purchase, --like 15 bucks or below or something like that-- maybe you don't need a long, educational copy.

 

But if you have a more complicated item or something that's $2000, you probably going to need to give a little bit more context and assuage some more objections.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. Without a doubt. I think that with the larger purchase prices, --more luxury items. Items that you probably only got to buy one of and never replace-- those are going to be a longer buying cycle so you're going to need to do as much education as you can.

 

And so if your copy is lacking, and then --to follow up with that-- your retargeting is trash, you are just leaving money on the table.

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) Yeah. And money should be, I don't know, in your fancy pockets or, I don't know...

 

Chase Clymer

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

...gambling table or heirloom purse. These are all objects that don't exist. But I'm picking them up.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. So beyond just on-page copywriting, I see here that you're also helping people out with their emails. And, I'm assuming that you're also helping them with split testing those subject lines within these automations as well. So give me a little more context into how you're helping with these emails.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. So I think that I'm taking more of a software onboarding approach when it comes to eCommerce emails. I think there's a much bigger opportunity than most stores realize, to usher people into the fold, introduce them to the brand, and generate real good feelings and start building a relationship before you just start hammering them with sales offers.

 

So, for instance, I wrote a welcome series for a coffee retailer. They sell whole bean coffee out of London and if you sign up for your 10% off coupon, you get this five email series that's like, "How should I pick a roast? What's the difference between all these kinds of themes? How do I avoid destroying my expensive coffee while I'm brewing it?"

 

And from that series, let me look up that stat because we ended up seeing an uptick in both first-time purchases and repeat customers after we implemented that series.

 

(Cat meows in the background)

 

My cat is like, "It's true. It really happened."

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) The cat's validating the statistics, the analytics here?

 

Lianna Patch

He's in here. Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

I always ask my pets if I did a good split test.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) So like, "Split test this!"

 

Annette Grant

Chase has no pets. So...

 

Chase Clymer

I'm referring to my roommate, Aushie. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Oh. Okay. (laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Oh, wait. (laughs) I hope he doesn't listen to this. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Uh, you know what, here's the thing. He is going to rework our intro music...

 

Annette Grant

Oh!

 

Chase Clymer

...so maybe he'll hear this one. (laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. So, the number in your welcome series, is that an arbitrary number? Would you say there's a minimum people need to have? A maximum?

 

I'm assuming with a welcome series and with everything else within the business --especially when it comes to copywriting and marketing general-- it should all be tested. But do you have any insights for people that don't have a welcome series and what they should really consider?

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. I mean, it should be mapped to what they need to know to feel comfortable buying from you. So maybe, that's just a single email and you can get everything that they might need to know in that email.

 

Or maybe you want to spread it out and take a little slower and say, "Here's more about our company. Here's more about the materials we use. Here's some social proof from other buyers and reviewers." When in doubt, I think you can lengthen that series instead of pushing right upfront.

 

But a rule of thumb that I like to use is a sales email every 3 emails or so. So try to give value 3 emails in a row, and then you can go for the sale.

 

Annette Grant

That's great advice. So you said every three, is that correct?

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

Okay.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. And you'll see people, sell more aggressively and less aggressively and it's whatever you've conditioned people to expect.

 

Annette Grant

Sure.

 

Chase Clymer

And so beyond the welcome series automations, what are your suggestions when it comes to campaigns? Because I feel like that's a big pain point with some of our clients. We're big proponents over here of automated email marketing and we see that...

 

We'll set these campaigns up for our clients and then we'll see that the automation campaigns we have set up. But then whatever cadence they want to work on, be it weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, those seem to not have much strategy behind it.

 

So what would you say are the best practices there or just things to consider on making sure that your campaigns have as much thought put into them as the welcome series probably has?

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. I like a quarterly approach like a loose theme, per quarter. What are we going to talk about this quarter and then however often we're sending --whether it's monthly or weekly-- how does that tie-in? So you can give people a sense of what to expect and what to look forward to from you.

 

Chase Clymer

Almost (like) telling a story.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. I don't think it has to be much more complicated than that. If you're running super complex promotions, then maybe you want to get a little more granular with your campaign planning.

 

But I think, evaluating the effectiveness of any campaign before you send it, you just have to be ruthless. Like, "How is this going to matter to the reader? Who is going to care about this?" And if you can't clearly answer that question, you probably don't need to send a campaign.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. That's my question. Is there ever a time --even if you're trying to stay on a cadence-- you just say, "You know what, it's actually going to be... It's not going to be for us to send out this email blast."

 

I feel like that sometimes we're just... (Even me) myself I'm just like, "Oh, we need to send out an email blast and just make something up." And it just doesn't make sense. Is there ever a time it could be more harmful than helpful?

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. And I don't think you'll get a ton of people writing back and being like, "Objectively, you really didn't need to send this."

 

Annette Grant

Right.

 

Lianna Patch

"I'm going to unsubscribe now." They'll probably just unsubscribe and you won't get that feedback or know why. But yeah, no one's ever going to get mad at you for not emailing as often.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. I just think I'm tired of receiving emails. So I think that's where it gets... I'm worn down from receiving them. So then I think too much about sending them.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. That's I think... With humor, we get away with a little bit more because if people are used to receiving funny things from you, they're much more likely to cut you some slack even when you're not at your best. Whether that's sending on a cadence or sending something particularly funny.

 

Annette Grant

I like that.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. When in doubt, if you're sending an email, make sure you're sending value. And that's why I'm so particular about our content strategy at Electric Eye. We're producing stuff weekly...

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

...because I don't want to have to think on my feet and write an email. I can just talk about what we made that week.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. Yeah, and that's what people care about. And I think sometimes when you're in that position of like, "Oh, God, I don't know what to write about. Should I write something?" That pressure can sometimes back you into a really fun corner and you end up writing something that does well.

 

It's like when you send a one-off tweet without thinking about it and then suddenly your most popular tweet for no particular reason, except that it was casual and you put too much thought into it.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. So, getting back to that cadence. Have you got any clients that are sending daily emails and seeing super results and then backing it up from there? Clients that are always sending an email maybe once a quarter? What should I do as a new store owner? This all just sounds overwhelming.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. I say, get your automation sequences set up first because those are the ones that are going to keep working for you. And then figure out how much time you actually have. If you're writing it or if you're marketing directors writing it, how much time you have to put together something meaningful?

 

And don't push it. Don't do more than that. And I should say that I mostly work in the automation campaign space. I'm not doing a lot of one-off emails. I think I have one client that sends... It used to be a weekly newsletter and now it's a monthly newsletter. And that's something that their people have come to expect from them. And it's a monthly roundup of stormwater compliance news. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Okay.

 

Lianna Patch

(It's) the client that I always talk about. The last people you would expect to have a funny email newsletter, but they do because they know that their space is so boring. They're like, "We have to make this interesting and fun for people."

 

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Annette Grant

So, the other automated emails then. You have the Welcome. What are your other non-negotiable(s) that you would set up for a client?

 

Lianna Patch

Abandoned cart, obviously.

 

Chase Clymer

Mm-hmm.

 

Lianna Patch

And usually, I try to go for 3 of those. So, usually one within the hour that the cart has been abandoned.

 

Annette Grant

Oh, really?

 

Lianna Patch

One in about six hours. Yeah. And, one within 24 (hours) You can stretch it out to maybe the first one's within 6 hours, the second one's within 24 (hours), and the third one's within 48 (hours).

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. We do...

 

Lianna Patch

If people lose that, buyers intend to probably not coming back.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, we do one in 23 (hours), at least.

 

Lianna Patch

Okay. Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

I feel like you could probably infuse a lot of humor on the abandoned carts. Do you have any examples you could give us?

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) So much. I think some of it’s getting played out now. There was... It's like that Derek Siver’s CD Baby email for the order confirmation where it's like, "The whole office exploded in celebration." And now that's more common than you would expect.

 

I think a similar thing has happened with the abandoned cart emails where it's like, "Oh, the thing in your cart is sad that you left it behind."

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

But maybe that's just me being super entrenched in email because I still like to write those kinds of things. And I did a spin on that recently for a client who sells sprinkler parts and other landscaping supplies.

 

And it was like... What was it? I'm sitting in front of my laptop, so I'm gonna look it up. I can't remember what I named the guy, but it was like, "Oh this guy, Stuart, in our office was super excited because you had this great cart..."

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

"...and then you just left. Now he's crying under his desk. Please. We want to go home. Help us get Stuart out." Or whatever it is.

 

Annette Grant

That's good. Awesome.

 

Lianna Patch

That's not what sprinkler customers are expecting.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah, no. That's great. Okay, so we've got Welcome, we've got Abandoned Cart, --you recommend three--

 

Lianna Patch

Mm-hmm. Yes.

 

Annette Grant

What's your other automated email?

 

Lianna Patch

Post-purchase Win-back. So obviously, if you have a recurring product like coffee, you'll know when they're going to run out. If they buy a pound of coffee, probably you're going to send them, "Hey, do you want to buy another pound?" within two weeks.

 

But even if it's a one-off product, you can send something sooner that says, "Hey, we also have these other products that people like, or that go with the thing you bought, or by the way, we have these popular materials or whatever it is that people tend to buy."

 

And because once they bought from you once, obviously, they're more likely to come back and buy again. And just by sending that Win-back sequence, you can shorten the time between orders.

 

And I think people tend to just... They send that welcome sequence, they maybe send the abandoned carts, they get that first order, and then they roll people into their regular cadence of one-off emails.

 

Annette Grant

Right.

 

Lianna Patch

And they don't think about like, "What could we automate to bring them back sooner and shorten the time between orders?"

 

Annette Grant

Do you recommend some sort of offer in the Win-back with a coupon? Or is it just an email to alert (or) let them know that you're still there?

 

Lianna Patch

That coupon is really effective.

 

Annette Grant

Okay.

 

Lianna Patch

Obviously, you don't want to condition people to expect discounts every time they buy from you, because then they're going to become not great customers.

 

But yeah, to get them back sooner, especially if it's something that they might need another of, that can be super effective.

 

Annette Grant

And I think... I've really been paying attention lately, too. We're also hungry to get new customers and forget about the people that I've already spent money.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

And it's like, they've already... We've already delivered to them. They've already spent their hard-earned money with them. So why wouldn't we incentivize them, especially if they've bought a full price item? I think that win-back is...

 

You could probably even set something up automated that way. Anybody that bought something full price, offer them a discount, just as like, "Hey, thanks for trusting us with your cash, the first time around."

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. I also really like both in the Welcome sequence and in that Win-back sequence, sort of a passive research gathering email. So like, "Tell us more about you so we can segment you more effectively, or tell us --not like leave a review of this product-- what were you looking for when you started shopping for wool tennis shoes or whatever it is?"

 

And then that passive data collection doesn't cost you anything, but after about 200 to 250 responses, you might have insight into what needs to be in your product description or what needs to be in your welcome sequence to encourage more purchases.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. Data is all-powerful. And then I think that with the automations, you just got to take a step back and realize that what you're sending (to) these people is so much more targeted and in-line with what they're actually looking to do on your website. It's such a better marketing match than the shotgun email blast...

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

...where they're trying to get everybody with the same message. It's like, "Hey..." The perfect sample is like, "This was in your cart. Here's the thing you were looking at. Do you want this thing?" That's such a targeted message. And then even Post-purchase, like "You bought this thing, leave us a review about this thing." So...

 

Lianna Patch

Mm-hmm.

 

Chase Clymer

When you get it so niched down to exactly what these people are looking at and interacting on your site, you get way higher response rates.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah, for sure. There's some crazy stat out there that's like segmented emails generate 38% more engagement or something like that from opens, and clicks, and purchases..

 

Chase Clymer

Yep. And then just taking that a step further. --just doubling down and what you said earlier-- absolutely set all these animations up first, because they're going to make you way more money than your email blast.

 

Lianna Patch

mm-hmm. And I think we sort of... We touched on some of the emails that people aren't really sending that they could, and that was the "must-haves". Like the Welcome sequence and the Win-back and the Abandoned Cart.

 

But I'm starting to see some of these startup brands, especially in the apparel space, do some really interesting stuff. Are you guys familiar with Outdoor Voices?

 

Annette Grant

Yes,

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. They sent this email... A friend of mine ordered leggings from them, and they sent her an email that was like, "Hey, we're going to get these leggings. And they're going to be really tight. And they're supposed to be tight. And here's why. They're going to loosen up a little bit, but the fabrics that we use is a little tight at first, just so you know.”

 

“And if anything... If they do end up being too tight, don't worry. You can return them, but we're just giving you a heads up." I'm thinking of that as the "pre-order receipt objection reducer." So, I can't imagine how many returns that's cut down on.

 

Chase Clymer

Oh. So many.

 

Lianna Patch

It prepped people to know what to expect. Yeah. Insane. I've never seen any eCommerce brands do that proactively.

 

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Chase Clymer

So, one time, I did Smile Direct Club. I got the braces or whatnot. But they were so new when it was coming out and I was enthralled by their marketing and I was like, "I've always hated this little gap that..." Whatever. I did it right

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

But they were just building up their automations. And it was like, I purchased this thing and then silence for three weeks.

 

Lianna Patch

Oh...

 

Chase Clymer

I was like, "That was not cheap. (laughs) What's going on with my money?" So, if you have a product like that, where it's expensive and it takes a while to... It's a custom product or something (to where) I gotta go (and) customize this part for you.

 

But you gotta keep the clients in the know after that. I'm sure that they fixed that by now. But, I remember that when I was like, "What the hell's going on?"

 

Annette Grant

Right. Silence but it's right after you've given them money. Right. For sure.

 

Chase Clymer

Right.

 

Lianna Patch

I thought I bought from Smile Direct, not Smile Indirect.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Ugh.

 

Chase Clymer

Oh, yeah.

 

Lianna Patch

Sorry.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

So things to consider. If you know that there's a particular set of products in your store that need a longer lead time, you should set up automations like, "Hey, we got your order. It takes about a week for this to get pushed out the door. We're going to keep you informed, you're going to get that..."

 

The more information you give someone about something they've exchanged money and value for, they're gonna... No ones gonna complain that you sent them too many emails about...

 

Annette Grant

Communicating. Right.

 

Lianna Patch

About the thing they already bought. Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. (Lianna and Chase)

 

Annette Grant

Exactly.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. And how can you use that time to get them even more amped about the thing that they bought? Like, "We're making this just for you..."

 

A client of mine, Manly Bands, they sell wedding rings. And they do custom rings and that obviously takes a longer lead time. And we've talked about for them like, "Sending the order confirmation, here's what to expect. Here's how people are going to start making your ring."

 

And then over the course of the next 4 weeks, saying a little bit more about the actual ring smelting process, and the stamping, and carving, and jewel setting, and where the jewelers come from and their experience, and that kind of stuff."

 

So, that by the time they actually have the ring in their hands, they're like "I know everything about this. I've been waiting for weeks to get it and I'm so excited." Instead of just saying like, "It's almost done. It's almost there."

 

Chase Clymer

Yep. It's almost like a secondary welcome series. But by the time they get their custom-made ring, you've created a brand evangelist out of this guy who's (maybe) a nerd and is probably like, "This is cool stuff. I'm learning about this ring."

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. And you're reinforcing that it was a good idea to drop thousands of dollars on this ring.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. But to go back to some of these other automations that you can set up and maybe some like the easier ones that I see, the one low hanging fruit... I hate that term.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) I hate fruit in general. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

I do hate fruit in general. But that's a whole different topic.

 

Annette Grant

He really does. (laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Really? (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Oh my god. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

I'm a carnivore. Meat and potatoes kind of guy over here.

 

Annette Grant

Meat and potatoes kind of guy for sure. Oh my god. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

But here's something... Birthday email. It's so easy to set that up. It's one piece of data and half the time you get it during checkout.

 

Send somebody a discount code during their birthday, or just wish them a happy birthday if you don't do discounts with your brand. That's just an easy automation setup that half the people don't do it.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. Or if they do it, they use the default copy that comes in either Shopify or Klaviyo or both that's like, "Congratulations, full name. It is your birthday..."

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

"...on this date, insert date. Here is a candle graphic. Good job being born." And you're just like, "This is horrible." The kind of thing you get from your dentist or your vet on your pet's birthday. That's either thing that you hate. Fruit and animals. Wow.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Broad categories of things to hate. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

I'm just cutting out half of it.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) Oh, yeah, just cut all that. The other thing that I've seen with the birthday emails that I thought was super slick, is sending a birthday email on your brand's birthday.

 

Annette Grant

Ooh!

 

Lianna Patch

It's another opportunity to reach out and be like, "Hey, we've got an excuse to celebrate. We started this business 4 years ago on this day and that's why we're doing a 15% off sale."

 

Annette Grant

That is cool.

 

Chase Clymer

That's a fantastic idea. Never heard of that.

 

Annette Grant

And then it just gives you time, especially, to tell your brand's story again. Maybe, include some interesting facts.

 

Chase Clymer

Here's one that I'm doing right now. So, I work with a local tattoo shop here in Columbus, and they're sending emails on the tattoo's birthday.

 

Annette Grant

Ooh!

 

Chase Clymer

They're like, "This thing is 6-months-old now. It's probably perfectly healed. We'd love if you send us a picture of it."

 

Lianna Patch

Oh, so smart.

 

Annette Grant

That is very smart.

 

Lianna Patch

Solves a huge problem for tattoo artists.

 

Annette Grant

Was that your idea?

 

Chase Clymer

Oh, yeah. That was my idea.

 

Annette Grant

Oh, look at him.

 

Lianna Patch

Nice.

 

Annette Grant

He's got a good idea.

 

Chase Clymer

Well, I worked there for five years before I became this eCommerce expert. That's my backstory.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) His back tattoo's story.

 

Chase Clymer

Oh, that's a whole another story.

 

Lianna Patch

Is it a phoenix? Like Ben Affleck?

 

Annette Grant

Oh, wait, he has a back tattoo? Ben Affleck?

 

Lianna Patch

Oh. Did y'all not see these photos. It was like, Ben Affleck. Jennifer Garner divorced him, his life fell apart, and then he got a giant, phoenix back tattoo.

 

Annette Grant

Oh. I'm gonna have to do some Google images after this.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. Annette's got two things to research: automated emails and back tattoos.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) I'm a busy girl.

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) Some data collection agency somewhere wants that.

 

Annette Grant

Okay, so I like those ideas. The brand birthday and then a post-purchase...

 

Chase Clymer

The product birthday... I mean, you can even just go back to eCommerce with it. If you've got a product that fails over time, something a little more reusable... We have a client that is... They have a towel. It's a sports towel for going to the gym, going to yoga, whatever. That thing is gross after six months. But they don't want to put that in their copy.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs) Right.

 

Chase Clymer

They're like, "If you work out every day, you've probably washed this thing 72 times and it's not made out of diamond so it's probably a little rough. Do you want a discount code for a new one?"

 

Annette Grant

Oh!

 

Lianna Patch

Nice. Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

Okay. Anticipating the customer's needs there.

 

Chase Clymer

Yup.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. And you can do the same thing with things that maybe don't completely depreciate but needs care. So these shoes that have been making the rounds, Rothy's --I'm actually wearing a pair right now-- why not send an email three months after that’s like, "Hey, you've been wearing these around. Remember, they're washable, It's been three months, you might need to throw them in the wash. Here's how to do that again."

 

Annette Grant

Very cool. I didn't know that was possible.

 

Chase Clymer

I know how to use a washing machine, so...

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) Buys new clothes every time. I want to chat just... I know it's not really like a founder story episode. But I do want to ask really quick when the merging of your passion for comedy and copywriting...

 

You said you needed validation on that, but how does that work for you? Because we always want to encourage any of our listeners to really go after --even if it's something that's not in the marketplace yet-- they can be a trendsetter.

 

Do you find other people that are copywriting like you or other comedians that are trying to find like find their ground as artists and actually make money in a different arena?

 

Lianna Patch

I actually just had an issue with somebody sort of swiping some of my branding.

 

Annette Grant

Ooh!

 

Lianna Patch

So, there are copywriters out there. There are some other copywriters who use humor and they are fantastic. So it's... I'm not the only one by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Chase Clymer

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but go get your own.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah, but plagiarism, maybe not super flattering.

 

Chase Clymer

I mean, I looked up to a few people in the eCommerce space as we started to get more and more niched down into this, as we were growing the agency and growing our business. I started meeting these people out, and just becoming their friends and then slowly telling them, "Yeah, I ripped this off one time. Sorry."

 

Lianna Patch

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

We call it swiping. Yes. Swiping. Swipe that from you.

 

Lianna Patch

It's like the spirit of the thing. Maybe not the actual word.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. It's not verbatim. Exactly.

 

Chase Clymer

Oh, yeah. I mean, I had gotten trouble once for using a photo I didn't have the rights to. This was 10-15 years ago, and I had to pay money for it.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. I think there's room for everybody because we all have different takes on humor and copy. My thing is like, how do we connect it with conversions?

 

How do we use it strategically to build relationships? And even within that, the types of projects that I like doing and the sense of humor that I have are going to be different from other "humor copywriters" out there. I think there's room to play.

 

Annette Grant

And I like... Just your two examples that you've used. The stormwater, I believe and then gardening equipment. I think that's what I was wondering when we were first getting ready to interview you. What brands, --I don't want to say are allowed to use humor-- but which ones does it work for? You kind of blew me away with those two. So I like that. Really switching it up. And if you have a boring product, maybe it's the perfect time to bring something like that.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah, for sure. And that's the question that I get all the time from people in the B2B space. They're like, "Well, I'm not allowed to because people expect me to be super formal and corporate."

 

And I'm like, "Well, what if you tried not being that way and maybe introduce it slower in a lower pressure scenario. So maybe not introducing humor for the first time in you're like sales closing emails, but maybe in like, click-trigger copy underneath your buttons on your website or in an email after someone's been on your list for a year or something like that. Just starting slow and a little bit cautiously."

 

eCommerce people tend to go straight for the humor and be the most willing to do absurd stuff. But that said, I just worked for a financial services planning firm in Australia, writing some client onboarding email. S

 

o they will have interactions with these people in person. They'll come in. They'll sign a bunch of forms, and this firm will start working with them on wealth planning and management. And they really wanted to make their clients feel special, even when they weren't in the office with them. So, we wrote this very short, but spaced-out, 6-month

 

drip campaign that first asks them like, "Hey, what's your favorite beverage?" And then it sends them an email from this stock photo --that the marketing director found-- that's a goldfish with a shark fin strapped on it. And it's their unofficial mascot. And they call it "Fish Shark."

 

So I wrote an email from Fish Shark that was like, "Hello. It me. Fish Shark. Escape from tank. Want to write you and ask you how do. Oh, wait! Have to go. Here cleaning lady."

 

Just something bizarre that they wouldn't expect from their financial services firm. And they were like, "This is us. This is still us." I included a GIF of somebody on a rugby team slapping someone else's butt and they highlighted (it). They were like, "This is our company culture."

 

Chase Clymer

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Oh my gosh, that's amazing. (laughs)

 

It happens where you wouldn't expect it, you know?

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. I mean, it goes back to... Most people that are building an eCommerce company, they want the freedom of doing whatever the heck they want. That's why we do this business. Who says you can't write copy however you want it?

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

Who said you can't inject humor? I think that's fantastic. And I'm going to take a page out of, Lianna's book over here and try to make it look... Be more funnies.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah. Just have more fun. Because if you're having fun --as long as you're not being incredibly offensive-- most people are probably having fun with you.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. Awesome. So if people enjoy you and your brand of humor, where can they find out more about you?

 

Lianna Patch

They can find me at punchlinecopy.com and snapcopy.co where we are not outwardly funny. And then I also share way too much about my life on Twitter @punchlinecopy.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. Awesome. So you brought up before the show that you've got a product page copywriting service called The Contender.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

How would I be a good fit for that? What kind of client do you think would benefit from that?

 

Lianna Patch

So if you have identified that copy is an opportunity on your product page, and you... Maybe you have the manufacturer's copy there and the page isn't converting as much as you want or the copy is stale, or you just know that it's not giving enough information on the product, you'd probably be a good fit.

 

And it's essentially an audit of the current product page, both from the design, and UX, and copy perspectives, and then rewritten copy that's much more focused around customer research that you provide, and benefits and future pacing, like, "Imagine how great your life will be with this product, but not in a gross way."

 

Chase Clymer

Ooh. That's gonna be my term of the week now. Future pacing.

 

Lianna Patch

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

It also is my band name now, so don't take it.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Lianna Patch

Oh, that's... I'm sensing something like Death Cab for Cutie.

 

Chase Clymer

Yes. Awesome. (laughs) So, thank you so much for joining us today. Is there anything else that you want to leave our audience with?

 

Lianna Patch

If you're scared to try humor, just roll it out in one small place, preferably where you can test its effect and then follow up and ask people "Hey, what did you think about that? Did you enjoy it?" Because I'll bet that they'll say, yes.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. Thank you so much.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah, thank you!

 

Lianna Patch

Thank you, guys.

 

Chase Clymer

We can't thank our guests enough for coming on the show and sharing the truth. links and more will be available in the show notes. If you found any actionable advice in this podcast that you'd like to apply to your business, please reach out at electriceye.io/connect.

 

Annette Grant

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