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Derek Johanson

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July 31, 2019

Friday Copy Over Coffee #78: How To Write Ads For Clothing Products on Taboola

July 31, 2019 | By | No Comments

Derek golfing

I drained this shot for an eagle… joking.

Last Sunday I was accused of stealing and called a “lying son of a bitch” by an employee at a golf course.

It was a shocking experience.

Before pushing off for a relaxing round, I was hitting some balls on the practice range.

I had about 7 range balls left in my bucket and I wanted to go do some chipping.

So I walked back to my cart with the range balls to grab a different club.

John, the employee in question, rushed over to me and said, “I can’t let you take those range balls.”

A bit taken aback I replied, “I know. I’m going to chip over there.”

John says, “That’s the 18th green.”

I looked at him blankly.

“Uh, not there. On the chipping green.”

He said, “Oh, okay. Go ahead.”

It was a strange interaction but I shook it off and made my way to the chipping green.

Then my friend comes over and says, “That guy just called you a ‘lying son of a bitch’ and said, ‘I know he’s trying to steal those balls’ in front of about 15 other golfers using the range.”

Thankfully my buddy immediately called John out and told him I wasn’t trying to steal the balls.

(FYI: range balls are terrible balls that you’d never want to use for anything other than practice. I’d estimate their combined value to be under $2.)

I was rattled and pissed off by the accusation…

By the time I returned to the range John had snuck away and seemed to be hiding himself after getting called out by my friend.

In year’s past, I would have freaked out and let this guy completely ruin my day.

I’d have complained to the GM and requested compensation of some form. I’d have spent hours scouring reviews looking for confirmation that the course employees were assholes. I’d have signed up for a Yelp account just to leave a bad review and shit on the staff.

And you know what, I’d be justified in doing all those things.

But here’s the thing…

When you make the leap from full-time employee to business owner or freelancer… your time is suddenly freed.

You really can spend your hours doing what you please.

Which is good and bad.

I could probably spend a few hours and get John fired (which he honestly should be).

But instead I’m going to spend a few hours reflecting on the experience and writing about it.

I’m going to identify why his words triggered me so much.

I know I wasn’t going to steal the golf balls. What do I care if John tried to embarrass me in front of ~15 other people I’ll never meet again? What do I care about what John thinks at all?

So that’s where I’ll spend my time.

Reflection.

And then that time will be worth a heck of lot more than a free round of golf or even a little bit of revenge.

Anyway, join the CopyHour Facebook group and watch some videos on copy. That’s a good use of time. 🙂 Also, signup for a free 5-part copywriting training course.

Good Ad

Tecovas has spent ~$221K in the last 44 days on ads like this via the Taboola content network.

tecovas ad

If you’ve been a reader for awhile I’m sure this looks familiar.

This campaign is practically a carbon of a Mack Weldon campaign. Here’s the landing page.

mack weldon ad

This is a concept I’ve discussed when it comes to finding “big ideas” for ad campaigns.

The big idea here is, “Lots of people are switching to this new/innovative product, here’s why…”

Why does this idea work?

1. Social proof. “Thousands are switching…”.

Social proof is a powerful form of proof. And it makes people pay attention. Even though the social proof here is WEAK – it’s unspecific and unsubstantiated – it still works because social proof is that powerful.

2. “New”. New is often touted as the most powerful word in marketing. That’s probably true. New is news. It’s different. Different is interesting and grabs attention.

3. “Here’s why”. This sentence provides a hint that the other side of the click will be “content” not just an ecommerce sales page. Taboola is a content network. Your ads and campaigns should match the medium.

I use Adbeat to find ads and do competitive research.

Product, App, Book or Website I’m Loving:

[BOOK] The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

I’m in the process of developing a few new products and this book has been invaluable.

“This book shows you how customer conversations go wrong and how you can do better.”

How to Make Great Tasting Coffee

1. Get yourself a good bag of beans with a roast date on it. General advice that’s not a rule: coffee typically tastes better if consumed within 5-10 days of its roast date.

2. Buy a grinder and grind the beans yourself right before you brew a cup. It only takes a few seconds.

3. Brew your coffee with a Chemex* or Aeropress*. Kuerig’s suck at making coffee and they suck for the environment.

4. Water matters: You’re not gunna believe me until you try it – good filtered water will make your coffee taste better (and it might save your life). I use Ian Stanley’s old company: Fixt filtered water pitchers.

5. Temperature matters too. I brew most cups at ~183 degrees. I use Ovalware’s Pour Over Kettle*.

(*Some links on this page are affiliate links. If you purchase anything I will make a small affiliate commission. These commissions are definitely not large enough to factor into my decision to recommend them. I only promote things I use and believe in.)

Derek Johanson

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December 12, 2018

Friday Copy Over Coffee #77: How To Write Ads For New Physical Products on Taboola

December 12, 2018 | By | No Comments

Can you name this bearded businessman?

Can you name this bearded businessman?

I like to give my wife advice.

And she loves getting my advice.

Just f-ing kidding.

She hates it.

This past weekend, a man who’s name you might recognize from the CopyHour world… Rob Hanly, came to visit us here in San Diego.

Over some delicious Rob-made margaritas (pictured above) we got to talking about business.

Rob and my wife discussed some of the challenges she’s facing with her business.

And because Rob does it for a living, he gave her some solid insight and advice.

I sat back, a smug look upon my face (or maybe it was the tequila).

“Does any of this sound familiar?” I thought.

My wife knew what I was thinking.

She said, “I know you’ve told me some of this before. I just need to hear it from someone else sometimes.”

And there you have it: a sales and marketing lesson.

Word of mouth is the most powerful sales channel.

Testimonials and reviews are the second most powerful.

Not giving you advice or anything, but Rob said you should join the CopyHour Facebook group. He also said you should, signup for a free 5-part copywriting training course.

Okay Ad

LeafFilterGuards.com has spent an estimated $157.2K in the last 230 days running ads like this via the Taboola content network.

I think this ad could be better. Let’s take a look.

First, this ad is being shown on the content networks. It looks and reads like an ad. Best practices are to have your ad look, read, and feel like content. Like a news report or blog post, etc.

I’d start testing against this by getting rid of the “!” and the word “Revolutionary”.

We have a Promise-type headline: “Avoid Cleaning Gutters For Life”.

I’d make the next sentence read, “See How This New Invention Helps Homeowners”.

I’d also try to find a photo that’s a little more “weird” to build curiosity.

I use Adbeat to find ads and do competitive research.

Product, App, or Website I’m Loving:

[YouTube Video] How to Get High-Paying Copywriting Clients with Ian Stanley and John McIntyre

– This is a content video.
– Ian & John are both CopyHour success stories!
– You’ll get to see Ian basically mentoring John through pitching a client. They talk about strategy and structuring the deal (including exact dollar amounts).

If you’re interested in buying a course on writing email copy, Ian’s is the best I’ve found. And it’s inexpensive. 8020 Email Copy Crash Course

If you have an email list (or want to write emails for a client with a list), then check out Ian’s “Email of the Month Club”. He sends you 5 tested & proven email templates per month. The sales page is hilarious and awesome. Read more here.

How to Make Great Tasting Coffee

1. Get yourself a good bag of beans with a roast date on it. General advice that’s not a rule: coffee typically tastes better if consumed within 5-10 days of its roast date.

2. Buy a grinder and grind the beans yourself right before you brew a cup. It only takes a few seconds.

3. Brew your coffee with a Chemex* or Aeropress*. Kuerig’s suck at making coffee and they suck for the environment.

4. Water matters: You’re not gunna believe me until you try it – good filtered water will make your coffee taste better (and it might save your life). I use Ian Stanley’s old company: Fixt filtered water pitchers.

5. Temperature matters too. I brew most cups at ~183 degrees. I use Ovalware’s Pour Over Kettle*.

(*Some links on this page are affiliate links. If you purchase anything I will make a small affiliate commission. These commissions are definitely not large enough to factor into my decision to recommend them. I only promote things I use and believe in.)

Derek Johanson

By

November 19, 2018

Friday Copy Over Coffee #76: How To Write Ads For Pet Food on Taboola

November 19, 2018 | By | No Comments

The world is changing and I don’t know if it’s good.

My brother told me this story:

He was driving through Yosemite Valley with his girlfriend and her 6-year old.

The 6-year old was glued to his tablet as they drove into Tuolumne Meadows.

Tuolumne Meadows is, scientifically-proven 100% completely objectively, the most beautiful place on Earth. It’s basically NARNIA.

(The pic above is taken from Wikipedia! Wikipedia never has good looking photos. That’s how beautiful it is in Tuolumne Meadows)

My brother told the 6-year old to get off the tablet and look around at nature.

So the 6-year old shut off his tablet… and then just stared at the blank screen for the next hour.

.
.
.

We’re all screwed!

I’m worried about kids.

Mainly I’m worried about kids not using their hands for writing and drawing, coupled with extreme addiction to phones & screens.

What’s all this going to mean for brain development?

Maybe it won’t mean anything and I’m just, officially, an old man complaining about the modern world changing around me.

But maybe I’m not wrong.

Anyway, if you believe that kids are doomed join the CopyHour Facebook group. If you disagree, join too and let me know. I’d like to hear that it’ll all be okay.

Also, signup for a free 5-part copywriting training course.

Good Ad

UltimatePetNutrition.com has spent an estimated $170.1K in the last 28 days running ads like this via the Taboola content network.

Advertising on a content network? Your ad, your headline, should look & read like content. This ad looks & reads like it’s going to link to a content piece. And it does.

The picture grabs attention — it’s weird.

The problem being addressed, a dog eating grass, is a mass market problem.

“Do This Everyday” builds curiosity.

Attention + Curiosity = Clicks.

We have a nice little formula here: If {Person/Pet}{Experiences A Problem} (Do This Everyday)

I use Adbeat to find ads and do competitive research.

Product, App, or Website I’m Loving:

Reddit: Add “ing” to the end of a movie title, what is the movie about now?

This thread made me lol in a coffee shop… which is the worst place to lol.

My favorite: “The Blair Witch Projecting. A witch, unable to come to terms with her own insecurities and failings, goes around constantly finding faults in others.”

TBH this has very little to do with “copywriting”. However, I will say, seeing other people being creative, made me want to be creative. Strangely, this thread compelled me to write.

How to Make Great Tasting Coffee

1. Get yourself a good bag of beans with a roast date on it. General advice that’s not a rule: coffee typically tastes better if consumed within 5-10 days of its roast date.

2. Buy a grinder and grind the beans yourself right before you brew a cup. It only takes a few seconds.

3. Brew your coffee with a Chemex* or Aeropress*. Kuerig’s suck at making coffee and they suck for the environment.

4. Water matters: You’re not gunna believe me until you try it – good filtered water will make your coffee taste better (and it might save your life). I use Ian Stanley’s old company: Fixt filtered water pitchers.

5. Temperature matters too. I brew most cups at ~183 degrees. I use Ovalware’s Pour Over Kettle*.

(*Some links on this page are affiliate links. If you purchase anything I will make a small affiliate commission. These commissions are definitely not large enough to factor into my decision to recommend them. I only promote things I use and believe in.)

Derek Johanson

By

November 9, 2018

Friday Copy Over Coffee #75: How To Write Financial Ads For Google Display

November 9, 2018 | By | No Comments

copywriting newsletter

My son is going to be one year old in just a few weeks.

Absolutely wild!

Here’s an interesting analogy for you.

When my son was first learning to stand, he could only stay upright for a second or two.

But when he was concentrating on a toy in his hand, we noticed that he could remain on his feet for much longer — 10 to 30 seconds.

When he realized what was happening (that he was standing) he’d immediately drop.

This blows my mind.

He was fully capable but he wasn’t confident. His brain wouldn’t let him do it.

You can probably see where I’m going with this…

Confidence has a lot more to do with life or copy success than you’d probably suspect.

I’m not going to write a long article on how to build confidence but I know that it comes with baby-steps!

Find small little wins. Get a positive feedback loop going in your brain. Repeat until you’re running.

🌈🌈🌈You’re more capable than you think! 🌈🌈🌈

Take a baby step in the right direction, join the CopyHour Facebook group and signup for a free 5-part copywriting training course.

Good Ad

FisherInvestments.com has spent an estimated $953.2K in the last 105 days running ads like this via Google.

This ad looks like content. If you were seeing this on a blog, news site, or website like MerriamWebster.com, at first glance it’d appear to be content that the publisher was linking to.

The headline grabs attention — the word blunder along with a common financial product (“annuities”) associated with retirement investing strategy acts as a pattern interrupt.

It doesn’t really matter if you agree or disagree. If you agree, you’ll click to confirm your beliefs. If you’ve never heard someone say that or you disagree, you’ll click to check it out.

“Billionaire money manager and best-selling author” gives the statements authority.

Saying Blunder #9 and then having “13 Blunders to Avoid” gives it curiosity and clickability. “I want to know the other 12 blunders!”

“You may be surprised at what you read.” gives it extra curiosity before the call-to-action button.

I use Adbeat to find ads and do competitive research.

Product, App, or Website I’m Loving:

Instapage*

During this last launch of CopyHour we used Instapage to rebuild our sales page.

I thought it turned out pretty well. I had my wife, aka designer, handle getting it all setup. She loved using the builder.

If you need to build some landing pages, check it out. I think it’s better than Leadpages or any other landing page software I’ve used before.

How to Make Great Tasting Coffee

1. Get yourself a good bag of beans with a roast date on it. General advice that’s not a rule: coffee typically tastes better if consumed within 5-10 days of its roast date.

2. Buy a grinder and grind the beans yourself right before you brew a cup. It only takes a few seconds.

3. Brew your coffee with a Chemex* or Aeropress*. Kuerig’s suck at making coffee and they suck for the environment.

4. Water matters: You’re not gunna believe me until you try it – good filtered water will make your coffee taste better (and it might save your life). I use Ian Stanley’s old company: Fixt filtered water pitchers.

5. Temperature matters too. I brew most cups at ~183 degrees. I use Ovalware’s Pour Over Kettle*.

(*Some links on this page are affiliate links. If you purchase anything I will make a small affiliate commission. These commissions are definitely not large enough to factor into my decision to recommend them. I only promote things I use and believe in.)

Derek Johanson

By

February 1, 2017

The (Not So Obvious) Reason To Watch Super Bowl Ads

February 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

As someone who is interested in marketing, sales, and copywriting it’d be pretty obvious of me to say, “Watch the Super Bowl for the ads”.

It’d be even more obvious of me to say, “Don’t watch the Super Bowl ads for good direct response marketing strategy.”

Almost all Super Bowl ads are brand-driven advertisements and they’re almost all completely forgotten after their 15-30 second window is done.

The not so obvious reason to watch the ads today is this: The Super Bowl is one of the largest viewed television events in the world. These ads will be great for understanding the “mass mindset”.

The advertisers today will likely have a good understanding of what’s appealing to the masses right now… what kind of things is our society valuing? What kind of language is appropriate? What’s funny to people right now? On a whole, what are people’s ambitions? What are people struggling with?

Even as a niche marketer, it’s important to understand what’s on the mind of the masses. What is the average person thinking when they land on your site or see your ads?

The average person out there thinks much differently than you. They don’t know about the paleo diet. They don’t know about coconut oil, or putting grass-fed butter in their coffee.

Watch the Super Bowl, but not for the ads… for a deeper understanding of our social landscape.

If you’re interested in learning how to write better ads & sales copy for your business, start with our short free quiz here.