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You’ve probably read uninspiring, forgettable content. Having emotional messaging helps you connect with prospects, creating trust and relationships that can lead to sales. Today we’re chatting with Emma Tupa. Emma is the product marketing specialist at CoSchedule and is an expert on conversion copywriting. She uses just the right messaging to help clients find solutions to their problems and to make CoSchedule’s content memorable and trustworthy.
If you want to know how to create emotional messaging to stand out, build relationships and sell more, you won’t want to miss out on today’s show!
Some of the highlights of the show include:
Nathan: You have read uninspiring content. It’s drip of jokes. It lacks the language you’d actually use and it’s pretty forgettable. No matter what industry you’re in, emotional messaging helps you connect with your prospects. When you build that relationship, you build trust. We know that people buy from people they know, like, and trust.
That’s why we’re chatting with Emma Tupa today on the Actionable Marketing Podcast. Emma is the Product Marketing Specialist here at CoSchedule. She’s an expert at conversion copywriting. Emma finds the emotional writ reasons that drive CoSchedule’s prospects to find a solution for their challenges. By using their language and a little bit of humor, Emma create messages that stand out. She makes CoSchedule and its features memorable which helps build a connection that goes well beyond awareness.
You’re about to learn where to find those emotional roots for the product or service you’re selling and you’re going to learn how to include that in your marketing messages. All of that will help you stand out, build relationships, and sell more.
I’m Nathan from CoSchedule. Let’s check in with Emma. Alright Emma, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Emma: Hey, thanks Nathan. Thanks for having me.
Nathan: I’m pretty excited to have you. It’s always fun to talk to you, some of the team at CoSchedule. I’m wondering, with that, tell me about your background and how you ended up here at CoSchedule.
Emma: I went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls and actually double majored in Government and International Affairs with Business Administration, which always makes me laugh when I say that loud because I’m sure the initial reaction is why marketing, right? But I ended up working at Citibank, one of their headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida for almost two years on the Chief of Staff team for their consumer bank operations and technology divisions.
When I was there, I realized that I really enjoyed strategic messaging, writing, working with designers to create helpful infographics and presentations. I ended up working for a marketing agency there before I finally moved back to the Midwest, specifically Fargo, and then landed at CoSchedule.
Nathan: Nice. Obviously, you’re on the product marketing team here at CoSchedule. I was wondering if you could share what are some of the things that you do for CoSchedule and specifically, that product marketing team. I think that’s an interesting term. What does the product marketing team do at CoSchedule?
Emma: At CoSchedule, like Nathan said, I’m on the product marketing team. We’re really the people who convey the value of CoSchedule as a product. One of our main priorities is to plan and execute feature launches and that’s one area that I spend a lot of my time on. Feature launches are marketing campaigns focused on showing the benefits of a new feature that CoSchedule has added. Or in the case of a relaunch, which we do often, something that we’ve added and we’re looking to repromote.
Our launches can include demos, a product video, webinars, landing pages, email campaigns, blog posts, social campaigns, and just to name a few of the things that we end up working on. In addition to feature launches, we also do a lot of content around educating people how to use existing CoSchedule features, especially content that can help our support, sales, and success teams focusing specifically on either helping users understand some of the nitty-gritty details or how to get the most out of CoSchedule.
Nathan: Just to define that, how would you define product marketing? What is product marketing?
Emma: Product marketing is about conveying the benefits of a product, service, or even a feature to users. A lot of times, I think of it as the piece that builds trust that our prospects need before committing and something that our customers want from us too. If demand generation, your team, Nathan, attracts the customers, product marketing is then responsible for developing that relationship.
To put it another way, if demand generation writes an article on how to become the best marketer ever, it includes details and instructions on how to do that because we’re trying to gain an initial trust and gain that initial contact with customers, then product marketing comes in and describes why you would want to be the best marketer ever and include all the benefits and reasons why being the best marketer ever is going to feel super awesome, which leads into the importance of emotional messaging.
Nathan: You mentioned benefits, emotion here. I know that you guys focus on this idea a lot and that’s going to be the core of our conversation today. Let’s just talk about that a little bit. Why is it important to include emotion in the copy that you create on the product marketing team?
Emma: The big picture is all of us content people out there, we’re writing for an actual person. You’re not writing for yourself. You’re not writing for a robot. You’re writing for someone, an actual human being with feelings, emotions, so you’ve got to be able to relate.
For example, think about your friend group. You’re likely not friends with someone you can’t connect with on an emotional level. You could but how fun and fulfilling would that be?
Bottomline, the emotional messaging forges relationships with your readers and that’s really what we’re trying to do, especially on the product marketing team, where it’s our goal to develop that relationship. Get them to feel like they can trust us with the goal of our copy, feeling like they’re talking to a friend, someone they trust.
It’s important to include emotion in your copy because if you lack any sort of feeling or emotion in your copy, you’re also going to be way less trustworthy than someone who appears totally authentic. When your prospects don’t trust you, they’re not buying from because really, no one wants to buy from a robot and it all comes down to building that trust so that your prospects are more likely to convert.
Nathan: Something that we might hear a lot is that I’m in this dry industry or does this work with this? Talk about that. Is emotional messaging important across every industry and every product category?
Emma: A resounding yes. That’s because every purchase, no matter what they’re buying, whether they’re buying a bank account like you’re trying to set up for a new bank that you’ve researched. You’re trying to buy insurance or checking out retail. Any of those industries, there’s myriads of more but every purchase again is driven by a human emotion.
A human emotion drove that decision to buy or not to buy. That’s why it’s so important to really have that emotional messaging in your content because you’re going to trigger something that’s either going to get them to decide hey, I want you or hey, I don’t know about you, looks like someone else is drawing me in a little bit more. I would say places where effective emotional messaging is not currently used have the opportunity to really stand out in their industry.
Again, yes, it’s super important. It’s going to be critical to your conversions and it’s everywhere. If it’s not, it really should be.
Nathan: Let’s just say I understand the idea of the importance behind emotional messaging. How do I actually figure out what types of emotional messages would actually connect with my audience?
Emma: Great question. First, it’s about figuring out what your topic is, what you’re going to be writing, because that will obviously drive a lot of it. But once you find your topic, then it’s all about the research and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, specifically, your ideal customer and figuring out why would this be important to my potential or current customers.
On the product marketing team, for example here, when we do a feature launch, we always start with the talking points and the research that comes along with it which helps us figure out why people would need or want a new feature. Basically, why would anyone actually care about what I have to say? The questions we ask ourselves when we’re trying to come up with all these talking points in the content that’s going to surround the feature launch, we always go why would someone care about x feature or what problem is this going to solve?
We write out statements based on the pain that would be associated not having said feature and then the benefits of actually having said feature. For instance, just to put it into more perspective, we recently launched a feature called custom color labels, which for those of you that don’t know, is a layer of organization within your CoSchedule calendar. We’re really focused on the pain that marketers experience when they are trying to organize their marketing content and obviously, the killer benefits of how it feels to get super organized, which we’re all Type A here, so getting organized feels amazing.
Since it was a feature that was actually requested by customers quite frequently before we launched it, in our process of researching, we were able to grab actual customer comments from surveys to support desks and we were able to incorporate the reasons they were giving us for wanting color labels into our copy. I’m just going to do a little shout out for surveys here because they’re amazing, because a customer was literally able to describe how it made them feel.
When they submit feature requests, they usually describe their pain, an emotion that’s driving them to find this sort of solution and reach out to us. And then usually, how it would make them feel if they will have said feature, the benefit. If you can figure out a way to get those comments from your ideal users like customer interviews or surveys, that stuff is gold.
When you’re coming to the point where you’re trying to figure out your emotional messaging that you’re going to include in your copy, it all comes back to research and figuring out the types of messaging that will actually resonate with your audience or your ideal customer, why they would care, and then really playing it up in your copy.
Nathan: You mentioned your audience and really getting to know them and using the words that they’re using. What if my audience is a pretty diverse set of people? How do I find the messaging that resonates with everyone?
Emma: I’m just going to be the bearer of bad news, I guess, but you can’t write for everyone. Like I was mentioning before, you have to have your ideal customer because you can’t write for multiple people or multiple groups because it really waters down your message. When you try to satisfy too many people, you’re really satisfying no one.
When you think about emotion or you think about having an emotional conversation with someone that is actually meaningful, usually the message is directed at you or at one person. Not you and a thousand other people or not one group and then it’s going to encompass a whole bunch more. To really connect with people, it’s more of a one on one conversation meant to really be focused on what those needs are for a specific person.
When you write, you should really be writing for one person, which should be your ideal customer and that’s obviously based on some research you would get from the business side of your company of sales, support, success. They’re really the only one that matters. While others that are not your ideal customer may read your copy and they might even convert, it’s still only about the ideal customer.
For example, BarkBox is one that I was looking at the other day. They do a great job of really targeting those ideal customers, which BarkBox, for those of you that don’t know, it’s a subscription service for dog toys. Their ideal customers are the quintessential dog lovers, specifically people who label themselves as dog parents. Their content on their website is really focused on that ideal customer. Their commitment to staying with their ideal customer is shown in their 93% or 95% retention rate. They do a great job at focusing on one specific ideal customer.
Nathan: I’m still understanding that emotional messaging is really important. Let’s say, by this point, I’m trying to include that in my copy. I’m using survey information like you were suggesting to understand the words my audience is using, but how can I tell if it’s actually effective? How do I just know that what I’m doing with emotional messaging is actually working?
Emma: The goal of your copy is all about developing that relationship and ultimately getting those conversions to take place. Beyond connecting with them via the pain points and creating talking points, which are really the skeleton when it comes to your copy, it’s really one of the most important parts.
People also want to be entertained. Pain points get them to read because they found a solution or a list of benefits that you’re providing them with, but if a copy lacks any sort of human emotion, people check out super fast. They’re going to stop reading your page. They’re not going to scroll down on your landing page, which means they probably won’t end up converting, which is not our goal here.
At the end of the day, if you’re wondering how effective your copy is, make sure it feels like they’re talking to a real person with a personality. I will add a little humor, it never hurts. If you’re trying to figure out how can I tell, really? You really need to have someone else read your copy. A peer or a friend, ask them how it made them feel. Really dig in because if they aren’t motivated to act or didn’t feel anything from reading your copy, you might need to reassess how effective your copy actually is.
If you’re actually looking for some actual data about effectiveness, all you have to do is look at your conversion rate and your competitors in the industry and see if you’re comparable.
Nathan: I’m sold on this idea. I think you’re a pro at this but as I’m getting started, what are some easy ways I can jump start adding emotional messaging in my copy? How do I get started just with that process?
Emma: There are a few common approaches that help inject emotion in your copy. One of my favourite methods is PAS from Copy Hackers better known Problem Agitation Solution. With this method, you state the problem which is usually some sort of pain associated with not having a feature that you’re trying to promote. You agitate it a whole bunch and then present your feature, product, or service that you own as a solution to that original problem.
To get the most out of this approach, you really need to understand the problem and pain points that your customers and prospects might face if they don’t have your solution and the agitation piece is key because you’re really trying to use your words to paint scenarios, describe problems, anything to get your reader to feel like they need the solution fast to really drive that pain home. That’s a really emotional time in your copy.
Most of my blog posts actually use the PAS method so if you feel like checking them out and feel free just to some examples. I will reiterate the key here is researching the messaging first so you really understand what pain points to use in your copy because that is what is going to resonate with your audience and hopefully get them to convert.
Nathan: Let’s just talk about the fun part now. You mentioned humor earlier and incorporating that into your copy. Tell me about that. What are some of your favourite techniques there?
Emma: I will say for sure GIFs. Definitely GIFs because they add additional context or reinforce your existing messaging with just the way that they are and there really is a GIF for every scenario. They’re usually so funny. Honestly, sometimes, using a GIF helps explain the emotion you’re trying to convey with your words better than you could do without the GIF.
I’ve noticed that my copy, it really helps bring in more of the context that I was looking to create with my words or even solidify it, so definitely use GIFs. A little word of advice, use sparingly and only when you’re really trying to drive a point home. They also work well as transitions.
As far as other ways I like to incorporate some humor, I love the hashtag. Think about all the hashtags out there that you can incorporate in your copy. They usually reinforce points. That’s how I use them. The thing about hashtags, they’re already relatable copy. Your readers are familiar with these. They’re on Twitter. They’re on social media so seeing a hashtag almost makes you feel again like a real person and someone that connect with. If you can make hashtags ironic, more power to you. That’s probably my favourite thing to do.
Definitely hashtags and GIFs, incorporating those into the bigger part of your checks and just getting your audience to realize that they’re talking to a human.
Nathan: Just real quick, where are some places where we can find animated GIFs? Where do you grab that sort of information from so that you can include it in the content you’re creating?
Emma: Online. I use the PopKey, the app. I’ll search for specific terms. What’s nice, if you want your audience to feel sad, you search for sad GIFs or if you’re looking for excited, you can search for excited GIFs. I use PopKey. Online, it’s very easy to just search those on Google. If you’re looking to find other things, it’s definitely helpful to read other people’s copy, they layer in GIFs in that too. But definitely, your priorities would be checking out Google and then I use PopKey.
It’s super easy to find them. Sometimes, it takes a little bit to find the right one because there is some sort of idiosyncrasy in finding the perfect GIF. It’s kind of a science but again, it’s really easy to find those and there are a lot to choose from.
Nathan: Emma, one other thing. You mentioned hashtags. Talk to me a little bit about that. I think everyone knows to use hashtags within their social media messages a lot of times but you actually use those and incorporate those into content, actually, into the piece that you’re writing. Tell me just a little bit more about that. How do you find those hashtags? Why do you write them? Why do you do that?
Emma: Going back to what I said before, hashtags are something that people are seeing all the time. They’re seeing them on social media. They’re seeing them online all the time. Hashtags make the news. I guess another way to think about them is think about some of your friends, I like to use hashtags when I speak like #tbt or people that work with me know. People speak hashtag a little bit. For us, at least, the ones we tend to use #nerd, something that’s used commonly.
I like the ironic hashtag too like #sadface, which is fun to use or in a situation where it’s maybe not ideal so like let’s say you’re painting an image of an unfortunate circumstance, whether it’s due to an organization or figuring out what content to write and you paint this picture. At the end, you say #blessed. It’s really not unfortunate circumstance.
Using them ironically makes it a little more fun but it’s something that they’re used to seeing. It’s really about using them in a way that resonates, one, but also in a way that they’ve already seen them so it feels familiar, it feels relatable, and not like they’re talking to a robot.
Nathan: I think that’s awesome advice, Emma. Let’s just talk more about writing like what tools, tutorials, anything, resources, what would you recommend for someone looking to grow their writing skills?
Emma: Definitely hit up Copy Hackers. I’ve learned so much from the founder Joe. The blogs they post. Tutorial Tuesdays. Actually, you can copy school and that is something I would definitely recommend. It really build your writer’s tool kit when it comes to emotional messaging, strategy, writing templates, and I can’t really say enough great things about them.
There are lots of other tutorials out there so definitely just do a little bit of exploring. Copy Hackers is just one. If you can find tutorials that help you with strategy and emotional messaging, if you don’t have templates, definitely recommend getting some templates in your back pocket, then that will start you off in the right foot.
I would also say read. The more you read, the better your writing gets. You’ll see things and get ideas that you can use in your own copy. How did they format the sentence or how did they lead in? Reading is the best way in my opinion just because you’re doing it for enjoyment already but you’ll see these patterns and you’ll start to think a certain way.
The last word of advice is just keep writing. The more you write, the easier it gets. I try to do 30 minutes or 500 words of free write a couple of times a week outside of work because I think it helps your brain start to think a certain way, start to get on those wavelengths where you’re just letting the words flow. And when it comes to the point where you actually just sit down and write for a specific project at work, it’s a lot easier to get content on the page.
Nathan: I think that’s awesome advice and a great place to end this, Emma. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today.
Emma: Yeah Nathan, thanks for having me. It was a great time.
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