The Key to Successful Email Nurture Sequences that Convert

I’ve had several clients (and potential clients) approach me recently about writing email nurture sequences that convert.

Some have no sequence in place, so they’re starting from scratch. Most have something that simply doesn’t work. They send out hundreds of thousands or even a million emails to contacts who should be interested in hearing what they have to say. Yet, open rates are low, click-through rates are lower, and conversion rates are mostly zero.

6 Most Common Mistakes in Email Nurture Sequences

Unsurprisingly, patterns exist in what undermines results. This (incomplete) list describes some of the most egregious errors.

  1. Giving Away the Secret Sauce – Offering FREE eBooks is a great way to get new email contacts or even re-engage long dormant lists. It is seldom a great way to convert an active list to buy, especially when the eBooks provide solutions instead of reinforcing the need.
  2. Information vs Persuasion – So many email sequences provide LOADS of information, so recipients feel educated. An informed consumer is a good thing. A consumer with too much information will not purchase.
  3. No Call to Action – Email sequences are an ideal format for gentle persuasion. You don’t need to be all “in your face,” but so many I see have no CTA at all!
  4. Too Many Internal Links – You MUST have one clear CTA link to schedule a call, buy now, or register for an event. If you want to direct traffic to a blog or landing page, too, add that link, but limit your links to help focus reader response.
  5. Being Too Vague – So many bulk emails I’ve seen are vague and “nice” but lack a connection between a customer problem and the offer of a solution. Many are even quite off-topic, providing support to readers to make it easier for them to accept their problem and do nothing.
  6. Using ChatGPT – Email sequences written by ChatGPT come together quickly, so they are a great temptation for the DIY solopreneur hoping to save a few bucks on copywriting. Unfortunately, they seldom convert. Why? Good question. The ones I have seen are utter crap… but I expect there are some better ones out there.

How to Write Successful Sequences that Convert

My first piece of advice is – DON’T. If you have a limited budget for content and copywriting, use it on your email sequences. In an email, you have the opportunity to have an intimate, one-to-one conversation. Do not violate that.

If your budget is even more restricted, write a ChatGPT sequence and have it edited by a professional (HUMAN) copywriter (me.) This is a critical part of your sales process where you can win customers or alienate them.

Contact me through my website here or through my profile on Freelancer.com for a quote on your next email sequence.

Can AI Blogs, Product Descriptions and Other Web Content Be Copyrighted?

Your SEO blogs and other website content must be unique to bring traffic to your site. When you use AI, they SEEM unique enough. Does that mean AI blogs, or any other AI-generated content, falls under the same copyright laws as other writing?

The short answer is “no.”

Essentially, there is no copyright protection for anything created by non-humans, even machines created by those same humans. So, your blogs, product descriptions, or website content developed with a generative AI model can’t be copyrighted.

Why That Matters

It may seem unimportant. It’s not like you’re off to the copyright office to protect your SEO blogs or product descriptions. Then again, when created by human hands, your SEO blogs are automatically protected.

What would the impact be on your organization if suddenly all your blogs were copied by a competitor and put on their website?

  • If you use AI blogs, there is nothing you could do.
  • If you use human-written blogs, you can take legal action.

Will Your Content Be Stolen?

It happens all the time. The more valuable your content, the more likely it will be stolen.

Content aggregators scrape and repurpose content to generate traffic and revenue for themselves without doing the writing, typically without attribution.

Content thieves target product descriptions from e-commerce and classified ad sites because copying your content is easier and cheaper than creating their own. They copy huge volumes of online content with scraper bots called web crawlers. This automated software frequently scans your site and copies the content they want.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Unique Content

To combat internet thieves, you’ve got to prepare. First, you need to know if your content has been stolen, know the laws, and decide when it’s worth pursuing. Then, you must know how to get the content removed and prevent it from being stolen again.

None of that is possible, though, if your content is AI-generated.

This HUBSPOT blog talks about what steps you can take to protect your content. Neil Patel offers pretty much the same advice.

Why Unique, Human-Written Content is Vital

Honestly, I think there’s a place for the cheap, quick creation of AI content. Well, probably. Mostly, it seems best to use AI tools (like Grammarly), with expert human oversight.

That said, I’ve recently had a client come back after several months for human-written content after trying to implement AI-generated content for SEO. Apparently, even posting up to 10X as much AI content as human content, their rankings dropped. I’m no expert on Google algorithms, but I think search engines recognize and seem to be penalizing AI-generated content. We’ll see as time goes on.

AI content, of course, lacks emotional influence. If your product or brand voice requires a consistent, non-robotic impact, stick to human-written content, or come back, if you left.

Contact me at melodyswright@live.com or on Freelancer for a quote on your current projects.

 

Don’t Hire a Writer for Your Website!

You need professional content, and you know what you wrote yourself (or what the developer added) is not good enough. You might know how to optimize your content for SEO, but will it impress your clients?

Every day, clients ask me for new “subtly persuasive” content. By definition, “content” is informative, and “copy” is persuasive. When you read a newspaper, the articles are content, and at the bottom of the page is ad copy.

Yet, many audiences are tired of old-style, aggressive marketing messages. In some industries, clients tell me their customers (especially B2B) could actually be immune to the in-your-face ads of yesteryear. At the same time, simply informing these same clients with content marketing creates solid relationships, but there is some evidence of lower sales.

So, why do I say, “Don’t hire a writer?”

Writers – the kind you can hire to write your website, blogs, whitepapers, guest articles, etc. – are usually skilled at one or the other style. Some write engaging content that informs and maybe even entertains readers – but seldom does that translate into conversions. The others, the copywriters, are often more skilled with B2C copy with a rather direct approach. Any copy with the line, “but wait, there’s more!” is probably too aggressive for most B2B clients.

The Balance Between Content and Copy

To reach B2B clients and many modern consumers, a balance between information and persuasion builds a foundation for conversions. Essentially, everyone deserves to know enough about the benefits of your product to decide to buy. Subtle persuasion works in every industry, but it works best when your target persona is already well-informed, has high expectations, and you have significant competition.

Of course, I offer subtly persuasive content/copy for my current and prospective clients. I hope we have the opportunity to work together (again) soon.

They are More Than Just Sunglasses

About 16 years ago, I was a passenger in a stopped car that was rear-ended by a truck. My brain was smashed up inside my head in such a way that now I have photosensitive epilepsy. You can stop reading now, except as a client, this is the reason I ask you not to send me excel spreadsheets. The lines and columns trigger the wrong part of my brain.

For the most part, I am mostly fine. I live on this lovely chocolate farm in South America. Here I can avoid the lights and sounds, and smells that are a problem for me.

So, What Are the Sunglasses?

They are visual therapy glasses in the colour (color) called “Deep Blue Zee.”

This is the colour specifically designed for those with photo sensitivity or brain injuries. You may have also seen some glasses with a light amber tint, which are helpful for some concussions.

If you have trouble with headaches or migraines, tinted lenses can be a terrific help.

For me, they improve my balance, my vision and even make it so I can catch a ball.

What Difference Does it Make to My Clients?

Most of my clients, before now, have not even had any clue about any of this.

Communications

Dealing with me by telephone, Skype or chat means you probably couldn’t tell anything. On the other hand, if there is noise in the background or static on the line, it can be difficult for me. So, nice quiet chats are a must.

Spreadsheets

I mentioned the excel problem. Just copy and paste your spreadsheet into a word document, and then export it as a PDF, and all the lines disappear like magic! I can usually tolerate a table in a Word document okay.

Otherwise, it doesn’t seem to come up. But, I had to come clean about the glasses because they are a huge part of my identity.

Living on the equator means this redhead wears a big sun hat all the time, too.Melody S Wright Writer

So, even with the touch of sunburn, this picture of me is pretty much what I really look like all the time.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my life. I will continue to post blogs here. Some will be specifically SEO friendly and about copywriting. Others will just be about my life.

Welcome here.

Leave the Copywriting to Me

Melody

Living in the Corona World

There haven’t been many cases close by here. There was one, then five. And nothing more for several weeks. Then ten, and now fifteen, within days of each other. In this small town, with big families, it is reasonable to expect we would see such clusters.

Oscar, our regular taxista (cab driver) before the pandemic, tells us we are best to stay out here in the country where it is “safe and calm.” He doesn’t say much, but he does say there is “a lot of fear in town.”

How My Life Changed

My life likely changed less than yours. Before, we went into town once a week on Fridays to do our shopping. While we were gone, Mercedes would come over and clean for a couple of hours. Byron would work around outside the house, doing noisy things, like cutting the grass in the orchard.

Now, a truck comes to the end of the driveway on Sunday mornings. I buy about two-thirds of what we need off the back of that truck. They have everything from popcorn and TP to apples and lettuce. It’s a short interaction, but it’s now all I have. Otherwise, one of the construction crew takes orders from my husband over WhatsApp and delivers the rest of what we need, usually on Tuesdays.

When we go to the building site at the other end of the driveway, we all wear masks. We talk about where the kitchen countertops go, or how to custom make a bathtub big enough for North Americans. Same conversations, just with masks. It’s mandatory here, although I am sure we could decide not to, on our own property. But I’d rather go with the better safe than sorry approach. It’s not a political statement here.

What the Future Looks Like

From where I sit (behind my computer as a freelance writer,) not much has changed, yet I know the reality. My workflow remains the same, although most emails now end with something like Stay Safe.

The plan is for the new house to be ready in a few months. No, I don’t even ask exactly, anymore. The combination of relaxed Ecuadorian cultural timelines and a global pandemic means everything is somewhat up in the air. When it is ready, we will move in. Until then, I’ll wait.

I haven’t left the property since March 13th. That’s over four months now. I’m not sure how long this will last, but I admit, I’ll stay right here in paradise and wait it out.

Take care, and stay safe.

Do you Care for an Aging Parent?

Ten thousand boomers turn 65 years old every day in America. We’ve been talking about this coming crisis for decades, and now it is here. So 1 in every 3 employees holds down a job and volunteers for an average of 5 1/2 years to assist their loved ones.

CareWise(tm) Solutions help employee-caregivers stay productive on the job while providing superior care for aging or disabled family members. 

Right now, we are soon launching a Crowdfunding effort to develop a smartphone APP for working carers. This APP frees up employee-caregivers using remote technology, collaborative schedules, customized organizational tools, and access to resources. 

As our crowdfunding efforts move forward, I’ll update you on how to pre-purchase the APP for your family or your organization. Companies purchase the APPs as part of an employee benefits package because of the increase in productivity seen by employee-caregivers and their teams. 

In the meantime, check out the Lifeworkx website to learn more about CareWise Solutions. 

Readability Scores

Readability Scores

Choose Your Level

This week readability scores came up more than once. A few complex topics needed simplifying. My clients want to simply inform their current customers about complicated topics, without condescension. So, we discussed the concept of “Readability Scores” and what that really means.

Some of what goes into web content or blog readability is about image placement, subheadings, bullet points and other things on a page that make it easier to read. That’s not what I am talking about here.

The Flesch Readability Scores Test

People mostly scan content on the web. Posts that are easy to read and scan make sense. The Flesch Reading Ease test scores the complexity of copy and rates it on a scale of 0 to 100 (see below). Generally, a score between 60 and 70 (8th to 9th grade) is considered typical for most industries.

Then again, many industries easily support more difficult text. A government website I worked with this week scored at a 20 to 30 level. The client preferred that the information from that website be rewritten for his customers in that 60 to 70 range.

 

Score

School level

Notes

100.00-90.00

5th grade

Very easy to read. Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student.

90.0–80.0

6th grade

Easy to read. Conversational English for consumers.

80.0–70.0

7th grade

Fairly easy to read.

70.0–60.0

8th & 9th grade

Plain English. Easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students.

60.0–50.0

10th to 12th grade

Fairly difficult to read.

50.0–30.0

College

Difficult to read.

30.0–0.0

College graduate

Very difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Why Readability Scores Matter

Your readability scores influence how much time your visitors spend on your website. It may seem counterintuitive, but the easier readability scores tend to keep website visitors for longer. Readers bore easily. (Thanks for staying with me here!)

When your visitors stay on your website longer, your SEO ranking goes up. Google watches how long people stay on your site. If your nearest competitor engages readers for longer than you do, they are ranked above you.

Deliberate Choice is the Key

If you know me at all (and if you don’t, here’s a clue) you know how strongly I believe in deliberate choice. So, just like anything else, choose your readability score to fit with your audience, your subject and who you are. It is that combination that will make for successful web content.

Melody

P.S. The Flesch Readability Score of this post is 71.1

The picture is the view out my window. The mare’s name is Paloma (Dove), and the colt is Luz (or often Lucita, which means “Little Light”). The bushes are a salak (snake fruit) and mangosteen in my tropical fruit orchard here in Ecuador. 

Big Machines and Blogs

Big Machines And Blogs

Big machines. I mean really, really big machines. The kind that makes roads, and my 750m long driveway, were here this week. I hide away and write blogs, as the machines make the driveway.

The Big Machines

There were at least a dozen dump trucks full of what is locally referred to as “lastre”. This is a terra cotta coloured pre-marble material used for gravel roads and driveways, very nearby. Drive for less than an hour in any direction, and no more lastre.

The other big machines were here to move the lastre around. We get about 4 times as much rain as Vancouver or Seattle, so we have to be conscious of erosion. The under footing is mostly a clay mix that makes most everything amazingly stable.

In fact, this well was dug by hand. blogs wellNary a stone to be found. And that Byron does dig a nice hole.

The Blogs and Such

This week I have been working on a book. Not mine, that’s another project. This is a book by a respected psychologist on the east coast of the US. It is yet in the early stages, but I am interested to read it when it is finished!

There have been more dental blogs for Dr. J, in the UK, and a rewrite of a Miami Daycare’s website. I have an ongoing blog project with an amazing health supplement that required some proofreading of their brochures. If you know me, you know I don’t say this lightly… when this supplement is in production, I am “getting me some”!

I finished a couple of proofreads for some academic projects, and a CV cover letter just to round out the week.

Oh, it’s only Tuesday!

Step-by-step the house is being built, and the finca (farm) is taking shape. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

If you know someone who could use some blogs or other writing, please ask them to contact me.

Leave the Copywriting to Me.

Melody

SEO Content Writing This Week

SEO Content Writing This Week

One of the best things about SEO content writing is the variety of topics I encounter every week. This week included everything from peridontal research studies to Christmas. There was more ongoing work in the financial industry, and even some on interior design and alternative medicine.

The SEO Content Writing Niche

One of the most common pieces of advice a freelance writer will receive is to “find your niche”. They choose narrow subject areas like “cryptocurrency” <blech>, or “fashion”, or “travel”. Seldom do these niche writers venture forth to write outside of their niche.

My niche is business. My talent/skill is seeing what your client needs to take action.

How I Developed That Talent/Skill

For more than 2 decades, I instructed an internationally acclaimed sales course. There were 55 professional B2B sales reps in each class. In each of the 12 sessions of the course, I had to fine-tune the sales concept to every product/service. That meant that, on the fly, I was developing examples for hundreds of products.

If you have ever worked with professional B2B sales reps, you probably know they can be rather tough minded. I had the ability to quickly adapt the material to their unique situations. This was the foundation for my award-winning sales and graduation levels.

What Does That Have to Do With SEO Content Writing?

SEO content writing is much easier. This same skill, adapting sales/marketing techniques to unique situations, is required. Now, I can sit behind my computer and do these adaptations at my leisure. I can revise and rework each line. When instructing the classes, I was public speaking, and had to do it all at light speed. No revisions.

So, that’s why SEO content writing for business is my niche. I have written for accountants, and funeral homes, on the same day. From my point of view, the same principles apply. Solid SEO content writing requires convincing, persuasive language, on informative topics. You give me your topics, and leave the copywriting to me.

Melody