Category Archives: kopywriting

The Caveman Voice

Sometimes you’ll do something that “doesn’t seem right”.
Or you “sooooorrrttt of” suspect something you wrote sucks.
But you don’t know why.

But when people run something by me, I can usually tell in ONE FREAKIN INSTANT if it’s good or not.

The way I do that is with a caveman voice:  

Here’s how you can instantly tell if something sucks or not:
Read something, and then talk about it in Caveman Voice.  Like THIS:

ME CAVEMAN.
THIS SUCKS.
THIS COPY BORING.
WANT SLEEP NOT READ.
ME BURN SUCKY COPY.

There’s something about talking like this that makes your brain a big ole dummy…..Actually I pin-pointed it when reading Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff.

He explains how when pitching a deal to someone, you need to access their “crocodile brain” to make them say YES.

He calls this primal part of the brain the “crocodile brain.”

I’ll spare you the science (I know your dumb caveman brain can’t handle it)  ;-)

…..but essentially this primal part of the brain says YES or NO to things immediately. Such as:

STOVE HOT.  NO TOUCH.
WATER GOOD.  ME DRINK.

I’ve used my “Caveman Voice” when opportunities spring up that I really shouldn’t take due to a heavy work load:

THIS GOOD. 
BUT ME BUSY. 
NO WAY.

The dumbass caveman inside you is sometimes quite wise.

SO without any hippy-dippy meditation retreats, mind-expanding drugs, or 6 month long trips to an Indian guru……..you can get brutally honest answers from yourself in seconds.

Sincerely,
Neville The Caveman

P.S.
TRY NOW.
OR ME KILL U.
HIT ON HEAD.

 

A masterful piece of storytelling

One of the most masterful pieces of storytelling I’ve ever seen came from randomly wasting time on YouTube.

…as a Kopywriter I keep note of good stuff like this.

It was around the time Britney Spears was going through some wild times with drugs, alcohol and just appearing insane in the media.

Craig Ferguson (the talk show host) came to her defense and told his own story about being an alcoholic.

He tells an intensely serious story….mixed with just the right balance of humor.

Notice he’s telling a story about how we was trying to kill himself…..yet it’s still humorous!
Not all of it. But some.

He still gets a tear-jerking response out of the speech without being a bummer…or a stogy old coot. Just a real dude.

Real stories are sometimes serious, and sometimes funny.
Sometimes the two blend perfectly like this:

 

A lesson in kopy (sellin’ vs. story tellin’)

(This is an email I originally sent to the email subscribers of the KopywritingKourse):
————————————————————–
We’re trying to shift the copy on our AppSumo deals to be more “real”….and it was a struggle for me personally.

When Noah was co-working at my place a few years ago…..I got the idea to start writing the sales copy for his new project “AppSumo” as this jovial/hilarious/fat/racist/sexist Sumo.

The name “AppSumo” was perfect, and the logo was perfect too:

….this fat bastard made it easy to get away with saying ANYTHING!

Fat jokes.
Butt jokes.
Jewish Jokes.
Woman jokes.

….it was all fair game and VERY few people complained out of 100’000′s of people (if you’re not pissing SOME people off, you’re doing it wrong).

People would constantly ask “Who the hell wrote that copy!?” and try to hire me for their own copy.  It’s HUGE compliment when people are willing to spend thousands of bill$ just from reading our sales pitches (to boot, they’d usually end up buying a bunch of stuff from AppSumo too)!

The copy was mainly educational.  And it would SHOW EXACTLY what the product would do for a group of people, and even how to use it.

It also had humor….but that was secondary.  Educating people was priority #1.

After pawning off most of the writing to other copywriters, the quality went down.

The copy turned into regular bullshit sales copy…..but with a bunch of cheesy Sumo jokes thrown in.

“Yes!  Everyone should buy this!”

“This is a TOTALLY KILLER VALUE!”

“If you want to live the dream of making millions, buy this!”

….barf.

Over the course of about 8 months the whole Sumo-voice thing seemed “played” to everyone at the office.

A change was wanted.

Everyone wanted to put out “stories” rather than “sales pitches”.

I fought this so damn hard.  Even pissing off some people at the office who never get mad at anything (sorry guys)!

Then I thought “Ok….lemme swallow some pride and give this a shot.” 

I started poking around the internet and noticed that EVERY big blog, EVERY big news outlet…..featured STORIES!

People share stories
People don’t share sales-pitches as much.
People don’t share “How-To’s” as much (unless it’s about their specific interest).

(Think about it, how often do you see a non-marketing person share a sales-pitch on Facebook)?

The 1st piece of copy I wrote in this “Story” format was for Prey.  You can see it here:
http://www.appsumo.com/prey/

…..I originally wrote a how-to article on using Prey to protect your computers, but the team wanted a story.  Eventually that’s what was put out…..mainly against my will.

Three things happened:

  1. The post went viral.
  2. Even offline, people started telling family & friends about Prey.
  3. It sold like crazy (a record high for the past few months of sales).

Even Ramit Sethi and Derek Halpern both personally told me “It was some of the best copy I’ve seen in a long time, anywhere. Really terrific job.”

WHOA.  

Lots of sales.
Lots of sharing.
Lots of compliments.
….maybe this “story thing” was a good move.

We’ve since replicated the results with the story format.

NOW….this doesn’t mean I think everything has to be a damn story, but it’s certainly one way you can breathe some new life into what you’re writing.

If you want to test out a “Sales Story” of your own…..you can try following this rough outline I used:

  1. Problem you (or someone else) had.
  2. Something you tried that didn’t work.
  3. You discovered a certain product/service.
  4. The positive results you got from it.

You can even go to AppSumo.com and click the “Back” button on the banner image to see all our previous deal copy.

Checkout the number of shares and comments to spy on which deals did well or not.

….and lemme know if you have any success (or failure) with a “Sales Story”!

Keep being a student. 
Sincerely,
Neville Medhora

P.S.  If you used to read the old AppSumo emails, which do you like better?  Meaning which did you actually look forward to and open the most?  Vote please (I’m a constant student myself, so I love learning from your answers)!