In this Marketing Over Coffee learn :
About copywriting, Sex in Marketing, making sure your servers are up. All this and more…

Show length 22:03

Brought to you by MarketingProfs.com and Blue Sky Factory

00:30 Opening with disaster, and I’m on a roll, Hammer Roll

01:45 Some copywriting best practices, Use structures like AIDA, nothired.com

06:48 The big 3 – French Maids, Sex and Las Vegas

12:21 John Blue writes in on MTVEngineroom.com

13:26 Website Pulsecheck, Email Services

16:17 Google Submitting forms to increase indexing, more marketing related podcasts, Matt Cutts on Duct Tape Marketing, Google OPML file

Chris in Portland at EASFAA, MarketingProfs B2B in June and Podcamp Boston 3

John to San Jose next week

Our theme song is called Mellow G by Fonkmasters from the Podsafe Music Network

Direct Link to File

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Unknown Speaker 0:08
This is marketing over coffee with Christopher Penn and John Wall

Unknown Speaker 0:19
Good morning Welcome to marketing over coffee I’m John Wall zombie known as custom

Unknown Speaker 0:24
Mr. Pan having a small plumbing incident Yeah, late in the wee hours

Christopher Penn 0:28
Yeah, up till 3am trying to wait for roto rooter to fix the main line so if I sound like I’m completely incoherent today that’s why I’m after this I’m gonna go back to bed.

Unknown Speaker 0:40
Well that and then they couldn’t get the coffee right here this morning. I know the coffee is half the half strength

Christopher Penn 0:45
it’s like water with milk in it so not a good sign. Not a good sign at all. And I’m definitely gonna bag it after this because this isn’t a you know, my my employer does not want me touching servers or anything valuable. Real Estate.

Unknown Speaker 0:57
Much better off going home, catching up to Enrolling, marketing over coffee brought to you by marketing profs over marking pross calm and blue sky factory, our email provider of choice at Blue Sky factory calm.

Unknown Speaker 1:10
Alright, so today I thought it would,

Unknown Speaker 1:12
of course first Jeremy mentioned to come in this week that I say the word roll all too often we’re ready to roll, let it roll, get it roll. So you know, that’s how I roll. That’s all.

Christopher Penn 1:24
That’s all it can be very glad it’s not a rick roll. In a rick roll rolling on it. We’re hammer roll. That’s the newest the new thing the

Unknown Speaker 1:32
hammer rolls the next thing now Can it be any hammer video? That’s

Unknown Speaker 1:35
gotta be You can’t do

Unknown Speaker 1:36
this. Okay. All right. So you heard it here. First. Be the first to him. We’re really friends. All right. So classic marketing. I want to tell you about copywriting because that is such a huge part of marketing, but we never talked about that. And one reason why it’s never talked about is because it just is a raw skill. You know, you’ve got to learn how to write and, of course, this is not writing for monkeys or anything like that. We’re a marketing cast, but there are a couple key things And one is just get an editor, I found this, there are people out there that are just 1000 times better than editing than anyone else. Like you can have a panel of 10 people looking over, and they’ll find, you know, four or five errors and then you’ll give it to this one person. And then they’ll find like 20 there are people that just have the eye for that that others don’t and you need to get yourself one of these people. So that was the easy button. And then another rule on copywriting is never write and release in the same day. always write something and let it sit overnight and go back to it the next day. And what you really want to do as best practice is never edit yourself. If you can always write yourself, give it to someone else and have it come back. And then you read it a final time through the next day before you set it out. Because anytime you read and write in the same day, especially in your own voice, you just you’re always going to miss stuff. Be ruthlessly tight that was another thing that I want to say is you know, anytime you look at a paragraph, your first cut, you can probably go back and cut 30% Have the words out of it. And you just want to trim and continue to keep it bust. And test test test test. That’s it. You just keep testing, keep cutting. Alright, and so yeah, we’ve never even shared topics at all or anything, so I’m just throwing a cold. Any copywriting tricks, tips anything?

Christopher Penn 3:16
Oh, absolutely. One is reading stuff out loud. I love to do that. My coworkers think I’m a little slightly loopy for it. But if I find that I’m stumbling at any point over the words kind of like I have today. I’m not reading this script, but if I find them stumbling over the words it means that the English itself is probably not clear. There’s something linguistically grammatically that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense there. So read your stuff out loud, make sure that it is it makes sense you know when you hear yourself recorded, if you can, if you’re a podcast, if you’re a blogger, you have your cord yourself. So record your your copy and play it back and listen to it and you know if it’s a if it’s a super high value campaign, like sales letter that’s going to make you millions, maybe chord replay back in the car, listen to it a few times and go Okay, yeah, that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The other thing is look for structures. This is absolutely true that not everyone’s born Shakespeare, Hemingway’s like that, you know, Hemingway’s, what is the world’s shortest story in six words for sale baby shoes never used, which, you know, he was a genius at writing. No, very few of us ever. But there are a lot of good structures out there. There’s the old classic ADA, attention, interest, desire action, there is problem, agitation solution. There’s eight or nine of these, these were, I guess, classic structures that even though you’re speaking in your own voice, even though you’re writing with your own words and stuff, you are still following a story structure that when the person reads it, you know, get something out of it, there’s a logical flow, a logical progression. Even with a sales letter, you’d still need to tell a story and the structures help you format that story so that it’s intelligible rather than just Grambling I’ve seen a lot of sales letters that are just rambling disasters, you know, and people getting, you know, features and benefits mixed up and all that stuff. The worst the absolute worst I’ve seen lately, because we’re hiring at the student loan network jobs that advisors comm is cover letters write letters or sales letters. In fact, I’m writing an E book about this very topic because the cover letters we’ve been getting are so atrocious, they’re almost laughable. If you want a good laugh, by the way, go to not hire.com where hiring managers anonymously post up the worst of the worst. Oh, see what not insane?

Unknown Speaker 5:34
Yeah, you want the trick that I found on cover letters or those type of letters is called the T letter where you have because people just love bullets. bullets are so much more scannable and easier to read. Have a just a little chart of you know, if you need x, I’ve done y and just bang that out and throw that there. You know, reading out loud made me think of another editing trick, which in this age of spellcheck is, is almost you know, wistfully forgotten, but if you’re looking for spelling and punctuation errors to read backwards, that way, you don’t get caught up in the rhythm of the text. And that’s kind of a problem. As you read, you get caught up, and then you start rolling through it faster and faster. If you go through backwards here, you’re not going to have it and it is funny how you talked about high value, you know, when you’re doing your brochure that you’re going to run and live with for two years, you know, these are the things you just you can’t edit it enough. If it’s just a one off that you’re paying out for, you know, send in 60 copies of some form letter, that’s one thing, but there are certain types of copy that or, or you’re doing some kind of brochure for an event that has, you know, copy of all your vendors and sponsors and stuff like that, God forbid, just spell the sponsors name wrong. Mm hmm. That’s just Yeah, they tend not to like that. That tends not to go over well. Alright, so another from the mailbag. This was actually a lot of fun this week we got coming in from Tim Street. And for those who may not know Tim, they may be familiar with this viral marketing property which, which ran like five years ago, and it’s still extremely popular, the French maids video podcast, which always depicts French maids demonstrating a product or service and very interesting piece touches a specific niche. And is I know that even part of me was like to even get into this on the show, but I think it is something that really needs to be talked about because, you know, determining if you want to use sex in your marketing mix is an important question. And it has a lot of ramifications for your brand and, and, you know, can you do it, not do it, whatever. So, one thing he said, and the whole reason he wrote in is he’s talking about using the French maids that live events where you, you know, his remarks, it’s something about instead of having, you know, when you’re at an event and having the CEO get up there and give a boring demonstration, have the French maids do it and they do it with a little bit of humor, and there’s, you know, something to laugh at there. And it’s a different way to go. But, you know, he wanted to know more about you know, doing things for live events, and what does it take? The first thing off the top of my head that hit me was, you know, doing a live event is a lot tougher than doing something on video, you know, you’re gonna have to have a crew that is not just taking direction from the director like you wouldn’t a video but they need to be able to think on their feet and run so it’s gonna take, you know, you’re a team’s gonna have to show up for that one.

Christopher Penn 8:14
You got to know the product too.

Unknown Speaker 8:16
Yeah, yeah, they have to know the product inside. That’s a good point to even even give it in fact, I’d argue that it’s more difficult to give a two minute demo than it is to give a 15 minute demo or a 20 minute demo because you so much time needs to be spent caring, but now they could there are people actually at trade shows that are totally experts. And it’s, I’ve seen the these people that get hired for certain companies where they wear an earpiece, and literally it plays the pitch in their over their audio system. And they can give that exact pitch in time with the recording. And you know, that maybe there’s even no retention there. They’re just doing it by rote, but they can do it and crank it out. But again, you still have to do a ton of work and getting that pitch crafted and of course, that’s You know of course for him the client should be showing up with it that tight that would be the the way to go with it. I don’t know what what do you think about it you know choosing to go down that route I can’t think he could definitely go you know you get the whole kind of video games route there’s that market that is perfect for French maids that’s a great fit. There’s a ton of shows along those markets. But you know for business software enterprise software would you go that route?

Christopher Penn 9:23
I you know, I’ve seen people to go that route at some of the really big trade shows just because they need to do something to stand out on the tradeshow floor.

Unknown Speaker 9:30
Right. But

Christopher Penn 9:31
I it really depends on your audience too. And how conservative or not conservative the audience’s and also what the product is like, I mean, Jim, you’re welcome to send them over. But I don’t know the French noise would do all that well with the federal student loan like here is the federal Stafford Loan and Stafford loan.com demonstrated by Carla in the the 22 inch micro skirt. I don’t know that. There’s just some cognitive dissonance there. Yeah. It makes absolutely no sense you know definitely for the widgets crowd the the sort of the CES COMDEX kind of crowd. Absolutely any any crowd where you have appealing that will you know the Frenchman’s will appeal to that that demographic. Google is a good fit, but it’s that’s all demographics. You know, it’s definitely not, you would not want to show up at the Republican National Convention like that. Or maybe you would,

Unknown Speaker 10:24
at least to the after party. That would be huge. For the official event, right? Yeah. You wouldn’t want to go that route.

Christopher Penn 10:29
That’s pat robertson, and the fringe

Unknown Speaker 10:32
that way, yeah, that might be a little tough.

Christopher Penn 10:34
Yeah, but a bit of dissonance.

Unknown Speaker 10:37
It is interesting though, because it’s always you know, if you and you know, some marketers take and play that as a as a cop out, whereas if you can’t think of anything else, you go to sex because that’s just a tried and true and well hit. And but of course, yeah, there are other markets, I think where it could, it would fit well and is the way to run. But for other you know, there’s all whole market of people that provide these services at live events and places to pretty much every venue that runs events, you can get their annual calendar and you can see exactly what they’ve got going on. The other one without too would be geographic area, too. I wonder how wide you know, Tim can run with that, Chris. He’s got, you know, California you’ve got both northern Cal and Southern Cal, you’ve got pretty much every trade show worth a dime. And of course, he’s within a short jump of Vegas to you No, no, I think about that’s what I would do is set up camp in Vegas. Yeah, no kidding. Because pretty much any show that’s thinking that Vegas is where they need to be is right in line with the French maids.

Christopher Penn 11:34
Yeah. And that’s Vegas showgirls kind of, then you

Unknown Speaker 11:38
Right, right. And Z’s course you’ve got, you know, a hell of a supply of French maids to there in Vegas known for that kind of talent, everything you’d run over there. So that’s it, go to the Las Vegas Department of Commerce and get their schedule. That’ll be a great a great start out here.

Christopher Penn 11:56
Tim Bork when I was looking for folks for New Media Expo. It’s Vegas. We’re trying to get Mr. Street over there,

Unknown Speaker 12:03
the new media, but actually that is I met him there. Two years ago I didn’t go last year but two years ago I actually ran into him and got a chance to meet so perhaps we’ll be out there again this year. Again, scouting out Vegas. You know, tying into that john blue from trouble media network sent over a link to MTV engine room comm they’re having some kind of reality show something going on where they want to know if you’re, if you’re doing graphics, short film webpages, songs mixes, any cool stuff if you’re a creator, they’re having a contest where you can win up to 400 grand in cash and HP products, because that’s kind of a tough one cash and HP products. I say hope it’s not 395 grand and HP products and

Unknown Speaker 12:47
five k here’s a new blade server you can’t use

Unknown Speaker 12:52
the wheel a rack up to your house, here you go. You’ll be able to render that video and point to five seconds. You’re ready to go. But so that’s you know, this aside for anybody doing new media video, something like that maybe get a chance to hang out in New York City for a month and you know, get a chance, you know, I almost said roll with that I was gonna say roll with that. So again, rolling on and on

Christopher Penn 13:15
400 grand, you could probably afford the sync license rights for Rick Astley.

Unknown Speaker 13:19
That’s it, you could brick roll and and move on from there. On the to do list, we’re looking at website pulse check. Right, I’m trying to, you want to make sure our site is up all the time. And so I’ve been searching around for vendors, they’re one that jumped out just because they’re in the same office squad as us as Gomez. They have a service where you can actually make sure a site is up. And it is a great tool for keeping track of your customer experience all the way across the board. You know, they have monitoring stations worldwide, where they can see what’s going on. But then at the other end of the spectrum, there are services like this cheapest $10 a month where you’re able to you know, somebody will just ping you and tell you if you’re alive in email if you’re not, but it’s a little different range. Are you using any kind of stuff to keep track of what’s up? Are you disrupting yourself and stuff?

Christopher Penn 14:04
Yeah, I mean, dudes, really, you can just run a script on a different web server, and just, you know, ping this one. And you know, it doesn’t respond in 30 minutes, you know, call for help kind of thing. The challenge with that, of course, is that if you happen to have a, if you’re a small business, chances are your web server is also your mail server. So you’re going to want to make sure you have like a Gmail account or something, but can get the service.

Unknown Speaker 14:26
Yeah, if you’re sending a message to the same boxes down here,

Unknown Speaker 14:29
yeah.

Unknown Speaker 14:30
Yeah, best practice across the board. And as soon as you get to the point where you can afford it, get your web and your email on a different machine.

Christopher Penn 14:38
Google Apps for domains is a good choice for that. I mean, you Google will host your your webmail and stuff on your domain for relatively inexpensive, I think it’s like, you know, 20 bucks a month or something. And it’s, you can’t beat their reliability because they’ve got a you know, data centers that are packed into 760 sevens,

Unknown Speaker 14:55
right. And that’s it. It’s just so much easier than running exchange, you know, trying to have Somebody who their whole job is keeping email up and running, you know, you having to pay somebody 80 grand a year to do that versus, like you said, 20 a month or whatever to get, you know, 24 seven web access to your mail, that’s just an easy sell no other way to go. One of the other things that I know, a feature that’s further up the line for the more expensive vendors is testing form cell and stuff like that. And that’s, you know, have it actually fill out forms and make sure that that stuff is working as well. Another interesting thing that they had on it was because the multiple points you would know, where’s, you know, it’s just your one machine can’t hit your web server. You know, that doesn’t mean your site’s down. It could just be something between those two points. So by having five sites edit, you can see that okay, I’ve one out of five is down, you know that there’s really not an issue. It’s just something between those two points, you still have something to dig into. But the big trade off of that is okay, so is it worth the price? You know, is it enough to just know you’re up or down, or you know, if you’re, if you’ve got a shopping cart that the whole country’s hitting? Yeah, it’s important to keep that up. Let’s But for most people, it’s just enough to know that you’re, you know, your box is running and you’re ready to, to go with that.

Christopher Penn 16:05
Yeah. Speaking of web forms, by the way, I don’t know if you saw this, but at Google in its indexing going on the SEO front is said there, Googlebot will now be submitting forms seen with random data in it to see what’s behind the form. Wolf is a you know, a form that’s just a click through away, I thought was really interesting, because they’re trying to access as as much of the web is publicly available for indexing. But clearly one of those things where if you have something that is behind any kind of access wall, if it’s stuff that you want Google to index, you know, make it easier for the bot to get there than then do a fill out a form of some kind. Yeah, that’s a great point. And

Unknown Speaker 16:43
I heard Matt Cutts talking about that when they’re going over that because, you know, a great thing that you just see over and over again, are these huge multinational corporations. Their first homepage is a drop down where you pick the country to go to they’re totally blind. That’s the Google can’t get through that. So they’re saying that This we’ll get around some of that. But he was saying look don’t count on that have a bunch of links at the bottom of the page for those other countries. So it’s not just the drop down because you’re, you’re losing yourself. You know over in the Giga dial channel I threw an interview with john Jan’s from duct tape marketing, and Matt Cutts. He got Matt on the phone and he was talking to and it was interesting he was saying that, you know, even like, the meta tags, the keywords that’s like barely worth bothering with anymore. It’s just that’s just not even, you know, used to be hip. And he’s got some some great tips in there about interviews. That not that recent, it’s it seems like it’s about a year old because he’s just talking about the Webmaster Tools rolling out. But that’s a great primer if you need to get rolling. And he has echoed what we’ve been talking about, you know, blogs, absolute must have and video to start playing with video now because you can get an edge on you know, when larger companies catch on that video is going to give them some juice. Yep, you can jump ahead of the pack right now. So all good stuff with that. And then of course, always check out the official Google Webmaster blog, because that’s the number one place to go.

Christopher Penn 18:05
Yeah, Google’s got about 25 different blogs now, official ones and stuff like that. And there’s some, I think there’s an opml file floating around out there of all 25. So you can just pop it the whole thing into Google Reader. And sort of like, you know, get the official word of Google, right? in one folder and stuff. I have a Mac, Google Mac blog, Google Reader blog, and the webmasters blog and stuff. And there’s always some really good stuff in there. They just had a thing, there’s a new applet out for the Mac that lets you upload straight to YouTube from the iSight camera. So you just, you know, record and go kind of thing. But there’s, there’s always something in there. The Webmaster Tools blog is one you definitely want to check out. If you’re doing any kind of SEO, you need to be subscribed to that one. They, every now and again, they’ll announce something on there that just makes it totally worth having in there.

Unknown Speaker 18:48
Is it? Yeah, because you don’t realize that I mean, they do no press releases. There’s no official mechanism of notifying people I mean, if you’re if you read that and it was posted yesterday, you’ve got the cutting edge years up to date, as any other SEO are SEM company out there that you’d pay thousands to get, you can get this yourself, you just have to stick with it.

Christopher Penn 19:06
even pay attention like the mapping blogs like Google Maps and Google Earth because that was where they first announced local search results in Google Maps. So if you’re a business, you know, and you don’t have your Google Local setup, when someone goes and looks for a term in maps, if you you could be showing up and you may not be

Unknown Speaker 19:23
Yeah, man on the street view of maps there just that is exploding. So now I’m there to be able to go and you can drill in and actually look around and see stills that I mean that this truck that has six cameras on it or whatever. So you can see 360 view of wherever you’re going, you can actually see the live photographs, zoom in and zoom out. It’s pretty crazy. If you haven’t checked that out. I’ll dig up that opml file, throw that in the in the blog, so you folks can download that and grab it. That’s a great resource.

Christopher Penn 19:51
If you’re hitting the road actually, the Google Maps now has street view on the turn by turn thing so it will show you with a blue line on the road itself a photo of the road itself. Will you make your turn,

Unknown Speaker 20:01
so you can actually know that it’s by the donut store?

Christopher Penn 20:06
Or donuts or not behind the donut store kind of thing, which, if you’re a road warrior is gonna be helpful to get you

Unknown Speaker 20:11
back on the line. All right, well, speaking of road warrior, I’m rolling through San Jose, the next stop on my trip. What have you got going on?

Christopher Penn 20:19
Let’s see. Monday. I’ll be up in Portland, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday for the Eastern Conference. And then just a relatively recent thing, I’ll be at the the June 9, day one of two of the marketingprofs b2b forum, which will be a real interesting experience. I’ll be there and attending and also doing some recording of stuff and thanks. So we will hopefully have that and then of course, PodCamp Boston in July, so it’s

Unknown Speaker 20:43
gonna get pretty busy. plenty of stuff going on. Yeah, that’s true. I’m looking, that’ll be great with the props session, you’d be able to get some of the recordings out of that. That’s gonna be great stuff. In fact, I have to do what we were supposed to get a discount code from profs, I have to check into that for that event. So if you want to register, we can get you some more off, but I’ll have to get that link and throw that out. Otherwise it’s 1300 bucks. Yeah, yeah, this is not a cheap one. It’s but it’s they’ve got a pretty good roster. They got a good roster, they’ve got some real I mean, I know there’s some, it’s not just vendors getting the speaking slot. There’s some folks that speak only for cash that are on that list. So that’s a great chance to to get some quality content there. Alright, good deal. Well, that will do it for today. So

Christopher Penn 21:25
enjoy the coffee. Enjoy the water down coffee.

Unknown Speaker 21:28
Better luck next time with the coffee.

Unknown Speaker 21:31
You’ve been listening to marketing over coffee. You can hear Mr. Penn daily at the financial aid podcast and read more to Christopher penn.com. Mr. Wolf blogs daily at Ronan marketeer.com and podcast the show every Monday.

Unknown Speaker 21:50
The marketing over coffee theme song is called mellow g by funk masters. And you can find it at the pod safe music network pod safe music network.com or follow the link in our Show Notes