As web designers, we’ve all been (or at least should be) keeping a close eye on AI.
Many fear it will overtake web designers completely, many aren’t worried about it at all and many (like me) are working hard to stay on top of the new trends to be able to use AI as a friend and helpful tool opposed to looking at it as an enemy or nothing to be worried about.
But there’s one end of the industry that it has undeniably impacted the most…and that is copywriting.
With tools like chatGPT, Bertha AI, Divi AI and other content/copy generating tools, the question becomes…do I need to hire a copywriter? Or do copywriting and content myself?
I personally do a lot of copywriting and use AI to help but since I’m not a copywriter myself, I don’t feel qualified to answer that for you.
But my guest in this new podcast episode is.
Abby Wood is the content strategist for thecontentlab.ie and in this convo, shares her insight to whether or not AI has alleviated the need for human copywriters for website copy, content marketing and more.
She makes some great points and shares some perspective I hadn’t thought about when it comes to utilizing AI tools but how they don’t stack up against the human side of connecting and conveying a message to clients or potential clients, especially on a website.
We also get nerdy about text, content, formatting and best practice trends right now so I think you’ll really enjoy this 2 for 1 style chat!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
05:06 – Welcome to Abby
12:26 – The Importance of Authenticity in Branding
16:39 – Positive & Negative of AI on Copywriting
20:09 – Human Motivations
29:25 – The Rise of Newsletters
34:37 – Building or Establishing Trust
36:49 – CTA Link Color
38:01 – Social Media Strategies and Content
44:15 – Landing Page Length
46:24 – Strategy in Content
50:20 – Balancing Content Creativity
53:38 – Final Thoughts on AI
Connect with Abby:
Episode #291 Full Transcription
Abby: Embrace who you are and really lean into it. For sure, I think you know kind of my company has a reputation for being a certain way and you know kind of being friendly and personable and you know we try to bring joy into people’s days, as cheesy as that sounds, you know, no matter what it is, we try and find the good in things and I think you know kind of a robot cannot replace that. You know kind of I like to think that when our clients interact with us, we make the day a little bit better and if you know kind of whether that’s you or not, you know it’s kind of whatever is uniquely, you lean into it because a robot cannot replace what’s uniquely you.
Josh: Hello friends, so great to have you here for this episode of the Web Design Business Podcast Now. Ai is, of course, the hottest topic right now all the rage. We’ve talked a lot about it recently on the podcast here. As a web designer, particularly one of the big questions, of course, is AI gonna replace web designers? I’ll just say, right now, I don’t think so. I’m not worried about that at all. I do think it is a tool that is really important to use, though, and to make sure you make it a friend so it doesn’t become a foe, but web design is a bit different in the way of it being slightly protected from AI. There is a part of the industry and a part of the market, though, that has gotten directly affected by AI, and that is copywriting, so I was really curious how are copywriters, particularly online and website copywriters how are they viewing AI? Has it already started replacing jobs? Are they utilizing it just like web designers are, for content assistance and help our clients understanding what they’re doing? So we’re gonna get into all those questions and more. I’m so excited to bring on Abby Wood of the Content Lab you can check them out at thecontentlabie and I was really excited to pick her brain and to hear her perspective on AI in the world of copywriting, because she’s doing all those things and more, from creating lead magnets and landing pages to content marketing, to proofreading, to editing, to do an actual content creation and strategy. She shares some really interesting insight on where AI is in the world of copywriting. I think it’s really gonna help you decide whether or not you need to have a copywriter who works with you on projects or at least in your network, and where AI is gonna come into play now and maybe how it can be utilized, but not to replace somebody who is doing more of a full service approach to content. So I had an absolute blast in this one. If you are somebody who is a copywriter, I would say this episode is a must listen. If you’re a web designer who is doing any sort of messaging or copy work on websites, this is equally one to make sure you don’t miss, because we actually dive into the weeds on this one about actual content tips like how large emails should be, should it be long form, should it be short form, what should be an email versus what should be a blog post. We even get into like link colors. Should link colors be your brand, or should they be the classic link? Blue for accessibility. Like all these things and more, we really dive into this one. Abby was a absolute wealth of knowledge with this and is a shining example of why AI is not going to replace copywriters, just like they’re not going to replace web designers, but we do need to be very, very vigilant with these technologies and use them accordingly to make our lives easier and help clients understand this too. So, all right, I’m going to stop rambling because I want to get Abby on here. We’re going to talk copywriting in the age of AI. Will it destroy us all or will we be safe? Find out now. Abby, so good to have you on the show. Thanks for taking some time there in evening Ireland. It’s late afternoon here in the States, so very late for you. Thanks for joining.
Abby: Thank you so much for having me. I do not mind a late evening.
Josh: All right, you said you already had dinner so you got some time here. I love the Irish accent. We were just talking about accents before we were live here. Isn’t that awesome? About web design Like I used to be, I never talked with anybody outside of Barely Ohio when before I was a web designer. Now I’m like the most cultured person in my neighborhood.
Abby: I think it’s pretty cool, it’s fantastic, I love it, like most of our clients are in the US and Canada, but then we have a couple in Australia, a couple in France and I just I love the idea of you know doing business trips, you know to go see clients, because I get to go to beautiful locations, so I’m gonna buy this for it.
Josh: That’s an interesting. I want to talk about that because as a content writer, as somebody who deals with copy and messaging, that’s gotta be tricky with different cultures, different dialects, different accents. Like you know everyone in the UK, they love the use. They just put use in every word, like color favorite, whatever. That’s not how we roll in the States. So when it comes to like content, it’s very. I can see that being tricky in your role. What do you actually if somebody asks you what you do? What do you tell them?
Abby: So for me, depending on how much they know about the industry. So I’m just back off holiday with a couple friends and kind of they brought their mum along and she doesn’t know anything about websites, so I was like I write the text on websites. That’s pretty self-explanatory for that one. Yeah, for people in the industry I say I’m a content strategist and I’m also a mentor as well, so there’s a few different hats. But yeah, I write websites. You know, that’s pretty much the basics.
Josh: Okay, gotcha. So content strategy, copywriting, blogging Now. So let’s dive into. I can’t help but ask this first AI. I knew this was gonna come at some point, I’m sure. I mean, it’s huge in web design, huge in a lot of industries, but particularly web design and copywriting in particular. I don’t know if there’s any more area of the market than copywriting that may be more directly impacted. Is that fair to say with AI?
Abby: Yeah, I think a lot of copywriters have been hit by kind of you know people doing it themselves. I think it’s definitely gonna take out a lot of mediocre copywriters and I don’t want to come across as being nasty by saying that, but I think kind of you know, good content has personality and AI cannot do that. It’s still can’t do it. It’s trying they’re trying to kind of you know, elevate a bit, but it can’t get across personality and it can’t get across you know, kind of genuine knowledge from somebody that they’ve learned from years of experience. So I think you know, kind of, for those of us who are more strategy focused and are more, you know, kind of focused on creating unique, really kind of you know, personal content, we haven’t taken as much of a hit. I do know some agencies that have taken a hit, but kind of it’s more I don’t want to say the content mills, but you know kind of people that will, that are easily replaced by kind of you know AI have been so touch wood. You know, kind of we might watch this back in six months and it’s like Abby went out in business. So you know.
Josh: Yeah, I doubt that’ll happen, but you just hit a really catchy term there personable content. That is the key. That’s in my mind. I’ve talked about this for a little while since the rise of AI that I personally feel there’s no better time than to be you, the quirky side of you, the goofy side of you, the human side of you, on your website as like an imagery and text and copy. I got to a point where I felt like I was being a little too goofy and I would say things like hot dog or cool or things like that, that AI would not kick out. I’m actually going back to the Josh from like 10 years ago. I’m like, however, I talk in person, that is exactly how I’m going to talk online. Yeah, so I like that distinction. I feel like personally that that idea of personable content you’re right, it distinguishes from AI, because we’re all I can tell from the first three words of something if it’s AI and I’m getting a lot of comments on my YouTube channel and stuff now I’m like, well, that’s AI, that’s AI, that’s a bot, that’s a bot and seemingly like if you didn’t know about AI, you’d be like, oh, what’s a really nice thought. They really liked my engaging content.
Abby: No, it was AI. Oh, I love your engaging video. Thanks for those top 10 tips.
Josh: Your insight on insert title here was so impactful for me. Now, if I was like hot dog that rocks my world, this is the shit that’s like okay, that was an AI.
Abby: Exactly exactly. And I always say that to kind of kind of our clients and their clients, kind of your website and your blogs and everything else that you’re posting online is prepping your ideal client for working with you. So kind of, if you’re very, very kind of informal and you love saying hot dog which, by the way, I freaking love, that’s very cute. You know kind of you wanna come across as that, because if your website is super, super formal and really professional and not that that isn’t professional, but you know what I? mean Like very elevated language, and then you get to a sales call and you’re swearing like a sailor. They’re gonna be like well, this is what I signed up for, so 100%, yeah, I agree with you there.
Josh: Where’s the line? Where’s the line between like being yourself, but maybe potentially overdoing it, and being like all right, this is just like a total goofball. Does he take his business seriously? Will he take my mind seriously or will he write like that for me as a copyright? I’m sure the question where’s? Do you have a metric in the line? The line.
Abby: No, there’s definitely a line. There’s definitely a line, but I think the line is different for the different types of clients that you’re trying to attract, so kind of. I have a wonderful, wonderful agency owner. I’ve known her for many, many years. I’ll just say her name because you know hopefully she’ll be watching Tracy I want to see from branding and beyond. Now if you go to her website she drops a few swear words and she’s very in your face. She niches in the construction industry and you know kind of the companies that support that. So her clients are usually very rough and ready. So you know.
Josh: She’s gonna see a girl who swears they’ll sign on for anything.
Abby: I swear like a sailor most of the time. I’m on my best behavior right now.
Josh: Okay, I’m trying. I’m gonna repeat me 13 around here.
Abby: So but yeah, kind of you know, and there is a line, but she knows her stuff. So when you go onto her website you can see she may be a little bit flippant and kind of be like oh, you know, I think one of her things is, you know, kind of, oh, have you got a brand wedgie, as in like, is it just stock, you know?
Josh: exactly See smile. Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, ai is not going to write that.
Abby: Yeah, that’s what she’s going to say in person, and you know kind of, if you’re offended by that, you’re not going to be a good fit to work with her anyway. But the point around that language is she really knows what she’s on about. So you know, kind of, if your brand isn’t representing you, just like if your copy isn’t representing you, then it’s not going to get you the results that you want. However, I have seen some companies take it a little bit too extreme where it’s way too flippant, and it’s just. You know kind of, if you’re super quirky and you know kind of doing like really quirky e-commerce stuff and you know you’re selling to kind of stereotype it like teenagers that you know kind of want, you know like super fun stuff, then fine, you can really lean into it. But if you’re specializing in you know kind of business coaches or you know wellness coaches or whatever, then you might need to really back in a little bit. Yeah, and a big part of that is really getting to know your target audience as well.
Josh: Yeah, that’s a good point. I was going to say you could always. My approach would be to, like you know, put a little bit of your genuine self on the front of your website and the front of your brand but maybe reserve the true, the true, true you For a level back, for the people who really are your kind your kind yeah, absolutely. You write it. You know your ideal demographic and they’re most of your clients then by golly just be 100% up front. But it is interesting, you’re right, there’s a distinction between a brand like a T-shirt company for teenagers versus a seven figure business that wants to grow their profits. There’s going to be a little bit of a difference. And I don’t know personally, there’s nothing worse. And I’ve felt like this more and more as an entrepreneur as I’ve been doing this longer. I can’t stand corporate stuffiness and that comes through in lingo. Like I’ve done some interviews I’m not going to call anybody out, but I’ve done some interviews with people on the podcast and I’m like I felt like that was like part of them, but I really didn’t get to meet the real them. It was kind of like there was a corporate bit of a corporate mask on, and I think nowadays more than ever, especially with AI. I think there’s the true benefit of just taking that off Absolutely.
Abby: And it’s just being you. Yeah, I mean, you know the old saying is people buy from people that they like. But also, kind of, in this age of fake content and you know kind of, you know fake videos and you know kind of you can literally take somebody’s voice and create whatever you want them to say. That authenticity, that level of trust that you can create by being uniquely you, is a real sales point. Now, especially with AI, is going to be pumping out thousands upon thousands, upon millions, upon millions of blogs and just really low quality work to stand out from that. You know kind of it’s helpful content, it’s unique content, it’s uniquely you content. And so, yeah, no, I 100% agree.
Josh: Are you a WordPress user? I am yes.
Abby: My website is built in WordPress, yeah.
Josh: I just asked that because at WordCamp this year actually, our mutual friend, kyle Van Dusen got to meet him there briefly getting to hang out long, but anyway, that’s beside the point that Matt Mullenweg, the owner of Automatic, who, for anyone who doesn’t know, create a WordPress, he even said from what he’s seen hanging out in Silicon Valley and stuff these companies I’m paraphrasing, of course, but these companies, the AI companies, really are challenges to get to the bottom of, like real, genuine content. So they’re really trying to work on like attribution and source content where the content originated from, to make sure the right people are credited for, for wherever those ideas and thoughts come from. So I think it’s really interesting in the way of anyone like myself who’s worried about the internet just being bombarded with junk and AI driven content, I couldn’t be less excited about that end of things. But the idea of content spreading, but then you get credit for your original thought that excites me.
Abby: Yeah, I think kind of raising awareness of somebody’s kind of original thought with a tool like AI is fantastic. I’m wondering I did read it and it was article the other day there are a bunch of novelists and poets and stuff, kind of well established authors, that are actively trying to sue the likes of chat, gbt and stuff, because isn’t that what happened with the writers like the movie writers was, I know?
Josh: there was like a big strike.
Abby: There was a massive strike because, kind of, the studios were trying to make them sign a thing where they could basically just reuse their work and AI could kind of reuse actors, imagery and everything, which, for anybody interested in that, black Mirror just did an episode of that which was quite timely, of actors signing away their likeness and then kind of if they could just create anything using it. It’s fascinating. Scary but fascinating.
Josh: Yeah gosh, I could not be more unexcited about AI driven content. I really like this is just reaffirmed how much I enjoy people and genuine thoughts and unique thoughts, unique experiences. I’m sure I’m not alone in that, where most people are. I mean, ai is so helpful in so many ways, particularly for me when it comes to content, ideas and when I’m stuck, I often it’s like yeah, the content wedgie, it’s like one of my lessons. I recently redid my business course and one of the lessons I was working on some some ideas and tips and I was like there’s a few more than I’m just not thinking of. So chat, gpt came in with like 20 and I was like, oh there, they are, there they are. It’s like a great helper. But I want to phrase this question to you because I’m sure if you’ve not gotten this, I imagine you will. If somebody comes to you and says, well, abby, why would I hire you when I have to add GTP or an AI tool that can do my copy, what’s your, what’s your rebuttal to that?
Abby: Well, I think that there’s no short one liner to it. It’s all about kind of an education on what good content is and what’s the point of creating content in the first place. So, yeah, you can 100% spin out a bunch of crap using AI and you know kind of publish it if you really want, but it’s not going to get the results that you want, it’s not going to create that you know that that connection with your reader and it’s not going to accurately, accurately represent your business either. Ai is fantastic for idea generation. It’s, you know kind of. I’ve seen people use it to create meta titles and descriptions. I’ve, you know, seen people use it for, you know, kind of basic research. You know kind of overcoming writers block. Fantastic. If you’re someone that really struggles with just staring at the blinking cursor or the blank page, 100% get AI, in, get started, get something on the page, but come in, edit it kind of. Give it that unique you. You know, and I think you know, for professional copywriters kind of. My partner is a web developer as well, so we originally set up an agency over 10 years ago. That’s e-commerce. He loves AI, absolutely loves it. He uses it to write his emails. He uses it for absolutely anything and everything. He’s like create me a schedule for travel, create you know absolutely everything and anything. And he thinks that I should be threatened by AI. And I’m honestly not and to be you know, kind of. At first I was like, oh my God, we’re all going to lose our jobs. My life is over, my career is over. I need to retrain and something else. But you know kind of what has it been. It’s been 10 months since it launched and you know kind of initially you know kind of it was very, very scary, but I think it isn’t up there with a, with a human copywriter yet. You know, kind of, I think it doesn’t understand human motivations, it doesn’t understand the human experience, whereas a copywriter can really kind of get in tune with you know kind of you, and your ideal client and speak to those pain points.
Josh: I heard it said really good recently that AI won’t take your job. Humans using AI will take your job, and I’ve heard that as well. It really is true. It’s a really great point, Like from from web designers and copywriters. We’re so alike and in the industry and market we’re in, but there are differences. Like you’re probably a little more directly impacted with, with being a wordsmith and doing the content, but it’s still to your point, there’s still a lot of differences with the human element. But it is awesome in ways like I find like we’ve talked about this on the podcast recently for web designers and for copywriters, One way I love using it is you could put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client with AI. Like you can ask chat GPD what are the pain points that construction companies look for with their websites? Like there’s a lot of great tips and tools about it. But that brings me to the next question I was curious about which is most. The average business owner is not going to think like that. They’re probably like what is AI? Is it like a robot? Do you primarily work with web designers and agencies or do you work directly with clients? A little bit of both. What’s your experience?
Abby: Most of our clients are digital agency owners. As we already mentioned, lovely Kyle, I’m a member of the Admin Bar and I chat to a lot of agency owners there. I’m a mentor for you gurus as well. I know quite a few agencies through there. That’s how I originally set up the business networking and meeting people and stuff. Most of our clients would be agency owners and then their clients, so we’d white label for them. We do have a few end clients, what I like to call them. They come in directly to us, but most of it is agency owners. It’s interesting because I was really expecting. I know a lot of copywriters pivoted out of their niche when AI hit because they were just like, oh my goodness, these guys are really tech savvy. We’re going to have to find somebody that can’t use AI that will hire us instead, but Touchwood so far haven’t lost a client to AI.
Josh: Oh, wow, awesome.
Abby: Yeah, touchwood hopefully still watch this back in a year and I still won’t. But yeah, I think we had one that went away and then came back. I think there’s a lot of work that goes into it. I think if you’re a time-strapped agency owner and you want content done correctly, you just hire someone to do it for you. Same if you’re not naturally talented at design like I can build a website but I’m not going to do it because it’s going to be absolutely ugly you hire the people that can do things for you so that you can focus on your sweet spot, which for many agency owners is selling or podcasts or making guest appearances on stuff.
Josh: Yeah, Point A I can’t do that.
Abby: I cannot do that, not until we have holographs that are appearing for you.
Josh: Make a version of you. So in Ireland do you guys say Touchwood, because we say knock on wood state side.
Abby: I didn’t know that was a different. You know I love learning all the different slangs and terminologies. Yeah again.
Josh: That’s one reason I love having a global and we’re in a global market where we’re talking to everybody. Yeah, I’d never heard Touchwood before. Yeah, we, I didn’t know, what you said. At first I was like Touchwood, oh, like knock on wood. So now I want to find out where knock on wood came from. Maybe we’ll have to chat GP that, or Touchwood, who had it first? Probably you guys. I don’t know what the Brits say, but yeah, that’s funny.
Abby: I just, I’ve never heard of it before.
Josh: I love it, I’m going to bring it to the States. I’m going to start saying Touchwood and bring it to the States. We’ll see how far that goes. So when somebody is savvy, whether it is a business like an entrepreneur, web designer or a business owner who’s savvy, what is your? If they say, like you know, I get, it’s a time saver and stuff I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but like what is the biggest? I guess the question is what are the biggest draws that you found that still make clients want to hire you over just using AI?
Abby: We have set processes, kind of. I’ve been a content strategist and a copywriter for about 13 years now. Kind of we keep on top of you know kind of best practice and everything. So it’s myself and a team of seven wonderful humans in Ireland and kind of we tend to partner with our agencies long term and so everything from kind of web copy to blogging to you know emails, everything and kind of we will have our own wheelhouses. So you know, kind of very occasionally we’ll have an agency that you know kind of will join us and we won’t have written for their niche before, but most of the time, because we have such like a vast experience of writing, we already know kind of the background information for their clients. Now, sometimes you kind of we will have something come up that we’ve never done before and it will require a bit of research, but I think it’s just we get it done, we get it done on time and it’s they don’t have to think about it anymore. So you know kind of if you are trying to pump our stuff with AI or trying to write it yourself, you know kind of that’s hours out of your day, whereas kind of it takes 10 minutes to write us an email, we’ll deliver it on time. You know it’s good quality Kind of. We use surf for SEO, for, you know, kind of optimizing stuff, and it’s it’s it’s I’ve designed it to be a done for you service and I think that’s it’s just.
Josh: You know great, great distinction. The other part to that that struck me is really value adding and beneficial, opposed to just AI tools is like the strategy and the content planning part, where you could maybe get some tips and stuff from AI, but depending on how complex a business owner’s copy is, it is what a wonderful thing to have somebody who might use AI, but is is the business strategist Like. That’s. One thing I’m really really teaching a lot of my students right now is you don’t want to just be a simple web designer who can build a nice, pretty site. You are going to be taken over. You need to be, and if you’re not there yet, it’s okay, you’ll get there. But you need to be a web strategist. In a lot of ways you don’t have to go with that lingo, but you are doing more than just building a website. You’re helping clients with their online presence, with their online presence via a website and you can constrain what you do there. But same thing I would imagine for copywriters and content folks. It’s like I’m glad to do the business consulting end of things is where the true value is. I feel like yeah.
Abby: And I think for a lot of us kind of, once you get to a certain point, whether you want to or not, you kind of become a business consultant as well, because you know kind of you’re highlighting you know to our clients where issues may arise in their business that they’re not going to be able to do business. That’s you know kind of stopping them from getting sales or you know kind of stopping them from growing or stopping you know kind of them reaching a certain level of profitability, whatever it is, and that is part of web design. You know kind of it’s, you know kind of whether it’s you know you’re advising an e-commerce store of how to, you know kind of enter a new market or you’re helping you know mom and pop shops. You know kind of really come online for the first time. You’re a business consultant as well as a strategist, and I think that’s the difference between you know kind of I know the AI. You can generate websites with AI, but without the strategy behind it it’s worthless, to be honest with you, you know and I think that’s the difference for many agency owners of charging. what they’re worth is that strategy as well.
Josh: Yeah, love that idea. I would love to change gears and to well step out of the AI shoes. And I want to talk about email. I love that email is back. Do you feel like that with the rise of newsletters?
Abby: I feel like email never left it is. And I know kind of every year somebody comes out and it’s just like, oh, email’s dead, email’s gone. You know email’s over. I just feel like there’s always a great return on investment. You know kind of there’s always it’s a unique way of touching base with someone that has been interested in your services at some point, with minimal effort. So you know, kind of like we’ve started doing a monthly newsletter and you know kind of I’ve had great feedback from the people that have received it so far, you know, and I think it’s just a nice way of touching base and staying relevant. So, you know, if you’re not in front of mind, then you may as well just not exist for most clients. You know, kind of we may think, oh, I had a sales call with somebody six months ago. They’ll remember me when they need a you know a website bill. No, they’re not going to, because you know, kind of, five minutes later they’re checking Facebook and then 10 minutes later they’ve got to pick up the kids and you know, kind of it’s a good way of just touching base.
Josh: Well, I do agree that it’s never left. I guess, from my perspective, what I’ve seen is, when I started on WebDesign in 2009 and 10, the catchy term was newsletter, and Pretty quickly it wasn’t too long after that that the newsletter lingo was kind of dead and it was viewed as outdated, very corporatey or very like non-profity, like you know. Like a non-profit, you care about, you care about their mission. They might give updates every month. That seemed to go away and I know a lot of people stopped doing newsletters and weekly touch emails and they just kind of left it go. Not everyone, but a lot of people did more. Recently. Over the past year in particular, I’ve seen a huge rise in the newsletters. I’m actually, by the time this comes out, mine has probably already kicked off. I’m starting a newsletter because I do email people every week about the podcast and about other stuff, but I don’t have like an official, like newsletter. I don’t make it an official like day or time or something that I do every week. So I’m really excited to do that. It’ll give me a chance to switch it up and, like you said, it’s top of mind, a little more personable, a little more quick, short, regimented though, but the term newsletter has come back. I feel like now a lot of people are saying just time to my newsletter sound fine newsletter.
Abby: Yeah, that was definitely not. That was definitely not the thing to do, was it? It was like oh you, you want just like a dead form, put newsletter on it.
Josh: Yeah, good point. Yeah, yeah, good point. So, when it comes to the actual like content of what we’re sending in newsletters, here’s what I’m really curious about right now. I’m gonna selfishly use this as a bit of a coaching session for me, because I’m about to release mine. I have a tendency, like probably a lot of other web designers in particular, to make things a little more complicated than they need to be, so I’m trying to, like, give myself constraints, reel it in version one, keep it simple. I’ll may, I’ll evolve it, but my, my thought is to just almost like just a quick hit, like a little tip, a little strategy, along with like updated like. Here’s what I released this week. Here is something I was featured on, a helpful tool, that kind of thing. Mm-hmm, the length of emails is something I’m really curious about. So we mentioned Kyle a little bit ago. Kyle recently shared, I think, in the admin bar, a sales email that he got that was Literally just text and it was like one line that said hey, this is my offer, here’s the link, and that was it. And he did something similar with something he just released. Now I also get a lot of emails from some of the top folks in the industry who. It’s like a small book of an email. Do you have a preference towards either one of those drastic Like Way? I’m sure there’s not a right or wrong. Is it just dependent on the? Whatever it is? What do you think about that?
Abby: so my personal one is is it’s it’s a long one, I’m not gonna lie kind of I include a lot of different sections and I even recommend a book every month, and you know this good stuff I. So there’s. There’s my personal train of thought. Is it depends on how well established you are? so if you have authority with your newsletter base, like like Kyle and kind of like the M. I can’t remember the company that you featured, that that had the one-liner basically, but I can guarantee that they were well known in their industry so they can afford to send out a one-liner. That’s just like here’s my latest product, go buy it if you want, whereas for most companies, unless they have that level of respect with their target audience, they’re gonna need a little bit more. A net on the on the sales side, yeah yeah and it’s. It’s two kind of Approaches as well. You know, kind of we have, you know, the good old-fashioned sales email, so those are typically shorter and you know. And then we have kind of the newsletters, which is more check-ins and so kind of like mine will have, you know, I think he has six or seven sections. And again gonna name drop my partner, he told me it was way too long and he didn’t bother to read it and I was like, thanks, nick, that’s really lovely.
Josh: But we had he’s honest exactly, and but we did have a few, a few clients reach out and be like absolutely love it, you know kind of interesting thing when it comes to the long emails, because a lot of people, yeah, we’ll skim, or if they’re not interested they’ll blow past it. But I did hear something interesting in the way of if somebody is interested, those are typically the people who will read a lot if they need a little more information. That’s actually just a little free marketing advice for everyone. When it comes to like, selling a Product or a service or whatever. One approach that I’ve had is to almost have both Strategies in one email. The first couple scrolls. This is my current strategy is If somebody doesn’t scroll past that, we’re good. They can at least get the hot points, that the top stuff, and then there’s an offer. But for more information they can keep on scrolling. Then we’ll get into success stories, results, further information about like, for, in my case, if it’s a course, a program or whatever, that’s kind of the approach that I take is kind of marrying the two and I don’t know I’ve they’ve all worked. Short emails work, long emails work Middle. You know that seems like it all works. But that’s a great point that there may be a distinction between if you’re building trust and you already have trust established. I guess absolutely.
Abby: I think if you are going, if you are going for a longer form email, make sure you have plenty of chances to convert and kind of, because it’s the same as appointment funnels or sales pages. If you have to scroll for 10 minutes to get a Calendar link or, you know, the buying link or something I’m gonna clock out. Yeah, we’re in the same industry here. I’ll just clock out. I’m just like no, if you’re gonna make me work to buy something from you, no, I’m done, which isn’t great, but I think most people don’t have, you know, kind of the, the attention span that we used to and it’s like it’s instant gratification, like you know, kind of, once you’ve made that sale and they’re ready, given the opportunity to convert, and whether that’s landing pages, appointment funnels or emails, you know. Figure out exactly what you want from them and just put everything in there that you’d need to to overcome that, that hurdle you know a little testing metric that I use that everyone can check out.
Josh: If you’re, if you’re doing sales emails, I have like five or six call actions in them with the same link. You can always look at the clicks. Typically, most like, I use MailChimp still, but it’ll tell me what links were clicked and how many times. That’s a fun little metric to see like well, are people clicking up top? Are they clicking at the bottom? Are they clicking a button versus text? Are they clicking like a colored text versus just good old classic, like blue link text? I’m actually I’m about to run an experiment with all my emails with going back to just blue links instead of my green, so I might try that out.
Abby: Yeah, yeah, no, it’s absolutely fascinating. I love just you kind of, if you’re, if you, if you’re big into Optimization and stuff a hundred percent go through every single, every single start from every single email and figure out exactly what works and then hopefully, after you know a few rounds, you have something that is guaranteed to convert straight away and bear.
Josh: Do you have a perspective on the blue links versus like a green? Like? Mine is kind of a Not a lime green, but it’s like a, you know, a bright green. We border a line of issues with accessibility, but I make sure it’s legible, yeah, but yeah like. Would you prefer blue links or do you like a branded colored link? Does it matter?
Abby: On a personal level, I quite like branded color because I know it’s clickable. I know you know that it’s gonna lead me to what it’s promising me. You know, I think, for it depends on your audience. So kind of, if, then, if they’re not very tech savvy, keep it simple and give them exactly what they’ve always expected, which is blue link, you know kind of an underlined, and you know, especially with you know accessibility as well, you know you need to make sure that everyone can, you know, kind of Get, get what they’re looking for from you. And but on a personal level.
Josh: That’s the click funnels route. By the way that I that I see like if you get, if anyone gets, an email from click Funnels at any point, it’s like a classic blue, royal blue HTML link. Yeah, yeah, but I love to necessarily all super savvy. You know, a lot of it is DIYers and yeah.
Abby: Yeah, but no, I love to mix it up and I love, I love, you know, kind of branded stuff and this quirky stuff as well. I love that. I think because we’re so saturated especially if you work in this industry, you just see Everything all day, every day. So when you see someone do something really different, you’re like, oh, I’m gonna click.
Josh: Social media wise. What are you active on and what do you work? Do you work on any social media copy and post?
Abby: We do, yeah, we do a lot of kind of profile optimization for LinkedIn and we do, you know, kind of Business Wow, google business profile bios and that kind of thing.
Josh: That’s another business name right there.
Abby: Yeah, we do kind of a lot of, you know, kind of social media posts and stuff for clients as well. And In terms of what we’re active on, we’re active on Instagram. We’re active on Facebook I personally just buying Twitter, slash X, whatever you want to call it, and Not a big fan of it and we’re pretty active on LinkedIn as well.
Josh: I was just gonna say as a long-form person, I would imagine the limited characters are probably.
Abby: I did you know, it’s. Yeah, I I’m a big fan of keeping it short, sweet and concise, but I’m also just like. I just feel like Twitter is just mainly people arguing you know, oh sure.
Josh: Like it is yeah, it is funny how every platform kind of breeds its own Culture and like behavior. It is interesting. For the longest time I was just on Facebook and then I branched out to Instagram. I actually even though I’m a fate because I came from the world of Facebook I feel more comfortable with the UI and the, the way the poster format and stuff. I just figured out how there’s a difference or what the differences between posts and reels and stories. Took me forever to learn that because I just was not using Instagram. But I do love Instagram by nature of being like visual, less content. But I have found that tricky when it comes to writing posts in content for Instagram because I Like blogging longer emails. I’m like you. I’m probably I’m a fan of the, the long form, both written in conversation, depending on the situation. But For like Instagram, my natural instinct is to write a nice long sales thing on something I might promote. But I’m like, ah, can’t do that, I don’t. People are not consuming a long written thing on Instagram Like they would on Facebook. Fake Facebook people do. Facebook people are used to reading a long post about something, but the behavior even there it’s the same person but they have behavior on Instagram is like quick hits, visual go.
Abby: Yeah, absolutely.
Josh: I’m not wrong. That’s what I’ve experienced.
Abby: Yeah, no, I agree 100%, it’s a different art form it is and kind of I just going back to your point there, you know kind of each platform does attract its own unique type of user and they expect what they expect from things and it’s quite a kickback when they, when they don’t get what they want from their specific platform 100% and be. It is tricky to kind of you know right for each platform and make it connect and you know kind of really grow your audience on each. And I think we do pretty well on Instagram and Facebook, linkedin Not so much. I personally am absolutely brutal at updating social media.
Josh: I have my wonderful project manager, riley, and one of my writers, etna, and, and they do all of kind of our social media now, because I’m just like yeah, I like force myself so I get in seasons where, like I really enjoy being as active on socials and then there’s other times where I’m like I could not post anything for three weeks or a month and I would be great, I’d be super happy.
Abby: I love groups. I do love Facebook groups kind of already said about the admin bar stuff. I love chatting to people, I love commenting on other people’s things, I love reacting to stuff. For when it comes to promote my own business, I don’t know I shouldn’t say that, but I’m being honest, can’t stand it.
Josh: Yeah, this is more and more common. I found I Actually my close friend of mine in a mastermind when he’s like Josh, he’s like you love creating content, he’s like, but you do not like to sell it. And I was like, yes, that’s exactly how I feel. I like, I want the world to have it, but I am Getting out of being a shy, shy salesperson I’m not overly selly, but even just showing up and marketing and putting the effort into packaging up your stuff, it’s so important. I mean, you know, you know, luckily, in web design and even copywriters, you can really get by with zero social media if you wanted to, just by relationships and in person stuff and and Like you know, kyle again, we brought him up again, but he was the one who introduced us like I didn’t see one of your, I didn’t see a post on Instagram or anything like that.
Abby: Like you, don’t follow me I.
Josh: Walk to this. I will after this, because now I’m terribly curious but it does just. Yeah, there’s. You know, you could do a lot without social media, but but it does just make a different strategy.
Abby: Yeah, I think for me social media is more of kind of just like a checkpoint, so like for our industry. You know, kind of a lot of it is. You know they check your website, obviously, because that’s one of the things that we’re selling and you know, hopefully if you go to my website You’d be like, oh, they can write copy. Hopefully that should be the impression that we give. And you know, kind of social media for me a lot of the time is just checking if the company is active. You know kind of do they have great reviews on it? You know that that kind of thing for me it’s not really a hard sales place, it’s more just like a okay, this is, they say they are. You know, yeah, no, I totally get it.
Josh: So I’m trying to think AI is a biggie. There’s a couple of things I wanted to hit on for sure was AI, and then an email In social media websites, let’s. Let’s talk about like landing pages in particular, similar to emails and sales emails, I guess. But landing pages you know you do have. I say, if there’s ever a place for long form content, that might be it. Or Is it maybe potentially a different or better strategy to have more long form content that leads to a sales page that’s a little more concise, or do you like the honker short book sales pages that have you know, pull all the information you need?
Abby: So I have my own personal preference and then I have what works for my clients, usually so kind of for me. I’m a fan of short and sweet and I think you know kind of I’m a big believer in building Authority outside of it, and you know kind of getting established in your niche and doing it that way and then by the time they’ve landed on kind of your you know your landing page, they’re ready to convert anyway. However, you know if you’re driving pay traffic to it, or you know kind of if you’re hoping for organic traffic to land on it. The more information the better, and I mean we, we tend to follow the story brand framework and so you know kind of it’s all focused on the reader and their goals and their pain points and how you’re the guide that supports them along the Journey to what they want to achieve and stuff. So there’s definitely sections that I include on a landing page, kind of no matter what the kind of thing is that we’re selling and Just you know, kind of you need to hit certain points to kind of overcome any objections to the sale. But I’m personally, on a personal level, I’m not a fan of the super, super long ones. But well, I say that. I’m gonna go back to the if it’s got a place to convert early on, like if I’m.
Josh: That’s how I was just gonna say, kind of the email idea where it’s like you kind of have the shortened version and then the long version starts under that Exactly. So I mean every single section should have a reason for being there.
Abby: So if they haven’t, converted at this, what’s gonna get there? So, if they haven’t converted at this, what’s gonna get them to convert next? What’s gonna get them to convert next? You know, kind of you want to answer absolutely anything and everything that they might have, you know, before buying from you, and but I just I love to see plenty of cool to actions, because if I’m, if I’m the person buying, I’m just like I just want to convert, let me buy from you. Why won’t you? Let me buy from you?
Josh: Why do I have to find this called action? Where did it go? Oh, great point, great point. That’s a good distinction to that idea of Are you basically just regurgitating the same information that you’ve already pumped out an email on social media, if those are long form posts and emails and it’s all on the sales? But I’ve really struggled with this because I’ve thought about that. It’s like, and again, my my, what I’ve kind of got to, where I am now is, is the idea of there’s the short version first with a called action, and then there’s more on both email and the page. That way, if they click the short version on the email Now, they’re at the page that has a little more if they want it, or if they read the entire email and put it all the the testimonials and results and benefits and everything, and then they go to the page. They could quick pretty quickly. So that’s kind of where I’ve ended up, because it is really challenging like, how far do you want to write a small book Everywhere you promote this? That’s what gets tricky about it.
Abby: Yeah, yeah, no, that’s that’s. That’s a really, really great technique, because I think and it works for kind of I’m not going to tell people to use the kind of the same landing page for warm and cold traffic, but you know, kind of if it is an option that you need, you know, kind of the warmer traffic is going to convert a lot quicker than the colder traffic. So it’s, it’s a good technique to kind of Touch base with everyone, I guess that’s a great point.
Josh: We’ve done that Um for for a couple landing pages and sales pages in the past. I very rarely run ads but a couple times I have. My social media guy had me do the same page. The url was just dash sm for social media and yeah, it was a simplified version. Typically we were Excuse me, it was a little bit either expanded on or simplified if it’s a sale or something. But in a cold traffic case, yeah, we would add more about like who am I? If they don’t know who I am, might be like a and founders know. Or like meet the, meet the mentor or something like that. Yeah, that’s an interesting point, that’s an interesting strategy. Cold, I guess it bears in mind. You really have to think about it says cold or warm leads come into the door, absolutely yeah. So a lot of big things there, huge ones. I’m curious what is your favorite thing as a content strategist, if that’s the sensing title.
Abby: Yes, my ultimate favorite thing is content strategy, so it’s figuring out where the gaps are for a company. Right now, I absolutely love brand messaging and positioning. We’ve done everything from rebranding a public health service in the US to rebranding a small town in Canada and everything in between. For me, I absolutely love figuring out what makes a company or a service, or whatever it is, unique and then creating the language around that to really track who they’re meant to help. And then, of course, creating the content calendar and the content plan to help touch all the points that needed to be addressed to really make them stand out and get them results.
Josh: How do you balance? Because I find myself I could make a content plan no big deal. Inevitably, two weeks in I’m like, well, I want to blow that up because now I want to do this. This just happened. I wasn’t accounting for this. Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing about something or producing a video, even if I do this with my podcast and my YouTube videos. I’m like I just don’t feel like doing that. I want to like spur the moment. I just did a tutorial recently on a plugin I use called Pretty Links. That wasn’t in my content calendar. I was like this is a great plugin. People are asking me about how I create these little short links, so I just did a tutorial real quick. How do you balance or allow creativity with content copywriting but also sticking to a schedule? Or like, do you give yourself, I guess, as a tip for people doing this, do you give yourself a little wiggle room to have those moments of inspiration? Yeah, 100%.
Abby: Embrace your creativity. If you find inspiration and you really want to talk about something, talk about it. I think content calendars are not set in stone. If something urgent comes up like I mean, hey, with content calendars, if you’d have asked me this time last year, I wouldn’t have had a clue that AI was coming out. But I can guarantee you we did a few blog posts once it had come out. Yeah, fine. So it’s adapting, it’s evolving. If you have something that you’re passionate about, that’s just come up. It’s going to be timely, it’s going to be relevant to your audience, so get it up, get it out. I would rather have somebody write a blog or a social media post about something they genuinely love and are passionate about than following a set of guidelines you know with just like oh, I need to do a blog post this month, but eh.
Josh: Does that going to come through? That’s such sound advice and I guess the good thing is, if you’re inspired to do a piece of content, you’ve just got one extra week of the planned content that you can bounce back, so you’ve got a little more leeway. Yeah, it’s funny. I don’t have like a rigid content plan. I’m kind of working on that. I feel like I’m a little too loose and casual with it. I really got to reel it in to keep on track. But my most popular or at least most engaged post of the year has been a very random. I just saw web designers complaining about their clients over and, over and over and I just posted. I think I put it. I just on my notes on my phone and took a screenshot and posted it and I just said hey, web designer, stop bitching about your clients. Why don’t we appreciate them and just empower them a little more? And that took off. That was like one of my most engaged posts and it was very literally spur of the moment based off of a hot spot for me. So yeah, it’s just like a practical example of like, when inspiration hits, get it out and then month the calendar out in the area.
Abby: Yeah, that’s fantastic and sometimes some of the best performing content is spur of the moment and you know, kind of it isn’t planned and that’s part of it, human, I think. And again, going back to the, you know bringing the humanists into our, into our businesses. You know that’s what attracts our audience to us as well, and sometimes you can’t plan that, but that’s good.
Josh: That is good. That is very, very well said. Well, I mean, this has been great. A lot of fun topics cover here between AI again, social versus email versus landing pages. I think the distinction of a copywriter or content person versus AI is, I hope. I hope what we talked about is going to help a lot of web designers too, because I’m sure a lot of clients are going to wonder, like, well, you know, I can understand design on the website, but I’ll just get AI to write my content, whereas if a web designer is going to come in as more of the content strategist and take a further deep dive into the copywriting side of things, gosh, it’s huge. So I’d love to kind of finish off. Do you have maybe for somebody struggling or who is worried about AI taking over, in particular, would you have an encouraging note for them as web designers, copywriters and content people?
Abby: Yes, I would say, embrace who you are and really lean into it for sure. I think you know kind of my company has a reputation for being a certain way, and you know kind of being friendly and personable and we try to bring joy into people’s days. As cheesy as that sounds, you know, no matter what it is, we try and find the good in things and I think you know kind of a robot cannot replace that. You know, kind of I like to think that when our clients interact with us, we make the day a little bit better and if you know kind of whether that’s you or not, you know it’s kind of whatever is uniquely you lean into it, because a robot cannot replace what’s uniquely you.
Josh: So yeah, no better way to end this conversation than that. Abby, thank you so much for your time. We’re clipping that one. That was great. Thank you so much, and yeah, I really like cited to see what you continue to do. By the way, your website does come across very, very warm and friendly and obviously very content savvy, and copy is. Every word is handled with care, I can tell so. Very, very great example. We’ll make sure we have that linked in the show notes the content lab, IE. And there is another site to you mentioned right that we might want to.
Abby: Yeah, content goodiescom. So if you are keen on writing your own text or if you have clients who want to provide you with it, we’ve got templates that we use in house of just showing you how to kind of lay it out with H ones and H twos and H threes and what, where to feature pain points and that kind of thing, and so it’s just a set of templates you can, you can purchase to reuse with your own clients.
Josh: Awesome, we’ll have that linked up as well. All right, abby, thanks so much for your time Pleasure chatting with you.
Abby: Thank, you so much, josh. It was lovely, I really appreciate your time.
Josh: I learned copyright, but most importantly, I learned that you guys say touch wood instead of knock on wood. Thank you so much.
Abby: Have a great time, guys, me too. So there we go, friends. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Abby.
Josh: Thank you to her for coming on and really sharing some interesting insight as a copywriter, with what’s going on with AI right now, and I kind of enjoyed this as a bit of a half coaching session for me talking all things content and words online. So I hope you enjoyed this as well. If you’re a content writer or a copywriter or content writer, I hope this really helps set you at ease in the way of using AI as a tool and it not replacing you. I think by this point we’ve established that humans are not going to be replaced by AI. Humans should definitely use AI to help and, honestly, to be able to talk to clients about that and help them understand where AI is in the picture of all this stuff. So it’s both for both copywriters and web designers alike. So, again, thanks to Abby for coming on. You can check her website out at thecontentlabie and if you would like help from Abby and her team to help you out with your content for you and your clients’ websites, they do have a white label service which I’d highly recommend checking out. Just go to the website, thecontentlabie. Thank you, friends, for joining on this one. I’ll see you on the next episode. A lot of great ones ahead. I’m using AI to help out with some of the titles, so that’s how I’m using it. So some of the titles we’ll see up ahead will be used with AI, but AI ain’t doing these interviews. I’ll tell you that much. So there we go. That’s my standpoint. All right, friends, see you on the next one.