Copywriter and expert cold emailer, Laura Lopuch, is our guest for the 157th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. In this interview, Kira, Rob and Laura covered a lot of ground when it comes to what to say when you’re cold pitching new prospects. Here’s a pretty good list of what we covered:
• the path Laura took from paralegal to copywriter
• what made her decide it was time for a job change
• how she attracted her first clients when she went out on her own
• how to cold pitch effectively
• the difference between personalization and relevance and why it matters
• the thing that no one talks about when it comes to cold emails
• what Laura does BEFORE she starts to write a cold pitch
• why you might need to indulge your inner stalker when you cold pitch
• how to tell if a potential client is ready to invest in what you can offer
• the best way to phrase the call to action so you get results
• the subject lines that work well—Laura’s “backslash secret”
• the ways a cold pitch email differs from a regular email to your list
• how she figured out the niche to focus on in her business
• the basics of a good presentation and how it all comes together
• why she doesn’t focus her mentorship on learning
• how she became a travel hacker so she could travel for free
• where Laura thinks copywriting will go in the future
• the templates she used to land +$20K in business
If that seems like a lot, it is. And it’s good stuff. To hear this interview, click the play button below or subscribe to The Copywriter Club Podcast using your favorite podcast app. And if you prefer to read, you can scroll down for a full transcript.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Crystalknows
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Rob: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Kira and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Kira: You’re invited to join the club for episode 157 as we chat with email copywriter, Laura Lopuch about why she loves writing emails, the worst mistakes we make when writing emails, the relevancy method and how to structure a cold pitch so potential clients become actual clients, and how she became a travel hacker.
Kira: Welcome Laura.
Rob: Hey Laura.
Laura: Thanks guys for having me. I’m very excited to be here.
Kira: Yeah, we’re excited to chat and we want to kick this off with your story. So how did you end up as a copywriter?
Laura: I took a long detour through the legal field. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. You can blame Jerry Maguire and all those awesome John Grisham novels and all that kind of stuff for it. I just thought, yeah, this would be cool. I like arguing. I could be a lawyer. So I did something smart and actually took a job at a law firm to see real world experience if A, I wanted to be a lawyer, before I spent B, all that money to get a fancy dancy law degree. Fast forward a couple of years and I figured out no, I didn’t want to be a lawyer. But it was a really good job and I was learning a lot. I really liked the stories. We were a civil defense law firm. For example, if you get in a car accident, we were usually the insurance for the law firm that your insurance company would hire to defend you against the plaintiff, the person who’s suing you.
So I got to see some really interesting cases and stories. People do some crazy, crazy stuff, let me tell you. But I got seduced by a steady paycheck and a good job, until I just couldn’t take it anymore and I quit. And so at that point I was like, I don’t want to go back and deal with lawyers. I was kind of tired of that industry. I knew I wanted to work for myself. I was tired of being under a boss. So I was kind of taking stock of the skills that I had. I’ve always been a writer. Majored in English lit and it came in really handy working at the law firm. That analysis brain type, putting things together, examining things, keeping track of details and writing killer emails to persuade people to do stuff that they really didn’t want to do. Because who out there wants to actually work with a lawyer, even if it’s your own lawyer? Nobody.
So I was writing a lot of emails that were convincing people to do things that they really didn’t want to do. Like show up and testify at trial, maybe hunt down documents from like five years ago, sort through that old closet and find some stupid document. And I was doing a lot of it by email because number one, I hate the phone. Hate the phone. Took me two weeks one time to schedule a 10-minute meeting for my job. And I was supposed to do it. It wasn’t even like-
Rob: Yeah, you really hate the phone.
Yeah. It was intense. Sweating, staring at the phone. I remember sitting there staring at it like it was like some monster out to eat me. It was … Yeah. And the second reason why I used email was CYA. A very legalese term called cover your bum, basically. And you had to document everything in the law field so that it never ended up in a he said she said kind of argument. So email is the perfect medium for that. So when I struck out on my own, I figured I might as well use that skill that I’ve been honing for the past eight years, emails, and see if I could actually make money off of it. Turns out, you totally can.
Rob: So yeah, let’s talk about that decision to bail out on the law firm because you were there for quite a while and what was the thing that made you say yeah, I’ve got to do this on my own, it’s time?
Laura: That’s a good question. I had actually quit the firm about four years before that. Gone to a different firm. I’d tried to leave before and I always got seduced back. Steady paycheck, I had a mortgage, all those real life adult things. But this time I left because of a contract dispute with my boss. And so, we had worked out a verbal agreement where there would be money after I’d worked on this case. You know, kind of a bonus of sorts. And this is actually a lesson that I have taken and applied in my own business every time I work with a client and it’s something I see a lot of copywriters not doing, which makes me sad. And that’s I never got our agreement in writing. So when the time came for him to pay up and actually come good on his side of the agreement, he didn’t. And I got super mad and that’s what finally spurred me to action, to actually quit. And for good this time.
Kira: So Laura, what did the early days of your business look like? Once you were in it and building the business, how did you get clients, how did you gain traction?
Laura: I just used cold emails. I didn’t have a budget. I had like a $200 a month client when I quit. So I was forced to be as creative as possible. And I decided to use cold emails. Looking back, I don’t really know what possessed me to use cold emails. But over about four months I was writing like 20 cold emails a week and sending them out and doing tons and tons of tests and then revising them based on the responses or lack of responses. I got a lot of those too. And seeing what was working and what wasn’t working, until they started taking off.
Rob: So let’s talk a little bit more about cold emails, because this is something that you specialize in and you even teach other people how to do it well. I think that you’ve had a lot of success. First of all, why should writers do cold email and second of all, how do we do it so that clients will actually say yes?
Laura: Yeah. I think actually copywriters are in the perfect position to do cold emails because you already have the writing skills that you need to put together a good email. You already know how to write well. You don’t have to learn that. You already have that skill in your tool belt, so that automatically places you in the upper 1% of people who send cold emails in a really effective way. And then for the second part, how do you actually send a cold email that works? That would be, you use the relevancy method. And that is, you aim for your cold email to be as highly relevant to your recipient as you possibly can. So you’re not winging it, you’re actually finding out who that person is on the other side of the screen that’s reading your email and how you could best pitch them using relevancy and tying your pitch into their business goals and showing them and connecting those dots in between like, here’s why you should be doing this. Or here’s where your gap is and here’s how I can help you and here’s why it matters. And you frame it all, you put it all with relevancy. Which is a little bit higher than just personalization. Which people usually think of like, adding someone’s company name and first name. But being relevant is actually the secret sauce.
Kira: Can you share any examples that you’ve sent? Maybe even one that was relevant and did work well. And then I’d love to also hear about one that didn’t work that was not relevant and fell flat.
Laura: Yeah. Definitely. Let’s see, I’ll start with the non-relevant one, because that’s the first one that’s coming to mind. Basically it’s a very I centered email. So for example like, if I sent an email … And I did this at the beginning of sending cold emails when I was first starting to get clients, trying to get them. Where it’s me, me, me, I could do, I’m a copywriter, hey look at me, I can write words and I can help you. And that kind of leaves the reader going, ‘Yeah I don’t really care.’ But when you write an email with them in mind, you can start off your email with a compliment to help warm them up, and also to show that you’ve done your research. So I always like to see what the company or the person’s been up to and add in some little personal details. Like for example, I sent a cold email to a company in Washington, DC. The time my brother lived there, I visited, I love that city, so I included something like that. And it was like, ‘Hey I noticed you’re in DC, and I love that city.’ And he wrote me back like within a day and a really friendly response.
But it doesn’t even have to go to just being complementary. If you tie in what you do to their business goal. For example, I write cold emails that get you more clients or get you more viable leads in your pipeline. That equals business growth, which equals customers, which equals more money in your pocket. So you’ve kind of got to tie those dots together and say like, ‘It looks like you need help with your cold emails. If that’s the case, I can help you get more clients and more revenue and achieve your revenue goal for the year.’ Does that make sense?
Rob: Yeah, I think it does. I love that you mention the difference between personalization and relevance. Because you’re right, we see pitches all the time where it’s like hey, I heard you on a podcast, and it’s Dear Rob or something like that, but they don’t actually pitch anything to me that will help me in my business. In fact usually it’s like, could we be on your podcast or can I write on your blog? So it’s about them. So I love that you’re really focused on that. Are there other mistakes that we make when we’re pitching as well, besides the personalization versus relevancy?
Laura: Yeah, a lot of the times I see people being really scared to send cold emails, to be honest with you. I hear from a lot of copywriters in particular who might be really interested in sending a cold email and they might have even gone so far as to write up a cold email, but it’s just sitting in their drafts folder in Gmail. Because the part of that nobody talks about cold emails, you can write a stellar one, but you never know if it’s a good one or not until you click send. And that’s actually the hardest part, is getting over that fear because really it’s a fear of rejection. It’s really close to being a fear of stepping on stage and being in the spotlight, and saying ‘Hey, look at me, I could help you with this. I know a little bit more about this than you might, and here’s how I can help you.’ And I always use the metaphor of, asking a girl out or a guy out for a date. Like it’s that kind of level of holy cow, she might actually say no and what would I do?
Kira: So can you also talk about the process? What happens before you sit down to start writing these emails? How much time do you spend doing research to find ideal clients? What does that pre-email part look like?
Laura: That is the most important part to be honest with you. Because once you know who that person is that’s reading your email, only then can you find the words to communicate with them. And, then you won’t also be misunderstood. You understand the language that they use. So really I spend a lot of time on research and I can hear everyone groaning out there because oh my gosh, people are always saying like, ‘How much time do I really have to spend on research?’ I hear that question a lot. But it’s seriously the magic that makes the cold email work. And only until you figure out who that person is, can you actually write an email. Like those people who are pitching you Rob. They clearly have no idea how to communicate to you or how to even win you over to their side of looking at things and maybe convince you to invite them onto your podcast.
So I really like to spend a lot of time on the research. And that means indulging your internet stalker side a little bit more than you might want to admit you do. And you can also use crystalknows.com, which is a really cool plug in for LinkedIn. And it will give you insights into your … You navigate to someone’s LinkedIn profile, and it will give you a very educated algorithm-based guess on their DISC personality. And it even includes ways that they like to communicate and what you should say and how you should say it if you’re having troubles coming up with those ideas on your own.
Kira: And if you’re listening to this and you want to pitch Rob, I will do the homework for you and tell you that Rob likes Coke Zero. So, you just have to send him lots of Coke Zero and then you can pitch him anything and you’ll get in. Whatever you want, he’ll give it to you.
Rob: Yeah. If only it were that easy, right?
Kira: It is that easy.
Rob: I’m really interested Laura. You mentioned Crystal Knows, is that the only thing that you do or are you stalking them on Facebook? Are you looking at Twitter? Are you following them around on social media? Are you looking at their website? What are you doing to find out the things so that you can be relevant? What does your process look like?
Laura: All of the above. I’ll look at their Twitter feed. I’ll look to see if there’s something on their Twitter feed that I can build a connection around. Like for example, if they have a dog, ‘Oh hey, I have a dog too.’ That kind of thing. Because what you’re really looking for in all your research is a couple of different things. One, you’re looking for some sort of connection point. Not necessarily a compliment, but some sort of connection so … It’s akin to striking up a conversation with someone at a cocktail party and you find out that oh, hey, they really like John Steinbeck or hey, they just watched the new John Wick movie. And you’re like, ‘Oh I really wanted to see that, how was it?’ You’re looking for that. You’re looking for some sort of connection point to show that you’re human and they’re human and basically to make them like you. And then you’re also looking to see if you can figure out what their driving motivation is. And it usually falls in one of the three buckets. Which is, people want to make more money, people want to save more money, and people want to look good to their colleagues or bosses.
So once you can figure out that, that’s usually related to their business goal. So once you can figure out that, usually if a company is growing or doing a lot of hiring, that’s a sign that they’re in the middle of focusing on making more money. That’s the motivation. And then the third thing that you’re looking for in your research is, how to tie that motivation or that business goal to what you offer. So like if you’re doing … Trying to think. Like customer success stories. That would be a direct marketing method of getting more customers because you can use those in all your different marketing ways. You can use those with your sales reps. And it helps that company that’s already on the growth tracks accelerate. Does that make sense?
Kira: Yeah. So the part that seems to trip most of us up is the call to action. Even today we were talking to a copywriter who was like, ‘Well how do I ask them to get on the phone with me? How do I actually move forward with this once I’m pitching them?’ So what do you do? How do you position the call to action? Where do you want them to go? What do you want them to do next?
Laura: That all depends on your sales funnel. For a lot of us copywriters, the next step is, get on the sales call. And usually it’s between 30 to 60 minutes. But really the call to action is best phrased as a question because it signals to the reader that something’s expected of them. They need to answer that question. And also human nature, we don’t really like to leave question unanswered. We like to answer them and kind of close that open loop. So the best way to phrase a call to action is to just ask them. Would you like to get on a 30 minute Zoom call with me next Tuesday at 2p.m.? List it in their time zone. Or Thursday at 3p.m. again, list it in their time zone, to discuss further? Or you could say like, tie it back to their business goal. So I can show you how cold emails will get you more clients or something like that.
Rob: Are there certain kinds of offers that work better in a cold pitch than others? Or maybe the better questions is, are there offers that you would never want to pitch in a cold pitch just because there’s no way a client is going to say yes?
Laura: Probably you want to sign my proposal right now? Sometimes people are reluctant to get on a phone call right away because they need others’ buy in into this or they need to pass it to their boss or whatever. So sometimes even a would you get on a call with me is too strong of a call to action. And you can dial it back to just a, are you interested? I did this with a client of mine, David, on his cold emails, because we weren’t seeing many positive responses, so we dialed it back from a would you get on a call to an are you interested. And he started getting so many more responses. His response rate jumped from like a 4% to a 20% positive reply rate just because we changed the call to action. So if you are having troubles, try thinking of what’s the tiniest next step that they should take so that you know whether or not they’re interested. And usually it’s a are you interested question.
Kira: This is getting into the weeds a little bit, but I think we’re already there. What about subject lines? What subject lines typically work well here or are you just … I know you’re testing, but can you give some examples of what has worked for you?
Laura: I love to use the back slash. And then combine two separate things with the backslash as the connector. So for example, when I was sending those cold emails for my own business, I was pulling a lot of research from TechCrunch to see what companies were launching, what companies were interested in that growth. And so I’d do like TechCrunch/experienced customer. I was specializing in case studies at the time, so case study writer available, that kind of thing. And kind of combining two separate ideas. I actually do this a lot in just emailing people and I find that my emails get opened a lot. So if I was going to email you guys for a pitch to get on the podcast, I’d probably be like TCC/question or pitch. And then it’s also short enough that it stands out in the inbox. And that backslash is like funky punctuation, so then you stand out too. So really for subject lines, try to make it look different than all the other emails that are coming into your inbox. So go really long, go really short.
One subject line that worked really well for me on a private client was, ‘You’re List Worthy’, and then the emoji with the hearts in the eyes. And people opened it quite a lot because they were like, ‘What are you talking about? I’m list worthy?’ And it kind of has a little whisper of a compliment in there too. People were very intrigued.
Kira: Like yeah, I am list worthy. This is great.
Laura: Yeah. People-
Kira: I would open that one. So can you also talk about how much time this takes you? Let’s just say for a copywriter who is newer and wants to get a couple of clients and build the business, what can they expect as far as how much time they really should dedicate to this realistically to start to see some progress?
Laura: In the beginning it will take you longer. It’s just a learning curve. Basically you’re training your brain to write in a different way and to look for specific things, in your research, you’re not used to looking for. When you first start out, you’re also not really sure of what’s going to land and what’s not. But once you’ve sent out a couple, say 50 … I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. It’ll give you some really good test results and you’ll figure out pretty quickly what’s working and what’s not. You’ll get much quicker at it. And you’ll also start to develop kind of a template of okay, this is what my first line is going to look like. It’s going to look like a compliment. And then I’ve already kind of got this part written where I’m pre-selling them on this idea that they for example, if you’re a SaaS copywriter, they need onboarding emails and here’s why it matters to them. And now finally I’m going to be introducing myself. But that introduction looks the same way for every email, so I don’t have to rewrite that. And as time goes on you start to figure out what pieces are working and what doesn’t.
But in the beginning it can take you quite a bit of time. It was taking me up to two hours to send roughly five to 10 emails. I had a weekly goal, which I definitely recommend. I had a weekly goal to send like 25 cold emails a week. So some days I’d be racing to catch up so I could hit that goal. And other days I’d be coasting along because I did my work the day before. But that’s also something I recommend if you’re just starting out with cold emails is just do it every day. It won’t be as scary as yesterday. Tomorrow will be less scary. And pretty soon it’ll just be something that you do every day.
Rob: As I listen to you talk about all of the elements, I catch the attention getting subject line, relevancy, an offer the clients can say yes to. It strikes me that these are all things that we should be putting in all of our emails. Are there any differences between a cold pitch email and an email that you might put in say a launch sequence or you might send to your list as part of a weekly or even a daily email campaign?
Laura: That’s a really good question. They do have a lot of the same elements. I would say that the difference, say like between a cold email and a weekly list email, is that you haven’t really built up that relationship yet. So it could come off, if you write a cold email as that list email, could come off as too much information. Like one of those people that comes up to you and talks right in your face, and all of a sudden you’re cornered into a corner in the room and you don’t even know how you got there because you’re just trying to get away. So it could come off as too intense. The other part is that you’re not asking them to marry you right off the bat if that makes sense. Versus a launch email, you’re asking for them to take an action now, right now, go click, go to the sales page. But the cold email is like a smaller ask. And if you come across as asking like, ‘Hey let’s go get married like Britney Spears did. There’s a chapel right around the corner, come on lets go,’ you’ll also come off as too intense.
So you almost have to approach a cold email the way you would a bit of a nurture sequence email, if you were going to liken it to any other email, where it’s a series of really small steps moving in one direction. Dude I love the dating metaphor because it works so well. It’s basically like walking over to that hot chick or dude at the bar and asking if the seat’s taken. And then you’re next step is, ‘Hey can I buy you a drink?’ And then the next step is, ‘Hey, what’s you’re favorite movie?’ In a series of slow steps. And so for a cold email that would be like the initial cold email. And then follow up, and then follow up, without being too aggressive, but just following up and making your interest known but not crazy creepy. Does that make sense?
Kira: Yeah. I think I need two more steps or maybe more than that before even sitting and pulling up to the stool next to the guy I’m about to hit on. I think I need like five steps before that. So, specialization has been big or you and your business, so can you talk about the catalyst for you … I mean it sounds like you really knew cold emails was your strength from the beginning. Can you just talk a little bit more about how specialization has impacted your business, has helped you? The different ways it has helped you and … Well I’ll stop asking questions. That’s a lot of questions right there. I’ll just keep asking questions.
Laura: It’s nice to hear that it looked like specialization in cold emails was the way I was supposed to go, but the truth is, I had no idea for the first year and a half of my business. I was like a fish out of water. They all talk about specialization, but what do I have to bring to the table? That feeling. And I honestly just fell into it because I was going to pitch Copyhackers for a blog post. And I was racking my brain to come up with something different and something that they hadn’t talked about, and then something that I had done. And so, I finally landed on cold emails. And at the time I had no idea people had such a fear of cold emails and had such a reluctance to send them. I just was like, well this is what I did, isn’t this normal? So I totally stumbled into it. So if you’re out there listening and thinking, man I should niche down or I should specialize, it’s coming. Don’t sweat it, it’s coming. And it just might pop up in a really weird spot for you. Just follow it, see where it leads you.
Rob: And once you settled on emailing as your thing, what have you done since to really solidify your position in the market?
Laura: I’ve really tried to illuminate my other offerings. So for a while there, I was doing landing pages and I was tempted by the glittery world of SaaS onboarding and I decided that it wasn’t really worth the time and effort it would maybe take to become an expert on those levels. And maybe that was phase two or phase four of my business. Right now, I’m in the cold email phase and it’s working. So I’m doubling down on that because it’s working and so I’ve narrowed down my offerings to focus just on that. And also like, my approach is very different than what you typically hear of for cold emails, which helps me stand out because of that relevancy method and because I take a very different approach. And then I tried to share my knowledge as freely as I could on different platforms. So I pitched a couple of blogs. Copyhackers, they lifted me up to the stars because of that blog post that I pitched them. And it’s basically a train that hasn’t stopped moving.
Kira: Yeah, I love how you’re saying, you mentioned it’s … I think you said it’s a phase. Like right now you’re focused on cold emails but it’s not forever and at some point your business will pivot, your offers will change and I think that’s the right way to look at specialization and niching down too. Because it isn’t forever and I feel like we all get stressed out by thinking it’s like this long term commitment and it’s really not that way. But it does give you the momentum you need to grow your business as you’re figuring out your next direction. So I want to ask you about … Because we’re talking about authority, I want to ask you about Shine Bootcamp. I discovered that you spoke at Shine Bootcamp a year ago and it’s relevant to me because I just spoke at Shine Bootcamp this past weekend. So can you just talk a little bit about what it is and how it’s changed you on a personal level, professional level?
Laura: I’m really excited to talk about Shine. So basically it’s a bootcamp that ends in a conference, I guess is the best way to describe it. And it teaches you, specifically women, to speak on stage. Because going back to that fear of being seen and having the spotlight on us, women in particular have that fear I think maybe a little bit stronger. And so basically Shine helps women become conference speakers and get on stages and craft your talk and put it together. And they teach you the methods and the madness behind creating a conference talk. And then at the conference, you get a crash course in putting that talk all together. And sometimes, I don’t know about your talk Kira, but mine went radically different by the end of that weekend. I entered with a half baked idea and came out with a fully fleshed talk. And then on the last day you actually get up on stage and present your talk, which then gives you a speaker video that you can put on your website and a boatload of confidence that you do this and it’s really not as scary as you thought.
You’re second question I think is like, how did it change me, yeah?
Kira: Yeah, what was the impact of speaking on stage at Shine or maybe just speaking on stage in general on your business and on you personally?
Laura: So, for a long time, for the first probably two and a half years of my business, I was scared to just get on video with my clients. I would do audio only calls with them or phone calls, and I didn’t even get on video with them. I don’t know what it was, but I was just so scared to get on video. And so I decided instead of staying away from that fear, I would lean into it. Because there must be something there that was making me feel so strongly and that resistance that I had to see what was on the other side. So I started getting on video with my clients, doing video calls, video sales calls and discovery calls. And then when Shine popped up I was like, okay well, getting on stage, that really scares me. But it was like that knife’s edge between fear and excitement. So I decided, why not? Why not just decide it’s excitement, learn how to do it, because that will help me feel better about the whole process?
So I did it and then shortly thereafter I got invited to speak at Micro Conf and Haley Hobson reached out to me to speak at one of her local events and it’s just kind of snowballed since then. Which lends so much more to my credibility, my authority as a cold email expert. But also the funniest thing is, that attending a conference as a speaker is so much easier than attending as an attendee. Because you don’t have to introduce yourself to anybody. Everybody walks up and introduces themselves to you. And suddenly that fear of approaching someone … Like you say Kira. Like you’d have to do a lot of prep work to just approach that hot guy at the bar. Maybe those 10 shots of tequila or whatever. Suddenly that’s gone. And people are coming up to you and talking to you. And they know who you are and all you have to do is like ‘Oh hey, what’s your name again?’ And that’s the easiest part.
Kira: Probably a lot of tequila, yeah, a lot of tequila.
Rob: So for those of us who don’t identify as women and are not invited to Shine–
Kira: You can still shine Rob.
Rob: Can you tell us just a little bit about the process that takes you from rough idea to polished speech and what you went through in order to get there?
Laura: Yeah, it was hard. Mainly because I struggled a lot with the slides. I think probably because I’m a writer so my brain is oriented towards the written word. Like how do I tell a story with just words? So I wasn’t used to the visual element. So I struggled a lot like, what should my slides look like? What do I put on these things? How do they supplement my talk? I don’t get this. And so I went through a big long process of figuring out what a slide should have, which it just supplements, it augments what you’re speaking about. And you can use it for call outs for your main points and then put your Twitter handle there. I did that. To keep the audience engaged and then to gain some social media traction and attention. But I realized watching other people was that they just used it as a way to keep people’s attention on the screen. So you could use gifs and stuff like that. Sometimes those get a little haywire. But it’s basically like assembling your speech. It’s a lot like assembling your argument for say like a launch sales email sequence.
Like you know where you need to end up and you know the points, and now like how do you tell it in the most engaging way? How do you use your voice to go up and down and keep the audience engaged? And how do you use the stage and move around? Because now suddenly you have that option and that space to move. And do you use hand gestures? I’m a big hand gesturer. You guys can’t see me but I’m like waving my hands over here. So how do you use that too and how do you create an atmosphere and keep the audience engaged? Anything you would add Kira? I’m curious.
Kira: Just as you were talking I’m just remembering all of the awkward moments in my 10 minute presentation. I mean it was so empowering and I agree with everything you said. Taking up a stage and I think that’s just putting your words into movement and figuring out how to move with your words, that was really different for me. So I was just thinking of how I would walk from one side of the stage to the other side of the stage because I knew I was supposed to. But it felt like it was kind of out of rhythm with the words and it just takes practice. But yeah, I think for everyone, not just women, for copywriters, because we like to typically hide behind our screen and we’re really comfortable with our words, it’s worth it for everyone to move into that space of being the teacher and using our words in a different format. And I think it just helps us become better writers too. If you don’t even want to speak on stage, but you just want to be the best writer you can be, it’s still worth doing some type of bootcamp or speaking on stage to view your work differently and improve your process.
Okay so I want to just pivot a little bit. Because I wanted to ask you about the structure of your business and I do want to cover that. So can you just talk a little bit about what your packages are? If somebody is listening and they want to have a similar service and write cold emails for clients, how do you bundle that up? What does that look like? What are you selling to your client?
Laura: Yeah. So this was something that I struggled with a long time actually. Because I was finding that a lot of my clients … I was drawing up very similar proposals for them and once I niched down and focused on cold emails it became a lot more evident. So I structured my packages around a campaign. So for example one of my packages, the lower priced ones, you can get a certain size email campaign. And I think it comes with three initial cold emails that we A, B, C test against each other all straight out of the gate. And then follow up emails for each of them. And then you also get a certain amount of weeks of testing. And so for that package I think it’s like … I just changed them so I’m still learning the details myself. But you get like two months of testing I think or like a month and a half of testing. Because the testing is really where we kind of make or break it with cold emails. Because really those first initial cold emails are just your best guess on what could or could not work.
And so the testing period is when you’re actually fine honing your message and sending out more emails and seeing if those ones work. Then the upper package is more initial cold emails so you kind of get like more horses in the race. You’re betting on more horses so to speak. And you get a longer testing period. So you have more and more runway to test out those initial cold emails and then finer optimize them. Also I do offer a VIP day where I try to get as many cold emails done in a day as I can. Sometimes there’s more than other days. And then I do a mentorship where if you want to work with me and learn how to do cold emails, I’ll teach you the process and we work together and it’s implementation and learning based. And this was something that I found really helps me as a copywriter is I actually don’t need more information. I’m chock-full on information, thank you very much. Like no more knowledge. I just need to do stuff with the knowledge I already have. Because that’s like the hardest part. So that’s what I designed the mentorship to do. So really for each of the packages it was to answer a specific need that I saw popping up in like talking with my clients or noticing what they were asking for repeatedly and then talking with other copywriters.
Rob: Really smart. Basing packages on actual needs from the clients. I like it. So I want to try something or turn the conversation totally different. I heard a rumor that you’re a bit of a travel hacker. That you don’t pay to go stay in hotels or to travel around the world. Tell us a little bit about how you got into this hobby and maybe a couple of the fun places you’ve been able to go?
Laura: Yes. I would love to talk about this. Nobody ever asks me about this.
Rob: I’m a little obsessed with travel, so we could talk about this for 10 or 15 minutes easily.
Laura: Okay, so basically I got into travel hacking because I started looking … This was like, holy moly. What is this, 2019? This was at least seven years ago, like 2012, 2010. Long time ago. Because I wanted really, really badly to go to Europe. But I really, really badly didn’t want to spend $2,000 on just one freaking plane ticket. So I don’t know how I fell into it. Probably some weird Google search I was doing late at night, drinking a beer on the couch. Let’s be honest. And I discovered this hidden world of travel hacking. Which, I don’t know if your audience is aware of what travel hacking is. Yes? No?
Kira: Assume it’s traveling on the cheap. Just figuring out how to do it without spending a ton of money.
Rob: I would imagine that some people do. Yeah.
Laura: Mostly. It’s like you’re sighing up for credit cards to get those big miles bonuses that you always see advertised. But not spending more money than you have to and then using those miles in really smart ways to get some cool trips out of it. So yeah. So we took like a two week vacation. It was like three months later, we … I signed my husband out for all these weird credit cards and swapped out the cards for him so that we were hitting all the bonuses at the right time. I was like, ‘Now you reuse this one. Okay, that one’s done, now let’s use this one.’ And about three months later, we were on our way to Europe for a two week trip that would have normally cost like 8,000 bucks, but we spent like $2,000 on it.
Rob: All in. Hotel, travel, food everything, 2,000?
Laura: Yeah. We used a lot on the travel. We actually ended up getting another, kind of like a half a trip out of it to New York City later in the year. So we got like a trip and a half out of the plane tickets. And then we got all of our hotels covered. We did stay in an Airbnb in Paris, which unfortunately is like in this gray area for travel hacking Airbnbs. Nobody’s figured out how to cash in points for Airbnb stays yet. So if someone out there is working on it, please hurry it up. But yeah, basically. And I can’t get enough of it. I actually just went to Niagara Falls about a week and a half ago for Tarzan Kay’s legendary event. And I took my husband and my son with me for free because of travel hacking. And they stayed in the hotel and got free meals, nice Embassy Suites. And their tickets were free.
Kira: So what is the opposite of a travel hacker? What is that called?
Rob: Last minute booker.
Kira: What is that called? That’s what I am. I’m not proud of it. That’s what I am. Yeah, I’m that fool. So where can we find the best resources if we want to get into travel hacking and stop spending so much money on travel? What do you recommend? Where can I start?
Laura: Yeah, check out thepointsguy.com. He’s the big authority of it. They publish a zillion articles a day. But that’s a really good spot to start.
Kira: Okay. I am going to do this. I will be a travel hacker. Okay so before we wrap Laura, I just want to ask you a final question. What do you think the future of copywriting looks like?
Laura: I think it’s going to go back to the roots of human connection and verbal storytelling. I’m thinking Homer sitting around a fireplace or fire pit and swapping stories. I think it’s going to have way more of that flavor. Of that flavor of human connection and story telling and how to really connect.
And so if you guys want, you can get two cold email templates. One of which is the one that got me a $20,000 client. And the cool thing about this packet is that I show you the actual real life email and then you get a template to use. So there’s not a lot of legwork on your side. But if you would like it, and I think you should probably snag it up, it’s at lauralopuch.com/tcc.
Kira: Excellent. Yeah, I just downloaded mine today, so I’ve got like my template saved. So Laura, if we just want to reach out to you, where does the best place to find you?
Rob: The correct answer of course is The Copywriter Club Facebook group.
Kira: I don’t know, I just wrote Twitter. Got to be Twitter, right?
Laura: I guess I’ll go with Twitter. Yeah, you can find me on Twitter. My handle is waitingtoberead. The to is T-O. Nothing funky. Or you can find me on Instagram Laura Lopuch. To be honest with you, the best way is probably to email me. I’m not really big on social media.
Kira: Shockingly you’re into email.
Laura: I know. Weird. But yeah, you can definitely email me at just Laura@LauraLopuch.com.
Rob: Very cool, thanks Laura for spilling the beans on cold pitches and helping us get better at email. We really appreciate it.
Kira: Yeah, thank you so much.
Laura: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it and it was a fun time.
You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music from the show is a clip from Gravity, by Whitest Boy Alive, available in iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript, and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.
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