Here you’ll find real-life stories about my work in action. The challenges faced, the solutions offered, and the results of the hard work.
How Quiller Copy Helped Ingrid Nuss Make 1233% ROI With One Email
Foot traffic becomes illegal, no online sales; small, cold, unengaged email list.
In March 2020, disaster struck. Shops closed, curfews were put in place, and the world went into lockdown.
The ripples of this disaster made it all the way to Timberlake Village, a trendy little place tucked into a grove of old trees next to the national highway. It’s a popular stop for those driving past or for visitors to the area.
Before March 2020, foot traffic was where business came from. Local business owners relied on tourists, road trippers, and wandering locals to make sales.
Ingrid Nuss is one of those business owners. She’s a visual artist with her studio in Timberlake Village. When the foot traffic stopped, so did business. Literally overnight.
That’s enough to send any business owner into a tailspin. But Ingrid took the opportunity to establish an online presence for her brand. It was time for her to focus on making sales online.
The thing is, Ingrid is a visual artist. She expresses herself through brushstrokes of vivid colours and otherworldly scenes.
When it comes to describing her work through words, however, that self expression dries up.
She didn’t know which elements of her work she needed to elevate to create the connection that leads to the sale. Especially on her homepage.
When it came to staying in touch with her customers, Ingrid didn’t have an open line of communication. She was active on social media, but prefers to spend time making art and surfing than responding to DM’s.
She had an email list of about 300, but she had never emailed this list. Not once. Not ever.
She was hesitant because of all the brand emails she gets in her inbox. You know the ones. You probably have more than a few sitting in your inbox right now, unopened.
Those e-commerce emails that blur the line between promotion and spam. Filled with discount codes and images that take forever to load unless you’re connected to fibre internet and.. is that.. a flashing light?? In an email??
Point is, emails like that DO NOT fit Ingrid’s brand. I’d argue they don’t fit any brand. But that’s a topic for a different rant.
So, to avoid a one-way ticket to the spam folder, she could write the emails herself right? Should be easy enough. She IS her brand after all…
No dice, gambler.
How many people do you know that love the “tell me a bit about yourself” question?
And don’t get me started on spam filters and the mountain of words that trigger them…
Anyway, Ingrid made the smart move to outsource her writing to a professional.
She was looking for somebody to take the lead with her marketing while nailing her messaging and brand voice without coming across as “salesy”.
She was looking for somebody who knew where to start, what to write, and how to write it.
She was looking for somebody to take “write (x)” off her to-do list.
She turned to me for these tasks, and she’s happy she did.
The first thing I did was to assess what we’re up against. A small list that’s never been emailed presents a few challenges:
- Cold list means we have no idea how engaged these folks are
- People may have forgotten they signed up to this list, so an email out of the blue will get their buyer resistance up
- No indication of list health
Her website was barebones at this point. The main problem was that the messaging was inconsistent and lacked clarity.
Voice-of-customer heavy website copy focusing on the emotional pull of art. Conversational, on-brand emails that focus on connecting with her customer base and building her brand.
First, I reached out to Ingrid’s best customers. She had screened them already and identified them as serious collectors of her art. “Superfans”, if you will.
I sent out 6 detailed surveys, followed up with 3 phone calls to those collectors who showed an interest, and did some in-depth competitor analysis to clarify her market position.
This revealed a consistent “why” that drove these collectors to buy. It helped me reveal the details that prospects care about when collecting art. It also gave me a clear ‘voice-of-customer’ that I use to attract prospective buyers.
The copy conveyed her essence as an artist. It elevated her message while asking for the sale without coming across as “salesy”.
We managed to streamline the whole website so there’s a clear path from browse to buy. I’m currently working on the annual refresh of Ingrid’s website.
With the homepage copy posted and converting, it was time to work on that email list. To recap, this was a cold list (never been emailed), of just under 300.
To address this, we sent out a “First Contact” email. A short email explaining why they’re receiving the email, how often we plan to email, what they can expect in each email, and inviting them to unsubscribe if they’re not interested.
This achieved a few things:
- Informed the subscribers of my clients intention
- Introduced them to the brand voice. This wasn’t a stuffy/formal email (there’s a link above if you want to read it). It was straightforward and conversational, and showed the readers they’re in for a fun time if they stick around
- It gave the poor quality leads a chance to unsubscribe immediately. This improves list health, which leads to a more engaged list, which improves deliverability, which improves sales
We then came up with a lead magnet to grow her list. Since she’s focusing on making sales through her website, a cool 20% off anything in her shop was what we ended up going for.
Next, I wrote a “Welcome” email. It automatically goes out to anyone who signs up to her list. It delivers the lead magnet, gives more indication of what to expect moving forward, and starts connecting with the prospect.
These are not purely money making emails. They’re brand building emails. And there’s no price on building a brand that people resonate with. That’s where the fortune lies.
The proof is in Ingrid’s welcome email above. It brings in a solid trickle of sales without any extra work on Ingrid’s part. I wrote it. She set it up in her email system, and it makes her money while she sleeps. Or paints. Or surfs. Or does whatever else she wants to do besides personally welcoming new subscribers to her list.
1233% ROI from one email, consistent brand voice, more free time to make art and surf
Finally, the section we’ve all been waiting for, and my chance to pay off that headline.
The first reactions were replies to her Welcome email. People responded positively, and were looking forward to more.
Imagine that; your customers looking forward to your emails.
Then the sales started coming in.
According to Ingrid, each email she sends makes a healthy return on investment. The numbers increase incrementally each time she sends an email.
In a few months, her list size has almost doubled to close to 600 people.
Then we struck gold.
In July 2021 we sent an email to her list. The main reason was to cover Ingrid in line with a new privacy law that came into effect. Legalese makes for boring emails.
So we took the opportunity to update Ingrid’s readers about what was going on in her business and snuck a discount code in for those that read (or scrolled) to the bottom.
Within 24 hours of hitting send, Ingrid made a 1233% return on her investment for that one email alone.
This showed me a couple things:
- Her readers were responding to the relationship building, conversational style of these emails. This wasn’t a sales heavy email. It wasn’t even a particularly fun email. It was a housekeeping email. But it netted a whopping ROI
- It helps to email regularly, keeping your brand top of mind for when your customers are ready to buy
Now, for the sake of transparency, the stats from this one email skew the averages significantly.
But, when we remove that email from the equation, Ingrid is still averaging over 100% ROI with each email she sends.
For every dollar she spends on email marketing, she gets two back. And every now and then, she gets a huge payout.
The best part is that Ingrid doesn’t have to put in much work for this extra revenue. She sends me a message, we have a quick chat about what’s going on in her business, and a few days later she sends out a money making email.
She can focus on doing what she loves; making art, surfing, and hanging out with friends and family.
Whenever she wants to drum up more sales, she knows she has a profitable (and growing) email list she can tap into.
She sleeps better knowing that she has this channel of qualified leads that are warmed up and looking for an excuse to collect some art.
She knows that if her social media accounts get hacked there’s no need to panic. Because she has a direct line of communication to her best customers. She’s having a one-on-one conversation with her audience, independent of any algorithms or privately owned platforms.
Any email marketer will bang you over the head with the following stat: ‘if you’re doing it right, email marketing should have a 48% ROI’.
So I’m doing something right.
Contact me today for brand building website copy. Invest in money making emails that read like a conversation with an old friend.
Your bottom line will thank you.