Lee Barnathan
LB Communications
All Compelling Copy Is Not Created Equal
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I create or improve copy that is written factually, truthfully and guarantees your credibility and integrity. It generates and nurtures leads, and causes website visitors to do what you want. My specialties include ghostwriting, or writing in somebody else’s voice, tone and style. I also blog, or write several times about a specific idea, topic or theme. These posts are usually 500-700 words but could be any length. I also can take these posts and shorten them to just a few paragraphs so you can use them on social media sites. My process requires your full participation — I can’t do my job without you. I begin by asking open-ended questions that usually start with who/what/where/when/how/why. I use critical thinking to listen and identify holes in your responses, which leads to additional questions. This process gets me the information I need to create or improve your copy so it’s free of lies, embellishments or exaggerations. A truth-based message is easier to remember, get behind and promote. Clients who want this kind of copy want someone who will take the time to hear them, to intellectually and emotionally understand them. Then they want the copy written honestly, accurately and clearly, with no BS. For 31 years, I’ve been writing, editing and communicating in these unique ways. Clients benefit because their words read differently than their competition’s, which helps increase the number of leads they get from their websites. Some want to hire me for just one job, no matter how long or short it takes. Others pay a retainer and contract with me over several months. My fees are fixed yet flexible.

In this episode

Lee Barnathan of LB Communications is on a mission to prevent a common mistake made by too many business owners that costs dearly when deciding on an email campaign. They aren’t asking one fundamental question at the outset: Why do it in the first place? Is it to build credibility? Establish authority? Boost revenue? Create or strengthen brand awareness? Build or sustain relationships? You can’t structure and write a successful campaign until you answer that because the way to execute your objective will be different. Business owners fail to understand at least 95% of the time that different campaigns require different strategies, channels, and tactics. It is not one size fits all.


Lee points out that if you answer the critical, WHY ARE YOU DOING THE CAMPAIGN question first, you will end up with a more focused campaign that targets the right people, is located in the places the target people will see it, decreases the number of people that unsubscribe or don’t respond to your call to action, and increases the likelihood of you reaching your campaign goals. Lee offers a four steps process to be sure your campaign delivers on the objective you need. Listen to the end for the details on Lee’s gift to our audience that will get you pointed in the right direction.

All Compelling Copy Is Not Created EqualLee Barnathan
00:00 / 20:50

A glimpse of what you'll hear

03:31 So many email campaigns disappoint because they lose sight of why they are doing it in the first place.

04:43 Your writing style changes based on your objective.

05:30 One message per email per target audience.

07:08 Writing copy for an email campaign the right way.

08:50 How it feels when you get it right.

10:38 Implementing an effective email campaign in 4 steps.

14:10 Learn about Lee. Email Lee at lee@leebarnathan.com or call/text during business hours (PST) at +1.818.521.1675.

Episode Transcript
(Note: this was transcribed using transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast.)

00:00:04:13 - 00:00:22:18

Centricity


Welcome to the best kept secret video cast and podcast from Centricity. If you are a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from our B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co-founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.


00:00:41:10 - 00:01:10:12

Jay Kingley


I'm Jay Kingley co-founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to our show where our guests share their provocative perspective on what their target market is missing out on. I'm happy to welcome back to the show for the third time. Lea Barnathan of LB Communications. Lee works with clients in the writing and editing areas to create content that is attention grabbing true to your vision and brand and converts. Lee is based in Los Angeles, California. Welcome back to the show Lee.


00:01:14:16 - 00:01:18:10

Lee Barnathan


Jay it's good to be back. Third time's a charm, right?


00:01:18:18 - 00:01:51:13

Jay Kingley


Always is. Now, Lee, I'm not a happy person. I am looking at how so many small and mid-market companies do their marketing. And what I see is they're all doing tactic after tactic after tactic. And most of the time I'm scratching my head saying I don't understand why they're doing this. Now, to be fair, we are all being inundated with vendors pitching and pedaling on one marketing tactic after another. If you're on LinkedIn, I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about and there is so much noise, so much unsolicited action to get you to buy these tactics and they all have great results. They probably have great testimonials. They promise you everything that you can want. Now, I'm not saying that they're all lying, but what I am saying is that they have stripped away their tactic from the context of the business objectives and results that the company is looking to achieve. The creation of a marketing strategy designed to get those results and then coming up with a tactical plan consistent with that strategy. In particular, there has been an increasing misuse in my from my perspective of the email channel. Now all the experts will tell us how powerful email is as an outbound marketing tactic and that most all companies should have that tactic as part of their arsenal. But when you're on the receiving end, I have so many inbound emails that come in. Not only are they poorly written, not only is it hard to figure out what the heck they are asking of me or trying to tell me, it's so often I don't even know why I'm getting them. Like, what was the point of them sending out this email blast? So off to the spam folder. They go. So Lee, as someone who works a lot in terms of the writing of these types of email campaigns. What is going wrong with how businesses are using outbound email?


00:03:46:06 - 00:04:12:02

Lee Barnathan


I think the problem is that they are forgetting the strategy. They think, Oh, we need an email campaign, so we need to write this, this, this, this, this, and they're forgetting to ask one very important question first, why do this email campaign in the first place? What is the goal? Are you trying to build credibility? Are you trying to establish authority?


Are you trying to strengthen a brand awareness or create brand awareness? Are you trying to boost your revenue? You can't structure and write a successful campaign until you answer that first question because the way you execute your objective will be different. And make no mistake, there is only one objective. If you think you can squeeze in two or three, you'll fail to reach any target audience.


00:04:34:05 - 00:05:01:11

Jay Kingley


Lee When it comes to actually the writing of the message itself, if my objective were conversion, you know, outbound prospecting, if my objective was to build a story, if my objective was brand awareness, I could go on and on and on. When the way you would actually write that content differ all that much, or is it pretty much the same writing style?


Maybe a different headline, maybe a different call to action?


00:05:05:07 - 00:05:26:15

Lee Barnathan


No, it would be very different potentially, because you can't write all campaigns the same way. You know, if you're trying to boost sales, you probably want to write a paragraph like this. As a doctor, drug companies always ask me to recommend the vitamin supplements to my patients. I have never been the least bit tempted to do that until now.


That's a compelling opening paragraph if you're trying to boost sales, but it's going to do nothing if you're trying to establish authority or credibility.


00:05:34:14 - 00:05:56:04

Jay Kingley


Let's go back to the point you made on objectives. So talk a little bit about the problem when you're trying to achieve, say, three objectives. We all know the magic of three. So there are three key things that I want to achieve in my email. What's the problem when I try to do that in one single email?


00:05:56:13 - 00:06:28:10

Lee Barnathan


You're diluting your your audience. You know, a proper email campaign requires you to segment your emails. You know, experts will tell you you've got a segment in your email list. You've got to design the emails. You've got to write them, and you have to test them. Well, if you have more than one objective, you've got different segments. For example, you're not going to be able to really accurately target the right people if you're going to throw in more than one objective, because this segment wants this objective, but this other segment doesn't.


And so you're going to end up, for lack of a better word, losing those people. So when you get to the objective that these people really want, you've already lost them because you didn't segment them correctly. You exposed them to an objective that doesn't interest them.


00:06:48:03 - 00:07:10:03

Jay Kingley


So we have the need to start with a crystal clear objective, and there are many that I can choose from where email might be the right channel, the right tactic, but the way I would execute it would be different. So I have to start with that objective. From that objective, I need a plan, a marketing plan that lays everything out that I'm going to do to achieve that objective.


One of the tactics that falls out of that plan could very well be email. I need to be sure that when I execute it that I have just one singular objective in mind and then I actually have to compose it in a voice in in a style that's consistent all the way back to the objective that I'm trying to achieve.


00:07:31:06 - 00:07:39:22

Jay Kingley


So there's an awful lot that can go wrong here. So how do I do this? What are the key things that need to happen for me to be successful?


00:07:40:08 - 00:08:13:07

Lee Barnathan


So the first thing you have to do is you have to understand and that different campaigns require different strategies, different channels and different tactics. It is not one size fits all. Here's an example. Adidas. It ran a campaign in Boston called Congrats. You survived the Boston Marathon. The big problem was the word survivor live because there had been a bombing at the marathon some years before that that had killed three and injured more than 260 people and 17 people lost limbs.


Adidas heard from their people on social media real quick and they apologized within hours. And to make up for it, they spent millions of dollars the next year creating videos of each individual finisher at the marathon. $1,000,000,000 company like Adidas can afford to do that small business owners can't imagine if you made the same mistake Adidas made. You know the resources of $1,000,000,000 company.


You're probably going to feel panic and you're going to feel terror or you're going to feel panic. Oh, my God. I made this mistake. You're going to feel terror. Oh, my God. This mistake might kill my business. And even if it doesn't kill your business, it's going to make you gun shy. You're going to be less likely to take that next bold step you need to take to move your business to the next level, which is what an email campaign can do.


00:09:04:09 - 00:09:28:21

Jay Kingley


Then you talked about the ad disaster scenario, which, as you point out, isn't very far fetched. And I bet with a little digging around on Google, one could probably find all sorts of examples of businesses large, medium and small sized that got it wrong and had these epic fails. Any thoughts? Let's let's take a look at the other side of it.


Any thoughts on what it means to actually nail it in, get it right?


00:09:33:07 - 00:10:01:13

Lee Barnathan


If you nail it, if you get it right to use your words, then you're on your way because email marketing is can be very lucrative. If you have a dollar and you spend it on email marketing, you're getting an estimated R5 between $20 and $55 depending on which source you referred to. But let's be honest here, those numbers are accurate only if your campaign's goal is to increase revenue and it has to be well executed.


If not, you're going to be incurring costs without any returns. Now, that's not to say that there there still isn't going to be a benefit from doing an email campaign the right way, because if you if your goal is to build credibility, then you're going to want to write your campaign a certain way. That's going to demonstrate that your credibility and your authority is right on.


And that and that is a very powerful I know if the right word is a very powerful thing to be able to show an audience the right audience, that you have the credibility and you have the authority, because in that case, now you have word of mouth that's going to get passed on. People are going to take your email campaign and they're going to pass it on to somebody who they think would benefit from hearing it or reading about it.


And that's only going to build your audience. It is so positive. There is there is a sort of spiraling effect, a positive spiral in being able to do a campaign correctly, whatever your objective is. But remember, only one objective.


00:11:08:18 - 00:11:33:22

Jay Kingley


There's so many things that I think you have to get right in order to make this effective. But if you do it right, you're telling us that the rely both the measurable and unmeasurable part, are going to be very, very high. So take us through the implementation of setting up from the objective all the way through an email campaign.


00:11:34:04 - 00:11:54:19

Lee Barnathan


Obviously, the first step is to identify the objective. Is it revenue, is it credibility? Is it authority, is it brand awareness? Is it relationship building or is it something else that is the first and most important thing. Once you have that objective, you can start taking steps such as creating the right segment of your list that matches your objective.


So you only are going to send the eventual emails to those people who need and want and should read them. Then you're going to create the emails. You have to determine the style, the voice, the personality. For example, if the goal is to boost sales, the emails should be shorter and they should be maybe even as little as one screen on a computer so that way the reader doesn't have to scroll.


If you're doing lead generation, you might want to use persuasive marketing tactics interrupt, engage, educate and offer. Once you have that content and style determined, you have to figure out the right channels. Where are you going to put this campaign? Obviously you're going to email it, but you want to link it places. If you're trying to boost sales, you probably want to link your emails to social media sites or your company's websites.


If you're trying to build credibility or establish authority, you might want to link the email to a blog or a newsletter. But again, you want to make sure that you've already segmented the list correctly. So therefore, the right people get the right link. And the last step is you have to understand this is a campaign, not a one off.


You've got to invest time in this. I recommend at least six months. The reason why six months is an ideal time is that you've now given yourself three months to run the campaign, giving you enough time to analyze, measure, reflect and adjust as necessary. So the second half of the campaign can be more successful because every six months you can do a year, you could do eight months, but you really need to give it time.


Because if you don't design an email campaign, starting with why are you doing it in the first place, you're going to fail because you didn't consider the strategy behind it. All these tactics will mean nothing if you haven't asked that one very critical question first.


00:13:47:00 - 00:14:13:19

Jay Kingley


So many businesses make use of outbound email as an important component in their marketing strategy, but so few companies do it right. Lee, thanks for giving us insight on not just how to do it right, but the consequences when you get it wrong. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to learn a bit more about Lee.


00:14:15:10 - 00:14:34:17

Centricity


Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client. Would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers? While centricity is the tipping point. Program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers. You need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold calling, cold email called outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform or spending money on ads. But it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertize and insights that your prospects and network value. The best part, even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working so you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So email, time@centricity.com to schedule an 18 minute call to learn more.


00:15:13:22 - 00:15:39:12

Jay Kingley


Welcome back. We're talking to Lee Barnett of LB Communications. Let's find out a bit more about Lee. Lee, when a client hires you. They have in their mind certain results and outcomes they're expecting from that engagement. So share with us those expectations and what they're looking for you to do to give them the results that they want.


00:15:40:00 - 00:16:06:15

Lee Barnathan


You know, it's funny you mention that, because when people come to me, they have an objective. Just what we've been talking about with emails. They have an objective that they want executed and they want me to to carry out that objective. So how I'm going to do that depends on the objective. If they want to improve revenue, I'll they often are wanting to have a website written or rewritten.


So I'm going to write the copy based on their objective. Sometimes the objective is to build their credibility or their authority. So I'm going to write blog posts to help them establish their credibility and their authority. But sometimes they want an emotional reaction. So they're going to hire me to write a speech because the speech is going to give the audience the emotional reaction that the client wants to give.


So there's no matter what I'm doing, I am helping to carry out the objective. And if they don't know the objective, we're going to talk about it and find out what that objective is before I move forward and how to execute.


00:16:48:16 - 00:17:24:22

Jay Kingley


Lee is a Centricity client. You know that one of the things that we spend a lot of time on is how do you build trust with prospects, with clients, with referral partners. And one of the little you can call them games that we play with our clients is something we call memorable moments. And this is a question never has a right or wrong answer, but it always reveals something about the person that even those who've known you for decades may not know about.


So in an effort to open up and shine a light on you that our audience may not be aware of, we're going to do a memorable moments question. You are going to give me a number between one and 412, and that will determine the question that you're going to have to answer in real time. With no advance notice.


All right, Lee, your number is.


00:17:55:09 - 00:17:57:12

Lee Barnathan

186.


00:17:58:03 - 00:18:10:15

Jay Kingley


Oh, I like this question. Lee. Let's see what you feel about it. Here it is. What small gesture from a stranger has made a big impact on you?


00:18:11:00 - 00:18:38:23

Lee Barnathan

The memories come flooding back. I remember when I met my wife. She was a stranger. The gesture was just simply the way she looked at me. It was in the eyes. I remember being a lonely kid and so I would look for people who. How do I put this? They were know I was looking for people, not for validation, but I was looking for, you know, to fit in.


And so I would watch people and I would look in their eyes because I could tell from looking at their eyes if they welcomed me. And I was at a birthday party with my wife and mutual friends. Birthday party. And so we had never met. And so she she gave me a look of, yes, let's play. Because we were we were throwing the Frisbee around and there was something there.


And the way she looked at me and smiled at me. So to answer your question, a look and a smile can mean so much.


00:19:10:07 - 00:19:13:14

Jay Kingley


How old were you when you met your wife for your first time?


00:19:14:10 - 00:19:15:17

Lee Barnathan

I was 24.


00:19:15:18 - 00:19:39:13

Jay Kingley


In a future episode, we're going to have Lee's wife come on. And give her side of this story. But I like it, Lee. It is. It is touching. And it's something that we should all keep in mind, that it's often the small things that over time has the biggest impact. That certainly was the case for you, Lee.


You've hit on a really good topic, as I always remind our listeners. This is the start of a conversation. And so for our listeners that want to continue that dialog with you, what is the best way for them to reach out to you?


00:19:56:05 - 00:20:20:01

Lee Barnathan


Well, I'm old school, so I still take phone calls. So let's give you a phone number 818 area code 521 1675. But of course, I'm also a little bit young to know that email is another good way of finding me. And of course, my email campaigns. I've got to have an email address. Right. It's my name. Lee. Lee@leebarnathan.com.


00:20:20:06 - 00:20:46:03

Jay Kingley


Well, to make it even easier, we're going to put all of Lee's contact information in our show notes. And as an insert in to the video. Now, Lee, I told you at the outset, I told our audience at the outset that you are a third time visitor. You ought to know by now that you don't come on this show without bearing gifts for our listeners.


All right. So we're just going to get right to it, Lee. Let's hear the gift you have for our listeners this time around.


00:20:55:01 - 00:21:22:23

Lee Barnathan


I wish it was Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa time so I could get in my red, in my beard, and I could go, Oh, I have gifts for you, little good boys and girls. But the reality is, the gift is that I am going to for all listeners, I am offering to analyze a past email campaign. You provide me this series of emails and I'll analyze them to explain what I think worked, what I don't think worked, and what you could do next time.


And that does include the strategy and it includes the tactics. It also will include the channels. Where did you where did you send them? And we'll talk about the segment of email list.


00:21:33:08 - 00:22:01:14

Jay Kingley


That is a terrific gift. Lee, you have definitely jumped the bar in terms of my expectations, and I have a very high bar. So I want to encourage our audience to reach out to Lee. I know that so many of you are using outbound email. Take advantage of Lee's willingness to generously give you a free analysis and diagnostic on your campaign.


As Clint Eastwood would say, the good, the bad and the ugly. And when we reach out to Lee. Be sure to mention that you heard him on the best kept secret show. Lee, as always, thank you so much for coming on to the show. You were great, as always, to our audience. Let's continue to crush it until next time.