Interviews Charlene Burke

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Q1. Where are you from?

Louisville, Kentucky

Q2. How did you discover copywriting?

When I was 21 years old I was managing a direct mail firm. This is many many years before internet. We sold custom and brand licensed caps, jackets, t-shirts via self-mailers to the auto, truck, and farm implement industries. I wrote the product descriptions, created new mailers when a partner merged with another company, and managed the house lists. We had just gotten a portable PC and a printer so I thought … let’s send a personalized sales letter to a couple of house lists to introduce a new windbreaker offer. Those sales letters brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales for the windbreakers and the re-orders for caps were larger than normal. It was fun to get a call from a customer who said they got the letter and loved it…then they placed their order. I honestly didn’t think of it as copywriting at the time. I thought it was a way to communicate directly with the person on the list to show them how their dealership would benefit from offering this windbreaker as a sales prize (could be customized with screen printing of name) or as a giveaway to attendees at a promotional event.

Q3. What forms of copy do you write?

Email copy is my speciality. I love it because it’s an intimate conversation between me (my client) and the reader whether it’s a single focused nurture or sales email or it’s a newsletter that offers updates on multiple topics. I love it so much I publish a bi-weekly newsletter about it at I also write copy for lead generation that includes short VSL scripts, landing pages, lead magnets, and of course the follow-up emails.

Q4. What are your favorite niches to write in?

Personal Development, Wellness and Alternative Health for humans and for animals, Manufacturing, B2B Services

Q5. What is the #1 lesson you've learned as a copywriter?

Respect your reader. To do this it’s vital that I know so much about the target market that I can slip into ‘character’ as one of them and feel their frustration or pain or anxiety or uncertainty or objections…only then can I write copy with words they use to describe their current state and the state they wish they could be in. I’ve always called it ‘method writing’. It means my research, when time allows, will be offline if I’m able to have conversations with people either via telephone or over a cup of coffee, where I can ‘people watch’ at a particular retail environment or experience environment (car show, baseball/soccer/basketball game, restaurant, hiking trails, etc.)

Q6. Who is your favorite copywriter & why?

I have a few and all for the same reason…they take the time to go deep in the research of the target market and the product/service being offered so they can write copy that positions the offer to be an exact match with the target market: Eugene Schwartz, Clayton Makepeace, David Deutsch, Bob Bly, Marcella Allison, Kim Krause Schwalm.

Q7. Do you have any recent wins to share?

???? 7% increase in sales of $1.5M single product pet ecomm store using expanded email Flows ???? $25K in coaching services sold from 4 day flash sale email sequence for book coach ???? 30% increase in sales of credit repair agency letter bundle with new sales page and video scripts ???? 40% lift in sales – Wealth Asset Manager offers stock market insights. I reviewed his existing promo emails to sell an annual subscription. I did research into his ideal customer. I wrote 4 emails to test against his. They were split test to his list of 15,000 free subscribers. First email brought in 40% more sales than he ever experienced with his campaigns. By the end of the campaign he had 5x more sales that he attributes to the copy in my emails.

Q8. What would you say to a prospective client who wants to hire you?

My goal is to use words to connect your target market with your offer so they want to buy – and you get more sales.

Q9. What is a good email address for prospective clients to contact you?

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