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Jodi Kaplan
Works at KaplanCopy
Attended Oberlin
Lives in New York City
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Jodi Kaplan

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Well said! 

Incidentally, you can tell a lot about a company by the way its mission statement is worded: if it says something like "we pride ourselves on assessing situational circumstances and developing transactional awareness" ... run!

EDIT:  Oops, I didn't realize my comment would show up as a post in my stream! Still, GIdeon's post is well worth reading.
Mission statement definition is a critical - and often botched - job in many businesses. One of the ...
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Oh, OK, now that I know I can be prepared for it!

I was thinking the same thing (re: Good Business). 
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Jodi Kaplan

Marketing & Sales  - 
Getting to "Heck,Yes!"

It can be hard enough to close a sale when you sell t-shirts or pens or something people can hold.

It's even more challenging when you are a service company.  IT maintenance or even copywriting don't have tangible products  you can touch or hold (unless you enjoy hugging humming servers ;)). 

Sell "Value" Not "Product"

You want your prospective customer to say not only "yes, but heck yes!" 

In marketing speak, it's called a "value proposition." They have to be so excited about what you're doing for them, that they'd have to be crazy not to accept your offer.

Here's what I mean.

Compare the value of "writing your email newsletter" to the value of "double your email newsletter profit."  Or, the value of "IT maintenance" vs the value of "worry-free IT."

Be "Exclusive" Not Inclusive

The donation program in the article works because it's exclusive.  Not everyone can afford it (of course), so only a chosen few can sign up.  _This turns a recurring payment into a special club_

Neat trick!

Try different levels of service for different types of clients.  Back to the IT example, premium clients might pay more (and get a faster response) than non-premium clients. 

Michael Port calls this "the velvet rope."  The idea is that you focus exclusively on a particular kind of client, and give them a particular service -- which others can't (or don't match). Only certain clients can get in to work with you (and if they don't match your criteria, then politely turn them down.

What's your value proposition?  How do you get to "heck, yes?"
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 +Jodi Kaplan  Great post and thank you for sharing
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Jodi Kaplan

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Today is free cone day!

(I once got there near closing time and talked my way in by pointing out I was a fellow Obie, like Jerry).  

Sadly, the scoop shop near me closed and has been replaced by some sort of low-fat, low-taste abomination.

However, if there's one near you, go have a scoop for me!
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Jodi Kaplan

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Since I need a giggle (it's been one of "those* weeks), OK, who left the tank on the Throgs Neck Bridge?  Fess up!
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Today's Customer Service Award Goes to.....

Kim (from Binghamton) who works for Time Warner Cable

I'd been having internet issues for months and months.  I finally got it fixed... and they promised me three months credit.  Lo and behold it didn't show up on my bill.

I called customer service billing last month, and spoke to Kim,  She promised to go in manually (!) each month to give me the credit.  She also said she'd call me and tell me she'd done it.

She just called!

I told her she should be Queen of Customer Service.  Whatever they are paying her, it's not enough._
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I thanked her profusely (after months of customer service that was an oxymoron, she was a delightful breath of fresh air).
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In their circles
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Jodi Kaplan

Marketing & Sales  - 
Why Should I Buy From You?

Have you noticed this?

You turn on the TV to watch something.  Baseball for example.  Each year it's the same thing.

The baseball teams do well (or badly), the players change, but the ads never do.

I see the same crop of local car dealers, paving stone manufacturers, and local insurance salesmen every spring.  They sell different products, but their ads are nearly identical.  

Low prices!
In business since 1962!
Best service!

That's a lot of exclamation marks.  It's also a lot of (sorry) hot air.

It doesn't mean anything.

Just once, I'd like to see an ad that told a story. An ad that drew me in.  It doesn't require a big budget, just a bit of thought.

That car dealer?  Instead of touting great service (everyone says that), why not show it?  Tell the story of the nervous new parents shopping for a bigger car, and how happy they were when they found just the right one.

Or, the insurance salesman who went out of his way to help a family after an accident.

We all want to believe we're special (and that we give great service).  Saying that (over and over) isn't believable.  Showing it is.

What have you done to stand out?
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♪♪Driving down the highway/
Looking for adventure♪♪ :)
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Jodi Kaplan

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Looks like winter isn't finished!

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I like that orange patio below
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Does your traffic convert to sales?

Or do most of your visitors take one look and leave?

Groove software found that they had lots of visitors, but their conversion rate was just plain awful.

They set out to find out why.

Here's what they discovered:

They were asking for the "sale" too soon.

The landing page gushed that their product was easy to use -- but neglected to explain why visitors would want it.

The sales pitch was in "marketing speak", rather than customer speak. 

So, they decided to talk directly to their customers and ask questions to find out what words they used to describe their problems, and how the software Groove sells was solving those issues.

They needed more follow up

Finally, they started emailing new customers to ask them about their experience, and used those answers to rework the copy and then the design of their site.

The result: conversions nearly doubled.

What is your experience using landing pages? 
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Jodi Kaplan

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I found spring!
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Jodi Kaplan

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I love this town!
In the city that never sleeps, you'll now be able to satisfy your cupcake craving at anytime you want thanks to a 24-hour cupcake dispensing machine, which opened Tuesday on the Upper East Side.
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Oh dear Jodi. Get well soon <3
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In their circles
556 people
Have them in circles
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Wizard of Words, Clarity Driver
  • KaplanCopy
    Owner, 2003 - present
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
    Marketing Manager
  • The Direct Marketing Association
    Marketing Manager, 2000 - 2002
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
New York City
London - Oberlin
Is your marketing broken? Get it fixed!
I'm a copywriter, small business direct marketing consultant, and founder of KaplanCopy

I blog at Fix Your Broken Marketing.

My superpower? People call me the Wizard of Words and the Clarity Driver. If you're having trouble seeing what's wrong with your marketing, or spending lots of money, without getting results, I can cut through the clutter and show you how to create a niche nobody else can match.

I'm also a human TInkertoy: I connect people and  projects together.  If you need a Web wizard, graphic design, marketing strategy, or copywriting, let me know.

You can reach me at jodik at kaplancopy dot com.

(Thanks to astronaut Chris Hadfield for the great cover photo! Used with permission).
Bragging rights
My first computer was a mainframe named Igor. I taught myself to read at age 3 (watching an ESL program on public TV). I packed the room with a $100 marketing campaign for The DMA.
  • Oberlin