Plumbers Butt and Marketing Copywriting

Duluth Trading Company lightbox email

Have you met Duluth Trading Company?

I met them via a friend. I’m a sucker for a funny story.

I’ll get to that, but look at what happens on my first visit:

Lightbox Email Collection Duluth Trading Company

Lightbox Email Collection

It’s hilarious. Plumbers Butt is funny. Here’s the thing, I have no idea what the site’s about, that they’re funny or that I may love it. It’s a little pre-mature but I’m a curious sort. So I hit it.

Lighbox Email Confirmation Duluth Trading

PB Solved

Ha! The Plumber’s Butt problem is solved!

(I’ll admit it now, I had no idea his crack was showing when I first visited. . .if I didn’t take a snapshot of the first page, I would have missed it)

Humor in copywriting is seen as a dangerous thing. As someone who has delved into it from time to time, here is my advice:

  • Make it self-depricating
  • Freely use punctuation to show intent!!
  • Don’t be afraid of offending someone

Let me address the last point. I’m not saying that you should be “offensive”, I’m saying that it’s okay if not everyone likes your sense of humor.

In this case, if I were especially sensitive or proud of my plumbers butt, I may complain loudly, but the folks at DTC have to trust their gut and know that they don’t need to appeal to everyone. Just the man that appreciates well made garments or the spouse that gives him gifts.

The broader point I want to make is this: have some fun with your copywriting because it makes you sound human.

Sticking with my new friends at Duluth up North der, check out this description for the Men’s Ballroom Jeans:

“I like the fact that you designed your jeans without the cheap hotel syndrome (no ballroom),” wrote John P. from Ohio. Good point, John – so now we call them Ballroom® Jeans. They’re cut on the easy side, and built with the added comfort of our F.O.M.™ (freedom of movement) Crouch Gusset, so they don’t feel too tight when you bend, stoop or squat. The waistband, bottom leg openings and pockets are lined with Fire Hose® canvas – these babies are NOT going to fray, rip out or get holes in ’em from nails. Finally, side pockets are a full 12″ deep so your stuff doesn’t fall out. So go ahead: bend, crouch, climb, do the hokey pokey in comfort. 

It’s funny. It’s human. It’s real. It makes me want to talk to someone about it. 

What if you’re not selling Jeans, does it work?

Absolutely. Just remember that light copy doesn’t work with everyone. And if you miss the mark with something you think is funny, watch out! You’ll hear about it.

Keep it in perspective. If you sent 95,000 emails and 2 people came after you, that probably equates to 20 or so that didn’t appreciate your Grandmother joke.

No one made a cake without breaking a few eggs, eh.

Okay, back to the lightbox. (I didn’t forget)

I may have been the victim of a test but it’s still operating like it did on my first visit. A lighbox signup in the first second I’m on the site.

After a month of collecting these emails and sending offers (the first one came in on the first email) we should have a baseline. An “A” right? (see Gimme an A for a little A/B Testing info) Well, now that we have our A, let’s see what happens when the timeline is extended. # of signups? # of opt-ins? # of sales in 30 days? How does it all compare? My gut tells me that a few seconds on the site would allow me to A: get the jokes, and B: appreciate the plumber’s butt. But what do I know?

It’s all good. Good stuff.

About the Author: Greg Chambers is Chambers Pivot Industries. Get more business development ideas from Greg on Twitter and .

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