December 1, 2022

How we hired a conversion driven Copywriter for an eCommerce marketing agency in less than 7 weeks

The Challenge:
We were tasked with finding a copywriter for an eCommerce marketing agency called TransBiz, who would help increase the quality of the copies being produced as well as reduce the turnaround time for creating copies. 

The Result:

In 7 weeks, we had reached out to 108 candidates via active sourcing on Linkedin and Facebook, and 68 candidates came through passive sourcing. Out of those, we took 17 applicants on a call (12 came from our headhunting efforts & the rest came from applications via our website), and by the final week, we presented 3 finalists to the TransBiz team and were able to extend an offer to their favorite candidate within a few days.

The biggest selling point for this role is that the team is fully remote & international, working with clients from many different niches. 

Biggest Selling Points:

TransBiz also has an internal team for Learning and Development, and nurturing their team is a big priority. From the very beginning, the new team member would have a chance to create an individualized plan for themselves and set KPIs to achieve those goals. Feedback sessions and reviews happen often, so they have lots of opportunities to continue improving themselves. 

Finally, TransBiz values and celebrates autonomy and experimentation, so team members have space within the agency where they can play around with new ideas. They would not only take part in execution but also bring something new to the table. 

Requirements:

The agency was looking to increase conversion of their copy and start building a team around this new Copywriter, so this person should have several years of experience in Copywriting for eCommerce. 


As this Copywriter would heavily focus on conversion-orientated copy, they had to have a good understanding of conversion principles and be able to showcase their previous results. 

The candidate also had to have the ability to write for different channels such as ads for Meta & Instagram, landing pages, email copy & ideally have some experience with copywriting for Amazon. 

Finally, this person should share the same values as the team. For them, culture is one of the most important factors in hiring and we had to make sure that they resonate with their mission & vision. 

Skills We Looked For:

  1. Passionate about growing & learning - This candidate should be experimenting and upskilling themselves with every opportunity, and be passionate about actively learning & following changes in the marketing world
  2. Strong copywriting portfolio - This role required the copywriter to be able to follow and understand conversion principles, so we wanted to make sure they have these skills by looking at their previous work through their portfolio and the test task
  3. Data-oriented: To be a good copywriter in marketing, you need to understand the impact and results your copy is generating, and be curious to dive deeper into the numbers to see what can be changed and improved next time for the audience to get hooked on their words
  4. Research - As a copywriter, you have to get into the heads of the audience you’re targeting. This candidate has to have a keen interest in research and a methodology to get a better understanding of the ideal customer persona. 

Approach:

Conversion-orientated copywriters are sought after, so we decided to start with headhunting. We were targeting eCommerce marketing agencies first, as this was where our ideal candidate would be working. We started by having a narrow filter - agencies that work with eCommerce clients on the Amazon platform, and from there we expanded our search to other agencies and eCommerce brands. We utilized LinkedIn as well as groups on Facebook dedicated to copywriting.

For headhunting & paid ads, our search targeted Europe - beginning with Eastern European countries. We also explored the network of other European-based employees that are on the TransBiz team, as we knew they came from a similar industry. 

Key Questions To Ask:

  • What does your research process look like? What tools do you use?
  • What’s the difference between direct-response copy and other types of copy (say, brand copywriting)?
  • What is your most successful piece of direct-response copy and why?

Challenges We Faced:

The first big challenge we faced is finding a direct-response copywriter who was working with e-Commerce. We found that a lot of the direct-response copywriters were orientating themselves to other industries, and the combination of eCommerce and direct-response was uncommon. This is why it’s important to focus on specific brands and agencies who work with this niche and be able to pinpoint specific talent. 

Another challenge that arose from the recruitment was that candidates who were direct-response copywriters wanted to work with a broad range of clients as freelancers and per project, not on a full-time basis. They like the freedom of working on many different projects at once, so we had to make sure that we emphasized the freedom and the diversity of the role if they joined the TransBiz team, and they wouldn’t just be working on one thing. 

Key takeaways:

  • Set the right expectations for this role - are you looking for someone  branding-orientated, direct-response, or a combination of both? This will allow you to really evaluate the skillset you are looking for in a copywriter
  • Ask for previous writing samples so you can see how they can adapt their writing style to different brands
  • Create questions that focus on seeing their knowledge about direct response, and how they continue to develop their skills


Tips for similar hires:

  • Create a preliminary list of agencies or brands you want to target, and once you find a suitable candidate, go through their Linkedin connections to see what other copywriters they have in their network
  • Utilize Facebook groups for copywriters - don’t just rely on Linkedin
  • Don’t place 100% of the hiring on skill fit, and instead find a person who is hungry and has the desire to learn


If you’d like to cut chaos & inefficiency out of your workflows and unlock high performance in your remote team, fill out the form on our website, and let’s get talking about how we can help you on that journey!

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