copywriting mistakes

Copywriting mistakes kill sales.

And that’s too bad.

Because (I assume) you have a product or service that can really make someone’s life better. And maybe a whole lot of someones…

So, what to do?

Let’s start by looking at…

Copywriting Mistake #1: Paralysis of Analysis

This greatest of all copywriting mistakes is simple to fix.

It’s that until you’ve made a few sales, you may feel you’ll make a mistake, and therefore hold off on publishing your copy.

Which, of course, would be your greatest mistake.

As Jim Edwards, so aptly explains here:

BTW, here’s a resource Jim offers that’ll help you write better copy, faster:
Easy Sales Copy Wizard

Remember, perfection is the enemy of progress.

It’s like the old sports quip: “You miss every shot you don’t take.”

Even the best professional copywriters don’t always feel 100% confident that what they’ve written will get results. The key is to get it out there. Study the results. Tweak as needed. And, if possible, always put in front of a smaller audience first.

Copywriting Mistake #2

Making a big claim without proof

And now that I’ve made that claim, you’ll need proof if you are to trust other claims I make, right?

Of course you will!

And I will in a moment, you shall have it…

But first let’s take a look at several ways you can prove your claims and avoid this copywriting mistake. In fact, there are at least 15 ways you can “prove” your point:

  1. Demonstration: Infomercials
  2. Bullets
  3. Social Proof
  4. Dimensionalization, especially numbers: Do the math for your audience
  5. Specifics (facts, stats, highly specific numbers)
  6. Metaphor / Analogy: “It’s like ______________ …”
  7. Reason Why: The “magic” word (because…)
  8. Highly believable, credible, authoritative, recognized source
  9. Backtesting and historical examples
  10. Visual aids (photos, charts, graphs)
  11. How the mechanism works
  12. Acknowledge elephant on the table, damaging evidence candidly
  13. Feel / Felt / Found
  14. Stories
    • Rags-to-Riches (ultimate transformation)
    • Hometown boy makes good
    • Loser learns to win
    • Clueless gets a clue
    • Outsider sneaks inside
    • Regular guy discovers how to become exceptional
    • “PIG” (Punch in the Gut) nightmare scenario
  15. Charts, graphs and other graphic illustrations of numerical information

This list needs elaboration. Please watch for it in a future post.

But for now, simply by providing you with bulleted details and examples, are you at least a tad more likely to believe me when I talk about copywriting mistakes (and how to avoid them)?

In other words, did you find it at least a tad easier to fully accept my claim that it’s a mistake to make claims in your copy without backing them up with proof?

I hope so.

And I hope having that list of proof methods will help you make your claims more believable — and avoid making “Copywriting Mistake #2”.

In short: Accentuate the positive… But don’t over-inflate the facts.

Copywriting Mistake #3

Not telling your reader/listener/viewer what to do next

If you’ve done a good job making your case and persuading your audience to take the action they must take in order to benefit from you fabulous product or service (It IS fabulous, isn’t it?)…

Your prospect will be in an excited, eager state, ready to follow instructions.

At that point, if you don’t tell him exactly what to do, all your efforts leading up to that point could be wasted.

If he has to stop and think and try to figure out how to get the thing you’ve just whet his appetite for, that magic, euphoric, eager state he was in could evaporate in the blink of an eye.

Don’t let that happen!

Tell him to click the orange button, dial the phone number, click the link — whatever triggers the next step in your sales process. The more specific, the better.

Simple, right?

Yet, oft forgotten or neglected by rookie marketers.

You are now the wiser, so NO EXCUSES!

Copywriting Mistakes Galore

Actually, three copywriting mistakes is just the tip of the iceberg…

There are far too many more for this post today. More later — Come back to this site often because I may be elaborating on this in a future post.

Which copywriting mistakes have you noticed marketers making?

Please post your comments and questions below.

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Mike Connolly
Mike Connolly

Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers and Infusionsoft Certified Partner, Mike Connolly lives in Boulder, Colorado, builds marketing funnels that rock, and loves cycling (almost) all year round.