5 Copywriting Mistakes Copywriters Often Make
By Mike Jezek Copyright 2007 Mike Jezek. All rights reserved.
Working with copywriters, I tend to see common mistakes that they repeatedly make. Business owners trying to write their copy make these same mistakes too. What follows is a quick primer on what those mistakes are and how to avoid them.
To Much Windup. Get to the point right away in your sales letter. Don't drone on for pages trying to set up the backdrop or the context for your offer. Trim excess copy and concept and make it a lean and mean selling machine. Once you do introduce your offer, make it crystal clear.
Wordy Sentence Structure. It's critical your readers not only immediately understand the point you're trying to make, but they must also feel the impact of your copy. Wordy, verbose copy neutralizes this impact. Short sentences with one-syllable words are proven time and time again to be your best tools for selling. Sure, you'll have a few run-on sentences and use multi-syllable words in headlines, pre-heads, sub-heads and in the lead-in from time to time but make that the exception, not the constant. Eliminating words such as "That" go a long way toward giving your copy more punch. Creating short sentences that begin with verbs creates a flow ... a movement in your copy that wordy sentences cannot.
Inappropriate Use Of "Advertising Words". We've all seen common advertising words such as "amazing ... stunning ... astonishing ... mysterious ... miracle ... instant ... kick-start ... head-turning ... etc." These types of words are proven to work. However, I see many copywriters and business owners overdue it. Using the word "amazing" every paragraph dilutes the power of that word. Overuse of one of these words is also akin to ending every third sentence with a "!". It detracts from the credibility of your message.
Inappropriate use of NLP or Hypnotic Sales Techniques. Recently there has been a lot of buzz about inserting NLP into copywriting. Now here's where this goes wrong. Some copywriters (who know these techniques) overdo it, thus making the flow of the copy come across awkward. Remember, you need movement in your copy to get them from point A to point B. Another issue is that some of these NLP techniques when put in print stand out as odd and some keen readers will see through what you're doing. So just as in direct sales, you have to be subtle with using NLP embedded commands and the like in your copy.
An Unbalanced Sales Letter. Many people saturate their sales letters with too many exclamation points, bolding, underlining and to many font colors and they make outrageous benefit-laden claims. On the other hand you see copywriters who try to write stoic prose. These are two extremes. You have to create a balanced sales letter that marries some of the font-enhancing characteristics and sometimes gimmicky themes and offers with salient, serious, left brain copy. Every time I wrote copy that was stoic and mostly left brain oriented (at the request of an insistent client) sales conversions were pitiful.