Copywriting is without a doubt one of the most vital skills one ought to possess in the business world. Not only is it useful for crafting sales letters, which is what people typically think of when they hear the word “copywriting”, but it is also invaluable for crafting emails for email marketing, for writing effective calls to action on websites, blogs, and social media, and many other uses.
The trouble is that a lot of newbie copywriters (and even seasoned veterans) seem to make the same few mistakes over and over, and these mistakes can absolutely destroy otherwise effective copy.
In this report, we’re going to take a look at the 7 Killer Copywriting Mistakes, and how you can avoid making these disastrous mistakes in your own copy.
Once you learn these big mistakes and how to avoid them, you’ll be on your way to crafting the most effective sales copy you’ve ever written!
Hint: Most mistakes center around the lack of value. We’ll discuss this more in just a minute.
So let’s get started.
Value in Copywriting
The first thing we absolutely must discuss is value. Value is the one thing you must constantly focus on in your sales copy if you want to be truly successful at the craft.
Value is what you are ultimately trying to offer your customers. Not necessarily monetary value, but some sort of benefit. The thing is, you know the value of your product. After all, you probably created it. At the very least, if it’s your primary product, you should know it inside and out. (If you don’t, you’d better learn it, and FAST!)
But your potential customers don’t know your product’s value. It’s up to your copy to constantly let them know the value of your product.
You’ll soon learn how failing to concentrate on value is involved in several of the big mistakes, and how you can be sure you’re demonstrating value during every step of the copywriting process.
Remember, from start to finish, you must concentrate on what your product can do for the reader.
Mistake #1 – Lack of Value in the Headline
Everyone who knows anything at all about copywriting knows that the headline is absolutely the most important part of your sales copy. Get the headline wrong, and you’ll lose 75-80% of your traffic right off the bat. (Yes, that’s a real statistic. About 5 times as many people read a sales letter’s headline as read the body!)
Your headline should tell someone exactly what the product can do for them right off the bat. It should not, contrary to popular opinion, pose a question – at least not without a corresponding answer included in the headline itself. Rather, it should tell someone exactly what they will get right off the bat.
BAD – What Would You Do If Someone Broke Into Your House?
GOOD – Get Our Free Report And Learn How To Stop A Burglar Dead In His Tracks!
BAD – Do You Want To Lose Weight Quickly?
GOOD – Lose 10 Pounds In 10 Days With Our Breakthrough System!
These headlines (the GOOD headlines) let people immediately know what results they can expect upon use of the product. There’s no question posed that makes the reader think, which can result in the reader leaving. Instead, there’s a clear, definitive result posed that lets a reader know whether or not the product is what they are looking for.
Not only that but these headlines get a user to keep reading out of curiosity. Now that they know what they can achieve, they want to know more about how they can achieve it.
Ultimately, the job of the headline is to get people to read the rest of the copy (or at least skip right to the call-to-action where they can take that desired action.) If your headline successfully does its job of conveying value,
Mistake #2 – Focusing on “Action Words” in the Call-to-Action
Many copywriters have read about the importance of using “action words” to get people to take a desired action, such as buying a product, adding an item to their shopping cart, or subscribing to an email newsletter. And using those words is a good idea in some areas of your copy.
However, too many people have taken the “action word” thing too far and are using them in their calls-to-action as their primary focus.
Remember, we’re focusing on value. We want to let people know what they can GET at every step of the process in our copy. So instead of focusing on action words, focus on value words.
Value words let people know they can GET something. In fact, GET is one of the most powerful value words there is!
Instead of saying “Click Here” say “Get Your Report Now”. Instead of saying “Join Now” say “Get Free Access Now”.
By focusing on your value words, you will find your conversions increase significantly, and more people will respond to your copy in the way you want them to than if you use those oft-touted “action words”.
Mistake #3 – Not Knowing Your Audience
A lot of people are certain they know their market inside and out. They’re so sure, in fact, that they do little to no research and instead write copy based on what they believe their audience thinks and feels. The trouble is… what if you do this and you’re wrong?
Market research is vital. There’s a reason why mega corporations spend huge amounts of their marketing budgets on research. They do all types of research, including uncovering their market demographics and focus groups that test individual products.
You need to know your market inside and out not only to make sure you’re writing the right stuff, but to make sure you’re NOT writing the WRONG stuff.
Think of it this way. Let’s say your market happens to be mostly females, but you erroneously believe it is mostly males. You write your copy specifically to target men, and you throw a minor joke about “make sure your wife doesn’t know you’re buying this!” If your market is mostly women, they’ve probably just been insulted and also feel like your product isn’t for them since it’s obviously targeting men.