I’m not talking about boring copywriting here, although that would certainly be a big mistake. I’m talking about copy that is nothing but a bunch of monochromatic words bunched up together on a page.
If you’ve ever read sales copy like this, you’ll understand how hard it is on the eyes, and how frustrating it is to try to read a solid wall of text with little to nothing to break it up.
Mistake #1 – Useless Images
Make sure you are making your copy look as interesting as possible by adding interesting elements to the text. Use elements such as bold, color, underline, italics, etc.
Bullets are a great way to break up large chunks of text into parts that are easier to digest:
- Use bullets to list various features
- Use bullets to list benefits
- Use bullets to make important text stand out
Don’t forget that you can also use bold, underlines, etc. to make text stand out within those bullet points.
Mistake #2 – Useless Images
Images are incredibly useful in copy when they are highly targeted to the topic and make sense. However, if you use random images simply because they were all you could find that would fit with your topic, you’re actually hurting your sales copy more than you’re helping it.
Disjointed images only serve to confuse potential customers. They see an image and wonder, “What does this mean?” Just because you understand how a particular image fits in with your message doesn’t mean your reader will.
Imagine, for a moment, that you see this image:
Do you immediately recognize what this image is supposed to symbolize? Would it help you better understand a piece of copy, or would it simply distract you while you try to figure out what in the heck its supposed to say?
I mean, this could mean anything, right? It could be about blogging, it could be about video marketing, or it could be about online education… you just can’t tell without a bit of thought. Even then, are you sure? Maybe you’d just ignore it… skip right over it. Even then, that would mean the image was pretty much useless, wouldn’t it?
Yes, images do help convey messages. But only if those images are easy to recognize in concept and truly support the message you’re trying to convey. Simply inserting images for the sake of having those all-important images in your copy is not helpful.
Be sure that the images you use help convey your message. Make sure those images are immediately recognizable, and that almost everyone you encounter would immediately understand what that image was meant to say.
Mistake #3 – Using Too Many (Or Too Few) Words
Everyone seems to think that longer copy is always better, but in many cases longer copy can absolutely kill conversions.
I’m not sure where the trend started – the belief that longer copy is always better than shorter. Maybe it started because all those copywriters who charge per page tend to craft longer copy to justify their inflated prices or make more per client. Who knows?
Sometimes longer copy works. Some products take more copy to sell than others. A product that costs $1,997 is probably going to take a lot more convincing than a product that costs $19.97. (Although that isn’t always the case!)
You probably don’t need 30 pages of copy to sell a $0.99 eBook, and you probably need more than a half page to sell a $1,997 video course with coaching. But that many not always be true. Some markets respond better to one type of copy than another, and some products need more copy than others.
This brings us to our 7th and final mistake…
Mistake #4 – Failing to Test
Testing is one of the most important elements of copywriting. In fact, it could be said that testing is even more important than the headline, because if you don’t test, how can you even be certain your headline is up to par?
You can use split-testing software to make your testing easier, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If you have a decent amount of traffic, you can test one version, and then test a second version manually and compare results. Split-testing just makes the process a lot easier to track and allows you to test more versions and track results accurately.
Remember, you’ll need a fairly large sample size to really ensure an accurate test. At a bare minimum, you shouldn’t make a decision regarding your copy until at least 1,000 people have viewed each version. Any smaller sample size would likely result in inaccurate results, and even this small a sample size could lead to some inaccuracies. Still, it’s better than not testing at all!
Test various elements such as your headline, call-to-action, graphics, and bullet points. Even your guarantee should be tested. Once you’ve hit a conversion ratio you’re happy with, you could stop testing, but you never know when you might exceed your goals with one small tweak!
Copywriting isn’t as cut-and-dry as you might think. The fact is, there are a lot of mistakes one can make when creating any type of copy, and these little mistakes could mean BIG losses in terms of profit or conversions.
It’s actually incredibly easy to make these killer mistakes, because so many people have read misleading or incorrect information, or they’ve misunderstood the information they’ve read.
When you’re crafting any kind of copy, the primary thing you need to remember is that you must concentrate on value. Everything you say should point to the value of your product or service. Not on what you want the reader to do. Not on what you think they want to hear. Not on what someone else has told you to say.
Remember to use words like GET in your copy. This immediately conveys value, because it reminds them they will GET something if they take the desired action.