So...why not? Could you help with a critique?

5 replies
Hey guys (and gals),

I do NOT consider myself a copywriter as I've never really done anything for anyone else with the exception of the work below.

Sometime last summer I wrote this for my father-in-law. I love this man. He's wonderful, and the story in the copy is true. He's a pastor and it's a product for healing anxiety, depression, panic attacks etc.

He "gave-up" on the project after all was finished for reasons that aren't important here. He's given me permission to do what I want with this product to see if I can help him sell it, if at all (because I believe in it and him - although I understand that doesn't mean there is a market for it.)

The product worked for him, and that's why he made it into a tangible offer to see if it would benefit others.

In short, would you take a look at the letter I wrote and let me know what you might change and do with it?

One caveat, I hate the format, the highlighting and so on. I cringe, even more so when I think that I wrote this just last year. I do plan on changing it and making it look less "sales-y".

But that's what I came up with - and I haven't smoothed it over since then. Other than that, there are a few spots I'd change as far as the copy, even shortening it up.

Do you think I'm up for a major re-write? A minor overhaul? A few changes? Please remember I'm a novice (that's my second "copy letter") so I'd be interested in the truth as much as it hurts.

And then...I want to get this going for him, so thoughts on the next step? He took down the site but I'd like to get it back up in some format or other. He had a blog, account with Getresponse and so on.

I can't imagine doing a two-step, but he did make a "bonus" per my suggestion as an audio that you could download to help with relaxation problems right away.

So, let me know what you think I can do and if it's worth it to "get it out there."


You can read it at: (hosted for now as a pdf at my site)
#critique #sowhy
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
    Looks pretty damn good to me for a beginner. The formatting didn't bother me, I think it's OK, and you didn't overdo it with the yellow highlighting, although I think you could choose better things to highlight.

    I was confused by the guarantees -- first you mention a 30-day guarantee, then immediately after you talk about a 90-day guarantee. They seem to be identical? That's confusing to me, at least.

    That pre-head ("Special Alert") is too vague and generic -- need something that actually has to do with the problem/product being solved/sold.

    I also noticed a couple of sub-heads referring to "God's Word" and the like -- just my opinion, but unless you're primarily marketing to Christians, you might want to tone that down a bit. Obviously, you don't want to remove all religious references, since he IS a pastor, but if you're selling to a general audience you may not want people skimming the copy to think it's a religious product.

    That's all I have time for now, I'm sure others will have some great suggestions to add, but I think it's an excellent start and you're on the right track.
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    • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
      I might flesh this part out a bit.

      "Imagine: What would it mean for you to actually wake up each morning feeling truly phenomenal? It sounds wonderful doesn't it?"

      Maybe more like...

      "Take a moment and imagine... What would it mean for you to wake up every day full of energy, all those 'morning cramps' a thing of the past. You feel new, ready to tackle any problem with a smile.

      It sounds wonderful, doesn't it?"

      If you have a chance to tastefully create a vibrant image for your prospect - where he can REALLY visualize the product in action for HIM... Do it.

      Don't turn the whole letter into a novel, but give brief snippets of the product in action, especially early on when you're trying to compel them to read further.

      I only was able to take a quick look, but I would also try and trim of "that." It's an awkward word in copy. It's very rarely used in face-to-face conversation.

      Lots of folks like Garber, Nicholas, etc, are pretty adamant about this. Makes sense, too. Sentences flow much better without 'that.'


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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Hi Nathan,

        I don't know what your results were regarding the current promotion, or where the traffic was coming from, so it's hard for me to gauge.

        Having said that, I think you've done an admirable job.

        But as a criticism, here's the ONE emotion I would lean so heavily on in the letter, it wouldn't be funny...


        Secondly, the next emotion would be "certainty."

        People who are depressed, don't want to be depressed. They desperately don't want to be depressed.

        They look at other people who enjoy their lives and families and careers and they are a bit jealous. They think "Why not me? Why can't I be like that?"

        Give them HOPE and the certainty to know they can achieve what they want assuming your product delivers on the promise.

        - Rick Duris

        PS: Do this right and you have the words in you to make that letter sing in your prospects hearts. And they will buy.

        PPS: I appreciate your contributions to the forum.

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        • Profile picture of the author dyadvisor
          Rick, you are the one that should get the award of most sincere, and dedicated researched advice giver. It makes it hard to add anything after any of your posts.

          The other posts were very good too.

          After that, I will just say this. Nathan you are on the right track, and high level advice has already been given.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Hey guys, I've been unable to comment for a while, but wow, I really appreciate everything you folks have said.

    @KenStrong - I appreciate your comments. They make a lot of sense in light of being away from the project now I can see clearly the things you're mentioning.

    I'm going to revise per a few of your suggestions like the "Special Alert" and the highlighting (I've been shown that before - that I've chosen odd things to highlight...hmmm...back to the copy books).

    I really appreciate your support Ken.

    @ARSuarez - I almost cringed reading your suggestions about the word "that." Why? Because I read that somewhere before (maybe here?) and I got nervous thinking that I've been too liberal with that word, and I say that before having gone back to look at how often.

    I'm going to have to think about the "why" I use that word to discover my copy hang-ups weaknesses that I'm substituting for. I'm sure they're there.

    But it helps to have someone tell you that stuff. Thanks for your input.

    @Rick Duris - What can I say? Your advice is very important to me so I appreciate your time (as well as you other guys) and thoughts.

    And I think you nailed it for me. It's so easy in hindsight to see how right you are, but how in the world did I miss that stress on empathy so easily? It's such spot on advice for this letter Rick, you're totally right.

    I shared with my wife your comments and she's like, "oh yea" as I did. It seems obvious, yet, I don't know that I really got it the first time around, so I'm going to make some changes reflecting those lines of thought.

    Again, that's some crucial advice and I appreciate your eye and encouragement, as well as your kind words.

    @dyadvisor and Braden4u - Thanks guys for your support and thoughts!

    You gotta love this forum....

    Thanks everyone!

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