How to avoid mistakes people make when writing sales copy

9 replies
It's not unusual for people to write their own sales copy whether it be for a website or a paper flyer. Some strike lucky and get the mood just right and others bomb out despite having great literary skill.

So what makes the difference between bad sales copy and good if it isn't grammar, spelling and literary skill?

First lets be clear about what sales copy is for. It is to sell products or services. It's purpose is not to convey the genius, humor or ability of the writer.

Being funny and charming is great if you can still sell products but not so great if your reader after having fun and being entertained still clicks away from your site without buying anything.

Here are some mistakes people make when writing sales copy:

  • Trying to impress with big words and flawless grammar
  • Long paragraphs and sentences
  • Over capitalisation and prolific use of !!!!!!
  • I, Me and not enough about YOU the reader
  • Technobabble - baffling the reader with product jargon
The list is endless..

I don't use 'proper grammar' for sales copy or any writing I do on the web. Reason being, it doesn't sell.

For copy to sell well, it should be written in a conversation style as if you are talking to your client, telling them the benefits of the product face to face.

This style works well for writing on the Internet. We already communicate with written words in email, on msn etc. so writing articles in 'chat style' creates a familiar sense of live communication.

In summary, your sales copy should reflect a human voice.

We all know how dreadful those telesales people are when they phone up using a script. The best telemarketers bin that script and adapt their words to suit the client on the other end of the phone.

This is how it should be with written sales copy. It needs to suit the intended reader. If the intended reader is a 'happening teenager' then the copy should reflect their 'style' and so on.

Keep your copy:
  • Concise - don't waffle. Where one word will do, use one.
  • Simply worded & jargon free - unless you're writing for the audience that uses that jargon daily.
  • Short sentences and paragraphs - Internet readers scan pages, short bites of information are easier to digest than large.
  • Break up the text with bullet points, images etc.
and so on

#avoid #copy #make #mistakes #people #sales #writing
  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by creativeblogger View Post

    Trying to impress with big words and flawless grammar
    That's me. My sesquipedalian vocabulary is the stuff of which legends are made.
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • I was reading an interview with Joe Vitale, and he was going on about making copy sound conversational. It made perfect sense, but before that, I'd thought copy ought to be literary genius, written to impress.

    It's a strange habit that humans have - wanting to overcomplicate things.

    I find it a useful activity to think about the times I've been sucked in by ads/sales copy, and sure enough, every time it worked, it was conversational pieces that made me feel like I "knew" the guy writing it.

    The last one was Rhadi Ferguson (Lloyd Irvin student), about 2 years ago. Me and my credit card are safe behind an impenetrable shield now
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  • Profile picture of the author joelraitt
    How about not going in the right order through the sales process??

    1) Headline
    2) Identify Problem, story, credentials, benifiets, social proof
    3) Offer
    4) Guarantee
    5) Scarcity
    6) Call to action
    7) PS PPS PPPS or however many you need!

    Work smart, work hard, never give up. Learn with me here:

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  • Profile picture of the author Rafael Karimov
    A successful sales copy is the one which really talks to a visitor like a live salesperson, and without any pressure, just showing all BENEFITS a buyer will get. A copy especially converts well when impressing success story is added.
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  • Profile picture of the author snowtigress
    I got caught in the trap of using large words. They didn't seem like big words to me, but it only takes a couple people asking "what does this word mean?" to realize I have to keep it simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Thank you! These are some great tips. I am just getting started with copywriting to promote my business.
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