Please critique my copy!

26 replies
Hey this is Edwin.

I wrote this sales page a few weeks back, and I need some help fixing it up and (hopefully) get it to start converting:

List Dissection

The product helps people get more sales from their email lists by building a better relationship with their subscribers. The product consists of a training video where I cover a technique (and other helpful tips) to build up the goodwill and trust with your list.

I launched that product as a WSO a couple of weeks ago and it completely tanked! I'm talking zero sales, which was weird as my WSO's (I always write the copy) usually get a minimum of at least 20 sales.

Anyways....there must be some obvious gaping holes/flaws in my copy thats killing the conversion rate.

Hopefully you can critique the sales page and tell me whats good and what sucks, or any things I should explain more, etc.

Here is the link to the sales page again: List Dissection

Thanks a ton!
#copy #critique
  • Profile picture of the author DougHughes
    Hi Edwin,

    A few things I would consider. Address who you are talking to quickly. Sounds like newbie marketers.

    I like the "Profit Hack" idea, but the headline needs work. "Help You Generate $437.08" is somewhat vague and unbelievable. For instance, what if the person sells a $500 product? At any rate, there is a lot of room for improvement there.

    The subheads could use work too. For instance:
    "I Couldn't Figure Out Email Marketing"

    That raises a question in my mind. Who are you, who cares, and why should I believe you? Which you address later. But...a subhead is supposed to draw the reader in. So lead them on with something that is different, unique, makes them curious, offers a big (yet believable) benefit.

    Here's a trick with your bullets. They aren't bad but of course there is always room for improvement. Specificity and clarity will always improve a promotion. Here's an example from one of your bullets.

    "How to make more sales from your list without being hypey or pushy!" to...

    "One little known tactic major etailers like Amazon use to exponentially increase email sales without being hypey or pushy. - Page 10"

    When I write bullets for a book or info product I go through the product and pick out the gems. Then I create the bullets. Use mystery and promise to draw them in. One good bullet can sell your product.

    Some of the bullets are good. But improve them by adding what page of your guide they will find them. Such as:

    "How to figure out exactly what to promote to your list so that the product almost sells itself! - page 19"

    Again, specificity and clarity without giving away the mystery. This paragraph needs much more development:

    "I started to brainstorm new ways to make email marketing work. After a few months of testing and tweaking I stumbled upon a simple but effective strategy that made my subscribers and my bank account VERY happy!"

    Show don't tell. Give examples of when you had breakthrough campaigns or ah-ha moments. Paint a picture in the prospect's mind. Think about how you can write above and beyond what is currently out there and uniquely position yourself and your product. Concept and positioning are important.

    Here's an example of concept and differentiation.

    One, for a menopause relief supplement. Okay, how do we make it different from everything else? While researching I discovered it was made from ancient fossilized tree resin - Amber. Now that is interesting. So then the concept becomes:

    "Univeristy of Arizona researchers discover compound in fossilized tree resin may hold key to natural menopause relief and hormone balancing"

    You get where I am going with this. How do you make your product not just another "me too" product. This is one of the most frequent challenges I run across.

    Think of it this way. How many other people are promoting products related to email marketing. Lots, and some by very successful marketers. Your challenge is to stand out in this crowded field.

    You will do this with strong concepts, good story telling, compelling reasons why, and a fantastic offer.

    For establishing your credibility you can do this by giving specific examples. One formula for examples is STAR.

    Situation
    Task
    Actions
    Results.

    As far as structure goes. Here is a formula to use as a guideline. I use something roughly the same as this and it has served me well time-and-time-again. Maybe you can glean some insights from it.
    1. Headline - lead with the most important message about what you're selling
    2. Opening Hook - grab the customers with the 'hook' that gets them wanting to read more
    3. Features and Benefits - here is where you show the most important benefits in descending order of importance, along with important features
    4. Unique Selling Proposition - the big selling point, the twist that everything else is based on
    5. Credibility - selling based on facts gathered from tests, research and other discovery
    6. Bullets - makes it easier for the readers' eyes to see each benefit and feature
    7. Price and Bargain Appeal - show how the customer is getting value above and beyond the actual pricing
    8. Guarantee - If not satisfied within 30 days, then refund the money. Customers feel easier about spending money because they know they can still get it back if not happy with the results.
    9. Don't Decide Now - take 30 days to decide if this product is for you
    10. Bonuses - buy in the next 12 hours and you'll also get a free widget or report
    11. You Can't Lose - keep the widget even if you return the product and get a full refund. Now how can you lose with that kind of deal!
    12. P.S. - oh, and one more thing...When you buy today, you will receive instant access to a free Webinar that will show how to make $5,000 in the next month!
    13. Final Result = Money

    Good luck. Doug
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    • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
      Originally Posted by DougHughes View Post

      Hi Edwin,

      A few things I would consider. Address who you are talking to quickly. Sounds like newbie marketers.

      I like the "Profit Hack" idea, but the headline needs work. "Help You Generate $437.08" is somewhat vague and unbelievable. For instance, what if the person sells a $500 product? At any rate, there is a lot of room for improvement there.

      The subheads could use work too. For instance:
      "I Couldn't Figure Out Email Marketing"

      That raises a question in my mind. Who are you, who cares, and why should I believe you? Which you address later. But...a subhead is supposed to draw the reader in. So lead them on with something that is different, unique, makes them curious, offers a big (yet believable) benefit.

      Here's a trick with your bullets. They aren't bad but of course there is always room for improvement. Specificity and clarity will always improve a promotion. Here's an example from one of your bullets.

      "How to make more sales from your list without being hypey or pushy!" to...

      "One little known tactic major etailers like Amazon use to exponentially increase email sales without being hypey or pushy. - Page 10"

      When I write bullets for a book or info product I go through the product and pick out the gems. Then I create the bullets. Use mystery and promise to draw them in. One good bullet can sell your product.

      Some of the bullets are good. But improve them by adding what page of your guide they will find them. Such as:

      "How to figure out exactly what to promote to your list so that the product almost sells itself! - page 19"

      Again, specificity and clarity without giving away the mystery. This paragraph needs much more development:

      "I started to brainstorm new ways to make email marketing work. After a few months of testing and tweaking I stumbled upon a simple but effective strategy that made my subscribers and my bank account VERY happy!"

      Show don't tell. Give examples of when you had breakthrough campaigns or ah-ha moments. Paint a picture in the prospect's mind. Think about how you can write above and beyond what is currently out there and uniquely position yourself and your product. Concept and positioning are important.

      Here's an example of concept and differentiation.

      One, for a menopause relief supplement. Okay, how do we make it different from everything else? While researching I discovered it was made from ancient fossilized tree resin - Amber. Now that is interesting. So then the concept becomes:

      "Univeristy of Arizona researchers discover compound in fossilized tree resin may hold key to natural menopause relief and hormone balancing"

      You get where I am going with this. How do you make your product not just another "me too" product. This is one of the most frequent challenges I run across.

      Think of it this way. How many other people are promoting products related to email marketing. Lots, and some by very successful marketers. Your challenge is to stand out in this crowded field.

      You will do this with strong concepts, good story telling, compelling reasons why, and a fantastic offer.

      For establishing your credibility you can do this by giving specific examples. One formula for examples is STAR.

      Situation
      Task
      Actions
      Results.

      As far as structure goes. Here is a formula to use as a guideline. I use something roughly the same as this and it has served me well time-and-time-again. Maybe you can glean some insights from it.
      1. Headline - lead with the most important message about what you're selling
      2. Opening Hook - grab the customers with the 'hook' that gets them wanting to read more
      3. Features and Benefits - here is where you show the most important benefits in descending order of importance, along with important features
      4. Unique Selling Proposition - the big selling point, the twist that everything else is based on
      5. Credibility - selling based on facts gathered from tests, research and other discovery
      6. Bullets - makes it easier for the readers' eyes to see each benefit and feature
      7. Price and Bargain Appeal - show how the customer is getting value above and beyond the actual pricing
      8. Guarantee - If not satisfied within 30 days, then refund the money. Customers feel easier about spending money because they know they can still get it back if not happy with the results.
      9. Don't Decide Now - take 30 days to decide if this product is for you
      10. Bonuses - buy in the next 12 hours and you'll also get a free widget or report
      11. You Can't Lose - keep the widget even if you return the product and get a full refund. Now how can you lose with that kind of deal!
      12. P.S. - oh, and one more thing...When you buy today, you will receive instant access to a free Webinar that will show how to make $5,000 in the next month!
      13. Final Result = Money

      Good luck. Doug

      WOW amazing critique man! Thanks for going so indepth. I'll definitely re-edit my copy using your tips and advice.

      Much love!
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  • Profile picture of the author elmo033057
    Edwin,

    A great way to get started on writing any copy is to first sit down and brainstorm every possible benefit you can think of. Most people don't think of doing any preliminary work BEFORE starting to work on their copy. However, it will make the task of writing your copy so much easier.

    Then do everything Doug told ya to do.

    God Bless,

    ELMO
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  • Profile picture of the author DJ Gelner
    Doug is dead on--just want to unpack what he wrote a bit more.

    1) Headline: $437.08 isn't exactly a life-changing amount. Remember, you're "selling the dream" up front. I'm just brainstorming here, but something like "Don't Leave Cash on the Table: The Easy Secret Successful Internet Marketers DON'T Want You To Know..." (because who doesn't like a secret?), or even ditch the "Don't Leave Cash on the Table" part--something more valuable than $437.08. Right now, the headline screams that same "pump and promote" strategy that got you hosed with your list in the first place...

    2) Agree with Doug on subheads--they make you seem weak and "an average guy" (aka not an expert). As a reader, I have no idea of what "List Dissection" is--no frame of reference, etc. Even a generic subhead like "The One Trick That Changed Everything" would be better than "List Dissection." Tease the reader a bit--build that suspense and desire. Get them to eat out of your hand before you start feeding them a bottle, so to speak...

    3) General English issues: you have a few places where the copy doesn't read "natural." Get a copy editor, or otherwise smooth these out before monetizing. Otherwise, you're leaving money on the table.

    4) The bullets need work. Honestly, Doug hit the nail on the head with "specificity and clarity without giving away the mystery." Secrets are VERY powerful selling tools, but you need to supplement them with enough detail so that the prospect can lose himself in the copy, imagine a better life for himself SO REAL that he can TASTE it. If that means describing how acidic, yet sweet a papaya tastes, for example, then so be it. You just need to flesh out bullets, and the copy generally, more to truly transport the reader--take him away to that place where he can make oodles and oodles of cash IF ONLY he had your secret system...

    Just my $0.02--again, just to supplement Doug's fantastic critique. Hope you implement some changes and bring it back to us!

    -D.J.
    Signature

    D.J. Gelner
    Copywriter/Storyteller
    www.djswriting.com

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    • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
      Originally Posted by DJ Gelner View Post

      Doug is dead on--just want to unpack what he wrote a bit more.

      1) Headline: $437.08 isn't exactly a life-changing amount. Remember, you're "selling the dream" up front. I'm just brainstorming here, but something like "Don't Leave Cash on the Table: The Easy Secret Successful Internet Marketers DON'T Want You To Know..." (because who doesn't like a secret?), or even ditch the "Don't Leave Cash on the Table" part--something more valuable than $437.08. Right now, the headline screams that same "pump and promote" strategy that got you hosed with your list in the first place...

      2) Agree with Doug on subheads--they make you seem weak and "an average guy" (aka not an expert). As a reader, I have no idea of what "List Dissection" is--no frame of reference, etc. Even a generic subhead like "The One Trick That Changed Everything" would be better than "List Dissection." Tease the reader a bit--build that suspense and desire. Get them to eat out of your hand before you start feeding them a bottle, so to speak...

      3) General English issues: you have a few places where the copy doesn't read "natural." Get a copy editor, or otherwise smooth these out before monetizing. Otherwise, you're leaving money on the table.

      4) The bullets need work. Honestly, Doug hit the nail on the head with "specificity and clarity without giving away the mystery." Secrets are VERY powerful selling tools, but you need to supplement them with enough detail so that the prospect can lose himself in the copy, imagine a better life for himself SO REAL that he can TASTE it. If that means describing how acidic, yet sweet a papaya tastes, for example, then so be it. You just need to flesh out bullets, and the copy generally, more to truly transport the reader--take him away to that place where he can make oodles and oodles of cash IF ONLY he had your secret system...

      Just my $0.02--again, just to supplement Doug's fantastic critique. Hope you implement some changes and bring it back to us!

      -D.J.
      Originally Posted by elmo033057 View Post

      Edwin,

      A great way to get started on writing any copy is to first sit down and brainstorm every possible benefit you can think of. Most people don't think of doing any preliminary work BEFORE starting to work on their copy. However, it will make the task of writing your copy so much easier.

      Then do everything Doug told ya to do.

      God Bless,

      ELMO

      Thanks for the critique guys!
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    Just went in and edited my sales page copy using all of your suggestions. Hopefully when I relaunch this it'll sell MUCH better
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Specific observations:
      I got my first ever subscriber back in 2009, and it wasn’t long before that that my list grew fairly large
      This should be more like either "it wasn’t long after that that my list grew fairly large" or just "it wasn’t long before my list grew fairly large" (I prefer the latter): at the moment it doesn't actually say what you intended.

      I was on a bunch of big name gurus lists
      Apostrophe needed after "gurus".

      even less people were clicking on my links
      Substitute "fewer" for "less".

      I started to breakdown
      Two separate words, here: "break down".

      what goes through their mind"
      Substitute "what goes through their minds"

      If you ever asked yourself “what do I email my list?”, or “what do I say in my emails?”
      Upper-case "W" needed in each quotation.

      what your subscribers biggest problems and questions are
      Apostrophe needed after "subscribers".

      List Dissection normally sells for $47
      I'm no lawyer, but this probably isn't legal or FTC-compliant unless the product's genuinely been on sale (and has actually sold) at that price. Just saying.

      (I did only one quick pass, and will doubtless have missed some, too.)

      General observations:

      (i) There are far too many exclamation marks/points!

      (ii) There's some random capitalization, which I'd remove, myself (e.g. "Much, Much More" in a sentence not needing any capitalization. Either italicizing or bolder print, or maybe even underlining would be preferable, if you want to emhpasize these. Not capitalization.

      (iii) If you're going to use it without any testing (I'm not criticizing: I know that isn't practicable), I think you'd be well advised to make everything that's currently bright red either dark blue or dark green instead, and to take away all but the initial-word capitalization of all the headings/sub-headings. In my opinion, doing both these things may increase your conversion-rate a little.

      (iv) Personally, in that marketplace, on "perceived value" grounds, I'd make the price $10 or $12, rather than $9 or $7. Few will agree, I imagine, but these are my additional reasons.

      Good luck!

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    Edwin, from my perspective what you lack most is proof.

    It is true, as a copywriter, I tend to see things in a far more critical way but still - big claims, a LOT of similar products and nothing to actually make me believe that you can deliver.

    Good luck,
    Razvan
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  • Profile picture of the author James Fame
    imo it's gimmicky and the promise doesn't have a real mechanism. The "profit hack" doesn't demonstrate a strong benefit at all. There's no specificity in results or what it actually does.

    Your product pulls in subscribers... so does every other list building product out there. "Ethically"? That's a synonym for "slow". Your headline is not powerful enough - there's no emotional trigger inside of it. It's not dimensionalized in any way.
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    Fire me a pm if you have a question. I build businesses and provide consulting. I do not do finance/money/internet marketing niches. Fitness, self-improvement and various others are welcome.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Sarlo
    At first it looks good (haven't read copy), but after Introducing…List Dissection! it gets boring because of repetition... try to add product image, maybe some highlighting in yellow to text or even underlines, etc

    Especially the section with bullets needs to light up - it's just plain text. People aren't going to read that.

    Haven't read copy itself, but subheadlines look weak:

    "This Is The Right Way To Email"

    That's not the most interested thing to read. Especially since there's probably thousands of blogs, articles with better titles than that.

    Same goes for: "Generate More Sales From Your List" I mean nothing new, why bother reading.

    "So how much will this cost you?" They're really not interested in price until you give them a punch full of real benefits!

    And the headline: "This Powerful "Profit Hack" Ethically Makes Your Subscribers Want To Pull Out Their Credit Card And Buy From You!"

    is also nothing new (in the mmo niche), prospects see that everywhere, indeed even article titles, and blog posts, you have to "punch them in the face" with something that grabs their attention.

    You can't just say same things (refering to mmo niche) that you see everywhere else, it's just boring even to read you can't expect they give you money.

    What you need to do is learn more copywriting, you already have an idea (on structure/layout) so just learn more as simple as that.
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  • Hi Edwin,

    I just joined WF, so this is my first post.

    I had a look at your sales page.

    Plenty here that Im not keen on. I'll just mention some points that struck me.

    First the name of the product.

    List Dissection. I really don't like it. It sounds like something you would do to a frog on a marble slab in a laboratory. Ugh.

    It also sounds boring, it doesn't ignite, it doesn't promise benefits.

    But anyway. Client is king, so we're stuck with the name it's been given.


    So, first the headline:

    I find the red font difficult to read. Plus to me as an online marketer that format screams Scam Ahead. Maybe that's just because I'm in online marketing, but isn't the product you're selling targeted at that group?

    And I don't like the word "Ethically" here. I don't think it's needed. In fact, that word, combined with the screaming red headline font puts the idea of ethics in my head and makes me think the very opposite - that maybe there's something UNethical going on here.

    First paragraph:

    It's too hectoring.

    "you are going to learn the secret ‘profit hack’ you MUST use".

    It sounds like being back at school: you're gonna stay in and sit here... and you are going to learn..."

    And please don't tell me what I MUST use. I will decide that.

    On the plus side: you are starting with a benefit for the reader, but I just don't find what it says believable.

    "Double The Sales You Make From Your List!"

    ok, that's good, a benefit.

    But the main body of copy lacks believability.

    I do not sell online in order "to pay off some annoying bill". That's not why people are in business, unless we are talking about part time hobbyists running a website on the side.

    "What if your list looked at you as their trusted adviser and bought everything you recommended to them?"

    No "list" is going to buy everything you recommend to them. It's not believeable.

    "Here's what you'll learn inside".

    I'd change that to "discover", win, gain, profit, etc. "learn" sounds like school.

    And it's more features than benefits. You need to stress the benefits more.

    And I don't like the word "Profit Hack". Nor do I believe it when someone tells me they "stumbled upon a profit hack". I don't like the word stumbled either. I think of someone tripping over their shoelaces or a crack in the sidewalk.

    Also "raving fans". "simple paint by numbers process" - to have a laser focus". Paint by numbers and laser? Two very different things. I don't like these descriptions, but maybe that's just me.

    You create a visualization of the benefit again: "imagine finding 5-10 new sales" etc. This is good.

    But I have to say I personally ignore all cut and pasted income information. But others may see it differently.

    You have your call to action, limited time only, refund guarantee, hurry up etc, that's good.

    But at the end, the price countdown, in which we go from $497..... all the way down down down to... $9.97.

    It doesn't really help to convince me. If a product is good, then I expect to pay more than ten bucks for it.


    There's a lot more I could say about the rest of the copy, but I'll leave it to someone else.

    I'd say maybe try writing the copy more from the angle of the customer. Good luck!
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    www.KevinWellsMarketing.com
    Sales Copywriter. Digital Marketer. Entrepreneur.
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  • Profile picture of the author Skystar
    Both Doug Hughes and Kevin Well's critique's are really first class and cover everything nicely. I can't think of anything to add that they haven't already covered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    Hey guys I made a lot of edits to my sales page but it still isn't converting well at all. I don't know if it's just a bad offer, if my copy sucks, or if I have to attack it from a different angle.

    Here's the link to it:

    List Dissection - Marketing Slam
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisSWN
    It's a wall of text, add some images and white space. Double or triple the font size, make it flow down the page better.
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    • Profile picture of the author MightyWarrior
      Originally Posted by Edwin Torres View Post

      Anyone else have any ideas? Thanks!
      The domain name?
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    That's a massive wall of text for something that costs $7. Of course it sounds like hype.
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  • Profile picture of the author humantheme
    The biggest problem I had with the copy is that when you're promising a 'magical 7 letter' word that will improve their conversions..... you need to actually address that somewhere in the copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    Thanks for the input. I just made a lot of edits to it
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  • How much is it worth?
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    • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
      Originally Posted by The Copywriting Engineer View Post

      How much is it worth?
      The price of the product? It costs $17.
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      • Originally Posted by Edwin Torres View Post

        The price of the product? It costs $17.

        Hm well I was thinking you would tell them how much its worth. This is just a quick idea that you could go off of. Obviously you have to lead up to this, customize for yourself. Not swipe it word for word. Im sure you know this, but just a heads up.


        Based on all the sales you could be making from my advice and all the money I have already made, I should ask for royalties. This is a steal, I could easily sell this for $189. But Im not going to ask you for XXX


        Today you wont even pay 75% of that. Because I know what it Is like starting out getting things rolling,


        Because I favor strong entrepreneurs you wont even pay 55% today


        Not even $xx


        Your totally today will be only $17


        Im actually thinking of pulling this product pretty soon and selling It later for more because my business partner blah blah blah but no worries because I will easily make up for the major discount that I am giving today.


        Then in 10 days pull it and put it back on after talking about the 100's of requests you got to put the sale back up.





        Because when you say $17, its like uhhhh ok. Let me think about it for a while.


        When you are offering a product at a low price, people wont usually think of how you are helping them out, the assume its low value. Always have the upper hand.


        Either they are the one with power and the money or you are the one with the goods. Make them feel thankful you are offering it to them at a low price.


        When you make people feel like they are working for something or thankful for something, they will respect it more. If you just give it to them, there is no value usually.


        There is not much "take away game" in your letter. Or positioning. Maybe with your proof. But nothing moves me really.
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  • Profile picture of the author TjarkHartmann
    You decided the "7 letter word" is so important it deserves to be in your headline... yet I spent 5 minutes looking over the page before finding out it's the word "dissect". And I'm not even certain that's the word.

    See the problem here?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alohapreneur
    the three red subtitles:

    List dissection? that's just confusing. You have a name for it, so what? Is it segmenting your list? What is the value here. Don't name it, explain the value in the subhead. If i have to stop and think about it, you've lost me. I should be able to scan the page like 90% of readers and understand exactly what value is being offered just by reading the subheadlines. Most people wills cann first and then decide what to read, so the while value story should be expressed as clearly desirable subheadlines.

    "Here Is What You’ll Learn Inside" Don't tell me you're about to tell me what I'll learn, I'm not committed to reading that for any reason. It might be better to tell me the biggest thing I'll learn "and all this too:" So, for example, change the subhead there to: "A simple paint-by-numbers process to figure out exactly what to send to your list to make them read all of your emails like a crack addict! And you'll get these too:"

    Here Is What To Do Next…??? SCREW THAT! TELL THEM WHAT TO DO NEXT. "How all this can be yours..." or "Ready to transform your life?" This will only cost $17 if you get it right now.

    My primary point is that I just "read the whole page" by doing nothing but scanning the subject lines, and I know NOTHING about your product. I looked at all the biggest boldest parts of your page and I understand nothing of its value to me. I'll I got was one word "list"... I know it has something to do with lists.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Essley
    Hello,

    I would suggest keying more in on your customer's urges and needs. You need them to really want your product vs. you asking them to buy your product. Also show more of a sense of urgency.

    I hope this helps...Thanks
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