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11 Copywriting Mistakes to Avoid


Mistake 1 – Headline Not Attention Grabbing
A few second in cyberspace is equivalent to an afternoon in the physical world. When a visitor arrives on your page, the first thing they see is your headline. If it doesn’t grab their attention immediately, you run the risk of never seeing them again. Use strong emotional words to elicit a positive response within your prospect. Here’s a list of copywriting power words to use when writing headlines.

Mistake 2 – Not Swiping Effective Copy
The first thing I do when I come across a headline that grabs my attention is to swipe it, and store it with the rest of my awesome copywriting files. Whether it’s an email subject line, a landing page headline or a whole sales copy formula, I copy and paste them into a word document for inspiration further down the line. Anytime I’m looking for a bit of inspiration regarding my copy, I simply glance through my large database which always gives me what I need. (Of course, I write the final copy into my own words)

Mistake 3 – Using Long Sentences
I must say, I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion. The truth is though, you must try to get your point across in as few words as possible. I am not the slickest article writer in town, but when I write sales copy, email copy and headlines, I keep it short, to the point and benefit oriented. I tend to waffle a bit more here on my blog though.

Mistake 4 – Not Having a Strong Call to Action
When writing sales copy you need to tell your reader what you want them to do. People are looking for leadership. They want you to tell them what to do next. Don’t be shy about asking for the sale. If your product or service is quality, and you know it will help your prospect, then tell them what to do next. When in doubt, think about the following 3 steps… 1) What is it you’ve got? 2) What will it do for them? 3) What should they do next?

Mistake 5 – Focusing on Features Instead of Benefits
I see this mistake all the time in sales copy. There’s no point trying to sell a feature to your prospect. The only thing they really want to know is what it can do FOR them. You have to elicit an emotional response within your prospect, and the only way to do that is to highlight the benefits your product will add to their lives.

Example:
Feature… This top of the range car has 4 side impact bags
Benefit… Your family will be protected against side impacts
Feature… We have the best online training, and the most up to date tools
Benefit… Our training will help you succeed very quickly online, and our tools will shave at least 6 months off your learning time.

People buy on emotions; then they justify their decision based on logic.

Mistake 6 – Not Having a Guarantee
People are afraid to have a guarantee somewhere within their sales copy. This is very important stuff here. People need to know there’s not a man in a striped jumper and a mask behind the sales page ready to take their hard earned cash and run. I have seen some sellers with a lifetime guarantee on their products. You can be assured that this will increase conversions massively, besides, not many people use that lifetime guarantee anyway. If, however, your product is not quality and you are worried that a lot of people will return it promptly, then realistically you need to evaluate your business plan… or lack of one for that matter.

Mistake 7 – Your Copy Is Not Targeted
Another big mistake that considerably lowers conversions is not figuring out the profile of your average customer. You need to find out who your audience is before you can effectively write for them. Writing copy for a 50 year old woman will not be the same as writing copy for a teenager for example. There are certain terms that appeal to both demographics, and emotional triggers portrayed through your words will have a different response to each audience. Writing copy for “everyone” will mean you write for ‘no one’. It can be difficult for an 18 year old guy to write effective sales copy for pregnant mothers looking to buy a stroller. Get to know your audience first, get into their minds.

Mistake 8 – No Urgency Within Sales Copy
People will not rush into buying from you if they have all the time in the world to make a decision. Including a sense of urgency in your copy just makes sense. Let people know that your offer will not be around forever, and if the act NOW, they will get a discount, or a bonus. Include dime sales and limited numbers available in your copy. I’d advise against lying to your potential prospects as this will work against you in the long run, but you get my point. You don’t want your customer to think they can come back at a later date to buy your product.

Mistake 9 – Being Too Boring & Technical
Injecting a bit of personality into your writing will help conversions. You must connect with the person read reads your copy. They need to identify with a real person and not a faceless website. This is especially true when using email marketing. Your goal is to build a relationship with the person you are talking to. Boring and technical sales copy doesn’t work as well as personality driven copy. Remember, your goal is to play on your prospects emotions, this cannot be done effectively with technical copy, unless your prospect is just looking for statistics about your product.

Mistake 10 – Not Having a Compelling Offer
One thing I see all the time is marketers thinking their products are the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a big mistake, and detrimental to your conversions if you put “yourself” ahead of your prospects. It’s NEVER about what YOU think of the product you’re promoting. Just because you think it’s a great product, that doesn’t mean it is. Your offer has to over-deliver. It must be so compelling that your prospect can’t walk away from it without feeling like they let an offer of a lifetime slip them by. Add bonuses into the offer, include a discount if they buy within the next 5 minutes etc.

Mistake 11 – Not Tweaking to Improve Conversions
This may be the last on the list, but is by far one of the most important things you can do. Tweaking your headline, your subject lines, your bullet points and general copy within your emails and sales pages is essential. You see people looking to get more traffic to their websites so they can make more sales. They want more leads coming into their business so they have more people to market to. These are all fine and dandy, but little tweaks here and there can massively affect your conversions where you actually make more sales with the same amount of traffic… and it costs you nothing to test. You won’t get this right the first time you make changes to your copy, but gaining an extra percentage increase here and there can make a big difference.

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