Five Things Which Will Mess Up Your Copy

You don't want your copy to do a better job at dissuading than persuading people to buy... here's what to avoid.

Andrew McDonald

8/12/20222 min read

It’s no good looking only at what you need to make your copy sparkle, you must also know how to ensure you don’t screw it up. So, without further ado, here are five straightforward things to avoid.

Don’t Overhype

Many children dream of a new pair of football boots on the night before their birthday. You want to treat your little one on their special day. An advert promising comfortable, sleek soccer footwear which will help your kid’s ball control and stop them slipping on wet ground is reasonable. Claims they’ll turn your budding striker into Lionel Messi aren’t. Guess which one parents will be more likely to trust?

Don’t Overpromise

A very close cousin of point one, is not to make claims that are over-the-top. If I say a tin of baked beans will spice up your sex life to the nth degree, what would your reaction be? Hurry straight down to your local shop to buy them? Or laugh at me?

Let’s be honest, baked beans are great. I love them with a good fried breakfast or on toast. They’re extremely unlikely to turn me into God’s gift, though. By making silly claims about them, you’ll just end up with egg (excuse the pun) on your face. Nobody’s going to believe you and that’s precisely the position you don’t want to be in when trying to convince people to spend.

Avoid Impersonal Copy

I sound like a broken record but people buy benefits, not features. Describing your product will turn them off. Telling them how it will improve their lives by solving a problem they’re struggling with will turn them on (sorry, it must be the beans talking... 😉). Simple.

Big Paragraphs, Big Mistake

If people want a long read, they’ll buy a book.

I was tempted to leave it there, given this point’s topic, but bullet points are a great way of keeping copy short.

Any Questions? No? Good!

This might seem a strange one in comparison to point four, but don’t be too brief. You need to include all the details to convince potential customers without overloading and boring them. Deliver all the truly important info so they’re not left with questions which have a habit of transforming into reasons not to buy.