Good copywriting packs a powerful punch.
From ads to social posts, web copy, and email subject lines, effective sales copy grabs your audience and turns them into loyal fans.
But if you’re not wording your message right, you won’t attract the customers your small business needs. And you’ll keep struggling to convert leads into sales.
So is your copywriting making the cut?
Read on to discover 5 copywriting mistakes that could be killing your small business. Then start mastering these quick tips to craft copy that sells.
Mistake #1: You try to be clever instead of clear.
Cleverness in copywriting doesn’t work.
Because clever copy confuses people. It forces readers to stop in their tracks and try to understand what you’re saying.
In other words, clever writing wastes your prospects’ time.
You only have a couple of sentences to convince people that your product or service is the best solution. Don’t waste those precious seconds on clever words that create confusion. Because if you confuse them, you’ll lose them.
Copywriting Tip: Make your message instantly clear.
Throw out your attempts to be clever and witty. Make sure your copy communicates your message in the clearest way possible. If something isn’t instantly clear, chop it out. Clarity always beats cleverness in sales copy.
Mistake #2: You don’t address what your audience cares about.
Some businesses use copy that is downright self-obsessed. Their writing oozes with us, we, and our.
Your prospects don’t care about you and your small business.
They want to know how your product or service is going to improve their lives—how it will save them time or money, make them more popular, or help them feel less stressed. They’re asking, “What’s in it for me?”
Your copy needs to answer that question. How? By highlighting benefits.
Benefits show how your product can make a prospect’s life better. Benefits trigger an emotional response by describing a more desirable outcome.
Copywriting Tip: Lay out the problems your product/service solves.
Tell your prospects how your product or service will tangibly improve their lives and solve their problems, such as saving them hours of work so they can spend more time with their family.
Mistake #3: You’ve over-polished your copy.
Don’t approach copywriting like an English class assignment. If you try to perfect your writing, it can end up feeling stiff and formal.
Your copy should sound natural, like a conversation with a friend. Be personable. Ask questions. Show empathy. This sets a tone that feels familiar, inviting, and appealing.
Let your prospects feel like you’re a well-meaning friend who wants to help them solve a problem.
Copywriting Tip: Be conversational to connect with your audience.
“You” is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Use it throughout your copy to address your audience directly, build a conversation, and create a sense of connection.
Bonus Tip: As you work out your copy, imagine you’re speaking to one person, not a crowd of people. Remember that your prospects care about one thing: “What’s in it for me?”
Mistake #4: Your copy’s structure is too hard to read.
Most people have short attention spans and limited time. They don’t have the patience to navigate something that’s difficult to read. If your writing takes effort to read, they’ll simply disengage and move on.
So what makes copy hard to read?
- Big words
- Long sentences
- Bloated paragraphs
This doesn’t mean your copy always has to be short. It simply needs to move your prospects quickly and easily to the end.
Copywriting Tip: Chop up your copy.
Here’s how to structure your writing to keep your audience engaged:
- Use bullets
- Break up long sentences
- Keep paragraphs to 1–3 sentences
- Vary your sentence structures
- Embrace white space
These tactics will help people scan your copy, understand your offering, and decide to take action.
Mistake #5: You don’t have a clear call-to-action.
Let’s say you’ve primed your audience with persuasive and compelling copy. They’re convinced that your product or service is the solution to their problem. Now they’re ready to act.
If you don’t seal the deal by giving them a focused call-to-action, then you’ve just wasted your efforts.
People want you to tell them what to do. Help them take the next step that will get them closer to receiving the desirable benefit you offer. How? By giving them a powerful, straightforward call-to-action.
The call-to-action you choose for a particular piece of copy depends on where your target audience is at in your customer journey. Calls-to-action often encourage prospects to learn more, subscribe, get an exclusive discount, pick up the phone, or buy now.
Copywriting Tip: Choose one call-to-action.
For each piece of copy, choose the single most important action you want the prospect to take right now.
Let’s repeat that: Choose one call-to-action.
Otherwise, you demand readers to make the choice. And in a world of decision fatigue, they might just opt out and abandon your offer altogether.
So, there you have it: top tips to overcoming 5 common copywriting mistakes.
Start putting your know-how into practice, and watch your prospects turn into loyal customers and raving fans!
Get in touch with us for more direction on how to write compelling copy for your brand.