Quality copy is the bread and butter of increasing conversions and sales. The only way to effectively get the word out about your product or services is through words — and not just any words, the right words for your specific audience. Because of this, marketers can’t afford to let their copywriting go by the wayside. Now, it can be a challenge to get it right every single time, and there’s a lot of room for error. But we’re here to help. Don’t let simple, avoidable mistakes ruin your chances of converting customers. Here are some of the most important copywriting faux pas to avoid in your writing.
Using the Wrong Tone of Voice
Before you start writing, take a look at your product or service and ask yourself: How would my ideal customer want to be spoken to? For example, if you’re sell parenting products or services, you wouldn’t use words like informative or motivational. But if you were selling accounting software, it might be OK — just don’t get too corporate. Approachable is always a good tactic to take.
Identify your target demographic and speak their language. What words resonate with them? Why would these words resonate with them? At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you aren’t writing for everyone; you’re writing for a very specific someone. Using the wrong tone and style could cause confusion within your target audience, or you could end up attracting a different demographic than you intended.
Lack of Power Words
It may seem counterintuitive, but less is more when it comes to writing compelling copy. To get people interested in your product or service, you need a few select words that are powerful enough on their own to capture and hold someone’s attention. This is where strong action verbs come into play. The active voice inspires action, while passive voice encourages passivity. Makes sense, but a lot of marketers and copywriters fall prey to using too many passive words.
The best way to combat this is to start off your messaging with a verb (like you would with a CTA.) Words like Enjoy, Experience, Browse, Gain, etc. all explicitly state to your audience what it is they should be doing, while also playing on their emotions or personal experiences. Or choose words from this extensive list of power words to give your copywriting the boost it deserves.
Writing Unclear Headlines
You only have a couple of seconds for your headline to capture attention, so make sure it’s clear and concise. If you aren’t able to clearly communicate what your page is about in just a few words, go back and rewrite it until you can. This is especially important if your content has more than one purpose — for example, not just selling products but also informing readers about health issues related to those products. In cases like these, you need more specific headlines that outline both pieces of information.
It also helps to make sure you aren’t clouding your headlines with unnecessary words. Every word you use in a headline is prime real estate, so choose wisely. Get to your point, and get to it quickly. It may be tempting to be clever over being concise. Resist that urge, and instead, opt for a headline that clearly states what it is you’re offering (and how it will benefit your audience). If you need a little more guidance on how to craft clear, effective headlines, take a look at our rundown here.
Focusing on the Negative
A classic faux pas in sales copy is using too many negatives (or any at all, in some cases.) Ads with a positive message are more memorable than those that aren’t. Before you write any text for an ad, ask yourself if each word is necessary — or if a positive one will help sell your product better. Eliminating even one or two negative words can have an immediate impact on engagement rates. Making these simple changes can make all of the difference in improving conversion rates for landing pages and advertising campaigns.
But of course, there’s always some gray area. A CTA that says “Don’t Miss Out” could still be effective for some campaigns because it brings forward a sense of urgency that outweighs the negative. So yes, take things on a case-by-case basis, but as a general rule of thumb, stick to words with positive connotations.
Over-Using the Hard Sell
There’s a fine line between emphasizing your product benefits and overselling your offer. No matter how enticing your product or service may be, it’s important not to overuse the hard sell. Yes, you ultimately want your audience to make a purchasing decision (or a sign-up decision, if that’s the case), but rather than telling them “Buy this now!” or “Sign up now!”, show how your offering will make a difference in their lives. This makes it seem like it was 100% their decision to act, not you telling them to do so.
CTAs With No Verbs
Having a strong call-to-action can significantly improve your click-through-rates and conversions. While CTAs might seem simple in practice (and in some ways, they can be), they hold a lot of weight in the success of your campaigns. But what is a call-to-action without the actual call? Not only is a CTA without a key verb confusing, but it also gives your customer or audience no reason to pay attention to what you’re offering. It’s your job as the marketer to give them a reason to not only pay attention, but ultimately decide to sign up, purchase, convert — whatever the case may be. A few simple tweaks to your main CTA makes all the difference in your copywriting, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Here are just a few examples of successful CTAs:
- Sign Up
- Shop Now
- Learn More
- Book Now
- Start Now
Make All The Right Moves with Anyword
No one becomes an expert copywriting best practices overnight, but by keeping these six common mistakes in mind, you can be on the right path to crafting successful marketing copy in no time. Or, if you’d like to speed up the process even more, turn to Anyword.
Anyword’s copywriting technology uses powerful AI to generate copy for virtually any audience and for a large variety of platforms and channels. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anyword’s AI Copywriting Platform also leverages a wide data set to create copy in your specific tone and style and assigns each copy variation a “grade” that predicts its performance potential. What does this mean for you? You can have a good understanding of how your copy will perform — before you even publish. So, with Anyword in your copywriting toolbox, you can create stronger copy and make better-informed decisions, without any of the guesswork.
The AI platform covers a wide range of copywriting needs, from social ads to emails and blog posts, so whatever you need to promote or publish, trust Anyword to get the job done. And don’t worry, all CTAs generated by Anyword will include an action verb. Check out our free 7-day trial or sign up for our Free plan.