Are These Copywriting Mistakes Hurting Your Sales?
What exactly is copywriting?
Copywriting is persuading people through written words to take a desired action, such as submit an email, make a purchase, or request a demo. It really comes down to how strong your argument is in convincing customers that what you're offering them is worth more than what they are giving you.
While copywriting seems straightforward, there are some common mistakes that can cost you sales. In this article, we will go over some of the most common copywriting mistakes to look out for.
1. Too Many Meaningless Words
Words like "market-leading," "innovative," and "world-class" have become so frequently used that they've totally lost their impact. Now, these former top-shelf words are just taking up space without adding any meaning.
When writing out your sentences, think about what each one of them means. If you can't come up with an answer right away, you may want to rephrase or cut the text altogether. You really want to make sure your content is meaningful.
Rather than saying something like: "World-class toothbrush from an industry-leading manufacturer."
Say something like this instead: "Toothbrush with pressure sensor used in over 10,000 homes in America.
Lots of meaningless words will wear your reader down. Instead, focus on using figures and facts to increase your credibility. When including numbers in your content, make sure you write them as digits (5) rather than words (five) since numerals tend to bring back a reader's focus if it starts wandering.
2. Focusing Too Much on the Product
This is an easy mistake to make, even if you are an experienced copywriter. As a business owner, you're probably excited to share with people how unique and exceptional your products are. You want to go into detail about all the features and specifications, but in all actuality, your buyers aren't interested in those things.
Customers want to know what's in it for them. So, when you're listing a feature, make sure you pair it with a benefit as well. For example: When listing a feature for a hairdryer such as "lightweight design", mention that this makes it easier and more comfortable to hold.
Product feature = a fact about your product.
Product benefit = what's in it for the customer. A benefit can explain how your product increases pleasure or decreases discomfort. The customer is more interested in the benefit rather than the fact.
Before you begin making your product pages, make an outline of features and benefits for each of your products. Take a moment to consider the benefits that increase the buyer's comfort and the ones that decrease their discomfort. By planning what you need to write, you will be able to write a faster and more persuasive copy.
3. Relying Too Much on Factual Information
People don't think in terms and facts; we are wired to think in stories. When a potential customer reads a story, they forget that they are being sold something. Stories make content so much more engaging, persuasive, and meaningful.
Facts are still important because they give your stories substance, but stories will provide those facts with meaning and can help your customers visualize using your product.
Your stories don't have to be super long. If you're selling an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer and pressure sensor, you can tell a short story about a customer who has tried multiple different toothbrushes and still suffers from plaque-buildup and bleeding gums.
Meet Joan. She finds it hard to feel confident at work because of her bad breath. She never wants to smile, and everyone thinks she's just a grumpy person. Then one day she tries this toothbrush, and after some time, she begins to feel a lot better about herself. She is more confident and outspoken in her meetings, and she even flashes smiles to her coworkers. She has noticed a decrease in the plaque buildup on her teeth, better breath, and stronger gums as well. Her boss says she's more productive and when she gets home, she's not as stressed and tired as she used to be. Even something small can make a huge difference.
By giving your customer a simple story, you can help them visualize the benefits of using your products. Stories also add personality to your content, and you can tell stories about almost anything, including the sourcing, testing, and development of your products.
Here are a few tips to help you create some great short product stories.
- Tell unexpected stories that engage and entertain your audience.
- Make sure your stories are concrete and to the point. Don't let your thoughts stray; just focus your story on a single simple idea.
- Learn from journalists, suppliers, customer service reps, and most importantly, your customers. The more you learn from these people, the more stories you will have to share.
Like I said before, facts can increase the credibility of your product description, but on their own, they don't make the content very persuasive because they don't have any depth or personality. Stories will engage your reader and help them justify their purchase. The best and most compelling product descriptions will contain both story and facts.
4. Forgetting to Connect with Your Audience
A lot of the big e-commerce sites lack personality. Rather than connecting and engaging with their customers and selling the value of the products they offer, they provide people with the barebones information. No one likes talking to a faceless, boring corporation - so don't fall into the trap of creating text that sounds like one!
If you want to connect with your customers, you'll need to add some personality to your website. Think about the tone of voice you're using when you're writing. Pretend your website is actually a salesperson chatting with a customer - how do you want her to sound, what do you want her to say?
Before determining your tone of voice, though, you should first consider who your audience is. Try visualizing your customer and imagine how you would talk to them in real life. You're human, so be human. Don't sound like a big, dull corporation - you won't engage your potential customers that way.
5. Using Too Many Adjectives
An adjective describes a noun. They help us explain what our products do, what they look like, and how they make our buyers feel. While used in moderation, adjectives can be useful; when they are used too much, they can just overwhelm your customer because it makes your content hard to read.
Too many adjectives can slow your reader down. Here are some tips for using adjectives when writing your content:
- Don't just describe what a product looks like if it is shown in a picture.
- Choose emotional and sensory words that will evoke feelings in your reader. For example, instead of using a word like "nice," say "delightful," or instead of saying "tasty," say, "decedent."
- Don't use more than one adjective before a noun.
6. Skipping the Planning and Editing Too Quickly
Professional copywriters plan, write, and edit. Unless you're made of magic, you'll always need to carefully proofread and edit your content. Imagine you're talking to a customer and read your copy out loud. Is the customer laughing and smiling, or is she looking at her phone with one foot out the door because you're boring her?
Rephrase, polish, and cut any content that you need to in order to persuade your favorite customer to purchase your product:
- Justify your price by explaining the value your customer will get out of it.
- Does your customer have any reservations or objections about buying your product? Have you addressed these concerns?
- Make sure you have included a benefit for each product feature.
- Make sure your content is focused on the customer. Make sure you're using "you," versus "I," "me," and "we."
- Don't use unnecessary words; they end up being filler that slows down your reader.
- Reduce the number of adjectives you're using. You can be descriptive and to the point at the same time.
- Don't bother using verbs like "really," "actually," and "just" because they don't add any meaning.
- It can be easier to spot grammar and spelling errors by reading your text backward. If you have a colleague or professional that is willing to proofread your text, make sure you take advantage of that valuable resource.
It doesn't matter whether you are a good writer or not; what matters is that you take the time and make the effort to be a good editor. Once you know the differences between a poor-quality copy and a great one, you can get working on improving yours over time.
Don't do what most big e-commerce sites do. Don't treat your customers like numbers. Be different, be human, have a personality, and engage with your audience.
Always think about your ideal customers and sell to them the benefits you know they would love and enjoy. Don't forget who you are writing for and speak to them, not at them. When you're helpful and engaging, your customers will appreciate that and will reward you for it.