Bad sales copy can ruin a business right from the start.  When you’re trying to get people to do something as serious as buying, you’ve got to make the right impression from beginning to end.  Unfortunately, though, most business owners aren’t sales copy experts.  They don’t know that even the simplest of errors can turn into a major copywriting meltdown.

Are you one of them?

photo courtesy of Chris Griffith on flickr
photo courtesy of Chris Griffith on flickr

There’s only one way to find out!  Take an honest look at your sales copy.  If you see any of these 4 things, it’s a surefire sign that it isn’t conveying the message it’s supposed to!


1.  No emotion

Think about it logically — you’re asking people to crack open their wallets and spend their hard-earned money on your product.  Do you really think they’re going to do that if they don’t have a concrete, emotional reason?

Typically, sales copy needs to focus on one of two emotions — relief and fear.  If your readers can breathe a sigh of relief when they see everything that your product has to offer, they’re going to buy it.  And, conversely, if your readers are afraid of what will happen to them if they DON’T buy your product, they’re going to be more than willing to get out their credit cards and click “Buy”.

But if you simply lay out your product’s features in a very blasé way, the odds of your readers taking any action are slim.  If your sales copy doesn’t pull people in on an emotional level, it’s failing miserably.


2.  Kooky promises

I understand that many online marketers are trying to create a sense of urgency in their sales copy, but making kooky promises only makes your readers urgently search for someone else to do business with!

What kinds of kooky promises am I talking about?

The kinds that are so over the top that they can’t possibly be true — like promises that you can make a ton of money overnight with very little work, for example.  If you think people are actually going to believe that they can become millionaires by next Tuesday, your sales copy is failing miserably.

Another type of kooky promise that no one believes?  The “sign up today before this offer goes away forever” promise.  In the overwhelming majority of cases, you’ll see the same business offering the same urgent message tomorrow, next week, and six months from now.

Many business owners use these types of promises because they think they’re flashy, and because they think being flashy is the best way to stand out on the web.  You’ll stand out, alright — but not in a good way.  People will think you’re just as kooky as the promises you’re making!


3.  Giant paragraphs

This isn’t a book report on The Grapes of Wrath.  You don’t get bonus points for long-winded analyses.  In fact, it’s just the opposite!  Web surfers are an impatient bunch.  They want information, and they want it NOW.  The last thing they want to see is giant paragraphs of sales copy because reading something that long takes more effort than they’re willing to expend.


4.  No good answers to the “so what?” test

Even though it’s your sales copy about your product, you can’t talk about yourself.  Instead, you’ve got to write for your readers — specifically, you’ve got to clearly lay out the features and benefits of working with you.  To put your copy to the test, ask yourself “so what?” after every paragraph.  If you can’t come up with a convincing answer, your readers won’t either — meaning they won’t buy your product when all is said and done!