Great copywriting entices your customers, engages them and convinces them to take the desired action. Poor copywriting is a waste of everyone’s time – especially yours.
Sadly, many businesses have web pages, blogs and newsletters chock full of words that don’t work for them, and are probably damaging their brand reputation. So, if you’re worried that your copywriting is letting you down, here’s are five mistakes you should correct immediately.
Mistake #1 – It’s all about you, not them
Think of a company you regularly buy from, whose products you love, and service delights you. Do you care a jot about what happens behind the company doors unless it affects you? Of course you don’t. All that matters to you as a consumer is that they provide what you want, their offer delivers the benefits you expect, and all this happens with the minimum of fuss.
So, why would you write content that bangs on about you and your company instead of talking directly to your customers about them, and what they want? Make sure your content is all about your target audience, not you – unless what you are saying about your company is proof of how it enhances their experience.
Mistake #2 – Your headlines are rubbish
God save us all from poor headlines. The tabloid press gets plenty of flak in the UK, but they succeed by creating headlines that make you want to read more. A great headline jumps out of the page and demands you read on – so you need to get it right! For business copy, the most effective headlines ask a question the customer could be asking themselves, or address a problem they are grappling with. Don’t be afraid to write bold, confrontational, and daring headlines. When there’s thousands of things your audience could be reading, make sure they can’t scroll past your content.
Mistake #3 – You point out features, not benefits
It’s all very well to talk about the features of your business, but only if you’re going to spell out the benefits. Here at Mill House Media we could tell you that our team includes a roster of professional writers who have worked for national publications, written books and screenplays, and have decades of experience in speaking to huge audiences. That’s all very well, but what does that mean for you as our potential customer? In this case it means you can be sure the copy we deliver will be of a high standard, helping you to stand out in your sector. So you can rely on our experience to ensure your content speaks directly to your potential customers. Are you making sure your target market is clear on the benefits of working with you?
Mistake #4 – You are using jargon
There’s a time and a place for jargon – and that’s the boardrooms of the 1980s. You’d think there had been enough David Brent satire for everyone to have received the memo to ‘knock it off’ where jargon is concerned. Unfortunately not.
The reason jargon should be banished forever is that it is a poor way to communicate. If you talk in jargon, it deliberately confuses and annoys your audience. Some people may think that jargon gives them credibility, as if they know the secret language of their sector. Perhaps they imagine it will convince their would-be customers that they should be trusted. These people are wrong. In your content, be clear and concise, use words that your audience understands and be clever by communicating smoothly.
Mistake #5 – No call to action
What do you want the reader to do? Unless you are writing your business pages to display a literary genius that would have Martin Amis quaking in his boots, that thought should be front and centre. People like to be guided and told what to do next. Writing a missive about the benefits of hiring a professional caterer for your next company event? Then make sure there is a link at the bottom telling the reader to ‘click here’ to make an enquiry or to book a consultation. Whatever it is you want your potential customer to do, tell them clearly. And make it easy for them to do so.
If you’d like to get a free appraisal of one page of your website (up to 500 words) take advantage of our limited time offer here.
Consumer journalist Kate has spent over 15 years writing for the national media, covering subjects including health, spirituality, film and television. She left her position as the news editor of a best-selling TV title to begin working as a professional copywriter. Blogging on topics as diverse as personal finance, apprenticeships, personal coaching and beauty, Kate can help you amplify your message, and make it sparkle.