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The 7 Deadly Sins of Copywriting to Avoid at All Costs


Great copywriting is a fundamental element of effective marketing. The objective is to spur the audience to act; regardless of whether your marketing goal is to increase sales, boost subscriptions, or generate recommendations, your messaging needs to be a magic combination of clear, engaging and dynamic in order to produce results. Avoid the following seven copy killers to secure your brand’s spot in ROI heaven:

1. Passive voice/language 
When was the last time someone successfully persuaded you to do something or think a certain way? Chances are they didn’t use passive, weak language to convince you. Don’t be a sloth in your approach to copywriting. Always use an active voice and power words. Without both there is no impact; without impact, the reader isn’t compelled to act.

2. Adjective obsession
Over-stuffing your copy with adjectives can totally undermine the effectiveness of your writing, and frankly, reads as amateurish. Don’t make the verbs in your copy envious of the adjectives, strategically use action words with real power to enhance the impact of your message – after all, copywriting is all about action. “Gain”, “discover”, “save” and “win” are some great examples of effective verbs.

3. No angle
An experiment:
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10 Stellar Social Media Tips to Juice Your ROI

Which headline is more likely to entice you to read on? I’m guessing the second option. Hot copy stands out from average copy when it conveys a clear message in a compelling way that stands out from competitors’ messaging.

4. Rambling
The more you babble, the more you convolute the purpose of your writing. Don’t by greedy with your audience’s time – keep your copy clear and concise. Avoid placing unnecessary roadblocks of fluffy language or additional ideas between your audience and your call to action.

5. Apathy
Consumers may think their purchasing decisions stem from rational analysis (e.g. product features and facts), but countless studies have proven that consumers are first and foremost driven by emotion. This means copywriters must appeal to the feelings that drive buyers to act. Stress benefits over features; tell them how their lives will improve and the problems they no longer have to deal with thanks to your product/service.

6. A one dimensional approach
This tip is especially important for longer pieces: use imagery. People are visual beings; don’t miss an opportunity to pump up the power of your copy by failing to use creative language that paints a picture for your audience. Descriptive language and simple metaphors help your readers not only better “see” the point you are trying to make, but also help them tailor your message to themselves and their own unique situations – needs, wants, and all.

7. Hard on the eyes
Sometimes vanity is a good thing. Organize and present your copy in a way that immediately tells your audience that your message doesn’t require tons of their time. Make your copy easy on your audiences’ eyes by using short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and subheads if necessary.

Contact Interkom today to learn more about how we can get your brand on the path to copywriting righteousness.