Five Copywriting Habits to Avoid

Have you ever found yourself in a roomful of people that you don’t know very well and hope fervently that you don’t say something that is out of place? Or perhaps you’ve made a joke that people find anything but funny. It’s easy to have good intentions and then the wrong thing just kind of tumbles out of your mouth. The same thing can happen with the content of your website. You may be well intentioned with the message you’re trying to convey to your customers, but the communication seems to backfire and rather than convert visitors, they are leaving. In order to avoid these embarrassing blunders, we have provided some copywriting offenses to avoid. 

Me Me Me - It’s All About Me

This is not news - people like to talk about themselves - a lot. We’re always trying to make a good impression and often that comes at the cost of “it’s all about me.” When a visitor comes to your site, they are generally looking for an answer to their question. Businesses who heavily focus on content about “who we are”, “what we do”, “our mission”, etc. come across more as self-obsessed, not about the customer. This is what we call, “me, me, me” and it’s a pretty surefire way to turn away customers. 

That’s not to say you can’t talk about your organization at all, but tone it down. Make sure you include content that shows an interest to your visitors and what their needs are. One great way to do this is to let others tell their story. Customer reviews and testimonials are great copy materials because you are letting your customers say wonderful things about your business and this will alert potential customers know that you are a business who meets needs and provide customer satisfaction. The power of reviews will do you wonders in the long run to build relationships and grow your customer base. 

Using a Private Language and Acronyms

Jargon and acronyms can sneak up in content by companies who use this private language to talk about important issues without having to explain them. This might work well in a company board meeting, but when used on a website, it can be confusing and frustrating. Many businesses fall into this trap due to the ease of using jargon to simplify internal communication. However, while this private language is commonplace to them, it’s easy to forget that people clicking through their site will have no clue what they are trying to communicate. 

In order to make sure you’re speaking your customers’ language, it’s always important to do a little research. You can conduct focus groups, listen to sales calls, and actually research what common terms are used among your customers. Listen to how your customers speak, find out how they search online, what do they need, etc. Once you speak your customers’ language, you will be able to make those connections through your content and earn their trust, not to mention their business. 

Facts and More Facts

Humans are emotional and it is those emotions that help in decision making. A good copywriter knows that to sell a service/product, they have to evoke emotion from the customer. Think about it, if you read about an exercise program that was 60 minutes long, broken down into three 20 minute sections that focused on core, strength, and cardio, was to be practiced three times a week, and required a set of weights and a yoga mat, you might not buy into it because you know none of the benefits. But if the program resulted in weigh loss, inches shredded from your body and so on, you might be more inclined to buy because you can read about all the benefits and get your own body in the shape you want.  

 It’s not necessarily all about the feature of a product - you don’t want to list endless facts and information. Customers want to know why they should buy it - what is in it for them? Your content should focus on the benefits, or rewards, that a customer will experience when they buy. The most effective content will find the right balance between describing the features of a product (the facts) and vividly describing the benefits in a way that triggers an emotional response. 

Where’s the Sense of Urgency

The more difficult something is to get, the more people want it. A good marketer will insist you have a call to action on your website. This will give your customers more of a reason to act immediately. Procrastination will not only kill the sense of urgency, it will kill conversions. Businesses who realize the harm of procrastination have infused their content with a sense of urgency. They’ve done this by putting a deadline on a special sale, indicating only a specific number of items remain in stock, promising a certain delivery date if the order is placed in a certain number of minutes. It is this sense of urgency that works because no one wants to miss out on a good sale or a freebie. 

The Word is Very Powerful

Many tools, techniques, and specialists exist to improve your website. However, the basic truth is that words have power. The effectiveness of good copywriting is huge! The right words will significantly impact a website and improve the likelihood of engaging customers, building those relationships, and creating sales.