Copywriting

5 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Copy


1. Isolation technique

It doesn't matter how good your copy is if they don't read it. Put blinders on and read each line (including the headlines and subheads) as if they exist in total isolation. Ask yourself if it makes sense on its own. For example, I was looking through Esquire Magazine and saw an article on a celebrity. The headline was "That Voice." Does that headline compel you to read on? It didn't do it for me. A mistake many copywriters make is to write too cleverly, insisting that "if you only read the rest of the copy, you will understand my masterful headline." Uh - wrong. Make it clear enough to stand on its own.

2. Hire child labor

It's okay if little Johnny isn't old enough to vote. If he's old enough to read, he has the potential to work under you as a mini entrepreneur. Here's what you do. Find a child between 8 and 12 years old (much younger or older and this trick won't work). Have him or her read your copy out loud. Every time little Mary stumbles or doesn't know a word, pay her a buck. If the prospect has to think about what a word means, you risk taking him or her out of the "reader's trance" and losing the prospect forever. Use short words and sentences and you'll save a lot of money with this test.

3. Show it happening NOW

Use active voice rather than passive. In other words, make your subject do things rather than have things done to him or her. The copy reads more dynamically that way.

Example of passive:

"Over 500 qualified prospects were sent an invitation to the meeting."

Example of active:

"We sent out over 500 invitations to qualified prospects."

4. Get headlines and subheads to work harder

Sometimes you only need to change a word or two to vastly increase your conversion rate (the number of online visitors who convert to buyers).

I've seldom seen one that couldn't be tweaked for more impact.

Example,

"Put music in your life"

Versus

"Puts music in your life"

Simply adding the "s" increased conversion over 400%. Do the isolation technique on those heads and subheads. Then ask yourself after each one, "So what?" If it makes you want to read further, good. You're on the right track.

5. Add lists

Some of the most highly read parts of any copy are the bullets or numbered lists. They are bite-sized and easy to understand with one quick glance. (Whether online or offline). So make it easier on your prospect by spoon feeding him or her Here's a tip. Be put your strongest bullet first and last. When a prospect scans, those are the two most thoroughly read positions. the information. Hey, you're reading one now!

Special Requirements for Reprint: we ask only that you include Lorrie's name and resource box, and keep all hyperlinks as live links.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

World class copywriter, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero of Red Hot Copy educates entrepreneurs in the art of increasing sales with powerful copy. She has been interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor, Studio City Sun and many national radio stations. Get f*ree copywriting tips from her weekly ezine red-hot-copy.com/ezine.htm.


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