04 25 2018

The secret to writing great copy is to keep it informal, conversational and easy-to-read. What great copywriters know is that they need to keep the language at a reading grade level of Year 7. Yes, that’s right – the only time you should go beyond that basic reading level is if you’re writing complex copy for, say, medical products.


1. Too long

Write short, punchy text; avoid passive sentence constructions; and try to avoid combining too many ideas in any one sentence. There’s actually a tool you can use with Microsoft Word called the Flesch-Kincaid scale that will tell you how well you’re doing. What you should be looking for, say professional copywriters, is passive sentences of 5 percent or less, and a reading score of Year 7 or Year 8. Sometimes, it’s impossible, but in most cases, all it requires is tweaking the copy to make it shorter.


2. Too many ideas

If you start to have more than one idea in a sentence, that’s where the problems start to arise. The way to avoid more than one idea in a sentence is to use a full stop. Just move on to the next sentence, and avoid trying to cram too much into a sentence. As soon as you start to hit Year 9 or Year 10, often that’s because your sentence is too long, or you’re using long words.


3. No Dramatic Demonstration

Now that you’ve got your copy to be much crisper and much punchier, what else can you do?

Well, a favorite of copywriters is something they call “the dramatic demonstration.” For any products that you’re selling, digital or physical, the strongest and most powerful content should be front and center of the pitch.

The “dramatic demonstration” is how you can set your product apart from all the other products out there. The classic example is the copy used to sell vacuum cleaners. Everyone claims to have the vacuum with the strongest sucking power of any vacuum on the market. But what does that really mean?

Godfrey’s vacuums decided to try it out. They had something called the “bowling ball test,” where they literally show a twelve-pound bowling ball being sucked up by a vacuum. If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will. That’s just incredible proof.


4. Not Future Painting

Another tactic used by copywriters is painting a picture of the future – they will build a story of how your life will change in the future if you use their products. If they are selling a dieting solution, for example, they might tell you how you will stop nasty food cravings, how to drop a dress size or two, and how to have more energy, be stronger, look better and feel more attractive than you have in years.

Examine the copy on your website and run it through the Flesch-Kincaid test.

But in order to do this – you have to lay the groundwork for the proof. Customers want the product, and they are just waiting for something along the lines of “five ways you’ll benefit” to seal the deal.

That’s exactly what customers are looking for – unbelievable proof that your product works and evidence that their future lives are going to change. Together with all the basics of how to make your copy as easy and clear to understand as possible, you’re on your way to writing copy that gets clicks. 

Justin Theng
Multi-award winning marketer, Justin Theng, is the owner of ALSOF Publishing. His background stems from leadership roles in some of the world’s most celebrated agencies.
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