7 Copywriting Mistakes That Are Costing You Sales

Copywriting is a delicate process that involves a lot of steps, all of which need to be done correctly in order to produce high-converting copy.

We commonly see businesses making the same copywriting mistakes over and over, and losing sales in the process.

To help you avoid making the same mistakes and missing out on potential sales, we’ve created a guide on the seven most common copywriting mistakes that will help you understand what you’re doing wrong when producing copy and enable you to improve your copywriting skills.

1) Not Having a Defined Process

While copywriting is considered to be creative work, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a defined process for creating copy.

A good copywriting process starts with thinking about your target audience and the buying stage they’re currently in and then drafting copy that focuses on your prospects’ goals, motivations, and challenges.

The final stages of completing any type of copy should include editing and split-testing. All copy should be edited to ensure that it doesn’t contain any spelling or grammar errors and that it’s written in such a way that every member of your target audience can understand it.

Finally, you should test different versions of copy until you find the best-performing one.

2) Trying to Appeal to Logic or Emotion Exclusively

A frequent copywriting mistake involves trying to appeal to logic and ignoring emotion, or vice versa. Logical appeal relies on facts, specifications, and numbers. It helps shoppers justify the decision to purchase your product. Emotional appeal, on the other hand, relies on provoking an emotional response from shoppers.

logical-vs-emotional-appeal Source: scottmckelvey.com

You should try to take advantage of both logical and emotional responses when crafting your copy. This will allow you to have the best chance of persuading your audience into making a purchase.

3) Focusing on Features

Avoid focusing on your product’s features too much. Instead, try to show customers what benefits they’ll gain from purchasing your product. Paint a picture of how your customer’s life will look like after they make the purchase. Show and let them know about all the ways in which their life will improve once they have your product!

features-vs-benefits Source: wordstream.com

The best way to do this is to present each unique feature of your product while making sure to combine each feature with a specific benefit. However, you’ll need to be careful not to focus on the wrong benefits. Interview or survey your existing or past customers and ask them to name the biggest benefit they experienced from using your product.

4) Not Understanding Your Target Audience

The only way you’ll be able to write effective copy is if you have an extensive understanding of your target audience. If you know the exact buyer personas you’re targeting with your copy; you’ll be able to create hyper-personalized messaging that will have the ability to resonate with each member of your target audience.

ecommerce-buyer-persona Source: sellbrite.com

When looking to define buyer personas, you’ll want to focus on:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, and location.
  • Goals: What do they want to accomplish and what types of products interest them?
  • Challenges and pain points: What are their pain points and what kind of issues and challenges are they facing?

Customer surveys and interviews will be of great help here. You can use them to find out answers to the following questions:

  • What problem did your product solve for the customer?
  • Did the customer try products from your competitors before purchasing from your business?
  • What benefits and improvements did the customer experience after using your product?

5) Making Your Copy Hard to Read

Most shoppers won’t be reading your copy word-for-word but most likelky will scan it for the most interesting information. If something specific catches their attention, they might stop and read a full sentence or two before continuing to scan.

This makes it crucial to ensure that your copy is easily scannable! Try to use short paragraphs and take advantage of bullet points and numbered lists. Break up your copy using headings and subheadings. Use a font and font size that’s easy to read, and make sure to have plenty of white space on the page.

While long copy can perform well, this is highly dependent on your industry, products, and target audience. However, in most cases, shorter copy usually provides better results.

Making your copy shorter also makes it more likely that visitors will read it completely. If your product has a large number of benefits, making it hard to create short copy, try focusing on just one main benefit and write about it extensively.

6) Following Best Practices Without Doing Proper Testing

There are plenty of copywriting best practices you can find online. Some of them are based on actual studies while others rely on anecdotal evidence. Examples include:

  • Visitors don’t read below-the-fold copy
  • Odd numbers attract more attention. Try using odd numbers in your next blog post titles!
  • Long-form copy doesn’t work.

Best practices can be a great guide if you’re just starting out and you don’t have any data that you can use to make informed decisions regarding your copy. However, it can be a big mistake to blindly follow best practices without doing proper testing.

While a certain best practice might work for most websites, it doesn’t mean that it will work you and your target audience. You’ll need to perform split-testing and test different versions of copy until you find the one that works best for you.

7) Rushing Your Editing Process

Editing and proofreading will usually be the final stage of copywriting, and it’s crucial not to rush it. All your hard work invested into crafting persuasive copy will go to waste if your copy is full of grammatical or spelling errors.

Apart from looking for language-related errors, you’ll also want to do a close reading of your copy to determine if you addressed all the possible objections shoppers might have. Make sure to add a benefit for each feature you mention and cut out any unnecessary words or phrases.

Avoid These 7 Copywriting Mistakes

There are many things you need to take into account when creating copy. This makes it extremely likely that you’ll make some mistakes on the way. If you’ve read our guide, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding the most common copywriting mistakes and creating high-converting copy.

The most common copywriting mistake we notice is lacking a defined copywriting process. Not having a process which you can follow when producing copy can make it very hard to create good copy consistently.

Not taking advantage of provoking a logical and an emotional response from your audience through your copy is another mistake that can significantly impact your sales. A great example of combining logical and emotional appeal in your copy is pairing each of your product’s features with a specific benefit shoppers can expect to experience after purchasing your product.

It’s impossible to write effective copy if you don’t understand your target audience. We recommend creating detailed buyer personas with the help of your existing and past customers