Nine Signs You Need Help With Your Copy

Is your copy converting the way it should? Are you getting people to take action? Do you see upticks in your sales when you send out a promotion? If so, GREAT! You’re doing it right.

However, not every promo is going to work the first time. And even if you’ve written tons of copy about your product or service and are used to seeing a decent response, sometimes your promos will bomb.

And if you’re a “jack-of-all-trades” business owner who tries to do everything yourself, this will probably happen to you more often than not. Not because you can’t write good copy – you probably can – but because you just haven’t looked at the high leverage spots where you can improve your copy.

Let’s look at the nine signs you need help with your copy…

The first sign your copy sucks starts before you write your first word.

  1. Have you done your research? 

    Do you know the product inside and out? Can you rattle off the features and benefits in your sleep?  If you can’t answer a resounding “yes” to those questions, it’s a sign you need help. (Hint: do more research before you put pen to paper!)

  2. Do you know your target market?

    Can you “get inside their heads” and think like they think? Do you understand what keeps them up at night – and why your product is the best solution to their problem?
  3. Do you have a headline?Your readers are busy, busy people. They need to know immediately whether it’s worth their time to read your sales page. The best way to do that is to make your headline engaging, compelling and RELEVANT. Dr. Flint McGlaughlan of market research leader, MECLABS states regularly “Clarity Trumps Persuasion.” Believe it when it comes to your headline. That’s why I’ll write as many as 100 before I start writing the body of the copy.
  4. Does your opening paragraph make your reader want to continue reading?

    It doesn’t have to be Dickens, but it does need to grab the reader by the eyeballs and make them wonder where you’re taking them. If your readers are dropping off after the first paragraph, it’s probably a sign you need help with your copy.
  5. Are you talking TO your reader – or AT them?Imagine you’re on a first date. Your date drones on and on about all the things that are going on in their life. They don’t care to know anything about you – it’s all about them. Every other sentence starts with “I…”
    “I did this thing.”
    “I can’t believe they did that to me.”
    “I’m going to blah blah blah…”What are your odds of going out on a second date with that person? No matter how attractive they may be, any time you’re stuck with someone who just goes on and on about themselves, you want to get out of there as soon as you can.

    Your reader is the same way. Make your document all about you and you won’t have many clients. Make it about THEM and how your product or service can HELP them and you’re attracting people who want to do business with you.

  6. Let’s take a different approach now… Do you HATE writing copy?Would you rather get your eyelids glued shut? Or walk a rope bridge over a 200 ft. canyon, blindfolded? That’s an indicator that no matter how hard you focus – how much blood you drip on the page – or how many headlines you conjure up, you’re going to need help with your copywriting. Just sayin’.
  7. Do you envision your Ninth Grade English teacher throwing chalk at you for handing in an essay with errors?Believe it or not, mine did. Well, actually it was the math teacher – and he would throw chalk or textbooks or erasers or anything he could get his hands on when we students were being particularly dense. (Which was often – after all, ninth grade was the year boys and girls discovered each other!)It could have scarred me for life. Maybe something similar happened to you in your past and you have a visceral reaction to writing. Many people do.
  8. Your copy just doesn’t convert.You put heart and soul into writing a piece of sales copy. You send it out, or put it up on the web and drive traffic to it. You watch for clicks. Watch for people showing up to your cart. Watch for those dollars to flow back into your account – but nothing happens. NOTHING. No sales. Or maybe a few – after all some people will buy almost anything that’s offered to them. But not what you were expecting.
  9. It takes you FOREVER to write your copy. 

    Business moves quickly. There’s a constant need for good quality, high converting copy in many businesses. But it takes you weeks to put together a strong sales argument and get the wording just right. Time your competitors can beat you to market – taking sales you could have made if you had just got the damn thing written.No matter how good your writing is, if it’s not out there producing, it’s not good enough. Perfection is the enemy of speed. Money loves speed. Do the math…Good enough is good enough. And no matter HOW perfect the copy is, it can always be better. That’s why good marketers are always testing. Then tweaking. Then testing again.

So, if you resonate with ANY of these points, maybe it’s time to hand off your copywriting assignments to someone who lives, breathes and EATS copy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Figuratively – not literally.)