Copywriting Mistakes That Are Killing Your Conversions: Beyond Spelling & Grammar

There was a knock on my door last night. Two teenage boys were hawking magazine subscriptions and if I bought one or twenty, they’d be entered into a contest that would send them on an Australian vacation. One problem — 3 years ago, a teenage girl came by our house, selling the same thing and we bought some — only to never get a single issue of any single magazine we ordered.

That’s not the entire problem — it was an uncomfortable hard sell that they were laying on me and then they tried to go ‘but we’re so cool’ route — “Sir, do you like chicken?” “Um, yeah, we like chicken…” The boy then thrust his bent at the elbow arm in my face and said, “Great, then give me chicken wing (some aviary bastard child of the ‘fist bump’ that my 46 years of life thankfully ignored) and let’s make a deal!”

Sorry ‘bro’, but I’m not buying what you’re selling — whether it’s a magazine or chicken wings, or convincing me that you’re so cool that I have to throw money your way.

When it Comes to Writing Copy for the Web

The grammar and spelling trolls are abound on the ‘net — but there are other problematic copywriting mistakes that are taking your conversions down a notch or two, or three, or more. I know you know, copywriting is an essential skill of any online marketer.

It’s your ability to write good/engaging copy that can determine the make or break of your business online. When used correctly, though, good copywriting approaches can greatly increase your conversions and bring you online nirvana.

How to Effectively Sabotage Your Conversions: 4 Avoidable Copy Mistakes

You Forgot to Address Your Audience

The person reading your copy is the same person you want to convert. Treat your audience with respect and speak to them as though you would be talking to a respected friend on the phone.

→ Use simple greetings
→ Don’t talk over their heads
→ Don’t be confusing or long-winded — get straight to the benefits and lead them through a simple conversion process

Your Hard Sell Was Too Fast, Too Furious

If your copy starts out with “If you don’t buy our widgets, you’ll be sorry!” you’re doing it way wrong.

Instead, start your copy by relating with your audience’s problems and how your product or service is THE authoritative solution. Don’t be whimsy with your sales pitch, but in the long run, the softer/most beneficial sell wins more often than scaring the pants off of your audience.

You’re a Barking Dog and People Are Running Away

I use this with clients, “When people see or hear a barking dog, they turn and go in the opposite direction.”

If your copy is all about how awesome you are (and not addressing the needs of the customer) and/or the page is screaming for people to buy (I don’t even want to get into the overuse of ALL CAPS), you’re doing more harm to your conversions than anything.

You Come Off as a Robot and Not a Person

If you’re not being conversational, casual, or speaking to people on a level they can truly understand and absorb, you end up sounding like a jerk robot machine. Just like when people call into a business and have to sit through 2 minutes of a machine offering up 18 different options to reach a department or person, only to have to press ‘#’ to hear more options — robotic/machine interactions are super frustrating. Don’t be Mr. Roboto with your copy.

Stephanie DonVito

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