Eight Copy Glitches that Dry-Gulch Results
Most direct-response copywriters have learned the importance of presenting benefits instead of listing features. Many, however, commit less publicized sins of commission and omission, which can be equally harmful to response.
Here are eight copy glitches that dry-gulch results:
1. BEING TOO LOGICAL AND NEAT. It happens because writers forget that people respond with their hearts, not just with their heads. A direct mail package or print ad is not simply a linear sales presentation. When you try to sell with 100 percent logic, the resulting creative lacks the warmth and emotion that engages the reader. The concominant of neatness is lack of surprise. There is no love handle for the prospect to grab.
2. IGNORING ALTERNATIVES TO THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE. This sin arises when writers have not done the necessary homework. The result is a “generic” sell. The marketer doesn’t implicitly answer why his product is more beneficial than what the prospect is currently using. When alternatives are not discussed and convincingly dismissed, the prospect’s natural inertia blocks response and a sale.
3. OVERESTIMATING THE INTELLIGENCE OF YOUR AUDIENCE. Most copy gurus justifiably warn about underestimating intelligence. However, a misjudgment on the other side can be just as detrimental to results. Copy often begins “in medias res” -- without the background that allows readers to get up to speed. Prospects are so lost in technical gobbledygook that they don’t understand what is being sold, how it can help them, and how to get it.
4. OPERATING ON AN UNVARYING DECIBEL LEVEL. In a world of never-ending crescendos, direct-response copywriters must orchestrate carefully. Unmitigated blares of trumpets throughout direct mail packages or prints ad succeed only in getting prospects to install permanent ear plugs. Violins must be blended with trumpets, whispers with shouts, bold claims with quiet assurances. Commands and innuendo must be skillfully woven: too much command creates resistance; too much innuendo loses the prospect in the shadows.