5 Deadly Copywriting Sins (Make These At Your Own Peril!)

I’ve been copywriting for 7 years and have reviewed over 100 pieces of copy, taught at several workshops and seminars, and written many articles on how to write good copy.

Let’s say during that time I’ve seen a lot of crazy things when it comes to copywriting.

Here are 5 mistakes most people make with their copy.  Make sure you study these very closely so you can prevent yourself from committing these mistakes!


1) Having A Horrible Headline


Most people tack on a headline right after they finish writing their letter. This is the worst thing you can do and is almost guaranteed to lower response!

You should write at least 25 headlines before choosing which headline to use for your copy. Like preparing to run a race or lift weights in the gym, you have to go through a “warm-up” period, and the same goes for writing headlines.

The first 2-3 will be OK…but after 10 or 15, your brain starts to warm up and you’ll write a headline that’ll literally jump off the page!


2) Not Researching Your Competition


Most marketers don’t research their competition to check out their offers, pricepoints, and what they offer for bonuses. This could save you hours (and perhaps years) of “figuring it out” for yourself.

For example, I’ve seen many people get into the “make money online” industry and write sales copy without researching competitors.  This is suicide in any highly-competitive niche, and you need a unique “hook” or “angle” to position your product.

And the only way you can do this is by performing proper research.


3) Not Including Social Proof


This is the #1 reason why people won’t buy from you. Make sure you have at least 8 testimonials and case studies in your promotion–as it proves your product/service provides the advertised benefits.

Watch any infomercial and you’ll notice they all have reams of testimonials. And for good reason–social proof sells and make sure you include it in your promotion.


4) Not Appealing To A Prospect’s Wants And Desires


Most copy written by beginners does not provoke a response because it does not appeal to the innate emotions or desires within a prospect.  It doesn’t tell them “what’s in it for them”.

A good test is to ask yourself “So What” and “Who Cares?” after each line of copy. This’ll allow you to get after the deeper benefits you can insert in your copy.  It gets your prospects to imagine what their life will be like after using your product.

5) Not Pushing The “Easy” Button Enough


You should ethically emphasize how easy, simple, and fast your product/service is going to solve their problems or fulfill a desire. That is, assuming your product/service  follows through on this promise.

Newsflash: people will do anything to avoid pain!  The more you can ethically position your product/service as the “Easy” button to getting what they want, you’ll get more sales.

i hope this was helpful…more to come!

Kevin Hill

Direct Response Copywriter

“The Professor of High Response”




2 comments… add one
  • Alan Petersen Oct 5, 2011 @ 23:44

    Hey Kevin,

    Nice post, it’s like a handy checklist to go through when putting sales copy together! How do you deal with #5 ethically? Things went nuts on ClickBank with all the “push button” make millions offers that were hitting the Internet marketing/MMO niche that it now raises red flags for some folks.


    • Kevin Oct 19, 2011 @ 13:40

      Hi Allen, thanks for the comment! It really depends on the product…I have no problem pushing the “easy” button in a sales letter if the product is good. In other words, if it’s an info-product and everyone takes action on all the steps, etc. and can get the advertised benefits, then I’ll feel it’s ethically OK to push the envelope in the copy. If the product stinks I just won’t write copy for it…as I’ll feel I’ll misrepresent the product if I do push the “easy” button too much.

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