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How To Avoid The Common Copy Traps That Ruin Response (really!)
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"It's a trap! All craft pull up!"
Admiral Ackbar - Return of the Jedi.
Like the Rebel Alliance rushing headlong into a well prepared trap, there are some all too common copywriting traps that many inexperienced copywriters rush headlong into.
Often not understanding the consequences of their action.
Writing To Amuse or Impress Yourself and Your Peers, Spouse and Staff Trap
You'd be amazed how often copywriters try and show off to impress their peers. If you want a shining example of this watch the first couple of seasons of "Mad Men" and pay attention to Paul Kinsey. He is the undisputed king of writing to impress other writers.
Writing for your own amusement and the amusement of your peers doesn't help improve response. It actually alienates your audience which depresses response because one of the key drivers underlying any purchase is actually empathy of the seller towards the buyer.
Worse is taking advice from staff or your spouse.
The only opinion you should be swayed by is that of your market. And you don't ask their opinion, you ask them to vote with response. How well your copy resonates with the market, should be judged by leads generated and sales... (it is more complex than that but it is better criteria to judge on now).
Write for your market.
The So-So Hook Trap
Because we are rushed for time it is common not to do the work to go and find a big head turning hook for your ads and sales letters.
Obviously if the work is rushed it isn't as effective as it could be and let's be honest, you pay for poor quality with poor response.
Buyer be warned if you want it fast it probably isn't going to be good. Take the time to do it properly or pay a professional copywriter to create the ad for you.
The Fake Benefit Trap
Another common trap that many copywriters (add in telemarketing script writers and sales people) fall into is they make up these faux benefits and think they are real benefits.
I recently was talking with a doctor and he was convinced that 'please your mate' was a benefit for his product. Now that isn't really a benefit, especially when the product is actually a fountain of youth.
I'm not going to get into specifics but I can guarantee you that there is something deeper that the prospect would actually lie awake at night and think. "If only I could please my mate" doesn't sound like what a real person is staring at the ceiling worrying about at 2am.
They might worry about getting old and all the consequences of being 'old.' And yearn to recapture how they felt at 20. Which is closer to the deep benefit of the program.
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