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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Do You Know These 10 Worst Things in Copy That Lose You Sales Hand Over Fist?

Angela has a take on copy editing I agree with.

It's certainly good for the soul to take copy editing. It is more difficult although clients think they should pay less "...Because it's already done bar the shouting".

That argument/discussion/point of view is an interesting one. The only thing I'd say there is ... If it's working why employ me?

Like Angela I do actually enjoy copy editing. It's great to take someone else's words and change/polish/rewrite them to pull more sales, generate more leads or qualify more prospects.

Sometimes like Angela I get a piece to edit that just can't be saved. If you find several of these ten worst things in any copy you get to edit seriously consider asking if you can lay down a completely new set of golden strands of copy that will please your prospects eye, gladden his heart and he'll lighten his purse for you.

So what are these 'top ten worst things to copy edit'?

They are as follows, and in no particular order, really:

1) No offer - I'm always amazed that if you're taking the trouble to catch someone's notice you don't reward them for paying attention with an attractive offer.
2) No headline - amazingly common. I've been told it's a business letter so must look professional. What do you want professional lack of sales?
3) No emotion in the piece - it makes me so mad when I see staid, run of the mill writing for a business that's got something great to offer their market.
4) A letter that doesn't tell the whole story and answer the questions
5) The wrong tone to a piece
6) no sub headings - you're going to miss the scanners - like I know I do with blog readers. I may try sub heads soon.
7) Complete fabrication, or just plain unvarnished lies, or unsubstantiated 'facts' from dubious sources
8) All about how great the company is who's sending the copy
9) Logo taking up a great chunk of real estate on an ad (yellow pages or newsprint) or on direct mail, even mini-sites
10) No PS - come one you always need a PS, otherwise you could miss the opportunity to catch those who only look at headline, signature and PS.

Sometimes you can rescue copy and it's a rewarding feeling when you can do that. Especially if it's the business owner. Because what they write almost always comes from the heart - the exact right place to write copy from.

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