Essential Copywriting Checklist: Cover Your Copy From All Sides

Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a couple key, important things that ALL of us need to check before publishing a copy.

That is, if you want your copy to perform well in the eyes of your client AND your target audience.

Sure, you can save yourself a couple minutes by not ticking off these bullets. But, speaking from experience, I’d rather do these bullets and cover my copy’s ass down the road…

It’s like running. Or going for a ride on your trusty ‘ol bike.

You won’t regret it.

So, are you ready to invest for the long-run? Let’s get copy-crankin’.

1.) Have you got attention in the bag?

95% of all marketing campaigns fail at this first, fundamental step.

Even the big boys like Kodak, Nokia, Xerox, [Insert Your Big-But-Bland-Competition Here], etc. — doesn’t get it.

Every time you see a copy that starts with, “Join my cooking class webinar.” ← You know that they’ve screwed up.

What, then, is the correct way to phrase your offer in such a way that GRIPS your audience’s attention—right from the get-go?

“Love flourishes on a full belly.”

That, my friend, is plenty attention grabbing. And you’d do 10x times better if you start every single marketing campaign like that.

2.) Is your offer simple enough to grasp within the first 10 seconds?

“Why should people continue reading?” ← This question should be a constant in your mind.

The easiest way to ensure they keep reading?

Make your offer simple & practical.

Instead of saying, “Our GPS tracking system is built with 567 microchips designed by an MIT guru.”

Say, “Our GPS tracking system offers the most accurate, detailed description of your trip.”

…And THEN you can tell the readers about why that is the case (by telling them about the “MIT” and “microchips” stuff. After they’ve understood the benefit of your product).

Benefits first, features second. Do this for every single section of your copy.

Remember, 10 seconds is all you’ve got to create a bang-up first impression.

And you know what they say about first impression……..it’s everything.

3.) Is your CTA crystal clear?

Similar to #2, you must design your copy so that readers will be able to understand what action they must take within the first 10 seconds.

Take your typical landing page, for example. It drives me nuts that there are copywriters who designed a landing page as if they’re designing a website from 2008 or something. It’s overflowing with buttons!

When you design your copy with the intention to get people to click 10 buttons at once—they will end up clicking none.

So create 1 CTA, and re-state in over and over throughout the entire copy. The important thing is to make your CTA laser-focused on ONE intent.

[Bonus tip: Make sure your CTA is dynamic, and not boring. Instead of “Learn more”, do “Yes! I want to learn how to become a cooking ninja! →”

4.) Read the copy out loud

Everybody wants to create “conversational copy.”

It’s engaging, interesting, and it doesn’t force people to fall asleep within the first 10 seconds of reading the copy.

Question is: “How?”

If you’re not a trained copywriter, it’s hard to write conversational copy seamlessly. One trick that even I still use to this day is to read your copy out loud.

Because even if the final copy will be in the form of the written word, readers will also read it out loud in their minds. Therefore copy that follows the accents, appropriate grunts, pauses, etc. as if it’s a real conversation—wins.

5.) Last but not least, make sure you check for compliance(s)

Here’s a list of compliances that you should always check with:

  • Grammar (https://app.grammarly.com/) — You’re not trying to pass a TOEFL test, I know. But you do need to make sure that you’re at least using the correct grammar that most of your target audience uses. Otherwise, crappy grammar just breaks people’s attention and immersion when reading your copy. It hurts credibility, and therefore, conversion.
  • Gender-neutrality (make sure your copy is readable by a man/woman, if you’re going after both sexes. Ignore this if you’re only pursuing one specific gender)
  • Regulations of certain marketing mediums (Google Ad copy has a certain character limit, FB Ad has a tendency to reject illustrations with texts on it, or if your ad has a certain aspect of profanity in it, etc.)

I know it’s boring, but trust me, you’d rather follow them compliances and save yourself hours trying to mend things in the future if you’re not careful with these.

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