With today’s preference for short-form copy and visual ads, it may seem like anyone in your company, regardless of writing skill, is eligible to be a marketing copywriter. It’s true that anyone can string words together to accompany your ads, but it may also mean their copy could end up poorly written and ineffective.
The art of copywriting takes time and effort to master. You need to be able to both capture your brand’s voice and deliver a message customers want to hear, and sometimes even experienced marketers can get it wrong.
According to six members of Ad Age Collective, there are a few elements of poorly written marketing copy that you just won’t find in a well-crafted piece of content. These are what you should look out for if you want to be taken seriously in the industry.
1. Complicated jargon
The use of long-winded sentences and complicated jargon is something you’ll never see in great copy. This is the case even with technical B2B content. Great copy is about providing information while attracting customers and speaking to people on a personal level. Complex and hard-to-follow content puts people off as it can sound superior and unwelcoming. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
2. Too many words
Less is more. Excellent copy will never use more words to convey the same message that can be said with fewer. As the old adage goes, it takes longer to write something shorter. Well-written copy takes time. – Holly Fearing, Filene Research Institute
3. A boring opening sentence
Excellent copy will grab you from the first few words and will engage you throughout. If a consumer is not hooked from the very beginning, it will be hard to hold their interest and gain the momentum needed to grab their attention and get them excited about your message. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
4. Jarring assumptions about the target audience
In the obsession for communication at scale, marketers often fall into the trap of using grotesque assumptions about the persona they are emailing. A classic example I receive in cold email pitches is referring to me as a “B2B SaaS marketer,” which is not true at all. Excellent copy balances the need for personalization without jarring assumptions that spoil the message. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
5. Bad spelling, grammar and information
Poorly written copy on a website has the same keyword printed over and over again on the same page with typos, bad grammar and incorrect information. This gets negative attention from the Google algorithm and gets the article flagged for poor performance. If you have a great copywriter, they will avoid this. Their pages will be relevant and well-researched. Then your pages will rank higher. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
6. Excessive repetition
Occasionally, marketers are so excited to push their points of difference that they get caught in the trap of repeating themselves over and over again. Whether it’s within a single post or an entire marketing strategy, “driving the point home” can actually do the opposite. Write like a journalist and keep your copy concise to most efficiently and effectively state your claim. – Kelly Ehlers, Ideas That Evoke