Free Assessment: How does your inbound marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started

Free Assessment:

What to Do When Good Copywriting Goes Bad

By Carly Stec

What to Do When Good Copywriting Goes Bad

What_to_Do_When_Good_Copywriting_Goes_Bad_In marketing, there's good copy...and there's bad copy.

But if we're being honest, there's primarily a lot more bad than there is good. 

(And if we're really being honest, there's a good chance that some of it is hiding on your own website.)

So how can you tell? What can you do?

The difference between the two is that good copy aims to convey value, connect to needs, and create a story that people can buy into, and bad copy, well, bad copy just sort of exists. 

The good news is that it is entirely possible to turn bad copy around (everybody deserves a second chance, right?)

To help guide you through the process, we've detailed 3 important principles that high quality copy must follow to encourage visitors to trust and take action.

1. Use their language, not yours

I'm a lot of things. I'm a blogger, a baker, a little sister, a graduate, a Pinterest-addict, but I'm not a mind reader, and if I had to take a guess, neither are you. 

So rather than wait for your target audience's wants and needs to magically permeate your mind, consider what you can do to take matters into your own hands. 

CopyHacker's Joanna Wiebe suggests "review mining."

"What's that?"

(Sounds fun, right?)

Wiebe explains that after being tasked with defining new messaging for a rehab center, she turned to the review section of several different rehab-related books on Amazon to uncover what type of language people were using to describe their experiences. 

From here she made note of the following: memorable phrases ("saved my life"), what people want ("not only strength of conviction, but understanding"), and what people we're mad/in pain over ("the struggle of secrecy and denial.")

By reviewing the audience's response, she was able to identify what was truly important to them by making note of phrases and themes that rose to the top. As a result, she put forth a new value proposition that drove over 400% more clicks and over 20% more submissions than the previous one. 

2. Make each sentence count

"Why waste a sentence saying nothing?" says best-selling author, and marketer, Seth Godin.

When it comes to writing copy worth reading, chose your words carefully. With visitors more prone to scanning than ever before, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for visitors to move from point to point. 

To help break up blocks of text, you'll want to incorporate both headers and subheaders. These will work to not only set the reader's expectations, but also make it easy from them to quickly identify the sections that matter most to them.

Another effective way to ease readability is to put forth focused bullet points. Employing bullet points serves as a way to highlight the most important takeaways without it feeling overly complicated. 

With such a limited amount of time to make an impact, you'll want to be sure that you strike a balance between quality and quantity.

3. Convey benefits

Brochure-style copy is the pits.

Honestly, when's the last time you picked up a brochure and thought to yourself, "Man, this is a great piece of content?"

In order to resonate with your audience, the copy you employ must be both compelling and benefit-driven. Rather than highlight the features of your product or service, your focus should be on what you product or service can specifically do for them.

How is it going to improve their life? What will they gain from choosing your product or service?

Considering benefits are directly connected to our desires, benefit-driven copy serves as an effective way to establish an emotional connection with your audience. Aware the emotion often drives action, you're on the right track. 

Think about it. 

If someone was trying to sell you a cellphone case, they could try to sell you on the fact that the case is made from durable polycarbonate, or they could ensure you that you'll never have to deal with the embarrassment (and frustration) that accompanies pulling a shattered-screen phone out of your pocket. 

See the difference?

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Marketing Strategy
Published on February 18, 2015

Recent Articles

How a Lack of Sales and Leadership Buy-in Is Killing Marketing Morale Worldwide
March 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Website Conversions in 2023 — STOP, START, KEEP
January 25, 2023 • 5 min read
Sales vs Marketing in 2023: What’s The Difference?
January 5, 2023 • 7 min read
How To Set Content Marketing Goals for Growth
December 29, 2022 • 6 min read
Should You Hire An Agency to Create Your Content?
December 12, 2022 • 4 min read
24 Essential Questions for Understanding Your Ideal Customer (+ Infographic)
December 1, 2022 • 5 min read
HubSpot Pricing: Your Guide to Everything HubSpot Costs for 2023
November 20, 2022 • 13 min read
Take It From an Expert: You Probably Don’t Need a New Website
November 16, 2022 • 4 min read
Inbound Marketing Benefits Explained (Updated for 2023)
November 15, 2022 • 6 min read
Want to Win More and Improve Company Culture? Do More Role-playing
November 9, 2022 • 4 min read
4 Ways To Recession-proof Your Website In 2023
November 1, 2022 • 5 min read
Why Trust Is the True Currency for All Business
September 5, 2022 • 7 min read
The Big 5: Best Business Blog Topics to Drive Traffic, Leads, and Sales
August 29, 2022 • 10 min read
What is a Content Strategy? (Definition + Templates)
August 25, 2022 • 12 min read
10 Marketing Objective Examples To Guide and Focus Your Strategy
August 18, 2022 • 6 min read
What Marketers Need To Know About Switching to GA4 [Google Analytics 4]
July 30, 2022 • 5 min read
How To Inspire Your Marketing Team To Try New Ideas
July 25, 2022 • 5 min read
Do I Need To Invest in Marketing When My Business is Thriving? (+ Video)
July 21, 2022 • 7 min read
How Much Does It Cost To Become a World-class They Ask, You Answer Case Study?
July 16, 2022 • 12 min read
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?
June 6, 2022 • 5 min read
What Small Business Leaders Need To Know to Thrive During a Recession
May 23, 2022 • 7 min read
Blog Editorial Calendar for 2022: Templates, Examples, and Tips
May 21, 2022 • 6 min read
Green Energy Inbound Marketing Strategy: The DIY Approach to Getting More Customers
May 7, 2022 • 9 min read
33 Most Important IMPACT+ Resources To Train Your Marketing Team in 2022
April 26, 2022 • 13 min read
SaaS Inbound Marketing: How to Get Started With Your Strategy (+ Examples)
April 16, 2022 • 9 min read