A copywriter zeroing in on bad copy must be a little like a dermatologist spotting moles on random strangers, or an auto body repair specialist eyeing other peoples’ dents. But I digress.
As a service to the reading public, I thought I’d offer a few, brief copy suggestions. I’m sorry to tell you that they’re all drawn from real-life examples:
- Don’t make up words. Like stratecution which, if you haven’t already figured it out is the combination of strategy and execution. Yuck. Who could possibly think that’s a good idea? Another beauty, courtesy of Diane at Thinkspring Marketing: updation. Because update is so passé. These sound like words my kids say when they get confused. And they make me a little nauseated.
- Don’t use acronyms! Please, I beg you! No one outside your company knows what they mean! Really!
- Don’t overuse exclamation points. Sorry, couldn’t resist throwing that one in.
- Watch your headlines. My favorite examples are both from schools. The first, from a school called Crucifixion, advertised that great event, the Crucifixion Summer Fun Fest. Sign me up! Another, from a school whose mascot is a wolverine, showcased their annual fundraiser, the Wolverine Lasagna Dinner. Yum.
- Don’t beg the question. For example, don’t start a sales letter for life insurance with the sentence “This isn’t just another life insurance solicitation.” Because of course it is. And don’t start an email communication with “Exciting account changes are coming soon,” because they aren’t exciting. As much as you might hope they are.
- Proofread. More about that one tomorrow.
Although, as copywriters, we may find it painful to read these examples it does have one upside – we don’t feel obsolete. Which is a good thing, because at this stage of my career, I really don’t want to have to take my skills through an updation process.
This post is part of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. See who else is Blogging from A to Z