How to Avoid the World’s #1 Copywriting Mistake

I’d say it’s the #1 mistake most untrained or beginner copywriters make…

I’m talking about focusing inward on yourself instead of outward on your prospect or customer.

I was reminded of it again just this morning as I drove by a local sub shop.

“Under New Ownership” read the huge sign covering most of the front of the store.

copywriting mistakes

Well, isn’t that special.

Nothing about a “Grand Opening 25% Discount.”

Nothing about “Your meal in 3 minutes or less, guaranteed, or it’s free.”

Nothing about “Check out our new spotless open kitchen – the cleanest in town.”

At the very best, “under new ownership” might be mildly appealing to the small group of customers who were somehow disappointed with the previous owner.

But is that really the Big Idea you want to send to the world?

I’m sure the new owners are excited about their new venture. But in their excitement, they need to address what that means for the customers they’re trying to attract. Just saying “Hey, here we are!” is not exactly going to blow the world away.

When writing a headline, tagline, or even if you’re hanging a sign in front of your store, remember…

Read the copy and then imagine your prospective customer thinking “And for me, that means _____.”

If the answer isn’t a powerful benefit, then your copy is not doing its job.

Charlie Byrne

Charlie Byrne is a former Senior Copywriter and Editorial Director for Early to Rise. Charlie spent the earlier part of his business career as a systems analyst, project manager and consultant in New York City for Fortune 100 companies including Philip Morris, Digital Equipment, and Citicorp as well as New York University and Columbia University. He then spent over ten years at Reuters Ltd and Interealty Corp designing and implementing financial, real estate and news information services. In 2003, he joined Early to Rise as a senior editor and copywriter. Since then he has helped publish over 1000 editions of ETR, resulting in gross revenues of well over $25 million. He has also produced dozens of winning sales letters and promotions, including two that brought in over $200,000 in under 24 hours, another two that have grossed over $1 million each, and a single sales letter that sold 25 units of a $10,000 product.