I was planning to use another word instead of ‘wrong’. It would have attracted a lot more attention, and proved my point a lot better. Anyway ‘wrong’ will have to do as a stand in for whatever word you thought I was going to use.
You see, when you write copy, I know it’s very tempting to try and make it perfect. I know I do.
Maybe you put a lot of effort into getting your copywriting just right. To get it perfect. To dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s so to speak.
But often, making sure your copywriting is perfect isn’t a very good idea at all.
Well, spot on, pitch perfect copy looks clinical. It looks sterile.
It’s often not very interesting to read. It doesn’t encourage readers to keep reading it at all. It might even be less likely to be noticed. And almost certainly it won’t inspire that passion in readers to call them to action.
Also perfect copy can be quite hard to copywrite. So it looks as well as reads very stilted too.
On the other hand, copy that is less than perfect can be much better.
For a start, imperfect copy often stands out more. It catches the eye.
Imperfect copy allows you to say things that you wouldn’t be able to say with perfect copy, in a way you wouldn’t normally be able to explain them.
Imperfect copy feel more natural, more genuine. Something which all good copy should strive to do.
Imperfect copy is more likely to be read, and more likely to be remembered. It might even be shared.
Imperfect copy is more likely to generate a response, or even a complaint. (Even if it’s a complaint that is actually a chance to build a customer relationship.)
I think you can see where we’re going here …. imperfect copy is more likely to result in an enquiry or even a sale.
So how can you achieve this?
Of course there is a fine line to tread when deliberately writing copy that is wrong. You wouldn’t want to write anything that was misleading, or which gave a bad impression of your product or service. Here are a few thoughts ….
Write as you speak. This is pretty much a proven technique for better copywriting anyway. If you look at it in technical terms spoken language is almost always a bit wrong. But it’s natural, genuine and everybody finds it interesting and understandable.
Better still, write as if you are speaking to someone you know, or even a friend. People invariably buy things from people they like. So if your copy doesn’t come across as friendly it’s less likely to get the result you want.
Don’t be afraid to break the rules of grammar to a certain extent. That always allows you more options. There’s a reason why the one sentence paragraph is popular in good copywriting.
Lastly, once you’ve written your first draft, try reading it through out loud. If it sounds too formal when spoken then chances are it will read too formal too. Go back and mash it up a bit. It will read all the better for it, and almost certainly get you a much higher response too.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful. If you’re struggling to write imperfect copy then give me a shout …. I’ll be pleased to write some perfect imperfect copy for you!
Mark Hempshell is a copywriter and content marketer. You can find more useful articles on copywriting and content marketing here: www.markhempshell.com