15 Punchy Copywriting Tips

punchy copy

“They were easier to read than ignore” – Victor Schwab

It’s often said that copywriting can’t be too long, just too boring.

And sales writing is often only tolerated at the best of times. So if your copy is to weave its magic it needs to be light, easy to read and captivating.

Here are 15 punchy copywriting tips for making your copy more impactful and compelling for readers:

1. Aim for an average sentence length of around 16 words.

2. Vary between short and long sentences to give your writing rhythm.

3. Split long sentences into two if they’ll survive on their own. Use connecting words such as ‘so’, ‘and’ or ‘because’.

4. Wield an axe to flabby language and unnecessary words. As Anton Chekhov put it, ‘Brevity is the sister of talent.’

5. Sales writing isn’t blessed with a reader’s patience. So ensure every word and sentence means something to the reader and adds to your argument. Don’t waffle or descend into a longwinded diatribe that’s of little interest to anybody but you.

6. Leave long paragraphs to novelists, and limit yours to a single thought. Two or three sentences is adequate.

7. Showy writing isn’t sales writing. Don’t use words just because they sound impressive. And leave jargon and corporate claptrap for the brochure (if you must use them at all).

8. Use positive inspiring language on what the reader ‘can’ achieve and ‘will’ be able to do. Avoid negative terms that might dampen their spirits.

9. Break up up your page with subheads and bullets to aid skim reading.

10. Use power words to charge up your writing’s impact, such as ‘revealed’, ‘proven’, ‘scientific’ and ‘breakthrough’.

11. Write in your reader’s language and the style they’re comfortable with. Read your target market’s magazines and newspapers to gauge the pitch.

12. People are hardwired to respond to stories. Use storytelling on how your product has solved someone’s problem to trigger the reader’s imagination and emotions.

13. Use facts or personal history to build rapport, empathy and to show the reader that you feel their pain.

14. Ask the reader a simple question early on they’ll say ‘yes’ to. This will precondition them to be more likely to agree with you and say ‘yes’ to your offer later on.

15. Sales writing is often compared to a conversation with a pal in a bar. So it should be conversational and sound similar to how you’d speak. Read your copy aloud to hear whether it flows smoothly.

Another addition to my punchy copywriting tips is to keep a swipe file of the best sales writing you find. Study it, highlight key phrases and copy it out by hand to gain an understanding of how my punchy copywriting tips can help generates sales.

There’s even a course you can take that sends you daily emails with examples of winning sales letters, ads and other pieces of high converting copy for you to copy by hand and absorb into your brain called Copyhour. Discover why writing out copy by hand is the shared secret to success of all the great copywriters – visit the Copyhour website.*

*Links to Copyhour are affiliate links. However, I actively study it myself and can confirm it’s legit.

30 Comments. Leave new

15 Punchy Copywriting Tips | The Copywriter’s Crucible…

It’s often said that copywriting can’t be too long, just too boring.

And sales writing is often only tolerated at the best of times. So if your copy is to weave its magic it needs to be light, easy to read and captivating.

Here are 15 tips for ma…

This is great advice for aspiring copywriters, Matt. I’ve added this blog post to the “Additional Resources” section of my online copywriting tutorial:
http://www.postcardsmart.com/copywriting/

Have a good weekend.

-Brandon

Thanks Brandon. Glad you found the tips useful.

[…] 15 Punchy Copywriting Tips – at Copywriters Crucible […]

I laughed out loud at “leave the long paragraphs to novelists”.

Re: “Leave long paragraphs to novelists, and limit yours to a single thought. Two or three sentences is adequate.”

I’m always telling my clients “less is more”. Sure, you want to get all of your relevant info across. But particularly for written website content, you’ve got to break it up.

Great list, Matt.

Very nice tips. I have got some, and used.

Lot of thanks

“Write in your reader’s language and the style they’re comfortable with”. great man! it’s simple yet important. m grateful to you. i’ll try to adhere to this now more often…

For some reason I’ve always written this way. Made me a natural copywriter and a terrible English student!

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I like this. realized that some of my writing and communication styles are logical and I learned new tricks too.

You’re truly a excellent webmaster. The website loading velocity is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a great activity in this topic!

Kristine Atraste
January 24, 2013 8:13 pm

thanks for the article!

All posts on this site smell of personal experience. BEcause every tip, every suggestion is so practical, and hence so helpful.

Thanks a ton in advance for all the visits I will make in times to come and hope to find it as power packed always.

My pal in a bar. 🙂

[…] Write according to a sure-fire formula and you might as well pitch your wares to mannequins—not that this hasn’t been tried. Sure, Americans share cultural values, up to a point. But travel around just a bit and you’ll soon get an inkling of the simmering stew of attitudinal nuance bubbling just beneath the surface. No formula fits that, whether it’s a headline tip, a sentence tip or tips to make your copy more punchy. […]

love this articles! It helps me a lot! thanx!

Great tips. Especially:

“Leave long paragraphs to novelists, and limit yours to a single thought. Two or three sentences is adequate.”

If you pose a thought as a title, that thought is instantly in people’s heads who’ll then read on to answer their thought.

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[…] For more great web copywriting ideas, check out this article from Copywriter’s Crucible. […]

[…]  15 Punchy Copywriting Tips | The Copywriters Crucible […]

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