“They were easier to read than ignore” – Victor Schwab
If you’re looking for punchy copywriting tips, you’ve landed in the right place.
It’s often said that copywriting can’t be too long, just too boring.
And let’s face it, marketing and advertising is 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 my tips making your copy more impactful and compelling for readers.
15 Punchy Copywriting Tips
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.
And if you really want to progress your skills, study from a master.
John Carlton’s Simple Writing System is one of the fastest ways to go from good to great.
In case you didn’t know, John is known as one of the most imitated, ripped off copywriters in the world.
And for good reason – his copy has generated untold millions for his clients.
His Simple Writing System has also helped hundreds of copywriters to do the same, including Frank Kern, Yanik Silva and Lorrie Morgan.
Here’s what Lorrie Morgan had to say about it:
“When my copywriting business was operating in the red, I bit the bullet and invested in John’s stuff. Know what? I started making money. Lots of it. The subtle tweaks and step-by-step system I learned from John shot conversion rates through the roof. And I confidently raised my fees by 60% because of everything I learned from him… and my fees continue to rise.”
So if you’re looking to turn punchy copywriting into gold, studying John’s course is a great way to do it:
32 thoughts on “15 Punchy Copywriting Tips”
This is great advice for aspiring copywriters, Matt. I’ve added this blog post to the “Additional Resources” section of my online copywriting tutorial:
Have a good weekend.
Thanks Brandon. Glad you found the tips useful.
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 readerâ€™s language and the style theyâ€™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!
I like this. realized that some of my writing and communication styles are logical and I learned new tricks too.
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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. 🙂
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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