5 Terrible Copywriting Mistakes That Cost Your Business Cash: No Social Proof or Call To Action

One of the most important skills for any creative entrepreneur and business owner to possess is the ability to communicate a message through clear and effective copy. On the other side of the coin, poor copywriting has the potential to drive away business and potential clients, customers and partners.

To empower publishers and help them master the craft of copywriting, Shweiki Media has partnered with author and seasoned copywriter Debra Jason of The Write Direction to present a webinar series on copywriting mistakes and how to avoid them.

In her last three webinars,  Jason covered the first three most common mistakes publishers make, and in this webinar, Shweiki and Jason team up to present the final two mistakes.

Mistake #4: Lack of Social Proof

The fourth copywriting mistake that people make is not having any social proof.  People want to know that one is a credible, viable person, authority, or expert. It’s important to create—and maintain—a trust factor and establish the KLT factor. (Know, Like, and Trust) When there is no sense of trust, there is no incentive for people to read further. So how does one convey social proof and create the desire to buy a product?

It is not enough for one to say they can satisfy the reader’s needs; one has to prove that he or she can do so by utilizing tools to increase their credibility. One should ensure that their body is anchored in reality and touches human interest and emotions by incorporating testimonials and/or real life incidents.

Testimonials should look like this:

“I recently had the pleasure of seeing Debra in action! The texts on my landing page felt clumsy and out of focus, and I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted with conversion rates. Debra waved her magic wand and in just a few simple, laser-focused steps, guided me in making my text much stronger and clearer for ideal clients to more easily “get it’” and connect with my message.”

Other ways to avoid this mistake include:

  • Showing how easy the product is to understand and/or use
  • Citing the evidence of any studies or tests conducted, which proves the product’s superiority


Mistake #5: Forgetting a Call-to-Action

The final—and worst—mistake people make when copywriting is the worst one: forgetting to include a call-to-action. The last step in any promotion should be the call-to-action. Hopefully, by this point, one has managed to grab the prospect’s attention with a headline and the copy has been captivating and engaging. Now it is time for people to respond, and it’s vital for one to tell the readers what to do. Should they send for more information? Call or email? Register online?

Call-to-Action Tips:

  1. If there is a toll-free number, say so and highlight it in larger type.
  2. If PayPal and/or credit cards are accepted, mention that and specify which cards are accepted.
  3. When selling online or via direct mail, be sure you ask the prospect to fill out the order form and return it.
  4. If the product is sold in retail, bes sure you include the name and address of the store.
  5. Give prospects an incentive for responding now. Limited-time sales and discounts encourage people to act more quickly.
  6. Make it easy for them to take action. On the website, include a button or link to the registration page.
  7. Give prospects the opportunity to order for friends.  This increases the number of prospects.
  8. Offer prospects the ability to spread out their payments over time.
  9. Let them know their satisfaction is guaranteed.

The word one can add to the call-to-action is “because.” For example, when someone used “because” when asking to cut in line at a Xerox machine, even if the reason given was “because I need to make copies,” people were 93% more likely to comply with the request.

Whether writing blog posts, web pages, or any other copy, one should be sure to include a call-to-action and any other telling reason why readers should act to tip them over the edge and force action.

Finally, if one wants to hear from their site’s visitors, it’s important to tell them what to do and why. While the phone number might be plainly listed—along with an email address—it is not enough to just put them there and hope for the best. One should ask prospects to respond and make it easy for them to do so.

Listen on the go! (3)

Review: 5 Copywriting Mistakes

  1. Not knowing the product, program, or service well
  2. Not knowing the ideal client or target market
  3. Your words are missing the mark
  4. Lack of social proof
  5. Forgetting the call-to-action

Remember, the faster you take action, the better your results.

Click here for Part One!

Click here for Part Two!

Click here for Part Three!


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Debra Jason

A recipient of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association's (RMDMA) "Creative Person of the Year Award," Debra Jason started The Write Direction in 1989. Past President of the RMDMA, she is a seasoned direct response copywriter with more than 25 years of experience in the field of direct marketing. Since then she has personally written thousands upon thousands of words for hundreds of clients around the country (and some overseas).

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