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Top 10 Online Sales Copy Mistakes 
by Becky Auer

by | Becky Auer, In the Magazine

Struggling to make sales online? 

Learn the top 10 mistakes you could be making right now!

Online sales copy mistakes can make or break your business.

To write persuasive content that makes your audience buy – or at least take action – you must be able to write great copy.  Yes, it’s true.  Also, sales copy is most often used on a sales page, in an ad, or on other marketing materials. Sales pages that have mistakes in them are not likely to keep people reading your entire page or click on the buy button at the bottom.

Let’s review the Top 10 online sales copy mistakes to help raise your sales and your reputation!

Mistake #1:

Focusing on Features Over Benefits

Many people get so focused on listing all the features of their product that they forget to tell their audience about the benefits. Customers don’t care about features unless they understand why it should matter to them. 

Customers are far more interested in how the solution can benefit him or her than they are of the bells and whistles it provides. When listing out the features, always include the reason why it matters. How does it benefit the customer? Provide information that they can relate to and identify with. Link the problem with specific emotions to create a stronger inclination to purchase the item. 

The easiest way to know whether you are writing a feature or a benefit is to ask the question:  What’s So Great About That?  If you have a good answer to that, it is a benefit and not a feature.

Mistake #2:

Not Testing Different Types of Copy

Yes, yes, we’ve heard it all before.  Test, test, test.  Regardless of how good you are, or how good your copywriter is, you need to test different forms of copy. Conduct A/B testing of your sales copy to find what works best for your audience.

Some audiences prefer long sales copy. Others prefer short copy. Millennials often prefer videos on the sales page or complete video sales copy. Unless you test the different types, you won’t know which will generate the highest returns.

Mistake #3:

Using the Wrong Layout

You want to build a beautiful sales page but what you think is beautiful is not necessarily what makes the most sales. In most cases, a single column sales page is much easier to read than one with columns of information.

Clean layouts designed to work regardless of platform are very important. Many potential customers use and shop using their mobile devices. They’re not going to switch to a PC to buy your products.  In my last No BS Marketing Meeting I held, we were going over website creating, and development and everyone had their cell phones out.  So, is your website mobile friendly?  If it isn’t, it needs to be.

Your website and sales pages need to work on any device. Don’t try to be too creative. Keep the format simple, yet attractive. Use website themes that are responsive.

Mistake #4:

Using the Wrong Examples

Providing proof that your solution works through examples is a great way to improve sales. However, you should make sure they are examples your target audience can identify with; that they are specific to them. If they cannot identify with the example, they will become confused and take no action. Remember, if they are confused, you lose.

If your sales page is receiving much traffic but few sales, there is a good possibility, the content and/or the examples don’t represent your audience’s experiences, and therefore they cannot relate.

Mistake #5:

Not Being Persuasive In Your Writing

Creating sales copy requires you to learn new skills. The words you choose to tell your story or convey information are important. Each word can bring feelings of joy, fear, loss, or desire. Writing effectively for your audience requires niche, topic, and audience research so that you know what emotions and words motivate readers to take action. You also want to understand how to build their trust enough to purchase from you.

Mistake #6:

Hiring the Wrong Kind of Writer For the Job

If you choose to hire a copywriter, you need to hire the right writer for the job. Hiring a content writer to write sales copy will likely be a mistake. You need someone who knows what words, emotions, and mental images to motivate your niche audience. That person will generally be a copywriter that specializes in your niche.   There are MANY great copywriters in the world of direct response.  If you need referrals, feel free to reach out to me.

If you are looking to hire a content writer, make sure to hire someone that specializes in your niche’s content topics. If you need a video, find a video specialist in your niche. Always hire the right person for the job, based on their skills, knowledge, and experience.

Mistake #7:

Using The Wrong Selling Tools

Using ineffective selling tools is a big mistake. The problem is that you often don’t realize they aren’t right for you until you try them out. If you’ve been searching for selling tools with a good reputation, look at these.

There is a variety of selling-tools, which you can use. You’ll need to create sales pages, thank you pages, download pages, and more. You’ll also need to build a marketing list and send emails.

Consider using these tools to see if they suit your needs.

Sales Page: Instapage, Clickfunnels, Leadpages, and others.

Thank You Page: Either of the above will work to help you with this process.

Download Page: Depending on your product you can use your host to host the item, or you can use Amazon S3 for hosting digital files.

Autoresponder: Aweber, MailChimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft for more advanced folks and many others.

Using selling tools that fit your needs will help improve your sales and keep everything running smoothly.

Mistake #8:

Not Following the Right Process

There’s a process to completing any job and copywriting is no exception. From concept to launch, there are necessary steps to take to ensure your copy is the best it can be. Failing to follow this process can mean low to no sales.  And we don’t want that!

Who you learned copywriting from will determine the process you use. A general process you can follow is research > organize > first draft > edit > get feedback > second draft > review > final draft.  Following a process, whichever process you choose, will ensure your copy is the best you can make it.

Mistake #9:

Misunderstanding Your Audience

This mistake is one of, if not the most disastrous mistakes that you can make. Many people don’t take the time to study their audience before trying to write a sales page for a product. The more you understand and can relate to the different segments of your audience, the better your sales page will perform. The reason is that you need to understand their pain points, fully, and exactly how your solution solves those pain points. You can’t do this without knowing the lifestyle, age, gender, and other demographics and characteristics of your target market. But most importantly, you need to know how they feel about things and what motivates them to take action.

Mistake #10:

Not Understanding Your Product / Service

If you don’t understand your product, how are you going to explain it to potential customers?

Whether you write the copy yourself or hire a copywriter, you need to be able to describe it from your perspective and the customers’ perspective. You need to know the questions customers might ask. The selling points, the features and the benefits of the product.

This information doesn’t need a quick gloss over; it needs to be understood and explained in a way that your audience can understand and relate to.

And that’s it for now!  Go back and review the top 10 sales copy mistakes before writing your online sales copy. If you’ve made one or more of the mistakes, don’t worry.  We all have at one time or another.  But go ahead now and block out the time to implement the needed changes.

If you are starting out, you now know how to avoid making these errors.

 About Becky Auer

Becky Auer has started 3 multi-million dollar businesses. The last was a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar that she took from $0 to $6.5M in just over a year and kept it there until she sold it. Becky runs group coaching and mastermind groups as well as coaching private clients. For Free Resources, go to

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