The following list is my own secret checklist. After you have written your first draft and polished it, use the following list to check your writing's potency.
Note: You'll see a new question, the last one, about graphics. I think graphics are not used wisely enough in copy, off-line or not. Graphics can help get attention, demonstrate your product, and reinforce your selling message.
• Does your opening pull readers into the ad with fast, compelling, strong reader interest? Does the opening begin with a bang?
• Does the copy move along at a swift, easy-to-read clip, generating desire all the way? Is it boring?
• Is the copy written in the conversational style of the person who is going to read it? Have you spoken on the same wavelength as your readers?
• Is the copy visually attractive and inviting, using short sentences, short words, short paragraphs, bullets, subheads, and other visual aids?
• Does the copy overcome objections and answer all questions? Is the ad a complete selling argument?
Does the copy include proof and create believability with testimonials, specific details, and a guarantee? Can your prospects read this and remain skeptical?
Does the copy end with a powerful call to action—a request to fill out a form, call, or visit your business? Do you tell readers what to do?
Is the copy written from the viewpoint of what the readers will get? Do readers know how their lives will be improved? Is it clear what you are selling? Is there one central offer? Does the copy reveal what is new, unique, or different about your small business? Can your competitors also use this copy? Is there a deadline or some other logical reason for a reader to act now? Can your prospects read this and put the ad aside to respond later?
Are there plenty of reasons to buy? Since people want to buy, have you convinced them why they should?
Does your copy follow and complete what your headline begins?
Have you reminded your readers of what happens if they do not buy?
Have you tightened the copy so you say what you have to say in the fewest words possible? Have you let others edit the copy for you?
Is this the best you can do? (Are you being honest?) Have you included a graphic that gets attention? Is it appropriate? Does it demonstrate the product or service? Does it reinforce your message?
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