Writing Ads – do you make this mistake?
One of the biggest mistakes I see when reading copy is this;
The writer asks questions in the copy.
“Do you do this?”
“Has this ever happened to you?”
“Does this describe you?”
I once read a sales letter and the first 14 – FOURTEEN- sentences were questions.
Madness. BIG mistake.
Why is this?
It’s because you should never ask a question that could throw the reader off-track.
You could be making the reader say “No.”
Or, “Well, maybe…”
Or, “The writer doesn’t understand me”
Or, “I need to think about that”
You see, one of the things you should aim for is to get a “Yes” momentum in your copy. You don’t want a “No” or “Maybe” answer.
The other big problem that happens when you ask questions in the copy is this:
You stop the reader from reading. The flow of the copy is interrupted. And you force the reader to think about the question you’re asking . So they have to answer the question in their own mind before continuing to read.
Whereas what you really want to happen is have the reader smoothly read your copy. Sentence after sentence with no road blocks in the way.
Does this mean you should never ask a questions in your copy?
The answer is no.
You can ask questions that are a no-brainer to the reader. Where you know the market so well you know the answer the reader is going to give beforehand. So just be careful if you see yourself writing questions in copy.
But I hear you say, one of the most famous ads written over 40 years ago has a question as a headline:
“Do you make these mistakes in English?
This is entirely different matter. You see this headline is making an appeal to avoiding embarrassment. Plus, there’s a huge curiosity appeal with the word “these” in the sentence. So these two factors are enough to persuade the reader into reading the copy.
One final thought do you see how I’ve swiped the above headline as a headline for this mini article? Notice how the question I’ve just asked makes you say “Yes”?
Of course you do.
Just be very careful how you use them in your ads. They could be murdering the response to your ads.