Quick Tip:
Using Commas So They Won’t Drive the Prospect (or You) Crazy

It’s true that you don’t have to be an expert in grammar and punctuation to be a good copywriter – but it doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about the right way to use commas.

When commas are badly misused, they seriously disrupt the flow of your copy. When that happens, your prospect may give up in frustration and not keep reading. And there goes the sale.

Here are 4 simplified rules about comma usage to keep that from happening:

  1. When in doubt, don’t use a comma.

    Misplaced and misused commas cause more readability problems than leaving one out when it’s supposed to be there.

    Example: “This sentence and those like it should have two commas.”

    Even though there should (technically) be commas after “sentence” and “them,” the flow of the sentence isn’t hurt by leaving them out.

  2. Use commas where you want the reader to pause and take a little breath.

    Read your copy out loud. Whenever you pause for a breath, put in a comma.

  3. NEVER put a comma between the subject (the person or thing doing the action) and the verb (the action).

    Wrong: “Protolife vitamins (subject), will make (verb) you strong.”

    Right: “Protolife vitamins will make you strong.”

  4. When in doubt, leave it out.

    (Okay, so I’m repeating myself with this last one – but it is THE most important rule of comma usage.)

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Published: September 18, 2006

1 Response to “Quick Tip: Using Commas So They Won’t Drive the Prospect (or You) Crazy”

  1. Hi Will, I noticed on point #1 in the last paragraph the word "them" should be "it".

    Very helpful article. I never knew point #3. Thanks!

    Julie O

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