How to Tell the Difference Between Good Sales Copy and Bad Sales Copy


Clayton Makepeace

The definition of great copy is, “Copy that produces great results.”

The quality of your copy isn’t defined by the techniques you use. Nor is it determined by how many family, friends, clients, or focus group participants tell you it’s great.

Only one kind of person in the world gets to decide whether you rule or suck: Prospects who cast their votes by responding to your copy in the only way that matters — by spending their own hard-earned money.

So the answer is …

 … the only way to know good copy for sure is to use it … measure the result … and compare that result with those produced by other similar promotions.

Can you get a feel for how your prospects might vote on your sales copy?

Is it possible to spot weaknesses that if repaired will probably increase response?

In a word, “Yep.”

Just try this: As you’re reading sales copy — whether your own or someone else’s, ask yourself,

  1. Does the headline and lead stop me in my tracks and make me want to read the sales message?
  2. Is the tone of the copy appropriate for the message being delivered?
  3. Is it written using the kind of language my typical prospect is likely to use in day-to-day communication?
  4. Does the spokesperson come off sounding like my advocate — someone who’s intensely committed to helping improve my life — and NOT like just another salesman?
  5. Does the copy offer me a benefit or a series of benefits I’m willing to pay for?
  6. Does the copy convince me that this product can actually deliver those benefits to me?
  7. Does it convince me that this product is unique in its ability to deliver those benefits?
  8. Does the copy answer every objection to making the purchase I can think of?
  9. Do I feel as though I’m moving through the sales copy quickly and effortlessly? Is it devoid of spots that seem dull, repetitive, slow-going, or that allow my mind to wander?
  10. Do I feel my excitement rising with each new paragraph I read?
  11. Does the price seem insignificant compared to the value I’m being offered?
  12. Do I feel an irresistible urge to purchase this product from this company, TODAY?

When you and everyone else you show the copy to can answer an emphatic “YES” to each of these questions, there’s a darned good chance you’ve got a winner on your hands.

Your takeaway for today: Each time you complete your sales letter, see how many of these 12 questions you can answer with yes. If you can’t say yes to at least 50% of the questions, then go back and rework your copy. Keep refining the copy until you get a yes on all 12.

The Quick-Start Copywriting System

Clayton Makepeace's Quick-Start Copywriting System

Copywriting legend Clayton Makepeace gives YOU the tools you need to upgrade your copywriting skills. These are the insights he uses to bank royalty checks of six-figures up to $1.4 million per month! Learn More »


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Published: September 26, 2016

2 Responses to “How to Tell the Difference Between Good Sales Copy and Bad Sales Copy”

  1. I have already learned that copywriting as a career had challenge me more than any other work I did some years back. Katie and mindy help me yet I still face alot of negative impacts toward my desirability career business world classic one. I usually participating but where there is accountability is where there wining. On my daily mailbox checkup the awai was my top porcelain to know what is from awai today but day by day.

    Guest (Yiecpuou chudi Achiek)September 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm

  2. This is good advice! I will definitely use this as a "cheat sheet" and tack these takeaways on my bulletin board.

    Thanks Mr. Makepeace

    PeggyOOctober 3, 2016 at 1:11 pm


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