This Technique Makes Your Copy 10x Stronger and You’ll Want it to Become Part of Your Writing Habit (It’s What All A-List Copywriters Do to Ensure Winning Packages)

Writer sitting at a table typing on laptop

We sat across the small round table from one another …

Spread out in front of us were the 40 pages print out of the second draft of a long-form sales letter copy.

The copy was for the launch of a brand new investment newsletter, Penny Stock Fortunes.

We had been working on the copy for weeks. And this was our final chance to review it before putting it into production.

There was so much at stake. We needed this sales promotion to bring in thousands of new paying customers. If it did, it ensured our future as a viable publishing company.

And if it didn't work? Well, we might not have any more opportunities available left to prove that our ideas worked.

What we were about to do was going to be the difference between success and failure.

Let me explain …

The copywriter who wrote the sales copy was sitting across from me with a red pen in hand. His one job … mark up every line of copy that needed to be changed.

My job … read every line of copy out loud.

It was a tedious process … stopping and starting.

We stopped when whatever I read didn't sound right, or the flow was erratic … or even if the word choice was wrong. And right there on the spot, with that red pen in hand, he'd make changes.

Then I would re-read it with those new edits incorporated. If it sounded better, we moved on to the next section of copy.

It took hours to complete this process. But by the time we were done, we had a feeling that we had just created winning sales copy.

Was our instinct right?

That promotion was a big winner. It did 10x better than we expected.

Reading copy (even content) out loud became a regular part of our writing routine. And it's something all A-list copywriters do without fail.


Because reading out loud helps you pick up little nuisances that could have an impact on response and or conversion rates … for example, awkward transitions that can stop a reader.

When your reader moves from one paragraph to another, he/she expects it to flow naturally. But if there's an awkwardness, the reader begins to wonder what's going on.

And the minute that happens … your reader isn't paying attention to the copy any longer.

The same is true if you use a word that is not part of their everyday conversation. Instead of being persuaded to buy, your reader is now wondering what that word means.

You might even find you've written a tongue twister … or the way you expressed a thought seemed great at first, but now reading it out loud sounds absurd.

You could also find that a sentence you write is too long and shortening it up makes all the difference in flow.

Of course, when you read out loud, you also find grammar mistakes. Maybe you missed a word or used "its" instead of "it's." You'll no doubt run whatever you write through a grammar or spellchecker program — and your clients will likely have a proofreader take one last pass before it goes out.

But they won't catch everything … and definitely not the things a copyeditor would catch — the things that stop a reader from making it all the way through.

Reading out loud is like copyediting your own work. And when you submit your copy to the client, they'll more than likely have a person reviewing it for grammar. And I have a sneaky feeling that the copyeditor is reading it out loud too.

But there's something else that happens when you read out loud.

In a recent study conducted by researchers Colin Macleod and Noah Forrin working at the University of Waterloo in Canada, found that reading out loud makes things easier to remember.

Macleod and Forrin used different subject groups of 95 students, and asked them to either read silently, read aloud, listen to recordings of other people reading, or listen to a recording of themselves reading.

Memory retention was strongest when read aloud directly, suggesting that the impact came not just from hearing the words, but also from speaking them.

This is because verbally pronouncing a word creates a memorable experience — a phenomenon the researchers call the "production effect."

It's that memorable experience for you, Dear Copywriter, that matters. See, if the copy you write creates a memorable experience for yourself, no doubt it does the same for your prospect.

When a prospect remembers something, they'll be more inclined to want the product you are selling.

Of course when that happens, your client is more than thrilled with the results. That also leads to more and more projects.

So take the time to read your copy out loud because when you do, you'll:

  • Eliminate unnecessary words
  • Remove words and phrases that are repeated too often
  • Vary up your sentence structure
  • Add consistency to the tone of voice
  • Find awkward transitions

You'll soon find that with a little bit of self-editing, your copy will be more persuasive. And that just moves you further along in your writing career.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: April 2, 2024

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