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Offensive coordinator commits fatal copywritring error

We’re two weeks into the NFL season as I write this. My Steelers got off to a 1-1 start. But there’s been one problem in particular that may sacrifice any chance we have of making the playoffs:

Our offense can’t move the ball to save its life.

And you know what?

As weird as it may sound, the reason for our offensive woes is actually a fatal copywriting error.

Huh? How?

Glad you asked.

Lemme explain:

Matt Canada is our offensive coordinator, going on his second year as the OC. Our offense also underperformed last year — in fact, we haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in the first quarter of a game in 11 games.

Not good.

Why does Matt Canada’s offense stink so bad?

Well, he tries to get too “cutesy” with his playcalling.

Even if you don’t know a thing about football, you know there are two basic play types:

Passing and running.

Running is designed to eat up the game clock, power through the opposing team, tire out the defense, and open up the passing game. Passing plays are designed to take advantage of “setting up the defense” with explosive and soul-crushing plays.

Not in Matt Canada’s offense though. He runs jet sweeps (outside runs) that don't set up the passing game. He attempts no long passes to set up the running game. And the result is the offense can't move the ball to save its life.

In copywriting terms:

“Running plays” are the angle you choose for a given email, sales letter, ad, etc. “Passing plays” are the offer which take advantage of what your angle sets up.

If Canada was a copywriter, he’d be one of those “punny” copywriters. You know the ones I’m referring to. The ones who get way too cutesy-dutesy with their copy, fill it with dad-joke-esque puns, and kill any chance of persuasion they might’ve had.

Moral of the story?

You must understand the fundamentals.

Rookie copywriters and Matt Canada’s offense alike both ignore the fundamentals — embarrassing themselves, their team, and, of course, their wallets. (I wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers fired Canada sometime this year.)

Now, once you know the fundamentals of direct response copy, you can break the rules as you see fit. But breaking rules just to look cute or have people praise your ad (without it inspiring anyone to take action) is the epitome of stupidity.


Many brands I talk to suffer from the same mistakes Matt Canada’s making in his offense. And there’s a good chance you may be committing some of these mistakes in your email strategy too.

So here’s what I want you to do:

Grab a time here, and we’ll jump on a quick Discovery Call. Then, if we’re a good fit, one of the first things I do with new clients is audit their entire email system.

I’ll spot any of these fatal copywriting mistakes which make scaling your business and unlocking more freedom harder. And I’ll create an email strategy for you that, to keep with this email’s theme, has your business grooving like Patrick Mahomes’s offense.


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