One of the hats I wear, besides my email marketing bidness, is being the copy chief at The Podcast Factory.
As such, I’ve reviewed hundreds upon hundreds of podcast show notes before we ship them out to our clients.
And through these hundreds (mayhap thousands) of copy critiques I’ve done, as you can imagine, I’ve stumbled upon a myriad of mistakes.
But there’s one mistake in particular I despise seeing and editing more than all the other mistakes combined because it’s the most obvious example of lazy writing, which will leave you broke and destitute, with your clients trying to physically fight you rather than buy from you.
I call it “should copy.”
Here are a few examples:
* Why you should listen to this episode (or why you should buy this product)
* 8 reasons why you should call your customers today
* The biggest mistake you shouldn’t be making in your copy
Notice how these are ultra weak? Well, that’s because they are. And they are because they rely on “should copy” to persuade. But should copy doesn’t persuade, instead it makes your customers dig in their heels and create objections to why they shouldn’t instead of why they should. The more objections they create in their mind, the least likely they are to take the action you want them to.
“Should copy” is a death blow for sales and persuasion.
Plus, it’s the laziest way to write.
Why is it lazy?
Well, “should copy” almost always lacks a crucial ingredient of a persuasive sentence, bullet, or headline:
A benefit or consequence.
The first “should copy” bulblet I wrote above was this:
Why you should listen to this episode
But let’s add a benefit to this:
Why listening to this episode unlocks an almost endless stream of persuasive content ideas.
See how much better this copy becomes when we remove the should?
Or let’s try adding a consequence instead for a more morbid feel:
If you skip over this episode, you’re the only person you can blame when your business goes belly up (yes, it’s that important).
Again, do you see how this is leagues stronger than the boring, objection-creating “should copy” version?
Moral of the story?
Don’t use should copy in your copy, unless, well, you hate your business and would enjoy seeing it crash n burn.
Need help nuking the “should copy” littered throughout your emails, so you can make more money each time you hit “send?”