Posted Sunday, January 9, 2005
As a direct response copywriter, I (naturally) go through a set process to ensure that my copy hits the mark. A vital part of this process is performing "checks and balances" to ensure that all the important elements are there AND that there are no redundant or response-draining elements.
With that, I put together a 32 point copy checklist which I consult religiously. Here's a version of the checklist I use. I hope you find it to be as helpful as I do.
1. Does the headline in your body copy and/or the opening paragraph include the word 'you' or at least imply it?
2. Does it attract attention and shout out strong, "specific" benefits?
3. Does it relate to the needs of your reader?
4. If you are marketing to a specific group, have you flagged that group in the subject?
5. Does the subject header include the person's name?
6. Does the body copy begin with "Dear [name]?"
7. Does your subheading or second paragraph flow on from the headline hinting at a solution to their problem?
8. Does your copy address the fears or wants and needs of your buyer and show them how to achieve results?
9. When you've made claims, have you shown why it gets results?
10. Have you started with the most powerful benefit first?
11. Have you given your reader all the benefits and details they need to make a buying decision?
12. Have you addressed any potential objections in your copy?
13. Have you included testimonials and case studies?
14. Have you included a guarantee?
15. Have you included a limited offer?
16. Does the offer have a high perceived value to your reader? Does it interest them?
17. Have you told your reader the reasons why you're making the offer?
18. Does your last paragraph summarise the most powerful sales appeal and create a sense of urgency?
19. Have you told your reader what to do eg. "Call now on xxxxx for xxxx"?
20. Have you made it easy for your reader to respond?
21. Does your copy follow this flow - "Problem, Agitation, Solution"?
22. Is it written in a friendly, easy to understand, conversational tone?
23. Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs?
24. Can you replace any word with another word that packs more of a punch?
25. Have you been specific in your figures not rounded off?
26. Do paragraphs flow into each other well?
27. Have you highlighted important words?
28. Is your copy easy to understand?
29. Are there any redundant words - scrap them?
30. Do you use "you" twice as much as you use "I" or "we"?
31. Is all your copy in active not passive voice?
32. Have you included a PS that creates a further sense of urgency?
About the Author
Kris Mills of Words that Sell (http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au) is an experienced direct marketer, copywriter, author and internet marketer.