6 Reasons Your Marketing Copy Isn't Converting — and How to Fix Each One

If your copy isn't bringing the conversions you desire, you might be making a few common mistakes.

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By Svetoslav Dimitrov

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the most frustrating things when you're running a business is not getting the conversions you want.

Now, it's easy to blame design, authenticity or even load time. And while all these could influence conversions, chances are, the real culprit is your copy. So if you're hitting a dead-end with new leads, or finding you have a pipeline full of people who look but don't buy, you're probably making one of a few killer copy mistakes.

In this article, you'll find six reasons why your marketing copy isn't converting, together with a solution to how to fix each one.

Before we dive in, here's a quick reminder. You don't need to be an A-list copywriter to craft persuasive sales copy. But the more you know your audience, and what they resonate with, the better.

With that out of the way, let's dive right into the first reason.

1. You haven't shown value

As entrepreneurs, we strive to develop a unique product or service. We want to stand out. But more often than not, something that's unique — meaning totally different from everything else on the market — is a red flag.

Why? Because if no one else is offering what you are, this might also mean no one wants your product or service. See, competition is a good thing as it shows your clients not only need but also want your offer.

"Want" always beats out "need."

Now, if you have the same issue, there are two things you can do:

  • Offer your audience something they want more (the easy way).
  • Create a bridge between something your customers want and something you offer (the hard way). Here, your mission is to translate your audience's wants into the benefits your product or services will provide to them.

2. You haven't built enough trust

This might sound painful, but it's true.

See, your audience might want your product or service. They might understand what it can do for them. They might even know how to buy it. But they don't because they hesitate.

Why is that? One simple reason. They don't trust you. They're afraid your offer won't bring them the promised outcome, and they'd feel like an idiot.

Don't take this personally. In today's era of online lies and rip-offs, it's a normal reaction.

You have to earn your audience's trust before they decide to buy from you. That's not an easy task, but it's fairly simple. All you need to do is craft value-driven content. The important thing to remember here is to build content around the needs, wants and pains of your readers.

Related: 7 Ways to Build Consumer Trust Naturally

When you share enough value and establish your authority, your customers will start trusting you. Then, sales will start coming in.

The great news is that if your relationship with your audience becomes strong enough, you won't need to be the best salesperson or copywriter to get good conversions.

3. Your copy is too fancy

Entrepreneurs tend to overcomplicate their copy. We use business "jargon" that nobody understands. And we get trapped by the so-called "curse of knowledge," which is assuming everyone has the background knowledge to understand what we're saying. But that's a sure-fire way to chase your customers away.

See, no one wants to feel dumb. But a customer can feel this way if he/she reads something they don't understand. When that happens, they quickly close the page and continue with their day.

What if you absolutely must use business terminology? Then, you have to explain what that means immediately after using it.

The rule of thumb is that if a 3rd grader doesn't understand what you're saying, there's a high chance your audience won't either. Thankfully, there's a great tool to use to "dumb down" your copy. It's called the Hemingway app.

Related: 4 Smart Ways to Write Dynamic Sales Copy (Without Actually Writing a Single Word)

4. Your readers are confused

If you've done your research well, and you're certain your audience wants your products or services. That's a great first step. But if they're still not buying your offer, this might mean they're confused.

A confused reader doesn't buy. In fact, a confused reader doesn't do anything.

See, when your customers have too many options to choose from, need to make a lot of unnecessary decisions, face an information overload or have to browse through a website that's too messy, they freeze.

How do you fix this? When it comes to pricing, packages, or products, don't include more than two or three options. If your audience needs to choose between A, B, C or D, they most often won't select anything at all.

Don't forget that the top salespeople and the highest converting sales pages don't use business jargon or fancy language. They make everything as simple and as clear as possible.

Related: The Psychological Trigger That's Confusing Your Customers

5. Your readers can't see how your offer will help them

Another reason your copy isn't converting is the fact that your readers don't see themselves as customers. Thankfully, there's a way to fix that.

Paint a picture in their minds of how your offer will help them. To make the narrative more convincing, use concrete details, including smell, colors, sounds, numbers, location, etc.

Strengthen your copy with solid reviews and testimonials that show how previous customers have been getting all the amazing benefits of your offer.

Related: 4 Better Ways to Showcase Testimonials for Your Business

Use simple, conversational language to show how the benefits of your products and services will make your audience's lives better. The benefits are important, but even more important is the transformation your readers are going to experience, so focus on that.

6. You didn't ask for the sale

The last conversion-killing reason is the easiest to fix.

When you're trying to sell something to your audience, you have to ask them for the sale. In other words, you have to tell them or ask them to do something.

If you clearly tell your prospects to click a link, book a call, download a PDF or how many bottles to order, they're much more likely to do it. Your copy needs to have very clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

Related: 3 Critical Principles of Effective Calls to Action

Bear in mind that the best-performing CTA buttons include the benefits of your offer. A "Click here to get it" link won't be as effective as a button that says, "Click here to enjoy a life without stress, anxiety and depression."

The bottom line

Now that you know why your copy isn't converting readers into buyers, and how to fix each of them, you can go back and improve your sales copy. Don't forget to be as clear and conversational as possible, and your conversions will go up.

Svetoslav Dimitrov

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

CEO of Copywriting Titan

Svetoslav Dimitrov is a copywriter, consultant, TEDx speaker, and author of one book. He's the founder of Copywriting Titan. He teaches entrepreneurs effective copy and content marketing strategies to add additional revenue to their businesses and bottom lines. Join him at Copywriting Titan.

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