3 Telltale Signs of a Cringe-worthy Sales Copy That Needs Help

So, what is a cringe-worthy sales copy?


It is basically a copy that’s icky, hard to read and makes you want to bounce off immediately.

It’s one that lacks the emotional connection and is ready to be forgotten before being read.

It does not speak to its audience’s dreams, desires, fears and aspirations, rather turns them off by sounding really pushy and obnoxious. It’s the one that says ‘You’ve got mind blocks. Buy this program.” Instead of explaining why they should and understanding why they don’t.

In short, it makes the visitors go ‘Meh! Back button>>Back button

We’ve all come across such copies. The problem is that it’s very easy to produce gibberish that’s worthy of the trash folder, which is why you see so many of those on the world wide web. But challenging to produce something that really touches the reader’s soul, gets them to nod their head, lift their hand and go ‘I want this product now’

A cringe-worthy copy can make a really good product sound trash and successfully kill likelihood of its sale. Not something you desire for your copy, am I right?

So let me show you what makes a copy downright bad and what you can do about it.

#1: It expects people to find their way through a wall of text


This is the foundation of a bad copy. If your content is laid out like a wall of text and you’re expecting your prospects to chew all that information to find nuggets for decision making, it’s not a great idea. Trust me.

Jakob Nielsen compares web visitors to wild animals foraging for food. I wouldn’t go that far because people who will turn into your buyers will read most of your copy to justify the decision to themselves or their spouse.

But making your sales copy scanner friendly is the key to ensuring that they don’t miss out on what matters and will contribute to the decision-making process.

Respect their time and make the content easy to consume.

Here are a few things that you should take care of while formatting your copy:

  • Highlight the central idea in your headline
  • Introduce logical section breakers and differentiate them from the other content
  • Write sub-headline that entices scanners into reading
  • Use short and concise bullet points
  • Bold the text that you wish to highlight
  • Get rid of adjectives that add no value. Replace ‘very bad’ with ‘terrible’
  • Avoid sentence bloat and write 2-3 sentence paragraphs
  • Stop stringing the reader along for a ride. Keep it succinct.

A wall of text could also be a result of positioning oneself as a generalist and pitching too many things. Lead with an unequivocal conversion goal and build your selling argument on top of that.

#2: It lectures the audience instead of engaging with them through a story

This is the most critical blunder that makes a copy bad. You can talk ‘to’ your audience or talk ‘at’ them. When you do the latter, you appear preachy and indifferent (lacking empathy). Not someone they want to buy from.

The best way to bypass this is to tell a story. Talk about your ‘why’, your ‘how’ and your ‘what’ in that order.

Share with them your reasons to be in this game, how you can help them and what product/service you have to get them to the goal.

Lecturing makes you sound crass and not worthy of the audience’s attention whereas story makes them want to listen to you. They forget that they are being sold anything.

If you’re a parenting coach, you’d appear more credible when you step into the shoes of your persona and show them their struggles through a compelling story. For example:

“Your 6-year-old has really mastered the blame game. He gets aggressive and throws a crying fit on matters that seem trivial. When you confront him, he starts a scathing monologue, ‘He did this to me…’, ‘First tell him to…then…’

You’ve seen a few therapists but haven’t found a cure to his persistent problem. You feel helpless about it but refuse to believe that this is incurable.”

When you develop a compelling narrative and talk to them about their problems, your tone of voice is warm & conversational, not preachy or pushy.

Be candid, conversational and approachable in your sales copy. Yes, you are trying to make a sale but you cannot do it unless they feel they are in their ‘comfort zone’ with you.

#3: It asks for money way too soon


I must admit that it’s perfectly okay to lead with the price when you have a bargain offer or a low dollar product. Price can be used to prime the audience when it is the USP of your product but in all the other cases, convince them on the features, benefits and advantages of your product before showing the price.

Price becomes a mere triviality when the product satisfies their needs and speaks to their desires.

A sales page’s first and foremost objective should be to address prospect’s sales-killing objections. Here are top 5 objections that keep people from buying:

“Do I really have this problem?”
“Will this solution work for my situation?”
“What if it doesn’t work as claimed? Can I get a refund?”
“Do I trust this person and do others trust him?”
“Can I afford this program?”

Imagine as a parenting coach, you have a support community and you’ve to proactively address people’s objection #2: ‘Will this work for my situation?’

Here’s what your sales page could read:

You get access to a community of parents, just like you, dealing with similar problems, available every day to answer your pressing questions, lend advice and give support. All in the spirit of helping each other grow collectively as a parent community.

Now they know what they are exactly paying for and why they should.

You’re best placed to reveal the prices after you have shown them what they get, what that can do for them and have addressed their objections effectively.

Create a risk-free and trustworthy environment for them to make a decision.

Give them all the information they need to take the decision and aim to evoke this reaction just before you reveal the prices, “I now know why I need this program and why she’s the right person to trust.”

The truth about a no good, very bad copy

Yes, I have waged a war against cringe-worthy copy but here’s the thing:

Writing a bad copy is a part of the process of growing into an empathetic marketer.

As long as you’re ready to learn, pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate a bad copy, you’re on to something!

On a (slightly) more serious note, invest time in truly developing empathy for your prospects because that will give you the power to address their concerns and satisfy them before you ask for a sale.

Are you currently working on a sales copy for your offer?

What are you struggling with?

Take a moment and let me know.

Want me to share exclusive insights on how to write in a way that connects, converts & opens wallets? Join me on my journey.  

C’mon…You’re not getting any of those spammy or trashy things. It’s pure knowledge- from my heart to yours!

About Tavleen

You should think of me when your visitors are bouncing off your website like a jumping jack...Or even the shocking pink color is failing to attract them to your call to action...Or after reading your 2-pager they still wonder- What's in it for them. But most importantly think of me when you're throwing a house party and your fridge is loaded with Ben & Jerry's!

One response to “3 Telltale Signs of a Cringe-worthy Sales Copy That Needs Help”

  1. Carol says:

    Wonderful! I can already begin to see the points where my copy can make can improve!

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