10 Advertorial Copywriting Mistakes That Make Fence-Sitting Prospects Run For The Hills

Even the slightest mistake in copy can cause potential customers to lose interest and move on to a competitor.  

But what are these mistakes that can turn fence-sitting prospects away? In this article, we'll identify the top ten advertorial copywriting mistakes that make potential customers run for the hills.

Before getting into the specifics, it's imperative to learn why good writing is essential in the first place.

  • As an adage goes, you get one opportunity only to make an excellent first impression. 
  • This specifically applies in the advertising world, where the competition is tough in the industry, and it’s hard to catch and retain consumers’ attention.
  • For content to capture and keep a reader's attention, your copy must be engaging, informative, and persuasive.

What separates good writing from bad? It's about more than using flashy language or clever wordplay (though those certainly don't hurt). Instead, it's about creating content that resonates with your potential customers and addresses their needs and desires. 

When done correctly, good writing can build optimum trust, create a sense of urgency for consumers, and drive more sales for your brand. So, without further ado, let's dive into the top ten advertorial copywriting mistakes to avoid.


Mistake #1: Focusing On Features Instead Of Benefits

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

One of the most repeated errors that copywriters are prone to make is dwelling too much on product features instead of the advantages they provide customers. 

By definition, features are the technical product or service details, while benefits are the positive results that customers can expect to experience when using it.

For instance, let's say you're selling a new mobile phone with a huge screen and long-lasting battery life. If you focus solely on the main features while writing your copy, you're missing the opportunity to establish a bond with customers on a deeper level. 

Instead, it would help if you emphasized the benefits of the new gadget features, such as the ability to watch movies seamlessly and play games on a larger screen or the convenience of not worrying about your phone dying during the day.

By highlighting the benefits, you're showing potential customers how your product can improve their lives in meaningful ways. This is much more compelling than simply listing off many features that may or may not be relevant to them. 

After all, customers buy products not only for the features themselves but they specifically buy them for the advantages they offer.

So, if you're guilty of focusing too heavily on features in your copy, it's time to shift your perspective. Instead of dwelling on the best parts of your product, write about what it can do for your target market. 

By emphasizing the advantages of your product or service in your copy, you'll be able to craft a more powerful, persuasive message that connects with your target market.

Learn how to write "benefit-centric" copy to skyrocket conversions here.

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

Mistake #2: Using Jargon And Buzzwords

Another common mistake in copywriting is the use of jargon and buzzwords. While these terms may elicit a sophisticated impression to industry insiders, they can sound confusing or even off-putting to the average reader. 

Using jargon and buzzwords can create a disconnect between you and your target audience, which makes it harder for readers to understand what they can gain from your product or service.

Jargon and buzzwords can also make your copy seem less authentic and less trustworthy. Readers who encounter too much-specialized language may feel like they're being sold to rather than presented with valuable information. This can lead to skepticism and, ultimately, a lost sale.

For you to avoid the mistake of using jargon and buzzwords, it's essential to speak in plain language that anyone can understand. Try to avoid technical terms and industry jargon whenever possible. If you must use these terms, provide clear explanations your audience can easily follow.

One sure way to ensure that your content does not contain jargon and buzzwords are doesn't put yourself in your reader's shoes. Imagine promoting your product or service to an acquaintance, friend, or family member without basic industry knowledge. 

While jargon and buzzwords may seem impressive, they can harm your copywriting efforts. 


Mistake #3: Being Too Salesy

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

The next common mistake in copywriting is being too salesy. While the primary aim of copywriting is to influence readers to take a particular action, being too pushy and forceful in your approach can backfire. 

Readers are savvy and can quickly sense when sold rather than presented with valuable information.

When your copy is too salesy, readers may feel like you're manipulating or pressuring them into making a purchase. This can result in experiencing feelings of distrust and, ultimately, a lost sale. Therefore, it's crucial to strike the right balance between informative and persuasive copy.

One way to avoid being too salesy is to provide the value of a product or service to your potential customers. 

Instead of constantly pushing your product or service, try to provide helpful information they can apply to their lives. This could be through tips, advice, or education on topics that relate to your industry. By providing value, you build trust and establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Using storytelling in your copy is another way to strike the right balance. 

For example, instead of simply listing the advantages of your product or service, weave in a compelling story that clearly shows how your offering can help others. Storytelling is much more effective in persuading readers to make a move, as they can relate to the characters in your story.

Being too salesy in your copywriting can turn off readers and lead to lost sales. Instead, focus on providing value and utilize storytelling to create a more effective and engaging message that resonates with your audience.


Mistake #4: Lack Of Clarity And Structure

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

Your potential customers may need help following and understanding your message when your copy needs a clear structure. This can result in confusion and disappointment, which can leads to low sales conversion.

Copywriters can avoid making this mistake by organizing their copy in a clear and easy-to-follow manner. This can be done by breaking your copy into smaller portions with the use of subheadings and bullet points. 

By practicing clarity, you can guide your readers through your brand message and allow them to comprehend and absorb your message quickly.

Another way to ensure clarity throughout your copy is simple and concise language. Refrain from using jargon or technical words that your audience may not be familiar with. Instead, use relatable language that is easier to understand by your target audience.

Lastly, ensuring your copy has a clear call to action is essential. Prominently display your call to action and make it easy to find. This will help guide readers toward taking the next step and, ultimately, convert them into customers or leads.


Mistake #5: Ignoring The Target Audience

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

Another mistake that can derail your copywriting efforts is failing to consider your target audience. Ignoring the needs and interests of your audience can result in copy that falls flat and fails to engage or motivate them.

To avoid this mistake, conduct thorough research on your target audience. Analyze data such as demographics, interests, and behaviors to understand their preferences and pain points better. 

You can also engage in individual surveys or focus groups to collect more information about your target audience’s needs and interests.

Once you understand the target consumers, tailor your message to their needs and interests. For example, use a language and messaging that resonates with people, highlight the advantages of essential products or services, and use relatable examples or stories for added effects.

It's also important to consider the medium through which you deliver your copy. Different audiences may like varying formats, so select a suitable medium to communicate your message. 

For instance, if your audience is visual, using images or videos may be more effective than written copy.

By understanding your target audience and appealing to them, you can write copy that relates to your target market and influence them to act. This can ultimately lead to more conversions, sales, and business growth.


Mistake #6: Lack Of Social Proof

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

The presence or absence of social proof is a critical factor that can decide the fate of your copy. Social proof is the idea that the opinions and actions of others influence the actions of consumers. As a result, people often make decisions based on what others do.

To incorporate social proof effectively into your copy, identify the types most relevant to your audience. 

This may include customer reviews or testimonials, social media shares or followers, endorsements from industry experts or thought leaders, or case studies highlighting the success of previous customers.

After you identify the types of social proof that will be most compelling for your audience, integrate them into your copy naturally and authentically. For example, you could write a few testimonials or case studies in your copy to effectively showcase the benefits of your company’s product or service. 

Alternatively, you could showcase social proof through trust badges, certifications, or awards on your website or within your advertising.

Finally, feel free to solicit social proof from your customers or followers actively. Please encourage them to leave reviews, share their experiences on social media, or participate in case studies or interviews. 

Proactively seeking out social proof and integrating it into your content can establish trust with your target audience and increase the likelihood of sales.

Learn how to boost trust in your copywriting with social proof here.


Mistake #7: Overcomplicating The Message

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

Have you ever read something that confuses you instead of getting new information? If so, you likely encounter the effects of an overcomplicated copy. 

A complex or convoluted copy is difficult for readers to get the intended message. As a result, readers may experience disinterest or even frustration with the material.

Overcomplicating the message can happen for various reasons. For example, sometimes writers focus too much on using impressive language or sounding intelligent. 

Other times, some writers allow their passion to take control of their subject matter, so they have difficulty distilling the key points into a clear message. But, regardless of the reason, an overcomplicated copy can ultimately drive readers away.

How can copywriters avoid this common mistake? The most convenient technique is to focus on clarity. Before writing, contemplate the message you want to convey and how to deliver it. 

Utilize a common language that everyone understands, and avoid jargon or technical words unless they’re needed. You can also convert long sentences or paragraphs into shorter, digestible chunks for easier reading. 

By prioritizing clarity and simplicity, you can convey your message effectively to your audience.

Here's how to have effective customer-centric communication in your copy.


Mistake #8: Failing To Create A Sense Of Urgency

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

One of the biggest copywriting mistakes is the failure to instigate a sense of urgency. 

Without an apparent reason to act now, readers may put off taking action or forget about your product or service altogether. Establishing a sense of urgency helps readers make a decision that increases sales.

There are many ways to stimulate urgency without utilizing high-pressure tactics. One effective method is to use limited-time offers or discounts. 

For example, offering a discount that expires in 24 hours can motivate readers to take action quickly. Another method highlights the consequences of not taking action, such as missed opportunities or potential losses.

It's essential to acquire a balance between urgency and authenticity. Overuse of urgency can come across as manipulative and undermine trust with readers. 

By creating a genuine sense of urgency according to your product’s or service’s value and benefits, you can motivate readers to take action while maintaining their trust.


Mistake #9: Neglecting The Headline

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

A powerful headline is a critical element of any copy. It can encourage readers to read on or move on to another page. Conversely, neglecting the headline can lead to a lack of interest and engagement from readers.

To write a compelling headline, remember to dive into your product or service’s advantages or value proposition. 

A headline that promises to solve a specific problem or fulfill a desire is more likely to grab the readers' attention. Using decisive and action-oriented language can also make headlines more compelling.

Another way to create a strong headline is to use numbers or statistics. 

Headlines that promise specific tips or benefits can be particularly effective in drawing readers in. However, it's also important to keep headlines concise and clear, avoiding jargon or buzzwords that may turn off readers.

Ultimately, the aim of creating a headline is to spark curiosity and ignite interest in the reader. By paying attention to the benefits and worth of your product or service and utilizing clear and attractive language, your headlines draw readers in, and they continue reading.


Mistake #10: Lack Of Editing And Proofreading

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

You've accomplished the hard work of creating your copy, but the copywriting task is far from finished. Neglecting to edit and proofread your work can undermine all your efforts and leave a wrong impression on your audience.

Typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes can distract readers from your message and erode their trust in your professionalism. Even the most minor errors can significantly impact how readers perceive your copy.

To prevent making this mistake, meticulously review your work before publishing it. Start by reading through your copy at least twice, looking for any errors or awkward phrasing that needs revision.

It would also be helpful for other copywriters to review your work. Ask a colleague or editor to assess your copy and provide feedback. They may catch errors or suggest improvements you have yet to notice before.

Lastly, consider using proofreading tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway to help identify any errors or areas for improvement. These copywriting tools are essential in determining mistakes and enhancing the holistic quality of your content.

Editing and proofreading your copy positively affects how your audience welcomes it. By not committing this copywriting mistake, you're confident that your copy is polished, professional, and efficient in connecting with your target market.


Don't Let These Mistakes Fence You In

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

Effective advertorial copywriting requires avoiding common mistakes that can turn off potential customers. 

By focusing on benefits instead of features, avoiding jargon and buzzwords, striking the right balance between informative and persuasive, organizing copy effectively, and understanding the target audience.

Additionally, you can create copy that engages readers and drives conversions by incorporating social proof, simplifying the message, creating a sense of urgency, crafting effective headlines, and editing and proofreading carefully.

Remember, copywriting is about more than just promoting a product or service. It's about building a link between your audience and your brand and addressing their needs and desires to appeal to them to make a move. 

By abiding by these principles and avoiding common copywriting mistakes, your copywriting skills move to the next level, and you craft content that resonates with your target market.

So, on your next advertorial copy, take a step back and contemplate: am I making any of the ten mistakes? And if yes is your answer, then make it a point to correct them. Doing so will make you one step closer to creating copy that converts and drives success for yourself or your business.

15 common copywriting fails that severely compromise reader belief and undermine your credibility

Copywriters Make Mistakes: Why?

With all their wits and clever words, copywriters are just humans. And like all other two-legged creatures in the universe, they're susceptible to making mistakes for various reasons. 

  • Hunan error: Copywriting involves a creative and cognitive process, and humans are prone to making mistakes. Even copywriters with years of experience and skills can overlook errors while writing or editing. Typos, grammar mistakes, or factual inaccuracies can slip through despite their best efforts.
  • Tight deadlines: Copywriters often work under tight deadlines and may face pressure to deliver content quickly. When time is limited, mistakes can happen due to rushing or insufficient time for thorough proofreading and editing.
  • Lack of research or knowledge: Copywriters may only sometimes have extensive knowledge of the subject matter they are writing about. In such cases, they might make factual errors or fail to convey accurate information. Insufficient research or misunderstanding client requirements can contribute to mistakes.
  • Miscommunication: Copywriters rely on briefs from clients or project managers to guide their writing. If the brief is unclear or incomplete, or there is a misconception, it could result in copywriting errors in understanding the objectives, target audience, or critical messages.
  • Lack of editing and proofreading: Copywriters often have multiple projects and tight schedules, which may leave insufficient time for thorough editing and proofreading. These crucial steps must be considered to avoid overlooked mistakes that could have been caught with closer scrutiny.
  • Fatigue or burnout: Working long hours or handling multiple projects simultaneously can lead to fatigue and mental exhaustion. Copywriters who are tired or experiencing burnout may create mistakes because of a lack of concentration and cognitive functioning.


Guide For Copywriters

10 advertorial copywriting mistakes that make fence-sitting prospects run for the hills

Copywriters can avoid mistakes by following a systematic approach and implementing best practices. Here are key strategies to help copywriters prevent mistakes:

  1. Thoroughly understand the project: Start by fully comprehending the requirements, target audience, and desirable outcome.
  2. Conduct comprehensive research: Gather all the necessary information about the product, service, or topic you're writing about.
  3. Create an outline: Before diving into writing, create a well-structured outline. This provides a clear roadmap for your copy and ensures you cover all the essential points.
  4. Write clear and concise copy: Keep your writing focused, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complex sentence structures. Use simple language that your target can easily relate to, making your message easily understood.
  5. Proofread and edit: After completing your initial draft, proofread your work multiple times. Check the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format.
  6. Test readability and comprehension: Consider using readability tools to assess the ease of reading your copy. Ensure your text is accessible to the intended audience, with appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure.
  7. Use consistent style and tone: Maintain a consistent manner throughout your copy to establish a cohesive brand voice. Adhere to guidelines regarding tone, language, and formatting from your client.
  8. Avoid plagiarism: Always provide proper attribution for any quotes, references, or sources in your copy.
  9. Get feedback: Seek feedback from colleagues, clients, or peers who can offer constructive criticism. Fresh perspectives can help identify areas for improvement and catch any mistakes.
  10. Stay updated: Keep up with industry trends, language usage, and grammar rules.

Remember, while these strategies can significantly reduce mistakes, it's essential to continually learn, adapt, and refine your skills as a copywriter.


P.S. Marketers and B2B business leaders...

Could your organization benefit from dramatically shorter sales cycles, more qualified leads, and higher on-page conversions? 🤔

If you're looking to improve the performance of your sales pages, emails, or ads... I may be able to move the needle in a big way. 

Using my proven “Neuro-Response” copywriting method, I've generated over $2.7 billion in revenue for over 224 of the largest B2B companies in America.

This behavioral-science inspired system taps into lesser-known hidden psychological triggers that target multiple decision-making regions of your prospects’ brains...

In a way that elevates their desire, makes them primed to be more receptive to sales messaging, and gets them to move forward.

Averaging across over 1,124+ projects, my copywriting drives a 55% increase in on-page conversion rates, an 84% increase in quality sales-qualified leads, and a 27% decrease in customer acquisition costs compared to existing controls.

If any of this sounds interesting to you...

Click HERE to learn more and find out if I’m the right fit to help.


Want copywriting that converts up to 47% better?

I offer a 100% done-for-you solution to make your sales pages, emails, and ads dramatically more effective.
Results guaranteed, or you don't pay!

About Daniel Doan

Daniel is a proven Neuro-Response copywriter with over a decade of expertise bridging the gap between what your company wants to say and what your customers actually want to read.

Looking for more copywriting resources?

Copyright © 2010 - 2024 Doan Copywriting LLC | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions