Sloppy Copy - It will get you every time

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Never Hit “Send” Without Proofreading

One day my mail brought a promotion for an exclusive training class for would-be copywriters. It was all about teaching you to write copy that sells, and how to run a successful copywriting business.

The whole message was “formulatic.”sloppy copy is a fail

  • It had the scarcity – only 20 spots, so act now.
  • It attempted to make you want the program by saying “this isn’t for everyone – you have to qualify.”
  • It promised to turn the reader into a money-making copywriter.

There was just one problem.

The letter itself was sloppy copy. In the first paragraph, the writer says she’s “rearing to go” to help her readers become successful. Um… I believe that phrase is “raring to go.”

Later on in the letter she used bullet points, which is a good idea. But the third one didn’t fit with the first two. They’re supposed to match, remember.

Had the writer spent a few minutes in proofreading and editing her work, she wouldn’t look so silly. And… she’d probably have a better chance of selling her expertise in telling others how to write good copy.

Never hit “send” until you re-read what you wrote!

Graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

The original of this post appeared at: https://copybymarte.com/sloppy-copy-will-get-you-every-time/

 
 

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 04/23/2019 11:50 AM
  2. Barbara Todaro 04/23/2019 01:00 PM
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Rainer
93,892
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

Wonderful blog, and intriguing comments. Love the intimacy of it all....

uhm, in a corporate way that is.

Apr 24, 2019 05:43 AM #26
Rainmaker
328,297
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Marte,

That's funny that they did not do what they were preaching.  Yes, we all need to be vigilant in proofreading.  In our fast-paced environments, we tend to shoot first and proof later.  I am guilty of that myself, especially with text messages.  I try to treat every text as an email and proof accordingly however it is a hard-earned discipline. 

Apr 24, 2019 05:59 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Janelle Ancillotti That is a sad and scary thought.

Brian DeYoung Thank you for my morning giggle.

Dana Basiliere Yes - a fast pace can be the enemy of careful proofreading.

Apr 24, 2019 07:45 AM #28
Rainmaker
368,106
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

I'm glad this post got featured status.    Just the other day I was looking at a local discount brokerage's website and there were typos and gramatical errors which made me wonder whether or not they paid close attention to contracts and disclosures....

Apr 24, 2019 09:11 AM #29
Rainer
212,668
Greg Mona
Faira Homes Corp - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate in the 21st Century!

Great points, and so true, Marte Cliff  I can't tell you how crazy it makes me when I send something out and it has a typo or poor formatting, etc. As others have responded, sometimes it is the rush to get something out that gets us, but taking an extra few minutes to not look bad is time very well spent indeed. I'll have to remind myself of that more often! And like others have also posted, when I receive something riddled with typos, poor formatting, grammar, etc. it is a big turn off.

Apr 24, 2019 09:25 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

M.C. Dwyer I think that would be a valid concern.

I agree, Greg Mona. If you pay no attention to details when representing yourself, why should we expect you to pay attention when representing someone else? 

Apr 24, 2019 10:02 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,218,679
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Seems so quaint and old-fashioned, Marte Cliff.  But the need for proofreading remains important and valid. A tone and/or assumption is made when errors are found or seen.  We're all better off if we listen to your advice ...

Gene 

Apr 24, 2019 10:32 AM #32
Rainmaker
126,582
Victoria CB Trees
Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services - Chiloquin, OR
Principal Broker

Hilarious!  I have seen a number of copy writer sales pitches that were just as awful, or worse!  Some have used actual examples of their published works, and they are even worse than their sales pitch.  I have to wonder why they think they can write.  

Apr 24, 2019 03:49 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi - I do believe it makes a difference. Just goes to show that some old fashioned things NEVER lose value.

Victoria CB Trees I don't get too many ads from copywriters, but I have checked out samples on their webpages and been shocked. Some of them offer free sample letters that break Rule #1: Never begin a letter with "I."

Apr 24, 2019 03:56 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

SLOPPY COPY UPDATE:

Today's email offered two prime examples. One in a newsletter: "Waters uttered words she immediately regretted the next morning."

Huh? How can you do something "immediately" the next morning. In the article copy it also said she regretted them instantly. Unbelieving, I did read the article, and sure enough - it never mentioned her regretting a single word.

AND THEN... An ad from a real estate agent, announcing that they now have an office in a nearby town. The headline read:

YOUR INVITED!

Ouch and double ouch.

Apr 24, 2019 04:00 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,406,085
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I've received emails from companies that claim to improve SEO, and the emails are full of errors. Why in the world would I contact a company that can't spell or speak clearly to help me do the same?

 

Apr 27, 2019 03:17 AM #36
Ambassador
1,808,694
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

How embarrassing, I can't imagine sending out a something about copy writing without first taking the time to make sure it's perfect.  I do see "your and you're" used improperly far too often - oh and, "peek my interest," I'm pretty sure the word is "pique." 

Apr 27, 2019 08:16 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kat Palmiotti Since many of those ads are foreign, I expect it's a case of "They don't know what they don't know."

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD I agree - that would be embarrassing. I also thought it was embarrassing for the real estate broker when he spelled "you're" as "your" in the first word of the invitation he sent out.

As for "Peek," I'm very sure the word is "pique".

Apr 27, 2019 10:12 AM #38
Rainmaker
3,192,433
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Moving toooo fast and not being careful enough can be a problem !

Apr 28, 2019 05:52 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Sally K. & David L. Hanson - and that is why our grandparents used to say "Haste makes waste."

Apr 28, 2019 10:56 AM #40
Rainmaker
3,192,433
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Probably true Marte Cliff    !

Apr 28, 2019 11:13 AM #41
Rainmaker
3,766,895
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Marte Cliff,

I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured you post in her Second Chance Saturday series! So important ..great tip..proof read what you are about to send before hitting the send key! 

Apr 29, 2019 06:43 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR It only takes a couple of minutes to re-read what you wrote, and yet... we get in a hurry.

Apr 29, 2019 07:33 AM #43
Ambassador
3,192,974
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Even with spell-check, you don't often catch some of the misspellings, do you, Marte? I joke with my assistants that you can't proofread it enough!

May 01, 2019 09:21 PM #44
Rainmaker
1,513,424
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Debe Maxwell, CRS - No, you don't. If you used the wrong word, spell check won't catch it. It doesn't know the difference between waist and waste or reign and rein - or rain! I just read a post the other day that said someone needed to "reign in" their impulse to do or say something. Ouch!

Worse, if someone is depending upon spell check they can go wrong. I've had it "correct" me and tell me to use the wrong word. After all, spell check can't read your mind and know what you intended to say.

May 01, 2019 10:00 PM #45
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