Making sure your copy doesn't suck

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Once you've sweated over making your copy as strong and compelling as possible, there's a few things you should do next.

Do these two things before you even think of sending it over to your client or boss...or testing it in a promo.

#1: Take a 24-hour break (or more) from it.

Never make the mistake of cranking out your copy draft all day long into evening, then at 11:45pm hitting "send".

That may have worked out okay back in school when you pulled those all-nighters. But it's something you must avoid as a copywriter.

You'll be amazed how much 8 hours of shuteye plus a steamin' cup of joe the next morning can help you view your copy draft, however "perfect" it may be, with fresh eyes. And how many ways you'll likely find to strengthen and improve it.

If you have the time, repeat this process as many times as necessary before you put a fork in your copy and say "done".

Generally if I find I've made several changes after giving my copy "fresh eyes", I'll put it aside for another day and look at it again the next morning. Until I'm making zero (or only minor) changes, I don't consider it done.

But wait. There's one more step you'll want to take before you put that baby to bed...

#2: Use checklists to evaluate the strength of your copy.

You'll want to refer to your copy of "The Ultimate A-List Copywriter's Promo Checklist" that you got when you signed up on my list (or that I shared late last year with you).

While developing your copy, hopefully you've referred to the start kit, research, strength of promo, and editing checklists I've included. Now you're ready for that fifth checklist that's in there: The Ultimate Final Promo checklist. Here it is...

[  ] Have you put the copy aside for at least 24 hours since working on it last, so you are looking at it with “fresh eyes”? [  ] After writing it—and then again after seeing it designed—does the main headline, email subject line, and/or front cover make you STOP and pay attention?     

[  ] When you read through it, does it make you want to buy the product? When you give it to someone else to read, does it make them want to buy the product? [  ] Doe the “big promise” you’re making seem believable? Have you offered enough proof? [  ] Is there a sense of urgency and/or scarcity? Are there reasons and/or incentives for the prospect to act now? [  ] Does the tone or voice of the copy sound likeable? Authoritative?   [  ] Does the copy breathe enthusiasm? Excitement? Conviction? Like you really believe it yourself? [  ] Is your offer crystal-clear as presented and the next step to take clearly explained? [  ] Has no stone been left unturned in order to get the hardest-to-sell prospect to act?

Even if you think your copy has reached the ultimate point of perfection, this checklist can help make it even stronger before it goes out the door.

I've based this final promo checklist and all the other checklists I've shared with you on the ones I've used and developed myself, and also on ones that other top copywriters have shared with me...including one of the most talented of all time, the late Clayton Makepeace.

I mentioned earlier the opportunity to contribute to a cause that's near and dear to Clayton and his wife Wendy (a.k.a. "the Redhead)'s hearts. In case you missed it, I'm sharing it again. It's a fundraiser that supports the staff of their favorite local restaurant they loved to frequent. So many of their employees are struggling in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, and Wendy says it's helping her a lot to help others right now. If you are so moved to make any donation of at least $5, you'll get your own copy of Clayton's famous Copywriting Checklist. It's an amazing reference tool--a full two pages that crams in as much valuable resources as a 20-page document. I made a contribution as soon as I heard about this great cause and got my own copy of it. It's much more than a checklist. It gives you a 20-point starter outline...40 headline idea starters...a16-point headline evaluator...a 12-step offer checklist...and more. Simply make as big of a donation as you can (minimum of $5) at the link below. Then forward your receipt to me at and you'll get your own copy. It's a great way to honor Clayton, and to help Wendy get through this tragic loss she's dealing with in the midst of an already extraordinarily difficult time.

Yours for smarter marketing,


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