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Test-Drive Your Copy Before You Crash

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You’ve just written a world-changing promotion. Time to mop the blood off your keyboard, and send your grand opus to your graphics person.

But wait! Wouldn’t a second opinion be useful?

Maybe, you think, but there’s no time. It’s 2 a.m. and this has to be ready at six. If you drag somebody out of bed and ask them what they think of your copy, you know what kind of opinion they’ll give you.

But when you can’t get a reading from somebody who loves you, works for you, or owes you money, you’ve still got a good option. Read the piece out loud.

You’ll probably find you’re a better listener than you think. Especially when you’re listening to yourself.

I find typos and grammar problems that the spell-checker missed. I dig out dead words and phrases that don’t seem to carry their weight. I may even get an idea that takes the copy in a new direction that will work a lot better, if I can stay awake long enough.

The best sales copy is conversational. That’s why one of the easiest tests is to read it out loud. I do this with all my copy. Try it, and you’ll be surprised how often you’ll find something that doesn’t sound right.

Ask me some time why some words just don’t sound right. And also why they mind not look right. Or if you’ve ever had a marketing piece that didn’t feel right, I can tell you why this happens. And how to turn it into a powerful marketing advantage.

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To get ahead in business, you have to stand out from the competition. You have to do something different.
You have to be bold.

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