Use this checklist as a quality-control tool. It will help you review your copy and identify ways to make it more effective.
Will the headline gain the reader's attention? (The average prospect sees dozens of headlines each day. Will yours stand out?)
Is the copy focused primarily on the prospect? (His or her problems, needs, and desires.)
Is the copy really persuasive or merely descriptive?
Is there a clear connection made between each feature and benefit?
Are the advantages of the product highlighted? (An advantage is something that the competition either doesn't do or can't do as well.)
Are the benefits brought to life? (Using examples, stories, scenarios, and other word pictures.)
Are all the benefits jumping off the page, or are some hard to find within the body copy?
In a longer piece, are the main features and benefits summarized at the end?
Are all claims proven, or at least supported with specific evidence? (Using testimonials, reviews, statistics, success stories, and research.)
Has the risk of buying the product being reduced? (Is there a guarantee? A demo? A trial version?)
Has the price been put in perspective? (Will a prospect understand why an expensive product is worth every penny?)
Is there a call to action? (Will a prospect know what to do next?)
Is the offer compelling enough to motivate the customer to buy?
Does the copy differentiate the product from the competition? (Will the product stand out in a crowd of look-alikes?)
Are there any mistakes or typos? (Did you check for the obvious, such as correct addresses, phone numbers, full product names and part numbers, and Web site URLs?)
Are there any clichés?
Does the copy primarily use an active voice? (Don't say: “Fuel consumption was reduced through the addition of a catalyst.” Do say: “Adding a catalyst reduced fuel consumption.”)
If appropriate for the piece, is the tone friendly, authoritative, and conversational?
Is the copy highly scannable? (Make sure there are plenty of bullets, subheads, captions, sidebars, and emphasized words and phrases.)
Are there any overly long sentences or paragraphs?
How does the copy sound when you read it out loud? Do any sections seem confusing or awkward? (The copy should sound as good as it reads.)
Are all the facts accurate?
Are all acronyms defined at least once in the copy? (Do this, even if you think a prospect will know the acronym.)
Is the writing style consistent throughout?
Are there any extraneous words or sentences that can be cut without damaging the effectiveness of the copy? (Make the copy as concise as possible.)
Is there any missing information? (Is there anything a prospect needs to know to make a buying decision that is not covered in the copy?)
Is everything clearly explained? Will the prospect understand what the product or service is, how it works, and why he or she should buy it?
Has a sense of urgency been created? (Why should the prospect act now?)
Would the prospect look forward to receiving similar promotions from you in the future?