What Is Copy in Marketing? (And Mistakes to Avoid)

Lauren Oliver


November 8, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

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Effective marketing requires a lot of different pieces. Whether you’re trying to find the best advertising space or you’re attempting to perfect your email marketing campaign, there’s a lot that goes into telling people about the products and services you sell. But at the heart of every marketing campaign is the written copy. Without good, well-written copy, your marketing campaign wouldn’t be nearly as effective as you think. In this article, we discuss:

What Is Copy In Marketing?

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Copy in marketing refers to written information that businesses use to inform, entertain, or entice their audience. Essentially, it’s any written text that a company uses to bring people to its store, website, or brand. Companies often create copy using professional copywriters who know how to engage with an audience and elicit an emotional response from them.

Unlike content writing, which helps to build a relationship with an audience over time, copywriting tries to get the reader to take action right away. This might include making a purchase, downloading a piece of content, or signing up for a newsletter.

What Makes Good Marketing Copy?

There are a few things that every piece of marketing copy needs to have in order to be successful, including:

  • Readability: You want your readers to understand everything you’re telling them. Whether you’re communicating the benefits of a product or you’re trying to explain how something works, using confusing, jargon-filled language won’t help your audience understand it.
  • Personality: What kind of tone or voice does your brand have? You want to show some kind of personality when creating copy. This helps your audience connect with your brand more easily and understand why they should buy your products or services.
  • Emotion: The main thing you want your copy to do is to create an emotional response from your readers. Give them a fear of missing out if they don’t sign up or make a purchase right away. Offer them a limited-time discount. Make them feel seen or heard by listing the benefits of your product.
  • Calls to Action: Calls To Action are exactly how they sound: an invitation for your readers to do something. It helps them know exactly what they’re supposed to do and how they can interact with your company further. Do you want them to download something? Purchase something? Sign up for something? Tell them and show them exactly how to do it.

Read more: Calls To Action: What Are They and Why Do You Need Them?

Types of Copy with Examples

Here are a few types of copy you might use for your marketing endeavors and examples to help you understand:

Product Descriptions

When selling something through an e-commerce store, product descriptions are the most effective way to finalize a sale. Copywriters use product descriptions to quickly relay information to a reader, teach them the benefits of the product, and get them to act on making the purchase. And this all has to happen in a short amount of text. If you create a product description that’s too lengthy and bulky, no one’s going to spend the time to read it. Instead, you want to write a small paragraph that quickly encapsulates all of the above points.


Advertisements are a great way to generate interest in your products or services by placing them on search engines, social media, and other websites. They, like product descriptions, also need to be short, sweet, and to the point. That’s because ads don’t often have room for a lot of written text. With such a limited space, copywriters need to create something that immediately grabs the reader’s attention and convinces them to click.

Website Copy

Quality website copy helps businesses create landing pages for their marketing campaign. The company’s audience navigates to these pages from advertisements and content to hopefully finalize a sale or purchase. It’s basically the last push to get someone to make a purchase. In order to do that, the company needs to create effective copy that grabs the reader’s attention and clearly communicates what the company is about and how it can help them. The reader should immediately understand everything the company accomplishes and what products or services they offer.

Television and Audio Scripts

Whenever you watch a video advertisement or have your podcast interrupted by someone talking about a business or product, that’s all thanks to marketing copy. Copywriters take the time to carefully craft those scripts so that they attract listeners or viewers to the company’s website. Because these ads don’t have easily clickable calls to action, they often rely on promos or discount codes to encourage people to make a purchase or buy something.

But they also need effective copywriting to get them through the door. That includes explaining the company, its products, and their benefits, and why someone should bother taking the time to visit their website. And much like product descriptions, these ads only have a limited amount of time to make the message clear.

Mistakes People Make When Writing Copy in Marketing

Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when writing marketing copy:

Writing for Content

Believe it or not, content writing and copywriting isn’t the same thing. Copywriting tries to get people to perform an action right away. Content writing works to build a relationship with people by providing them with helpful or entertaining information. Because of that, content writing is much more of a long-term marketing strategy compared to copywriting. Now, of course, there’s a little overlap because you still want to include calls to action and other copywriting tactics in your blogs and articles when it makes sense to.

But sometimes businesses use too much copywriting in their content. Essentially, that means they make their content too much like a sales pitch. People read content because they want information, not to hear about your products and services. On the other hand, sometimes businesses put too much fluff in their copywriting. They try to connect with their audience first and be helpful, but those tactics don’t really work when you’re trying to get your audience to do something right away. It’s important to know which writing style you need for the content or copy you create, and how to use both effectively.

Read more: Copywriting vs. Content Writing: What’s The Difference?

Misunderstanding Target Audience

One of the most important things copywriters can do is understand the target audience. Ensure copywriters understand the target audience, the tone of your content, and your brand voice. Does your audience prefer professionalism? Or maybe they like humor in their ads.

Without knowing your target audience, you’re basically trying to hit a target blindly. When you know what they like and where they consume content, you can make more informed decisions about the type of copy you want writers to create for your brand. This helps improve the effectiveness of your overall campaign and makes the copy in marketing much more powerful.

Forgetting About Benefits

When you write copy for your marketing campaign, it’s crucial to focus on the benefits to your reader. Some businesses get stuck on talking about the features of their products or services and forget to mention exactly how their goods improve the lives of their customers. Focusing on the benefits of what you offer can help people understand how your products or services can help them and why they should make a purchase. In fact, a lot of readers like to know you understand their problems and challenges.

For example, let’s say you’re selling Bluetooth speakers. One of the problems your customers might have with their current speakers is a poor Bluetooth connection that lowers their listening experience. In your copy, you can talk about how frustrating that issue is and then mention how you built your speakers to eliminate any bad connection issues. This shows that you understand your audience and that you know how these speakers can benefit them.

Too Much Fancy Writing

Ensuring your content and copy are readable is very helpful for your marketing campaign because it can help you reach a wider audience. If you use too much jargon in your copy, it can turn some of your readers away. Readability also plays a role, with many audiences turning away from content that comes across as too academic.

To keep content readable and approachable, try using shorter sentences and words that are more understandable to a wider audience. You can also use tools like the Hemingway App to check the reading level of your writing. This tool scans your content and points out sentences that might be too complex for a general audience. You can then make adjustments until the copy is at the level your target audience expects.

Read more: Why Is High-Quality Content Important?

Not Following a Style Guide

A style guide is a document that tells writers how to create content for your brand’s tone and style. This outline includes things like content format, word use, tone, image use, and linking best practices. Failing to give your copywriters a style guide to refer to can lead to inconsistency in content. Readers appreciate knowing what to expect from the content they read. If every page from your website is written differently, it can decrease their satisfaction and trust in your company.

Creating and providing copywriters with a brand style guide will ensure content remains consistent in style and tone. And as your brand grows, your style guide should also grow. Use it as a foundation to build on when making adjustments to your strategy so copywriting is consistent across all your brand channels.

Improve Content and Copy in Your Marketing Strategy

CopyPress understands content marketing and the challenges of planning a successful strategy. That’s why we use in-depth content marketing analysis to guide planning and distribution. With a gap analysis, you’ll find out where your content and copy are falling short, and where you should be targeting these efforts.

Author Image - Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver

Content Manager at CopyPress

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