1.  Copy is there to sell.  The best reads as if you were there in person, talking with the customer.

2.  That means using simple, believable words.

3.  And it means putting those words in the right order. Selling is a sequential process so first you must grab the reader's attention. Then start to get them interested. Next lead them to really, really want it. Only then do you ask for the sale.  (This process is often known as the AIDA model - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).

4.  Words that sell include You, Free, New, Best, Now, Hurry. The most powerful of all of these is free. Avoid sentences that start 'We love...'  and overhyped words like fanastic, magical. and  fabulous - especially when accompanied by a fantastic, magical exclamation mark!

5. Poor copy talks about the features of the product or service. (For example:  'Our Biggest Ever Range' is a feature). Good copy talks about what the product or service can do for the customer.  (For example, 'Your Best Ever Choice' is a benefit).  

6. Adopt an active tone of voice, rather than a passive one.  "You will receive" is better than "This can be ordered". Start sentences with an active word like Get, Discover, Relieve, Rush, Breeze in, Take, Enjoy, Fly, Forget, rather than 'This product...."

7. Planning is key.  Know everything you can about the product or service. Understand the potential customer - who they are, how they spend their time, what they do in their spare time, what makes them tick. Imagine their objections so that you can plan your copy to overcome them. Only then is it possible to find the most motivating benefit, and put it across in a compelling way. 

8.  Good copy has a clear purpose. Why is this piece of copy being written?  What should it achieve?  What should the reader think, feel and do?  

9. The best copy reads as if was written for a single person, not an anonymous, amorphous group known as 'the target audience'.

10.  What's the best way to judge really good copy?  There is only one true test.  Does it sell?

Find out more about writing copy that sells - buy Flicks & Clicks: How to create websites and catalogues that sell more