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Why your copy doesn’t work reason #1: it’s selfish

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Copy that is written without the reader in mind is often written selfishly. And selfish copy kills response.

But what do we mean by selfish? Well, for more than 90% of the marketing and advertising we review, it is written from the POV of the brand and not the prospect. Leading with what the brand cares about – its product or service – and not what the reader does.

Packing in as many facts as possible. Telling, shouting at anyone who can be bothered all the necessary information the brand thinks is relevant. Stuff like, who the brand is, what they do, why they do it, how long they've been doing it, how good they are at it, etc.

One superlative after another, hoping something will stick. Here's the thing: copy written this way has zero chance of sticking.

The fact is, your prospects couldn't care less.

And you can almost guarantee that what you think is very important and worthy of inclusion doesn't matter much to your prospect.

The prospect only cares about one thing: themselves.

So, the theory is quite simple, you must show your prospects that you care more about what matters to them than they do. This is how you grow your sales.

And how do you show them this? You start by writing unselfish copy – performance copy.

You show them that you are of use in no uncertain terms because you exist for them. You, like them, have experienced their problem and know their pain. And that you have created something to manage, eradicate, or solve their situation and ultimately improve their lives.

That means:

  • The headline should be about what the prospect wishes or wants to achieve.

  • The sub should speak directly to their hopes, fears, aspirations, and desires.

  • The body needs to be packed with benefits that back up your claims.

  • The incentive should be something specific that motivates them to do something now.

Try applying the above to your latest campaign. Are you being unconsciously selfish with your copy? If you think you might be, why not send us an example? Our team will run a free performance diagnostic report. Email:

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