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Monday, Mar. 9, 2009 at 5:29 am

How Persuasive is Your Online Copywriting? Quiz

By Bryan Eisenberg
March 9th, 2009

Thanks to our friends at Contentwidgets, we developed this little quiz to see how persuasive your copywriting is. Please note, when there is more than one response possible you will see checkboxes in the quiz not radio buttons in front of the answers. Please take a try at the quiz and leave your score in the comments below.

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Comments (82)

  1. Thanks for this – Quiz is an interesting tool. But it could be better with:
    - Statement that there may be more than one correct answer for each question
    - Way to back up and retake the quiz – increases the learning potential.

    Mike Johansson
    Fixitology LLC

  2. Loved the quiz as far as content … learned a couple of things, reinforced others. However, my score of “4 out of 10″ does not accurately reflect my response, as several questions had multiple answers, but I was only able to access one answer button at a time, and “all of the above” or responses such as “b and c” were not offered as choices. Fix that glitch and you’ve really got something here. I appreciate your efforts in providing content such as this … from which I can tweak my skills a little bit more. Thanks, guys.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. This is new technology ContentWidegets is rolling out, so this help both of us learn how to make it better.

  4. I do believe a webpage can convert and I really don’t care if Jared Spool disagrees.

  5. @ Kare – A web page doesn’t convert, a person does. A page either has the content they want which helps convert or links them to a page that does have the content they want. Please read about Jared Spool’s Lincoln study here:

  6. “Uncle, Uncle!” You win! Creative test and transfer’s confidence that you know your sh**. Of course I was pissed that you didn’t tell me to choose more then one answer. Surprised Broca and gave me 1 more reason to consider/budget for OnTarget. Home Run. (now I gotta check out Contentwidgets)

  7. @Jeffrey – If a book can convert – so can a web page. And many people have changed their lives from reading a book.

    The Lincoln study is interesting, but I could find anything on conversion.

    I would like to point out that by just studying the links, you could end up sub-optimizing and attributing “confidence” to the links when it could be the overall design that installs this confidence.

    Disclaimer: I don’t know the study that intimately, but I do know that it is difficult to tell the forest from the trees sometimes…

  8. I missed a “not” between “could” and “find”. Please forgive me – I’m Norwegian.. ;)

  9. @Kare – you are missing the point.

    The page must be relevant before it can convert. The reader must have confidence that comes from that relevance. The Lincoln study is about the perception of relevance. I urge you not to dismiss this nuance. I see the forest, the entire forest, and you seem to be focused on a smaller section of the forest.

  10. A great quiz, focuses your mind on the key copywriting points.

  11. @Jeffrey Are you saying that a relevant web page can convert?

    Then we agree. A web page can convert.

    And I would think that even if it was not perceived relevant when you got to the page, good copy can make it relevant.

    But you would of course be very lucky to be given a chance.

    I wasn’t talking about you when I mentioned the forest – I just know that sometimes we dig ourselves so deep into the analysis, that we lose sight of the overall picture..

    Sorry if I’m boring you with my argument – I just hate to get quizzes wrong!

  12. Nice quiz! I got 7 out of 10, but felt a little cheated when I got something “wrong” that was really “partly right” because I didn’t select ALL the answers that might apply. You might want to add a “Select all that apply” instruction to those types of questions.

    Also, it would be good to lead the user to a summary of the take-away points at the end to aid in remembering and using the tips you provided.

  13. Kare,

    The quiz was initially created to correspond with instructional material – material that contains a Jared Spool quote which specifically makes the point that Websites can only contain the content the visitor wants or links to content the visitor wants. From that context, the question would undoubtedly seem a lot more straightforward (or so I hope).

    But I’d urge you to reconsider the distinction that Jeffrey suggested to you: to say that a webpage or website converts is to use a metaphorical shorthand which means something akin to “this web page contains messaging that persuades its visitors to convert.” The problem is that too many of us take the phrase literally rather than metaphorically.

    Pages don’t convert; people convert. And online, people are task oriented. They arrive at Websites with a goal in mind and they either instantly see that this page will allow them to accomplish that goal, or they see that the page will help lead them to that goal. If they see neither the content nor the links, then they leave.

    By emphasizing this point so starkly, it helps to drive home the importance of Scent and Relevance – two factors that Web copywriters should always keep foremost in their minds.

    - Jeff

  14. I have to say: I struggled through the quiz. And part of it was simply the layout. I couldn’t get myself to concentrate at all.

    Admittedly it’s still 4-something am here in Auckland, but I still struggled. Part of the problem was the way each question ran into two lines of text. The other issue was asking me to choose two things that were important. And then of course the trick questions. If trick questions are going to be set up, then the client needs to know that in advance.

    I know that this isn’t some major ‘life or death’ quiz, but it does give you an insight into the lack of comfort, because of small things.

  15. I noticed Mike Johnson made similar comments above.

  16. Thanks for the quiz. I scored 7 of out 10, and appreciated the learning opportunity for the questions I missed. You guys are a great resource!

  17. [...] Ahem, the quiz. Try it out for yourself.  [...]

  18. Thank goodness it’s not life or death or I’d be dead! Good quiz for brain fodder – I, too, would protest the “trick” questions because I hate getting low scores on anything. I got 5 right.

  19. Nice quiz, Bryan. Admittedly, I think I learned from the comments before taking it, but I got 8/10. The focus on the customer-side of the equation (i.e., the most important bit in copywriting) makes lots of sense.

  20. Thanks for this – I learned a lot and reinforced some things that had been guesses for me. Got 7 out of 10. Very useful!

  21. I have to agree with Bob Massey, about the survey not working.There seemed to be too many inconsistencies in how it operated. And in some cases the answer comments bore no relation to the answer I actually gave.

    After the first couple of questions I gave up taking it seriously and resorted to trying to out guess what the survey designers wanted.

    In other words my trust in the survey had been destroyed, and I gave the questions and results no credibility.

    Whether or not this is not actually true, it was certainly the impression I was left with after just a few questions.

  22. Good lessons as always and some nice lunch time entertainment.

  23. [...] Quiz Found this copyrighting quiz at GrokDotCom. It’s not an easy quiz, but it does touch on some good points and is worth taking. [...]

  24. 6 out of 10. On my way! Thanks to the Eisenberg’s. Never even thought about any of this until I read “Call to Action!”

  25. I agree with You, Mike – quiz should have the “back” button to check again the questions.

  26. @Jeff: I don’t know. I get your point, but … when I’m browsing through Amazon – with no other goal than to pass the time – I get converted to buy stuff all the time.

    “People who bought x also bought Y” And if the book or cd Y is something I’ve been interested in – it triggers a purchase.Is that not a literal conversion?

    But let’s leave it there.

    The far more interesting topic is how to convey the flesh and blood og your company through text. People buy from people, and in my opinion the biggest thing missing from most websites is copy that makes you feel that it’s written by real people.

    They usually get all the sales techniques right and sometimes the triggerwords, but that little piece that says “we’re real people” is missing.

    Sidenote: With the rise of social media and more and more websites incorporating this – the “users are task oriented” -thinking is less effective IMO. They are there for the interaction, for hanging around. So it’s less about getting things done and more about shifting their emotions to go from being a visitor to being a contributor. From being a customer to becoming an advocate. Maybe we can break that down to tasks, and actually I think we should, but it needs to be done in a more subtle way than before.

  27. Thanks for all the feedback. This is new technology is rolling out and this will help make it better.

    One thing is you can’t have a back button because this is designed to be a “test” and if you had a back button you could go back and change your score. I do like Ann’s suggestion of having a summary at the end – maybe even taking you to another web page to get it so it would be easier to read.

  28. I think it would be helpful if y’all would define your terms. How can I know what makes “early-stage content” important if I don’t know what you mean by “early-stage content”? (This may be a widely recognized industry term, but it’s new to me!) Same goes for the “bottom-line” example: What do you mean by “bottom line”? The most important stuff, the USP? Or the nuts-and-bolts stuff prospects must know before they can complete the sale (e.g., price)? “Bottom line” is such an elastic, abused term; it could mean anything.

    Several times, while taking the test, when I was told I was wrong, I felt like responding, “Well, if y’all had explained what you *meant* by X, Y, or Z, I would have had a better shot at figuring out the answer.” I really felt, at a couple of points, as if I was shooting in the dark — trying to hazard a guess at the answer without having a clear idea what the question even *meant.* This may mean I’m just dumb, but it could also mean the quiz is poorly worded, with too many undefined buzzwords that could mean just about anything. ;-)

    Hope this helps.

    Overall, I thought it was a fruitful exercise, though. It just needs a clarification of terms here and there.

    My two cents’ worth….

  29. Thanks for the quiz. I agree with Ann about having a summary. It was great to get the correct answers right away after answering the question, but it would have been nice to look back at the end.

  30. Diane,

    You’re right! And thanks for the bringing that home to us. We don’t define a lot of the terms used in the quiz. Part of this can and will be fixed, but part of this is due to the initial use-considerations of the quiz.

    As Bryan and I have said, in previous comments, the quiz was initially written as a post-instruction, “how-much-did-you-absorb” assessment. So it was planned that some of those terms and concepts would have been previously explained and that knowing them would have indeed been part of the quiz. We only threw the quiz up on the Grok because:

    1) We thought it would be fun and that y’all might enjoy it
    2) We thought your feedback would prove helpful.

    As the comments have made clear, we were sort of right on #1 and more right than we could have guessed on #2. So thanks again for helping us out on that last one.

    - Jeff

  31. 80%… miffed that I lost a point to the question formatting, as others have noted above. Good test. Just needs some testee-friendly tweaking.

  32. Great little quiz Bryan and the two questions I missed were due to terminology differences and my lack of trust in your “43% of web users don’t know what FAQ means” survey stat. I have never seen that data so didn’t trust it. Great little test – I would like to see one angled towards successful lead gen/scoring/nurturing.

  33. I should have read Herb’s comment above before taking the test, then I could have scored on that question (got it 75% right). Like Diane, I was also thrown off by the “bottom line” question. I agree that a summary would be nice too since the ones I missed were mostly a matter of wording or interpretation. It was still useful though for covering copywriting rules.

  34. Great test. I was surprised I didn’t score better, but the mistakes did make me think. I agree a summary would be great.

  35. 5 out of 10
    The questions don’t jive man. Unsubstantiated means the unsubstantial claims. There is only one substantiated claim in that question. None of them show links and the one should link to the article of claim. This quiz needs some work.

  36. And since when does clicking an embedded link not take your focus off the main copy? I can’t tell you how many Grok articles I have never finished because of LinkDD.

  37. I scored 2 out of 10. Poor isn’t it. I think will be good after reading this blog regularly :)

  38. 7/10 – my excuse is that I did it quickly & misread some of the questions & answers. I’ve been reading Grok for years now so I *should* have got them all right…

  39. I’m a copywriter and it’s FUN to answer this quiz. It also points out to me what I need to learn, and that’s a powerful draw to get involved with your pursuits. Bottom line: writing is to me what music is to Edgar Winter: it’s in me, of me, and through me.

  40. I got 7 out of 10. Not too bad. Summary of results at the end would be great and some resources to go to for more information as well.

  41. [...] How Persuasive is Your Online Copywriting? [...]

  42. Some of the questions you ask don’t actually have simple right or wrong answers… but, overall, this quiz was/is a great idea. Nice!

    (Oh, I only scored a 6 out of 10… but that’s in part ‘cos I sometimes failed to realize that I was dealing with checkboxes [multiple responses] rather than just radio buttons. A bit of a usability issue there. :) )


  43. Good quiz. In addition to a back button on the answer panes, they should repeat actual answers, because I already forgot what say, C and D were. (i.e. instead of “C and D are both correct”, it should say “C – Unique Value Proposition” and “D- Call To Action” are both correct.)

  44. You lost me on the response to my first answer by citing the work of Jared Spool.

  45. [...] you’re game, here’s the test: How Persuasive Is Your Online Copywriting Quiz. Share and [...]

  46. Bryan,

    Nice quiz. Any chance you could provide a hardcopy? The data was so good that I wanted to look at it again!



  47. [...] is a question posed to me in a recent comment.  As the commenter put it: “… when I’m browsing through Amazon – with no other goal than to [...]

  48. This fails at the first hurdle.

    “What are the only two things a web page can do?”

    A “web page” is a construct/containter not content. This may seem pedantic but given the focus of your survey you need to ask the questions clearly.

    To that end a “web page” cannot “do” anything, the user does things. The content on the page can encourage a user to do something.

    You need to rephrase the question along the lines of

    “A user reading the content on your web page will do only two of the following options;”

    Also, the words “convert” and “qualify” are ambiguous as they have many interpretations.

    All rather silly really.

  49. Cool quiz. I got 6 out of 10.

  50. wow, i score quite poorly on this. I need some practice. =)

  51. What a great quiz.

    Some interesting answers though…

  52. #

    actual answers, because I already forgot what say, C and D were. (i.e. instead of “C and D are both correct”, it should say “C – Unique Value Proposition” and “D- Call To Action” are both correct.)

  53. Thank for this article.

  54. Its sound like interesting….thanks

  55. Interesting. Thank for this article.

  56. I appreciate this very article.

  57. a very good quiz, i thought i would have got more than 6 out of 10, just shows people they might not be as good as they think they are.
    good article though.


  58. wow, i got only 4 out of 10. And those I got correct were due to my reading of this blog, for instanec the Unique Value Proposition etc.

  59. Ugh, I did terrible! Hard quiz.

  60. Online quizzes are so boring anyway … can’t be persuasive.

  61. Great read. I really struggle writing content which is guess why I’m a photographer – pictures are easy words are NOT!

  62. Difficult quiz,
    I got 3 questions out of 10 correct.

  63. Very useful quiz. I barely got it right. Thanks anyway.

  64. For my Eugene DUI site I hired a copywriter for this reason. It’s just so essential to have good copy to convince people that your “product” is solid.

  65. Good lessons as always and some nice lunch time entertainment.

  66. Thank for this article.

  67. Good lessons as always and some nice lunch time entertainment.

  68. Great article! Thanks for sharing this information.

  69. Good lessons as always and some nice lunch time entertainment.

  70. your articles are brilliant and informative, thanks a ton.

  71. this is really great news!

  72. very profiting material :)

  73. Thank for this article.

  74. Thats the cool’s themes i have see in a long time.
    Very nice

  75. I will have to anwser this quiz. later

  76. Good quiz. It doesn’t just test knowledge, but it also provides information. Thanks.

  77. A great quiz, focuses your mind on the key copywriting points.
    บ้านมือสอง | หอพัก

  78. this is really great news! [Business & Finance]

  79. Ouch, 5/10. Better study up…

  80. It’s a great test. I was surprised I didn’t score better, but the mistakes did make me think. I agree a summary would be great.

  81. Thanks for this. I’m preparing for a job interview as an Online Copy Editor – my career so far has been more generalist communications. It was good to do this quiz because, A) It gave me confidence in my current knowledge, and, B) I learnt some new things.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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