Have you ever read something and had to stare at it for a second to figure out what the hell they're talking about?
Well, that is exactly what just happened to me when I got an email from Mac Mall. Their headline reads, "iPod Price Drop Up to $54 on New Closeout Models."
Initially, you would wonder how something can "drop UP," but wait there's more. They have "new closeout models" as well. They are dropping up new old models, but only if you act now later.
How does something like this slip through the cracks of an otherwise reputable company? One of two things happened, and could be happening in your company.
1. Damn lawyers got final copy edits (not likely for something this trivial).
2. Some copy pup tried to take a dry factual statement and "punch it up" with "magic advertising words." Yes, now that is very likely.
Said more simply, lazy, lazy, lazy...
You cannot take the headline: "iPods priced as low as $54 on closeout models" (which is factually and logically sound) and simply tweak to include "buzz phrases" such as "price drops," and "new."
There is no magic copy fairy dust that you can sprinkly on your headlines to "make them 'work' more effectively."
However, if you do nothing else, do this: Read everything you write out loud before you click send. I promise you that your writing skills will 'drop up to 25% in a quick slow amount of time.'