Recently I read a famous fiction author’s advice on writing. He said writing should be invisible, so that the characters and actions shine through. Simple writing, he said, is best.
The same advice applies even more strongly to marketing writing. Your goal in marketing writing is not to impress people with your vocabulary and the cleverness of your sentence structure. Your goal is to communicate a marketing message. Five syllable words, the most recent jargon (proactive, state-of-the-art), and complicated sentence structures merely get in the way; customers may admire your cleverness but do they remember your product or service?
Take these examples:
- From a brochure: “The multiplicity of chemical elements in nature has given rise to an absolutely inexhaustible wealth of forms, phenomena and possibilities.” When write-like-you-talk is the rule, the message is easy to understand: “Nature has given us a wealth of chemical elements and a wealth of possibilities for combining and using them.”
- From a flyer: “Only a carefully prepared specification of the entire project that is tailored to the effective requirements of the user can form a basis for an optimum solution.” Here’s the write-like-you-talk version: “We understand your requirements, and we tailor our solutions to your specific needs.”
- From an advertisement: “We offer a broad portfolio of compatible knowledge components.” It took a while to puzzle this one out but the author meant that “Our different software components link together to form the exact solution each customer is looking for.”
Technical companies aren’t the only ones who fall into the mistake of using complicated language and sentence structures in order to impress. If you truly want to impress customers, make it easy for them to understand the value in your products and services. Write like you talk.
At TWP Marketing & Technical Communications, we’ve proven that clear and accurate language sells in websites, articles, newsletters, blog posts and technical documents. Contact us today.