Good, persuasive writing is clear and simple. It avoids wordiness that makes it hard to grasp the meaning quickly.
The beautiful literary writing we all learned in school spoils us when it's time to write for marketing. There's a place for that kind of writing. However it can make your marketing materials sound too academic and emotionally unappealing.
Often there's a tendency to use more words or bigger words than necessary because we think it sounds professional. But potential clients are not going to take the time to figure out exactly what you mean or boil your words down to their essence. It's up to you to present them with clear ideas in words that are easy to follow.
Most of us use simple language in conversation. I always advocate writing in a very conversational tone, so that your potential clients feel that you're chatting with them.
Below I give you examples of words and phrases that make writing sound bloated or pompous: they take away from the clean, clear, conversational tone that marks effective marketing materials.
Examples of words that can be simpler
Replace 'utiliize' with 'use'
Replace 'endeavor' with 'try'
Replace 'finalize' with 'finish'
Replace 'impact' with 'affect'
Replace 'inoperative' with 'doesn't work'
Replace 'interface' with 'meet with' or 'work with'
Replace 'terminated' with 'finished'
Examples of wordy phrases that can be shortened
It's easy to throw in words that don't add anything to the your meaning. Kill them!
Replace 'at first glance' with 'at first'
Replace 'simple and easy to use' with 'easy to use'
Replace 'on an annual basis' with 'yearly'
Replace 'your own home' with 'your home'
Replace 'in the month of June' with 'in June'
Replace 'it has come to my attention' with 'I heard'
Replace 'at the present time' with 'now'
Replace 'in spite of the fact that' with 'although'
Replace 'in the event of' with 'if'
When you review your materials for flow and language, look out for words and phrases that sneak in and may sound impressive, but prevent your audience from getting your message quickly and succinctly.
With a bit of thought it's not that difficult to come up with terms that will be more quickly understood by your audience - and more appealing too.
Copyright 2011 Maggie Dennison. All rights reserved.