What to Avoid in Copywriting

People are just too busy to read or listen to a lot of ad copy. In order for you to come up with effective copy, you need to get to the point–fast–using words people are likely to respond to. That means every piece of copy used in your advertising and marketing materials should be there for a specific reason. Each word and sentence must work together to create a path for consumers to follow and lead to a way to take action.

Don’t ever risk losing a consumer’s attention with copy that drags on with extraneous information. Rather, focus on action-oriented messages that convey the benefits and features which make your product, service or brand stand out. Too much text leads to visual and audio clutter in consumers’ minds, which increases the possibility that they will forget your most important messages.

Below are three ways to avoid the copywriting text trap:

a. No filler words allowed.
Extraneous words should be deleted from your copy. Words like that, really and very don’t enhance a message. Instead, filler words slow down the pace at which your busy audience can read or listen to your copy. A slower pace equates to a lower percentage of consumers who will stick around to read or hear your entire message. Keep them interested and make it easy for them to get to the next key message by omitting filler words.

b. Set aside your thesaurus.
While it might be tempting to fill your copy with gigantic, exaggerated words which impress few people other than your high school English teacher–and probably not even her. It’s the messages in your copy that matter, not your ability to use a thesaurus. Big words slow your audience down, meaning fewer people will actually get your message. The tone of your copy should match your audience, and you should write for your audience, not your report card.

c. Do no use buzz words or jargon on your copy.
While jargon and buzz words work in some B2B copy and technical marketing pieces, compelling copy doesn’t showcase your ability to use the latest buzz words. Your audience is unlikely to respond to marketing messages teeming with words like grassroots, methodology and paradigm. Speak to them in a tone that meets their expectations and remove jargon that does little more than bore your audience.

The main point is to keep your copy simple. You don’t want your audience to say, “Hurry up and get to the point.” If there’s too much information to absorb, consumers will lose interest.

Gene Dmitri

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