If you’re writing copy that feels wooden, prim or overly formal, you’re creating an unnecessary distance between you and your reader.
And that’s a shame.
Because your reader wants to get to know you — and find out whether they should trust you — before they start buying your product or service.
Language that feels dull and lifeless can make you feel intimidating.
Natural language can close that distance and make you seem genuine and approachable.
Especially in traditionally dry industries like finance.
So let’s get to it — it’s out with the strict and stuffy, and in with the warm and fuzzy.
Phrases to ditch:
● In respect of
● I hereby
● In the interim
● In reference to
● Regarding the undernoted
Be aware of your inner headmaster. Does it sound as if Mr Bronson is writing to your parents?
If so, re-write to make him sound like Mr Beckham, the one who never marked your homework and let you watch TV.
● It was brought to my attention that → I noticed that
● For those who attended last year’s event → If you attended last year
● We have allowed for → There’ll be
We all know attention spans are not what they once were, so use short and simple words to help your reader get to the point:
● Require →Need
● Sufficient → Enough
● Assistance →Help
● Per annum →Year
● Imminently →Soon
● Discuss →Talk
● Correspondence →Letters/emails
The one thing to remember is who your audience are: It’s always one person you’re talking to, and one person who’s wading through a lot of other information at the same time.
So even if you’re not sure that friendliness suits your brand, simplicity is still key:
● Use short, uncomplicated sentences
● Create a feeling of partnership by using ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘you’
● Avoid tentative words like ‘may be’ ‘could’ and ‘possibly’
● Use the active voice rather than passive
This keeps your audience with you rather than feeling as if you’re a distant, formal entity they have no relationship with.
By incorporating these points into your copy you’ll come across as someone who’s warm, friendly, trustworthy, and enjoyable to do business with. Your clients will come back to you again and again, and recommend you to their friends.
A++ and a double free if you can incorporate this into your copy before break time.
Photo by Gaelle Marcel