Your words are always important--but in copywriting for business they also need to be succinct. Use these three tips to make your copy more readable and impactful.
Get rid of the adverbs.
Stephen King famously said, “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” While that’s certainly an overstatement--he is correct that they can be used as a crutch. Example,
“I walked purposefully across the room.”
It’s fine--but your brain processes “walked” first and then it needs to go back and process the action again because you’ve thrown in the adverb “purposefully.” The sentence is only six words long and you’re already asking your customer’s brain to process too much. Instead try choosing a better word for what you want to say.
“I strode across the room.”
Spot and eliminate passive voice.
Passive voice occurs when the subject receives the action of a verb. There are situations where this is appropriate, but they are rare when copywriting for a business. Active voice is more direct. A StoryBrand colleague of mine once said that she used the word “zombies” to decide if something was in passive voice.
Brains are adored by zombies.
Zombies adore bananas.
When I read a paragraph and the writer has used the same word two, three--even four times--it takes me right out of the message. In that moment I am no longer thinking about the content. I’m thinking, “Have you ever used a thesaurus?”
This is a thing you do not want people thinking when reading about your product or service.
Potty training your child? Feeling overwhelmed? As parents ourselves we understand that potty training can be overwhelming. That’s why we created the Magic Potty! With Magic Potty your child will go from diapers to being fully potty trained in just three days or your money back!
There are five sentences in that example. Can you spot the problems? The word “potty” is used five times. And the word overwhelmed/overwhelming is used twice in back-to-back sentences. Instead, what about something like. . .
Potty training got you down? As parents to three adorable children we understand that it can be overwhelming. That’s why we created the Magic Potty. We guarantee that your child will go from diapers to potty trained in three days or your money back.
There you have it. Three ways to make sure people stick with your message.
And if you still don’t feel confident in your copywriting skills--we’ve got you covered. Contact us today.
Amy Mertz is our Creative Director, StoryBrand Certified Guide, and copy writer. When not in the office you can find her chasing down her toddler, searching the land for great coffee, or espousing the current books on her nightstand.