Less is more

Less is more – especially when it comes to marketing copy. Obvious, you may say, and so it should be. Yet we keep reading copy that tries to bludgeon its readers into submission by cramming lots of important-sounding words and intensifying adjectives into a single sentence or paragraph.

An example I have used for many years came from a management training company, which introduced a new programme with the following sentence:

“The information that follows will provide an in-depth look at its process and content.”

The sole purpose of this sentence was to persuade the reader to read on and find out about the programme. It could simply have said:

“Here’s how it works.”

Then the reader might have read on with a light heart, not with a morbid fear of encountering more deadly, self-important, jargon-riddled prose.

Editing this sort of pompous corporate-speak is not difficult, and can be stunningly effective.

Try it next time. Remember that your job is to attract readers, not to inflate, justify or provide unnecessary detail. Keep it simple, send a clear message, and leave them wanting more. That’s what marketing copy should do.