How to tighten up that copy
I’m a copywriter working in Sydney and across Australia.
Sometimes, my brief could be described as, “Keep it the same but make it different.”
Clients love their own copy – LOVE it. Especially if they have a family member or spouse who fancies himself or herself as a marketing copywriter.
Problem is, inexperienced writers – well, they use too many words. Their sentences meander across the page, filling up space and offering no obvious benefit or call to action. Worse, the copy has no ‘energy’ (in the words of one of my more well-known copywriter colleagues).
Example 1: Flabby copy
“If you’d like to add details of employees who’ve joined your company, delete employee details when they leave, simulate your retirement income and get access to several handy reporting tools, then you are able to use PRODUCT, which we designed as an easier and more convenient way for you to work.”
Example 2: Tight copy
Use PRODUCT to:
- Add and delete employee details
- Simulate retirement income
- Access reporting
Get your job done quickly and easily. Check out PRODUCT now.
Which one of the above are you more likely to read (and act on)? I’ll bet on version 2.
We’re all time-poor.
When we’re reading, we need instant information.
- What is it?
- Do I need it?
- What does the writer want me to do?
Five top ways to tighten up your copy
If you do go down the road of writing your own copy, then keep it tight.
- Begin sentences and phrases with imperative verbs where possible. (Use, Check, Get in example 2)
- Keep it simple.
- Use bullet points.
- Remove any adjectives that aren’t working hard.
- Add a clear call to action and a time limit (if appropriate).
You have seconds to grab a reader’s attention. Make those seconds count.
There are more ways to tighten copy but these are the ones I start with. These simple tips will give your copy more rhythm and readability.
Do you have any tips for keeping copy succinct and relevant? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.