Have you ever visited a company’s website, intrigued by their product or service, only to get lost in a deluge of confusing writing? Verbose copywriting that wanders aimlessly can be a problem for your business. It ignores the fact that customers simply will not stick with you long enough to get through paragraphs of writing and discern your message.
Customers are more inundated with messaging than ever before. Efficient writing is one way to set your business apart. By understanding the value of efficient communication, you can tighten up your copywriting and guide customers efficiently to the message you’d like them to hear.
Being concise will help you become more effective in every area of your communication, from marketing to internal email communication. Read on to learn why aimless writing doesn’t work and how to condense your copy without coming off as unapproachable.
Why Aimless Writing Is Ineffective
Have you ever opened a long email from someone who circles around the point without ever landing on it? This kind of communication tries to be polite, but it’s actually vague and a bit irritating. Most of us would prefer to read an email that quickly gets to the point and clearly delivers a question or call to action.
BONUS TIP: If you’re a B2B company and your sales team is struggling to close new business, sometimes less is more. This week, try the magic “9-word” email: “Are you still interested in doing business with me/us?” Chances are, you’ll have more responses this week than in your last months of courting prospects with traditional novel-length emails explaining features and benefits.
Without actively taking steps to make our communication concise, many of us fall into the trap of letting our reader sort through everything we’ve ever thought about any given subject.
Trust us: your customers do not want to read everything you’ve ever thought about your business on the landing page of your website.
Business owners often feel they need to be lengthy in order to paint the full picture of their business. We get it: you love what you do and you have something valuable to offer. You want to convey that to your customers. But you need to convey the most important information in an efficient manner, lest you lose your potential customer’s coveted attention.
To further understand the value of featuring concise writing on your website, check out the following writing samples.
The second writing sample is brief, engaging, and gets straight to the point. It conveys all of the most pertinent information, but it cuts out the excess.
Before you start going through your existing writing with a rewrite in mind, let’s dive deeper into an understanding of concise writing.
What exactly is concise writing?
Concise writing conveys all of the most important information while being sure that each word is meaningful, packs a punch and keeps the reader engaged. Concise writing is all about leading your reader directly to the point.
Being concise does not mean you fail to convey the important information. Concise communicators are great at distilling information until it couldn’t get any clearer, but retains the core message.
You Can Be Concise Without Sacrificing Likability
One of the first concerns people have about tightening up their writing: “my business will come off as too cool or unfriendly.”
It’s true: you should strike a balance of approachability and brevity. Your writing can be short and likeable at the same time! Depending on the tone of your business, you might choose to be concise and funny, warm, helpful, or meaningful.
A great copywriter can convey a message clearly in a unique, often clever or punchy tone. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a great copywriter (if you need one, we’ve got your back.)
Any amount of precision you can introduce in your writing will improve your customer’s experience.
Concise Communication Puts Customer Experience First
The more you practice concise language, the more natural it becomes. You might find it helpful to go through your existing writing, discern the top three most important messages, and then go back through to introduce warmth and tone to your writing.
You can also head to the websites of your favorite, well-known brands and dig into their copywriting. Why is it engaging? What makes the writing both friendly and efficient?
As you write emails, discuss important issues with colleagues, or even complete little tasks, ask yourself:
- What’s my point?
- Is my message clear?
- Am I being friendly?
Read the following sample email:
Now read the following more concise message:
The first email is friendly, but conveys too much information. Martha doesn’t need to know the entire process that led up to the decision about the bid sheets! Just tell her what she needs to know, Kris- she’s busy!
Your colleagues will appreciate if you quickly tell them what they need to know and always make your requests clear. To ensure your messages don’t seem curt, be sure to briefly acknowledge their effort, ask a good question, or express your gratitude for their work.
Put effort into making your writing more concise and it will become a habit over time. When you focus on being succinct in one aspect of your business, you will likely get more precise in all of your communication. Concise language is a wonderful method of keeping your customers engaged in your story.