Words we don’t need in our marketing copy
OK, I admit I shoehorned as many superfluous words into the title as I could. But, they kind of make my point.
There are some words you don’t need, or should never use, in marketing copy but many of us throw them in without thinking.
I’ve made a list of ten words, there are more, you should avoid if you want to keep your writing crisp and punchy.
My biggest bug-bear. You just don’t need ‘that’ word. It doesn’t mean anything and clogs up your copy.
If you write any sentence with ‘that’ in it, take it out and I guarantee in 99.9% of cases it won’t lose its meaning and will improve your writing.
For example: “I knew that I would win” reads much better as “I knew I would win.”
“Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very.” Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” Mark Twain.
I couldn’t possibly say it any better myself. So, I won’t.
3) A lot
This is so vague. It’s a statement which can’t be quantified and will only confuse the reader.
Copy, especially sales copy, needs to be specific so readers can make an informed decision. Use quantifiable statistics or facts not wishy-washy phrases such as ‘a lot’.
Yeah, I love it like, it’s great like, init? Which is fine if you want to sound like a chav or a 1990s Manchester pop band but ‘like’ has no place in any marketing or B2B copy.
They say you should write as you speak, and plenty of us litter our conversations with ‘like’. But, it’s a horrible little word and even if you can’t stop saying it, you should never, ever write it.
Another word you just don’t need. See what I did there? Let’s try again…..
Another word you don’t need. As you can see ‘just’ doesn’t add anything to the meaning of the sentence. Get rid of it when writing marketing copy.
We all misuse this word in speech and it doesn’t add anything to copy. If writing informally it is fine to use but in marketing text try to find a more descriptive word or phrase.
If ever there is a word which is superfluous it is this one. Virtually is the ultimate padding word. There are very few instances when it is needed. Leave it out of your copy and it will be much the better for it.
A perfectly good word, except when you are writing marketing copy. Marketing and promotional material must be specific and ‘often’ is too vague to hook a customer. Replace ‘often’ with a specific or descriptive phrase.
Nothing wrong with this word, you’ll struggle to write much without using it. But, and I can’t believe this, I have seen it used on sales pages.
“If you would like to order call XXXX.”
You’ve worked so hard to get a customer to your website and then you say ‘IF you would like to order’. Absolutely insane. Try this:
Order NOW by calling XXXX
Not a word but the world’s most overused punctuation. The majority of time an exclamation point is unnecessary and is usually the sign of an inexperienced or downright bad copywriter.
I saw a four page sales leaflet recently which had 32 exclamation marks in the text. It looked like a 12-year-old had written it. Don’t use exclamation marks unless you really need to make a point.
Don’t pad your copy
There are plenty more words which are simply padding or unnecessary. However, making sure none of the ten above sneak into your marketing copy will immediately improve it.