If you want people to hear you, understand you and take your message home with them, be succinct.
Marketing ‘letters’ are often lengthy, often presented as those single-page websites that beg you to scroll and scroll until you’ve had all your objections washed away by the torrent of ‘testimonials’, freebies and price-drops. These long-winded tactics work; people of dubious intellect buy things they don’t need or want because they’ve been convinced by the overwhelming ‘evidence’.
If I wanted an Ab-blaster or a car alarm system I would buy one; Personally, I don’t need to wade through this sort of gumph.
Some people say that we’re all selling something, even if it’s just an idea, but I say that if you’re not directly selling some dodgy product, if you value your audience and their time, you’ll be concise. You’ll get to the point with as little confusing rhetoric as possible and you’ll communicate in a clear and understandable manner.
Be clear, be active, be concise
- Write short sentences;
- use paragraphs to break up ideas and the bodytext;
- write in an active manner, avoid the passive voice;
- edit out superfluous words*;
- use simple words, unless you know your audience well;
- say what you mean, mean what you say, and get out.
* My use of the word ‘superfluous’ could put some people off, so I could have chosen ‘unneeded’ or ‘redundant’.
Write for your audience – respect their intelligence and value their time. Don’t lock them to your page for no reason.