Marketing / Business writing

Write less, say more

Often the fewer words we use, the more impact our business writing will have. Find out how to shed pointless prose and write catchier copy.

31 July 2012 by

Your webpage, brochure or communications material will become punchier, more enticing to read and convey a more powerful message the less text it uses.

Being concise also reduces the risk of losing your readers halfway through or confusing them with convoluted messages.

Cutting out surplus words needn’t change the meaning or the feel of your content; however, it can reduce the length – and make it more inviting to read.

It doesn’t mean it needs to be short either; it does mean you won’t waste your time – or that of your readers’ – getting to the point.

This sales brochure excerpt demonstrates the difference removing a few unnecessary words can make.

"Cutting out unnecessary words makes your copy quicker and easier to read, and gets your message across faster."

Original

There are a number of different temporary accommodation options available in the region. 

These include on-campus as well as off-campus options. Our Accommodation Services division aims to assist students (and staff) in finding temporary accommodation and to provide suggestions and quotations on places to stay in the local vicinity. 

For a list of their services and information about temporary accommodation, please see their website: www… (65 words)

Want more articles like this? Check out the business writing section.

Revised

The region boasts many temporary accommodation options, both on and off campus. 

Accommodation Services helps students and staff find temporary accommodation, and can provide suggestions and quotations. For services and information, please see www… (34 words)

So how do you get your message across, include all of your vital information and keep your word count down?

One simple way is to rid your business writing of unnecessary words. All you need to do is replace two, three or even four words with just one.

Replace… With…
A minimum of At least
A large proportion of Many
At this moment in time Now
Concerning the matter of About/regarding
Despite the fact that Although
Don’t hesitate to call Please call
In close proximity to Near/close to
In the event that If
There are some Some

Cutting out unnecessary words makes your copy quicker and easier to read, and gets your message across faster. Making your business writing succinct and high-impact is also more likely to get you the conversion results you’re after, whether it’s a phone call, a recommendation or a sale.

Could your website or marketing copy benefit from losing some words?

Caroline McDevitt

works with businesses to make their voice heard through superior written communication, and her new Writewords Writewell courses give you the skills to write with confidence.

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