Take some time to consider how you phrase things. Whether writing for your website, advertisement or social media, spend a moment to think as much about what you are saying as what you aren’t saying. It could mean the difference between someone taking action or just passing it by.
Here are a few over used phrases that you should avoid to make your copy more compelling and more interesting.
“Why not?” is not exactly a phrase imbued with enthusiasm or compulsion. It’s half-hearted, weak and ineffective.
Imagine asking a friend “Fancy going out for dinner?” and they reply “yea…why not.” It’s not the answer you would expect from someone excited to spend time with you and have a meal out.
When you say “Why not?” you are inviting people to give you a reason why not. Why? Because I don’t know what they cost. Because I don’t need one. Because I’m fine as I am. Because I can’t be bothered.
Be convinced. Sound convincing.
Instead of saying “Why not stop in for a bite?”, try “Stop in for the best curry in Bromworth!”
Instead of saying “Why not call us if you need anything?”, say “Call us when you need the best”
FOR ALL YOUR _____ NEEDS
This is such a cliché that is has no effect any more. At one time it may have been used to communicate the wide range of services a business might cover, but today it’s too broad of a sweep. If you want to be effective, be specific. Tell your customers you can solve their problems, not that you can fix the world.
By saying “for all your ____ needs” you are really saying you’ll do anything, whether it’s your speciality or not. You sound as if you don’t know what you do.
Instead of “For all your plumbing needs” say “Plumbing installations and repairs”
IF YOU NEED….
Customers probably don’t know what they need. They have problems, YOU have the solutions. Business owners usually know they have a problem, but they might not know how to solve it. They might see falling sales, but not realise that their website eCommerce system is to blame. If you’re a web designer/developer, for example, it’s your job to identify the problem and provide a solution.
Instead of “If you need a new website..” use “We will design your new website”.
This would seem like an obvious term to include in any copy, especially if you are describing what you do and how you do it. If you earn a living from your services, then you are by definition a professional. But if you didn’t say ‘professional’ should we then assume it’s going to be amateur?
The real point is that you don’t have to state the obvious. Imagine if a restaurant advertised “edible meals served in a hygienic setting”. You would be right in responding with “I should think so too!”
“Professional Service”? Well, you’re paying for it, so it had better be professional!
Instead of “Professional”, use words that describe how you do what you do – efficient, friendly, etc.
Affordable to whom? A millionaire?
If you define your offering as affordable, you are saying that your customer has the financial ability to pay for it. That can be a pretty big assumption! Don’t presume you know your customer’s budget. Affordable can also be a synonym for ‘cheap’, and nobody wants to sound cheap.
Instead of “affordable”, say “to suit any budget”.
Do you have any pet phrases that you think ought to be deleted from the English language? Leave your comments below.
*No, that isn’t a typo.
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