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Why Your Copy needs to be Concise to Convert

Chipolte Billboard

I recently posted a picture of a billboard on my social media to emphasise the importance of being concise. It got over 4000 views on Twitter and nearly 14,000 views on Linkedin. The reason it resonated with so many people was simply because less is best.

As a writer, one of the biggest challenges I face is writing short, simple, to-the-point words. See what I did there, I used 3 words instead of just one. We do it all the time. We add more just to make something sound more credible.

I loved English at school but I also blame it. We're told to write as a novelist - not a copywriter, - where long, dramatic sentences hold the reader's attention. But when you only have 5 seconds to make an impact then you need to edit and cut out the words that are fluff.

Don't believe me, let's try an experiment.

Read the following sentences:

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Which sentence grabbed your attention?

When you want to hold your audience's attention (whose default is to skim-read) you need to write concise sentences.

Let's try another experiment.

Read these instructions from a coffee brewer:

Add the desired amount of water into a mug (6oz minimum, 12oz maximum). Lift the water reservoir lid and pour the water into the reservoir. Do not fill past the MAX or below the MIN fill lines. Lower the lid and place your mug on the drip tray

Lift the handle. Place a K-Cup® pod in the K-Cup® pod holder. Lower the handle completely to close the lid. The brew indicator light will flash to indicate that the brewer is ready. Do not remove the foil lid on the K-Cup® pod.

Press the brew button. The brew indicator light will illuminate solid, then begin to pulse while the brewer is heating. After about 2 minutes, the brew indicator light will illuminate solid again and the beverage will begin to dispense. Brewing is complete when the brew indicator light is no longer illuminated. When complete, lift the handle and dispose of the used K-Cup® pod.

Did you read all of it? or did you skim-read?

Considering the K-Mini® brewer is advertised as effortlessly simple to use - the instructions make it seem terribly complicated.

If you want to portray a process as quick and simple - you need your sentences to show your reader by being quick and simple.

The K-Mini® brewer is simple to use:

1 . Just add water

2 . Pop in your favorite pod

3 . Press the brew button

4 . Enjoy freshly brewed, delicious coffee in minutes.

Of course, instructions are different from copy. They often need to be more detailed. But creating a step-by-step process allows your reader to see rather than read. There's science behind this:


Try this...

How many circles are there?


Now try again? Our brains are wired to see 5 objects or fewer but given any more and we have to count. And it's the same with words. Long text with no white space is just harder to read. Breaking the text into bite-sized content makes it easier to consume. You want your readers to "see" your words and not "read" your words.

Take for example Gumroad's instructions they make it almost too simple.

Gumroad Landing page

Good Copywriting should make it easier for your audience to understand, not harder. When it comes to writing being concise gives clarity and makes your words more memorable which is the goal for any copywriter.

Remember Less is Best.

Do you know someone who would love to get better at communicating and writing?

Invite your friends to sign up for my newsletter using the link or share directly on your social.


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