It is harder to write with fewer words than it is to write with a lot of words. I learned this lesson in journalism school many years ago. This is an important point to keep in mind when you are writing your marketing copy for direct mail materials or web sites.
This concept does not mean that you have to write in short words or talk down to the reader. But it does mean that you should choose your words wisely and avoid verbosity, and especially avoid jargon.
Read through your marketing materials. Do you use a lot of industry jargon? If your mother read it, would she understand it? Avoid acronyms and other language that is inwardly focused. Write in plain language and tell your story. Everyone likes a story and whoever is reading yours wants to know about it. You can save the jargon and industry-speak for manuals and more technical support materials. You don’t have to prove how smart you are when you are trying to get a customer’s attention to begin with.
It is not easy to write plainly and simply. There is an art to it, and it may take practice. I often chuckle when I read something that an entry-level employee writes at work. They often try to write the way they think someone in corporate America should be writing (sometimes they speak this way, too). Instead, I tell them to focus on being themselves, speak or write plainly, and get their point across. So much of this thinking is lost along the way.
Your customers want to understand you. Speak to them clearly, concisely and compellingly. Tell your story. They will want to learn more.
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain