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How to turn off customers with your writing

Recently I got an email from a list I was subscribed to. In that email, the author repeatedly used an acronym. I don’t remember what the actual acronym was, so I’ll use “ABC” as a substitute.

“Do you use ABC in your teaching?” “How often do you use ABC?” “It’s easy to use ABC.” And so on through an entire e-mail.

The problem?

I have no frikken idea what “ABC” is.

Nowhere in the email does the author actually explain what ABC is, even though a whole email (and associated blog post) were focused on it. I literally couldn’t figure out what it was.

As a teacher, AND as an entrepreneur, you need to speak to your audience in a way that is clear and easy for them to understand. When you use jargon, acronyms, and specialty terms, not only do you run the risk of not being understood clearly, but it also tends to make your writing sound colder and less personal.

When your audience doesn’t understand your copy (writing meant to generate a sale) the chances of you making a sale are very low. They won’t feel like you are someone they can learn from if they don’t understand what the heck you are talking about. They won’t want to keep hearing from you, and they definitely won’t want to buy your products for fear that they wouldn’t understand how to use them.

They’ll probably unsubscribe from your email list (I definitely did).

Keep your copy reader-friendly

  • Check your product descriptions, blog posts, email sequences, pin descriptions and social media posts for confusing language
  • If you use an acronym to avoid typing something out every time that’s ok, but you must make sure that you define it first – in THAT piece of content. Every piece of content you create that uses that acronym should have it defined.

And my all-time favourite copywriting tip:

  • Explain your business, products and other content as if you were explaining them to your grandmother. If granny doesn’t understand what you’re talking about, you need to simplify it some more.

What text have you written that you could simplify today?