You’re in the midst of crafting your copy. You need to show how impressive your product or service is. So the temptation is to sprinkle some revolutionary, market-leading innovation into your sentences, to reflect that you’re at the cutting edge and redefining the industry.
You need to resist the temptation.
Because these fluff words are hollow and vague. They’re so overused that they’ve lost impact, which means they don’t help you communicate your message effectively.
Instead, try one of these 3 strategies for keeping fluff out of your copy.
1. Think about why you want to add the bland fluff words
Usually it’s because you want to sound impressive and authoritative in order to build trust.
So instead of using fluff, think about what makes you revolutionary, market leading or cutting edge.
Maybe the product has been in R&D for 10 years. Or your customer base is growing 200% year on year. Or the average customer is 50% more productive thanks to your service.
Use specifics (and those can be statistics, facts and stories), and you achieve your goal while making your copy more compelling.
2. See how the sales and services teams speak about the company/product/service
This follows on from Point 1. If you’re not in a customer-facing role, it’s harder to know what messages strike a chord. If you know there’s a good sales guy, customer service adviser or subject matter expert, ask their opinion.
Good salespeople rarely crowd their pitches with fluff. You get the odd word in, but there’s context and it sounds natural. Customer service people have a gift for finding clear solutions to complicated problems.
There are 2 big benefits to writing the way these people talk. First of all, you home in on the messages that work. Secondly, you give the customer a consistent experience of your brand, because your copy sounds like the salespeople and service advisers they speak to.
3. Refer to testimonials
“This technology revolutionises operations” has little impact.
“John Smith, Operations Director at ABC Ltd, said, “The solution has revolutionised our operations” does.
If your customers describe you as revolutionary and market leading, quote them.
You should also use to customer stories to suggest better ways of communicating the message about being cutting edge and market leading. Given you’re aiming to continue the conversation in the reader’s head, you need to speak the audience’s language – using their words makes your copy more persuasive.
“Kill your darlings”
To paraphrase William Faulkner, part of writing is knowing when to kill your darlings. It can feel like mentioning your passion for customer service and commitment to quality conveys exactly what you want to say. But having the courage to replace the fluff with specifics will result in more persuasive copy that tells your story and helps achieve your goals.