Effective Communication, Part 2: Test Your Marketing Company’s Copy

Getting your message across in terms that you readers and clients understand and appreciate is not always the easiest task. In Part 1, we touched on effective use of simple language. This is a minefield that many executives fall into when they are writing reports on for example, how their investors’ investments have done.

However, your marketing company can fall into a similar trap. Sometimes, there is a tendency to overcomplicate things.

Keep It Simple

The digital age is making people less and less inclined to read. Website visitors are more likely to want to get the information in a few short words or sentences and a few pictures than have to wade through line after line of text. The key to keeping their interest is to keep it short and simple and this is something your marketing company’s writer needs to keep in mind.

It has been found that the average reader loses interest in what they are reading if a paragraph goes much beyond 42 words or a sentence gets longer than 14 words. Even words of more than two syllables can cause a problem.

Do not worry too much about this though, if you keep to simple language and break what you are saying down into logical but small chunks, you should do just fine.

Read it out loud

It may sound rather daft to read what your marketing company has sent you out loud, but it can be a really useful tactic. If you find that you are losing the thread of what you are saying, then it is too complicated.

The tactic of reading aloud is also good for finding redundancies and other grammatical errors. What may sound logical and good in your mind as you write may not work too well when spoken aloud.

When you read something that your marketing company has presented you with, ask yourself how it sounds. Then do your edits and read it aloud again. Compare the before and after readings and see which you prefer. It could take a few revisions before you find a tone and tempo that you like and find easy to understand.

Writing does not have to be complicated. Even a marketing company can fall into the trap of trying to sound too intelligent or sophisticated. Remember, the man on the street does not want to take too much time reading your prose. They want to get the basic idea quickly and easily.