Does Your Marketing Copy Read Like a Washing Machine Manual?

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Photo by Christian Chen on Unsplash

When you are an expert and are really passionate about whatever it is you do, it’s often very easy to over-complicate things. This is why so much marketing content reads like a washing machine instruction manual — meaning it’s overly technical, possibly poorly translated and as dull as a laundry basket full of dirty clothes.

While your desire to share as much information as possible and be really useful to your potential clients is laudable, you could actually be frightening them away.


The fact is, nobody likes to feel intimidated or stupid, and the moment they do start feeling like this is the moment they will stop engaging with your message.

Therefore, it is vitally important that before you send your next email or publish your next blog post, you ask yourself: Is there an easier way we can explain this?

It’s not a question of dumbing things down. It’s more a case of remembering that potential clients often come to you because you are an expert in something they are not. This is why butchers, bakers and candlestick makers employ accountants, lawyers and real estate agents (who in turn don’t cut their own meat, bake their own bread or … well, you get the picture).

No Expertise Required

We are all experts in something and, as such, have our own specific language (including all manner of buzzwords, acronyms and jargon) to describe what we do. It is unrealistic to expect anyone from any other walk of life to fully understand your professional “tongue” — particularly when you are trying to sell something to them.

Instead, you want to make your message as easy as possible to understand.

To do this:

  • Explain in plain English (or whatever language your clients speak) exactly how you can help them. This means you either replace or break down all those buzzwords, acronyms and jargon terms you have previously used.
  • Focus primarily on your clients’ problems and not on your overly technical solution. Think about it: If your car breaks down, you want your mechanic to fix the problem — not deliver a lecture on the solution.
  • Keep your copy short and to the point. If you can highlight a problem, share a solution and provide a usable call to action, you’ve done enough to start a conversation.
  • Run it past a non-expert for their opinion. Do they understand what you are trying to say?
  • Run it past a colleague to check for errors, but do not allow them to add extra detail as this will often complicate your message and make it look disjointed.

Could your marketing copy be more client friendly? Share your comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

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Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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