Personalization Versus Customer Experience

We used to want personalization. Now we need more. We need positive customer experiences.

Personalization is something companies like Amazon, Sephora, and Nike have trained us to expect.  It’s no longer enough to be customer-centric. We want experiences— a positive customer experience. That goes beyond personalization. 

In this time of massive upheaval and uncertainty, we’re looking for easy. Things that simplify our lives. People want easier, healthier, safer, more rewarding, and help us get things done. 

While we’re happy with our experiences in some areas, we continue to feel neglected and frustrated in others.

Follow the trend that’s working

We don’t need to reinvent or recreate the wheel in our marketing. Just look at what’s already earning companies like Amazon and Sophora millions.

These companies and many more are investing and involving more AI and analytic data to improve the customer experience. Amazon has been a leader in this. 

When you look for something, Amazon includes what other people who searched for the same item also considered. They show you what people who bought this item also purchased.  Subtle, helpful, and boosting the value of your order with add-ons. 

Sephora hasn’t become the worlds leading specialty beauty retailer by accident.  They started incorporating AI in the early 2000s.  Using various tech tools, they personalize everything from their choices for you to their 1:1 loyalty rewards.

The long-term goal for Sephora is to continue to enhance the virtual and in-store customer experiences. Not only will they help you shop virtually, but you can also try the makeup on virtually. 

Nike has innovated, so you can now design your own sneaker. They have a 3D platform that allows you to create a sneaker that fits perfectly and matches your unique style. Fans love the option.  

They also love the experience in the personalized NikePlus loyalty program. Fans get personalized benefits, product recommendations, and the ability to check and see if their favorite styles, colors, and sizes are available.    

The clock is ticking.

Customers used to make buying decisions based on loyalty or price. Those things are changing. More and more make those decisions based on the experience you offer them.  

In a recent survey by SuperOffice, they asked 1920 business professionals what their number one business priority is for the next five years.  By a distinct margin over product or product, customer experience came in at 45.9%.

Thought leaders say businesses who have unsatisfactory experiences are headed for trouble. They will start to see their client base erode if they don’t make the technical changes to improve it.

What you need to keep in mind

The level of stress doesn’t look to be dropping anytime soon.  Stressed shoppers are less friction tolerant.  If your buying experience is complicated, if your customer support is lackluster—you have challenges to solve.  

More than ever before, buyers don’t want transactions that are company sales-centric. It makes them feel like you’re just after their money.

Now I know you need their purchases to run your business, but the experience shouldn’t feel that way.  Feelings are pure emotion. You want to keep those feelings positive if you want to earn their trust, purchases, and loyalty.

Three ways to enhance customer experience

Companies with the most significant growth and success embrace the customer experience from the top down.  Everyone on the team needs to understand and have the power to improve it. For some businesses, it may be outside-the-box thinking. It may involve more work and initial expense. But if you look at the potential future revenues, it’s well worth the effort.

Think from the customer point of view

Start by thinking from the customer’s point of view.  Sometimes we are so close to the process that we can’t see the problems an outsider sees.  

Ask your customers, “what could we do better?”  “How could we make shopping easier?” In essence, how can you help them?  

If you have a customer service team, ask them.  The marketing and management teams need to know what customer service is hearing.  What the customers need and want that they aren’t getting.  

Customers’ questions and their problems provide the answers to improving your sales.   

Enhance customer service

Lousy customer service is a pet peeve of mine when I’m shopping online or in-person.  I understand company limitations but I also handle customer service for one of my clients. I get the challenges, but I know the value. I’ve gotten those evening and weekend calls where I’ve rescued a customer and solved their issue.

We recently went to Best Buy to find a laptop.  The store was busy. The staff was few and far between.  We found something suitable, but without the ability to get questions answered, they lost the sale.  

When we checked out, we mentioned the lack of staff to our checker. His reply, Best Buy just let another 500 people go. Team members are going to be in short supply for the foreseeable future.  In the end, Best Buy will lose its status as a provider of excellent customer care, and they will lose money.

Both brick and mortar and eCommerce businesses need to step up their customer service.  With all the options out there, companies need to find a way to expand the routes and time frame where people can get help.  

Look for ways to provide support beyond a few business hours.  Many times companies on the east and west coast ignore the three-hour time difference.  So if I’m on the west coast, I’d better not need anything after 2 PM local time.  

Expand your FAQ. Add an AI help option. Outsource or give someone a part-time job, so you are more accessible.  Make sure your website is easily searchable so I can find what I need. If your competition is more available, it will cost you money.

Analytics and AI

The most successful businesses are making use of technology to track shopping patterns and offer recommendations.  Per 2020 research by Gartner, we conduct about 85% of all purchases without assistance.  

That means there is a significant 15% opportunity to increase revenues by helping shoppers solve those issues.

Companies have many new ways to allow their customer support team to automate repetitive or straightforward tasks using artificial intelligence. Automation enables them to reduce costs and empower shoppers to solve their issues. Learn about your options and employ them. 

It is essential to do this in a transparent way to maintain trust and credibility.

Chatbots or voice-enabled chatbots are a top choice for businesses. Their effectiveness ties directly to the quality and comprehensiveness of the dialogue provided to the bot.

My final tip is to make sure your system works on all channels across all types of devices. More and more people are switching back and forth from phones to tablets to laptops and computers. Your system needs to deliver in all.


Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

How to Use Videos to Get More Sales and Leads

video marketing uses videos to increase sales and leads by sharing value

Video has steadily grown in popularity with both marketers and consumers. The pandemic boosted video watching even more. Videos are used in multiple ways—all of which lead to growing your bottom line.

Wyzowl Reported

Wyzowl recently released the results of their annual State of Video Marketing survey. They’ve been putting these out every year since 2015. They interview both marketers and consumers to get the full picture.

Here are their top findings this year: 

  • Video is a top priority for marketers, and they plan on spending more money and using more video this year.
  • Marketers and consumers agreed on the value of videos. But the budget wasn’t always there in 2020. Projects were delayed or canceled.
  • In large part, due to the pandemic, people are watching even more videos.
  • 86% of businesses now use some form of video.
  • 87% of video marketers feel that it gave them a positive ROI. This is more than double the number that felt that way back in 2015.
  • More than 80% of the marketers who responded felt video has a direct positive impact on sales.
  • 84% reported videos were an effective tool for lead generation.
  • A striking 94% found videos helped consumers better understand their product.

The pandemic isolation heavily impacted consumers and they turned to online channels for information, and video was their top choice to learn about products or services.

Marketers found It helped their businesses gain brand awareness, educate consumers and increase sales. 

The trend to market with more videos is predicted to continue for the foreseeable future.  

The trend to video is important for every brand.

I’ve watched and sometimes resisted the video trend as it wasn’t my personal favorite way to gain information. However, I have seen its power and effectiveness. It’s something I definitely bring up in client discussions.  

What I’ve observed is that videos don’t need to be even 30 thirty minutes long. People like to learn in short quick to digest snippets. Length needs to be long enough to achieve the goal—but short enough to maintain interest. Inspirations are less than a minute. Showing how to do something may take several minutes. It depends on what you need the individual video to do.

One thing all videos need is the right person sharing the right message to the right audience.  

Here’s a key tip

Your website might be where you think you want to showcase your videos, but it’s important to post them where your prospect spends their time. The two most popular social channels are Facebook and YouTube. The key difference is the search capability of YouTube. 

And like all other social marketing, keep them fresh and relevant. Something four years old as the most recent video may still be relevant, but it certainly isn’t fresh.

Three types of effective videos

There are multiple ways to put the power of videos to work for your brand. Each type has its own specific goals, and all are effective.

Explainer videos

This type of video helps the prospect understand how a product works, how to use it, or make a complex topic easier to understand. They are information-focused—content versus sales copy. 

Need to know the best way to build, repair or use something? There are videos for that. Just like everything else, some do a better job than others.  

Because of the visual component, videos are easier to learn from than a set of instructions…especially if the instructions are not well written.

Check out Martha Stewart’s video on how to fold a fitted sheet. Real people showing how to do something that frustrates many. Cooking videos abound. Whether the topic is fashion, beauty, home tasks, or marketing, the value is the same.

Explainer people that feature people should come across as live and natural, not tightly scripted or stilted. 

Sales videos

These videos tend to run longer to achieve their goal. Keep in mind that the longer it runs, the higher the drop-off can be. 

It is a challenge to keep them watching for 20, 30 minutes, or longer. 

While there are some highly successful longer videos, they require a level of commitment by the viewer. They also are enhanced with a well-trained copywriter.

Sales videos, like their predecessor long-form sales copy, help the viewer along the buyer’s journey. They explain a problem and show how to solve it. 

We enjoy the act of buying. We hate to be sold to. That makes the selling process longer and be somewhat complex. 

Want to sell something in a video? I recommend you work with a professional persuasion-trained copywriter to get the maximum results.

Webinars

The popularity of webinars as a form of video marketing emerged during the pandemic. We couldn’t get together, so we went online. Marketers reported them a huge success. At the same time, 46% of marketers used them in 2020; now, 62% plan on incorporating them.   

Live they engage well with the audience. Recorded, they allow people to watch again or at a more convenient time.  

Webinars are useful for online training, individually or as a course. Often there are multiple parts to the course. They can teach something new or act as support training, answering questions, and interaction with students. 

A research content webinar offers the viewers value while they interact with the presenter. Make use of the webinar platform tools, and you can gather data on new trends or insights. Be interactive and ask questions. What you learn from the audience you can use to create new content or products. The things they want or need.

Most webinars aren’t difficult to create. Follow best practices in topic selection. Then determine your format and prepare your content. Then you’re ready to practice, schedule, and promote the webinar. Afterward, evaluate your data and follow up with your audience.

Full report available here: https://www.wyzowl.com/video-marketing-statistics/


Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

Revenge Spending

In 2021 consumers are ready to take revenge on the pandemic and spend pent up savings.

Vaccines and stimulus checks have people thinking of moving toward what we used to think of as normal. Vaccinated seniors are setting the trend to get even with the pandemic by spending money and getting out. They call it revenge spending.

Attending events, going shopping, and travel are rising to the top of consciousness.  People want liberation. 

Revenge spending will typify 2021

Last week an article came across my desk about “revenge shopping” as a rebound from the pandemic. At first, I laughed, then realized I had participated.

It turns out that in China, one of the first places to reopen their malls, sales spiked through the roof. Not only were they buying basics, but they also went for luxury items like Louis Vuitton bags.

After the January stimulus checks started going out, department store sales increased 21% in the US. 

Tired of wearing sweatpants, chasing kids, and working from home, women want to go out. They want to dress up and wear something new.  Even the trip into a store is starting to sound exciting.  

Depending on location, online shopping is still the norm. I ordered something last week and actually went into the store to pick the item up and try it on.  It was just the sales staff and me, which felt a little odd. Changing room signs proclaimed: Freshly Sanitized. It felt so decadent and liberating even with social distancing and wearing masks.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Bloomberg reports that during 2020 many people saved money. No trips, events, or outings. Lots less discretionary purchases. They estimate there is $1.7 trillion waiting to be spent.  

It’s time for businesses to get on board in the right ways for the coming surge.

Consumers are ready for revenge.

I dove through every report I could find on this topic, and there are many reports and articles out there.  It won’t happen all at once, and the timing will be different based on location. But based on conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends, people are ready for change. 

Businesses in the hardest-hit sectors, like restaurants, hospitality, and apparel, are ready too. It was a very long, tough 2020.  

I also researched how our buying patterns have changed and what we expect from businesses moving forward.  There are some shifts that effective marketers are already implementing, and it can help your business too. 

One thing to keep in mind

Consumers are tired of the sea of useless information. Regardless of where your content is, it must have value if you want to keep their attention.  Value equals helpful information.  

I replied to an email a company sent me complimenting them on its content.  It provided useful information on an alternative way to deal with seasonal allergies. Something they don’t even sell!   Unheard of— but very refreshing.

Today’s buyer is looking for authenticity and value.  We also are craving connection. For most of us, it’s been too long since we’ve visited with family and friends.  Without social media and virtual visiting, the year would have been much worse.  

Ramp up sales with these three techniques

To maximize sales, we need to engage and connect with customers where they are looking for information. That means now, and we need to make sure and have the right presence the right way on social media.  

We need to have conversations with prospects. We need to respect what they are looking for, including the increased focus on social consciousness.

Social media

Dependence on social media grew in 2020, and we started using it in new ways. Pre-pandemic social focused on status updates—things like sharing selfies, where we’d been, and what we’d done. 

Today that’s shifted to social being a key place to find solutions. Have a question? Someone has an answer, just post it. Need a solution? Social is where we go.

We want those solutions to reflect our increased need and desire for value and wellbeing. Users need simple ways to cope and manage stress, working from home, parenting issues, or managing a flex work schedule.  They want to know how to take a vacation in the COVID environment.

If you or your product is a solution, you need to be on social media and help them find you. That means more than having a Facebook business page with periodic product posts. It means having conversations.  It even has a new title…

Conversational Commerce

When we were forced to shift to online buying, we lost something. We lost connection with people, and we lost the ability to ask questions or get advice.  When you go into a store, there is usually someone you can ask.  Online? Not so much. 

Conversation Commerce, also called C-Commerce, (CC), is working to fill that need.  It’s considered any way you connect with your buyers using conversation.  

Your CC could be an AI-driven chatbot, a person you can chat with online or via phone, or another messaging program like WhatsApp. Even Alexa is included because of the way you use words to tell her what to do.

The process puts the customer in control. They reach out and initiate the conversation. They hope you will guide them to the right purchase. If no one is there or doesn’t respond promptly to messages, they’ll look elsewhere.

As the quality of these interfaces increase, the process will become even more valuable.  If you’re stuck with a poor-quality chatbot, replace it or go back to a person.  

IT Cosmetics uses live chat. Their phone lines and chat lines are open 9-5 Eastern, six days a week.  If you’re on the opposite side of the country, it’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than a chatbot that has limited capabilities. 

If your chatbot can only respond to specifically limited choices, the shopper is left stuck and frustrated. It feels like going into a department store with no salespeople. If you can’t get the help you need, you leave with a negative feeling.

Globally, 84% of people surveyed said customer support is equally essential to what is sold. That makes it critical to get conversations going and help your shoppers.  

Revenge shopping will embrace social consciousness

2020 brought lots of changes, including the trend for social consciousness. From mental health to equality, social justice, caring for the planet, and inclusivity, it’s all part of the package. Awareness is accelerating even more in 2021.

Social consciousness isn’t something a business can afford to ignore. It’s not going to go away, and it’s part of the new normal. Hiding your values isn’t a path to success.

Sharing your position is also a way to connect more emotionally with buyers. When you develop and share a mission-driven campaign to help people or the planet, you build connections. They become your avid fan because your message resonates with them.   

Getting prepared with social media, enhancing conversational commerce, and embracing social consciousness will position you to tap into the coming spend.


Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com

Quality Content Grows Sales 300% Faster

Quality content drives sales when it extends across all your marketing.

The quickest way to increase sales is to focus on quality content. It’s a technique marketers know but many businesses don’t quite get right.  

People visit your website looking for something. They come in during different stages of their buying journey.   They may be trying to see if there is a solution for a problem they have.  For those in the second stage, they are trying to decide which solution is best. When they move to the third stage – they are making the decision to buy.

Help them find the information they need—easily

Since we’re all spending a lot more time at home, one of the most popular past-times has become home improvement projects.  

I was recently looking for landscaping plants to fill in some major changes we’d made.  I had a list of criteria. Easy to grow, tolerant of my sun exposure, and color.  I knew the size specifications and style theme I was looking for—an English garden type of feel.

Oregon can be a bit grey during the winter.  So I needed year-round color with different plant varieties. 

Once I narrowed my list down, I started looking to see who carried them. 

That step proved to be a bigger challenge than I expected.  All the locals seem to carry a narrow selection of the same popular varieties.  They carried current bloomers, but not what I’d need to complete the goal.

I finally found a website that shipped plants. I could tell by the home page tabs they carried a wide selection. The problem was you couldn’t search by a specific plant or plant type. There wasn’t a search engine, only dropdowns with general categories. 

“Shrubs” was as close as I could get to heather. I had to search through dozens of pages.  If my middle name wasn’t “Persistent”, I’d have just closed the tab. It certainly wasn’t user-friendly. I thought of calling them, but there was no one available. 

A huge complicated website, no search tools, limited customer support. Lots of content, but the quality suffered.

What marketing strategists know

As the one in my family who does most of the shopping, content really matters to me.  The websites that get me back, (unless I have no alternative,) make the experience easy.  

In my copywriter marketer work for clients, I keep that shopper’s desire in the back of my mind.

The information and content need to be useful and user-friendly.  

Here’s a secret about “content”

The word content has two meanings.  We think of content as the article or blog. But the other meaning is an emotion—happiness or satisfaction.

Ideally, the article will give the reader both. It will provide quality useful information and happiness with what you shared and how you presented it.

You’ll lose sales if they can’t find necessary information – they won’t be content. If they can’t easily access the information they want…they won’t like you and if they don’t like you – forget the purchase.

3 tips for value content

To maximize your marketing investment, you need quality useful content that focuses on your customer’s needs.  You need the right content in the places they will find it. And you need to make sure it’s not undermining you.

Focus on your customer

All sales go back to the customer.  Everything you put on your website, every message you put out there should focus on your ideal customer—the person who wants and needs your product.

Start with questions they might have. Answer them with the right content.  Think about what they need to know, what validation they need, and how it’s going to benefit them. 

People need to see benefits first to trigger the thought to buy. Then they subliminally need that thought validated with support information.  

What content do you need?

Content is made up of various parts. Keep in mind you’re trying to give them more than a product—you’re trying to trigger happiness and satisfaction.  

That means they want information about your business. In a recent survey, the number one thing consumers said they want is your contact information! A whopping 62% put it at the top of their list.

The second most important item was the “About You” page.  Rounding out the top three were social media icons so they could check out what others were saying about you.  They are looking for transparency and why you should be their choice.

You can’t neglect product information, educational articles, and success stories. All are important to help them along the buyers’ path.  

A blog is one of your best avenues to share high-quality information that’s tied to the products or services you offer. The blog can help you expand your audience, increase conversions and enhance brand awareness.

Consumers are becoming leery of promises that sound too good.  If you sell them hype, you’ll only get a one-time sale.

Where does content need to be?

You need content beyond your website to build the know, like, and trust factors that trigger sales.  You need to put it in places your ideal customers hang out. That goes back to really knowing your customer.  

Depending on their demographics it might be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  If you’re making use of video content, you’ll include a YouTube channel. You can also offer shopping right on your Facebook and Instagram pages.  

Share posts with graphics and snippets of a blog or article located on your website. Include a link to drive traffic so they can read the full article.

Get rid of placeholder words

If you’ve run out of time and your website still has WordPress filler words like Lorem ipsum, it’s time to get help. Many people don’t realize these placeholders in Latin are visible to the public. They destroy your credibility.

If you don’t have the time or the skills, you need a good copywriter who can share messages to increase your sales and make your readers “content.” Need to improve your ROI with quality content? https://www.jculpcreativecopy.com/

Subheads are Powerful Marketing Tools

Subheads are powerful marketing tools that can make or break your great content.

Headlines share the heart or big idea of your message. Subheads are miniature headlines placed throughout the copy.  They make your message more readable and share key points.

Have you ever received an email or visited a web page where the copy was one long block? Or did it rambled on in uninterrupted paragraphs?  

They are rather hard to read. I find myself wondering where the writer is going.

What are they trying to tell me?  When will I get to why this is important for me?

And what are they trying to sell me or get me to do?

Even if the message is from someone I enjoy hearing from, it requires commitment on my part to wade through what they are sharing.  

Often, if the reader is vested in the person sharing the message, they are still busy.  They’ll set the message aside to read later.  Only, later may never come. If an email, it may sit getting lost in a cluttered inbox. Worse, it may get filed for future reading or reference.

That’s not what any business wants for their messages. 

What’s in subheads for you?

In my work as a copy and content writer, I see this problem all too often. It’s certainly something I avoid happening with my clients.  

Now, If I could just get those who are messaging me to see how using subtitles can solve the problem—and keep me engaged.

I’ve found it’s hard to stay engaged with a business whose messages aren’t clear and easily digested. Here are some tips you can employ to use subtitles effectively and to your advantage.

Here’s one thing to keep in mind.

There’s an easy pattern for knowing where to place subheads.  If your message is more than 300 words long, you need subheads.  

No section of your message should be longer than 300 words before the next subhead.

When you follow this pattern, you have maximum readability. 

Three tips for compelling subheads.

Every message you share, content, articles, blogs, emails, focuses like a laser on one idea. 

Within that copy, each subhead has a focus. And within the subhead, each paragraph covers one thought and each sentence only one topic. 

Think of creating an outline for your copy.  Your Roman number I shares the promise or core idea in the title or headline. Each of the support pillars is a subset for that idea. 

Those subsets become subheadings in your document.

Subheads keep your readers reading when using the same guidelines you follow for creating titles, headlines, or subject lines. 

Lead your reader forward

In long-form sales letters, each section engages the reader. Regardless of the type of message you’re writing, you want it to do the same thing. You want each part to make them want more.  

Subheads in your message or copy help you do this. 

Doing a brain dump on the first draft is OK to get started. Then the message needs refinement. 

Each paragraph and each section should engage and keep the reader’s attention.

If you are taking a blog, article, or other copy and thin-slicing it into social media posts, each post focuses at most on one subheading. Indeed, each subhead becomes a social post.  

They should stand on their own as a mini-headline to catch attention and engage.

Enticing

Some people only read the subheads. If they don’t exist or aren’t enticing, you’ll lose them. They need to catch and keep the reader’s attention. 

Other people only start reading when a subhead catches their attention. No subheads, and you lose this opportunity for engagement. 

Both groups depend on your subhead to entice them to read.

Subheads create a snapshot of your message.

In today’s world, especially in the US, people tend to scan far more than they read. That makes subheads critical for readers who just scan, to understand your message.

If the reader only reads your subheads, they should “get” your message.

One technique I use is to print out my draft and read through it, looking for snippets. They should be almost like inspirations or quotes. They are a few words that impart an essential aspect of my big idea.  

Each snippet is a subhead. 

Repurposed snippets become a social post—useful concepts in just a few words. 

Including emotion, pain points, or trigger words makes them even more effective.


Judith Culp Pearson is a copywriter marketer who has been helping clients improve their ROI and client retention since 2015. A relationship-building writer, she engages your readers to increase sales and lifetime value. https://www.jucithculpcreativecopy.com

Readable Quality Enhances Sales

Long sentences, complex words or long paragraphs, make your content less readable.

Everything you put out there to attract more business is a message. The success of that message is getting someone to read it.  Much of the time, it misses the mark. It doesn’t get read because it’s hard to read.  Readable quality is critical for sales.

When a message is hard to read, it actually causes brain fatigue. Most of us have a built-in auto-fix—the delete key.

Here’s an example of poor readability:

Infectious diseases caused by pathogens and food poisoning caused by spoilage microorganisms are threatening human health all over the world. The efficacies of some antimicrobial agents, which are currently used to extend shelf-life and increase the safety of food products in food industry and to inhibit disease-causing microorganisms in medicine, have been weakened by microbial resistance. 

That little gem, written by a scientist, is written at an FK post-graduate level 14. It has all the earmarks of being hard to read. Most people will read a few words and skip the rest.  

Often in health, finance, or science, we need to share complex ideas. Making them more readable is all in the editing process.

If we change the above message to read:

Around the world, diseases and food spoilage threaten health. Pathogens constantly change. They morph into a variant. Current antimicrobials are less effective. We need to discover new ways to kill these strains.

The reading level drops from a 14 down to level 7. We are saying the same thing, but in a way that takes less brainpower to understand.

Outcome? Your reader stays with you.

Why you need to ditch what your English teacher said

Schools teach writing rules. Those rules are great—to get you through college and be able to write the kind of reports that met a standard.  

Those reports weren’t marketing. They were academic standards.

Science has proven that our brains trust simple words over complex ones. That’s why many of the great novelists wrote using FK scores of 4-7.  They didn’t write simple books. They wrote books that were easy to read.  Of Mice and Men was an FK 3.4. To Kill a Mockingbird a 5.9 and Gone With the Wind a 7.0. Ernest Hemmingway’s Old Man and the Sea comes in as a 4.

The scoring system, FK, Flesch-Kincaid, is easily related to US school grades. So a 4th grader could read and understand Hemmingway. 

When marketing products or services, we need to write conversationally.  As a copy/content writer, I trained in the art of persuasive writing. It has to be friendly, engaging, and easily readable.  

The younger the audience, the shorter their attention span.  The message has to get the reader’s attention quickly and hold it. Hard-to-read material doesn’t do this.  

One thing to keep in mind…

Readability won’t fix a poor message.  It just makes it easier to read. Start with the best content for your target audience. Focus on content first and get the copy crafted.

Once you have it written, then go back and edit it for word choice, passive voice, and structure.

3 Techniques for getting readable

Shorter sentences, simple words, shorter paragraphs all combine to make your message more readable.  

  • Newspapers or magazines score between a level 5 and 10. 
  • Anything above a 10 is considered very hard to read. 
  • Good copywriters stay at 8 or below.  

Shorter sentences

The first thing to look for is long sentences.  The more words in a sentence, the harder it is to read. Look for ways to break long sentences into shorter ones.  

If you’re not sure whether a sentence is too long, here’s a simple trick. Read it out loud.  If you run out of air and need to take a breath—shorten it.  You can also use ellipses or dashes to break a sentence.

Word choice

The more letters or syllables in a word, the harder it is to read.  Look for a shorter synonym. Efficacy has four syllables.  Power, success, or use are all better options. 

Keep in mind that 50% of US adults have a reading ability at grade eight or less.  Maximize your marketing efforts with a message at an FK 8 or below.

Shorter paragraphs

As with words and sentences, paragraphs need to be kept short. Look for sections that involve more than one idea. Break them into shorter segments.  

In web content or anything to be read on an electronic device, keep the maximum number of paragraph lines to five or less.   

Don’t trust your big screen desktop to give you an accurate line count. Use an edit option to view your copy on a mobile device.  What looks great on the computer screen may be hard to read on your cell phone.  

Shorter paragraphs create white space—the gaps between paragraphs. They let the brain relax and reduce fatigue.

Long paragraphs are like a monologue, and people stop reading.

When I work with clients

Even before I start working with a new client, I visit their website and look for how readable it is.  I use one of the popular readability checkers and copy-paste content and see how they score.  On our first visit, I share tips with them to improve the return on their marketing investment. 

Getting your quality content readable is an evergreen investment that improves sales.  https://www.jculpcreativecopy.com.