As marketers, we like to be cute and clever.
We love a witty turn of phrase. Or a sly double entendre.
Trouble is, your customers don’t care.
In fact, test after test shows that—bombarded daily with messages—they prefer transparency to hype.
So how do you resonate with these savvy consumers?
Here are four tips to be as clear and customer-focused as possible:
1. Get Inside Your Customers’ Head
To truly relate to your customers, go beyond market research.
Relate to the person—not just the data.
You can do it formally by creating "avatars" or "personas" representing different customer segments.
These are characters, complete with names and personalities.
Or you can just try casually putting yourself in their shoes.
Either way, write from their perspective by imagining their needs, emotions and activities while reading your copy.
Shift your perspective and you’ll overcome your urge to impress with cleverness.
It’s not about you. It’s about them.
2. Answer "Where" and "What" Before "Why"
Visitors to a website have three key questions:
- Where am I?
- What can I do here?
- Why should I bother?
many sites focus on "why"—with hyped-up sales copy and random
testimonials—before answering the more basic "where" and "what."
But if you don’t immediately clarify your site and its purpose, no one will make it to "why."
3. Tell the Truth—Clearly
You might be telling the truth.
But if you’re using terms like "paradigm" and "synergistic," your readers will think you’re hiding behind meaningless buzzwords.
So write clearly, cut the subjective language and back your claims with real data.
Because your customers want useful information, not bloated hype.
4. Be Literal—Especially in Headlines
Everyone wants to write clever copy.
And headlines are a great place to showcase your talent for puns. Right?
No one wants to wade through your wordplay to get the information they need.
So make your writing as clean, simple and literal as possible.
This doesn’t mean your customers don’t want sparkling, engaging writing. They do.
Just not at the expense of clarity.
Want more tips for clear, customer-focused writing? Learn how to write compelling copy with our free 25-page e-book, Breakthrough Web Writing.