Sunday, September 9, 2012

Like Dr. Seuss Says: The Shorter, The Better

The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
Dr. Seuss 
I’ve written a lot about blah blah text, marketing buzzwords and the fact that in business-to-business communications, less is truly more. 

And here I go again!

Concise text makes it easier for readers (prospects) to comprehend meaning, since most folks scan marketing-related content and rarely read every word.

Especially on a website, web visitors are impatient and don’t wade through overly promotional text.

The following is a fictionalized example of website copy which might be rewritten for  a client project.  This example might seem over the top, but it is a common scenario.  While the actual wording has been changed to protect the innocent, the essence of the rewrite is authentic.

Each version shares the same message – but one version is nearly 100 words longer. Is shorter better?  You decide.

ORIGINAL "About XYZCleaners" – 132 words:
Since 1998, XYZCleaners has provided comprehensive custodial services to help the area’s leading financial institutions, retail stores and education institutions access high quality custodial care.  With a unique perspective on custodial services,  XYZCleaners was a pioneer in bringing improved custodial services to their regional market.  Meeting the rising demand of companies looking for new and better ways to serve their customers, XYZCleaner’s vision and commitment to customer service and custodial innovation have helped the company become an industry leader in custodial care. Today, with over 120 employees, XYZCleaners provides the largest selection of services of any custodial service provider in the area. Our team of highly trained custodians and cleaning professionals are proud to offer a diverse set of janitorial services and customized programs for all building, retail and office cleaning needs.

Revised "About XYZCleaners" – 38 words:
XYZCleaners provides the largest selection of quality custodial services in the XYZ City area. For over a decade, leading financial institutions, retail stores and education institutions turn to XYZCleaners for customized services delivered by highly trained cleaning professionals.

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