There’s something safe, I guess, about using the same words everyone else uses. Maybe that’s why businesses keep using and over-using words like innovative, industry-leading, top quality, expert and experienced. Or maybe there’s simply no other way to say what we really mean? Maybe those words are it?
I hope not, because the over-used words are now nothing more than clichés that mean nothing to the people we’re trying to persuade—the prospects.
And I doubt it, because the English language is rich with words. Dripping and oozing with endless possibilities, unusual yet meaningful words you’ve likely heard before but aren’t top of mind.
How’s your email copywriting? Would you rank it among the email marketing best practices you’re adhering to?
When you find your email copywriting leans towards clichés, ask yourself, “What do we really mean by innovative?” If the answer is, we really mean we want to sound like everyone else, you have serious flaws in your email marketing message! If the answer is something else like, we have developed solutions unlike any others available on the market today, then why don’t you simply say that instead of innovative? And back up your claim, of course.
David Meerman Scott was recently interviewed for a MarketingSherpa article on improving copywriting with help from social media. He presents seven tactics but there are two I want to point out in particular as relevant to email copywriting and email marketing best practices:
Tactic #1: Read what your audience writes
This is first and foremost, I think, because it helps you to learn your customer’s language so you can use their words, not clichés. Scott suggests looking to social media sites, blogs, user-generated review sites, and the like, any place people are talking about your company, product or service. What words to they use?
Tactic #3: Eliminate empty language online
Once you know different words, use them. Scott says to remove the empty words from main entry points like your home page, and also any outbound marketing material.
Remember, you can adhere to every other email marketing best practice, but if your email marketing message is the same as everyone else’s, so will your campaign be, at least to a degree! The words matter. Get them right, without trying to just “play it safe.” Hey, break away from the crowd and sound different and you’ll at least get noticed! Which is the first step to getting a sale!