Why Jargon Should be Outlawed

February 21st 2013       Sally Ormond       clear copywriting, effective copywriting, forget the jargon, no jargon, powerful copywriting

Why oh why do so many companies feel the need to fill their marketing materials with jargon?No Jargon in copywriting

Do they think it makes them appear clever?

Perhaps they’re under the impression their clients want to be faced with unintelligible ramblings because then they’ll feel as though they’re dealing with experts?

Well they’re wrong.

Using jargon in your sales material is a complete turn off. All your customers want to know is how you’re going to make their lives better in plain and simple language.

Language speaks volumes

The language you use says a lot about your company – even the salutation you use in your letters and emails:

Dear customer – ‘we don’t really care who you are, just give us your money.’

Dear Mr Smith – ‘see, we do you know your name ’cause it’s in our database, but we don’t really want to talk to you, we just want your cash.’

Hello Mike – ‘we like you and want to build a relationship with you.’

Hi Mike – ‘we value all our customers, know them all by name and want to help. Come and chat to us.’

OK, slightly tongue in cheek, but you get the gist.

The whole point of business is to build relationships with your customers. Successful relationship building will then lead to sales, so how you communicate is crucial. It even comes down to vocabulary choices, we’ve already talked about jargon and how it should be outlawed, but the same goes for general word choices.

Ditch words like:

  • Obtain
  • Retain
  • Further to
  • In the event that

In favour of everyday staples like:

  • Get
  • Keep
  • Following
  • If

In other words speak as you would write. If it helps, say out loud what you want to write and then type it. And NO it won’t make you look unprofessional, it will make you look approachable because clear and simple language communicates messages far more effectively than over-jargonated gibberish.

So, what do you need to do?

  1. Write what you mean in clear, simple language
  2. Write for your reader in the second person
  3. Take out any jargon or buzz words that slip through and replace them with normal language
  4. Wherever possible use verbs rather than nouns
  5. Use the active voice

By following these simple rules your writing will be clearer, more effective and much more pleasant to read.

Tags: clear copywriting, effective copywriting, forget the jargon, no jargon, powerful copywriting
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