Readable = Understandable. Don’t let your copywriting get too clever.
A little while ago I delved into making your copywriting more exciting. This week I wanted to step sideways and look at making your marketing more readable. After all, the easier your message is to read, the easier it is understood and actioned!
Copywriting 101 says: Pitch your marketing message at the right level, matching the education and vocabulary of your audience.
Now unless your target market has specific language needs (like being under 5, or super clever university boffins) your marketing copywriting should be aimed at a high school education level – Year 9 or 10.
How can you tell?
A lovely and talented website copywriter by the name of Kate Toon put me onto this online tool for text readability. You simply plug in some text and get a grade rating. You’ll see there are a few different formulas and it’s quite interesting to see the results.
Remember: the higher the grade needed to read your copywriting, the harder it is for a wider audience to understand. And lowering the grade doesn’t mean talking down to your audience. Just taking the hot air out of your copywriting.
How? Exchange long words for shorter words and reduce the sentence length so that almost anyone can understand your message.
Here’s a great guide on readability vs sentence length:
Very easy 8 words or less
Easy 9 – 11 words
Fairly easy 12 – 14 words
Standard 15 – 17 words
Fairly difficult 18 – 21 words
Difficult 22 – 25 words
Very difficult 26 – 30 words
Remember: The longer the sentences you write and the longer the words you use, the harder your copywriting is to understand.
The Copy Detective
P.S. This article scored an average grade level of 9.32
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