Why Saying Less Will Make Your Copy More Impactful

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Want to hear one of the 101 things I learned in advertising school?

Well, actually—I didn’t go to advertising school. I just read a book called 101 Things I Learned In Advertising School.

And Thing #79 reminded me of a copywriting tip I’ve been meaning to share with you:

Say less. 

(Something I’m classically really bad at, as a Certified Yapper—but really good at as a Really Good Copywriter.)

Why Saying Less Is More Powerful Than Saying More

When it comes to writing copy that people actually want to read, saying less is typically the best option.

But cutting out the clutter isn’t only good for readability.

It’s also good for trustworthiness. According to the book I mentioned above, “long explanations make people uncomfortable.”

You know when someone has a big, elaborate excuse for why they didn’t do something, and you start to wonder if they’re telling the truth? It’s kind of like that.

(I’m thinking of a teacher sitting at their desk, listening to a dog-ate-my-homework story, not believing a single word out of the student’s mouth.)

Point is: sometimes when you say too much, your actual message gets lost, and people start to lose interest.

Or worse: question your credibility. 

As someone who always has a LOT to say, trust me when I tell you that I know how difficult it can be to cut down your statement to the bare bones.

I was that dog-ate-my-homework kid, and I was telling the truth. But my teachers didn’t care about the reasons. Only the facts. The homework wasn’t on their desk. They had other responsibilities to move on to.

This was hard for me to accept, because I wanted to tell the story. I wanted them to understand the why behind my actions. I wanted them to understand everything about the situation. 

But the harsh reality is that they didn’t need to know. All they needed to know was whether to mark my homework assignment completed or not, so they can move on to the next student, and eventually the lesson of the day. 

Your website’s readers are just like those teachers. Their time is precious, and all they care about is the part of the story that matters to them. And that’s not a bad thing—in fact, that’s actually the entire point. 

Your website is for your readers, and its purpose is to share the need-to-know information that will make them more comfortable with investing in what you’re selling so they can eventually buy from you. Point blank period. 

So, when we cloud the message with all sorts of irrelevant details that they don’t need to know, we’re distracting from that main goal of conversion. 

Will “saying less” affect your message or your copy?

Now, don’t get it twisted—it is possible to be personable, conversational, casual, and engaging while still being focused on conversion

All I’m saying is to be mindful about what you share, and when you share it.

Think about which information the reader actually would benefit from knowing right away when they land on your site. 

Hint: it’s probably not the entire origin story of your business name or how you got into your field a million years ago. 

Instead, it’s likely a brief, attention-grabbing statement about exactly what you do and exactly how that thing benefits them. 

Why being direct is better than being long-winded in your copy

Anyone can say more. It takes practice, re-reading, editing, and skill to say less. 

(And if you want to learn that skill…click here. I’m more than happy to teach you. 😉)

Even though you’re WRITING less, chances are you’re spending MORE time refining your message — because when you have less opportunity (aka less words) to use to convey what you want to say, you have to focus way more on the impact of those (few) words.

I love the example of my client Celeste’s website, where I used a really simple, direct approach to the copy.

Her target audience (single, professional, career-driven men in midlife looking to find a lasting love) does NOT want to spend time reading through lots of copy to determine whether or not Celeste is the right dating & image consultant for them. They want answers as soon as they land on the page.

So, for them, DIRECT copy was the move.

(I have a whole case study about this project, if you want to read it!)

Point of the story?

Be direct. Be specific. Say exactly what you mean. Don’t beat around the bush. It’s okay if your copy isn’t fancy — CLARITY matters more, most of the time.

And, yes, as I mentioned earlier, it *is* possible to still be witty, conversational, engaging, enticing, all the things… EVEN IF your copy is direct and simple.

Learn how here. 😏

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution. 

Through what I like to call sales-focused storytelling, I'll help you find your brand's voice, perfectly position your offerings, develop your target market, and write copy that resonates with your ideal audience. And I'll do it all while keeping your personality at the forefront of every draft, to ensure that each word aligns with your true self. 

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