KISS Copy - Keep It SIMPLE & SHORT
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein
If You're Going To Write Marketing Copy - Learn To KISS
When writing copy, whether for a website, ad, or brochure, it is critical that it gets read and understood. KISS copy uses short, easily understood words, short sentences and simple concepts. Tell your whole story but do it in as few, universally understood words as possible. Every copywriter worth his or her salt lives by KISS Copy. Even in longer pieces, you still need to keep the words simple and the sentences and paragraphs crisp and concise.
How To Go About Kissing (Non-Copywriters Pay Particular Attention)
A little trick. First, write everything you want to say. Leave nothing out. Then, in a day or so, go back over your copy and remove every non-essential word. You may be surprised to see how much of your story is gone – and how you don’t even notice.
Anything that gets in the way of your message being read is a big no-no! Avoid distracting layouts, colors and designs. Avoid words whose meanings are not unmistakably clear.
To illustrate the idea of KISS Copy, here’s an ad I wrote early in my career. Including the headline and the outro sub-headline, it consists of 93 words with 381 characters (average of 4.1 letters per word). There are 11 sentences averaging 8.45 words per sentence. The longest sentence has 20 words; the shortest has 5.
FUN TEST: See if you notice anything odd or interesting in how my words are structured.
A Trip Through Desk Barn Makes You Feel Just Like A School Kid
Next time you’re in Desk Barn try this. Walk through the store aisle by aisle. We think you will find that, like most grown-ups, you are drawn to all the fun things we stock.
The neat pens, books and white boards… the fresh, crisp, clean pads… the frames and art tools… stands to show off your best work… a cool desk set and, of course, the snacks.
Make your work fun for a change. The fun starts at Desk Barn!
Did you notice the oddity? I'll bet not. See the bottom of the page for the answer.
“Complexity is not to be admired. It is to be avoided” Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin, The Power of Simplicity
Here's A Great, Free Head Start For You
Get a jump on your Website and KISS Copywriting with my FREE Guide, 20 Commandments For Wannabe Copywriters. It's a great help for copywriters of every skill level.
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The copy consists entirely of one-syllable words. So do yourself a favor, “eradicate excessive polysyllabicism immediately!” and your copy will produce better results. Try this exercise yourself.