My wife and I are on our way back from somewhere, and stop at a service station. Lo and behold, there are the usual signs reminding all weary travellers to pay before getting out of the car for a break. It’s  nice and easy, the signs say. All we have to do was call a number or log onto the website of the company that processed the payments. I try their number. an automated voice asks for my car registration. It tells me to press the numbers that have the letters I need underneath. With all that, I eventually get the registration number up on the screen. But the automated voice is still telling me to enter my registration number on the keypad.

I give up and try downloading the company app (I don’t have access to a browser on my phone, by choice. But that’s for a different post!).

Again, it asks me to input various pieces of info, including said registration number. No problem.

Only, I get some funny error message after giving my credit card details.

By that point it’s time to get back on the road. Hopefully I won’t end up with a fine!

Nice and simple eh?!

Now the company won’t be too affected. After all, we’ll still have to use their services if we need a break from the road. but it underscores the need for simplification. As a customer, I want things to be made as easy as possible, and I’m sure you do too.

And that, to me, is one aspect that many people miss when writing their marketing content.

As a business owner trying to draw in your target market, over complicating things is the pitfall to be avoided at all costs.

 You may well understand the jargon used in your industry. Whatever terminology you use in your line of work makes perfect sense to you. You may think it looks impressive on your about page.

But to the average person viewing your site, it’s probably no easier than reading Chinese.

You can wax poetic using really long sentences, with paragraphs that go on forever, thinking that your enthusiasm really shows in the copy. but all the reader sees is a blob of text that’s too much to process at once.

Your goal is to inform the customer, to let him/her know how you or the product you sell solve a problem you know they have. The customer is stuck. You have the solution they want. But if they can’t make sense of what you’re saying, or the amount of text is too much for the eye and brain to take in, they won’t be convinced.

It’s about keeping it simple. If you’re struggling with that in your copy, you know you can just contact me