Copywriting success may depend on finding the precise mix of language that resonates with your audience, but success or failure can just as easily rest on which words you don’t use. Here are my candidates for 5 common terms and phrases that every B2B writer should eliminate from his/her vocabulary:
To Learn More
Copy that drives engagement and response on the part of the reader relies on providing that reader a specific and tangible reason for taking action. Why should I click on your ad? What happens when I do? What do I get in return? “To Learn More” tells me nothing. Be specific (“To download the case study …” “To register for the Webinar …”) so that the reader knows what to expect.
For More Information
A close cousin of #1 above, and just as vague. By not telling me WHAT information I receive, and how, you put the onus on me to decide whether responding is worthwhile. What if “for more information” actually means requesting a sales rep to call? What if the information I receive doesn’t answer my specific questions? Remember, lack of specificity causes hesitation. And he who hesitates is lost.
Why should you never use the word “we” in ad copy? Because good copy implies a benefit to the reader, and anything in the first person is inherently about the advertiser, not the reader. For example, in a Webinar invitation: “You’ll learn 5 simple methods for improving performance …” is infinitely preferable to “We’ll present 5 simple methods …” Remember, consumers don’t care about you or your product or your Webinar. They care what’s in it for them.
A favorite of Web designers everywhere. “Submit” is a marketing term best resigned to campaign plans and performance reports (as in: “the campaign generated 53 form submits”.) It should never make it into a copy deck. Submit is impersonal, unfriendly, and it implies a giving up of information. Button labels (where the word is used most often) are far more effective if specific, relevant, and immediate, for example:
If I’m to read any ad, email, landing page or any solicitation of any type, I will do so in order to gain value from information that is new, different, or will otherwise provide benefit to me. If you state upfront that you’re telling me something I already know, as in:
“As a busy executive, you know that …”
then you’ve immediately given me a reason to ignore your message (thank you).
Don’t force the reader to wade through the obvious. Just don’t. No-one has that kind of attention span. Instead, just skip immediately to the benefit:
“Now there’s a new way for busy executives to …”
For more B2B copywriting tips, check out our infographic: “10 Commandments of Email Copywriting“.