“Dumbing Down” Gets More Sales: 21 Small Business Profit Boosters (#13)

Have you ever read a website and it just seemed to “stiff” or “formal” to you?

Or you felt like they were talking over your head, using a lot of buzzwords and lingo you didn't understand?

Me too.

That leads to this little tip that will REALLY help your copy make more sales (or generate more leads, or whatever you need it to do)…

Keep it simple! Yes, even “dumb it down”.

Copy should read like conversation; it should flow naturally and be easy to listen to (or read).

By the way, this does not mean your readers are “dumb” (they're not). It means they are busy and distracted: simplifying your copy respects your reader's time.

Using big words and jargon might sound impressive, but it won't get you sales. Which would you prefer?

Use strong, punchy words. Write simply and clearly.

Read Strunk & White's Elements of Style – and follow its advice.

Avoid jargon.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I made the mistake for years as a Real Estate & Mortgage Broker with my own site.

    It's long gone now. It was filled with tons of information I wrote in that same formal fashion, filled with jargon.

    It sure did look impressive, but I rarely got any sales from it. Okay, I got one sale from it. In four years!

    It was there just to say I had one. Most of our business came from repeat and referrals.

    Today I'm revamping myself and my business.

    I'll be following your advice, Ray.


    • Glad to hear it – I look forward to hearing about your results!


  • The same goes for any charts a client might pass on to you in your research data.

    When charts are so complicated they make you say “Huh?” axe 'em.

    In one of my reports I was researching today from a university, every single chart was coded in egg head language. After a few seconds of trying to make sense of them I moved on.

    Charts or bar graphs that clearly make a point make for awesome eye relief in body copy or in sidebars but always make sure someone can get the point of them in a few seconds.

    Otherwise you've wasted that precious space.

    Note Taking Nerd #2

    • Good point underlining the real principle at work here regarding any element on your sales page: it either contributes to your case, or detracts from it. If its the latter, get rid of that element.


  • Shanika Journey

    Ha Ha Ha…

    The number one strategy I always follow for every project: K.I.S.S.

    Keep It Simple… “Simple”

    Simplicity is everything in a busy world. Nobody's got the time to figure out the complicated jargon.
    Short, sweet, to the point. Cool article

  • I've found that “corporate speak” (confusing copy used by big corporates) is generally intended to baffle readers into submission.. I hate it and avoid using it at all costs… the Internet gives people more freedom to do what they want to do than they've ever had before.. Trying to force them into paying you any attention is always going to backfire… speak to them on a level at which both you and they are comfortable… Don't come across as stupid, but don't come across as arrogant or pompous either