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KISS, it’s an acronym you’ve probably heard before. Keep It Simple, Stupid, or the more polite Keep It Short and Simple. I heard it all the time as a writer for newspapers and even more so as a writer in marketing.

I’ve often bragged about how I can boil complex subjects and emotions into short taglines and headlines, but like all writers I can get bogged down in the details and want to tell a deeply descriptive story. KISS has helped me stay on track more than you could imagine!

I’mma Keep This Short

Today I read this post about the CEO at Land O’ Lakes who replies to emails with this line, “Please don’t write me a novel, I won’t read it,” and how he prioritizes reading emails by subject line. It’s become an effective way to communicate within the company and has helped build relationships rather than harm them.

I find it fascinating that TL:DR (Too Long: Didn’t Read) has become a facet of our society as we’re required to read SO much information every day. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite artists:

“How do I convey this whole world in five words?” - Beck

Shorten Up

So in the interest of keeping this quick, but useful, here are a few tips I’ve found useful in keeping your copy short and effective:

  • Find the right word. Don’t settle for the words you know. Use a thesaurus and dictionary to find the exact word to describe the feeling or idea you want to convey.

  • Remove all the “That,” from your writing. It’s one word, but it takes up space and usually has no purpose.

  • Be blunt. Don’t tiptoe around your subject. Say it fast and get out.

  • Repetition is a waste of space and time. If you’re reiterating your subject, try to combine the two sentences together or kill one.

  • Use active language. Keep those verbs close to the front of your sentences and avoid putting those qualifiers at the beginning of your sentences.

That’s it. Keep It Short and Simple - especially in your marketing messages - and you’ll make a bigger mark. Need help cutting copy? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you trim the fat!

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