9 words & phrases copywriters should avoid

Weed these little words and phrases out of your copy, and improve the clarity and focus of your communications...

 9 words & phrases copywriters should avoid

‘Whatever’ / ‘whether’

Using these words tends to mean you don’t really know who you’re writing for, or what you can specifically offer. As in: Whether you’re a, b or c, we’ve got the right solution for you’, or ‘Whether you’re an x, y or z, we’re here for you.’ What if I’m none of these things?

‘We understand…’

As in: ‘We understand that running a small business is hard’. People are unlikely to respond well to this sort of fake empathy, which is as generic as it is unconvincing. It’s a case of telling not showing – simply asserting that you understand something is not proof that you do.

‘X lets / allows you to do y’

When we tell people that a product or service lets them do something, it sounds like we’re begrudgingly giving them permission to enjoy its benefits. Better to say, ‘With x you can do y…’

‘Leading’, ‘best in class’ etc

Vague superlatives like these don’t convince me you’re great or the best. They just sound like empty, unsubstantiated boasting. Rather than just assert your greatness, find ways to demonstrate it, for instance through customer service stats or brief testimonial quotes. Compliance people hate them too.

‘Unique’

Especially if it isn’t. Ditto ‘perfect’.

‘Our’, ‘we’ etc

Don’t talk about yourselves with lots of statements in the first person (we, us, our). Talk about yourselves in terms of how you can help and serve people, using lots of second-person statements (you).

‘Solutions’

We all agree that this is a hopelessly vague word, one that no one ever searches for and doesn’t really mean anything. Yet we all just keep on using it...

‘More than ever’

The statement that goes with this phrase is almost never true.

‘In today’s fast-moving world...’

Or anything like this. It’s so hopelessly generic it just makes you sound like you don’t really know who you’re talking to, or why.