Wordsmithing 101

Optimized, well-thought-out copy makes all the difference when trying to get your point across in sales, marketing, and life.

Higher conversion and more sales are just some of the benefits of well written text.

Below is an evolving list of some “before” and “after” examples of copy that was used for marketing purposes. These usually arrive from various internal teams (design, marketing, etc) of companies I have done business with.

Since nothing is perfect, my suggestions could surely be further optimized and improved, but I hope that they give you some inspiration and insight into my way of thinking.

Here we go:


Before:

“Select one:

If your child is using Tinkercad in school - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
If your child is NOT using Tinkercad in school - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.”

Over-complication is at the core of human nature.

After:

“Select one:

- My child is using Tinkercad in school.
- My child is NOT using Tinkercad in school.”

Don't make the user think.


Before:

“Please wait a moment...”

Previous Adobe login screen sounded like you are about to be placed on hold; that, or you're waiting in line at your dentist's office.

After:

“Just a moment, please...”

Positioning of the word “please” changes everything – you’re now asking the user for permission, not simply stating. As a result, the new tone sound warmer, more refined and more inviting.


Before:

“The only kit you need to get started with all the components to build simple projects and learn how to turn any idea into reality using Arduino.”

Autodesk Circuits required some assistance in their wording department. All ideas were there, the only problem was that they came in a form of soup. This particular one wasn't easy to digest.

After:

“Turn ideas into reality through simple, fun projects with this all-inclusive, step-by-step Arduino starter kit.”

Benefit > How > What, is the formula for success in marketing. With that in mind, I've laid out all of the ingredients in their correct order which resulted in a nice French Onion soup you'd expect to get somewhere in Paris.


Before:

“You’ve to provide shipping info. Please click on Get Rates for more details.”

Autodesk 123D's language was simple, but in times confusing.

After:

“Please provide your shipping information before proceeding. Click on 'Get Rates' for more details.”

Since this was a part of a technical and very systematic process, the language needed to reflect that. Now, users have more clear guidance.


Before:

“In order to import an STL file into Tinkercad, you should use the Import option, which allows you to browse for an STL file in your computer. Then you will define its size (which you can then scale up or down after being imported).”

Although Autodesk Tinkercad is the simplest and most enjoyable tool on planet Earth, sometimes the language made the tool sound too amateur, stripping it from all of its power.

After:

Step 1: Use the Import option to bring your 3D design (STL) into Tinkercad.

Step 2: Adjust the size of your model to preferred dimensions by Scaling it.”

I get that directions need to be crystal clear, but don't make it sound like I have an IQ of a rock... I've broken things up into logical steps instead of a long sentence. List form simplifies things greatly. The words were rearranged to sound less broken, too.


I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments!