Today, let's talk about one of the bigger challenges you might face in the messages you put out there in your marketing to architects...
Or any of your communications...
Recently, when I was helping a client improve some content on their website, we ran into a tough one.
The article was very technical in nature, had a lot of good information, but was a bear to read through.
As usual, I started with the original post to make it more readable. When I put the original text through standard writing software, it ranked the text as a Grade 15 reading level.
This means it was the equivalent of a college textbook... Very difficult to read.
Your goal should be to get all your writing down to at least a 9th-grade reading level to get somebody to read them. A lower reading level is even better, in terms of getting somebody to read it…
To measure this, I use different software. But the most accessible is right inside Microsoft Word.
It’s called the Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Level (F-K). More on this below...
I use the F-K daily and it's made all my writing more effective. And if you start using it, it can help make your writing more simple and clear, too.
Because we both know, when it comes to marketing your product or service to architects, clarity is critical.
Making your own writing more readable
Here are some good general rules you can follow to get your own writing on the right track.
- Write at an 8th grade reading level (or lower).
- Use short words and paragraphs.
- Ignore good grammar when you have a good reason.
- And it’s OK to start sentences with And. But. However. So you see...
An F-K Grade Level of 5.0 or below is very easy to read. A rating of 10.0 or above is very difficult to read. As a copywriter, I shoot for an F-K between 5 and 8.
As I mentioned, MS Word comes with the F-K test built into its grammar/spell checker. Check in Word’s Help menu to find out how to turn it on.
If you’re on a Mac, you can download the free software “Word Counter” from www.supermagnus.com/mac/index.html. This gives the same information for any Mac word processor.
Or you can go to the website www.hemingwayapp.com and plug your text right into the webpage. You'll even get color-coded highlights to help you see where you can improve.
So, go check out one of these tools today and start improving your own writing.
[By the way, if you plug this article you just read into Word, you’ll find it has an F-K reading level of 5 or 6. As a matter of fact, you'll find most of my emails and posts are right in that same range.]
Make it a great marketing day!