Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Keep your copies SIMPLE! Here’s what you can learn from the “Man of Few Words!” [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]

April 13, 2021

Ernest Hemingway is known as “a man of few and simple words.”

Take a look at his published works! You’ll see that most of them were written in a minimalistic approach.

Do you know that Hemingway coined a theory to describe his writing style?

That theory is called…

The “Iceberg Theory!”

This theory states that a writer should focus on surface explanations and brief language, allowing other elements, ideas, concepts, or thoughts to come through implicitly.

One good result of applying this theory in writing copies?

Captivating text that takes up less page space!

As a copywriter, how can you channel your inner Hemingway and make your copies straight to the point?

  1. Avoid writing a phrase when you can just use a single word.?

    “Due to the fact that…”

    “In order to…”

    “In addition to…”

    These are just some of the common phrases that a lot of writers use to make their copies sound formal.

    While it is tempting to include these phrases in your drafts to exude an air of expertise, you might risk losing your readers with too many words and not enough substance.

    Come to think of it. These clauses can be replaced with words like “because,” “to,” “so,” “additionally,” etc.

    Shorter and simpler, right?

    Besides, using fewer words in your content gives off a more straight-to-the-point vibe!

    Comb through your copies to see if there are some phrases that can be replaced with one word. You might be surprised to see that the shorter version of your draft sounds better than the wordy one.

    However, you also have to make sure you’re not altering the messages you want to convey by shortening your paragraphs and sentences. There are times when removing a single word changes the meaning of a whole statement, so be on the lookout for these things.

  2. Cut down qualifiers.

    “Most offices face the very frustrating occurrence of dying batteries almost every day. Ideally, you never need to face this extremely annoying situation ever again.”

    Some writers use qualifiers to strengthen their claims or avoid making overly generalized statements.

    The thing is…

    Instead of helping your copies “get down to business,” qualifiers are often counterproductive.

    For example: The words “very,” “extremely,” and “ever” used in the sentence above add little meaning to the whole statement.

    While these qualifiers help emphasize a point, they also reduce the effectiveness of your copies and delay your message.

    One solution to avoid this?

    Always look for more powerful words to include in your drafts!

    Instead of writing “very large,” you may write “massive.” Rather than using “very small,” you may use “minute” or other similar impactful words.

    By doing so, you’re not only preventing your audience from getting distracted, but also strengthening the call-to-action in your copies!

  3. Get to the point―and grip your readers’ attention!

    Your marketing collaterals should answer fundamental questions from consumers such as:

    “Why does this product or service matter?”

    “What’s in it for me?”

    “What can I do about this offer?”

    Let’s go back to our example earlier about batteries…

    If you’re advertising batteries to an office supply manager, it doesn’t matter that your products can power a remote control car―this is not relevant in an office setup!

    Instead, focus on what matters most to your target market. This will enable you to tug at their emotions and convince them to choose your brand.

    Meanwhile, answering “What can I do about this offer?” requires a call-to-action. What good is it to promote a product or service through your copies if you don’t include a clear next step?

    If you succeed in providing solutions to address your target market’s pain points but fail to include a clear call-to-action, you might even be giving your competitors an advantage.

    You don’t want that, do you?

    By answering the questions stated above and cutting all unnecessary texts, you are well on your way to creating effective and concise copies!

One of the easiest ways to lose your readers’ attention is to create too wordy and indirect copies.

Remember: As a copywriter or marketer, every page of your written outputs should be used to their full potential to pique and maintain your target market’s interest. Hollow phrases and irrelevant content have no place in effective copywriting.

Ernest Hemingway learned these concepts throughout his career as a journalist. By using page space as economically as possible, he was able to create a body of captivating content that remains at the “forefront of American literary canon.”

Take note of these tips and achieve your copywriting goals with the help of Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”

Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?

In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.

However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!

When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…

…to get people to remember.

Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.

And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!

Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.

Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.

Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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