As writers (and inevitably, readers), we’re often tempted to show off our abilities and our strengths. Our deeper understandings and intuitions, not to mention our ability to recognise a bon mot when we see one.

 But for the professional copywriter, this is often a trap.

 As a general rule, we are never the message in our writing, we’re simply the conduit to translate a message for its audience in the best way possible. 

And for that, ‘clarity’ is le mot juste. Especially when your audience is diverse. With different levels of understanding of the subject. Or different life experiences which may affect their interpretation. Or even different levels of facility with English.

Clever copy may make the writer (and perhaps a few readers) smile, but if it creates a barrier to understanding or trust, then it’s really not worth it. Consider the equation: clarity + simplicity = understanding/trust. Clear and concise copy that ensures your message is understood easily and quickly can lead to better engagement and response rates, build trust, strengthen brand credibility and drive conversions. And that’s clearly what matters.

 The point: Nine times out of ten, clarity beats cleverness. By all means be clever, but never at the expense of understanding.