What is the easiest writing style
Active language: 5 tips for engaging texts that your customers love
We'll tell you how active language works and what you as a copywriter should know so that your texts are a complete success!
Active speech and passive speech can be compared to a good storyteller and a bad storyteller. Only if you actively formulate your texts will they be alive and captivate your customers and readers. But how do you get your customers to read your texts with pleasure and attentively to the end?
What does active language mean?
Do you want to reach your customers with your texts, inspire them and motivate them to act? To do that, your spelling needs to be active, create images in your head and arouse the reader's interest. An active writing style picks up the customer instead of just informing him and boring him with exhausting passive constructions. The more your customer feels addressed and placed in the middle of the scenario, the greater their motivation to finish reading your text.
As a copywriter, you have to be a salesperson - only that you don't sell goods, but words that trigger exactly what your client wants in the reader. For example, you make sure that your customer is his sell products can. You achieve this by creating a lively writing style in your customers who want to buy the products. In order for you to succeed, it is important that you write actively. This means that your information is precise and pleasant to read and that your writing style focuses on the activities and the people involved. Avoid complex and difficult to understand constructions in nominal style, as they disrupt the flow of reading.
You communicate with the reader through your texts. Talk to him like you're telling a friend or coworker. Get close to the reader by focusing on the actions and people through active language. Passive language appears distant and therefore generally less appeals to the reader. Sometimes he even loses the energy to read more than just the introduction or the first few paragraphs. Therefore, make sure that your language is active and that you convey briefly and concisely what is really important.
Do not put off the reader with awkward and lifeless formulations. Don't get me wrong, a passive writing style is not a general no-go. However, when writing your text, ask yourself whether passive constructions make sense in your case. You can usually achieve your goal much better with active language.
Why active language is so important
People love it when they get their undivided attention and are addressed directly. You will feel noticed, taken seriously and understood. If you give your reader this feeling by using an active writing style, you will reach them and your text will be more resonant. Active language is particularly important for web texts that often address unknown people with whom you have no personal contact.
The first impression counts - also with texts. Therefore, choose an active writing style. He makes you appear self-confident, clear and goal-oriented. The customer gets the impression that they are dealing with a professional person or a reputable product and they trust you more. This is because, among other things, you exude a greater sense of responsibility and expert knowledge. Here's an example:
- Active: I forgot to put your appointment in the calendar.
- Passive: You forgot to enter your appointment in the calendar.
- Active: We have improved the recipe for you.
- Passive: The recipe has been improved for you.
Both sentence variants basically say the same thing, but have a different effect. While the active sentences clearly express who is responsible for the situation, the passive sentences keep a distance between your text and the customer. Especially with web texts, which are so to speak the business card of your customer, it is important to build up closeness and trust. Because this may not have the chance to personally convince his readers. Therefore, the text has to speak for itself and clearly convey your customer's intentions to the reader.
Active language also prevents misunderstandings because it is direct and easier to read and understand. If your text is so complicated that the reader struggles through it or even has to read some sentences several times, you will lose it. If that happens, your customer will not have much success with your text. In this case, the next time he hires another copywriter and you lose the client.
Choose simple words, short sentence constructions and an active writing style in order to convince your customers and their customers with attractive texts. This is how your message gets across, hits the mark and your chances of getting orders from this and other customers increases rapidly in the future. Because active texts pull the reader along and make them want more. Incidentally, passive constructions are usually longer, which makes the already cumbersome sentences even more complicated:
- Active: I heard a bird sing.
- Passive: A bird was heard singing.
Apart from the fact that the active writing style is much more pleasant to read, the passive sentence is longer. Maybe you think two words more or less don't make the cabbage fat. Imagine, however, that you are writing a very long text and these extra words creep in everywhere. Then 5000 words quickly become 6000 or 7000 words - not because you have so many important and interesting things to say, but because you get bogged down and express yourself impractically. The text that is supposed to cast a spell on the customer is so more complicated and longer than it needs to be. And bang, you've met two knockout criteria in one fell swoop and the reader (and, in the worst case, the customer) jumps off.
5 tips for an active language: this is how you can create lively texts
If you are unsure now, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Because this post is there not just to tell you how it doesn't work, but also to give you tips on how to do it right. However, to be able to actively write, you also need to understand why it is so important to get it right. Here is a five-step guide to successful active language.
1. Put yourself in the person or situation
Actively writing means that the person or action in your text is central. If you slip into this person's shoes and write from their point of view, you will write alive. A passive language, on the other hand, makes your text seem soulless. Here is an example to clarify:
- Active: Fiona bought a red car.
- Passive: A red car was bought from Fiona.
In the active sentence the focus is on Fiona, in the passive one on the red car. Also, make sure to put yourself in the reader's shoes. Instead of the impersonal word “man”, use a direct address, ie “you” or “you”. Because "With this waffle iron you bake wonderfully fluffy waffles" sounds more appealing to the customer than the sentence "With this waffle iron you can bake wonderfully fluffy waffles". The customer does not want to know what the benefits of the product are for other people; they want to know exactly why they should buy it. The best way to do this is to speak to him directly and get his attention.
2. Verbs are more alive than nouns
Verbs always embody an action and automatically bring more activity and liveliness to your texts. Therefore, it is preferable to use verbs instead of nouns in your texts. They are lighter fare and the verbal style is often easier to understand. The nominal style quickly makes texts seem rigid and thus takes away the pleasure of reading. See for yourself:
- Verbal style: The refrigerator is buzzing very loudly.
- Nominal style: The hum of the refrigerator is very loud.
In many cases, nouns can be exchanged with verbs wonderfully. Make sure that there is also a suitable option with a “do-word” for your wording to liven up your writing style. Here's a little food for thought:
- Commission - commission
- Bring it to an end - quit
- Help - help
- bring something up - speak something
3. Be confident
The more self-confidence you exude with your words, the more seriously your customer will take you and your work. Modal verbs (can, should, may, want, like) radiate uncertainty, are less convincing to the reader and suggest that what you are saying is only one possibility. It is better if you relieve your reader of these options and decisions and tell him clearly and directly what to expect.
“We advise you to take out liability insurance” sounds more convincing than “We would advise you to take out liability insurance”.
"Thanks to the airbag, you drive a safer car" is better than "Thanks to the airbag you can drive a safer car"
4. Use expressive words
Warning, verbs are not the same as verbs. There are strong and weak verbs that make your text either expressive or weak. Choose strong verbs as they will get your message across in a direct and memorable way. They make your sentences more interesting and the information stays in the reader's mind better.
- Weak verb: Our products ensurethat your complexion will improve in just one week
- Strong verb: our products improve Your complexion in just one week
- Weak verb: the repair of your car he follows in one day
- Strong verb: we repair Your car within a day
5. Short and to the point
Long nested sentences are the nightmare of most readers. They interrupt the flow of reading again and again and make the text bumpy. In an emergency, the reader even has to read the sentence several times in order to understand what you are telling him. You can also express many things briefly and concisely. Check if you are using words that are unnecessary to your message and that only complicate the text. You can find such filler words when proofreading with the help of Tools. Also keep in mind that a period is sometimes better than a comma. Two short and simple sentences are better than one long, strenuous one.
Here are a few tips:
- Write mostly short sentences of around 10 to 15 words
- If you need a maximum of one breath length to read the sentence aloud, it is pleasant to read
- If you see a lot of commas in a sentence, make several short sentences out of them
- In a good text, each sentence deals with only one topic, thought, or argument
Bonus: write positively
With your text you determine how the reader feels and what needs arise in him. Therefore, it is important that you express yourself positively in order to make him feel positive. If the reader feels good while reading your text, their interest grows. For example, if you describe the product in positive, active language, he will feel a much greater desire to buy it.
Negations, i.e. negative formulations, create a false image for the reader, which in the worst case causes the opposite of what you actually wanted to achieve. The brain likes to hide words like “not” or “none”. A little proof: “Don't think about chocolate!” The same applies to scenarios that arouse negative emotions such as disgust or fear in the reader. In the worst case scenario, they associate these feelings with the product and decide against buying it.
How to avoid negations:
- "That was good" instead of "That wasn't bad"
- "The operation of the device is easy" instead of "The operation of the device is not difficult"
Simple language, lively texts: what else is important when writing
It is wonderful when you have an extensive, demanding and sophisticated vocabulary. Remember, however, that your text is not a display of your most impressive words. Technical terms, foreign words and well-educated, complicated formulations may make sense in texts, but not in all of them. Even if you can express yourself in a sophisticated way, it is often better if you use simple language. A language that the reader can quickly understand.
Even if your repertoire of words is significantly more: weigh up whether your choice of words supports your goal or stands in the way. Nobody likes to read a text three times and repeatedly have to look up the meaning of individual words in the Duden. Simple language is about conveying the information to the target group in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. That means:
- simple words instead of high-pitched language ("That affects me only marginally" is easier to understand than "That affects me peripherally"
- short sentences
- at best only one piece of information per sentence
- German words instead of complicated foreign words
Caution: Make sure, however, that your text still sounds professional and serious. If you underwhelm your reader or make them feel difficult to understand, this can backfire, as can language that is too difficult. Analyze your target audience for the right tone. Are you writing a technical text for the professors at a university, a product description for children's toys or a blog text? How easy your language should be also depends on the level of education and age of your target group, as well as the type of text itself. A children's book, for example, has a very different language than a case study on the subject Online marketing.
Tip from the Textbroker editorial team
This simpler language should not be confused with the so-called easy language: It is intended for people with intellectual disabilities and people who are just learning German or who have difficulty reading. That is why special rules apply to orders that require plain language. You can find more information on this at, for example Website of Lebenshilfe Bremen or at Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Conclusion: the best tips for active language
Passive constructions aren't evil, they can even make more sense in some cases. It is important that you find the balance and, by and large, make your text active and lively. If you use simple, serious language and create appealing images in your reader's head, they will be happy to read your texts. Keep your tonality positive and active so that your customer feels like reading your text to the end. Easy language also helps you to express even complicated facts in an understandable and entertaining way. Therefore, always read through your texts again and check whether an unnecessary modal verb has crept in or your text sounds too passive and soulless. Over time you will get a good feel for the active writing style.
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about the author
Petrichor has been writing for Textbroker since December 2016 and has already written over 600 texts. Working with many different clients, she has learned the importance of an active and lively writing style. Providing customers with the exact text that suits their needs makes them as happy as their customers. The fact that she is constantly learning new things in her work as a copywriter motivates her to work creatively.
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