5 Copywriting Phrases To Avoid Like a Plague and What You Should Say Instead

Marketing slogans and business messages are rife with stock phrases that deliver meaningful points like junk food delivers nutrition. In short, nada.

Unweeded out, these hackneyed phrases can desensitize your readers to your message. They’ve read it so many times that you appear as generic as the next cheap prescription brand (okay, I’ll stop with the analogies now). This is a disservice to your company since you’re missing valuable opportunity to differentiate your business and connect them to your brand.

To discover the most used copywriting phrases, I went to a site that lists business profiles and went ahead and surveyed 20 business descriptions. I then counted the words I came across the most often and lo and behold, I came up with the following winning phrases for this little experiment.

Cutting-edge/State-of-the-art (Used 17 times)

Ah, the age-old claim to using today’s latest technology. This could’ve flown circa 10 years ago, but right now almost everyone is more or less using the same technology so stating this just makes you look like you just got on the bandwagon.

What to say instead:

If you are indeed using a technology that only a select few in your industry are using, get specific on what are those and explain the benefits of being an early adopter. Otherwise, nix this phrase and find a more effective phrase to use.

Integrated solutions (Used 14 times)

This phrase gets me scratching my head every time. It makes me think, “What exactly are the solutions being integrated here?” Hint: people won’t know until you tell them.

What to say instead:

Rather than say an all-encompassing term like “integrated solutions,” why not list down the solutions you can offer? Your customers will no doubt thank you for it and you’ll have a much more credible copy to boot.

Pushing the envelope/Game-changing (Used 11 times)

Anytime you claim to be a pioneer in the field, you’re naturally propping yourself for big expectations. For a time, it was trendy when almost every startup was touted as the “next game-changer.” Nowadays, unless you can back this up, it’s better to steer clear from using grandiose words that serve you no purpose but to give your brand an outdated meaning.

What to say instead:

As with my previous tip, if you have any proprietary technology or business concept that’s bound to disrupt the field, state what are those and why it has the potential to transform the field. This makes you more believable without having to resort to bland, timeworn phrases.

Feature-rich (Used 10 times)

Umm, isn’t everything feature-rich nowadays? Or is it just the ones I read? No? Well, there you have it. Using feature-rich in your copy is like saying that everyone reading this article are human beings—it’s painfully obvious and it makes your reader think you’re dumbing down your copy. Effective copy should always be clear, simple, and most of all, never redundant.

What to say instead:

Instead of using feature-rich, just list down all the features of your product and service. It drives home the point and subscribes to the all-powerful copywriting mantra: “Show, don’t tell.” If you want to take it a notch further, make sure to include the benefits of the features you’ve outlined.

Quality workmanship (Used 9 times)

Quality is par for the course for today’s businesses. If you have to state this and claim it for your business, then you might not be doing enough of a good job to warrant a reputation for quality. No matter the industry, quality workmanship is still better shown than self-proclaimed.

What to say instead:

If you want to play up the quality of your service or product and believe it’s a notch above the rest, why not reveal the process that makes yours exceptional? Letting in your audience to this information makes it easier for customers to differentiated you from your competitors.

The Key to Copy That Connects and Converts

Writing a killer copy is never an easy feat. It has to be straightforward and yet, still pack a punch at the same time. This is only possible when you do away with using vapid industry terms that have long lost its essence through the years.

If you want a copy that does what you want it to, you have to let it shine on its own without the accoutrements of technobabble. Use the words that capture its fundamental qualities and only then will your copy convert.

How about you, what are some overworked copywriting phrases that irk the heck out of you?