When writing, how much detail should you go into?

Posted on 16/12/2013 by Karen

This is a question I get asked a lot, and it is a good one. When you’re selling a product or a service, it’s important to give some detail to explain the offer to your prospective customers and also to try to set yourself apart from the competition. Being specific adds to your message. To illustrate my point, in the 2 examples below, which do you think have more of a punch? A or B:

A) Lots of people attended the rally
B) Over 14,000 people attended the rally

A) Our products are exported all around the world
B) Our products are exported to over 50 countries.

Statements B have more of a WOW factor because they are specific.

However, you can go overboard

For example, the newest Coles as I just saw on TV the other night had Curtis Stone talking about all the great foodie products you could get from Coles that are perfect for Christmas. He’s doing his best to make your mouth water with his descriptions of the delicious products. I was quite ok with all that until he got to the fish dish. When he mentioned that the melt-in-your-mouth salmon was “responsibly sourced from the pristine waters off the Apple Isle” I thought PULEEEEEEZE! It just sounds ridiculous.

In fact, it sounded a bit like the client insisted on shoving that in there. Too many adjectives and going overboard with too much detail just sounds forced. It’s just like shoving too many keywords and keyword phrases into your web copy. It’s not easy to digest. In fact it turns people off. Don’t do it. In case you haven’t heard it, and only if you can bear to listen to it, here it is…