The Seven Words Copywriters Need to Stop Using

Copywriting is a tough job. You often have a little space to say a lot: who you are, what you do, why you’re the best, and the all-important call-to-action.

But most of all, you want your magically crafted words to steal the reader’s attention.

To help you do that, I suggest banning the following words from all of your marketing text. Immediately.


1. Utilize.

Nope. Just say “use.”

2. Customizable.

Ahhhh! If I never see this word again, I can die happy. If customers can customize your product/service, get clever with it. Imagine if Burger King® went with “Get a customizable burger!” instead of “Have it your way.”

3. Innovative.

This word is now so overused that my eyes glaze over when I see it. Which means, your readers’ eyes are glazing, too. If your product/service really is innovative, tell me why. Don’t call it “innovative,” and expect that to dazzle. The same goes for …

4. Unique.

Is your product/service truly unique? Nothing else like it exists? Is it a Ghostbusters-themed amusement park? (Seriously, is it? Because I will book a flight ASAP if it is.) Most likely, it isn’t unique, but its features are. Tell me about those, instead of putting a bland “unique” label on it.

5. Integrated/Integratable.

Another excellent product/service benefit, but if integration is a key differentiator, using graphics to show this may be more effective than words. If you want to put it in copy, keep it simple, even if it means using a few more words.

6. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

**Yawn** What it means: does the value of your product/service live up to its cost? I believe this benefit is important, but find a way to say it in normal people words. Example: Buy a service agreement now, and don’t worry about unexpected costs later.

7. Any word that makes you ask, “Is this a word?”

If you’re not sure it’s a word, don’t use it. That means it’s too complex for your copy. The average person reads at about an eighth grade level. Watch those syllables!


Amy Sierlecki

Amy is a multi-talented writer and editor who can compose just about anything except for a short blurb about herself.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!