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When President Obama signed into federal law the Plain Writing Act of 2010, it was to mandate that federal executive agencies use plain language as a standard of communication. The premise of this law is that the American public deserves plain language communication from its government. As plain language became more ubiquitous across the government and business sectors, its tangible and intangible benefits become more emphasized.
1. Plain language is efficient. These days people have short attention spans. A decade ago, marketers measured that the average reader’s attention span was 12 seconds. Now, the average reader’s attention span is a mere seven seconds. That is about as long as it takes to read these two sentences. A writer needs to capture the attention of the audience and that is best done with plain language. That is because it gets your message across in the most efficient way possible.
2. Plain language is clear. For businesses, a message is only effective when it is understood. Plain language is based on an eighth-grade reading level, ensuring clarity and simplicity in communication. Did you know that the average American reads at this grade level? For messaging to be inclusive and accessible, it needs to be clear to the general audience.
3. Plain language is easy to understand. This is especially important when it comes to writing an instruction manual, as the content should be easy to understand and follow. For a business, this reduces complaints, inquiries and confusion from customers who are unable to follow complicated directions.
4. Plain language is better for marketing. When it comes to user experience on the website and digital marketing collateral such as blog posts, webpages and articles, plain language offers businesses more of a competitive advantage. Websites written in plain language have less of a bounce rate. Marketing collateral written in plain language can drive revenue and build customer loyalty, as it is more appealing to a wider audience. Also, consider that marketing promotions for a complicated product in the tech space tend to perform better when written in plain language as opposed to technical jargon.
5. Plain language creates a positive image. Using plain language can help position your business as one that puts people first because when you have clear, transparent communication, your audience feels acknowledged. This promotes a positive reputation for the brand, as well as customer loyalty. The internet is full of noise and competition for marketing messages. By using plain language, a business stands out from the crowd and tailors its message to the customer.
6. Plain language is universal. While plain language became law for government agencies, it was also used across different industries to improve communication. Businesses such as banks, insurance companies, law firms, legal services and IT companies use plain language to communicate with customers. This saves time and money with every message that the business puts out.
The benefits of plain language are tremendous for businesses that are looking to have transparent and efficient communication with customers.
Marina Roukalova is a content creator for Scion Analytics. She is a published writer who covers tech and business in Tampa Bay, Florida.
This thought leadership article was sponsored by Scion Analytics.
Scion Analytics is a tech company based in Rocky Point, Tampa, Florida. Its Content Analytics Platform uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to transform how businesses leverage content. It encourages innovators to “imagine what you can do” with the software.