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Smartphones give on-the-go consumers the world at their fingertips. As a result, they are accustomed to simple app interfaces and intuitive website designs. They also expect short, straightforward content that gets to the point so they can get on with their lives.

Long blocks of content are no match for today’s short attention spans. They are also no match for today’s user experience, mobile or otherwise. That is why it’s time to take a look at how you can shorten your insurance agency newsletter, blog posts, emails or even webpage copy.

It’s more important than ever to make sure your content is short, concise, and to the point. Here’s how you can make sure it is.

Don’t Need it? Delete it.

When you want to be as clear and concise as possible, the backspace button is your friend. Use it to delete filler words and unnecessary sentences. Don’t be afraid to delete anything that isn’t absolutely necessary.

Here is an example. The following paragraphs communicate the same idea. But, the second is more concise.
If you no longer have the ability to continue to work and provide for your family, then they may face tough issues such as paying bills, repaying debts, putting money away for retirement or college, and dealing with emergency expenses. Long and short-term disability insurance coverage could supplement your income and protect your family if you should become unable to work due to injury or illness.

If you become ill or unable to work, your bills still need to be paid. Disability insurance can protect your family’s finances and keep your savings intact.

Remember when you shorten content, make sure it still retains its original message. Before hitting delete, ask yourself, “Would my email/blog/webpage be any different if I deleted this sentence/phrase/word?” You’d be surprised at how many extra filler words sneak into your sentences.

Passive Voice and Active Voice

There are technical ways to describe how to structure sentences, or active and passive voice. But, for our purposes, know this: Passive voice can soften assertions, add too many filler words, and make it sound like your agency isn’t confident. Meanwhile, active voice reads as assured and straightforward without the extra words.

The easiest way to identify passive voice is to look for a combination to be + verb. Here’s an example:

  • I have waited two days for an auto quote.
  • I have waited two days for an auto quote.

Have is unnecessary, because the verb waited is already past tense. Another example:

  • Passive voice should be avoided.
  • Avoid passive voice.

It’s easy to rework a sentence to eliminate passive voice. The first sentence is passive voice. The second is rearranged to be active voice. Be active, be confident!


Write it Short

Another way to shorten your content is to write it short in the first place. As you write something, make sure every sentence works toward the main idea or topic at hand. Make sure everything is of value to the target audience. If something you write does not contribute to your main idea or topic, it is probably irrelevant to the reader.

When you shorten content, it makes a bigger impact. You don’t have to sacrifice the message for the length. You can have both.