Numbers can make us lazy

Numbers are great at attracting attention online, but they can induce some dangerous laziness in business copywriting. When a new version of a product arrives which is 23% faster than the current model, the easy thing to do is to scream: “Yay! Our new model is 23% faster!” But what does that mean?

For existing customers, it might have some appeal, but does the figure now make it faster than the competition for the first time? What’s the significance of the change?

For new prospects, it really isn’t of interest. They don’t care what the previous model’s performance was. Never had one, never will. So all that matters is what the 23% faster performance actually results in, and why that’s a benefit. As ever, think storytelling. You wouldn’t tell a friend that your new washing machine is 4.8dB quieter than your old one; you’d tell them that you’ve now got a machine which you can run overnight without keeping you awake.