Say What You Need To Say


I was cruising around the FAQ section of an online store.

One question/answer addressed how they were yet to organise a standard international shipping guide and therefore could only guarantee domestic shipping.

If you were from overseas and interested, you had to email them.

The copy read:

Do you ship worldwide?

Unfortunately we are only shipping to Australia at this stage. Please contact us at [email address] to arrange international shipping.

That reads like writer is trying to be professional and, in doing so, has provided a confusing answer.

It starts with 'unfortunately' which is a nice way of saying 'no'. Also, unfortunately is negative. I know it isn't saying 'unfortunately we are only shipping to Australia...(and we hate shipping to them)" but it could be read like that.

What they should've run with was something simpler:

Do you ship worldwide?

Not yet! If you're outside of Australia, please contact us at [email address] to arrange international shipping.

That option implies that international shipping is on its way.

Another option could be:

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes! Please contact us at [email address] to arrange international shipping.

Change that 'not yet' to a YES! Because they do ship internationally. You'll notice I used better word economy as well.

What is word economy?

If you have something to say, just say it as plainly as you can. There's no need to make people work to understand what you mean.

I can help you improve your web copy - contact me with any freelance opportunities. You can see some of my work here.

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