Don’t make readers guess – avoid jargon

It’s okay to use jargon when you are talking to your colleagues. But it is never a good idea when you are trying to reach a general audience.

Take this letter I received from a local estate agent.

It was addressed to the homeowner. They know nothing about me except that I seem to  have a house that they would like to rent out on my behalf.

It started off well.

We currently have huge demand from high calibre tenants applying for properties in and around your street (and they named my road so that was good).

Then they lost me on the first line of their pitch

Why choose us?

Void period between lets of only 4 days, compared to the average of 20 days

I’m not an estate agent so I don’t know what a void period is. I can guess, but I shouldn’t have to when the writer is trying to persuade me to do something.

There was more but I didn’t read it.

The jargon finished it for me.

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