How much money can you save with plain language?

How much money can you save with plain language?

By Emily Halloran

In business, every cent matters. But companies are still overlooking plain language. This communication method can help businesses to save millions. From clear legal agreements to user-friendly instructions, the impact of plain language is clear.

We’ve collected 3 compelling stories of plain language saving or even making businesses money.

A piggy bank sits on the keyboard of a laptop.

Plain language savings: $8,000

An Australian study looked at 2 leases: one written in legalese and the other written in plain language.

The legalese lease took 3 months to negotiate and cost the renter $10,000 in legal fees. It also cost the landlord between $50,000 and $60,000 in lost rent. On the other hand, the plain language lease only took 3 weeks to negotiate and cost the renter $2,000 in legal fees.

Plain language savings: $4.4 million in staff time

The US Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) reviewed the letter it sent to veterans to remind them to update their beneficiaries. If a veteran dies without a beneficiary, VBA staff must find and contact an appropriate person.

The response rate for the original letter was about 43%. When VBA introduced a plain language version of the letter, response rates rose to about 65%.

Plain language earnings: $2 million

Another US agency wanted to encourage more businesses to pay a certain sales tax.

The Department of Revenue rewrote just one letter into plain language and compliance rates jumped by 200%. The businesses paid their sales tax, earning the agency a tidy sum.

Want more savings? Check out Dr Joseph Kimble’s book, Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please 2nd edition.

Plain language services

Now that you know how much money plain language can save you, how do you get started?

We offer plain language workshops online and around Australia.

You’re in safe hands – we’ve trained over 40,000 people, and over 90% of them have rated our courses as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.

Our workshops teach you to write better emails, letters, reports, memos, handbooks, policies and procedures, newsletters, press releases and more.

Contact our friendly sales team today for help finding a workshop that suits your needs and schedule.

If you want someone else to do the hard work, we offer 4 professional editing services. These include in-depth editing, document templates, writing and style guides, and evaluation services.

Contact our consulting and editing team to see which service meets your plain language needs.

And for our free plain language resources, visit our website or check out our Australian Style Guide. It’s the definitive resource for professionals who write for work.

Part of the EdventureCo Group