Better Readability Means Greater Impact

Example of readability statistics from Microsoft Word.What good are chiropractic brochures if patients find them too much work to read?

We use a time-tested method to improve readability. It’s a formula that considers sentence length, average number of syllables per word and the frequency of personal pronouns.

The father of modern readability was Rudolf Flesch who wrote The Art of Readable Writing back in 1949.

Flesch teamed up with J. Peter Kincaid and created training materials for the United States Navy. Clarity and comprehension was key. The result was the Flesch–Kincaid readability test. These days it’s a feature of Microsoft Word.

They observed that regardless of education, the average adult prefers to read at a 7th or 8th grade reading level. That’s the target for the most popular general interest magazines. Those car rental agreements you don’t read? They’re off the charts at the 12th or 13th grade level. Or higher.

So we aim for the 7th or 8th grade reading level. (This is written at the 7.0 grade level.)

Which means as possible, shorter sentences. Shorter words. And shorter paragraphs. We don’t always hit the mark, but that’s our goal.

We've meticulously studied chiropractic brochures marketed by chiropractors. They often aren't very readable. They're more like academic texts. Brochures are for patients!

You can improve your written communications by being more mindful of readability. If you don’t have Word, use this free online app.