Nowadays, it’s rare to type in a document without an algorithm finishing a sentence for you, underlining a phrase and suggesting a replacement, or flagging a glaring typo. This is true even for copywriters—we wordsmiths misspell more than we’d like to admit.
This is all thanks to AI writing tools like Grammarly and Flowrite. Grammarly focuses on correcting your grammatical mistakes, making your writing “clear, mistake-free, and impactful.” Flowrite has been dubbed “Grammarly on steroids”; it can turn brief guidelines into an easy-to-read email. In other words, while Grammarly checks your already-written content, Flowrite writes flowing content from scratch.
In many ways, these tools are great. They save time (because who wants to write out the word “convenience?”) and prevent errors (because only a robot gets “Wednesday” right the first time). But do tools like Grammarly and Flowrite actually make us better writers? Are their suggestions always right? If we have all these intelligent writing applications, what’s even the point of the human behind the keyboard?
Let’s dive into how Grammarly and Flowrite are making an impact in the writing industry—and the compelling, human element they might be missing.
Selling all the write things: impact and connection
Grammarly and Flowrite sell themselves as more than just writing tools. Sure, Grammarly markets its ability to catch spelling mistakes, and Flowrite makes sure you know that it won’t miss a period when crafting emails. But simple spelling and grammar check isn’t what raised Grammarly $200M in funding or gave Flowrite a $4.4M seed raise. The key selling point? These AI tools will help you connect.
Let’s look at Flowrite. Their mission is evident from the tagline: “Designed for those whose work depends on building connections.” Flowrite promises that not only will they write you emails, but they’ll write you emails that build connections with audiences.
Grammarly makes a similar vow, saying they’ll “help people communicate more effectively”; Grammarly “not only corrects your grammatical mistakes but also makes your writing more understandable and helps you make the right impression on the reader.” Again, their selling point isn’t grammar and logistics; it’s connection and impact. And that’s a good sell.
But how well can these tools really know you — and your audience? Both Flowrite and Grammarly allow you to choose from various “tone” options; from “neutral” to “friendly” to “urgent” on Grammarly and “respectful” to “encouraging” to “blunt” on Flowrite. On Grammarly, you can describe your audience as “general,” “knowledgeable,” or “expert.”
Can these simple adjectives nail strategic, on-brand copy that achieves your goal and connects with your audience? We’re not so sure.
MarketSmiths Case Study
One of the most famous universities on earth, Stanford University was gearing up to start groundbreaking work on campus. But without a robust environmental health and safety website, progress was slow. Unfortunately, its existing copy was clunky, confusing, and hard to navigate. Not for long. After tapping MarketSmiths, we worked closely with both the university and a hired communications agency to put it right, revising hundreds of pages, from Working Safely with Rabbits to the Laser Safety Manual. After relaunching the website, Stanford was ready to start its expansion—and had a website to match its prestige.
AI tools offer more productivity in less time
Not only do Grammarly and Flowrite promise connection, but they also promise something more obvious: they’ll save you time and increase your productivity in the long run. Instead of you having to spend hours checking your grammar or firing off emails, these AI writing tools will do it for you — thus allowing you to focus on other parts of your job.
Flowrite co-founder Aaro Isosaari says it himself. “In my previous work… I’d spend several hours every day communicating with different stakeholders on email and messaging platforms…There’s millions of people who could benefit from communicating more effectively and efficiently in their day to day work.” And he’s right; emails and messages are a frustrating time suck. Anyone who has ever worked an office job knows it and can get excited about the idea of a computer writing emails and other messages for you.
But what happens when your AI-written email doesn’t get it right? What happens when you have to go back in and adjust the tone, or the message, or the language? Or, what happens when the AI-written email doesn’t resonate with your audience? Does that really increase productivity and foster success?
Promising the best of both worlds
The bottom line? AI writing tools are marketing the two things that writers and business owners want most: to connect with their audience while saving time. They’re marketing a world in which you can communicate effectively, while not having to communicate at all. For any busy writer or business owner, this all sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
But something’s missing from this world: the human element. As intelligent as AI writing software is, it can’t capture emotion, creativity, and experience like a human can. In fact, sometimes human writing is imperfect — and that’s what makes it so good.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. You can have the best of both worlds. With creative copywriting agencies like MarketSmiths, you can connect with your audience, save time, and increase productivity — while producing authentic, strategic content that delivers results.
Ready to start delivering copywriting for humans, by humans? Our experienced writing team of creative humans is excited to help. Contact our team today.