tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/copywriting Latest Copywriting content from Econsultancy 2017-01-12T14:10:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68697 2017-01-12T14:10:00+00:00 2017-01-12T14:10:00+00:00 Four food brands with delicious copywriting Nikki Gilliland <p>Due to the trend for an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67874-the-rise-of-the-artisanal-tone-of-voice-among-brand-marketers/" target="_blank">artisanal tone of voice</a>, many brands stray into dangerous territory – using cheeky and cheerful copy that comes off as annoying at best, patronising at worst. </p> <p>However, there are some that manage to steer clear of this, delivering spot-on copy that brings food to life.</p> <p>Here are just a few of my favourite examples.</p> <h3>Lurpak</h3> <p>Lurpak is well-known for its drool-inducing visuals, but it’s also worth a mention for using copy that convinces customers it’s the only butter brand worth buying. </p> <p>In fact, with its slogan of ‘good food deserves Lurpak’ – it aims to persuade you that you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by using any other kind.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2986/Lurpak_Story.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="404"></p> <p>Its brand voice is distinctive, using short sentences and an almost boastful tone to sell itself.</p> <p>However, by simultaneously empowering consumers with the idea that anyone can achieve great cooking, it manages to avoid sounding off-putting.</p> <p>I think this style of copy works particularly well on social media, where one-liners (often paired with imagery) are engaging and effective.</p> <p>Examples like “stop scrolling and start kneading” and “good food deserves Lurpak” gets straight to the point, aligning well with the brand’s aim of being the facilitator of a delicious food experience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Filo like making your own pastry? Screens off, ovens on! Just be sure to Choux-se us <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GameOnCooks?src=hash">#GameOnCooks</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBBO?src=hash">#GBBO</a> <a href="https://t.co/vM47UNOO18">pic.twitter.com/vM47UNOO18</a></p> — Lurpak (@Lurpak) <a href="https://twitter.com/Lurpak/status/778684508132421632">September 21, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Gail's Bakery</h3> <p>It's pretty hard to describe bread, resulting in many brands resorting to the words 'freshly baked' far too often.</p> <p>London-based Gail's Bakery, however, uses contextual-based copy to engage consumers.</p> <p>In its bakeries, instead of using the aforementioned slogan, it describes 'wooden spoons' and 'floury fingers' to highlight the fact that everything is fresh from the oven.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2987/Gails.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="497"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it uses unashamedly descriptive copy in menus and throughout its website, designed to conjure up that familiar taste and smell.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2985/Gails2.JPG" alt="" width="527" height="549"></p> <h3>Yeo Valley</h3> <p>Most yoghurt brands would have us believe that men are allergic to their products – how else would you explain the female-centric, feminine style of advertising that most use?</p> <p>Yeo Valley, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air in this department.</p> <p>While it arguably strays into ‘wackaging’ – using quirky and overly-friendly copy - I think it manages to stay on the right side of upbeat and endearing most of the time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2978/Yeo_Valley_copy.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="680"></p> <p>I particularly like how it replaces ‘yo’ with ‘yeo’ wherever possible on its website.</p> <p>It’s a simple (and slightly childish) touch, but it gives the brand consistent personality.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2977/Yeo_Valley.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="486"></p> <h3>Ben and Jerry’s</h3> <p>Food can be subjective, which makes taste rather difficult to describe. </p> <p>Over-emphasising flavours and ingredients can also leave consumers feeling overwhelmed, which is why I particularly like Ben &amp; Jerry’s creative approach.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2980/Ben___Jerrys_Frozen.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="538"></p> <p>Think about mint choc chip ice cream and how you might describe it for just a moment, and then read the below product description.</p> <blockquote> <p>This cool concoction packs quite the peppermint punch…but what you’ve really gotta watch out for are those gooey, chocolatey, fudgey brownies nestled in the tub.</p> </blockquote> <p>Everyone knows what mint choc chip ice cream tastes like, so by using a personal tone to evoke the experience of actually eating it, Ben &amp; Jerry’s makes its product sound all the more enticing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2979/Ben___Jerrys.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="371"></p> <p><em><strong>To improve your copywriting skills, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/" target="_blank">online copywriting</a> training course.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Related reading:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68177-eight-drool-worthy-restaurant-websites/" target="_blank">Eight drool-worthy restaurant websites</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank">Four delicious examples of food &amp; drink brands on Instagram</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68672 2017-01-05T13:50:27+00:00 2017-01-05T13:50:27+00:00 Four ways to optimise mobile copywriting for a superior UX Nikki Gilliland <p>Copywriting is undoubtedly a big part of the mobile experience - so how can brands get their message across on smaller devices? Here are four tips.</p> <p>And if you want to improve your <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting">copywriting</a> or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/mobile/">mobile</a> knowledge, check out Econsultancy's training courses.</p> <h3>Consider the user context</h3> <p>Effective mobile copy does not just consider the user - i.e. who the person is or what they know about the brand or company – it also considers the context that they are in. This means where they are, what device they are using and even their state of mind.</p> <p>For example, a train booking site like Trainline knows that mobile users are less likely to want to book in advance. If they are using a smartphone, they probably want tickets in real-time. </p> <p>As we can see below, the desktop experience is largely geared around advance savings, whereas the mobile site is stripped back to focus on the current booking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2720/Trainline_desktop.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="405"></p> <p>This is reflected in the copy, with the latter asking direct questions such as “where are you starting?” in place of “enter your origin station”, prompting the user to take direct action while on-the-go.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2721/trainline.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="637"></p> <h3>Favour usability over tone</h3> <p>While a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand" target="_blank">strong tone of voice</a> is effective for engaging users, it’s far more important to consider usability on mobile.</p> <p>Short and compelling copy can help to counteract a limited word count and users with a <a href="http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/" target="_blank">shorter attention span</a>. If copy merely clutters the page instead of aiding the user journey – it should be cut.</p> <p>That being said, the fewer the words, the more impactful they should be. Sites that combine a strong tone with concise calls-to-action tend to be the most effective. </p> <p>Pocket, the online service that allows you to save interesting articles and websites for later, is a great example of how to inject maximum information into the minimum amount of words.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2722/Pocket.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="612"></p> <p>Granted, its mobile site isn’t that different to desktop, but its succinct style is clearly designed with smaller devices and screens in mind.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2723/Pocket_2.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="626"></p> <h3>Consider the user journey</h3> <p>As well as the physical or emotional context of the user, effective copywriting factors in where the user wants to go in their online journey.</p> <p>This means including relevant links and prompts for navigation. Moreover, it also means ensuring that the copy is consistent throughout, even including things like error messages.</p> <p>Often, this type of copy can be left to designers who will be more inclined to use language or phrases that are unfamiliar or jarring to the general public. This has the potential to disrupt the user journey, and even have a detrimental effect on conversion rates.</p> <p>Including links within error messages is a great way to combat this, just like this simple but effective prompt for username recovery from MailChimp.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2724/MailChimp.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="624"></p> <h3>Update the golden triangle</h3> <p>The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Triangle_(Internet_Marketing)">'golden triangle'</a> is a rule of thumb referring to the fact that users focus on the top left hand of the screen when reading on desktop. More recently, however, it has been suggested that this does not apply to mobile users.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.briggsby.com/how-do-users-interact-with-serps-on-mobile-devices/" target="_blank">study by Briggsby</a> shows that instead of attention being solely focused on the upper left, users take more of the screen into consideration, mainly due to the quick and short scrolling action required on smartphones.</p> <p>Research found that 86% of attention is given to the top two-thirds of the screen, while it drops significantly at the bottom.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2728/Brigssby.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="414"></p> <p>When it comes to copy, it’s important to take this into consideration. Placing the most important information at the top or centre of the screen helps reduce bounce rate and ensures the user's attention is maintained. </p> <p>Though it isn't a perfect example of mobile design, Curry’s mobile site packs the most important information at the top. </p> <p>Currently, it is displaying its January sales at the top of the page, separating everything into categories in anticipation of the user's needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2725/Currys.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="629"></p> <p>Unlike a lot of mobile sites, it does not require huge amounts of scrolling either, instead including a comprehensive side menu to guide the user onwards. </p> <p>The pros and cons of the hamburger menu are debated in greater detail <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68673-five-apps-websites-that-ditched-the-hamburger-menu/">in a separate post by Ben Davis</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2732/Currys_2.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="612"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68658 2017-01-03T14:34:00+00:00 2017-01-03T14:34:00+00:00 Why more brands should write like The Economist Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a bit of expansion on what I found interesting and the reasons why brands of all kinds should take heed.</p> <h3>Simplicity doesn't mean ‘dumbing down’</h3> <p>The first topic up for discussion was how businesses and brands can instantly improve their use of language.</p> <p>The general consensus seemed to be that, instead of thinking about the writing itself, the first step is to consider the person reading it.</p> <p>It’s a simple tactic, but certainly one that finance-related brands in particular fail to execute, with many using unnecessary jargon or complicated language to convey the message instead.</p> <p>Of course, there is the argument that the language used is a by-product of a complicated industry (like banking or technology, for example), and that making it any simpler would be a case of dumbing down.</p> <p>But on the contrary, I think it is the smartest approach. Often the most successful companies are the ones that speak in the simplest and least-complex terms. And as well as engaging and attracting consumers in the first place, this can also lead to a superior customer experience.</p> <p>Experian is a great example of a brand that uses clear and concise copy to aid the user journey.</p> <p>It is designed to be as simple as possible, replacing standard words and sentences with conversational phrases to help users understand better. Even its login form is designed with this in mind, giving the user a subtle nudge in case they've forgotten their username.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2596/Experian.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="614"></p> <h3>Avoid the ‘curse of knowledge’</h3> <p>The ‘curse of knowledge’ is a term used to describe when an individual unknowingly assumes that the people they are communicating with have a certain level of understanding on a given topic.</p> <p>Often, this is the reason behind unnecessarily complex copy.</p> <p>One thing that The Economist does is make its writing as tight and succinct as possible, often cutting down first drafts to avoid arguably redundant words like ‘top’ and ‘very’. By writing in this way, it ensures that a naïve reader is more likely to understand it, as well as someone with an existing amount of knowledge.</p> <p>Online investment management company, Nutmeg, also uses language to convey a sense of clarity and transparency.</p> <p>Instead of explaining what it can offer the consumer, it steps into their shoes, highlighting the questions they are likely to have and providing answers in a straightforward way.</p> <p>What's more, it does not try to hide potential pitfalls (such as the questions of the user doing it themselves) but deliberately points them out - something that the user will instinctively appreciate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2597/Nutmeg_common_questions.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="309"></p> <p>Below is a great example of how Nutmeg deliberately avoids the ‘curse of knowledge’. Instead of assuming that the reader knows what diversification means, it provides the definition at the beginning of the sentence. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2598/Nutmeg.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="278"></p> <h3>Write like you speak</h3> <p>Finally, onto the question of how and why brands often misjudge their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a>.</p> <p>Speaking about language bugbears, Robert gave the example of airline companies placing a heavy stress on verbs when communicating with passengers, e.g. “Unfortunately, ladies and gents, we <em>ARE</em> experiencing a delay. This means we <em>WILL</em> be remaining here for the time being.” </p> <p>This type of thing doesn’t just happen when words are spoken out loud. One of my own bugbears is how brands attempt to reach a younger demographic by using certain slang words or phrases they <em>think will </em>resonate.</p> <p>Of course, this can be incredibly effective for brands that are built around a very specific tone of voice (and target a certain age bracket). Fashion brands like Missguided and ASOS, for example, use colloquialisms to reach a millennial audience – and they do it well. </p> <p>However, there are a lot of brands, again often financial, that sound superficial when they alter or change their tone of voice to try and reach a younger audience. It often comes across as cringy rather than cool.</p> <p>Alternatively, the best examples are brands that do not dumb down or try to be edgy, but ones that aim to be direct and relevant.</p> <p>Barclays is a good example, often discussing topics like student finance and graduating without being patronising or pretending to be cool. Its LifeSkills series – designed to help youngsters get the skills they need to succeed after school and university – is particularly good. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2599/Barclays.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="350"></p> <p>As well as being customer-centric, asking users exactly who they are and what they want from the service, it is engaging and conversational whilst being informative at the same time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2600/Barclays_2.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="411"></p> <p><em><strong>If you'd like to improve your skills in this area, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/" target="_blank">Online Copywriting</a> training course.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68618 2016-12-15T14:46:02+00:00 2016-12-15T14:46:02+00:00 10 brands with a brilliant 'About Us' page Nikki Gilliland <p>This shouldn’t be the case. It presents a great opportunity to inject some personality while promoting brand values.</p> <p>So, what does a decent 'About Us' page look like? I’ve had a quick scout about to find the brands doing it well.</p> <p>Here are 10 brilliant examples to inspire you.</p> <h3>Cambridge Satchel Company</h3> <p>Cambridge Satchel Company might sound like the name of a business with real heritage, but having started in 2008 from the kitchen of founder Julie Deane, much of the brand's appeal comes from its humble beginnings.</p> <p>Its 'About Us' page highlights this to great effect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2223/CSC_1.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="767"></p> <p>It uses large photography and short and snappy copy to explain the company's rapid path the success.</p> <p>Despite being in the third-person, the tone is personal, and the references to 'Julie' sound like they are from a friend or loved one rather than a stranger.</p> <p>It's not too in-depth either - users can choose to scan the timeline or click 'Read More' if they want.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2224/CSC_2.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="629"></p> <p>It's a great example of storytelling.</p> <p>Instead of explaining the company's values or product, it focuses on its successes, with the aim of inspiring others. Sort of like, 'if Julie can do it, so can you'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2225/CSC_3.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="827"></p> <h3>Pret</h3> <p>Pret proves why even the most well-known brands should have an 'About Us' page.</p> <p>Sure, you can read the menu or read lots of information elsewhere, but this concise and conversational page tells you all you need to know.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2230/About_Pret.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="609"></p> <p>The copy is friendly and warm, using 'we' and 'you' to perfectly outline the brand's dedication to fresh food.</p> <p>Likewise, it effectively explains its charitable endeavours without sounding preachy or like it's bigging itself up.</p> <p>It's simple, but like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67960-eight-ways-veggie-pret-innovated-pop-up-retail-strategy" target="_blank">Pret's wider strategy</a> - it's also very effective.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2231/About_Pret_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="601"></p> <h3>Pact Coffee</h3> <p>One of the main objectives of an 'About Us' page is to make a brand seem human.</p> <p>Pact Coffee does this by including a video of its founder explaining the company's core values.</p> <p>Not only does this give you insight into the man behind the brand, but the medium itself is quick and very easy to digest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2227/Pact_Coffee.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="544"></p> <p>As well as conveying what the brand stands for, Pact also takes the opportunity to target customers.</p> <p>By using copy like 'we're here to help' - it highights its customer-centric values <em>and</em> prompts people to get in touch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2229/Pact_coffee_3.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="579"></p> <h3>Dropbox</h3> <p>Dropbox explains its product in simple and easy-to-understand language throughout the entirety of its website.</p> <p>In fact, it does this so effectively that it wouldn't matter too much if it didn't have an 'About Us' page.</p> <p>However, it takes the opportunity to reassure users with visual stats.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2232/Dropbox.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="850"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2233/Dropbox_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="416"></p> <p>This helps to build credibility - drawing on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> to instil trust in consumers.</p> <p>Of course, facts and figures can appear dull or characterless, but by including snapshots of employees and key people in the team, it reassures users that there are in fact humans behind the technology brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2234/Dropbox_3.JPG" alt="" width="610" height="658"></p> <h3>WeWork</h3> <p>Instead of an 'About Us' page, workspace community WeWork has a dedicated 'Mission' tab on its website.</p> <p>Here it succinctly explains the brand's core motivation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2235/WeWork.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="463"></p> <p>Unlike other examples I've mentioned, it focuses a lot more on the goals it still wants to achieve, rather than celebrating its previous successes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2236/WeWork_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="489"></p> <p>Building on the motivational aspect, it also directly lists the brand's values.</p> <p>There is an argument for this being a case of too much 'tell' and not enough 'show', however, it is still an effective way of weaving in information about the company's personal commitments, such as working in a tight-knit team and being grateful for success.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2237/WeWork_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="520"></p> <h3>Notonthehighstreet.com</h3> <p>Notonthehighstreet is another brand that uses video to illustrate its story, in the form of a two-minute advert specifically created for its 'About' page.</p> <p>Unlike a regular advert, it focuses on how the idea for the brand came about, bringing to life the story of its founders.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BQ0c_-tn4c4?wmode=transparent" width="1280" height="720"></iframe></p> <p>It cleverly builds on the brand's reputation for being 'unique', even extending this to how it describes its emails.</p> <p>With the promise that 'our emails aren't like other emails' - it does a great job of selling itself.</p> <h3>Movember</h3> <p>Movember's page is a little childish - it overlays outlandish moustaches onto famous artwork - but it perfectly evokes the spirit and personality of the charity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2249/Movember.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="582"></p> <p>I particularly like the fact that it is functional, too, including a handy menu so you can instantly get to a specific year.</p> <p>Likewise, it also uses lots of links to research and other helpful information - thereby providing greater value for users.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2251/Movember_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="525"></p> <h3>Airbnb</h3> <p>Airbnb is another brand that uses stats to create a visual representation of its success.</p> <p>For new customers who might feel concerned about staying in or hosting an Airbnb, it's hard to ignore the 2m+ people who already do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2241/AirBnB.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="717"></p> <p>Striking a good balance between statistics and personal elements, it also lists comprehensive detail about the co-founders of the company.</p> <p>The design here is a little lacklustre, but the credentials of the people behind the company are surely impressive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2242/AirBnB_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="715"></p> <h3>SourcedBox</h3> <p>SourcedBox is a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68545-five-ways-subscription-box-services-can-increase-customer-retention" target="_blank">subscription box service</a> that delivers healthy snacks and guilt-free treats.</p> <p>Founded by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68566-what-are-the-most-effective-channels-for-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">social influencers</a> Marcus Butler and Niomi Smart, it cleverly uses a YouTube video to illustrate the brand's origins.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3RhBqNzCMG8?wmode=transparent" width="760" height="452"></iframe></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2244/SourcedBox.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="431"></p> <p>One thing that stands out is that the 'Our Story' section is not separate or hidden elsewhere on the site.</p> <p>Rather, it is embedded into the main homepage, with a nice section of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/">user-generated content</a> below it to help prompt consumers to sign up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2245/SourcedBox_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="346"></p> <h3>Yellow Leaf Hammocks</h3> <p>Lastly, Yellow Leaf Hammocks is one of the most comprehensive 'About Us' pages out there.</p> <p>It's another example of great storytelling, but instead of focusing on the founder or consumer, it hones in on the people who directly benefit from the charity.</p> <p>With integrated video and social media buttons, it is also one of the best in terms of design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2246/Yellow_Leaf.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="636"></p> <p>What's more, it takes the opportunity to prompt readers to take action rather than just passively consume the information.</p> <p>It cleverly recognises that if people are invested enough to read to the bottom of the page, it's highly likely they will be keen to get involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2248/Yellow_Leaf_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="721"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68583 2016-12-07T15:00:00+00:00 2016-12-07T15:00:00+00:00 10 common traits of bad copywriters Ben Davis <h3>1. Too many exclamation marks!</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Donald Trump is the perfect example! The President-elect fills his tweets with exclamations!</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">F. Scott Fitzgerald likened the use of an exclamation mark to the author laughing at their own joke! Terry Pratchett described the use of multiple exclamation marks as a "sure sign of a diseased mind"!</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2000/maga.png" alt="trump maga" width="450"></p> <h3>2. Bullet points that don't make sense</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This bugs me every time. Your bullets should follow on from your lead-in sentence, and should not be capitalised.</p> <h4>Correct</h4> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Pearls can be found:</p> <ul> <li>in the sea</li> <li>at a jewellers</li> </ul> <h4>Incorrect</h4> <p>Pearls can be found:</p> <ul> <li>The sea</li> <li>Go to a jewellers</li> </ul> <h3>3. Formal words</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The <a href="https://www.gov.uk/guidance/style-guide">GOV.UK style guide</a> advises the use of ‘buy’ instead of ‘purchase’, ‘help’ instead of ‘assist’, and ‘about’ instead of ‘approximately’.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Plain English is important. Ditch the formal words.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2017/formal.jpg" alt="formal" width="350"></p> <h3>4. Long sentences</h3> <p>Apparently, long copy outsells short copy, though you'll have to go and find the study yourself.</p> <p>Overly short sentences can indeed be cryptic, but long sentences are even worse (in my opinion).</p> <p>Check long sentences to see if you can split them.</p> <h3>5. The passive voice</h3> <p>'Accenture recently bought the agency Karmarama.' - The active voice.</p> <p>'The agency Karmarama was recently bought by Accenture.' - The passive voice.</p> <p>I'm guilty of using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65182-passive-vs-active-voice-time-to-end-the-copywriting-madness/">the passive voice</a> too often. You can spot it by its use of the verb <em>be</em> and a past participle. <a href="https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/active-and-passive-voice">Learn more from the British Council's summary</a>.</p> <h3>6. Too many adjectives</h3> <p>Here's an excruciating example I have managed to squeeze out of my keyboard:</p> <blockquote> <p>Visit our fantastically relaxing spa for a wonderfully chilled-out break with your favourite girlfriends!</p> </blockquote> <p>Too many adjectives can obscure the message you are trying to get across, making it difficult to take it all in at a glance. Overuse of adjectives is also arguably an attempt at 'telling' rather than 'showing'.</p> <p>You can't convince your customers of just how relaxing the spa is simply by adding superlatives. You need to add context, detail (what are the facilities?) and imagery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2018/spa.jpeg" alt="spa" width="276" height="183"></p> <h3>7. Starting successive sentences or paragraphs with the same word</h3> <p>The word 'the' is seemingly innocuous, but if successive sentences or paragraphs begin with the word 'the', it can grate or seem inelegant (particular within long form copy).</p> <p>The solution is simply a quick proof. The act of running your eye down the left hand side of the page will quickly reveal any successive paragraphs that begin with the same word.</p> <p>The exception that proves the rule is when you're writing a deliberately repetitive piece, such as a list or an illustrative article about bad copywriting.</p> <h3>8. Banal or obscure adjectives</h3> <p>Adjectives are important, of course, but only if you pick a good one.</p> <p>If you ever watch cookery programmes on TV, you'll know chefs are always using banal adjectives - every ingredient is 'lovely' or 'nice'.</p> <p>"I've got some lovely carrots; some nice potatoes.." Needless to say, these chefs don't exactly scream personality.</p> <p>However, there are also people that go too far the other way, using adjectives that aren't commonly understood.</p> <p>When it comes to copywriting - your adjectives can bring life to a campaign, but they need to be just right, neither too banal or too recherché (obscure).</p> <p><em>The Trainline gets it <strong>right</strong> here</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1999/Screen_Shot_2016-12-02_at_08.37.19.png" alt="the trainline" width="615" height="399"></p> <h3>9. Misjudged humour &amp; wit</h3> <p>Pride comes before a fall.</p> <p>Many copywriters are brilliant at raising a wry smile by weaving humour and wit into their work. However, humour is subjective and writing elegant and funny copy is a tall order.</p> <h3>10. Poor formatting</h3> <p>Yes, formatting is the boring but essential thing that can make or break copy, particularly online.</p> <p>Break up your text, use the right font, include imagery, go easy on the bold. If in doubt, make sure to use your preview functionality.</p> <p><em>If you need help with your copywriting, check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">our training courses</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68606 2016-12-06T10:47:00+00:00 2016-12-06T10:47:00+00:00 Six examples of Christmas email marketing from fashion retailers Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are examples from six top retailers, and for more on this topic check out these resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">Email Marketing Industry Census 2016</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/email-ecrm/">Email &amp; eCRM Training Courses</a></li> </ul> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Like its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68573-seven-examples-of-black-friday-email-marketing-from-retailers" target="_blank">Black Friday efforts</a>, ASOS’s Christmas emails are designed to effectively engage its young user base.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2101/ASOS_email.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="539"></p> <p>As well as promoting continuing sales, it places a lot of focus on its gift guides, which is always a great incentive to get users clicking during the festive period.</p> <p>I particularly like the fact that it talks about products in relation to different budgets – one of the only emails I’ve seen to take this approach.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2102/ASOS_email_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="552"></p> <p>Not only does this save shoppers from filtering prices on-site, but it also hints at the variety of products on offer.</p> <h3>H&amp;M</h3> <p>Instead of focusing on gift ideas, H&amp;M pushes the concept of ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ to entice users to shop.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2103/H_M.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="801"></p> <p>As well as promoting a core Christmas-related product, this also builds upon festive excitement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2104/H_M_3.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="654"></p> <p>Of course, it might put off potential Scrooges or people that don’t like this sort of attire, however that’s arguably the danger of any Christmas marketing.</p> <p>Another feature to note is the continued trend of extending sales after Black Friday, with a 50% discount on gifts included at the bottom.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2105/H_M_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="552"></p> <h3>Debenhams</h3> <p>While it is still only early December, Debenhams appears to be stuck in Black Friday mode – choosing to focus on money-off discounts rather than any other kind of Christmas message.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2106/Debenhams_email.JPG" alt="" width="475" height="827"></p> <p>Its emails have so far been geared around its ‘Beautiful Gifts Week’ which, while we’re at it, is a rather weak slogan.</p> <p>The offer of 15% off gifts is enticing, however the emails are very one-sided, which could potentially put off customers who are tired of the sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2107/Debenhams_2.JPG" alt="" width="464" height="777"></p> <p>The gridlock design is also a little garish, with no real indication of the specific gifts customers can expect to find online.</p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>So far, John Lewis’s emails have been the least festive in terms of design.</p> <p>There’s no real Christmas sparkle or pizzazz. Instead, it focuses on the retailers’ reputation for quality as well as its dedication to competitive pricing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2108/John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="607"></p> <p>The lack of festive design isn’t a bad thing - it is quite subtle and still pleasing to the eye.</p> <p>Choosing to use a gift guide theme, the copy evokes different types of personalities and what would make the perfect present for them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2109/John_Lewis_email_4.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="779"></p> <p>I particularly like this, as it makes the email feel more personal than other examples, giving customers something of greater value than the standard ‘for him’ or ‘for her’ guides.</p> <h3>House of Fraser</h3> <p>House of Fraser has quite a heavy-handed email strategy, bombarding users with a multitude of messages. </p> <p>As well as being a bit overkill, I’ve also noticed how some of the emails are a little confusing.</p> <p>Despite the email subject line of ‘Ultimate beauty gifts’, the below email is also geared around ‘luxury’ purchases.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2110/HoF_subject.JPG" alt="" width="354" height="76"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2111/HoF.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="615"></p> <p>What’s more, the inclusion of a coffee machine in between mostly grooming and beauty related items is a bit odd.</p> <p>House of Fraser clearly wants to promote a variety of products, however its conflicting message feels poorly judged.</p> <p>That being said, there is some nice editorial-inspired content and a hint towards personalisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2112/HoF_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="929"></p> <h3>Reiss</h3> <p>Lastly, I particularly like Reiss's email strategy for its customer-centric feel.</p> <p>Launching a '12 Days of Gifting' campaign - it offers users the chance to win simply by signing up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2115/Reiss_4.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="661"></p> <p>Instead of promoting gifts and sales, it focuses on making the customer feel valued.</p> <p>With prizes including experiences as well as material items, it's also a nice fusion of the offline/online shopping experience - and a reflection of Reiss's multichannel approach.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2116/Reiss_3.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="713"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68595 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 Three musts for online retailers to prepare for the last-minute rush Bart Mroz <p dir="ltr">So for retail brands, there’s no more important time of year. What happens in December often determines whether yearly sales goals are missed or exceeded.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whatever your product offering is, holiday ecommerce is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for retailers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hopefully your ecommerce business has already fleshed out strategies to attract online consumers and bring in a chunk of those billions. If not, here are three absolute musts for a successful and profitable holiday season.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">1. Stress and load test your website</h3> <p dir="ltr">For an ecommerce business, few disasters are worse than a website crash. One common culprit behind website crashes (aside from the expiration of a domain or hosting subscription) is a sudden surge in visitor traffic.</p> <p dir="ltr">Given that retail traffic increases drastically during the holidays, the proper functioning of your website right now is absolutely critical.</p> <p dir="ltr">Put another way, there’s no worse time to have website problems. It literally equates to lost revenue, which could have devastating effects on your company’s bottom line at the end of the year.</p> <p dir="ltr">So, if your site is unable to handle the increased capacity, find out as soon as possible, because the holiday rush is here. It’s only a matter of time before last-minute shoppers surge online retailers once again. Take action now and preserve your end-of-year profits.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2078/Macy_s_Christmas.png" alt="" width="800" height="625"></p> <p dir="ltr">Perform a load test to make sure that the website can withstand surges in traffic. Companies like <a href="https://www.soasta.com/">Soasta</a>, <a href="https://www.blazemeter.com/">BlazeMeter</a> and <a href="https://www.redline13.com/">RedLine13</a> offer this service, which consists of, basically, bombarding your website with simulated visitor traffic.</p> <p dir="ltr">If it fails, you’ll need to make necessary adjustments, such as putting a content delivery network into place. It’s better to find out now as opposed to in the middle of the last-minute rush.  </p> <p dir="ltr">The updates will cost you, but it’s much less than the lost revenue that would result from an untimely website crash in the week before Christmas.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. Optimize product descriptions and images</h3> <p dir="ltr">Your ecommerce site is only as effective as the content that’s on it, both written and visual. Every product page should feature well-written, easy-to-read descriptions of the product so that shoppers can know exactly what they’re buying.</p> <p dir="ltr">If they’re unsure, they’re likely to search for the product on another site. So do a final pass to optimize product features so that they’re thorough, clearly listed, and prominently placed on the page.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another reason to be meticulous about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> is because they can help your website appear in search engine results — important because <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-27/more-than-50-of-shoppers-turn-first-to-amazon-in-product-search">over a quarter</a> of consumers still begin their search for products on Google and other search engines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Make sure to use descriptive keywords early and often, and link between product pages. This improves SEO and also makes it more likely that consumers will see your other product offerings and impulsively purchase something extra.</p> <p dir="ltr">Better yet, use holiday-themed keywords (e.g. “Christmas,” “last-minute,” “present,” etc).</p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Freeze your website code</h3> <p dir="ltr">If new page templates, new designs, or new features are being developed for your ecommerce website, that’s great. Initiatives to improve the user experience are well worth the effort.</p> <p dir="ltr">But December isn’t the time to implement such improvements. If it hasn’t been done already, ecommerce companies should do a thorough review of each page within the website (especially the product pages) to find errors in the content and the code.</p> <p dir="ltr">Double check that the design is consistent throughout and that the mobile side of your site works as well or better than the desktop version.</p> <p dir="ltr">(And yes, by this point it should go without saying that your entire website should be mobile-friendly. Mobile ecommerce currently makes up <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/249863/us-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-as-percentage-of-e-commerce-sales/">29%</a> of total ecommerce, and that’s expected to rise to <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/249863/us-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-as-percentage-of-e-commerce-sales/">48%</a> by the year 2020. Google offers this <a href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/">free tool</a> to analyze how mobile-friendly a webpage is.)</p> <p dir="ltr">If you discover any bugs or other anomalies, fix them immediately and then institute a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeze_(software_engineering)">code freeze</a> immediately. No more work should be done on the back end of the website until after the holidays.</p> <p dir="ltr">In theory, this eliminates the possibility of a developer accidentally introducing a new bug while attempting to improve some already-existing feature.</p> <p dir="ltr">If such a bug were to compromise shoppers’ ability to use the site in the week before Christmas, it could result in abandonment of purchases, which translates to possibly thousands of dollars in foregone revenue. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s an exciting time of year for retailers, and the advent of ecommerce has lowered the barriers to entry for small businesses that are introducing new product offerings.</p> <p dir="ltr">As ecommerce retailers gain momentum and build customer bases, good planning and preparation can yield big rewards throughout the rest of this holiday season.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68573 2016-11-30T11:01:07+00:00 2016-11-30T11:01:07+00:00 Seven examples of Black Friday email marketing from retailers Nikki Gilliland <p>Following on from our article on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68557-how-uk-retailers-are-promoting-black-friday-online" target="_blank">how UK brands promoted the event online</a>, here’s how seven retailers executed their email marketing campaigns.</p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Let's kick off with one of the best of the bunch.</p> <p>ASOS executed a pretty heavy email campaign, first mentioning the event nearly an entire week beforehand.</p> <p>While this might sound a little excessive, the emails are still quite subtle, designed to build excitement and get customers in the mood.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1844/Black_Friday_warm_up.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="424"></p> <p>When the real event finally kicked off, ASOS used a discount code with the promise of 20% off all items.</p> <p>Just imagine the regret if you forgot to enter the code at the checkout...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1845/ASOS_code.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="436"></p> <p>It also promoted the Black Friday offer on top of an existing sale of 'up to 70%'.</p> <p>It's not clear whether the items here were any good, but the email copy sure does makes you want to go and have a look.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1849/ASOS_extra.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="199"></p> <p>Likewise, ASOS's subject lines were nicely done, reinforcing the brand's young and conversational tone of voice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1846/Asos_subject_lines.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="139"></p> <p><em>For more on ASOS, read our post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67950-eight-ecommerce-checkout-design-features-that-make-asos-great/" target="_blank">eight checkout design features that make its site great.</a></em></p> <h3>House of Fraser</h3> <p>Unlike ASOS's strong but subtle approach, House of Fraser went overboard on the emails this year, as shown in the screenshot of my inbox below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1850/House_of_Fraser_emails.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="508"></p> <p>The actual emails were fine - they nicely promoted the array of discounts on offer.</p> <p>It's just a shame they were sent every day for a week, which could be enough to put off even the most loyal customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1851/HoF_email.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="595"></p> <p>On the plus side, despite going down to 30% off, the emails become get more targeted as the week wore one.</p> <p>The one below obviously takes into account my previous interest in womenswear.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1852/HoF_30_.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="544"></p> <h3>Zara</h3> <p>In contrast to the aforementioned example, Zara took a very restrained approach, only sending out two emails in total.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1853/Zara_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="613"></p> <p>As well as being underwhelming (in terms of the discount and the creative) - the subject lines were pretty boring to say the least.</p> <p>With no indication of how big the offer or how long it'd be on for, I'd be surprised if it received many click-throughs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1854/Zara_subject_lines.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="139"></p> <p><em>For more on Zara, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67581-six-reasons-i-love-zara-com-and-a-few-reasons-i-don-t/" target="_blank">'Six reasons I love Zara.com (and a few reasons I don't)'</a></em></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>Surprisingly, John Lewis wasn't very impressive either.</p> <p>Again, with no indication of the amount of money customers might save, it doesn't give much incentive to click through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1855/John_Lewis_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="563"></p> <p>Another thing I found interesting was that its Sunday email - sent when the weekend event was still running - used an entirely unrelated subject line.</p> <p>This was despite the fact that the email itself was Black Friday related.</p> <p>Maybe the retailer was trying to be subtle? It just felt a bit misjudged to me,</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1857/John_Lewis_subject_lines.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="121"></p> <p>However, with John Lewis <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/" target="_blank">traditionally more focused on Christmas</a>, perhaps Black Friday was deliberately underplayed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1856/John_Lewis_black_friday_2.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="528"></p> <h3>H&amp;M</h3> <p>H&amp;M's emails on and around Black Friday were strong.</p> <p>With a bold and concise message of 20% off plus free delivery - customers were left in no doubt as to what they could expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1858/H_M_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="546"></p> <p>Furthermore, I also like the fact that its emails included editorial-inspired content, motivating customers with how they could style their bargains rather than just promoting the sale.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1859/H_M_2.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="569"></p> <p>The only factor that let H&amp;M down was its slightly dull subject lines.</p> <p>Not bad - just a bit lacklustre. Still, at least they're concise.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1861/H_M_subject_line.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="114"></p> <h3>Debenhams</h3> <p>On to Debenhams, and it demonstrated a good amount of variety in its emails.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1862/Debehams_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="559"></p> <p>As well as giving customers a heads up on what was to come, it also included original content, such as a 'Top 10' deal countdown and editorial-inspired imagery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1863/Debenhams_2.JPG" alt="" width="380" height="287"></p> <p>By incorporating more variety into its messaging, it feels less salesy, meaning customers are less likely to dismiss it as Black Friday noise.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1864/Debenhams_3.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="550"></p> <p>You can read how Debenhams' site redesign led to ecommerce sales growth <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66644-how-debenhams-site-redesign-led-to-ecommerce-sales-growth/" target="_blank">in this article</a>.</p> <h3>Threadless</h3> <p>Finally, an interesting approach from US retailer Threadless.</p> <p>On the Wednesday before the event, it sent out this email offering an exclusive 40% off code that expired before the Black Friday deals began.</p> <p>While this might sound like it'd have limited impact as people would just hold out for Black Friday, it's obviously an attempt to foster customer loyalty for the long-term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1869/Personal_email_threadless.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="454"></p> <p>By using a personal tone - even sending it from the Founder of the company - it is designed to make customers feel valued.</p> <p>A refreshing surprise just before Black Friday hit, it made for one of the most memorable emails of the week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1871/Threadless_email.JPG" alt="" width="370" height="147"></p> <p>On to the actual Black Friday emails, and Threadless promoted it with a Christmas-themed creative.</p> <p>This could also prove effective for getting customers to think about the festive period (and why they might want to come back again soon).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1868/Threadless_creative_2.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="487"></p> <p>Finally, hats off to the brand for including an original and humourous subject line in its Cyber Monday email.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1866/Threadless_subject_line_2.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="123"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68467 2016-11-01T14:32:40+00:00 2016-11-01T14:32:40+00:00 Nike vs. adidas vs. Under Armour: Email signup & welcome Ben Davis <h3>1. Visibility</h3> <h4>Nike - Signup visibility</h4> <p>Nike barely promotes its email signup function at all, with a solitary link in the footer beneath the store finder on desktop (see below).</p> <p>One could argue that the homepage, with its scrolling, high-quality imagery is more concerned with brand and aesthetics than dry little buttons such as email fields.</p> <p>However there is a skinny slider beneath the header menu that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66158-how-do-10-top-uk-retailers-present-returns-information/">promotes free returns, free delivery</a> and in-store pickup. If Nike can make room for these, why not an email prompt?</p> <p>When it comes to Nike's mobile site (m.), I can't find an email signup field, full stop.</p> <h4><strong>Score: 1/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0889/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.02.12.png" alt="nike email signup" width="615" height="335"> </p> <h4>adidas - Signup visibility</h4> <p>Within a few seconds of browsing the adidas site on desktop, a pop-up appeared, prompting me to agree to personalised marketing messages by email.</p> <p>Whether you like this tactic or not, it's pretty darn visible.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0876/ignup_layover_adidas.png" alt="email signup layover" width="615" height="425"></p> <p>Elsewhere on the adidas site, there is a newsletter signup link at the very top of the page, near the basket and the login buttons.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0882/adidas_homepage.png" alt="nike email signup" width="615" height="310"></p> <p>Finally, every page carries a fairly chunky email newsletter field above the footer links.</p> <p>This field is the only one that carries over to adidas's lovely responsive layout on mobile. This makes sense, because popups are a bit difficult to use on mobile (not desirable UX), and limited space dictates a header link isn't feasible.</p> <p>Overall, you'd have to say that email signup is very visible indeed on the adidas website.</p> <h4><strong>Score: 5/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0881/footer_signup_adidas.png" alt="adidas email signup" width="615" height="328"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Signup visibility</h4> <p>Under Armour has also used a pop-up to encourage me to subscribe.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0886/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_10.09.55.png" alt="under armour" width="615" height="500"> </p> <p>On the site proper, there's a fairly generic email signup field above the footer links. It's not as chunky as adidas's, or as striking, and it doesn't stretch across the whole page.</p> <p>Considering that once users have dismissed the popup and been cookied, this field is all that remains, Under Armour could do better here.</p> <p>Encouragingly though, this field is also present on mobile. Like adidas, Under Armour has a responsive website (I used the .co.uk version).</p> <h4><strong>Score: 3/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0898/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_12.00.44.png" alt="under armour email signup" width="615" height="291"></p> <h3>2. Value</h3> <p>The next factor to evaluate is how well each sports brand website conveys the value of signing up to their emails.</p> <h4>Nike - Signup value proposition</h4> <p>We've already seen that Nike's homepage simply carries a footer link saying 'Sign up for email'.</p> <p>There is no value proposition there at all. It's simply a functional piece of copy.</p> <p>Once you actually click through (curious but not tempted), you get taken to the page shown below.</p> <p>There is some copy here designed to speed me along ('Stay informed with our latest and greatest' and '..get special news and offers..') but I think it's a bit of a poor effort given Nike has a whole page to play with here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0890/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.02.44.png" alt="nike email signup" width="615" height="417"></p> <p>Nike does a better job of the value proposition when you choose to create a Nike+ account, rather than simply sign up to email.</p> <p>The copy below is a bit more exciting.</p> <p>However, we're just looking at email sign up here. So, let's give Nike a score...</p> <h4><strong>Score: 1/5 </strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0892/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.34.44.png" alt="nike registration" width="400"></p> <h4>adidas - Signup value proposition</h4> <p>adidas pulls out the big guns. Both the popup and the footer field (reproduced below) offer a gift to those that sign up.</p> <p>'Join us &amp; get a special welcome gift' is a pretty tempting offer to any sportswear fan.</p> <p>This gift in fact turns out to be a discount code, which you might think is a tad misleading. 'Welcome gift' no doubt generates more signups that 'get 15% off'.</p> <p>Semantics aside, this is a massive incentive for people to hand over their email address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0881/footer_signup_adidas.png" alt="email sign up adidas" width="615" height="328"></p> <p>Once you've entered your email and hit return, you get taken to the page below.</p> <p>It does a much better job than Nike. There's a huge headline that is subtly brilliant - 'Keep up with what's up'.</p> <p>There's another subheader saying 'We want you to be one of us' - again, sharp and inclusive copy.</p> <p>Furthermore, three little green ticks tell us we'll get 'the latest news', 'offers and promotions' and that all-important 'special welcome gift'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0884/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.13.43.png" alt="email signup adidas" width="615" height="366"></p> <p>Lastly, let's look at adidas's header signup button. The button itself says 'newsletter signup' and when clicked, a little concertina form folds out (shown below).</p> <p>The form includes three icons with three reasons to sign up (stay in the know, exclusive welcome offer, special deals).</p> <p>There is little more that adidas could do here.</p> <h4><strong>Score: 5/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0883/adidas_signup.png" alt="adidas signup" width="615" height="314"> </p> <h4>Under Armour - Signup value proposition</h4> <p>Under Armour and its popup try to usher me along by shouting about 'free shipping on your next order' and 'free returns every day'.</p> <p>This is a pretty good incentive, leaving aside that returns are free anyway and shipping is free anyway when you spend over £49. How was I to know that? This is my first site visit.</p> <p>I also like the use of upper case to grab the attention, even if the slogan doesn't smack me across the chops.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0886/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_10.09.55.png" alt="under armour" width="615" height="500"> </p> <p>Once the popup has gone, any value proposition to signup for email is completely lost. Look at the form below.</p> <p>It's an off-the-shelf field and button with some crummy copy. 10 minutes work on the copy would improve it.</p> <h4><strong>Score: 2/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0896/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.58.35.png" alt="email signup under armour" width="615"></p> <h3>3. Velocity</h3> <p>This criterion is about how quickly / easily a user can sign up for each brand's email newsletter.</p> <h4>Nike - Velocity of signup</h4> <p>Pretty poor from Nike again. Eight clicks, one new page load, and I have to enter my date of birth, sex and nationality.</p> <p>In theory, brands should ask only for an email address (increasing conversion rate) and gather more information further down the line.</p> <p>Of course, this does enable Nike to segment its welcome emails from the get-go, but as far as velocity of signup is concerned, it's not great.</p> <h4><strong>Score: 2/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0890/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.02.44.png" alt="nike email signup" width="615" height="417"></p> <h4>adidas - Velocity of signup</h4> <p>The popup (seen earlier) offers a very quick signup process - I simply enter my email address and hit return.</p> <p>Using the footer field, signup takes a bit longer - three clicks and one new page load.</p> <p>Using the button in the header (see below), that page load is done away with, because the form folds out dynamically.</p> <p>In all instances I am only ever asked for my email address in order to sign up.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0883/adidas_signup.png" alt="adidas signup" width="615" height="314"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Velocity of signup</h4> <p>Under Armour is the only one of the brands that always allows me to sign up without loading a new page (whether via a popup or one click from the footer field).</p> <p>That makes it incredibly quick. Below you can see how this is handled in the footer field - I enter my address, hit return and I get a little message that hovers beneath the field saying, 'Thanks for signing up...'.</p> <p>I have a slight concern about terms and conditions being rather hidden here, but let's leave that for another day.</p> <h4><strong>Score: 5/5</strong></h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0895/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.13.13.png" alt="under armour email signup" width="615" height="337"> </p> <h3>4. Welcome email</h3> <h4>Nike - Welcome email</h4> <p>See Nike's email, split in two below.</p> <p>Firstly, the scalable design leaves the email looking a bit paltry on desktop (with plenty of white space either side, not shown below).</p> <p>I also think the top of the design doesn't mirror the slick Nike branding from the website. The collage of images is underwhelming, and why is a welcome email immediately trying to get me to register again (for a Nike+ account)?</p> <p>Nike should be commended though for adding some extra content in the form of suggested products and a link to Nike videos.</p> <p>I'm unsure if Nike already has some browsing history and has used that to build the suggested products, or it has just taken a punt given it knows my age and gender (extra fields on the signup form).</p> <p>It's not a bad email at all, it's just not a particularly great one either. </p> <h4>Score: 2.5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0915/nike_email.png" alt="nike email" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0916/nike_email_2.png" alt="nike email" width="300"> </p> <h4>adidas - Welcome email</h4> <p>Looking at the three emails in the preview part of my inbox (see below), I think adidas comes across worst of the three.</p> <p>It's the words 'Online Shop' in the sender, and the 'Experience excellence with adidas' copy that just seem a bit functional and incongruous respectively.</p> <p>There's nothing massively wrong, but I thought I'd mention it. Nike's subject and copy is nicely informal, Under Armour's is motivating, and then adidas is just...'meh'.</p> <h3> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0893/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_11.05.13.png" alt="welcome emails" width="600"> </h3> <p>But what of the email itself?</p> <p>I've screenshotted it below. All in all, it's pretty straightforward.</p> <p>The imagery is fairly subtle, incorporating street style and more specialised gym wear.</p> <p>The copy reiterates that now I'll be the first to know about new products etc., and there's a button to 'shop now', as well as a category header menu.</p> <p>In the bottom half of the email is my welcome gift of a discount code, and some simple standard links (support, share the email, social profiles and store finder).</p> <p>I think the focused nature of the email is a little more classy and impactful than Nike's, and the imagery is bigger, too.</p> <p>Most importantly, adidas's email is responsive, looking big and bold on my laptop, and fitting my mobile screen well, too. This allows the text to be bigger than Nike's email on mobile and full screen on desktop, too.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0911/Welcome_to_Adidas.png" alt="adidas email" width="600"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0912/Welcome_to_Adidas_2.png" alt="adidas email" width="600"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Welcome email</h4> <p>I found this to be a pretty uninspiring boxy email. Again, the scalable format means the email is not as big as it could be on desktop.</p> <p>Everything is packed in, in a jumble of font sizes and colours. The copy isn't particularly friendly or inspiring.</p> <p>Apart from the clear header menu, I think the rest is poor.</p> <h4>Score: 2/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0913/Screen_Shot_2016-10-28_at_16.05.53.png" alt="under armour email" width="615" height="626"></p> <h3>Total scores</h3> <ul> <li> <strong>adidas:</strong> 18/20</li> <li> <strong>Under Armour:</strong> 12/20</li> <li> <strong>Nike:</strong> 6.5/20</li> </ul> <p>Well, it looks like adidas wins this one by a landslide. I love Nike's desktop website and prefer it to Under Armour's, but it just doesn't handle email subscription very well (an admittedly niche bit of UX, but one that shouldn't be forgotten).</p> <p>Keep your eyes peeled, I'll be looking at more website features from these three giants soon.</p> <p><em>Subscribers can download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-fundamentals-of-email-marketing/">The Fundamentals of Email Marketing</a> to learn more about email marketing programmes.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68432 2016-10-20T10:53:00+01:00 2016-10-20T10:53:00+01:00 Black Friday 2016: How are UK retailers optimising search landing pages? Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a closer look at the opportunity it presents, as well as how retailers can best capture consumer interest through organic search.</p> <h3>What happened last year?</h3> <p>Despite murmurings that consumers are becoming fed up of Black Friday madness – and some retailers like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67109-rei-opts-out-of-black-friday-sort-of/" target="_blank">Rei even taking a stance against</a> it - last year’s figures speak for themselves. </p> <p>While online searches in the UK were down, overall sales during the Black Friday period increased by an impressive 62%.</p> <p>Likewise, overall sales in the US increased by 14.3%, and ecommerce sales are predicted to grow by 17% this year.</p> <p>So, we can certainly see that Black Friday still presents a mammoth opportunity for retailers – the key is knowing how to seize it.</p> <h3>Identifying opportunities for organic search</h3> <p>The below chart, taken from a Black Friday report by <a href="https://www.pi-datametrics.com/insights/black-friday-2016-market-performance-report/" target="_blank">PI Datametrics</a>, highlights the most valuable search terms from November 2015.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0504/UK_organic_search.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="492"></p> <p>While ‘Black Friday’ has the biggest search volume, it is only the fourth most valuable in the list in terms of 'Organic Value'.</p> <p>Organic value is a benchmark created by Pi Datametrics. It's worked out as 'search volume X CPC X PPC competition' of a search term or group of search terms</p> <p>On the other hand, we can see phrases that include the word ‘deals’ have greater potential for conversion, proving that it is worth optimising keywords based on this trend.</p> <p>In fact, November is now the primary month for searches around ‘deals’, even overtaking words like ‘cheap’ when used in conjunction with products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0505/Cheap_and_Deal_searches.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="485"></p> <h3>A missed opportunity for the UK</h3> <p>Interestingly, PI Datametrics has reported how US brands are dominating UK search results, showing how UK retailers are failing to optimise as well as their American counterparts.</p> <p>For the term ‘Black Friday’, five out of the top 10 sites in Google UK are US-based, with Target appearing for a variety of terms including ‘best black Friday deals’ and ‘black Friday bargains’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0543/UK_black_friday_search_results.png" alt="" width="800" height="435"></p> <p>Again, this points to a need for greater optimisation, with many UK retailers failing to research crucial trends and keywords to give themselves an edge.</p> <p>Meanwhile, US brands also appear to be making the most of data to re-target bargain-hungry consumers all year round.</p> <h3>The best UK perfomers</h3> <p>So, which brands are performing the best in terms of visibility in the UK?</p> <p>Undoubtedly, Argos is head and shoulders above the rest, with a 53% share of the most valuable search terms across positions 1 to 10. </p> <p>Likewise, it is also a consistent performer, ranking on page one for the term ‘Black Friday Deals’ all year round as opposed to during seasonal times only.</p> <p>One of the main reasons for this is that it has a well-optimised long-term landing page, enabling it to capitalise on search interest before and after the event.</p> <p>Moreover, this also allows it to build authority and consumer trust over time.</p> <p>Here’s a closer look at Argos, as well as a few other examples of good (and mediocre) landing pages.</p> <h4>Argos</h4> <p>With its long-term page, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67422-how-argos-models-ppc-on-tv-weather-seasonality/" target="_blank">Argos is a great example</a> of how to optimise for a seasonal event. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0496/Argos_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="599"></p> <p>As well as a prominent header, it also includes the repetiton of keywords combined with natural copy and useful information based around the event.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0498/Argos_black_friday_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="745"></p> <h4>Debenhams</h4> <p>Debenhams is another good example, capitalising on interest in this year's event as early as possible.</p> <p>While it's not the most attractive, it includes repetition of the core phrase, as well as keywords relating to Cyber Monday and Christmas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0500/Debenhams_Black_Friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="745"></p> <h4>Amazon</h4> <p>Amazon's landing page aims to take advantage of the user's interest in Black Friday by promoting current deals and discounts.</p> <p>It's a fairly dull page compared to the others on this list, but it includes similar information about why Black Friday and Cyber Monday exist.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0502/Black_Friday_Amazon.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="404"></p> <h4>Very</h4> <p>Very's landing page has a great design, and includes a few impressive stats from 2015. Will consumers find this data particularly interesting though?</p> <p>It could perhaps do with a more prominent mention of Black Friday 2016 to reassure customers that more deals are just round the corner.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0499/Very_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="759"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>Finally, John Lewis raises the question of whether Black Friday should be based around big ticket items only.</p> <p>It is a well-optimised page, including informative content and regular mentions of Black Friday search terms.</p> <p>However, the URL comes under the 'electricals' category, meaning it shuts out interest relating to clothing and homeware.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0503/Black_Friday_John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="807"></p> <p>John Lewis traditionally puts a big focus on Christmas retail, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67161-is-john-lewis-playing-with-fire-with-its-annual-christmas-advert/">its festive TV ads are always much-anticipated</a>.</p> <p>Equally slashing prices wouldn’t really fit with its brand image, so it could be that the retailer prefers to take a low key approach to Black Friday.</p> <h3>Key points</h3> <p>Brands that want to make the most of the organic search opportunity in the lead up to Black Friday should follow a few simple rules:</p> <ul> <li>Create an ever-green landing page and keep it updated.</li> <li>Focus on a variation of keywords including 'deals' and 'bargains' to capture year-round interest.</li> <li>Black Friday isn't prime time for every retailer - consider whether it is worth investing more in other seasonal events like Christmas or Halloween.</li> </ul> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out Econsultancy's range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">search marketing training courses</a>.</em></p>