tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/copywriting Latest Copywriting content from Econsultancy 2017-11-22T14:25:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69595 2017-11-22T14:25:00+00:00 2017-11-22T14:25:00+00:00 Emojis in email subject lines: smiley face, or smiley poop? Parry Malm <h3>Should we Emoji… or should we eNOji?</h3> <p>Ever since the Oxford English Dictionary named the “Laughing face with tears of joy” as the word of the year in 2015, marketers have been all about emojis. And so you see them everywhere, because just because you can do it… you should do it. Right?</p> <p>Not so fast. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. </p> <p>We know a little bit about email subject lines. In fact, our business at Phrasee is predicated on using AI to generate and optimise subject lines. So, our team of 30-odd people is solely dedicated to understanding the linguistic attributes of subject lines that work, and conversely, those that don’t. Also, we’re great at parties. </p> <p>Anyway, one day our linguists asked our data science team the age old question: should we Emoji… or should we eNOji? </p> <p>The answer was a resounding:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0600/shrug_emoji-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="235"></p> <h3>And so we started researching.</h3> <p>We started by looking at a huge volume of subject lines, in the hundreds of thousands, to first determine the frequency of subject line use. <strong>Overall, about 5% of global subject lines over the last 12 months include one or more emojis.</strong> So, not mega, but not insubstantial.</p> <p>But, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Of the 5% of subject lines with emojis, about 1500 different emojis were used. That’s a lotta emojis! (Note: we included things like emoticons and whatnot in the sample set - so, any non-word-based linguistic constructs.)</p> <p>Some trends became apparent just by eyeballing the frequency table. Here’s the top five:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0602/top_5_emojis.PNG" alt="" width="127" height="300"></p> <p><strong>Clearly, all you email marketers are stars who love holidays, amirite? </strong></p> <p>At this point, we had shown that emoji usage had become quite widely adopted, presumably in the travel industry, and perhaps in the organ transplant industry as well. That’s great to know… but that wasn’t our question. </p> <p>So we went back to our data scientists, and asked a much more specific question:</p> <h3>Do emojis improve or decay performance of subject lines?</h3> <p>This question is more challenging to answer, as natural (i.e. unstructured) data doesn’t tell the whole story.</p> <p>See, a subject line is made up of a multitude of components. To give you an idea of the scale of the linguistic complexity within a single subject line: our deep learning engine is trained to consider roughly 750,000 features when determining efficacy of a subject line. Emojis comprise some of those features, but there are MANY more. </p> <p>Further, deconstructing an advanced deep learning system is nigh on impossible. See, there’s a tradeoff between a model’s interpretability and accuracy. The less sophisticated the model, the more you can post-hoc explain it. As the model’s sophistication increases, the interpretability decreases at a disproportionately high rate.</p> <p>(Tangent: if you ever see an “AI” model and people can easily deconstruct it to tell you why it made the choice it made… then chances are the system isn’t terribly sophisticated, and you probably just got ripped off).</p> <p>Still, people kept asking us, “Should I be using emojis”? So our intrepid data detectives got to work.</p> <h3>Here’s how we designed the experiment.</h3> <p>To isolate - and measure - emojis as a (non) causal variable requires a specific experimental methodology.</p> <p>The only other direct experiments we’ve seen in the past are single-subject-line tests, where you have A versus B - one with an emoji, and one without. This, however, doesn’t allow for repeatability. So it’s like those studies you see, where one day red meat will kill you, and the next day it’ll save your life. Pretty much not worth the paper it’s written on. </p> <p>So, our appetites for emoji research not yet sated, <strong>we partnered with one of our customers - a huge global brand - to do a proper experiment, following a proper scientific method.</strong></p> <p>Over the course of 14 campaigns, 10 randomly selected groups (about 50k in size each) received one of 10 different subject lines over 14 sends - five without emojis, and then the same five with emojis. <strong>This allowed us to test 70 different emojis across thousands of people.</strong></p> <p>Note: the goal of the experiment wasn’t to find a “good” emoji - it was to answer whether or not emojis improved or decayed response. That’s why we used a large variety of emojis.</p> <p>We then tabulated the results, and made a fancy chart, because that’s what you do with data:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0603/emoji_prob_chart.PNG" alt="" width="400" height="230"></p> <h3>So, what did we learn?</h3> <p>Emojis are like Sex Panther cologne:</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/65UhRV75wOQ?wmode=transparent" width="425" height="350"></iframe> </p> <p><strong>60% of the time, they work every time.</strong> When they work (about 60% of the time), they spike open rates by about a quarter of a standard deviation. When they don’t work (about 40% of the time), they decay response by about the same amount.</p> <p>One interpretation of this result would be “inconclusivity”... but we weren’t satisfied with that. So we looked at the winning and losing clusters in more detail. And we learned something interesting.</p> <h3>Emojis are language amplifiers. </h3> <p>An emoji, in itself, won’t make or break a subject line. The data proves this. But, they can be an additive - or subtractive - linguistic feature. </p> <p>What an emoji does is one of two things:</p> <ol> <li>It makes a bad subject line worse</li> <li>Or it makes a good subject line better</li> </ol> <h3>When emojis make bad subject lines worse…</h3> <p>If you’re already high-pressuring your customers into buying your stuff using misleading tactics, then adding in emojis will make them even spammier. Here’s an example of some subject lines that seem to be doing this:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0619/Sears.PNG" alt="sears" width="800"></p> <p>Spam in, spam out. An emoji ain’t gonna make these awful subject lines good. With trash like this, you may get a short-term spike in response... but it’ll drop off, I guarantee it. Tactics like this assume your customers are stupid, and that they’ll fall for it time and time again. But - this just in - your customers aren’t stupid. So you shouldn’t treat them so.  </p> <p>This strategy smacks of desperation… with an emoji.  </p> <h3>When emojis make good subject lines better…</h3> <p>If your subject lines are already good… and your emojis are contextually relevant… then guess what? They make your end result even better. For example, Domino’s Pizza:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0618/Dominos.PNG" alt="dominos email" width="800"></p> <p>Note how the emoji usage flows within the context of the subject lines, and they aren’t being over-used. The subject lines are on-brand, and are effective. And - not all of them contain an emoji, because not every subject line will benefit from one. </p> <p>This strategy smacks of delicious pizza… with an emoji. </p> <h3>Wanna find out more? Sure, no probs.</h3> <p>Phrasee has put together <a href="https://phrasee.co/emoji-or-enoji-what-science-says-about-subject-lines/">a fancy report</a> (Editor’s note: registration required) covering all of the above in way more detail, with a bunch more stats and findings.</p> <h3>Emojis are here to stay, so don’t ignore them.</h3> <p>But at the same time, don’t look at them with short-term goggles, and simply use them to become a better spammer. If you’re already a spammer, then go ahead, throw in some emojis. It’ll work once, maybe twice.</p> <p>Your customers aren’t stupid, so don’t treat them as such.</p> <p>Emojis are the biggest linguistic revolution since the QWERTY keyboard, and they are shaking things up and fundamentally changing how we communicate.</p> <p>Unlike a picture, emojis don’t say a thousand words. </p> <p>But they <em>can</em> make the rest of your words better. So use them wisely.</p> <p><em><strong>More from Parry Malm:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66328-211-awesome-phrases-for-email-subject-lines-that-sell/">211 aweome phrases for email subject lines that sell</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67739-according-to-32-198-emails-most-retailers-use-boring-subject-lines/">According to 32,918 emails most retailers use boring subject lines</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67241-what-s-the-best-black-friday-subject-line-ever-according-to-3-892-emails/">What's the best Black Friday subject line ever according to 3,892 emails?</a></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>More from Econsultancy:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-best-practice-guide">Email Marketing Best Practice Guide (subscriber only)</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3312 2017-10-26T13:55:16+01:00 2017-10-26T13:55:16+01:00 Online Copywriting <p>Boost your online copy’s effectiveness (across all types of device) with our practical and hands-on training course.  </p> <p>Our best-selling ‘online copywriting’ course includes lots of hands-on exercises to help you communicate, persuade and sell more effectively.  We’ll show you copywriting techniques that can boost your web pages’ performance by over 100%.</p> <p style="vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">No laptop is required.  For convenience, all exercises will be paper-based.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69391 2017-09-06T11:45:00+01:00 2017-09-06T11:45:00+01:00 How five charities convey purpose through tone of voice Nikki Gilliland <p>Naturally, this varies depending on the kind of charity in question. An animal care charity would not use the same tone of voice as a men’s mental health charity, for example. As such, it is important for tone of voice to reflect brand purpose – i.e. the reasons why an organisation exists in the first place, or its core aim.</p> <p>Surely most charities do this, you’d think? Surprisingly, many tend to get caught up explaining how the public can do their bit – and forget about explaining the reasons why they should.</p> <p>This if often why a lot of charities suffer from ‘donor apathy’, with an increasing number of consumers feeling pressure to part with their money rather than a natural or instinctive desire based on an emotional connection. A study by the Charity Commission found that just <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/03/14/charities-suffering-donor-apathy/" target="_blank">19% of survey respondents</a> describe the relationship they have with their chosen charity as ‘engaged’. </p> <p>So, which charities excel when it comes to explaining purpose and engaging consumers? Here are a few examples that I think do it well.</p> <p><em>To improve your own skills in this area, check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">copywriting training courses</a>.</em></p> <h3>Mind</h3> <p>Mind provides help and support for anyone suffering from a mental health issue. Emphasis on the word <em>anyone</em>, as Mind hammers home the message that poor mental health is an every day and very real occurrence for people from all walks of life.</p> <p>The charity’s tagline, ‘for better mental health’, perfectly sums up this overarching purpose, with much of its copywriting designed to show warmth and compassion, while being unafraid to talk about difficult topics. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8650/Mind.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="536"></p> <p>Research by Mind previously found that formal language was preventing people from truly engaging with the charity. Phrases like ‘mental distress’ and ‘Mind’s services’ were coming across as almost clinical – something that is already likely to put off a person from visiting their GP or seeking help elsewhere. </p> <p>Using more personal, empathetic language means that the charity is able to better connect with those who might be struggling, and convey that it’s okay to seek help.</p> <p>Instead of referring to Mind in the third person, it uses ‘we’ and ‘our’ wherever possible to show that it is a team of caring and compassionate individuals, not a faceless organisation. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k0srp0LjVbE?wmode=transparent" width="597" height="366"></iframe></p> <p>Another way it conveys purpose is to tell the stories of others, continuously reminding sufferers that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that with help, they can reach it too.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A few years ago Matt was homeless with unstable mental health. Now he’s taking on a drumming world record for Mind &gt; <a href="https://t.co/uem0noU4q4">https://t.co/uem0noU4q4</a> <a href="https://t.co/njShNhIcZc">pic.twitter.com/njShNhIcZc</a></p> — Mind (@MindCharity) <a href="https://twitter.com/MindCharity/status/896007099422875649">August 11, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Macmillan</h3> <p>Whether you’re suffering from cancer or know someone who is, it’s obviously a very hard subject to talk about. For cancer charities, it can be similarly difficult to strike the right balance between emotion and rationale. </p> <p>On one hand, tapping into its emotional aspects can help campaigns to resonate, as well as raise awareness and drive fundraising. On the other, a lot of people look to charities for straightforward and helpful advice – not pity or over-the-top empowerment.</p> <p>Macmillan tends to get the balance right. It does a great job of talking about cancer in an upbeat and positive way, without sugar coating the problem or giving false hope. Its purpose – to provide support for people affected by cancer from the moment of diagnosis – shines through in all communication. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8651/Macmillan.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="370"></p> <p>Describing itself as a charity that ‘helps people live their lives’ might sound a bit broad, but it sums up how most people dealing with cancer probably feel about the situation. Ultimately, it’s a massive disruption to normality, so anything that can help people deal with every day life – be it through financial, practical, or emotional support – is what’s needed.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/A2U6LtYsezk?list=PL4YhGgVzlQXgyMIfUkBTt-_-RGdQbIA0x&amp;wmode=transparent" width="660" height="405"></iframe></p> <p>This tone of voice also extends to its fundraising efforts, asking people to help support its initiatives without veering into scaremongering or being overly sentimental.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8657/Macmillan_3.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="374"></p> <h3>RNLI</h3> <p>The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) aims to save lives at sea. In fact, this is its tagline – so there’s certainly no doubt about what its purpose is. It's often a little easier to promote a purpose for charities that deal with specific issues, however, it can be a challenge to convey both purpose and urgency.</p> <p>Think about it this way. You might agree that saving lives at sea is important, but you might naturally also question just how many people get into trouble at sea – and assume that it’s not that common, or an issue worth your support. </p> <p>RNLI uses copywriting to cut through these assumptions, reinforcing the motivation behind its mission, and letting people know how prevalent the problem is.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8654/RNLI_2.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="500"></p> <p>It also uses education to try to help prevent problems at sea from occurring in the first place, with clever and engaging guides on what to do if you ever get into trouble. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This year we are calling on the public to fight their instincts and remember one simple skill – floating <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RespectTheWater?src=hash">#RespectTheWater</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloatToLive?src=hash">#FloatToLive</a> <a href="https://t.co/knOnd9sho6">pic.twitter.com/knOnd9sho6</a></p> — RNLI (@RNLI) <a href="https://twitter.com/RNLI/status/867643830069321729">May 25, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Charity: water</h3> <p>While a lot of charities focus on helping a problem or supporting those affected, it’s less common to aim to solve an issue completely. However charity: water – which helps to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries – believes that it can eradicate the water crisis in our lifetime.</p> <p>It even uses this statement in the H1 tag on its homepage, letting users know from the get-go just how confident the charity is about reaching its goal. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8655/H1.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="366"></p> <p>Elsewhere, its tone of voice is similarly self-assured, encouraging people to raise money in various ways.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8656/charity_water.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="379"></p> <p>It makes fundraising sound simple, easy, and fun, and continuously reminds people about the results the charity has already achieved.</p> <p>This type of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> is an incredibly useful tool for charities. Not only does it inspire people to think ‘if they can do it, so can I’ – but it also furthers the reputation of the charity itself. It also shows supporters where their money is going and how it is being used, which in turn can increase the likelihood of repeat donations.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks to your generous donations, what once took hours every day for families in Uganda now takes minutes. <a href="https://t.co/WA0ju7s95J">pic.twitter.com/WA0ju7s95J</a></p> — charity: water (@charitywater) <a href="https://twitter.com/charitywater/status/901161920094494721">August 25, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Battersea Cats and Dogs Home</h3> <p>Alongside its core mission of rehoming animals, Battersea Cats and Dogs home works tirelessly to achieve wider goals related to animal welfare. It does not position itself as a charity with a single purpose, but the multi-faceted ‘championing of animals’.</p> <p>As a result, it uses its online presence to reach animal-lovers of all kinds, recognising the fact that it might be able to engage and communicate its core aim using a softly-softly approach on social media.</p> <p>This means that it does not always directly ask followers to donate or raise money, but instead promotes local pet events or publishes behind-the-scenes style content from Battersea. By using a friendly, casual, and relaxed tone of voice, it is able to forge continuing relationships with supporters as opposed to one-off or fragmented communication.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our next pet event takes place in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hackney?src=hash">#Hackney</a> - 9 Sept, Pembury Community Centre, E8 1HL. Free <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/microchipping?src=hash">#microchipping</a> &amp; more <a href="https://t.co/WIhuvjLDZZ">https://t.co/WIhuvjLDZZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/ShONMl40wa">pic.twitter.com/ShONMl40wa</a></p> — BatterseaDogs&amp;Cats (@BDCH) <a href="https://twitter.com/BDCH/status/903249076820602880">August 31, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>In doing so, it becomes more than just a charity asking for money, but a real part of people’s lives.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBattersea%2Fvideos%2F10155746664374708%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68781-five-ways-charities-can-encourage-more-online-donations" target="_blank">Five ways charities can encourage more online donations</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66620-10-inspiring-content-marketing-examples-from-charities" target="_blank">10 inspiring content marketing examples from charities</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68755-how-charities-capitalise-on-sponsored-abstinence-events" target="_blank">How charities capitalise on sponsored abstinence events</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69363 2017-08-24T04:00:00+01:00 2017-08-24T04:00:00+01:00 How to score more leads with the B2B messaging equation Jeff Rajeck <p>Key points from his presentation are summarized below, but first we'd like to invite all B2B marketers in the APAC region to attend<strong> Econsultancy's Masterclass in Lead Generation</strong>, led by Bhattacharya, on the 19th and 20th of October in Singapore. You can find out more information and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/masterclass-in-lead-generation-singapore/dates/3132/">book your spot here</a>.</p> <p><strong>So what should B2B marketers do to improve lead generation on digital channels?</strong></p> <h3>1. Make sure your messaging is relevant</h3> <p>Research indicates that 80% of a purchase decision for B2B buyers is made before contacting sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8462/g1.png" alt="" width="800" height="265"></p> <p>What this means for B2B marketers is that messaging now plays a greater role in B2B lead generation than it ever has before.</p> <p>To highlight the factors of B2B messaging, Bhattacharya presented delegates with an equation:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8464/g2.png" alt="" width="800" height="141"></p> <p>The first point to take from this equation is that <strong>if you want your messaging to be effective you need to make it relevant.</strong> If relevance is effectively zero (i.e. not relevant), then you are providing your customers only friction and anxiety.</p> <p>So to improve your relevancy, and your lead generation, Bhattacharya said marketers must remember two key points about making their messaging relevant:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>You are not selling to a corporation, but to a person</strong> and your messaging must reflect this fact. Making your customer 'more human' by <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69322-what-are-customer-personas-and-why-are-they-so-important">drafting customer personas</a> can help a great deal.</li> <li> <strong>There is always more than one person involved in the B2B sales process</strong>, so consider all of those involved when crafting your messaging.</li> </ol> <p>Multiple personas, representing each person involved in the buying cycle, will help ensure that your messaging is relevant across the whole organisation you are targeting and improve your overall messaging effectiveness.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8470/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Map the customer journey</h3> <p>In order to improve the next part of the messaging effectiveness equation, the offer value and incentive, <strong>marketers must understand where the customer is on their journey.</strong> There is little point in offering a discount when the customer has not yet decided what they are going to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8473/5.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>The traditional customer journey has four steps: awareness, interest, desire, and action (AIDA). Aligning messaging with these familiar stages makes marketing easier, but unfortunately <strong>the AIDA model rarely corresponds with the actual customer buying process.</strong></p> <p>As every B2B business has a dramatically different customer journey, Bhattacharya acknowledged it can be difficult to give general advice. He did, however, recommend that those who are just starting should have a look at two different models:</p> <ol> <li>The <a href="http://www.adaptivepath.org/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map/">experience map</a>, which combines the guiding principles of the buyer, their buying stages, and how the buying experience appears to them along the way.</li> <li>The <a href="https://www.christenseninstitute.org/key-concepts/jobs-to-be-done/">Jobs To Be Done</a> framework, which looks at how each persona moves through the buying process so that marketing can find and eliminate any potential gaps.</li> </ol> <p>Using one of these frameworks or another which provides a more realistic model for the customer journey than AIDA will help marketers deliver the right offers and incentives at the right time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8466/1a.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3. Reduce friction and anxiety </h3> <p>The final variables of the messaging effectiveness equation are friction and anxiety, and marketers should aim to reduce both.</p> <p>A simple way to remove friction, according to Bhattacharya, is to <strong>use everyday language, not 'gobbledygook'</strong>. This means purging your marketing materials of many of the buzzwords which plague modern business writing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8467/g3.png" alt="" width="800" height="168"></p> <p>Another way marketers can reduce friction is to <strong>ensure your marketing content covers subjects which matter to the customer, not just to the brand</strong>. A customer spends nearly all of their time thinking about their business, not your product, and so the overlap between what they are interested in and what you want to say is probably very small.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8469/g4.png" alt="" width="800" height="310"></p> <p>Finally, B2B marketers should <strong>avoid including any information requests which may cause either friction or anxiety.</strong></p> <p>As an example, Bhattacharya encouraged attendees to first review all requests for user information and remove redundant or useless fields so that potential customers will be more likely to fill them in.</p> <p>Additionally, marketers should also <strong>remove form fields which may cause anxiety, such as address and phone number</strong>. Unless you need to send something or the prospect has requested you contact them by post or by phone, then asking for these will only make them suspicious of your motives. Then it will be less likely that they offer any information at all, thereby reducing your B2B messaging effectiveness.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8471/g5.png" alt="" width="800" height="343"></p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>As corporate consumers now use 80% of the buying cycle to research a business before contacting sales, messaging is now one of the most important parts of B2B marketing.</p> <p>To make it more effective, marketers should follow the messaging effectiveness equation and audit their marketing materials and interactive parts of their site to make sure that they are providing relevant information for each part of the customer journey, and not causing friction or anxiety when gathering information.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/anolbhattacharya/?ppe=1">Anol Bhattacharya</a>, CEO at GetIT Comms and B2B marketing specialist, for his presentation as well as the delegates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8472/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69307 2017-08-04T09:40:18+01:00 2017-08-04T09:40:18+01:00 Eight examples of top-notch copywriting from travel brands Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how exactly do you sell a destination without reverting to clichés? What’s more, how do you adapt this copy to different channels? Here’s a run-down of some of the most inspirational brand travel copywriting and the reasons why I think it works. </p> <h3>Trainline </h3> <p>Trains are dull – there’s no getting around it. Thankfully, Trainline aims to make the process of researching, booking, and travelling by train mildly more thrilling with a great tone of voice.</p> <p>This goes for all channels, but nowhere more so than <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67022-nine-things-i-love-about-the-trainline-app" target="_blank">on its app</a>, where it fuses functionality with a slightly cheeky personality. It avoids sounding dull by injecting words like ‘hooray’ into standard phrasing. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7998/IMG_1142.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it capitalises on the opportunity for long-form copy in its ‘What’s New’ pop-up, using pop-culture references and a personal tone to engage users.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7999/IMG_1140.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <h3>Mr &amp; Mrs Smith</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69091-how-mr-mrs-smith-differentiates-itself-from-digital-competitors" target="_blank">Mr &amp; Mrs Smith</a> is an online travel agency that specialises in boutique and unique accommodation around the world. Its USP is that it is not your bog-standard travel agency – and it uses copywriting to continuously reflect this ‘exclusive’ nature. </p> <p>It calls itself a ‘travel club’ and its customers ‘members’, building on the fact that each hotel is personally chosen and approved by the company. Meanwhile, its hotel descriptions use a conversational and almost intimate tone that’s designed to forge connections with consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8001/Smith_hotels.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="563"></p> <p>Mr &amp; Mrs Smith describes itself a brand that cares about the little details, and this definitely comes across in the language it uses.</p> <p>The ‘Smith Extra’ sections are particularly effective, evoking the idea that you’re getting an extra special service by booking with the brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8000/MR___Mrs_Smith.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="583"></p> <h3>Intrepid Travel</h3> <p>Forget your average holiday – Intrepid Travel is all about selling life-changing experiences. </p> <p>Unsurprisingly, its copywriting is littered with inspirational <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68711-storytelling-might-boost-your-product-page-conversion-rates-stats/" target="_blank">storytelling</a>, building on the transformative power of getting away from it all.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Patagonia is one truly awe-inspiring region. Here's everything you need to know about hiking there: <a href="https://t.co/bH0kWgw6Dc">https://t.co/bH0kWgw6Dc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Patagonia?src=hash">#Patagonia</a> <a href="https://t.co/dAS7JE1Mwo">pic.twitter.com/dAS7JE1Mwo</a></p> — Intrepid Travel (@Intrepid_Travel) <a href="https://twitter.com/Intrepid_Travel/status/891297286906683392">July 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Its destination guides are engaging enough, however, its blog is where the most effective copy is found. This is because most of the articles are based on the personal experiences of the writers, which in turn, promotes a sense of real authenticity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8002/Intrepid_Travel.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="571"></p> <p>Personal reviews are now an increasingly vital tool for the travel industry. According to BrightScore, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.</p> <p>For Intrepid Travel, its online blog serves as a form of real social proof, with the experiences of others helping to inform and influence decisions. </p> <h3>Expedia</h3> <p>We've previously written about how Expedia's clever copywriting helps to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68330-an-in-depth-analysis-of-how-expedia-converts-visitors-into-customers-part-one" target="_blank">increase conversions</a>, but its offline work is also worth mentioning. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68154-16-ad-examples-that-prove-print-isn-t-dead/" target="_blank">Print ads</a> can be a great way to promote a company's values, giving brands the opportunity to step back from the cluttered nature of online copy and send a clear, concise and subtle message to consumers.</p> <p>Expedia’s 2013 print campaign involved using IATA codes on luggage tags to form phrases related to travel. Alongside the phrase ‘whatever floats your boat’, the ads effectively evoked the experience of airport travel and the things we all look forward to when going on holiday. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8003/Expedia.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="373"></p> <h3>Lola</h3> <p>Lola is a new app that connects users with a team of live travel consultants to help plan and coordinate trips. It also uses AI technology to help understand travel preferences over time.</p> <p>There’s no doubt that Lola is far removed from the typical online travel agency and this is reflected in the fresh and quirky nature of its copy. Its mission statement – ‘to make business travel buttery smooth’ – helps create a very slick image.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8005/Lola.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="561"></p> <p>Furthermore, its hotel descriptions indicate a focus on the customer experience, detailing ‘why this hotel is right for you’. It also encourages natural conversation, reinforcing the fact that it provides ‘human-powered travel’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8006/IMG_1148.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <h3>Condé Nast Traveller</h3> <p>I often think Condé Nast Traveller goes a bit overboard on the old superlatives, focusing on the surface aesthetics of a place rather than what it actually offers visitors. </p> <p>However, it does tend to nail the art of a good headline.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8004/CNT.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="476"></p> <p>From ‘London’s loveliest restaurants with gardens’ to ’48 Scandi-style interiors you will feel calmer just looking at’, the headlines are not particularly clever (they’re sometimes far too wordy) but they manage to encapsulate a niche subject-matter in just a single phrase.  </p> <h3>Black Tomato</h3> <p>Researching travel can be a bit of a chore for some, but Black Tomato’s homepage is designed to naturally propel users into the search process.</p> <p>It asks just two questions – ‘when would you like to travel?’ and ‘what is your reason for travel?’ – to encourage interaction, returning relevant ‘experiences’ to meet the user’s needs. And the emphasis is on the experience, of course, with Black Tomato aiming to target those who desire real authenticity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8007/Black_Tomato.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="414"></p> <p>The brand’s ‘Bucket List Ideas’ feature is also a nice example of inspirational content. Categorising experiences into things like ‘conquer the iconics’ and ‘wildlife encounters’, it helps to narrow down what could otherwise be an overwhelming amount of choice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8008/Black_Tomato_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="435"></p> <h3>Busabout</h3> <p>In stark contrast to Black Tomato, Busabout promotes an almost carefree attitude. Targeting young, adventurous fun-seekers, it users a light-hearted and energetic tone of voice to promote its various offerings.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You may not believe that heaven is a place on Earth, but wait until you get to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lauterbrunnen?src=hash">#Lauterbrunnen</a>, in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Switzerland?src=hash">#Switzerland</a> Yes, that's a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/waterfall?src=hash">#waterfall</a> <a href="https://t.co/wAMTvHIyx7">pic.twitter.com/wAMTvHIyx7</a></p> — Busabout (@Busabout) <a href="https://twitter.com/Busabout/status/880113596528775168">June 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It’s not often you hear a travel brand say that, instead of savouring wine, the best thing about the Rioja region of Spain is the festival where revellers 'splash it all over the place and everyone gets wet, sticky and they all turn into a beautiful shade of purple!'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8009/Busabout.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="397"></p> <p>But in Busabout’s opinion – ‘what’s not to love?!’</p> <p>With the infectious and boisterous nature of its copy, Busabout is an effective example of how to tap into the language of a specific audience and use it to engage with them.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66791-five-tips-for-writing-cliche-free-travel-copy/" target="_blank">Five tips for writing cliché-free travel copy</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust" target="_blank">Five tourism websites guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69081 2017-05-16T12:42:00+01:00 2017-05-16T12:42:00+01:00 Six ways brand marketers can bring the funny without being cringeworthy Dan Brotzel <p>But it’s an elusive thing, this humour, and until relatively recently, it was shunned by many brands as too risky. Humour is notoriously subjective, it doesn’t always translate, there’s the risk of causing offence, and you look bad when it backfires. Plus it’s hard to pin down why things make us laugh – or even to understand <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theories_of_humor" target="_blank">the theories</a> – let alone learn how to emulate the best humour-makers. </p> <p>But then again, we live today in a post-Innocent, post-Old Spice, post-King of Shaves world. And when even <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1xKpm0nURk" target="_blank">manufacturers of routers</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WLr3hxpYYY" target="_blank">providers of supply chain software</a> are doing the funny, maybe it’s time to look again at upping our own comedy quotient. </p> <p>So here are a few thoughts on what make things funny in marketing, with examples from brands that have personally made me, if not laugh, then at least smile broadly. Humour is notoriously subjective so in a piece like this I can only speak to what tickled me. (And before you dismiss my insights and my sense of humour out of hand, remember I was Asda Christmas Cracker Joke Champion in 2004.)</p> <h3><strong>Key elements of the comedic toolkit</strong></h3> <p>Caveat: Talking about funny is notoriously unfunny: ‘Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it,’ as EB White may have said. So sorry about that. </p> <p>But at least I’m sparing you things like the ‘ontic-epistemic theory of humor’, which asserts that ‘laughter is a reaction to a cognitive impasse, a momentary epistemological difficulty, in which the subject perceives that Social Being itself suddenly appears no longer to be real in any factual or normative sense. When this occurs, material reality, which is always factually true, is the only percept remaining in the mind at such a moment of comic perception.’ Quite so, quite so.  </p> <p>Browsing the different theories of humour, however, several elements come up again and again. </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Identification</strong>: As in ‘That is so true!’ </li> <li> <strong>Surprise / incongruity</strong>: As in ‘Why did the monkey fall out of the tree? Because it was dead’ </li> <li> <strong>Transgression</strong>: A way of saying the unsayable, as in dirty jokes, jokes about cancer, most of Jimmy Carr and all of Frankie Boyle  </li> <li> <strong>Relief</strong>: As when my wife laughs uncontrollably any time I bang my head (and the more it hurts, the funnier she finds it) -- unless of course this is...  </li> <li> <strong>Schadenfreude</strong>: The taking of pleasure in the misfortune of others </li> </ul> <h3><strong>Social observation: McDonald’s </strong></h3> <p>I think this ad would be funny whoever it was done by – or if it was just a comedy sketch without any promotional intent – though it happens to be from McDonald’s. It’s a pee-take of all those self-important hipsterish coffee bars that have taken over our city centres, with all their funny little rituals, indulgent gimmicks, and exorbitant prices. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kra1eWAiKvE?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> Identification: it’s just really well observed. It’s a spoof but only just, being full of lovingly created details we can all relate to, from the ping pong table where the seats should be to the obsessive foam-sculpting, to the haplessly hip barista mouthing the absurdly cosmic-sounding Wi-Fi passcode. </p> <h3><strong>Funny parodic: GE </strong></h3> <p>Some of the examples in this post are quite old, and that’s intentional. The only criterion for inclusion is that they made me smile or laugh on first seeing them.</p> <p>But when you sit down and try to think of all the brands that have ever actually made you laugh or smile, there probably aren’t really that many, though we look at stuff that <em>wants</em> to make us smile or laugh all the time. So funny stuff sticks in the memory, like this Pinterest meme that GE launched back in 2013. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6005/GE.png" alt="GE" width="616" height="255.1"></p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> The GE Hey Girl Pinterest board was obviously leapfrogging on the massive traction enjoyed by the Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling Tumblr. There’s humour in the incongruity of a vast global B2B brand dipping into popular (and implicitly profanity-fuelled) culture with such pitch-perfect ease, and without somehow ceasing to be itself. </p> <p>The sweet spot on which the parody pivots is the idea of sexiness; you sense that GE, always keen to engage consumers and potential recruits, is sincere in its belief that science can be sexy too. Not quite as sexy as Ryan G perhaps, but then what is?</p> <h3><strong>Guilty pleasures: Diet Coke and Cinnabon </strong></h3> <p>‘Disgust,’ said yer man Salvador Dali, ‘is the sentry at the gate beyond which our darkest pleasures lie.’ You don’t have to be Freud (though Freud also said this) to see that one thing the funny does is to allow us to bypass our habitual internal censors and transgress norms in an acceptable way. It allows us to talk about things that in polite society are otherwise only thought. </p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> Those classic Diet Coke ads – ‘I’m here for my 11.30’ – are funny because we all know that the office, despite being on the surface a hub of serious business purpose, is also often a hotbed of (often unspoken) desire.</p> <p>This ad turns the usual order of things on its head: here we see the erotic impulse trump the corporate imperative, if only briefly, and fantasy is liberated. This is funny because it’s unexpected, but also because everyone’s got the same idea. Desire, usually hidden and private, is here aired and shared. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TdrE1VMxzoE?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Speaking at Comic Con 2015, Carrie Fisher said: ‘What’s so great about [Star Wars] is that I am a part of everyone’s childhood. I don’t necessarily love being part of all your adolescences. That’s kind of gross.’</p> <p>That Princess Leia was a fantasy for males of a certain age is such a well-known thing there’s even a Friends episode about it. So when she died Cinnabon, the cinnamon bun people, saw an opportunity to reprise a bit of clever art work: </p> <p> <img src="http://cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2016/12/27/a9c2ac0c-334d-408b-9309-05fb3d0abfd9/resize/620x/a5dc44013c1008e2d6da82408d05b4d5/cinnabon-carrie-fisher-death-2016-12-28.png" alt="cfbuns" width="616" height="702.9"></p> <p>Before I thought anything else about this ad, I thought it was funny. It’s visually clever, and it taps into a well-recognised cultural phenomenon. It’s a humorous tribute to a famously humorous person.</p> <p>Was it also tacky, ill-timed, inappropriate, opportunistic newsjacking? Certainly lots of people thought so, and after some communal brand-shaming on social media, the post was duly deleted and apologised for. </p> <p>But a lot of other people thought Carrie Fisher – with her famously sardonic humour – would probably have seen the joke and maybe even enjoyed it.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6006/cinnabonreply.png" alt="cinnabonreply" width="616" height="295"></p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> Because again, it’s transgressive. It’s alluding to erotic fantasy, a very specific guilty pleasure, making the private public once more. And it’s doing this at a time of death too, so tickling another taboo. </p> <p>For things to be really funny in this way, there has to be an element of risk-taking. A sense of humour relies on us also having a sense of non-humour – an understanding of things that aren’t supposed to be laughed at. Transgressive humour – and here I’m more of a Lenny Bruce than a ‘You’re so moneysupermarket!’ man –  dares to play with where we can draw that line. </p> <p>Taking a risk, in short, means entertaining the possibility of a brand fail.   </p> <h3><strong>Comedy with a cause: Unison </strong></h3> <p>Sometimes anger can fuel humour, and done well it can be a powerful way to highlight injustice. Here’s a great example where cause, concept, creative and celeb come together beautifully to make a powerful point about a serious concern.   </p> <p>Claire Sweeney takes up her old 60 Minute Makeover role in a video aimed at highlighting the fact that council cutbacks are forcing carers to cut short their residential visits. Claire gives harassed careworker Nisha just 15 minutes to get Frank, an elderly housebound man, washed, dressed and fed.</p> <p>‘No time for small talk!’ scolds Claire, before insisting with callous breeziness that Nisha gives Frank his breakfast on the loo to claw back some time: ‘two birds, one stone!’  </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pOZ9dWf4L80?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> The satire is viciously planned and executed – there’s a great match between format and concept to drive home the point that looking after a vulnerable person is exactly <em>not</em> the sort of thing you should have to do against the clock. And our Claire really goes for it. </p> <p>So there’s incongruity here, but also transgression and perhaps eve schadenfreude: we laugh at things we shouldn’t find funny, like the indignities inflicted on Frank and the shortcuts Nisha is forced to make. And we can enjoy the dark humour because we know it’s all coming from a good place. </p> <h3><strong>Laughter in the dark: Spotify </strong></h3> <p>Soviet-era joke: A man puts a pair of shoes in for mending. ‘They’ll be ready two years on Thursday,’ says the cobbler. ‘Morning or afternoon?’ asks the man. ‘What on earth does it matter?!’ says the cobbler. ‘I’ve got the plumber in the afternoon,’ replies the man. </p> <p>There are a lot of such jokes about and by people living through times of great adversity, and humour is an obvious coping mechanism to help reconcile people to an uncomfortable reality. There is more than a hint of this in Spotify’s job ad for a ‘President of Playlists’. </p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> While on one level this letter is a celebration of Obama’s presidency, and a neat piece of brand alignment with an outgoing leader with soaring approval levels, there is more than a hint of laughter in the dark to savour too, for those uncomfortable about an imminent Trump presidency. </p> <p>Reading between the lines, indeed, the letter could be seen more as a critique of the incoming guy than a commemoration of the outgoing one: ‘As an organisation we are full of hope, and always open to change’… ‘[you’ll] analyse data […] in a clear and transparent manner using all available intelligence. Attend daily briefings […] celebrate our diversity of playlists, from Viva Latino to Rap Caviar… Able to work closely with departments, so playlists can hold up to public scrutiny […] someone with good team spirit, excellent work ethic, a friendly and warm attitude.’ </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6117/spotify.jpg" alt="" width="787" height="1213"></p> <h3><strong>Brave banter: Wendy’s, Paddy Power, Tesco Mobile</strong></h3> <p>Many of the brands that do the funny well on social – Wendy’s, Innocent, Paddy Power etc – seem to have reached a point where they’ve genuinely ceased to think of themselves as a corporate entity and just communicate as individuals – with all their foibles and flaws (and even their F words), but also all their unique humour.   </p> <p>Paddy Power is a great example of this. It has cornered the market in banter, and just comes across as that funny mate you always watch the game with down the pub. </p> <p><strong>Why is this funny?</strong> Being banter, every line is a challenge asking for a response, making this a truly social form of social media. See here, for example, how a nice crack about Ozil (which even as an Arsenal fan I can appreciate) leads to a couple of sharp rebounds:   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5993/Paddypower.PNG" alt="PaddyPower" width="616" height="522"></p> <p>And there’s no room for compromise or for worrying about causing offence with this approach. Not everyone will like it, but that’s marketing for you, and that’s also why a banner like this will be extra funny to those that do enjoy it: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8331/Screen_Shot_2015-10-23_at_13.36.05.png" alt="" width="616" height="222.3"></p> <p>(This reminds me. Motorcycle News, I think it was, once ran an ad with a picture of a nun chained by her ankles to a huge motorbike, and chained by her wrists to another huge bike, each revved and ready to fly off in opposite directions. The heading ran something like this: ‘Subscribe to MCN now or the nun gets it..’) </p> <p>In these times of populist, adversarial politics, Wendy’s seemed to have hit the Zeistpot with its uniquely rude approach to social media, which involves (among other things) trolling the likes of McDonald’s:  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5994/Wendys.PNG" alt="Wendys" width="616" height="351"></p> <p><strong>Why is it funny?</strong> The idea of trolling McDonalds is funny in itself, of course, and even funnier when it’s the spectacle of one corporate giant going up against another like a couple of kids in a playground. (Or rather only one is really playing, it seems; the only one doesn’t quite seem to know how to respond.) </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5997/Wendysbeef.PNG" alt="Wendysbeef" width="616" height="356.4"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5998/Wendysbeef2.PNG" alt="Wendysbeef2" width="616" height="261.5"></p> <p>There are several big brands doing a great job of humorously bantering their way through social conversations too, among them O2, Sainsburys, Argos and Tesco Mobile: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6004/Tescomob.png" alt="Tesco" width="616" height="951.8"></p> <p>The people running these accounts are often great copywriters, witty, quick-thinking and adaptable. But above all, it seems to be me, they’ve been empowered to just get on with being their own funny selves.  </p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, book yourself onto one of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">Econsultancy’s copywriting training courses</a>, or check out these related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67434-four-brands-with-a-brilliantly-funny-tone-of-voice/"><em>Four brands with a brilliantly funny tone of voice</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67102-the-dangerous-art-of-using-humour-in-marketing/"><em>The dangerous art of using humour in marketing</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68989 2017-04-18T13:00:00+01:00 2017-04-18T13:00:00+01:00 Three ways language can affect conversion rates on travel sites Nikki Gilliland <p>According to Unbounce, however, this can massively impact conversion rates. In a <a href="https://unbounce.com/conversion-rate-optimization/unbounce-conversion-benchmark-report/" target="_blank">recent report</a>, it suggests that if just 1% of a page’s copy subconsciously reminds visitors of feelings of anger or fear, it could lower conversion rates by up to 25%.</p> <p>With this in mind, here are just three ways travel brands can do the reverse, and use language to increase the chances of a booking.</p> <h4>Think positive</h4> <p>Unbounce’s study uses an 'emotion lexicon' to determine whether words associated with certain emotions affect overall conversion rates. </p> <p>It found that words associated with anger and fear tend to have a big impact, with these particular emotions putting off consumers from finalising a booking.</p> <p>So, what kind of words would a travel brand have to use to evoke anger? Surprisingly, it’s not the most obvious, and consumers might not even recognise that their response is negative. Words like ‘limited’ or ‘rail’ are said to subconsciously raise negative emotions in consumers, even when linked to unrelated experiences.</p> <p>The answer is simple - always use language that evokes positivity. It’s trickier than it sounds, of course, with most travel brands falling into the cliché trap.</p> <p>While its service speaks for itself (cue jeers), Southern Railways is a particularly bad example. Of course, it plays more of a functional role in the lives of consumers as opposed to the inspirational, yet its use of language does nothing to instil positivity in users.</p> <p>From ‘accessibility statement’ to ‘compensation’ – not to mention the glaring ‘major disruption’ – its homepage is littered with words that are both negative and corporate-sounding. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5404/Southern.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="705"></p> <p>In contrast, regional railway C2C puts a positive spin on local engineering works, using a friendly “we’re open” to reassure travellers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5405/C2C.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="579"></p> <h4>Keep it short</h4> <p>While it’s tempting to wax lyrical about destinations, travel brands tend to do best when landing pages are short and concise. </p> <p>Copy must always serve a purpose, and never be used to fill up space. Again, with travel typically being associated with inspiration and excitement, it’s easy to get caught up in superfluous language.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/">Booking.com</a> is a great example of copy that is both functional and inspirational. As well as pointing users towards various locations, it still manages to evoke the benefits of travel such as relaxation and beautiful scenery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5424/Booking.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="599"></p> <p>Meanwhile, other brands like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> use visuals to tell a story, resulting in a minimal design and copy that is succinct and easy to digest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5403/Airbnb.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="722"></p> <h4>Evoke confidence</h4> <p>Lastly, Unbounce highlights how trust-inducing language can be an effective tool for travel brands, mainly stemming from consumer concerns over the legitimacy of low-price offers and deals.</p> <p>It found that dedicating at least 10% of copy to establishing trust could result in conversion rates that are up to 20% better.</p> <p>Words such as ‘share’, ‘friendly’ and ‘recommend’ are particularly good for building confidence, tapping into the notion of travelling as a social experience, and reassuring users that help and advice will be on hand every step of the way.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68201-how-hostelworld-uses-video-to-connect-with-target-audience-of-young-travellers/" target="_blank">HostelWorld</a> is a great example of this, using reassuring language to position itself as the perfect way to have an authentic travel experience. It recognises common consumer concerns, such as the safety of hostels and associated booking costs, and directly addresses them.</p> <p>The word ‘help’ and the phrase ‘helping you’ is consistently used to reassure and instil confidence. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5402/HostelWorld.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="626"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65007-how-the-travel-industry-uses-email-marketing/">How the travel industry uses email marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65347-10-essential-features-for-mobile-travel-sites/">10 essential features for mobile travel sites</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/">10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</a></em></li> </ul> <p><strong><em>For more on CRO, download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/" target="_blank">Conversion Rate Optimization Report</a> here.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3193 2017-03-21T11:57:12+00:00 2017-03-21T11:57:12+00:00 Online Copywriting <p>Boost your online copy’s effectiveness (across all types of device) with our practical and hands-on training course.  </p> <p>Our best-selling ‘online copywriting’ course includes lots of hands-on exercises to help you communicate, persuade and sell more effectively.  We’ll show you copywriting techniques that can boost your web pages’ performance by over 100%.</p> <p style="vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">No laptop is required.  For convenience, all exercises will be paper-based.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68881 2017-03-13T14:38:17+00:00 2017-03-13T14:38:17+00:00 Dodgy testimonials might get your agency's AdWords account suspended Ben Davis <p>In a sense, this is nothing new - Google has had <a href="https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6020955?hl=en-GB">guidelines</a> in place about misrepresentation for some time and AdWords community managers have posted <a href="https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Articles/Site-Not-Working-Disapproval-amp-How-to-Fix-It/ba-p/555663">updates about their enforcement</a>.</p> <p>However, the issue was in the spotlight last week, thanks to a tweet from Joel Klettke, who was surprised to see an agency's AdWords account suspended, something he has 'never seen' before.</p> <p>Given that Klettke works as a copywriter on landing pages, amongst other content (including for <a href="http://casestudybuddy.com/">Case Study Buddy</a>), it's perhaps worthy of note that this is his first experience of a Google suspension for misrepresentation. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">An agency's Adwords account got suspended because their landing pages had case studies/testimonials on them. Never seen anything like this. <a href="https://t.co/qF1jyA9dY1">pic.twitter.com/qF1jyA9dY1</a></p> — Joel K (@JoelKlettke) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoelKlettke/status/839617078759849984">March 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>As you can see from the text in Google's response to Klettke, the main points of contention when it comes to misrepresentation are that:</p> <ul> <li>testimonials with claims attached need disclaimers</li> <li>no claims of exact results should be present outside testimonials unless linked to a peer-reviewed journal</li> <li>any claim that is general needs a disclaimer</li> </ul> <p>Furthermore, and fairly obviously, no guarantees or claims of permanent results are permitted.</p> <p>The tweet caused surprise for a few, with @lakey suggesting that enforcement could lead to rather absurd or unnecessary disclaimers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/herrhuld">@herrhuld</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/stephenkeable">@stephenkeable</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LordManley">@LordManley</a> Are we to expect this kind of thing... <a href="https://t.co/l6mdsUENI0">pic.twitter.com/l6mdsUENI0</a></p> — Chris Lake (@lakey) <a href="https://twitter.com/lakey/status/839785306756952064">March 9, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Whilst Google's own examples of where these guidelines apply are consumer-facing, such as for weight loss treatments, anyone with knowledge of the martech industry knows that testimonials and cases studies abound. </p> <p>That means companies need to be careful when making claims about the impact of their services. For case studies claiming an uplift in sales, for example, this means a simple asterisk and some copy indicating results may vary, often found within terms and conditions.</p> <p>However, if a company is making general claims on a landing page, perhaps arising out of specific case studies, a definitive study needs to be referenced. Klettke's experience comes as a welcome reminder to agencies and martech companies to get their landing pages in order.</p> <p>Consumer watchdogs are having to catchup with malpractice such as quiet renewals and surcharges, and last year the UK Government announced its intention to <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/fake-online-reviews-could-be-made-illegal/">crack down on fake reviews</a>. There's no reason why this burgeoning focus on transparency shouldn't be taken very seriously in martech.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68748 2017-01-30T09:37:36+00:00 2017-01-30T09:37:36+00:00 What makes an effective brand slogan? Nikki Gilliland <p>The change is incredibly subtle, but it got me thinking about what happens when a brand decides to alter such a familiar and intrinsic part of its own identity. </p> <p>Similarly, what makes the most enduring slogans so successful? Let’s start with a few basics.</p> <h3>What is the aim of a slogan?</h3> <p>If a logo is the visual representation of a brand, a slogan or tagline is what truly brings it to life. </p> <p>In short, it is a key phrase or set of words that communicates the essence of a brand, and one that is designed to stick in the minds of consumers.</p> <h3>Key features of a winning slogan</h3> <h4>It is succinct</h4> <p>The most enduring brand slogans are often short, catchy and easy to remember. Much like a song chorus that gets stuck in your head, it needs to have a rhythm or sound that rolls off the tongue and is instantly recognisable. </p> <p>When a slogan is put to music or used as part of a jingle, this is often when it really resonates. "I’d rather have a bowl of Coco Pops," is a fine example.</p> <h4>It provides incentive</h4> <p>Effective slogans also highlight what’s beneficial about a product or service, prompting consumers to buy into the brand. </p> <p>Furthermore, it’s vital that it evokes or instils a positive feeling or incentive. For instance, something like “It’s good to talk” from BT (British Telecom) – while outdated in today’s context – brings to life the simple pleasure and emotional undertones of picking up the telephone to call a loved one.</p> <h4>It differentiates</h4> <p>Lastly, a slogan is often a good opportunity for a brand to tell consumers why it is different or unique. </p> <p>Marks &amp; Spencer’s most famous tagline is from its “Not just any food” campaign, which paid homage to the brand’s reputation for high quality.</p> <p>The fact that people continue to associate the phrase with the brand, even since it has stopped using it, shows how long a well-crafted slogan can endure.</p> <h3>Eight examples of effective slogans</h3> <p>Here are a few of my favourites, along with what I think makes them so effective. </p> <h4>L’Oreal: Because you’re worth it</h4> <p>A slogan that's been in use since the 1970s, L'Oreal celebrates (and justifies) the very concept of buying make-up.</p> <p>While it has been tweaked in recent years along with the brand’s efforts to become more inclusive – changing to ‘we’re worth it’ - it remains one of the most well-known phrases in the beauty industry.</p> <h4>Subway: Eat fresh</h4> <p>It's been suggested that three words is the magic formula for an effective slogan. Think "I'm lovin' it" or "Finger lickin' good". However, Subway manages to convey its core message in just two.</p> <p>Sure, it might sound a bit crass, but its confident and straight-to-the-point message tells consumers all they need to know about its freshly made sandwiches.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3422/subway.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="457"></p> <h4>HSBC: The world’s local bank</h4> <p>Proving that brands don't need to follow the rules, this oxymoron from HSBC has one main aim and that is to instil trust.</p> <p>Reassuring customers that, despite being a global corporation, it has the values of a local bank - it's a clever play on words.</p> <h4>Nike: Just do it</h4> <p>Nike’s slogan is built on the notion that anyone can achieve greatness. Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, the simple call to ‘just do it’ is both uplifting and inspiring – two hallmarks of Nike’s wider brand values.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You made Hayward home.<br>You lifted each other up in London.<br>You realized dreams in Rio.<br>You won the world over.<br>Together.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/justdoit?src=hash">#justdoit</a> <a href="https://t.co/HKIRW13QIL">pic.twitter.com/HKIRW13QIL</a></p> — Nike (@Nike) <a href="https://twitter.com/Nike/status/818977771112103936">11 January 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>Dollar Shave Club: Shave time. Shave Money</h4> <p>Puns are tricky to pull off, especially when they’re silly or childish as opposed to clever. For some reason, however, I think this example works simply because it’s so unapologetic.</p> <p>It fits in well with Dollar Shave Club’s witty and self-deprecating style of advertising, perfectly summing up the brand’s money saving appeal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3423/Dollar_Shave_Club.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="427"></p> <h4>Tesco: Every little helps</h4> <p>Re-affirming its stance on value and customer service, Tesco's slogan is subtle. It's not just about money of course, but everything that Tesco offers (from its insurance to its Metro stores) that helps customers.</p> <p>It's also an incredibly comforting turn of phrase, which reassures consumers that it is a supermarket that cares.</p> <h4>Mr Kipling: Exceedingly good cakes</h4> <p>Encapsulating the character of Mr Kipling, this simple but self-explanatory phrase manages to elevate a simple fairy cake into something extra special. A bit like the aforementioned M&amp;S example, it's quite boastful, but charmingly so.</p> <p>With Mr Kipling reintroducing the slogan in a bit to boost sales, it proves that familiarity and nostalgia can often contribute to why certain slogans work.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/M2XYJJHdIEo?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h4>Ronseal: It does exactly what it says on the tin</h4> <p>Finally, Ronseal is a great example of a slogan that goes beyond a brand to enter into our everyday vernacular.</p> <p>While the no-nonsense statement first aimed to reassure customers that DIY doesn't have to be complicated, it now stands for transparency in all senses, and the reassurance that there is no hidden agenda or underlying meaning. </p>