tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/copywriting Latest Copywriting content from Econsultancy 2018-06-07T15:18:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70081 2018-06-07T15:18:00+01:00 2018-06-07T15:18:00+01:00 B2B email creative doesn't have to be all bells and whistles Ben Davis <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3829/nucco_brain_gdpr_optin.jpg" alt="gucci brain email" width="600" height="746"></p> <p>Thankfully, once in a while I am struck by marketing that keeps it simple and is more powerful for it. I received one such email recently from LinkedIn Research.</p> <p>Here's the subject line...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5128/IMG_5495.png" alt="linked research email" width="400"></p> <p>"Your Expertise is Requested". Stuff all that twee copywriting, just appeal directly to my ego and I'm more than likely to open the email.</p> <p>I should add that this email may have been more noticeable because I rarely, if ever, get emails from LinkedIn Research, so it stuck out. Is there a lesson there about limiting frequency? We're going to stick to creative in this article, but check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62997-send-more-email-make-more-money">Tim Roe's take on frequency</a>, still relevant five years on. For the retailers out there, I know more email mostly means more money, but for B2B marketers with complex propositions, could 'softly softly' with better targeting be the answer?</p> <p>I'm also not going to get into the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/gdprsurvivalpack">GDPR</a> in this article, and whether I agreed to receive these emails, and on what basis the data is processed. I'm signed up with LinkedIn and this email was relevant to how I use the service, so that's good enough for me (<em>almost</em> irrespective of what boxes I have checked).</p> <p>Let's look at the email creative itself...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5129/IMG_5496.jpg" alt="linked research email" width="400" height="710"></p> <p>Well, it may seem a bit much to even call it creative, but it definitely works as far as I'm concerned. Again, it plays to my ego, "LinkedIn would like to hear from you!" – the fact that this is written in the third person ("<em>LinkedIn</em>" and not "<em>We</em>") only increases the ego trip.</p> <p>(As an aside, perhaps the first person plural pronoun is a bit overdone in B2B marketing nowadays?)</p> <p>There are two calls to action, to make sure they catch me. Perhaps some recipients are only too happy to jump into the survey at first call to action, others want to read a bit more before they click.</p> <p>"Based on your LinkedIn profile.." – again this is appealing to my ego, LinkedIn wants to hear <em>specifically</em> from me, based on my experience.</p> <p>"..you have been selected.." – this is the oldest trick in the prize-draw book but I think it still works.</p> <p>The copy is fuss-free and tells me approximately how much time the survey will take, as well as telling me in brief what the survey is about.</p> <p>I like the sign-off and footer, too. Let's have a look...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5130/IMG_5497.png" alt="linked research email" width="400"></p> <p>There's a link to the sender's LinkedIn profile – a nice touch to show the email comes from a real human being (even if it is a mass send).</p> <p>Hygiene factors can all be checked off – clear links to privacy policy, contact preferences and unsubscribe option.</p> <h3>Do you agree?</h3> <p>This email wasn't perfect. It wasn't entirely mobile optimised – it appeared at about 60% zoom and I had to zoom in to get the content to fill the smartphone screen. The copy arguably didn't tell me enough about the nature of the survey either, as much as it intrigued.</p> <p>But on the whole, I felt there was beauty in the sheer straightforwardness of the creative.</p> <p>What do you think, reader? Am I right? Or have I been indoors for too long? Do I need to get more sleep? Am I devoid of all joy?</p> <p>Or could it be that many B2B email marketers have lost sight of clear copy, leaving the way clear for old school marketers to cut through with no-frills messaging?</p> <p>I'm not sure I know the answer myself, and perhaps this email resonated simply because Econsultancy sends survey emails, too. Let me know what you think.</p> <p><a style="color: #2976b2; text-decoration: none;" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-best-practice-guide" target="_self"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3237/Email_Marketing_Best_Practice_Widget.png" alt="email report banner" width="615" height="243"></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69965 2018-04-24T11:30:00+01:00 2018-04-24T11:30:00+01:00 How communication theory will help you write better microcopy (& make better products) Ryan Cordell <p>The Communication Book uses a combination of diagrams and explanation to effectively articulate various communication theories. With clever visuals and clear, succinct copy explaining them, they’re a breeze to take in. Explaining with just visuals or just copy would make each theory much harder to understand.</p> <p>This works in exactly the same way for any products you design. Just look below at AirBnB without the microcopy:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3795/Airbnb.jpg" alt="airbnb website without copy" width="615"></p> <p>The right combination of words and visuals is the key to communicating with your users and helping them achieve their goals. So design teams should invest as much time, love and attention to designing the words as they do anything else on the interface.</p> <p>Here are three communication theories to help with that…</p> <h3>1. Your product communicates whether you like it or not</h3> <p><strong><em>The theory: Watzlawick’s Axioms</em></strong></p> <p>Mikael and Roman state in their book that even if you say nothing, you’re saying something. They explain it in the following way:</p> <blockquote> <p>A man comes home, sits down, stares into space and is silent. His wife looks at him and asks him how he is. He says nothing — and yet he communicates something. It is immediately clear that something must have happened.</p> </blockquote> <p>Relationships fail when you don’t communicate. The story above suggests a disconnect between the man and his wife. A lack of considered or designed communication in our products shows how disconnected we are from our users.</p> <p>Microcopy is how your product communicates. It provides answers, feedback, comfort, guidance, encouragement and more. If we fail to design the words we use, it says we don’t care as much as we should. More than just leaving a bad taste in their mouths, this will prevent your users from achieving what they set out to do. This isn’t about branding; this is usability. </p> <h3>2. Demonstrate value to keep business and user happy</h3> <p><em><strong>The theory: Principled Negotiation </strong></em></p> <p>Principled Negotiation is a theory offered by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury on how to reach an agreement. They say you should focus on similarities, not differences, when negotiating. So you need to figure out where you and the other party share some common ground and how you can help each other out. </p> <p>If your product is asking for information, your microcopy needs to communicate the value the user gets in return  – “what’s in it for me?”. </p> <p>The questions you ask your users are blockers to them achieving their goals. So balance your requests with something beneficial wherever possible:</p> <ul> <li>Give us your email… so we can send over confirmation of your order</li> <li>Give us your mobile number… so we can send you a text when the courier’s on their way</li> </ul> <p>Your interface shouldn’t read like a list of demands. Marry business objectives with user benefits in your microcopy and you’ll have a happy business and a happy customer.</p> <p>With GDPR on the horizon, this is even more important for encouraging users to part with their data or accept your cookies. But well-written microcopy with well-communicated benefits can help you <a href="https://medium.com/swlh/why-microcopy-is-massive-for-your-gdpr-strategy-4688a5e9587d">navigate the challenges of GDPR</a>.</p> <h3>3. Always be constructive</h3> <p><em><strong>The theory: The art of giving feedback </strong></em></p> <p>Copywriters have always had '<strong>A</strong>lways <strong>B</strong>e <strong>C</strong>onverting' running through their brains as they put pen to paper, but writing for products requires another set of ABCs: <strong>A</strong>lways <strong>B</strong>e <strong>C</strong>onstructive. You need to help the user get to what they want, but what happens when they get it wrong?</p> <p>According to DL Cooperrider and D. Whitney, giving feedback can be categorised as:</p> <ul> <li>Negative, destructive (no!)</li> <li>Negative, constructive (no, because…)</li> <li>Positive, destructive (yes, but…)</li> <li>Positive, constructive (yes, and…) </li> </ul> <p>In other words, effective feedback is all about being constructive. And that’s fundamental to microcopy too. Your interface is there to help the user achieve their goal. So when you need to provide feedback, like validation or an error message, this is a really important theory to have in mind.</p> <ul> <li>Negative, destructive: “You can’t log in.” </li> <li>Negative, constructive: “You can’t log in because your password was incorrect. Please try again or recover your password.”</li> </ul> <p>A better example might be to bastardise this fantastic Dropbox message:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3800/Dropbox.png" alt="dropbox access interface" width="615"></p> <p>Being constructive is being useful. And that should always be your microcopy’s biggest priority.</p> <p>Understanding communication theories can help you write better copy for your products because the best products are the best communicators. They feel natural and human. And not in an 'uncanny valley' way, but in a way that’s genuine and understanding of your needs, fears and motivations.  </p> <p><em><strong>If you want to learn more about this subject, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">copywriting training courses</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69875 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 10 brands with hilariously funny product page copy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, who does it well, and why does it work? Here’s 10 great examples.</p> <p><em>(Before we start, remember to check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting" target="_blank">Online Copywriting training</a> course)</em></p> <h3>1. ASOS</h3> <p>Well-known for selling a huge variety of clothing, ASOS has also become famous for its sometimes bizarre and quirky own-brand clothing. </p> <p>Can’t choose between a beanie to keep you warm or, um, a veil? ASOS has <a href="http://www.asos.com/asos/asos-beanie-with-pearl-veil/prd/4341385" target="_blank">got you covered</a>. Luckily, ASOS manages to ‘justify’ its oddest items with a self-aware and sarcastic tone of voice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2966/no_snorkel_required.JPG" alt="" width="370" height="405"></p> <p>The quirkiest copy is usually found in the ‘About Me’ sections, where the brand cheekily injects random and funny info. Copy is also clearly targeted at its millennial audience, often referencing relatable topics such as money or adulthood.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2967/Bodysuit.JPG" alt="" width="360" height="404"></p> <h3>2. Palace Skateboards</h3> <p>Product copy doesn’t often have a cult following, but fans of skate brand Palace can’t get enough of its infamous descriptions.</p> <p>Putting a unique spin on the traditional bullet-point format, each one makes up a sentence or train of thought rather than separate points. They usually have nothing to do with the product or brand either.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2958/Palace.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="482"></p> <p>The product copy is reportedly the brainchild of founder Lev Tanju, whose childlike and infectious nature has helped make the brand a success. </p> <p>Should others use this rather random formula? Most probably not, but it’s a great example of how product copy can be used to differentiate a brand or make it memorable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2959/Pocket_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="522"></p> <h3>3. Dollar Shave Club</h3> <p>Dollar Shave Club is known for its overtly-humorous ads, but its sense of fun extends to its website too (albeit in a subtler and more understated way).</p> <p>Its product descriptions aren’t solely based on humour – they’re actually very informative, and largely designed to convey benefits – but there’s still a light-hearted tone which helps to engage consumers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2961/Dollar_Shave_copy_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="435"></p> <p>Humour can also make brands sound like they’re trying too hard, so its restrained sense of fun works well.</p> <p>Its usual tactic is to include a funny bullet-point at the very end, which ensures consumers are left with a smile (and hopefully more of an incentive to purchase).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2960/Dollar_Shave_Club_copy.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="234"></p> <h3>4. Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox is arguably the most creative brand in this list, taking any opportunity it can to inject funny storytelling alongside its products.</p> <p>The reason why the brand’s tone of voice works so well is that its products are usually off-the-wall – so why not include product copy that’s equally eccentric?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2980/Firebox_1.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="315"></p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the more bizarre the product, the more creative its copywriters tend to get, even extending wit and humour into the finite details or ‘specifications’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2979/Firebox_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="339"></p> <h3>5. Kallo</h3> <p>Kallo – a dutch brand best known for making stock cubes – takes a surprising approach to product copy on its website.</p> <p>Instead of listing ingredients or talking about how delicious its organic low fat rice cakes are (said no one ever), it treats visitors to a poem on each page. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2981/Kallo.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="592"></p> <p>It’s all a bit random, but somehow contributes to a delightful and warm tone of voice.</p> <p>The fact that the website is purely for promotional purposes – with no option to buy its products – means it does not need to rely on actionable copy to prompt purchases. So, poems it is then.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2963/Kallo_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="262"></p> <h3>6. Old Spice</h3> <p>Old Spice has shed its uncool, outdated image to become a relevant and powerful brand name – especially in marketing circles.</p> <p>Humour is the main reason, with the deodorant brand taking on a distinctive and original tone of voice, ironically designed to promote its ‘manly’ characteristics.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2972/Old_Spice.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="366"></p> <p>Its online product descriptions are no different, perfectly conveying its unique sense of humour.</p> <p>What are the benefits of staying fresh for 48 hours? Well, in the opinion of Old Spice – “that's long enough to build a small house or navigate an especially large lake.” As you do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2973/Old_Spice_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="245"></p> <h3>7. Soap &amp; Glory</h3> <p>Beauty and skincare brands are usually a bit more limited when it comes to product descriptions, often required to inform consumers about ingredients or benefits (backed up by scientific proof). </p> <p>Soap &amp; Glory strikes a good balance, with the brand injecting fun and gently-sarcastic wit into its product copy where possible. Its main product descriptions are reserved for singing the product’s praises (with a pun or two).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2971/soap_and_glory.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="378"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it uses instructions as an opportunity to speak directly to consumers, and inject a bit of self-aware humour into what can often be patronising microcopy (e.g “Don’t eat this”).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2970/Soap_and_glory_2.JPG" alt="" width="452" height="381"></p> <h3>8. Think Geek</h3> <p>Think Geek is a brand that sells unusual and quirky gifts, sort of like a nerdier Firebox. However, unlike its rival brand, it is much more succinct and to-the-point in its main product copy (as well as being funny).</p> <p>It’s difficult to convey the benefits of a product in such a short amount of words, but Think Geek surprisingly adept at it, often doing so in just three bullet points.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2975/Think_Geek_2.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="489"></p> <p>With more space further down the page, it also lets loose with creative and more in-depth copy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2976/Think_Geek_3.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="220"></p> <h3>9. Fab.com</h3> <p>Fab.com isn’t very consistent with its product descriptions – there are a lot of products on its site that contain minimal and less creative copy. However, it does come up trumps on the odd occasion, infusing warm and gentle humour into its descriptions. </p> <p>This example for a cat-themed wall decoration is one of the best, and proves why the brand should be more focused on creating consistency in its tone.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2974/Fab.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="390"></p> <h3>10. Cards Against Humanity</h3> <p>The game Cards Against Humanity isn’t for everyone and neither is the brand’s copy.</p> <p>That’s exactly the point, however, as it is a shining example of how to create a tone of voice that delights a core audience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2968/Cards_Against_Humanity_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="320"></p> <p>The descriptions for each game are brilliantly dark, sarcastic, and give new players an insight into what they can expect from the game – great for nudging potential consumers into making a purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2969/Cards_Against_Humanity.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="292"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69621-four-simple-tips-to-make-boring-copy-more-exciting" target="_blank">Four simple tips to make boring copy more exciting</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69833-eight-time-honoured-tips-for-writing-awesome-email-copy" target="_blank">Eight time-honoured tips for writing awesome email copy</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69600-four-examples-of-persuasive-packaging-copy" target="_blank">Four examples of persuasive packaging copy</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3506 2018-03-08T15:48:21+00:00 2018-03-08T15:48:21+00:00 Online Copywriting <p>Boost your online copy’s effectiveness across all digital devices and channels with our hands-on 1-day training course.  </p> <p>You’ll learn copywriting techniques that can improve your copy’s 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;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1597/dsc00526-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Tim Fidgeon training" width="470" height="313"></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;"><strong>June Booking Offer:</strong> Book our June date and <strong>get 1 week’s free access</strong>  to the Econsultancy platform – the richest online content and insight available to modern marketers today. You’ll benefit from our market-fresh research reports and best practice guides, as well as the latest news and views and blogs. What’s more, you will be guided personally through the platform by one of our consultants to ensure you have access to the content most relevant to you as a modern marketer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3505 2018-03-08T15:47:39+00:00 2018-03-08T15:47:39+00:00 Online Copywriting <p>Boost your online copy’s effectiveness across all digital devices and channels with our hands-on 1-day training course.  </p> <p>You’ll learn copywriting techniques that can improve your copy’s 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;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1597/dsc00526-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Tim Fidgeon training" width="470" height="313"></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;"><strong>June Booking Offer:</strong> Book our June date and <strong>get 1 week’s free access</strong>  to the Econsultancy platform – the richest online content and insight available to modern marketers today. You’ll benefit from our market-fresh research reports and best practice guides, as well as the latest news and views and blogs. What’s more, you will be guided personally through the platform by one of our consultants to ensure you have access to the content most relevant to you as a modern marketer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3504 2018-03-08T15:47:02+00:00 2018-03-08T15:47:02+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> <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;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1597/dsc00526-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Tim Fidgeon training" width="470" height="313"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3488 2018-03-08T13:56:04+00:00 2018-03-08T13:56:04+00:00 Marketing Copy and Behavioural Economics <p>Marketing is about getting people to know, think or do something you want. Behavioural economics can help you change your language to make them do that, better. In this course, we’ll look at the language of persuasion, drawing on techniques from the Nudge Unit, Daniel Kahneman and Aristotle, among others. We’ll listen for and discuss the persuasive techniques of anecdote, fact and story. You’ll also learn the EAST (easy, attractive, social, timely) framework and how to appeal to logic, credibility and emotion.</p> <p>No need to bring your laptop. We’ll be working with paper and pencil. (Remember them?)</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3487 2018-03-08T13:55:02+00:00 2018-03-08T13:55:02+00:00 Marketing Copy and Behavioural Economics <p>Marketing is about getting people to know, think or do something you want. Behavioural economics can help you change your language to make them do that, better. In this course, we’ll look at the language of persuasion, drawing on techniques from the Nudge Unit, Daniel Kahneman and Aristotle, among others. We’ll listen for and discuss the persuasive techniques of anecdote, fact and story. You’ll also learn the EAST (easy, attractive, social, timely) framework and how to appeal to logic, credibility and emotion.</p> <p>No need to bring your laptop. We’ll be working with paper and pencil. (Remember them?)</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3486 2018-03-08T13:53:59+00:00 2018-03-08T13:53:59+00:00 Marketing Copywriting 101 <p>Most marketers need to create copy, handle content, and apply the right tone of voice. But lots never had any writing training. Spend a day getting back to writing basics. You’ll learn ten techniques to boost the quality of your copywriting. You’ll learn to be a better editor and give better feedback to agencies. And you’ll learn how to apply the right tone of voice to your copy (or someone else’s).</p> <p>No need to bring your laptop. We’ll be working with paper and pencil. (Remember them?)</p> <p><strong>June Booking Offer:</strong> Book our June date and <strong>get 1 week’s free access</strong>  to the Econsultancy platform – the richest online content and insight available to modern marketers today. You’ll benefit from our market-fresh research reports and best practice guides, as well as the latest news and views and blogs. What’s more, you will be guided personally through the platform by one of our consultants to ensure you have access to the content most relevant to you as a modern marketer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3485 2018-03-08T13:53:08+00:00 2018-03-08T13:53:08+00:00 Marketing Copywriting 101 <p>Most marketers need to create copy, handle content, and apply the right tone of voice. But lots never had any writing training. Spend a day getting back to writing basics. You’ll learn ten techniques to boost the quality of your copywriting. You’ll learn to be a better editor and give better feedback to agencies. And you’ll learn how to apply the right tone of voice to your copy (or someone else’s).</p> <p>No need to bring your laptop. We’ll be working with paper and pencil. (Remember them?)</p> <p><strong>June Booking Offer:</strong> Book our June date and <strong>get 1 week’s free access</strong>  to the Econsultancy platform – the richest online content and insight available to modern marketers today. You’ll benefit from our market-fresh research reports and best practice guides, as well as the latest news and views and blogs. What’s more, you will be guided personally through the platform by one of our consultants to ensure you have access to the content most relevant to you as a modern marketer.</p>