Tag Archives: Copywriting
In an official(ish) poll conducted by online dating site OK Cupid has discovered that using “netspeak” in introductory messages is a turn off to prospective partners. Particularly unattractive were shortened forms including:
- ur (your)
- r (are)
- u (you)
- ya (you? or maybe a posh form of ‘yes’? It’s a turn-off either way)
Use of these “words” in an introductory message led to a response rate of less than 10%.
Researchers also found that a good grasp of grammar and punctuation was actually attractive to would-be suitors. Being able to use apostrophes correctly in words like can’t and won’t increased response rates by as much as 37%. These findings have significant implications for website text and email shots too. Is it too much to believe that using apostrophes correctly in your copy could also raise click-through and conversion rates by up to 37%?
The OK Cupid is also based on analysis of the first message sent between prospective couples, giving a great insight into the importance of first impressions. If someone will not go on a date because their suitor uses netspeak, what hope does your email shot stand if uses the same style of writing?
Being able to write well indicates a good level of education and professionalism, creating a sense of trust in your brand. Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation makes your business look sloppy leaving website visitors to question your expertise. Follow the OK Cupid findings to their logical conclusion and it would appear that low quality copy will make you lonely.
The lesson in this is obvious. Great spelling and grammar creates contacts, netspeak kills conversations before they even start.
If you are worried your own copywriting skills are not up to scratch, or would like assistance on your project from a freelance copywriting professional, get in touch today.
At some point in the past few weeks, Tech Write passed the three year mark. And I missed it. I’m not quite sure when it happened, but the reason I missed it was because I was hard at work on copywriting web content for clients. Which makes it OK I suppose.
The past three years have passed in something of a blur. Tech Write started out producing a few SEO articles every month for a company based in Jersey about Near Field Communications technologies and QR Codes. Then I partnered with Write My Site to produce content for other digital agencies. And then the business really took off.
Since then we have written for global brands (Oracle, Allianz and The Motley Fool for starters), helped a software company in New Zealand launch their online marketing efforts, produced numerous press releases for an iOS app developer in Italy and pitched newsletters for a database service provider in Trinidad. Plus loads more in between.
Projects have seen us working in the USA, Dubai, Ghana, Malta and Scotland without ever once leaving Essex. From sole traders to major global digital agencies, we seem to have done it all. And I have loved every minute of it!
So I’d like to extend a huge thanks to all our clients who have helped Tech Write get to where we are today. Hopefully we won’t miss our next birthday!
As always, we’d love to hear from you about your own technical copywriting needs. Use the contact form to drop us a quick line and we can discuss what you need and how Tech Write can help.
Some time ago (August 2012 if you want to be pedantic), we discussed the dangers of commissioning or writing fake product reviews for your brand. Although you might expect such tactics to be the preserve of wide-boys and dodgy start-ups, it would appear that even global behemoths may have engaged in it too.
Last month the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announced they were investigating Samsung in relation to a large volume of negative reviews which had been posted about the products of competitor HTC. The FTC alleges that Samsung employees hired college students to post negative feedback about HTC smartphones online in an effort to make their own products look more popular, and therefore more desirable. The FTC also believes that Samsung employees were themselves submitting anonymous comments designed to have the same effect.
For a company that made $18.3 billion in 2011, the $837,000 fine attached to this crime (if they are found guilty of course) will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist. There is also the potential that HTC may take legal action off the back of the FTC’s findings. But of far greater consequence could be the damage done to the Samsung brand.
Samsung will now be forever tainted in Taiwan for instance, no matter how many apologies they issue or public displays of hand-wringing they organise. The Korean smartphone manufacturer has been publicly branded ‘evil’ by Taiwanese commentators. And if they have faked claims about their competitors, is it really a leap of logic to assume they might do the same about their own?
Here in the West, reaction to the finding has been relatively muted so far. As the Taiwanese investigation continues, and when actions come to court, this may well change. If the negative reviews associated with their brand are fake, is it illogical to question the truth in positive reviews too?
Samsung’s public response to the charges says that the fake reviews were “unfortunate”, and went against the company’s “fundamental principles”. They finish their media statement promising “We will continue to reinforce education and training for our employees to prevent any future recurrence”.
Following the global financial crisis in which banks claimed that the worst excesses were committed by a small rogue element of greedy traders, people are naturally more skeptical of grandiose claims denying responsibility. Samsung seem to have bought themselves some breathing space with this statement and the release of their new Galaxy S4 handset. If the product turns out to be anything less than stunning however, this incident of fake review writing could come back to bite them. Hard.
Lying about a competitors products makes your company look bad. But for the consumer, there has to be a reason why you lied. Is their product actually better? Maybe they will feel sorry for the underdog. But in their quest to understand, you may actually drive your client into the arms of your opponent.
Writing fake product reviews is a lose-lose proposition.
If you need help creating compelling, truthful product descriptions, or are brave enough to accept a genuine, no-holds-barred product review, drop us a line.
Normally I find the Money Saving Expert enewsletter to be a useful read, both from a personal and business perspective. Something in today’s edition however made my blood run cold.
Tucked into a section headed “30 ways to earn cash online”, I found:
Write copy. Web content brokers pay £2-£30 per piece, eg, Groupon ads and travel descriptions. Forumite Sinkorswim says: “Been doing it 9mths & made £1,000. It’s a godsend.”
Now the more cynical reader may think that I am simply being protectionist, that I can see my potential market being eaten away by people looking to make a bit of extra pocket money. Obviously the more copywriters there are in the market, the fewer jobs I can land. But if commissioning a freelance copywriter, you should be equally concerned.
Last week I completed a rush job for a client who had hired a cheap copywriter to put together a number of inbound marketing articles. The problem was that every single article was, quite frankly, awful. Writing from a personal perspective, the author openly admitted they knew nothing first hand about the topics in hand. There was no sense of authority. The articles failed in their purpose to inform or convince.
One of them also included the phrase “cutesie patootsie”, which is a crime against any language.
The writer who penned these articles had been cheap. Worse still, it showed. Poor grammar, dodgy spelling, an openly-stated unfamiliarity with the topic in hand and that phrase meant the copy was unusable.
This then left my client in a dilemma. They had saved some of their inbound marketing budget by hiring a cheap copywriter. But when the articles were delivered and it became apparent they would need to be completely rewritten, there wasn’t enough money left over to pay a “proper” copywriter. Not without breaking their budget anyway. Which they eventually did.
Are all cheap copywriters rubbish? Not at all. In fact my rates are at the lower end of the payment scale proposed by the Professional Copywriters Network. But it is essential that you carefully check previous projects undertaken by a copywriter and that they can demonstrate a working knowledge of your subject area.
Whenever you need to source a freelance copywriter do not be seduced by a low headline rate. As your grandmother used to say, buy cheap, buy twice.
If your business (or customers) need top quality web content at a price that won’t break the bank, drop us a line. And I hereby swear never to use the phrase “cutesie patootsie”.
As a leading provider of IT security solutions worldwide, solutions vendor Clearswift recognise the importance of appearing to be cutting edge, to inspire confidence in customers that their packages are also up-to-date. With the launch of a new suite of revolutionary solutions on the horizon, Clearswift decided that their website could also do with an overhaul, calling upon inbound marketing specialist Tomorrow People to assist.
Although the new website was expected to take several weeks to launch, Clearswift and Tomorrow People agreed to complete the initial web content copyedit process in just 10 days. As well as optimising existing text for SEO, the webpages needed significant rewriting to create a consistent message and tone throughout the website. The brief also called for fresh content to be copywritten to introduce the soon-to-arrive products and services that Clearswift were launching with the new website.
Having worked with Ben Lloyd from Tech Write on a number of projects before, Tomorrow People knew that he specialises in tight deadlines and had never yet failed to deliver content on time. The fact that there were 65 pages in total was a concern, but Ben was confident that the work could still be completed within the timeframe specified.
As promised, all 65 pages were delivered on time ready for review by Clearswift. During the initial writing phase Clearswift requested a handful of changes, all of which were incorporated into the content supplied. As is common with copywriting projects, a number of secondary changes were also requested and implemented to further improve the message being conveyed by the website.
The new Clearswift website is now live, featuring a much clearer navigation system and a “cleaner” overall look. As well as the text provided by Tech Write of course! The added benefits of tightly-focused SEO copywriting are also beginning to filter through as Clearswift’s ranking for various keywords has also begun to rise.
If your website could benefit from a text refresh, or you need some new pages written, get in contact. Don’t forget that we can work to tight deadlines too!