Gjesteblogginnlegg fra Des Traynor. Des kommer til Webdagene for å lære oss mer om mikrotekster. Her får du en liten forsmak.
So much copy on the web is lifeless. Writers go through the motions with phrases like, you should follow us on twitter, like our page on Facebook, Earn triple air miles by booking through one of our affiliate partners.
When everything you or your company says has a lifeless tone, your customers just start to tune you out. This happens either directly, in that they unsubscribe from your mailing list, or worse, create filters so they never see your emails, or it happens indirectly. This is when your customers archive your messages on sight. When you’ve lost the ability to talk to your customers, you have a real battle on your hands trying to keep them as customers.
When I used to consult with companies on their content, everything from outbound email, through to error messages on the login form, I used to go through a set of questions for every piece of content. Intuitively designers know to spend time on certain important phrases, but often the emotive difference between “You have logged in successfully” and “Hi Des, Welcome Back!” goes overlooked. Engagement opportunities are also missed when writers go through the motions. For example, when you sign out of a desktop app, that’s a great time to tell people about a mobile app, instead most writers fall back to “You have logged out successfully”.
For every single piece of content, I ask the following questions:
Recipient – Who are you saying it to? Business users or Freelancers? Groups or individuals?
Content – What do you want the recipient to know now that they didn’t before?
Action – What do you want them to do about it?
Tone – How are you going to say it to them? Is it a light hearted message, or a sober serious tone?
Time – When will you say it? Do you want to get them during work hours? Would you rather they were idly browsing on a Sunday?
Consistency – How often will you say it? Will you keep telling them until they do what you want, or is this a gentle reminder?
Location – Where will you say it? In an email? On Twitter? In your App? If so, what page?
Great copy writing in software is still rare. Right now even the smallest effort spent finding a good way to communicate pays off disproportionately well. CD Baby took time to write a hilarious mail saying your order has shipped, and the pay-off was tens of thousands of their customers telling everyone about it. That was one email. Opportunities are everywhere.
So next time you’re about to type “Item has been added to cart”, or “Settings have been updated successfully”, ask yourself the questions above and force yourself to do better.
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