When it comes to web copywriting it’s never been truer that it’s not what you say, but the way that you say it.
Add tone to your copywriting
Any copywriter will tell you tone is incredibly important when developing appropriate copy. The way in which your message is conveyed is hugely dependent on tone – a flirty familiarity might turn people off as might too much starch. Tone is much more than simply tone, though, it’s inference, it’s shared reference, it’s an empathy born of culture, of worldview, of humour, it’s language, aspiration and experience.
It’s the fact that there’s an element of risk when it comes to tone, a chance that you might get it wrong, that you might appear too ‘matey’ or too severe or dull that makes copywriting and especially web copywriting particularly interesting.
Apply right tone to the right audience and you’re away. Messages fly, calls to action compel and the world is a lovely cuddly, happy smiley people holding hands.
Beware brochure copywriting
Often though, what you’re likely to encounter, especially on business sites is what we call ‘brochure copywriting’. The Internet is awash with earnest website owners so concerned about getting it wrong that they’ve not dared risking anything to try to get it right and have basically replicated their company brochure online.
Copy is usually safe to the point of pointless, largely erroneous and essentially unfulfilling. As well as missing the positive communicative style that the Internet offers and the compelling call to action, the ‘brochure copy’ is quite probably missing the chance of winning customers and profits.
Brochure copy usually misses the point. No one knows where it really came from and nobody knows why it still exists. It just does. Like police or insurance claim speak that doesn’t really make any sense but people just can’t help using it. I’ve bet you’ve done it too –‘I was proceeding along the High Street at approximately 30 miles per hour when a vehicle to my left turned abruptly and passed adjacent to me causing me to break violently.’
What’s that all about?