Finding just the right words to describe and speak for your company isn’t always easy. Neither is doing so consistently. But the truth is that great copywriting has never been more important – especially for online stores. Your landing pages and product pages are your eternal sales pitch and your chance to connect with your visitors. Up there with design and usability, strong writing is one of the most effective tools in building a brand that people want to associate with. So how to get better at it? You need to learn from the best. Here are 8 examples of successful brands who have mastered the sound of their own voice.
Moosejaw’s content team are is unconventional, and they make no apologies. This outdoor apparel store is a great example of using playful humor to market products, without going overboard. Their brand voice is carefree and consistent, carrying over from the homepage to the product descriptions.
On its ‘featured brands’ page it introduces the section with personality by inviting users to “Scroll down to check out all the brands we carry. Or click a button to view the brands that begin with that letter. My least favorite letter is H. Don’t click H”. Elsewhere in a backpack product description, it says “I guess it can carry your helmet when you are in the saddle, but I’m totally telling your mom on you”. This friendly tone appeals to the brand’s young, adventurous audience and at the same gives information that is clear and helpful.
Visiting ModCloth’s website feels like hanging out with your fun and fashionable best friend. What ModCloth has really nailed is knowing exactly who their buyers are, and what they want. They’re young, vibrant, creative women who love whimsical wordery.
A lovely feature of ModCloth’s copywriting is their product names, which are usually pun-based. The ‘Most Delightful to Date Shirt Dress’. The ‘Ladylike Livelihood Leather Heel’. Each gives a flavor of what the product is for whilst being cute and clever. Which are nice things. Here’s an example from their post, “Three Ways, Hooray! All About Summer Scarf Styling”.
What’s in an accessory? A scarf by any other name would style as sweet, from babushkas and pocket squares to the lovely looks we explore below. Now that the Shakespeare jokes are out-of-the-way, here comes the important news: the stunning scarf pictured below – black background, playful white dots, fun flowers, satiny fabric and all – comes with a gorgeous mint-and-silver reversible tote and is free with a purchase of $150+! Talk about the perfect pairings for all those excellent selections just hangin’ out in your bag right now.
British butter company Lurpak mastered the art of convincing customers that this is the only butter worth buying if you’re serious about good food. The primary slogan ‘Good Food Deserves Lurpak’ says it all – as if to choose an inferior brand would be to do your cooking a disservice.
Lurpak’s copy gets straight to the point with short, simple statements such as ‘You’re Not a Cook Until You Cook With Lurpak’. And, it’s chock full of great recipes and the pictures look almost good enough to eat. Everything on its site focuses on helping its customers become better cooks, with recipes, tips and cookalongs. Yum.
Newcastle Brown Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale is all about humor. Its self-ironic approach to advertising campaigns are full of clever, tongue-in-cheek writing that resonates with its target demographic: namely British and American ale drinkers. Its videos poke fun at both cultures in turn, as seen in its hilarious ‘Independence Eve’ and ‘If We Won’ campaigns.
Do you really have to celebrate your emancipation from us? That’s like your girlfriend breaking up with you, and then celebrating with fireworks”–Stephen Merchant
And of course, on the table next to him is a nice, chilled bottle of ‘no bollocks’ Newcastle Brown Ale.
Popular email marketing service, MailChimp, is another great example of a brand that succeeded at injecting its content with personality. You can even see who’s behind the content on their ‘about’ page.
With MailChimp, it’s all about getting to the point – no waffle. Of course, as an email service they understand how important this is.
MailChimp understands that, for many of its users, this might be the first time they’ve sent out an email newsletter. So they explain themselves in a simple and supportive way. “Connect your store, sell more stuff”. That’s a pretty simple concept to grasp, right?
“Hundreds of integrations with apps you already use”. Oh good, this sounds familiar and comfortable. The site is also full of guides and resources for both novice and experienced users. Great copywriting, MailChimp.
An ecommerce store that sells unique gifts, jewelry and home decor, Uncommon Goods offers just that. Goods that are uncommon, quirky and, often, handmade. In keeping with its products, its gone the extra mile with its product descriptions to make them creative and interesting. Rather than just copy-pasting the manufacturer’s description, they’ve taken great copywriting to a new high.
A pizza slice necklace aptly named ‘A Pizza My Heart Necklace’ who’s description reads:
An Ode to the Pie
We want to know how many people have found love in a pizza shop. Some might say: All of us. Inspired by her own passion for pies, Rachel Pfeffer designed this whimsical brass pendant, which features heart-shaped toppings and “A pizza my heart” stamped on the back. Because when it comes to true, heartbeat-skipping adoration, nothing competes with a slice. Gold fill 18-inch chain. Handmade in Washington, D.C.
The description for a pair of women’s meerkat socks asks “Did you know a group of meerkats is called a mob?”. These are uncommon goods with uncommon stories.
US retailer Woot, provider of ‘deals and shenanigans’, puts a lot of effort into its great copywriting – and it shows. It describes its bestsellers as “The deals that you, the public, are telling us you hate the least. Updated every twenty”. Helpful, amusing and just the right amount of self-deprecating. Further down are its ‘last chance’ items: “This stuff won’t be here much longer. Sort of like the seasons. Except not as poetic”.
Scrolling through Woot.com is like reading status updates by a funny friend on social media. And who could resist the classic call-to-action that is “I want one”? Stop reading my mind, Woot.
Ecommerce platform Shopify mastered the art of motivation with its simple and encouraging messaging. It’s ‘the online store builder that has everything you need’. In that one sentence, it encapsulates everything its audience is after — the heart of great copywriting.
“It’s never been easier to create a beautiful online store and sell products online”. There are no frills here: only clear, actionable copy that makes you want to jump in and start right away.
Aspirational, can-do phrasing such as ‘make it your own’, make your first sale today’ and ‘no-limit hosting’ speaks directly to the reader and eliminates doubt. They also have an impressively expansive range of guides and blog posts to help you along the way. That’s one superb content marketing strategy.
Ultimately, what we can learn from these brands is that ‘average’ copy just doesn’t cut it anymore — you need great copywriting. But, don’t stop there. Great copywriting won’t generate as much ROI if you don’t capitalize on sharing and other aspects of content marketing.
If you want to build a brand that is niche, memorable and competitive, you need to create a compelling tone of voice that speaks to your customers in their own language. And remember, you don’t need to go on and on. Quality trumps quantity every time. Fill your content with personality, and of course, be ruthless with your spellchecking. For nothing says ‘lazy’ like a big fat typo.
Patrick Foster: Freelance Writer & Ecommerce Consultant
Having worked in copywriting and content marketing for many years, I’ve seen some truly great writing – and some not so great. Storytelling is my passion and I hope to share some of the insight I’ve gained with others through blogging and guest posting. Find me at ecommercetips.
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