Communicating your message, through web copy, blog posts or promotional material, is only effective if it’s readable. By this, I don’t simply mean that it is legible. You need to put a message out there that people are actually going to connect with, and therefore continue to read to the end. This is all about getting the tone right. Tone either breathes life into your message, or sucks the life from it. It makes visitors connect with your brand and remember it, or instantly forget it.
How do you create that tone? You could start by taking a look at how your competitors are communicating with their clients, and whether that is effective. However, simply mimicking your rival businesses is just not going to cut it. You need a tone that is unique to your brand. Would your clients be able to read a passage from your website, and immediately be able to identify your business?
Your customers can help you find and refine the voice for your brand. Send them an email to say, “Thanks for choosing us,” within a few days of their purchase, with a poll to ask which adjective they feel would best describe your brand. A tone is simply an adjective brought to life. If your customers think your brand is dynamic, glamorous or nerdy, combine your sentence structure, language and delivery to create that tone.
Remember, your tone can be anything you want it to be. The one thing you don’t want it to be is boring!
Things to Consider
The three considerations when writing copy that really connects with your audience should be persuasion, trust and emotion. Emotional responses are a massive part of the decisions your customers make. Creating a great tone for your brand encourages desirable emotional responses in your visitors. If your copy fails to inspire emotion, this can negatively impact user experience, conversion rate and customer retention. People remember how they feel about an experience or brand. If they feel nothing, they will remember nothing.
Tone isn’t just about reflecting your personality, although that can be a part of it. Your tone should reflect the values that your visitors desire, such as entertainment or reliability. It should be enjoyable to read, and stimulate positive feelings that will become associated with your brand.
Copywriting tone of voice examples
Here are just some of the tones that you might choose to use for your brand.
This is a great tone for software companies, technology related businesses and agencies.
To master this tone, keep your sentences brief and to the point. Use conversational language, and try to use customer testimonials where possible, instead of marketing messages.
This tone might be right for your business if you own a spa or salon, boutique, or if you sell high-end items, targeted at wealthy women.
Use lots of adjectives, but avoid making people feel as though they must rush. Don’t use words like, “Quickly,” or, “Hurry.” The wealthy don’t like to be rushed!
Exercise programmes, gyms, teen brands and fun-focused social businesses can make good use of this tone.
Action-oriented bullet points, fragmented sentences, and short lines that don’t run the width of the page work best for this. Use short, power-packed words, similar to what you might see in a superhero comic. Be sure to avoid overused or bland words.
Are you an insurance provider, school or hosting company? Use comfortable, warm, wholesome words to create a reliable impression. Avoid exclamation marks, highly emotive words and slang.
Traditional rhetorical devices, such as parallel statements work well here, so try to repeat patterns of words or phrases within a sentence or paragraph. Parallel structure organises ideas, making your copy easier to understand. It can also lend a satisfying rhythm to your sentences.
Keep Your Tone Authentic
These are just some examples of the tones you could use for your brand. Above all, your tone needs to feel authentic. Don’t try to be funny if that’s not you; it will just come off as embarrassing. And don’t worry too much about every line being tonal. As long as important things, such as headings, are in keeping with your tone, you should be fine. Overly tonal copy can sometimes be a bit much, and readability should always come before tone.
When done thoughtfully, tone can create trust in your brand and connection with your clients. Invest in building a consistent tone and personality for your business, which is immediately recognisable throughout your entire marketing strategy.
Take a look at my portfolio to see lots of different examples of tone for different brands.