Author Archives: Alex

Happy Thanksgiving

 

thankful

Thanksgiving is a time of the year where the power of words is more evident than ever. Yesterday morning I wasn’t in the best of moods. I was trying to work out a new plugin for our website, and not being the most technical minded, it was a frustrating process! I decided to have a break and check the hello@purplefeather email account. I saw a message entitled ‘An American Holiday’. Intrigued, I opened the email and what came next made a real difference to my day – it cheered me right up! Here’s what it said:

“Thanksgiving tomorrow 11-28  is an American holiday. We give thanks for many things, our blessings , our friends, our families, and the list goes on. One of the things I am thankful for is stumbling over Purplefeather. That one video [The Power of Words] changed the way I communicate with co workers, bosses and subordinates, I even talk with my kids ( young adults) differently, I may not be formally trained in your technique, but I have changed the words I use and it truly has changed the responses.

So as this is not one of your official holidays (I think), I invite you to share the intent  of this holiday with your family and friends tomorrow. May the good Lord watch over you and those you hold close to your heart. May you prosper in the coming year,  Happy Thanksgiving”

I hope this email has inspired you, as it did me, to take a moment and think about the people you are thankful for.

Pass it forward and give the gift of kind words today 🙂

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One man and his van

Image

Yesterday I shared a blog post about VW and how they have harnessed the power of story in their marketing. Imagine my surprise when John (of John Cavill Gardens & Design), one of our loyal subscribers, got in touch to say that he was in fact one of VW’s featured real life stories! How cool is that?

Like the Purplefeather team, John is a big believer in the power of words. He’s been inspired both by our guidance (John reads all our blogs and has fun implementing our tips) and VW’s campaign to take his web content to the next level, embracing storytelling as a central part of his online marketing. John’s top tip for creating compelling copy is, “always tweaking and having fun with my website content, always looking for opportunities and remaining forever positive in everything I do.” We think that’s great advice.

You’ll be able to see how John tells his story when his new website is launched. You can follow his journey on Facebook: www.facebook.com/johncavillgardens

Comment below and share with us how you embrace storytelling in your marketing. 

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Human nature. What’s it got to do with your marketing?

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles hit the nail on the head with their recent marketing campaign. They’ve realised that it’s in our nature to enjoy a good story. They’ve seen it’s natural for us to connect with people rather than faceless brands, and that we’re drawn to those who value the same things as us. So it’s no surprise that their new story-centred, customer focussed campaign is a big hit. They’ve told the real life story of Andy, director of AB Flooring and owner of a VW Transporter vehicle, indispensable to the day to day running of his business.

What would you be more drawn to? An ad explaining all about the features and top quality of a VW Transporter? Or the genuine story of someone just like you, whose life has been made all the easier by his trusty VW?

Storytelling and authenticity are two things we emphasise in our training sessions. You ALL have a story inside you and we help you to tell it in the most effective way. A well-structured website will take your audience through a journey, first engaging them to read on and ultimately inspiring action. Storytelling will turn your website into your top sales person, in a way that is authentic and true to your values. And hey presto! If you’re communicating your values through your web copy, you ‘ll attract your IDEAL clients in a jiffy.

On our upcoming WordPowered Masterclass, you’ll learn how to write authentic, engaging copy that inspires your ideal customers to act (whether that is buying your products, supporting your cause or simply getting in touch).
In October, our Director Andrea trained with a client in New Jersey who was launching a fabulous website that provides educational resources.  After their last session he said that Andrea had ‘blown his mind’ and that he had been on the phone to his colleague for 3 hours discussing all their new ideas and how to put them into action! Could that be you this month?

Join Andrea on the 14th November for the first in the series of a three part online masterclass, where she’ll be sharing her tried and tested techniques for writing engaging web copy. The masterclass is made up of two group sessions where Andrea will set you up with the copywriting skills and insider knowledge you need to write compelling copy. The third session is a one-to-one where you will work together to get to the heart of your message and tell your story.

To bring your online marketing to life, email Alex at hello@purplefeather.co.uk and get in quick for the next WordPowered Masterclass. It’s the last one of the year and they sell out fast, so grab the opportunity with both hands!

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How to Create Powerful Positive Headlines

Negative, fear-inducing words can seriously damage your brain! The latest neuroscience reveals that concentrating on them for 10 to 20 minutes a day can lead to depression and anxiety. Who needs more of that in their lives?

Luckily there’s some good news…

Focusing on positive words for the same length of time can improve your brain chemistry and change the functioning of your brain by as much as 25%!

This is great to know for your personal wellbeing, but it can also really help your business. Think about how you read through some typical web copy. If you’re like most people you’ll scan any images first, then headlines and if you’ve been inspired to read on you’ll move onto the body copy. Four times more people are likely to read your headlines than your body copy. And the only job a headline needs to do is evoke curiosity, either through making a promise or demanding explanation.

Truly effective headlines are those that speak directly to the ‘ideal life’ of your customer.

Fortunately here’s where positive words really come into their own. When we’re making a decision on whether to buy a product or service, the ONLY things we’re really interested in is how it is going to make our lives easier or better. And a great headline will highlight those feelings without giving away the whole story.

Here’s an example: ‘How to Lose 7lbs in 2 weeks…without giving up chocolate!’

So you can delete all those fear and anxiety words and bring out the benefits. Happy headlining!

As usual, we’d love to hear your comments.

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How To Get Lightning Results With Your Web Copy

Yesterday there was a mighty thunder storm in Glasgow (well, by UK standards anyway). As darkness descended on Wellington Street, the heavens opened and boy did it rain! With each new clap of thunder or bolt of lightning, Andrew and I ran to the window. Each time, nothing much had changed. It was still dark, wet and deserted. The seagull on the roof of the building opposite was still sitting there, looking foolishly nonchalant. Yet with each BOOM we were still compelled to vacate our seats and press our faces up against the window, surveying the scene. Then people started whooping in the street – Flash! “Woohoo!” BANG! “Yeheaah!”  And I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if your web copy could evoke such a strong and immediate reaction?’

Here’s how:

Kick off with a punchy headline to grab attention, just like that first clap of thunder. Then work through the copy cracking open people’s existing perceptions and objections, giving them a new energy. Bring your readers into the present, painting a picture of their new and improved life. Keep the energy high, mixing up your sentence lengths. Try not to create any sentences with over 16 words – you lose impact and momentum. This energy needs to take the reader right through to the end, so make each subheading as loud as the last. No one runs to the window for a distant rumble.

Top it off with a dynamic call to action strong enough to convert. ‘Click here to buy’ just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

If you’re struggling to connect with your ideal clients, we can help you find your voice and transform your business. Learn to get lightning results with your web copy on our WordPowered Masterclass.

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How To Structure Your Content

A I D C A

If you’ve ever done any marketing training, you might be familiar with the AIDA principle. For the web there’s one extra step. So A is for Attention, I is for Interest, D for Desire. C stands for conviction and A is the final Action.

Attention

We’ll start with A, Attention. How do you get someone’s attention, generally? Usually by telling them something that piques their curiosity, pushes their buttons or appeals to their self-interest in some way. If I whispered to you on the subway that I’d discovered the secret of eternal life, my guess is you’d want to know more.  Or at the very least you’d be intrigued by my weirdness! The best way to get attention with the written word is by using headlines. Your headline is really an opportunity to tantalise people into reading more by creating an emotional reaction. That’s the only job it has to do. And there are plenty of ways to do that. We’ll be talking more about that in next month’s feature.

Interest

OK, so the next step is to build on that interest and move them into your body copy. Think about the basic human needs for shelter, safety, money, love, nourishment, achievement and sex. Most of us want all or some of these needs met on a regular basis. Your Interest statement needs to address these needs. So if the product can save money, specifically mention how much. If it will make their family safer, explain how. It helps to focus on the main benefit.

Desire

Right so now we’ve got their attention and engaged their interest, the next step is to stoke up some desire. This is where you pull out all the stops. Paint a picture for your reader which evokes a life made infinitely richer, easier or more pleasurable once they have availed themselves of your product or service. Tell them how people just like them are already enjoying the benefits. Awaken their desire to be more successful, more beautiful, more gifted or luckier than any of their peers. And then make your offer sound unmissable by limiting its supply through use of a deadline or exclusive deal. We all like to feel that we’re getting extra special treatment and that we’re not missing out – that’s just good old human nature.

In this section of your copy you’ll need to give your reader all the details they’ll need to make a buying decision. Remember we make buying decisions with our feelings, not our intellects, though we might use reason to rationalise those emotional decisions after the event.

Conviction

Moving onto the fourth part of our web page structure then, the C, which stands for conviction. This is where you need to provide social proof in the form of testimonials, statistics and any positive PR or press coverage you’ve received. It’s also where you can address and overcome any objections your customer is likely to have.

Action

By now your prospect should be feeling really hungry for a transaction. What could possibly go wrong? The fifth part I want to talk about is the call to action, or put simply where you tell them to buy now, with urgency. And it’s where most web copy falls flat on its face.

If you’ve written your copy or presented your content in a structured way, you need to follow right through to the finish. This is where the energy needs to be ramped up! Sometimes it helps to write this piece of your content first. What do you want them to do as a result of engaging with your content? People expect to be reminded of the benefits and be told exactly what to do next. Don’t disappoint them! And if you can end on a note of inspiration, do so. If you’ve watched The Power of Words, you’ll notice that the part of the message that really hits home after you’ve read the sign is ‘change your words, change your world’ which transitions into Purplefeather’s logo and web address. It evokes emotion, and reminds you what you can do with a strong call to action.

Hopefully this post has given you some more helpful tips on conversion and there’ll be many more to come over the year. What do you think? Love to hear your comments.

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Courting Success

We’re going a bit Wimbledon mad in the office this week – and it’s not even quarter finals yet! You might have received our tennis themed email if you’re on our mailing list. If not – you can sign up here (bottom left of the page), and we’ll even throw in our Top 10 Web Copywriting Tips! Anyway, back to the flavour of the week. . . Wimbledon.

And a lot can be learnt from Jacob‘s Creek ad campaign to promote their ticket competition. Harnessing the power of storytelling, in TWO different ways, they sure know how to connect with their audience.

  1. ‘Meet the True Characters of Wimbledon’ and ‘The Open Film Series’ – I challenge you not to feel more emotionally involved with the tournament and the sport after watching these videos. In fact, Andre Agassi’s honest and charming interview ‘Step’ about his first grand slam victory inspired me, made me smile, and brought back that excited ‘summery-Wimbledon-final’ feeling all at once. Kind of makes me want to enter a competition to win some centre court tickets. . . How convenient, there’s a handy link to the Jacob’s Creek competition right under the videos!
  2. The Fans Gallery. We love telling stories as much as we love to hear them. So what better way to get Facebook fans to engage and interact than to ask them to send in their favourite Wimbledon stories and memories?

Need help harnessing the power of story for your business? Here’s a summary of how we can help bring your brand to life.

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