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 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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Leading The Way

The first 25 words on your web page are THE most important. Why? Because Google says so. The first and last 25 words on each of your web pages are areas that Google pays close attention to, so it’s a prime place to put your keywords and get your point across.

25 words is also roughly how long it takes to get a ‘feel’ for the gist of a piece of content so if you can sum up the benefits upfront you’ll be doing your readers a favour. Most people don’t have time to read your content word for word and will scan to find what they’re looking for.

Problem/solution leads work particularly well. For example:

“Tired of not sleeping? A simple home cure that your granny may have known holds the key to your dreams”

Or you could try starting with a question:

“Why are left-handed people better artists? It’s not what you think…”

Interesting quotes work well too:

“Most managers and business owners set their recruitment strategy on a slippery slope by hiring people who are just like them.”

And if storytelling is one of your skills, try starting in the middle instead of at the beginning:

“Last week I was invited onto the stage to receive my award, to thunderous applause. That moment was 20 years in the making.”

Whatever approach you decide to take, remember that all your lead has to do is build a bridge between the headline and the body copy where you’re going to WOW readers with all the benefits of your product or service. More about that next month.

Got any great examples of leads that have worked well for you? Comment  below – we’d love to hear about them.


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SuperSleuth your way to great conversions!

The first question you should be asking is…

What does my reader need to get from this piece of copy?

If you can’t answer that, put down your pen or tuck away your keyboard and go and do some field work. Ask people, put out a questionnaire. It’s probably not the right time to be writing. If you do know, keep going.

Think about this living, breathing person sitting in front of you. What motivates them? What do they want less of in their life, what do they want more of? How can you make their life easier?

What’s going to stop them?

Whenever anyone comes to a webpage, a post or an article, if you’ve written your headline well and kept them interested long enough to actually read your body copy, they’re likely to have a caseload of questions in their heads. Your job is to get inside their minds, use your powers of deduction and answer them. That’s all you have to do.

Consider what’s going to stop them adding your product to their cart or signing up for your next course or buying your book.  Is it a lack of information, are they worried about paying online? Have other people benefited from what you’re offering and if so what did they think of you? Maybe they’re just too shy to show up on their own for one of your courses and need an incentive to bring a friend for half price?

When you spend some time working out what makes your ideal customer tick and putting their minds at rest, they’ll know you have their best interests at heart and will be much more likely to trust you. Conversion will happen naturally. 

Now, where did I leave my magnifying glass…?

Happy sleuthing! Til next month,


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How often do you use your intuition?


I love my satnav. It’s not even a very fancy one and the navigator’s voice, if I’m honest, drives me up the wall (not literally). But whenever I need to take a trip, I depend entirely on Julia or Sean to get me there. If it broke, I’d be lost (literally this time).

This blind faith in technology has gotten me into hot water waaay too often. Once I ended up in a field full of sheep instead of the promised luxury hotel. The sheep were as surprised as I was. Another time it took me 2 hours to get off the M25 near London because the exit disappeared.

It occurred to me the other day that if my feminine intuition was a satellite navigation device, it would probably only be switched on half the time!

Are you the same?

Do you listen to that gentle inner voice and follow where it leads? Do you know instinctively what’s right for you and choose your own path even if it makes you unpopular? Or are you more likely to bend yourself out of shape just to do what’s expected?

If this sounds all too familiar and you’re ready for a change, you might like to join us. I’ve teamed up with the inimitable Bernie Petrie of Barefoot Ambition to deliver a series of Feminine Intuition workshops across the UK, starting close to home in North Berwick, Scotland.

It’ll be 24 hours of goddess-ness where we laugh and learn together and share our time-tested tips for tuning into your inner wisdom, detoxing your thoughts and loving the skin you’re in 🙂

 Get in quick though. There are only 12 places because it’s a small venue and the tomtoms are already beating (groan)!

Find out more



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Filed under Change Your Words Change Your World, Events

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Filed under Powering Conversion - Top Tips, Uncategorized

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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Get All Your Ducks in a Row


“Most websites don’t have a massive traffic problem, however every website in the world has a conversion problem.” – Bryan Eisenberg,

Boring, I know, but the first step in creating copy that converts is preparation. Spend 50% of your writing time planning your content and you’ll save yourself hours of pen-sucking, head-scratching tedium further down the road. Start by asking yourself these 3 questions:

1. Who am I writing for? (Imagine a living breathing person rather than a demographic)

2. What do I want someone to do as a result of reading this page? (e.g. buy and share)

3. What are the primary and secondary key phrases I will optimise this page for? (from your keyword research, pick one mainstream phrase and one niche phrase per page)

The single most important thing you need to consider whenever you write a piece of copy is:

What value will this piece of content add to my reader’s life?

And if you think that sounds a bit dramatic, consider how many waking hours you have in your day. Then think about how many different bits of information you have to process within that timeframe. Emails, blog posts, websites, texts, tweets, Facebook updates, train timetables, billboards, newspapers, books, radio and TV broadcasts, conversations, meetings… not to mention the continuous running commentary in your head. Bleuuugh! It’s enough to make you crawl back under the duvet.

Your customers are probably facing the same level of information overload so it will brighten their day if they can read a piece of content that considers their needs and gives them something worthwhile to take away. That can be a juicy report or independent review, some free advice or anything that makes their life easier. When people receive something they value for free, they are much more inclined to do business with you.

Once you know the answers to the above 3 questions and are clear on the value your reader will get, you’re ready to start structuring your content. And that’s what we’ll be looking at next month…

P.S We’d love to hear your comments!

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3 Secrets of a Top Travel Copywriter


You know how on your first couple of days of a holiday, it can sometimes be hard to switch off? The cogs in your mind are still whirring at office-pace and as hard as you try, you can’t help but have a couple of little thoughts about work.

Well that’s what happened to me last week, when I went to stay in a Normandy chateau, in the history steeped village of Sainte-Marie-Du-Mont. It’s a magnificent building; grand from the outside, but homely and comfortable on the inside. There were regal double poster beds in every bedroom, and perhaps the pièce de résistance was the medieval banqueting hall. I couldn’t have imagined a place I’d rather be. Yet when I tried to translate my feelings on to a post card – the words eluded me! At that moment it occurred to me how much I admire the PurpleFeather travel copywriters.  I started to think – what’s the secret of their success?

Secret 1: They transport the reader to the destination with rich and detailed descriptions. Images of actually being there sipping champagne make the reader believe they are there already.

Secret 2: Offer escapism, experience, adventure, peace. Appealing to all senses in a short piece can be hard. Think about how you would describe it to a friend without boring them – not at all generic.  

Secret 3: It was easy for me to send my postcard to the intended audience – all I had to do was include a stamp and address. But how do our copywriters ensure that their ideal audience are directed to the relevant article or web page? Keyword research! Keywords are carefully selected and integrated into copy to ensure that it is optimised for search engines. More advice on keyword research.

For more details of how we have helped travel industry clients increase their online conversions, take a look at our portfolio. 

Do you think you could benefit from working with our travel copywriting team? If you have a project you’d like us to consider, drop us a line at 


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