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Category Archives: Good Practice

This matter of fact humour can work well as a Call To Action to click on 'Explain, Please'.

This matter of fact humour can work well as a Call To Action to click on ‘Explain, Please’.

 

Humour is a real tricky thing. Not everyone finds the same things funny. Some don’t find it funny at all!

 

There’s a fine line between satire, irony and insult, and in nowadays time of post-truth it’s difficult to know if your audience indeed gets it. They might just start a shitstorm on you…

 

But humour is also an incredible means to bond: Laugh together and the ice is broken. Share the same humour and become friends.

 

So if you’re after strengthening the relationship with your existing customers, a little humour might help.

 

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Most social media limit the space you can use to communicate your message.

Twitter is one of the extremest, giving you only 140 characters per tweet.

Similarly your profile copy for your Twitter bio is also restricted, here Twitter is a bit more generous with 160 characters.

So use what little space you have wisely, as every character counts!

For example: Why repeat your username if your social media handle already clearly identifies you. Rather use the space to promote your current hashtag campaign.

Like in this well executed Twitter marketing:

Well executed Twitter marketing: This sponsored suggestion is doubly effective, promoting the Twitter profile and current hashtag campaign.

Well executed Twitter marketing: This sponsored suggestion is doubly effective, promoting the Twitter profile AND current hashtag campaign.

 

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A lot of technical equipment in South Africa comes from the US. By default these devices are set to American English and will autocorrect you wrongly.

Some might prefer American English even outside of America, but this should be a conscious choice to define your voice.

If you write in English for the South African market, localise your copy and change your default language settings to South African English:

 

It is easy to change your default language.

It is easy to change your default language.

 

In Word go to ‘Review’, in the ‘Proofing’ tab click on ‘Set Language’ and select ‘English (South Africa)’.

Before clicking ‘OK’, press ‘Default…’ and a window pops up asking:

“Do you want to change the default language to English (South Africa)?
This change will affect all new documents based on the NORMAL template.”

Tab ‘Yes’ and then click ‘OK’.

 

Note: You might have to repeat this, as your device can revert back to factory settings. At the bottom of your Word window it’ll tell you which language is set for your document. If this is wrong, quickly reset your default language.

 

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Tip: Use the 'Date modified:' advanced search function to find your files.

Tip: Use the ‘Date modified:’ advanced search filter to find your files.

 

Have you ever looked for a document but couldn’t remember what it was called?

Even with a Naming Convention and Filing System some document can slip through and for the life of us, we can’t find it.

But don’t despair, there’s still a hack that can help:

 

Search your documents by date modified.

Simply select the advanced search options in your explorer folder by clicking on ‘Date modified:’ under ‘Add a search filter’.

You can select a specific date, or a date range, or a preset time frame from ‘Yesterday’ to ‘Earlier this year’ to ‘A long time ago’.

This also works on a Mac.

 

Tip: Clicking on 'A long time ago' gives you an instant throwback to all the work you've done.

Tip: Clicking on ‘A long time ago’ gives you an instant throwback to all the work you’ve done in chronological order.

 

‘A long time ago’ is my personal favourite, it instantly catapults you back a couple of years ago and gives you a lovely chronological overview of the documents you created since.

As a writer this helps me find inspiration for my blog posts, but it’s also quite uplifting to just look at the sheer volume of the work you’ve done and clap yourself on the shoulder.

 

How about offering a break instead of a permanent unsubscribe.

How about offering a break instead of a permanent unsubscribe.

 

By law and to be ethically sound every promotional email should contain an easy one-click unsubscribe button.

 

However, you don’t want to give up on your subscribers so easily.

 

The usual ‘sad to see you go’ might be polite, but only confirms their action.

 

Instead, prevent your customers from unsubscribing by first offering them a real alternative: To pause their subscription.

 

This might not mean much to your subscribers, but for you it’s a second chance: It gives you the time to work on your newsletter and improve it. So when their subscription is back on, they hopefully like what they see and stay subscribed.

 

This will lower churn and improve your customer retention, showing how creating Value Added Content can have real impact on business success.

 

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Is this a test?

Oh no, it’s just a spelling mistake.

Another great example why it’s a good idea to proofread your copy before posting it.

Following good practices such as a spellchecker integrated in the publishing tool could’ve avoided this funny little blunder.

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Whether you’re a brand, company or person, in order to be recognised your voice needs to be consistent. That’s why I recommend to develop a Copy Strategy.

 

If you do so, you have a much greater chance of letting your unique voice shine through.

 

There you go! Terms don't have to be boring.

There you go! Terms don’t have to be boring.

 

Like in this example, where they could have referred you to the usual terms and conditions, but decided to rather let you agree to the fascinating terms of service.

 

If this is ironic, sarcastic or even true, at least there is some personality coming through, making this a more personal and less officious experience.

 

Michael Ventura

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