Tone of voice tips to whip your website into shape – learn the hows, whats and whys of TOV

Hi ,

Tone of Voice matters.

Perhaps more than ever before.

This economic crisis is causing many people to reconsider their priorities. Calls for change grow louder: 

  • Build back better! 
  • Stop the unethical working conditions in the meat industry!
  • Let's tie government support for companies to their social impact!

On the news everyday, we're faced with politicians and corporate leaders that are tone deaf.

Our niche must stand out from that crowd.

We've always been building better. We've got social impact in our DNA. And we care about everyone in our supply chain: workers AND animals, and yes, the very soil in which we grow the plants that feed them, us, our products.

Because tone of voice is so essential, I'm excited about having Julia Graham on board. Julia's attention to detail is astounding, and she's amazing at tone of voice. 

If you're keen to polish your brand tone of voice, we're offering you a special promotion over the summer: .... 

Right, enough from me — time for Julia to take the floor.

Meet Julia!

Hi there,

I'm Julia, resident copywriter, zero-waste enthusiast and branding geek coming to you from rural Scotland.

Over the last seven years I've written copy for the likes of sustainable fashion brands, healthcare companies, arts councils and mobile phone networks.

Whether big or small, these brands had the same problem... and it's one I see all the time: feeling overwhelmed or confused by tone of voice.

That's why I'm sharing some gems I've learnt from tone of voice royalty, including Anna Pickard, the brains behind Slack’s inimitable brand voice.

First off, what even is tone of voice or TOV?

Tone of voice is like a brand’s personality. You create it through the brand’s words and style of writing. 

For instance, if your brand is dynamic and youthful, you'd write in a dynamic and youthful way. Sprinkle your copy with pop culture reference, modern phrases and gifs.

Similarly, if your brand is more about the senses (think Pukka tea or ethical fabrics), weave a poetic voice and evocative descriptions throughout your writing.

It’s a case of show, don’t tell.

Why do you need a tone of voice?

“Good communication is a dance between clarity and surprise.”

There may be hundreds of other companies offering something similar to you. What makes you memorable is how you talk to your customers by email, social media and on your website. When it comes down to it, people do business with people they like.

In practice

The first lesson we’re taught as copywriters is to write how we speak. And this applies to tone of voice too. It’s OK to go from being really playful to being really serious.

Who Gives A Crap toilet paper fills their packaging with witty copy. But that doesn’t mean they can’t take a more serious tone when talking about the number of people around the world without access to a toilet.

And yet…the mistake most brands make is inconsistency

If your tone of voice is playful or modern like Innocent and Webflow, you don’t want to put prospective customers off with pages written in a conflicting voice.

Webflow stays on brand with its microcopy: "Hmm... that blue button must be important..."

Webflow uses microcopy that's clear, on brand and engaging to make it easier for customers to use their site.

Lemonade insurance also strikes this balance well. Even the FAQ is in its tone of voice – there’s no legalese, they use emojis and have the same warm style as on the homepage.

Stuck with consistency?

⏰ Book an Impact Day and we'll apply your tone of voice consistently to your entire website and/or emails. (We’re now taking bookings from November onwards.) Or if you'd like a more in-depth project, hit reply and let us know. Réka will then get in touch to book an informal chat —  to discover how we can get your brand ready for 2021.


PS If you have any questions about tone of voice or reaching your audience through authentic messaging, hit reply to this email. I’d love to hear from you.

From Scratch Communications

De Oeverlanden 211, 1441RE Purmerend

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