Change Your Tune…Tone

Ground Hog Day.

Same old, same old.

A warm, slimy, algae ridden pond…what is stagnation?

Web copy is not intended to be any of the above. That’s the beauty of bits and bytes. They take to molding and shaping so well. And with the vicissitudes of the online ecosystem as bumpy as they are, it makes sense to keep things fresh. Static website? Static quickly becomes just that…back ground noise, fuzz.

When it comes to your website: Change your tone, change your tack, change your message.

Here’s what we’ve come to know about handling web copy in just the past couple of years:

  • Avoid third-person passive voice. Address your visitor as “you.”
  • Use conversational tone.
  • Include action verbs that inspire your visitors to take some action or follow direction.
  • Use bullets, numbered lists, graphics/images to ensure the overall message is clear within the first few fleeting glances.

Those are the basics.  And they have become common knowledge, for the most part.

Age of Personalization.

People login to a website and automatically their settings and account information are available. Customized widgets, apps, drag and drop functionality that enables users to create their own experiences is becoming de rigueur.

What if you don’t have an iPhone app to deliver, or nifty little user widgets? What if you just have the copy on your page to play with? How can you possibly personalize your product? The more one-on-one you can craft a message, the more trust and intimacy you build. It’s no longer about simply putting action verbs in place. Respect the fact that your readers, customers, clients, and visitors have dozens, maybe hundreds, of other sites they could go to. They have appointments to keep. The conversation is between you and this one other very important person.

Keep it brief, but make sure it’s friendly. That is not as easy as it seems.

  • Too brief and you come off as “short” and impatient.
  • Not brief enough mixed with too much friendly and your copy and message quickly verges on effusive, which is annoying.

Tending your site content is an imperative, particularly if you cater to customers of any kind. Spend a little more time on ensuring your tone and words are delivered carefully. Don’t be afraid to switch it up, just don’t forget that one-on-one.

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  1. Language Hacker Award Vol IX | State of Mind Coaching & Training - 22 August, 2010

    […] Jennifer Rotman.  After liking Jennifer’s articles at, better known as Word Bang, I decided she is an excellent candidate for the Cicero.  You can search my blog for “jrotman” to find the recent referenced articles and my thoughts on them, and I can list her links here.  Audience: Know them, Feel them.  Change You Tune…Tone.  […]

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