Another moan: websites you have to sign up to before they’ll allow access

…You know… those website urls you click on and you can’t get any further without signing up for a newsletter? So what do I do? I back-click of course. Sorry, but I get enough emails and newsletters (yes, the knitting newsletters keep coming at the rate of at least two per week… AND IN DUPLICATE EACH TIME for some unknown reason… aaarrrggghhh!). The rule of thumb with websites is to make things easy for the customer, to gently guide them through from clicking onto the site to placing an order or whatever you want them to do. Signing up for a newsletter before allowing access doesn’t make it easy in my opinion.

Let’s ask customers what they think – and make it impossible for them to respond!

As ever, the service at our local Post Office this afternoon was unfriendly and tedious, with a long queue and just one person serving – the most miserable woman on the planet. So I picked up a yellow “Your chance to win 1 of 5 giftcards worth £100” card which invites customers to tell the Post Office what they think. Naturally I wanted to tell them about how the service at my local Post Office branch is consistently unfriendly bordering on rude. Continue reading “Let’s ask customers what they think – and make it impossible for them to respond!”

A big massive huge YUCK – is the BT Infinity ad the most tasteless ad on TV?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but every time that awful BT Infinity ‘big lady’ ad pops up on the telly I feel physically sick. I can’t even imagine how the creative pitch went. Well I can have a go… “The tagline is ‘big entertainment, tiny prices’ so how about we get a large lady, preferably someone famous like Australian comedian Rebel Wilson [who?] who can clown around doing stupid things?” “Great idea! It should generate loads of business!” replies the BT marketing department enthusiastically. Continue reading “A big massive huge YUCK – is the BT Infinity ad the most tasteless ad on TV?”

Not too much, not too little… Just right. Some thoughts on after-sales follow-up activities.

On Friday evening I placed an order for knitting yarn at www.loveknitting.com. I was impressed with their website and the 15% off your first order pop-up that kicks in when you might be thinking of leaving the site to compare prices elsewhere. And the fact that they got me to sign up for a newsletter in order to receive this discount. I was even more impressed when the yarn arrived on Sunday (yes, Sunday) beautifully packaged along with a nice note offering me 10% off my next order. Continue reading “Not too much, not too little… Just right. Some thoughts on after-sales follow-up activities.”

As a copywriter, I know how to do my job. I wouldn’t still be around after 27 years if I didn’t.

With over 22 years’ experience of stretching and pummeling people back to a pain-free life, I trust my physiotherapist implicitly to deliver the very best and most effective treatment for my herniated lumbar disc (caused by a bike accident in August). And I trust her to give me expert advice on what I should and shouldn’t do to aid recovery. Slowly but surely, I am getting better. Yet, what if I’d come to her and said, “No, no, no… I believe I need a treatment programme where I cycle 30 miles a day, hike up and down the Three Peaks and go crazy at the gym with massive dumbbells”? No doubt she would have refused to treat me knowing that it wouldn’t achieve the results I desired. Continue reading “As a copywriter, I know how to do my job. I wouldn’t still be around after 27 years if I didn’t.”

Time to give something back – volunteering for adult literacy programme

Being a home-based freelance copywriter can get a bit isolating. So a friend made a great suggestion today: why didn’t I volunteer for a couple of hours a week or so on, for example, an adult literacy programme? As a copywriter and (occasional) author, I have the skills – and I also love giving advice (as you’ve probably noticed with this blog and if you’ve ever asked me for assistance!!) So I’ve made some enquiries and hopefully this is something that will happen, probably helping asylum seekers get a better grasp of the English language both spoken and written.

Watch this space…

Oh for pity’s sake, it’s YOU’RE not YOUR!!!!

After misuse of an apostrophe / plurals and getting the various forms of they’re / their / there confused the NUMBER ONE grammatical mistake I see virtually every day is the misspelling of you’re – as in you are. An example of a sentence would be: I can see you’re really good at English grammar and not I can see your really good at English grammar.
Continue reading “Oh for pity’s sake, it’s YOU’RE not YOUR!!!!”

Oh dear, another would-be copywriter…

Yet another email arrived in my in-box today from a would-be copywriter asking if I could provide them with copywriting work experience… Sadly, the email looks as if it’s been dashed off in a couple of minutes. The English is poor, sentences don’t begin with capitals and links don’t work. Initially I deleted it. Then I retrieved it, deciding that it would make a good blog topic for today. Here is my response: Continue reading “Oh dear, another would-be copywriter…”

“It’s OK, we’ve asked our receptionist / secretary / admin assistant to write it”

Recently I got one of those ‘urgent urgent’ emails where a potential client wants some high-quality copywriting done yesterday. Firstly, this always astonishes me because anyone with a business plan worth its salt should have planned this kind of thing in advance. And, secondly, it astonishes me even more when they email back to say “Don’t worry, we’ve got our receptionist / secretary / admin assistant to do it instead”. Continue reading ““It’s OK, we’ve asked our receptionist / secretary / admin assistant to write it””

Frequently Asked Questions. But are they?

So many small business websites don’t seem to check their FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages to see if these really are the kind of questions that potential customers are asking. All too often they don’t provide answers to the simplest and most obvious questions, yet their FAQ pages are packed with all kinds of irrelevant stuff. Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions. But are they?”