You all know The Old Spice Guy, right? "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign was successful for many reasons, but one of them was that it gave Old Spice a voice. A voice that came through in every video, commercial, tagline, Facebook update, tweet -- you name it.
And do you know who is behind all of that marketing collateral?
Copywriters. The ability to find the exact right words to tell your company's story isn't an easy feat, and it's even harder to do so consistently. So when we come across companies that are doing it successfully, we think their copywriters deserve a pat on the back (and a raise?). Take a look at some of the companies we think have stellar copywriting, and if you're looking, maybe get some inspiration for your own brand, too!
And if you want to improve your own copywriting skills, download our free guide to better copywriting here.
10 Brands With Killer Copywriting
Hipmunk should win for best copywriting on company name alone, no?
Hipmunk takes a familiar concept -- comparison shopping -- and incorporates a hilarious spin on the process of doing it for booking flights and hotels. For example, take a look at how they describe how to use features of their website, what we typically know as "Sort by Price" or "Sort by Distance" when we're booking our travel online.
Hipmunk has found the words to describe how everyone feels in the midst of travel, and incorporated it into their product. It shows a remarkable understanding of their audience -- down to that last call-out in the screenshot above, that speaks to the spiteful travel coordinator booking flights for the boss. Bravo to Hipmunk for understanding their audience, and then encapsulating that experience in a few mere words!
UrbanDaddy has mastered the art of getting me to open emails. Take a look at this subject line:
And I'm not even the target market for that email. But who wouldn't want to know more about "A Few Ways to Look Even Handsomer"? I just love seeing what on earth they're talking about. Here's what:
Talk about an opening line. UrbanDaddy's copy entertains, tells a story (even about relatively benign products, like shoes), and makes the reader feel like the person he wants to be. That's a dangerous combo for your wallet, but a great one for an email marketer's open and click-through rates. Flattery will get you everywhere ... maybe that's another shameless marketing tactic we should have added to our list ;-)
Dropbox's copy is clear, concise, and crisp. That's an alliterative goldmine in the copywriting world, especially when you're talking about instructional copy. Take a look at how they take you through the orientation process, for example:
I mean, it's file sharing ... not super exciting, right? But Dropbox understands they don't have to act boring just because their industry isn't sexy. No, when you sign up for Dropbox, you're going on a quest! In fact, you have seven quests to complete until you reach your reward. Sounds a little bit more like Lord of the Rings than file sharing!
Take a look at another way they add a touch of whimsy to their informative writing:
Their copy perfectly matches the playful image above, encouraging users to work and play just like those adorable little computers sketched above. The tone of Dropbox's copy completely matches the lighthearted design of their website, all while clearly and succinctly explaining exactly what the user needs to know to be a successful customer.
ModCloth is another brand that has an excellent grasp of their buyer persona, and it comes through in their pun-filled copywriting. All of their products are silly plays on words -- any Outkast fans out there will recognize the humor in the name of this dress, for instance.
Their product description copy is joyous, evocative, and clever -- just like their customers! And it always tells the story of what you'll do while wearing their items. After reading their descriptions, one can imagine what their life would be like if they owned this product. That's like Copywriting 101, but so few brands can actually pull it off like the folks at ModCloth do!
Mozilla is another company that has mastered the art of saying a lot, with little words. Take a look at the copy on their homepage, for example:
They do good work. They're innovative. They provide secure, fast browsing. Awesome. Sounds like a company I want to do business with. They conveyed that all in fewer than 50 words, too. It's not every brand that can convey their value proposition in 50 words or fewer -- but everyone sure should be able to.
They carry over that concise copywriting throughout their website, too. There's nothing worse than looking for a resource, and having to troll through lengthy explanatory copy to figure out whether you should click. But look how simple Mozilla makes it for the user! My favorites are their descriptions of the "Press center" and the "Mozilla blog." They're perfect examples of just saying what you mean, plain and simple, no bells and whistles.
You know what's never fun? Explaining unpopular rules. Especially when you're a company with a brand as fun as Uber's. So take a look at a snippet from their blog that explains a rule that, frankly, can be kind of a bummer for customers:
When you put it that way, I get it. I'd love to fit my 5 friends in the car, but you're right, "having to cancel your Uber ride because the driver won't take your 5 friends is an altogether lame experience." Uber understands how to put a spin on a customer service issue that's helpful, informative, and playful so everyone walks away happy -- drivers and customers alike.
GymIt has figured out how to craft evocative and powerful taglines that are short and snappy. If you've never tried to do that, holy cow, is it difficult! These taglines explain the gym's value proposition, totally resonate with their target demographic, and require no further explanation. As a relatively new gym, they tell a great story of who they are with the three taglines currently rotating on their website. First, they convey that feeling of first joining a new gym:
Then, they answer what makes them different from everyone else:
That's something I can get behind. You know what else I'm a fan of? This:
Because we're all human, we're going to the gym to fulfill a basic need (to eat macaroni and cheese ... also health), and GymIt gets that.
As a company that provides help desk software, it's critical that Zendesk maintains a customer-focused approach to everything they do. So that needs to come through in their copywriting, as well -- but they do so striking a great balance between professionalism and, well, being human. I love how their homepage tells "The story of support ticked #24," for example. They take the anonymity many customers feel being just one more number in the customer service queue, and turn that into an actual story between two people that ends in, as they put it, a "relationship."
That mission of building better relationships carries through in all of their site copy, particularly on the typically business-babble filled "About Us" page. Zendesk's, however, is a refreshing change of pace. They've not only explained what their value is in a few short paragraphs, but they've also used data to prove their points -- a wonderful way for companies to convey a message in few words. Plus, their customer-centric approach still shines through!
Groupon is another company that makes the list of excellent copywriting because of their stellar email copy. This email succeeds because it's funny, timely, and resonates with the recipient. Take a look at this subject line that should make you chuckle:
Getting that email in the middle of a heat wave (which I did) is some seriously timely humor ... not a bad way to get me to spend some moolah. And they carry the theme through in all of their email's copy! They've given the deals in this issue a category -- "Beat the Heat" deals -- and use the tagline "Load up on refreshing deals to beat the summer heat." Groupon has done a great job committing to their theme in this copy!
Like UrbanDaddy, UncommonGoods is another brand that's rocking it with email marketing copy. Their copy is fantastic for two reasons: they pick a theme and run with it, and it's all extremely personalized. Take a look at this email, starting with the subject line. Any fans of The Princess Bride out there? Try not to open an email with this subject line:
Once you get into the email, you see that it's all about customizable goods made just for you. They carry this through every single part of the email, including very descriptive words in the top right corner for groups of people who might want gifts customized to them. In other words, it's not generic groups like "women" or "mothers." It's "geeks," "animal lovers," and "travelers." And notice in the top left corner? They've even customized the copy that lets readers click through to a website to see images to fit the theme of the email! Now that's one dedicated email copywriter.
What other brands do you think have amazing copywriting? Share in the comments!