Author Archive | Jackie

Objectives for your website, page by page

When constructing your website, you have to know why you are doing what you are doing. Each page can only achieve a few things.

Here are some suggestions:

Home page

  • Let site visitors know they are in the right place by answering WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) from their point of view and
  • Capture their email address in return for an incentive such as a tip sheet
  • Tell them where you want them to go next with clear navigation

About page

  • Share personality
  • Filter out people you don’t want
  • Explain why people should choose you

Testimonials/case studies/trade & professional logos

  •  Give confidence by providing external endorsements

Services page/s

  • Prompt an enquiry

Product page/s

  • Buy now

Free resources

  •  Add value
  •  Shareable on social media


  • Demonstrate expertise
  • Encourage interaction
  • Be found on search

Contact page

  • Get in touch

Faces, faces everywhere


Found on Facebook

Scuba diving on a coral reef in the Red Sea, I hovered over a clownfish (think Nemo) guarding its anemone. It kept darting towards my mask, clearly saying: “Keep away from my house”, ” I told you, keep away from my house”, “If you don’t keep away from my house, I will bite you”.

Butterfly fish

Butterfly fish

There was no way the little fish could hurt me – it was too small – but it did make me wonder how the fish knew to communicate with my eyes rather than any other part of my body.

Butterfly fish have a stripe through their eye and a dot on their tail. This is to confuse predators in the hope they will bite the wrong end of their prey and so do less damage.

You might have noticed that you can sometimes ‘see’ a face in the grain of a wooden door, the shape of a cloud, or the bark of a tree.


Exhibit A: Ikea clocks

Even babies respond to a circle drawn with two dots as if its a face with eyes.

We are programmed to recognise faces.

When selling clocks, the hands are traditionally set at a particular time. Clocks have faces too, and ten to two makes it look as though they are smiling. The theory is that people are more likely to buy them that way.

Top tip: If you want to sell more, smile :-)

fish photo credit: laszlo-photo via photopin cc


If you do one thing on LinkedIn, do this.

LinkedIn allows you to write a two-line “professional headline” at the top of your profile. By default, it will show your latest job title and company name. What a missed opportunity! People can scroll down and see that information if they want it.

  • As with all marketing, LinkedIn marketing is about objectives. In order to decide how best to use it, you have to know why you are using it and what you are hoping to achieve.
  • As with all marketing, some people won’t read any more than the headline.
  • As with all marketing, the headline can account for up to 90% of success.

Continue Reading →


Mmm, chocolate


Exhibit A

Let’s talk about anthropomorphism. Great word. It means attributing things with human characteristics. It’s also an increasingly common copywriting technique.

Exhibit A. These chocolate bars are packaged with the friendly message: “Hello, I’m [Name], Nice to sweet you, Is it me you’re looking for”.

This is an effective way of breaking down the barrier between the purchaser and the product, generating an emotional connection, and boosting sales.

What it really means is: “Choose me, Buy me, Eat me, Love me”.

Exhibit B: Reusable shopping bag from Sainsbury’s.

Exhibit C: The Waitrose Deli is at it too.

My keyboard urges you to give anthropomorphism a go.

Elephant shopping bag

Exhibit B

Caution! I'm hot

Exhibit C


Why this flying cow is particularly interesting.

Flying cow 1This leaflet fell out of my local paper a few years ago. I kept it to use when I run training courses. I ask delegates to analyse what’s good (and bad) about it.

Why did I choose this particular leaflet?

Because you can practically see the brief in its execution. Imagine the conversation in the agency:

“What’s the product?”

“Milk from the Co-op that only has 1% fat.”

“OK, low fat milk. That means light milk. Where does milk come from? Cows. That means light cows. How about a flying cow?”

So the illustrator draws a cow with a propeller on its head…

So the copywriter writes a headline: “A flying cow! Whatever next?”… Continue Reading →


Dear Royal Mail

parcelsThis red envelope was delivered today >>>>>>>>>>

Please note that I don’t care how much you love parcels. Of course you love them. You get paid for delivering them. I, like all your other customers, only care about What’s In It For Me.

Here, your lovely choir sings along to the new “We love parcels” ad.

As I ranted in my previous post, customers don’t care what YOU love, they only care what THEY love. The tagline should be something like:

“You’ll love the parcels we bring you”


“Delivering parcels you’ll love”

or – if you must –

“We love parcels as much as you do”

Top-down messaging? Pack it in!


No, no, no!

balloonsAnother local shop sign that made me despair* because the copy is too top-down.

It’s not about what you sell. It’s about what your customers want to buy.

The sign should say:


Many businesses claim to be customer-focused in order to uplift** their sales.

Writing bottom-up copy is how you show that you are.

*OK, maybe just a little bit peeved.



Slogans: Powerful or a load of rubbish?

Recycling plantOn the train into London at the weekend, I passed a recycling plant boldly displaying the slogan: “The power to recycle rubbish into heat and light in London”.

It got me thinking about the point of slogans. Surely it’s to tell people who don’t know you, what you do. People who do know you, already know what you do.

Do you think everybody commuting by train will instantly think that “power” means heat and light? It’s one of those words that has multiple meanings.

Perhaps, this particular example doesn’t need the pun “the power to”. You only use puns when you want to be clever.

Here are some alternatives that explain the situation more clearly:

  • Recycling rubbish to power London
  • Recycling rubbish into power for London
  • Energising London by recycling rubbish

If your slogan explains clearly enough what you do, people who don’t know you, then will know – and your slogan will have done its job.

Does your business have a slogan? If yes, does it describe you clearly?

photo credit: KennethMoyle via cc