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Copy That Outshines the Competition

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Long before landing pages, blogs, and social media, novelists like Hawthorne knew that writing relatable and engaging content was a challenge. Someone could read the first paragraph of a work of fiction and decide then and there to lay it aside for a better option in the bookstore or library. Today, writers know they have even less time to grab their audience’s attention. That’s why writing matters. The Internet is full of words, images, and video all clamoring for viewers, so it is crucial that your copy outshines the competition.

Cards Against Humanity

One website that makes you stand up and take notice belongs to the creators of Cards Against Humanity (CAH). This fill-in-the blank style game is sometimes shocking, cringe-inducing, and downright offensive, but that’s why its fans love it. The company positions its product as an anti-establishment, politically incorrect game for “horrible people”. This tone is the antithesis of the family-friendly fun promised by the makers of Monopoly, for example.

The CAH site includes the kind of vocabulary consumers will encounter when they receive the game cards. There’s an interesting mix of slang, swear words, and sophisticated language. The latter is at no time pretentious; it’s evocative. The colloquialisms and expletives are provocative. And together, they demonstrate that the company knows how to communicate and reach its fans.

Creative CTAs

Like all websites geared to generate conversions, there are calls-to-action (CTAs) too, and Cards Against Humanity follows the best practice of making them clear and direct. They are also written in the imperative, but some of them are more creative than typical CTAs. For example, CAH invites its fans to anonymously suggest their own cards (This is a great tactic to engage the target audience, by the way). However, the CTA button doesn’t say “submit card”, instead it reads “submit bad idea”. This quirky, humorous phrase is more likely to appeal to its target audience than just the typical imperative verb.

Speaking the Consumer’s Language

This leads us to the tone and style of the site’s copy which is spot on when it comes to mirroring the kind of discourse its consumers use. It’s casual and conversational, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not carefully crafted to sound that way. The checkout process even reflects the tone and style. Instead of stating, “enter your shipping details,” the site asks, “Where should we send this stuff?” The purchaser isn’t required to “submit contact details,” but instead is asked to “Give us some contact info.”

This company’s dedication to maintaining its brand’s identity and voice throughout all stages of the buying process is admirable. It never for a moment bores the reader or disconnects from him or her. Cards Against Humanity is part of its consumers’ tribe, not a corporate entity. How do consumers know this? Because of what CAH is saying and how it’s saying it.

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