“Simon recently reworked our website copy ... it resulted in an impressive improvement in both enquiries and sales for our business” says Robin James, MD of Planet Numbers Ltd.
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What does a freelance copywriter actually do?

If you’re thinking that your business might need to call in a professional wordsmith, are you sure you can answer the key question: what does a professional freelance copywriter actually do for you? Or perhaps, to put it a slightly different way: what can a freelance copywriter do that you can’t do yourself? (And by the way, there are loads of...

How to write a headline (2): what’s the benefit to your reader?

This is the second article giving you some easy-to-use tips and techniques about how to write a headline. These work for websites, blogs, press ads, you name it. Remember, without a strong headline, nobody’s going to read your body copy. So if your headline’s not working as powerfully as it can, the rest of your writing is wasted. And by the...

How to write a headline (1): where’s your customer’s pain?

How to write headline: pain
If your copy or website content hasn't got a great headline — one that entices even the most casual reader or browser to dive in further — it doesn't matter how sensationally persuasive the rest of your copy is. So if you don't know the secrets of how to write a headline, you're in danger of killing off the...

The secret transaction behind all successful marketing

All marketing is a transaction says copywriter Simon Plent
For me, there’s one thing that separates the serious players in marketing and marketing comms from the amateurs, would-be’s and downright bullshit merchants who stalk the halls of our industry. It’s an understanding (implicit or overt) that all forms of successful marketing communications are fundamentally based on a transaction. But I’m not talking about a financial transaction (although we often like...

Planet Numbers | Turning bland web content into powerful selling copy

Planet Numbers case study girl
Here's a really clear example of how poor web copy can seriously undermine your website, robbing you of customers and enquiries. Planet Numbers is one of Britain's leading supplier of super-memorable business phone numbers like 0800s; most sold direct from their website. And, I'm proud to say, a client I've been associated with for many years. Their website refresh last Autumn...

PPS Mutual | Building a financial brand from scratch

PPS brand development
PPS is a big insurance brand in South Africa. It's what's called a 'mutual' which means that policyholders own a slice of the company and, in due course, get paid dividends. The dividends can even offset the premiums if you're with them long enough. More unusually, it only provides policies for professionals like doctors, lawyers, surveyors and so on. PPS...

LHS | Law firm website driven by UX needs

Legal website brand development and content
LHS is a large firm of solicitors, based mostly in Manchester, UK. They asked digital agency Space01 to build them a new 'brand' look and feel including a brand-new website that encapsulated their desire to offer customers a cost-effective online legal advice service, to run alongside its more traditional offering. Space01 asked me to get involved right at the...

Beware of false internet gurus!

Website and digital content scams
There's a whole online industry of self-proclaimed gurus and experts that's entirely dedicated to telling online marketers how to become millionaires by marketing themselves online. They offer courses, seminars & webinars, Skype consultations, books, DVDs — you name it — telling you their fool-proof, tried-and-tested, success-guaranteeing methods to sell. Which is all well and good. The problem is that the majority...

Sky DM pack | Their most successful mailer ever

B2C mailpack case study
Sky needs no introduction. Their customer recruitment has, for a long time, been driven by a combination of direct mail and TV advertising. Their direct marketing agency, Table19, asked me and highly-experienced Direct Mail art director Tim Bennet to help with a mailing to recruit new customers for Sky's most expensive TV package. The package we devised became Sky's...

How to write a brilliant poster in five minutes flat

How to write a poster
Here's how to write a poster, based on something we see on every street... We've all seen them, the desperately sad home-made posters pinned to trees and lamp posts. "Lost cat. £250 reward. Call 0123 456 7890" Plus a picture of the hapless feline. These are a perfect example of how posters should work. You get what they're about in a...