When you write web copy, remember you’re talking to people. Not corporations.
It’s people that act, make decisions, choose to purchase from your company and so on. No matter how big a company they work for.
Nowadays, corporate copy is a major turnoff.
XXXXXXX is an industry-leader in the innovative utilisation of XXXXXXX, strategically leveraging a unique value proposition to uphold its position as the world-class XXXXX solutions provider with unmatched, seamlessly integrated and robust best practice.
Compare that claptrap to Flickr.
This is one of my favourite examples of great web writing from a company. It’s the response they gave after they upset a lot of users by adding video to the popular picture-share site.
The way Flickr chose to tackle the issue and talk directly to users tells you a lot about what kind of company they are. It certainly tells me they a company that value the way they communicate. They’re talking in a natural, polite way that comes across as entirely human.
Even if “Heather” didn’t write this and it’s crafted by a professional copywriter (I’m speculating here!), the communicative act itself is exceptional.
First and foremost, they write with personality. Even when criticised for getting some of the copy on the site wrong (See smiley face) they respond in in a human way:
Yup. This is stupid. We’re working on fixing this.
I think we’re getting to the stage where businesses need to start speaking to customers on the web as person to person, not corporation to customer.