Magpie adopt a minimal copy approach. Scroll down past their clean, white homepage and you reach their slogan, ‘Speaking in black and white, thinking in colour.’ It’s short, snappy and ties in beautifully to their name and message. In one line they’ve communicated a lot.
The About copy is clean, clear and undoubtedly confident, if a little Magpie-centric. They’ve used some top copy techniques such as lists of alliterative lists of three like delivering the unseen, unfamiliar and unexpected. And they’ve identified their target clients with another list of three; kindred spirits, challengers and free-thinkers.
- Find that one line that says a lot in a little, then use it everywhere
- Be confident, but don’t brag
- Identify your ideal clients
There’s nothing ragged about the copy here. They’ve struck a really strong balance between clear, conversational and conceptual. The copy has a natural rhythm, it flows and unfolds beautifully. It speaks directly to you as a reader, establishing a one-to-one connection. Landing on the Home page and there’s no confusion; We’re a branding agency. There’s a nod to the kind of clients they’re looking to work with and there’s enough intrigue to pull the reader in.
Once inside, the sentences are short. Impactful. Focussed.
There are some beautiful turns of phrase that show an appreciation for the craft of copywriting like; don’t conform to convention and Ideas that become actions, plus the final statements We will challenge you. We will change you. And you might just change the world.
- Be clear and concise, but craft the words too
- Speak to the reader as you to build rapport
- State what kind of agency you are upfront to avoid confusion
An agency with a viewpoint has a personality that potential clients can buy into. Darling’s copy sets out the problem in three punchy sentences; We live in a disposable world. Temporary has become acceptable. Even expected. This is the enemy to fight against, making the agency and the client feel like heroes - which is powerfully persuasive.
There’s a brevity and clarity to the copy, with only four pages on the whole site. Rather than feeling bare, there’s a quiet confidence from having less. Even the usual bastion of bullshit - the Process page - has a few twists to keep it fresh; Welcome to the dream phase, We kill our darlings etc. Admittedly, there’s still some unavoidable jargon here around strategy, insight and implementation.
- Have a viewpoint and believe in it
- Say less. Mean more
- Find unusual ways to phrase your processes
Recipe treads a thin line between professionalism and playfulness and it really works. They’re suggestive without being brazen, cheeky without being inappropriate and fun without being annoying. They have some unusual phrases that capture attention, like just plain old hard work, not an unseen overlord, full service but not full of it. It’s clear the copy has been considered to give off the right feel.
Take their About page for example, it’s real and relatable; ‘Ed, Dan and I, childhood friends, founded Recipe in 2004.’ It’s nice to see an agency dare to use the first person, it definitely feels personal. This sense of familiarity runs throughout their website, from their copy to the photos of the team with their arms around one another, pulling silly faces. There’s a natural trust that comes from something not being over-polished or hyped.
- Be yourself, not another agency cliche
- Speak from the heart and from your personal perspective
- Honesty builds trust
Nomad Studio is also sparse on copy, with a tone that varies between brutal minimalism and matey banter. Their About copy is super-stylised, using the staccato sentences that are very on-trend right now. But this shows the reader the kind of agency this is; KEEP MOVING FORWARD. It’s a mindset. An attitude that unites us. To do new. To bring magic to the everyday. Every day.
This style might not work for every client, but then a great agency website repels the tyre-kickers and attracts the right clients. On the other side of the coin, their Contact page goes all colloquial and fun, inviting anyone with a friendly Northern accent to get in touch. It’s pretty normal to relax the tone on this page and this gives a good sense of the agency’s personality and people. Although there’s not a lot of writing, it does more than it appears on first glance.
- Find a tone that matches your work and your ethos
- Don’t be afraid to be divisive
- Relax the tone on your Contact page
Writing great copy for your agency’s website is hard because you’re in a constant state of evolution and expansion. Plus you’re knee-deep doing great client work and it’s near impossible to get your decision-makers in a room, focused and on the same page. We know because that’s what we do. We help agencies like you get the clarity and copy they need to win bigger clients - and that often starts with your positioning, proposition and of course, your website. In the meantime, steal a few smart ideas.