The Scratch Post

A blog designed to help you make more impact… and fall in love with culture change copy, whipped up from scratch.

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Why are subheadings good for your blog’s SEO? [Web Audit for the Rainforest]

Karo Tak asked us about subheadings in blog posts. If you also blog with WordPress, you may have come across the Yoast plugin. It helps you write in a more readable way, but also helps you optimise for search engines. One of the things that Karo often sees in Yoast is that it tells her, "you don't have enough subheadings." Why should you have subheadings in your blog? How can you write better subheadings, and what do they have to do with SEO? In this audit, we'll look at an example post to explain.

Web Audit for the Rainforest: Is my sales page too long?

Alessandra, owner of Live More Offline, had 2 questions for us: 1. Is this web copy too long? 2. Is it OK to ask people to apply? Or should I offer them a checkout instead? Spoiler alert: The copy in this example was TOO SHORT. And for Alessandra's offer, an application form was PERFECT. Watch the video or read the transcript to find out why.

Audience empathy for the win! — Why showing empathy to customers is so important

Few would disagree with the statement “empathy’s important.” But what does that mean in practice? Jeffrey Coleman draws on his experience working in UX and recruitment to share his best advice.

How to make your company LGBTQQIA+ friendly and inclusive

How do you make your company LGBTQQIA+ friendly and inclusive?  The short version: Avoid clichés, heteronormative language and the word 'homosexual'. Create a welcoming environment by encouraging everyone to declare their pronouns, including non-binary on forms and remembering bi+ and pansexual people exist. Build a safe space with a focus on education by only asking for personal information where necessary, training all staff on LGBT issues including intersex and transgender, and showing your actions speak louder than words.

Why 2 First Drafts Can Be Better than One

Sometimes, we like to create a couple of different versions of the very first drafts of a writing project. Take a look behind the scenes and find out about the benefits of our approach.

The 4 Secrets to Winning the Content “R.A.C.E.”

Content is King. Or is it a hype? In this article, we introduce R.A.C.E. — which stands for a customer focused approach to creating content: 1. Range 2. Accessibility 3. Correctness 4. Effortlessness

6 Ways You Can Make Sure Your Lead Magnet Deserves the Name (and Actually Attracts Leads)

As anyone who's ever tried to write an effective lead magnet can tell you, it isn't as easy as just writing a longish blog post. So here are 6 ideas that can smooth your path to hitting 'publish' with confidence — knowing that your lead magnet will resonate with the right people, in the right way.

What is good customer support? 3 criteria for service writing

"No more embarrassing customer service emails!" — It's often this aim that makes companies set out to monitor their customer service teams. But what makes good service writing? We recommend 3 proven quality criteria — making it transparent and easy to train or coach.

How Can Customer Care Survive the Plastic Storm in Our Teacups?

It came as a shock to the British public: our beloved teabags contain plastic. Tea lovers all over the country started asking their favourite brands some difficult questions on Twitter. And it didn't take long till we saw service teams getting some stick for how they responded. In this article, we'll analyse what went wrong in those tweets, and how to do it better — both now and in the long run.

Connection and power: how words define your relationship with customers

How close is your brand to your customers? Are you looking for respectful distance or constant interaction? And is your motto more "we're all in this together" or "we're in charge"? Get to know a linguistic tool to help you define that relationship.

Is Sustainable Fashion the Future? — Perhaps!

We're fans of sustainable fashion, and so we dream of a future where all apparel is transparently made, socially responsible and eco-friendly. On her visit to Neonyt #Fashionsustain 2019, Sabine discovered some encouraging signs of sustainable fashion finally going mainstream — but also 2 major challenges that sustainable fashion must overcome if it wants to change the world. Read on to find out how to market sustainable fashion for maximum impact.

Welcome Email Clinic #2: Coromandel Coast — Creating a Seamless Sign-Up Experience

Coromandel Coast is a UK-based specialty coffee brand with a sustainable twist. Named after the region where the coffee is grown, the company specialises in shade-grown Indian coffee that protects wildlife and gives coffee farmers a more sustainable income. In this email clinic, we take a look at the end-to-end experience of signing up to an email newsletter. We’ll look at the difference between building a community vs. building a list, and how brand values shape voice and tone.

3 Ways You Risk Companies Disregarding Your #PlasticFree Messages… And How to Get Them to Use Less Packaging Instead

Lots of conscious consumers reach out to brands about reducing their plastic packaging. However, if done wrong, those messages may never make it to the right people, or they may be ignored altogether. Here are 3 common mistakes we've seen, and what to do instead.

7 common misunderstandings in multicultural customer care (and how to fix them)

Brexit, "Make America Great Again", Narendra Modi's Davos speech about globalisation losing its lustre: those things can't fool us into thinking that globalisation is over. Every business now sells to a multicultural, multilingual audience. In this article, we'll look at 7 common conundrums that can get in the way of building rapport with customers who speak a different language, or who live in a different culture — and how to solve them.

What Not to Write: 13 Words and Expressions to Avoid in Your Customer Care Replies

One of the most frequent requests we get: a page that contains words or expressions that should be avoided in replies to customers.  So, here it is. 13 examples of what not to write, and what to write instead.

4 Reasons Why Your Website May Not Get You the Sales You Want

When you’re able to establish trust with a web visitor quickly, they're more likely to stay on the page, take in your entire message, and click through to buy from you. We've identified 4 common mistakes that can put people off when they first come to your website.

Email Clinic #1: Ethical Hour — Making Newsletter Subscribers Feel Good About Signing Up

Starting a series of posts in which we take a close look at one specific email — putting a positive spin on “copy teardowns”. About these Email Clinics Copy “tear-downs” are having a bit of moment on the internet. For years, we’ve resisted the urge to take part in this movement — even though we […]

Do the words you use “have your BACK”?

Words can make it or break it — in life and in business. From not-quite-convincing declarations of love to inadverturtledly cringeworthy product packaging: Valentine’s Day is always a good reminder that it’s worth spending some thought on how you want to come across, and what words you want to use. Sweet tortoise! Probably the most […]

How to Generate Business Insights from Online Reviews

Knowing your customers is the single most important business superpower. And still, many brands are satisfied doing a bit of market research and running a few focus groups — essentially, collecting a bunch of opinions. But to really get under the skin of your customers, you need to be able to read the values that are expressed in those opinions. That’s what this article is all about.

How to Optimise a Brand to Reach New Audiences — A Case Study

After a year of building insurance startup With Jack, it was time to optimise the brand message. Ashley, With Jack's founder and director, came to us because the existing website did a good job of conveying the brand ethos — but it didn't tell creatives why they should sign up. Read this case study to learn more about this in-depth conversion copy project to find the messaging that would help grow the brand.

Storytelling for Change: The Supermassive Ultimate Guide

It's THE buzzword of the late 2010s. Everyone and their goat is talking about it. Google has 137 million results for "storytelling". It’s time to Kondo-fy storytelling so you can throw all the Storytelling-for-Business-BS out the window and get back to making a ruckus. (27-minute read)

How to Plan and Write a Sales Email Sequence for the Holidays — A Case Study

“Help!” Ah, the familiar cry from a brand paying too much per sale from their digital ads. It’s also the subject line of an email that landed in our inbox last year. To save time and advertising funds, Sabine recommended a well-planned email campaign and website optimisation project. The sales email sequence she planned and wrote for this client more than doubled their open and click-through rates. This case study will walk you through the process and results.

Creating Welcome Emails that Engage Subscribers for the Long Term: The Definitive Guide

You probably know about the power of email marketing to boost your sales, inspire people to take action, and build relationships. And yet, many businesses send Welcome emails that say little more than “thanks for signing up — please whitelist our email address”. With Welcome emails getting 86% higher open rates than other newsletter emails, that’s a tragic loss of a brilliant opportunity to leave a strong first impression and engage readers from the get-go. So in this definitive guide, we've assembled 39 tips and techniques that will help you make your Thank-You email count.

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