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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How to write creative copy for e-commerce that converts – a Forrist case study

We crafted creative conversion copy and a verbal identity for the UK’s first plant-based, packaging-free online shop, Forrist. Given that we’re a sustainable copywriting agency, this was our idea of a dream project. Almost everyone on the team had a part to play in the process, which involved brand writing, conversion copywriting, UX consulting and SEO strategy.

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a pine forest

How to write creative copy for e-commerce that converts – a Forrist case study

We crafted creative conversion copy and a verbal identity for the UK’s first plant-based, packaging-free online shop, Forrist. Given that we’re a sustainable copywriting agency, this was our idea of a dream project. Almost everyone on the team had a part to play in the process, which involved brand writing, conversion copywriting, UX consulting and SEO strategy.
A diverse group of people are using a laptop

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.
stairs with a red carpet. the top of the stairs is invisible

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.
rows of empty chairs

Mission failed — a guaranteed way to not meet the needs of your audience

How does empathy relate to the size of your target group? Nadine offers arguments as to why it’s easy to create less empathetic copy with “universal” or “one-size-fits-all” writing. Of course, you’ll also find plenty of suggestions on how to write empathic copy that resonates with your audience.
dark blue, padded headphones on yellow background

“Can you hear yourself?”

Why does the perception of our own needs and emotions have an impact on our understanding of our audience? Nadine shows that self-empathy can be a superpower for all copywriters committed to ethical marketing.
a shop window in red/grey duotone. The window sticker says 'buy now or cry later'.

Web Audit for the Rainforest: Product Pages that Convert

In this Web Audit, Sabine takes a close look at a product page on a fair-trade, sustainable e-commerce website. What could the website owner do to make the product page convert better?
Green background with the repeated question in diagonal lines: Who Made My Clothes?

How to reply to a customer asking #WhoMadeMyClothes — clearly & convincingly

During #FashionRevolutionWeek, social media is full of important questions which are tricky to answer. Especially in 280 characters. Even if you work for a responsible brand and you already know how to reply to a customer query, these kinds of questions can seem really daunting. So here's a step-by-step guide for handling #WhoMadeMyClothes well. 
Conversation between two people

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.
image showing the rainforest — a big tree in the foreground, a waterfall in the background

Web Audit for the Rain Forest: Marketing an 80-page Guide to Ecopreneurship

How do you market an 80-page ebook for ecopreneurs? Should you offer it as a lead magnet — or as a paid product? That's the core question we address in this website audit for London-based design studio, Little Green Space.
Neon sign reading: "All we have is words / all we have is worlds"

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.
neon light words, many of which are crossed out

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.
image showing 2 earrings, one of which is a raven and the other a portrait of edgar allen poe's.

Poe-fect Service, Evermore.

Sabine first published this poem in praise of The Literary Gift Company's "suppoet" on her personal blog a few years ago. We're republishing it as an example of creative storytelling — and because we think it's worth highlighting amazing service experiences.
image of 4 stars

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.

3 ways to level up your customer support team’s writing skills

Despite Siri and Alexa, writing may be the 21st-century skill. Good writing can give your support the competitive edge.  So we've collected our top tips for improving your team's writing skills. They work in any language — and even with non-native speakers.

Planning Soft Skills Training for Customer Care Teams

Communication skills and empathy can be learned! It just requires some expert planning and training delivery. If the ability to communicate is misunderstood as a talent, a personality trait or an attitude, support teams are only going to grow their frustration instead of their most important professional skills.

The Training Method that Helps Build an Awesome Team Culture

This approach can be used for pretty much any context. It's a great way to refresh an otherwise traditional session, especially if you notice that some people seem mentally withdrawn or if you want people to think about something at some depth.
Ashley Baxter, founder of with Jack, and Sabine, founder of From Scratch.

How to Write Great FAQs in 10 Steps: a Case Study with Jack

Meet Jack: Business insurance on a first-name basis. Together, we'll show you how to create FAQs that actually help people, how to use FAQs for content marketing, and why your FAQs' tone of voice matters — among other things.
picture showing a letterbox

Email Isn’t Dead! Here Are 15 Email Newsletters to Subscribe to & Learn From

Do you know the words most commonly uttered by our clients? "I don't want to bombard people with emails." Followed by, "Our supply chain doesn't allow us to email people regularly." If that sounds familiar, it's time to break through these barriers and limitations and claim what's rightfully yours: the inboxes of your subscribers, now and forever. This post will inspire and teach you how to make email marketing work for you.
service light shining

Making an Action Plan for Better Customer Care Responses: A Case Study

The customer care leadership team of this multinational company was concerned about the quality of written responses going out to customers. They had seen samples with poor spelling and grammar and worried those samples might be representative. Find out how we approached the project, and how we worked together with the client to improve their customer care replies.
Illustrative image for post about high-converting signup page

Case Study: How to Write a High-Converting Newsletter Signup Page

This newsletter signup page Sabine wrote and designed for multi award-winning social entrepreneur and mentor Nyasha Gwatidzo achieved a whopping 60% conversion rate. While a conversion rate of 60% is certainly not a typical result, the steps Sabine took to create this high-converting landing page are still a great guide to writing websites that convert well.

Welcome Email Clinic #3: Boho Homes London — Telling the Story Behind the Products

Many social enterprises have a compelling story to tell. Email is one of the best ways to tell it — and win the hearts of your subscribers. But the big traditional brands out there model email newsletters that are all about pictures, logos and discount codes. How can purpose-driven companies stand out from the crowd and engage their readers?
blog cover image about intercultural communications in customer service

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.

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 […]

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.