Examples

Region

United States

Something's not right. Try again.

Unspecified error message

Something's not right. Try again.

Copy to clipboard

Good

Something's not right. Try again.

We use this message when we're not sure what caused the error or when the error is so complicated and technical that explaining it might just annoy the customer.

Not so good

Oops! We're sorry! You've encountered an asynchronous error. Please try again.

We don't use exclamations in copy. And we generally don't say we're sorry. A machine is delivering this message, and our users can see through the false empathy. As for the "asynchronous error" copy, we try really hard to keep our content conversational. Unless you're a developer, you probably haven't used the word asynchronous with your friends in the past two weeks.
Free trial marketing message

Good

Here’s to 30 days of awesome!

This could have been a regular “Your trial starts today” message, but instead we’re taking time to recognize the start of something fun. The time element puts a champion spin on our what we say we’ll deliver.

Not so good

Your trial starts…now!

And we’re off to the races! We’re in it to win it and we’ll show you how!

This is too much. Remember, we’re not super flashy or odd. We want just enough delight sprinkled in to make someone smile.
Take invoicing for a spin

Good

Take our invoicing for a spin

Use metaphor to make complex ideas engaging and encourage them to take action.

Not so good

Send an invoice and see what happens

It’s like that mystery box you’ve always wanted. But instead of a box, it’s an invoice.

A simile can help break down complex ideas, but in this case it does the opposite.
Good content at the right time

Good

Get it done

Get paid

Zero in on the benefit and use visuals to help keep content simple and clean.

Not so good

Send invoices, track them, get paid

Don’t try to shove all the features in a banner ad at once. It ends up overwhelming users and is visually unattractive.
Invoicing marketing

Good

Keep more of what you earn

Powerful invoicing with custom reminders, tracking, and direct deposit puts less time between you and your money. Plus with dozens of reports, you’ll always know where your business stands.

Present the benefit in the easiest way– framed as something our customers would say. It’s also action oriented and attainable.

Not so good

See how much money you have

Send invoices, reminders, and more. Plus, with dozens of reports, it’s easy to know where your business stands.

Find ways to come up with a more engaging benefit. Keep headlines crisp and optimistic.
Use accounting terms for accountants

Good

To the average person, it’s merely a home to a favorite pair of sneakers, but to your Schedule C clients, this shoebox serves a different purpose.

Accountants understand terms like Schedule C, so it’s OK to use here. This presents the term in a familiar way that keeps it light and conversational.

Not so good

Expense Finder utilizes the power of QuickBooks to find all expenses, lighting-fast.

Stay away from hyped-up buzzwords and salesy pitches.
Defining chart of accounts

Good

Here’s the list of categories you’ll use to organize transactions. We call this your chart of accounts.

This introduces an accounting term by explaining it in an accessible way, and then giving it an official name.

Not so good

Your Chart of Accounts is a list of all the accounts you use to record transactions in your general ledger.

Starting with the accounting term intimidates people right away. Using jargon to define it makes them feel confused and adrift.
QuickBooks Capital tagline
Product:QuickBooks Capital
Principle: It’s about them, not us
Content pattern: Tagline

Why this works

  • Focuses on the customer and their growth
  • Not talking about just cash, but about their business and goals and dreams
  • The buttons CTA doesn’t commit the customer - leads to higher click rate
  • Voice and tone sounds optimistic and proactive

How to get started

  • Think about what the user gets out of the feature--how the user is benefitted emotionally and in life beyond their use of the product
  • Stay away from being cutesy or childish so the feature is taken seriously

Context

Not everyone qualifies for a QuickBooks Capital loan. "See if we're ready for you" lightens the stress of applying.