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Seems that UK consumers are more wary of copy that seems like 'sales pitch' and, perhaps a little more cynical.
What are your views, Guys?
Any other countries or regions that might need differences in copy - more formal, more agressive, whatever...
You can usually tell an ad on UK TV that was made for Europe, because it goes for all the wrong buttons, and gets totally the wrong response
As to specific differences, I think that one big US/UK difference is attitude to jargon.
It seems that in general (no savaging me - I'm stating the general case ;)) in the US jargon gets the response "WOW! I don't know what that means. Must be good!"
In the UK you get "WOW! I don't know what that means. Must be trying to cheat me!"
Customer testomonials are something else I wonder about also. No sane Brit believes that testimonials are written by anyone other than the company PR department, but I notice a lot of US sites seem to have them.
Does this mean they are actually valued by US consumers?
To me it is frustration that I need to put up in big red bold letters "We are the best" instead of just letting the product/service do the talking. We, in the US, are in such a rush rush enviroment we seldome take the time to really research and tend to take anythings word just to save time. In the UK I think they are more apt to find the truth through researching what they read, hear, or see.
Definitally something to consider when you are researching your target market. I tend to, by habit, go for the softer sell and also look for ways to add subtle subliminal messages on a page to tweek the viewers thought patters before they get to the page with the order button. Not to say I have become very good at it, but something I think about when writing a page.
4eyes - to me comercials from the UK, what few I see, tend to have dry humor many times or seem to have an attitude of 'properness' almost to the point of saying to me 'if you don't get it your stupid'. Almost arrogant in some cases. But, overall, they are refreshing to me and I tend to believe them more. Though you need to take into account I am not the average US viewer by any means, way over on the conservative edge.
Promotional and sales sales copy is fine, in its place, however, in general, a factual approach is certainly taken less cynically.
In addition, it is so important to ensure that a "stop me and by one" angle is included somewhere before the prospective buyer moves on. Make it easy for the buyer to choose by steering them through the site and supplying all the required signals with carefully chosen adjectives.
Words such as "Free," "New," "Best" and "Now" are strong, powerful words to liven up copy without being too intrusive.
Phrases such as "make money," "save time" work well without being OTT (over the top).
It does require skill to write good, captivating copy to communicate to an American audience and even more skill to adapt that to other English speaking markets. Add on non-English markets and you've set your self a big task.
Moving on to Europe, the richness of diversity helps me to understand exactly that point when creating content aimed at an international audience.
There have been many discussions on this and I've referenced a few here.
Further reading on other markets. [webmasterworld.com]
How to make a site international [webmasterworld.com]
Translations will get you top rankings in search engines [webmasterworld.com]