Read many business websites lately? I have, and I can tell you the vast majority of them are bo-ring. Dull language doesn't help you engage customers and make them fans of your business.
A few smart entrepreneurs are bucking this trend, though. Their websites have some written snap. They've ditched their fears of seeming "unprofessional" to give their company site an attitude adjustment.
Here are two businesses that do a good job of taking a tone with readers:
Mailchimp. This email-marketing software company, whose mascot is a chimpanzee, plays it a little safe in that its tone is fairly straight forward on the initial pages new prospects see. But once you're using the service, interior pages are more playful and even a little random.
For instance, the monkey mascot makes a rotating series of statements that don't all make sense. Some link to funny YouTube videos. You get the sense they just want to make you laugh and brighten your day. If you email support, you'll get messages back that are signed "Eep, eep!"
This light, fun tone can only work if your business delivers the goods, of course. As a user, I can say Mailchimp works hard to do that and to offer strong support for their product.
TooLazyToDoIt. This website by Italian company Loft Media Publishing celebrates creativity -- and the fact that most people are too lazy to follow through with their business dreams. Visitors can submit ideas for others to rip off, or browse the idea base for entrepreneurial inspiration. The off-kilter tone is baked right into the business name.
Instead of just saying, "Here's a bunch of business plans you could use," the site dubs them Tiny Business Plans. The self-mocking tone extends to the name of the site moderator, who is, naturally, The Lazy Guy. This could have been just any business-plan exchange -- instead, the tone turns it into a fun place to hang out.
Does your website have attitude? Leave us a link if you think it does, tell us what you're trying to do with your business's online 'voice,' and we'll check it out.