Graffiti message: I don't think, therefore I'm not
Are you?


Last week I had a bit of an email purge and unsubscribed from some mailing lists. Most of the automated responses were pretty standard and unremarkable.

But two stood out. For different reasons.

One was stiff, irrelevant and annoying. The other was warm and actually made me feel a little twinge of guilt for going.

For some reason Epson said: ‘One of our representatives will be in touch with additional information.’

What more information could I need? (See how more is a much better word to use than additional? If you can use one syllable instead of five, without losing your meaning, then you should.) Just tell me I won’t get your emails any more.

Why would they tell me they’d be in touch when I was telling them I didn’t want to hear from them anymore?

And what’s with ‘one of our representatives’. Why not simply say ‘we’?

What does human sound like?

Compare Epson’s response with Curry’s: ‘We’re sorry to see you go. Your email address has been removed from our mailing list. You can always email back and register again on [link to their website].’

Straight away it’s human. They say ‘we’ so I feel there are people at the other end.

They use the contraction we’re, which is relaxed and conversational.

They tell me they’re sorry, which is emotional, and makes me feel a little sorry too.

They let me know I won’t receive their emails any more, which is what I wanted to hear. (Their response would have been even better if they’d used the active voice and said ‘We’ve removed your email address from our mailing list.’ It’s shorter, sharper and more personal than the passive voice.)

And they make it easy for me to register again, in case all that emotional chat made me change my mind.

It goes to show, every communication you have with your customers and potential customers makes an impression.

And you want every impression to be a good one, don’t you?


Hello. I’m Sarah Russell, a freelance creative copywriter.

And a human.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you found something in it to help or inspire you, or to make you smile.


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