Tone of Voice
What is Tone of Voice
Tone of voice (ToV) is how our company sounds to other people. It’s not what we say, but how we say it, and it is shaped by the words and phrases we use.
ToV defines how we:
- Write our work emails
- Create texts on our website and social media
- Choose names for buttons in our apps
- Communicate with our clients.
So, every piece of text shared on behalf of the company should sound like SpurIT.
Our language (and so our ToV) reflects our values:
- No hierarchical structure and bureaucracy
- Complete financial and informational transparency
- Transparency in communication
- An atmosphere of equality and partnership.
Who we are and what our ToV sounds like:
- Friendly, but not overly familiar
- Straightforward, but not curt
- Transparent, but not over-scrupulous.
Our ToV shapes what we already do
Here’s how our clients see this (quotes from their reviews):
Friendly, but not overly familiar
- “Additionally, upon our first contact, the communication was friendly, timely, and on point.”
- “I had the feeling that I was considered, and I really was.”
Straightforward, but not curt
- “They gave me real answers.”
- “I’ve worked with tons of developers in the past, and SpurIT was phenomenal because they didn’t talk to me in programmer lingo.”
- “They spoke to us using comprehensible terms, not with programming or very technical terms.”
- “They explained and laid it all out on the table for us, and that was awesome.”
Transparent, but not over-scrupulous
- “They provide transparency on all work being done.”
- “They also got into a detailed action plan.”
- “The scope is very well understood upfront.”
We are serious, casual, respectful, and matter-of-fact.
As a tech company, we work with complex processes. Our clients come to us to get a stable and working solution to their business challenges, so we should sound reliable and secure. We don’t make inappropriate jokes and don’t try to be excessively humorous.
When working with clients, we need to simplify complex things until they sound easy. We need to do the same with the language and use simple words and easy-to-read sentences. We avoid complex terms, formal phrases, and passive voice when reasonable.
We are set apart from competitors by our skills and expertise, so we don’t need to shout out loud or sound provocative to stand out. We don’t make disrespectful comparisons or potentially offensive statements.
Our task is to solve challenges; we are more down-to-earth. We don’t get overexcited or too enthusiastic about things. Our language is simple, friendly, and always up to a point.
ToV: Language examples
Shopify uses American English as a base for its guidelines. We are a part of the Shopify ecosystem, and many of our clients are from the United States, so we opt for American English too.
There are 3 color options for each product.
Before choosing a theme, we analyze your main competitors.
We developed a custom theme for a US based jewelry studio.
There are 3 colour options for each product.
Before choosing a theme, we analyse your main competitors.
We developed a custom theme for a US based jewellery studio.
A contraction is a shortened form of words, which is made by dropping one or more letters (I’m, we’re). We use the commonly used contractions to be friendly and casual but avoid the ones that sound awkward.
We’re all set up!
I’ll send you a brief with some specifying questions.
Hope you’re doing great!
It would’ve been possible if you’d provided this information.
That’ll do, thank you.
It’d be great to get started within the next 3 weeks.
We tend to use personal pronouns to add a bit more personal touch and avoid detached formal language. It works well for describing work processes, case studies, and in personal communication with clients.
After you send us a request, […].
We suggest you including personal details in the “About us” page.
You may also want to fill out a sample brief to specify some important project details.
After a prospect sends us a request., […].
Personal details should be included in the “About us” page.
Our client may also want to fill out a sample brief to specify some important project details.
In most cases, we use the active voice. It helps to focus on actions, not processes and makes writing more personal and much easier to read.
After we receive a request, […].
On the call, we’ll discuss the project’s milestones.
We conduct thorough research on your competitors to find the best-fitting theme in your niche.
After a request is received, […].
The project’s milestones will be discussed on the call.
Thorough research on your competitors is conducted to the best-fitting theme in your niche.
However, we use the passive voice when we need to pinpoint that something is out of our control or make a situation impersonal for some reason.
The checkout process is controlled by Shopify, so not much could be changed there.
We can’t control or change the checkout process on Shopify.
We use simple words and grammar to make our content accessible and easy to understand for everyone. Keep sentences short, clear, and up to a point, and avoid metaphors or complex technical terms when they can be avoided.
We’re reviewing the estimate.
We’ll prepare a more detailed estimate when we finish the research.
After you receive the additional description, could you please share if […].
We are currently in the process of reviewing the estimate.
Thereafter the research is performed, we can proceed with a more detailed estimation.
Having received the additional description, please kindly advise if […].
When you write, avoid mixing formal and informal language, British and American English, different ways to format the same things, etc. Everything we share in all communication channels should be consistent and have the same look and feel.
Is there a chance that there will be an update this week? If you need more time to check out the proposal, just let me know.
Best and many thanks
Please kindly advise if we should expect your update this week. In case you require some more time to examine our proposal, please let us know.
Best and many thanks
If you can use an informal expression instead of a too formal one, go for it! Just don’t use slang, informal contractions, specific internet abbreviations, and chat acronyms.
Please ping me back when, […].
At the moment we’re busy, but it’s great, thank you!
Please confirm if these timeframes work for you. Waiting for the details, thanks in advance!
We will sort out every single issue and be sure, we’ll always guide you if you need a helping hand.
Please kindly notify me when, […].
ATM we’re busy, but it’s GR8, TY!
[…], Waiting for the details, TIA.
We gonna sort out the details, lemme share with u some examples!
We use emojis in conversation with our clients but don’t like when there is too many of them :). It’s okay to add a smiley face when things go great, but avoid using single brackets, GIFs, memes, sophisticated symbol combinations, and don’t use several emojis in a row.
You’re always welcome!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us 24/7 🙂
Have a wonderful day 😊
You are always welcome ^^
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us 24/7! )
Have a wonderful day!☀️🤗💖
Some terms and expressions
Ecommerce, e-commerce, ecommerce etc.
Front-end, Front End
Back-end, Back End
Q.A., Quality Assessment
Home page, Home Page.
In case studies or blog articles, capitalize only the first word of the heading or title or proper nouns.
Dropshipping business ideas: how to choose products (the ultimate guide)
Dropshipping Business Ideas: How to Choose Products (The Ultimate Guide)
When there are several articles on one topic, put the number of every article in square brackets at the beginning of a heading.
[Part 4] Shopify App Store: Guide to revenue – comparison of app versions
Shopify App Store: Guide to revenue – comparison of app versions, part 4.
To share a link in a text or a layout, use only the website name and domain, without the https://. Also, avoid general link texts like “Click here,” “More,” and “Learn more,” and use the unique link texts instead.
All Canadian websites must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to a certain extent, depending on the AODA legal requirements.
All Canadian websites must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to a certain extent, depending on the AODA legal requirements, click here to learn more.
Start list items with a capital letter, and don’t use commas or semicolons at the end of list items (for bulleted or numbered lists).
Some of the services we offer:
- Store development
- Migration to Shopify
- App development
- Web accessibility services.
Some of the services we offer:
- store development;
- migration to Shopify;
- app development;
- web accessibility services.
In general, we use numerals for numbers over 10. If a number has four or more digits, separate them with a comma.
Businesses in 175 countries around the world use Shopify.
Last month, a total of 85,849 merchants used our apps.
Businesses in one hundred seventy-five countries around the world use Shopify.
Last month, a total of 85849 merchants used our apps.
As a part of the Shopify ecosystem, we want to sound like Shopify. Consult the Shopify tone of voice guidelines for more detailed recommendations.