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May 11, 2022
June 21, 2022

Find the hidden message

I have a fun task for you: Put the word ‘askew’ into Google and see what you get.

This is what’s known as an Easter egg – a playful, unexpected message or feature hidden somewhere, designed to delight and or surprise you when you come across it.

A popular place for these are 404 pages – the ones that appear when you’ve accidentally clicked on a broken link – because it’s easy to be playful with them.

Why simply say ‘page not found’, when you could use the opportunity to show your human side by adding something witty or unexpected? It might even stop people from clicking away from your site in frustration.

But it’s not just 404 pages you can apply this to. Easter eggs can appear anywhere you like even – if you’re brave enough – in your T&Cs.

Naturally this should be approached with caution. It may be ok for Wordpress (who included a link to an image of some Texas brisket as a reward reaching section 14 of theirs) but it may not be right for you.

But you can still adopt the approach. For example, by adding a friendly line or two at the end:

“We work really hard to keep our services and processes as simple as possible, but inevitably there are times when legislation or regulation can make things rather complex. If anything here is unclear, please contact us. Similarly, if you have any ideas that might make what we do better, please let us know.”

One simple paragraph like this can convey so many things: that you strive for clarity, that you’re approachable, and also, not perfect.

It may not be witty, but this counts as an Easter egg because this humility is unexpected. Most of the time, as users, we’re made to feel as if we’re in the wrong:


What happened to the old adage ‘the customer’s always right?’ Whether they are or not isn’t the point. Humility can be such a powerful weapon in your communications armoury.

Shameless plug

I chat to Michael Gough on his Why it Matters podcast about why it matters that financial advisers and planners talk about what they do and the difference they make.

Simple hack

Searching for a domain name? Nameboy.com uses AI to generate domain names relevant to your business idea.

Article of the week

Real life conferences are back – whoop – but what makes a good conference speaker? This piece in the FT provides survival tips.

Ad of the day

Relate have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of using protection aimed at the over 65s. Why? Because according to research the biggest rise in STIs is in over 60s. These vegetable-themed condom packets are being sold in garden centres. Talk about knowing your audience.

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