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Digital Strategist  |  Content Writer  |  Brand Manager

Kris White

Sesame Gifts - Copywriting


Sesame makes sending physical gifts as easy as sending a text message. The app allows users to browse, select and send beautifully designed, curated gifts from their mobile phone. They asked me to visit them in San Fran and create a Brand Voice Guide to accompany their Style Guide, along with transactional email and app messaging.

My work:

The guide included:

  • Brand Voice Attributes

  • Tone Guidelines

  • Grammar Rules

  • On-Brand vs. Off-Brand Examples

  • Recommended Action Verbs

  • Proofreading Checklist

  • App Copy Updates

  • Transactional & Marketing Email Copy Updates

  • Push Notification List

I...think they liked it:

"Wow this Style Guide is written exactly in Sesame's voice. Telling us ABOUT Sesame's voice. Whaaaaatttt."
"OMG. Kris' copywriting guide. OMG."
"This is the best thing ever. In the history of ever."

Transactional email samples:

Voice and Tone Guide excerpts:

Brand Pillars:

Fun. Joyful. Connected.

Voice and Tone:

Sesame’s voice sounds like the new friend that you want to keep talking with at a cocktail party. It’s a refreshing and engaging conversation full of bubbling laughter from witty banter, interesting and helpful tidbits, and relatable moments.

Our voice is conversational, full of personality, and encouraging. We exude charm through our uplifting language, and almost everything is expressed with a smile on our face. You could say we’ve got a little bit of spunk and wit, but we know it’s more important to be clear than entertaining all the time.

We’re here to help, because we know how it feels to be taken care of. Our tone is usually relaxed and informal, but we’re straightforward and engaged when we want to provide the most efficient way to help.

Sesame is…

  • Uplifting but not sappy

  • Casual but not lazy

  • Engaging but not overbearing

  • To-the-point but not curt

  • Witty but not silly


There’s a difference between voice and tone. You always have the same voice and personality, but your tone changes depending on who you’re speaking with. Your tone also changes depending on how that person is feeling—you wouldn’t joke around with someone that’s upset and looking for help. Same goes for Sesame’s brand tone. The tone will be different depending on what you’re communicating to the reader, where they’re reading it, and how you think they’re feeling when they come across the message. That will help dictate your brand tone.

Before you start writing, consider these questions:

  1. Why am I writing this?

  2. What do I want the reader to take away from this message?

  3. What kind of emotions do I want to invoke in the reader?

  4. What emotional state are they in? Are they frustrated because they can’t place an order? Are they just browsing and open to suggestions? Are they excited because they just ordered the perfect gift? Place yourself in the mindset of your audience as you craft your message.

  5. Where will readers see this message? Is it a push notification that needs to be compelling and short? Or is it a confirmation email where you have a bit more space to communicate the next step of the process?

steel handcrafted watches. 


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