• Allison Fess

    I'm not obsessed with words. I'm infatuated with them.

     

    Hey there. I'm Allison, and I'd like write for you.

    I have experience crafting marketing copy and emails for businesses big and small, including global clients like:

     

    Fenty Beauty

    Beats Music

    Benefit Cosmetics

    Florence by Mills

    TravelPirates

     

    And an education that marries words with data:

     

    Digital Marketing Certificate + Top 20% Certified Marketer Level 1 (global)

    General Assembly, San Francisco

     

    Bachelor of Arts, English Literature

    University of California, Santa Barbara

     

    Based in the San Francisco Bay Area

     

    Connect with me:

    Email

    Instagram

    Linkedin

    Portfolio

     

    Scroll down to learn more about me!

  • 1/ life-long word nerd

    I didn't grow up passionate about writing. I always loved reading. Language was fascinating. But writing was hard, and not very rewarding. Then in sixth grade I found myself poring over drafts of "What I Did Last Summer" and suddenly I was in high school, slogging through AP Lit essays. I finally surrendered and majored in English in college, landing an internship at a local magazine and eventually being hired to create copy and content for brands with audiences in the millions. Why? I believe good storytelling is one of our most powerful tools for connecting—and that something as nuanced as verb tense can make all the difference.

     

    Said succinctly, I'm a life-long word nerd. Whether I'm brainstorming an email marketing campaign, pivoting to social copy, or trying to determine the single best word for an Instagram ad, I love figuring out what to say and how to say it in a way that my reader will respond to.

  • 2/DATA-DRIVEN WRITER

    I finished General Assembly's 10-week Digital Marketing program in July 2018 with a greater understanding of marketing trends and the power of language—specifically the clear, concise, and data-driven messaging that leads users towards a solution.

     

    Armed with this knowledge, I created an email strategy for a client that resulted in at least one email with a 40% open rate—well above the standard 15% for ecommerce—and a 100% increase in traffic over a 48 hour period. At TravelPirates, I used data (combined with good content) to yield an average 25% CTR, sometimes exceeding 50%. I love seeing quantifiable results from the words I choose.

  • 3/ Natural born editor

    I hold myself and my work to high standards. Maybe it's a hint of perfectionism, but I tend to see things as they could be, and strive to match that. Whether it's finding a more precise word or adding just the right amount of vanilla to a cookie recipe, I refine until I'm satisfied.

     

    My inner editor is in a love/hate relationship with A/B tests and analytics that tell me almost exactly what is and isn't working. Is it the CTA button color? Should I call it vegan or plant-based? What happens if I change the banner image? The possibilities are frustratingly and excitingly endless.

  • 4/ Speaks fluent brand

    When brands sound consistent, compelling, and human they sound more like friends—and who doesn't trust their friends? I believe that speaking in a cohesive brand voice benefits business and audience alike, and I love helping companies discover what theirs sounds like. When TravelPirates launched in the US, they were still speaking German (figuratively). As one of the US market's first editors, I suggested the creation of an in-house style guide to homogenize the editorial team's writing. Once our headlines and formatting were uniform, our voice grew stronger as American audiences responded to a brand they trusted more.

     

    Love your tone? I'm also adept at matching brand voice. Fenty Beauty has arguably one of the most distinct voices in the beauty space, and I quickly learned what the Fenty customer expects to hear. With an eye (and ear!) for detail, I was able to create a series of seven emails for a marketing campaign in the Fenty voice within a week of coming on board.

  • 5/ puzzle lover

    I do the New York Times crossword nearly every day. Saturday is my favorite because, inevitably, I'll be stuck with a 90% empty grid that only comes together when take a step back and think about the details in a wider context.

     

    Similarly, once I understand the aim of a marketing campaign or key KPIs, I tailor my words to best achieve them. My process is to first see big-picture goal then figure out how to configure the details in order to reach it. How can you fit jigsaw pieces together effectively if you don't know what the image should be?

  • 6/Communication-first

    At the beginning of my career, I learned that the way I communicate reflects on me and the company as a whole. Speaking the right language to executives, engineers, PR firms, and venture capitalists as the CEO's right-hand woman lent credibility to a new startup (MOG) and served in many ways to usher it towards acquisition by Beats Music (now Apple Music).

     

    With good communication comes easy collaboration, and both personally and professionally my greatest strengths are drawn out in creative and open environments.

  • 7/ a coworker you actually like

    At least I hope so, if these testimonials are true. Take a look at what former colleagues have said about me on LinkedIn:

     

    " Allison is exactly the kind of colleague I so value in a work environment—a smart, forward-thinking teammate focused on how to pursue the challenge at hand with intelligence, creativity, efficiency, and grace."—Trish Reynales, Editor, Santa Barbara Magazine

     

    "She established herself as one of our strongest team members. Her work was thorough, creative and consistent. She was a pleasure to work with and was always quick to help other members of the team"—Dom Scarlett, Chief Editor, TravelPirates

     

    "Allison spearheaded our cultural program at MOG. She was responsible for creating a great working environment...She was well liked by the full staff and never shied away from rolling up her sleeve to make the workplace better for others" —T. Jay Fowler, Product Manager, YouTube

     

    "She was always a pleasure to be around and her positive energy helped grow much of our corporate culture. She's an experienced problem solver, and is excellent at managing any situation without losing her composure."—Lauren Kasper, Label Relations, Apple Music

  • 8/let's get personal

    I grew up in the East Bay and am home again after nearly 6 years away. During that time I was fortunate to travel quite a bit, visiting Sydney, Oaxaca, Istanbul, and tons of other beautiful destinations. Travel has been part a major thread in the story of my life, ever since the summer after senior year when my best friend and I spent 8 weeks roaming around Europe with no plans and a Eurail pass. Now that I'm back, the Bay Area's creative energy has inspired me to combine my love of writing and travel into a blog. Most likely this passion project will appeal only to me, some friends and family, and maybe twenty other people on the internet who still read content not presented in list form. You can read my first piece here.

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