Copywriting Hints and Tips – Get Personal

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Direct Response Copywriting has one purpose – to cause an action to be taken by the consumer.

Usually that action is to exchange their hard-earned money for your product or service. That’s a very personal transaction, and one that requires the consumer is emotionally involved.

personalcommunication thumb Copywriting Hints and Tips   Get Personal So why do so  many companies hide behind company formality in their communications?

Compare this letter:

“ ABC Company would like to invite you to our upcoming product launch and presentation. To ensure a warm welcome, a member of our staff will be on hand to demonstrate our latest software, launching in the next two months. We hope to see you there.”

With this one:

“You may remember me from the last product launch in September. I’d like to invite you to the next one, where I’ll be looking forward to meeting you again to demonstrate  our latest release of XYZ machine.”

Spot the difference? The second one is personal, warmer and more direct. It’s as if I am talking to  a friend.  While I may not know you personally, a personal communication is more likely to engage than a stiff formal group address.

A common website example

“ABC company is the world leader in 24 hour document delivery. For 13 years we have delivered products world-wide, delighting our many customers. That’s why we are #1…”

Contrast it with this one:

“At XYZ, we are at your service. With a record of 98% on-time delivery  you can depend on delivery  where you want, when you want – or your money back…Call me today for your personal quote.”

Which of the two is more personal? I’d say the second one.

Letters and sales pages should be personal

Sales letters in particular are personal communications. No one wants to feel like like a form number – people want to feel as if they are important not just their money. To do that, make your communications personal and friendly not stiff and formal. Use  “I” and “You”  and minimize the use of “we” and “us” to help create a personal connection with your buyer.

With the above in mind, take a look at your sales letters, landing pages and website pages, particularly your home page. Are they personal and friendly? Or formal and impersonal? Are you hiding behind your company brand or product? Or shaking your prospect’s hand and engaging?

What do you think?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Written by Nicky Jameson

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Nicky Jameson is an urban photographer.She’s from London, England, and lives in Toronto. Her works reflect her love of architecture, historic landmarks, hidden urban gems and capturing the seemingly mundane in ways that rekindle the initial passions behind them. She uses her camera to both capture moments and frame memories. Visit her galleries at her Fine Art Website to view her photographs or purchase prints. Or engage with her on Google Plus Twitter or Facebook.

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Comments

  1. Nicky says

    Hi Michael,
    Yes, in business to consumer copywriting. And yes, since we are all consumers one way or another. Let’s not forget that business to business copy needs to be personal too… in a different way. I think it’s a case of really understanding your buyer and their needs and ensuring you’re talking to them on a personal level – but not necessarily in the same way as you would B2C. Businesses often have a problem with this, especially as they (quite rightly) dislike almost any form of hype.

  2. Nicky says

    Spot on Russell – and absolutely right there are real parallels with benefits and features… linking every feature to a benefit for the prospect. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Nicky says

    @Dave – I would say if the sender failed to personalise their email I would hit the delete button almost immediately. The problem is often that the marketer has no idea of what their recipient wants… and all that’s left is to either push the product or hide behind the company. On the other hand most people (myself included) will at least read an email that attempts to address my needs personally.
    Thanks for that point… something I can address in a future post perhaps.

    @Cheryl – I know exactly what you mean about the cringe. I was on a website just the other day actually looking to purchase something… and the copy was ALL We, Us and Our. I left thinking “so what?” because nowhere did it tell me how their product would meet my needs. And I was looking to buy!

    I totally agree with you – it does not come naturally to entrepreneurs. I see it because I’m a copywriter/consumer, you because you’re a marketer/consumer and Dave above because he’s on the receiving end of an impersonal email.
    At the end of the day it’s the reader/potential consumer who matters.

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. says

    I SO agree! With a marketing eye, I just cringe when I see copy on websites, profiles, sales letters and emails that say I, I, I, we, we, we! My clients are encouraged to use more You and Your in their copy so the reader/listener can more easily identify with the message.
    This is a challenging lesson/habit for many entrepreneurs to learn. But once they do, then suddenly they’re capturing more attention from their target audience.
    Keep up the great work, Nicky.

  5. says

    You really do have the issue in focus on this one, Nicky. I find this especially true when it comes to email marketing. People are less likely to keep opening a regular email if it doesn’t “get personal.”

    DAVE