Writing For Your Prospect

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” -Dale Carnegie.

While you can’t use your client’s name in mass emails (since most people don’t give you their real name) or on a sales page, today’s “What’s Working” lesson shows you what to do…

There’s an old rule guaranteed to make your copywriting and emails better, and YOU will discover that in a moment.

But  first, a review of a lesson delivered to you and the rest of audience at the ETR Traffic and Conversion seminar back in October (hopefully you were there, weren’t YOU?).

The discussion had turned to writing, and more specifically,how to write great articles, particularly in story format.

After some great audience feedback, including a suggestion from Virtual Mastermind Member Chris Lopez to get the excellent book, “On Writing” by Stephen King, the conversation turned to minor details about communicating with your audience.

That’s where the following lesson was given about a “Simple Rule for Writing for YOU”.

The old copywriting advice that was then given to the crowd was this:

“Whenever you write an email or sales message, go through the copy and replace the words, ‘I’, ‘me’, and ‘my’ with ‘You’ and ‘Your’. Copy should be written all about the reader, not about the author. It’s ALL about YOU, not about me.”

(The exception is when you’re telling your personal story within the copy for the purpose of credibility, connection, etc.)

If you’re a copywriting student, you might be familiar with the acronym, WIIFM.

That stands for, “What’s In It For Me”, and you, as a writer, must remember that every time you put together a message for your prospect.

It doesn’t matter if you’re making a video, writing a sales letter, composing a promotional email, or even putting out a Facebook post that you want to get “Liked”.

If your message has something in it for the reader, it will get a greater response.

So let’s look at some examples. Recently you read one of my emails with the following line:

“But as the day was about to wrap-up, you heard me say something bizarre.”

Originally, this line was:

“As I wrapped up the day, I said something bizarre.”

There’s greater impact in having the word “you” in the sentence.

However, this isn’t easy. It’s human nature to write all about “me/I” but the message has a greater impact when it’s about “YOU”.

Another example:

You are going to learn something you’ll think is really cool.

vs. the less effective original:

I am about to teach something that I think is very cool.

And one more example, this time from the email you might have received last month if you attended our ETR event.

The original message went like this:

“We can’t wait to host a great event next week. We have all the details planned and you have a high powered event coming your way.”

But it should have been re-written to read like this:

“You’re just a few days away from attending the biggest ETR event ever. It’s going to change your business and help you meet so many other positive people just like you, with the same goals and same supportive energy. Stay tuned for all of the details coming to your inbox soon.”

Surely you’ll agree that the second statement is much, much more dramatic and with greater impact, mostly due to the fact that it replaces we with you/your.

Why is this so?

Because when written for the reader, about the reader, and to the reader, there is greater understanding of what the reader wants and needs. And that will help you deliver a more
compelling and persuasive argument to your reader.

Your copy, your emails, and even your articles should be written with a focus on reader benefits…remember this rule: “Review your copy and replace I/we with YOU whenever possible.”

Do this with all of your communications, including the conversations you have with friends and family in person.

Make it about them.

George Costanza was wrong when he once famously said, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

In the case of marketing and selling and communicating your message with passion, it absolutely, positively, “You, not me.”

So your challenge today is to start making a conscious effort to change your communication. When you write the lead to your salesletter, re-structure the sentence to be written about your prospect.

When you engage in conversation, focus your discussion on the other person. When you create a post on your business Facebook page, ask your readers what they are doing, or give encouragement to them, saying “You can do it. You can change. You must never give up on what is important to you.”

You’re guaranteed to get a greater response from your readers.

(NOTE: The above could have been written to say, “I guarantee a greater response” but the above has a doubly-greater impact on YOU.)

Pay attention to you when you communicate.

Do NOT underestimate the POWER of simple words. Words can change lives – both yours and that of your clients.

All about you,

Craig Ballantyne

“If you can see John Smith through John Smith’s eyes, you can sell John Smith what John Smith buys.” – Old sales quote delivered by Alwyn Cosgrove in his presentations.