Persuasive copywriting–the kind of writing that compels the reader to place an order, make a purchase, or do some other business transaction with you–is a different animal. Why? Because it’s so important to build rapport with the reader. If you don’t have rapport, it’s almost impossible to get someone to open their wallet.

One of the best ways to build rapport with your reader (or prospect) is to talk to and about your reader, instead of talking about yourself. Unfortunately, it’s human nature for us to talk about ourselves (we’re endlessly fascinating, after all!) I believe each of us lives in a “me-centered universe,” and inside this universe, we’re really only concerned about “what’s in it for me.”

I write marketing copy all day, so talking directly to my reader is completely ingrained in my psyche. But if you’re trying to write your own marketing copy (for a website or brochure, for example), it is highly likely that you will “wee wee” on your reader. Your copy will be full of words like “we” and “me” and “I” and the name of your business.

And the truth is, no one cares about you. (Well, except your mom.) Your reader wants to know exactly “what’s in it for me?”

That’s why “you” is such a magic word in direct marketing copywriting. Followed closely by “your.”

Here’s a simple way to discover if you’re talking to your prospects, or wee-weeing all over them:

The Customer Focus Calculator [sadly, no longer in existence]

Simply copy your website copy (or brochure or flyer copy) and paste it into the box.

The Calculator will tell you how often you talk about yourself, versus talking to your customer.

Here’s the analysis of the preceeding copy:

Your Customer Focus Rate: 70.00% (21 customer-focused words)

Your Self Focus Rate: 30.00% (9 self-focused words, and 0 mentions of the Company Name)

You speak about your customers about 2 times as often as you speak about yourself. Excellent!

If your copy just isn’t performing–if it just isn’t connecting with customers–try checking it with the Customer Focus Calculator. The results may surprise you.

Update: January 18, 2017

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  • Hunter

    Great blog post. great information.