Have you ever read something and felt as though the writer was speaking directly to you? It was as though that writer saw right through you and knew your frustrations. That writer understood you.
How did that make you feel? Did it make you want to read the rest of the copy?
Of course it did.
Do You Make These Mistakes With Your Web Copy?
When businesses write web copy, they often make two mistakes.
1) They talk just about their product or service, using a lot of “we” language (i.e., “we do this…” or “we’re the top distributor of…”).
2) The web copy doesn’t resonate with anyone because it was written for “everyone.”
It’s easy to make these types of mistakes. When you have a business, you want to talk about your business. It’s natural. And your livelihood depends upon selling the benefits of your offering.
But your potential customer doesn’t care about that.
All they care about is their own problems and whether your product or service will solve them.
Make Your Web Copy “You-Centric”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve landed on a business web page and see “we” all over the place.
This isn’t the way to connect with your target market.
They don’t want to hear “we.” They want to see the word “you.” They want your business to speak directly to them.
The company 37signals does an excellent job with using you-centric language on their home page for one of their services called Basecamp.
Basecamp is a SaaS (software as a service) product. Businesses subscribe to Basecamp’s service to help them organize the workflow for a project, including uploading documents and communication with team members.
You can see how they use the word “you” throughout their web copy. Plus, they added an extra powerful element to this page: the testimonial.
Featuring a person who explains why she likes Basecamp and how it helps her keep her projects on track provides strong proof that the service works.
Write Your Web Copy To One Person
When web copy or any marketing asset is written in hopes of appealing to “everyone,” it appeals to no one.
This is why it is so important to know who your target market is, and identify buyer personas in your market.
Most businesses use generalizations in their web copy. Specific language isn’t used to describe the product or service. And what’s worse, the description isn’t even developed with the reader in mind.
Instead of writing your copy for a group of people, choose one person. Let this one person be your “perfect customer.”
Let’s take Basecamp. It showed a female who looks to be in her twenties. It even features her name below the image and her website. This is very specific and again, adds credibility because the reader knows she’s a real person, not just a model.
The copy is written to appeal to a young person who is creative and needs to communicate with different people for her project.
Basecamp understands that projects can quickly become overwhelming and features the woman talking about having everything “in one place.” This is much preferable than emailing files to a bunch of people constantly and sending updates.
Now here’s what’s interesting: I am not a young woman. I also am not a designer.
However, I understand this designer’s challenges because I’ve had similar challenges. So the web copy still speaks to me even though I’m not the target.
The reason it speaks to me is that it’s real. The copy has been written with “me” in mind, even though I may not be the typical user.
The other aspect of this type of copy is that it is friendly and helpful. When you write your copy, think of how you’d talk to a friend. You want that same helpful attitude to come through your writing.
Copywriters call this a “conversational tone.” Use simple language that you’d use with a friend. It will warm up the copy, make your business sound human, and in the end, resonate with your perfect customer.
When you make your reader the focus of your copy and speak directly to her as though you were having a cup of coffee, then there’s an excellent chance your copy will create rapport.
You’ll create an environment that will encourage her to buy what you’re selling. And isn’t that what marketing is all about?
You can’t go wrong with “you!”