Shine the Spotlight on Your Reader

When you put together your website content, your blogs, your emails, or any kind of copy, who do find yourself writing about?
Yourself? Other clients? Or your precious reader?

Well, this article is about the worst words in copywriting, I, me, mine - along with their abominable cousins, we, our, ours.
At the same time, let's celebrate the finest of copywriting words - you, your, yours.

Consider your audience

My daughter, Hannah. This young lady would have made a great copywriter.
What do you mean, “How do I know?”?  It’s in her genes of course!
But no - it’s true.  She has all the right copywriting instincts.
And this is how I know ...Let me take you back to one Sunday afternoon, some 5 years ago.  Hannah and Nick turned up unannounced, each wearing big, wide, excited smiles. They'd barely stepped into the kitchen, before piping up with,

“Guess what? You're going to be so excited! You’re going to be grandparents!”

Well, this was indeed fantastic news.  But how does this incident inform us as to Hannah’s copywriting abilities?
Here’s what she could have said -

“Guess what?  We're so excited! We’re having a baby!”

But she didn’t - and the point is this.

Hannah instinctively was thinking about her audience (that, in case you hadn't gathered, being her doting parents) and what these glad tidings would mean to them.

Here are the opening words from a newsletter I recently received -

“I’m thrilled to tell you about our new VOIP XXX400 system, available at just £2.99 per month.”

The secret that Hannah understands so well, but the writer of the newsletter doesn't, is this
I’ll whisper it in your ear very quietly.

Your … customers … don’t … care … two … hoots … about … how … you … feel.

Hard to take I know - but it’s true.

And why should they?

Engaging with our customers is about empathy, about putting ourselves in their shoes - about considering how they might feel about our products or services.

That newsletter opener could perhaps have read -

“How much are you paying for your VOIP system?  Well, we’ve just launched the all-new XXX400, which could save you £££s every month!”

So here's the thing -

Whenever you can, write to your readers and for your readers.

They’ll love you for it.

They really will.


The Power of Reader-Centric Copy

But there's more.
Have you noticed how businesses, when extolling the irresistible features of their services, write about their clients,
like this -

We help our clients to achieve their goals by boosting their ...

When they could be writing about their reader, like this

We'll help you to achieve your goals by boosting your ...

Can you see how writing in the second way, about your reader is way more engaging.

To truly engage with your audience, your copy should empathise and resonate with them. Every word should be a step in their shoes. Remember, when you write for your readers, they feel valued and understood. That's the essence of compelling copy.

So the secret is - don't only write to your readers.
Write for them and about them too.


More Copywriting Tips?

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May 10, 2020
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