3 little words
We often hear about the importance of writing with empathy - of making our readers feel we’re ‘with’ them. All the best writers manage this. No more so than Maya Angelou. She famously wrote about using words to express empathy.
“I’ve learned that -
people will forget what you said.
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
So, we all know the value of writing with empathy - but how to do it ... that's another matter. One sure-fire way is to use three common, yet exceptional, words.
Promoting your Wursel-flunger
Imagine you manufacture the latest wurzel-flunger.
You're writing a sales letter and you only describe its spec. Its size, weight, horse-power and its fpm (flunges per minute, what else?). How successful will your sales letter be? Probably, not very.
Your job, as a sales writer, is to make your reader feel.
Well, you could make them feel pain - the pain they'll suffer from not owning a wurzel-flunger.
Or perhaps desire - the desire to own the world’s finest wurzel-flunger that money can buy.
Maybe, they need to feel excitement - excitement at how their brand-new wurzel-flunger will change their lives for the better.
What matters is, that reading your copy must make them feel emotion - emotion that’s strong enough to prompt them to pick up the phone, send an email or even beat a path to your door demanding you supply them with your wondrous wurzel-flunger.
Three words that will sell
And how will you do this? By using words of course!
And because I like you so much, I’m going to supply you with three of the best!
3 words, which when used well, will make your copy effective and powerful.
These words will
- pique your readers’ interest
- fuel their imagination
- make them want to know more
- and inspire them to act.
In other words, these are 3 words that will sell.
And here they are ...
Word 1. You
The golden bullet of your copywriting armoury. This little three-letter gem will put your reader at the focus of your message. Be sure to use ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’ at least twice as often as ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘us’, ‘our’ and ‘ours’.
How does ‘you’ make people feel? It makes them feel they matter. That your words are directed to them - not to the wide, generic world of anyone and everyone.
Word 2. Imagine
This is a wonderful, magical word. Start off your copy with ‘Imagine’ and you invite your reader to take a trip into the warm, fuzzy zone of their dreams and happy thoughts. A place where there’s neither sorrow nor pain, irritation nor frustration.
How does ‘imagine’ make people feel? It makes them feel happy. And what can be better than that?
Word 3. Because
This word is powerful. It works because it gives people a reason for acting in the way you want them to act. Did you ever read about the psychological experiment, where someone pushes to the front of a queue? If they push in without giving a reason, there’s much more resentment than if they give a reason. The funny thing is that it doesn’t even have to be a good reason. Even a simple, ‘I’m in a rush’, lets them in.
How does ‘because’ make people feel? Considered. It shows that you’ve thought about their life and what matters to them.
So - next time you write any kind of sales copy - website copy, a sales letter, an email or social media post about an upcoming event - try using these three wonderful words.
See how making your readers feel will make all the difference.
They’ll love you for it. They really will.
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