You. For a three-letter word, it’s pretty powerful.
In fact, it’s probably the single most powerful word at your disposal when writing copy.
On your website, in your marketing materials and in your emails, you’re usually trying to persuade the reader to do something. Whether that’s to buy, click, sign-up or reply, using the word ‘you’ is a great first step.
Why it matters to you
The key to being persuasive when you’re writing to someone is to build rapport with them. You need to make it clear that what you’re writing about involves them and should matter to them.
Using the word you is a simple but effective way of encouraging that. Consider what you’ve read so far in this blog post. There’s already a sprinkling of yous and yours.
It would have been just as easy to talk in general terms, but I wanted you (oh, there’s another one) to understand that this tip will be of use for your website, your marketing materials and your business.
More you than we
When most of us sit down to write something, the natural inclination is to write about ‘I’, or maybe ‘we’ if we’re writing on behalf of our organisation. Perhaps that’s because some of our earliest writing experience is giving first-person accounts of what we did at the weekend or where we spent our summer holidays.
Even when we start applying for jobs, it’s drilled into us that we ought to write: “I can do this, I can do that, I am brilliant.”
And yet almost any piece of writing is destined to make a greater impression on the reader if the you-to-I ratio is stacked firmly in favour of ‘you’.