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One word; three letters – all you need to kick off your copy!

One word; three letters – all you need to kick off your copy!

by John Wallace | Advertising Copywriter, |
Oh the agonies of copywriting! You’ve got a blank screen, a blank mind – and just minutes to write a piece of devastatingly persuasive copy that nails your target audience and gets their attention in the first, all-important moments of your deathless prose. So how do you do it?

Easy. Start your copy with one word of just three letters: ‘you’. Start your copy any way you like – but start it with ‘you’, whether the word is expressly written or implied in the text: ‘You need to read this…’ ‘You know how it feels…’ ‘(You could) Change your life, right here, right now…’

Using the word ‘you’ up-front in the copy ensures that you’re having a one-to-one dialogue with your target audience. You’re telling them what they want to hear, so they’ll read on in order to find out what’s in it for them.

By contrast, consider starting your copy with that sinful, naughty, entirely wrong word, ‘we’: ‘We’d like to tell you about our new product…’ ‘We’re writing to tell you…’ ‘We’re making changes to our rules…’ Oh dear. Disaster. You’re telling your target audience what you want to tell them about what you’re interested in about your products and services. You’ve lost their interest in no seconds flat. They’re turning the page. Throwing your letter away. Switching the kettle on. Game over.

Using ‘you’ at the start of your copy, expressly or by implication, immediately obliges you to think about what the reader needs, wants and expects (consumer benefits) – which is entirely different from what you end up telling them (product features) when you start with ‘we’. 

By all means tell them all the facts and features of what you’re selling, but only after you’ve told them about how their lives are going to be happier, better, more fabulously wonderful – in other words, communicate emotive, expressive, exciting benefits first, followed by reassuring, down-to-earth, common-sense features second. Simples!

If you’d like to get this fundamental approach to copywriting well honed, well-practised and well lodged in your head – then please come and join us on our Introduction To Copywriting Course  – you’ll love it, you’ll enjoy yourself – and you’ll be a better copywriter as a result!
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It has opened my eyes in how to construct not only my writing but also my way of approaching it.

Emily Johnson,
Marketing Executive, Mash Media

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