The One Word Every Prospect Craves

Its arguably the most important word in the copywriter`s arsenal. It ranks right at the top with words like free, new and savings. I’m talking about you.

You is the word that gets your prospects attention and keeps them involved. As Herschell Gordon Lewis says in the Art of Writing Copy, Unless the reader regards himself as the target of your message, benefit cant exist. Benefit demands a We/You relationship.

While the We in the We/You relationship is important, its better implied than communicated literally. If your goal is to put prospects first, then its best to have the you’s far exceed the we’s.

Its the you’d that matter to prospects. They’re your workhorse for communicating your message and include all derivatives such as your, yours, yourself, you’re, and you’ll.

Powerful You

What makes you so Powerful? for one thing, It addresses your readers directly. in effect, It says Hey you, which is much harder to ignore than Hey somebody.

Say Hey you in a crowded room and a lot of heads will turn. Say Hey somebody and a few heads might turn.

While your Copy wont actually say Hey you, It can clearly identify to whom you’re talking. Once you have your audience’s attention, use you to help keep It.

Personal You

Why does you get and hold attention? for one thing, its Personal. It’s used in Personal conversation every day. What do you think? How was your weekend? You’ll be glad to know

When people say these things to you, they’re bound to get your attention and involvement. After all, they’re interested in your opinion. They’re interested in the things you do. They have something to tell you that will make you happy.

That’s the goal of you-oriented Copy. Address your audience directly, personally and in terms of their interests. Be conversational and you will pop up in the Copy naturally.

Counting You

It was mentioned earlier that you is a workhorse. A classic example is contained in the “Do-It-Yourself Direct Mail Handbook” by Murray Raphel and Ken Erdman. They highlight a Newsweek magazine subscription letter used for nearly two decades.

the subscription letter was written by Direct Mail expert Ed McLean, who used you nearly 30 times on the first page alone. More than 100 million copies of the letter were mailed, a testament to its effectiveness.

Try counting the yous (and you derivatives) in your Copy. Compare them with the number of we’s and first-person derivatives. If the you’d don’t outnumber the we’s, consider reworking your Copy.

Excessive You?

Can you overdo you? Yes.

If you load your Copy with you’d but forget the benefits, your message will have a phony ring.

You can’t save you if there’s nothing meaningful to offer your audience. Likewise, It will help put you over the top if there is.

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