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 How To Really Connect With Your Customer In Your Copywriting

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raj_mmm9



Number of posts : 1850
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-03-08

PostSubject: How To Really Connect With Your Customer In Your Copywriting   Sun 6 Apr - 14:48

One of the least talked-about areas in copywriting education is voice. This is probably because it's tough to set general rules for something that's so personal to each of us. After all, the same things go into building your copywriting voice that go into making you who you are!

Personality, upbringing, environment, education, audience, purpose?all these and more go into forming your voice, no matter what kind of writing you're doing.

In this article, I'd like to try to tackle the subject of voice in copywriting. I've identified a couple of areas that I believe are the most important when it comes to making your voice more credible when writing copy -- style and tone. By improving these two areas, you'll connect with your customer in a much more genuine way.

****************

In my conversations with successful copywriters and marketers, I find that practically every one of them has an uncanny ability to communicate on a gut level with their customer or prospect. And that is one of the main keys to their success.

How do they do this?

By removing internal editors, and writing as if they were speaking to a friend.

When you sit down to write, you need to make a psychological leap and forget everything you ever learned about writing in school.

Yes, I know that you've got those "ghosts of English teachers past" sitting on your shoulder and whispering in your ear about how you should write. But those internal editors need to be tossed out.

Instead, you need to write like you talk. This is much easier said than done, and requires some practice and work. If you have a hard time doing this, one possibility is to record yourself speaking your sales message first, and then to transcribe it afterwards. That way you'll get the spoken spirit of the language.

You'll still need to edit it though, to get rid of "hesitation markers" like ummmm, uhhhhh, etc. You don't want those sounds in your copy?

But more than anything, writing like you talk means being informal. One thing I see with novice copywriters is that, even though they might start to get the idea of writing like they talk, they'll still "speak" formally, as if they were giving a (dull) public speech.

It's true that ad copy from 50 years ago, especially direct mail sales letters, may have been a bit stiff and formal. And there may still be times when a certain level of formality is needed, depending upon your target market. But with Web sales copy, and especially with email copy, informal is the right way to go.

Informal style means breaking a ton of grammar rules. Which is what you do when you talk, anyway, at least in conversational speech. Use contractions (like can't and won't and I'll?). And fragment sentences. And you can start sentences with "and". Or with "or".

And you can tail off sentences with ellipsis markers (those three dots)? Which is also a good way to show hesitation when writing, by the way, since you can't use the hesitation sounds you normally use in speech.

And you can have sentences that have only one or two words. Like this!

And you can use really short paragraphs to express a quick thought. Or a bit longer paragraphs to express a longer thought.

There are also things you can do with language. Like using special terms or jargon used exclusively within a specific marketing niche. Customers know immediately if you're "one of them." Jargon and specialized knowledge help give them the clue for that.

There's an awful lot you can do. And you're really only limited by that internal editor/critic. So the sooner you throw that critic out the door, the better.

Also, when writing like you talk, you need to be able to keep a warm tone. One way it's put by sales professionals is to imagine that you're making "a referral to a friend" rather than making "a sales pitch to a customer." The examples you'll usually hear copywriting educators use for this are the kitchen table conversation or the barstool conversation.

The best way to develop this warm tone is through identification.

Getting to really know your target market (or "tarket", as Lorrie Morgen-Ferrero calls it) allows you to identify first-hand with their hopes, dreams, wants, and needs. This comes from study and research, although a certain amount of intuition comes in handy too.

You really do need to be able to put yourself into your customer's shoes in order to be a good salesperson, whether in print or face-to-face. As the old saying goes, "Become your customer." They need to become real in your mind -- as real as that person sitting across the kitchen table.

There are plenty of ways to identify with your customer or prospect. Reading the trade journals or magazines they read is a good place to start.

But what this skill really amounts to is empathy. Identification and empathy are two peas in the pod.

In business, you develop empathy simply by putting your customer first. By actually caring about your customer and making it your avowed goal to help them. By going the extra mile to find out what it is that keeps them awake at night. By becoming obsessed (in a good way) with bringing them a product that will solve a problem and make their life easier.
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