Copywriting: The Power of YOU
If you’d asked last year what I thought the strongest word in catalog and direct selling was, without hesitation I would have said, “FREE.”
“Free” always tests strong. Even in e-mail subject line scenarios where you’d expect spam filters to knock them out, response is so strong that it more than makes up for the ones filtered out.
But this year it appears that “YOU” has become more important. And while most catalogs and Web sites seem to pretend this word doesn’t even exist, they’re missing out on a personal powerhouse word that trumps all others when used properly.
I reached this conclusion because, like many customers, I’ve gotten tired of being treated like a number or a “catalog recipient” instead of a customer. We’re held at arm’s length in most of the copy we read, and it’s not unusual to feel spoken down to — even insulted!
Wouldn’t it be nice to be treated with a little more respect? Here are some examples to show how you can speak directly to your customers in a way that they can relate to you and at the same time feel respected.
Why does “you” work so well to fill that very human need? How can it be used to enroll a customer to consider and buy? And what are the alternatives?
Here are how two different catalogs sell a cashmere sweater.
A very pricey catalog sells its sweater this way:
Cashmere Sweater: Ash (gray) with light gray trim. Crew neckline. Long sleeves. Pure cashmere.
Do you feel enrolled in consideration of this sweater? I didn’t think so. At $500, you’d expect it would try just a little harder.
Another seller of a similar sweater writes:
Soft, luxurious Italian cashmere from a world-famous Italian mill in a fine 12-gauge knit. Tubular trim at neck. Long sleeves. Rolled edge at cuffs and hem. Hits at hip.