Marketing Copy is More Successful When Written Like a Booty Call

Joe Nafziger // Sep 4 // Insights

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You get home from the bars. You're tired, but not too tired for a little bump and grind. You whip out your phone, scan your contacts, and send the same 10-word message to several possible partners:

WHAT ARE YOU UP TO THE REST OF THE NIGHT?

The effectiveness of your message—when, or more importantly, if, some of your recipients respond—hinges on one simple word: you.

Write For The Individual

It doesn't matter if you write words for Google, the Department of the Interior or your uncle's local port-a-john business, "you" is the most important word for connecting with an audience of any size, getting individuals to listen and driving them to take action.

People respond better if your message is pointed right at them. When you write to everyone instead of the individual, your message is no longer special to those who hear it.
For example, imagine sending the following late-night text to those same lucky people:

ARE ANY OF YOU BUSY TONIGHT?

Sorry. No way. You're flying solo, Ghostrider.

Simple "You" Test

Read these two sentences to yourself:

  1. You are a big nerd.
  2. People who read this are big nerds.

NOTE: Please know that I like you a lot, and do not actually think you are a nerd. You are really cool.

They say the same thing, but generate different mental reactions. When the words "You are a big nerd," go through your head you only have yourself to think about. It's personal.

With "People who read this are big nerds," your mind pictures other humans, possibly in the act of reading the sentence on their computers, myPads or cellular telephone machines. It’s not about you, right?

Words As Symbols

Hairy knuckle.
Smiling baby.
Beaver dam.

I just planted those pictures in your head (you're welcome). It's the classic, "Don't think of a pink elephant" routine. Outside of simple icons and graphics that are understood no matter what language you speak, words remain the most powerful symbols.

Every word paints a picture, and the all-important "you" generates the good-looking image you see in the mirror. Failing to talk to one person will sink you whether you’re playing the dating game or the marketing-your-business game.

Conclusion

Maybe you sell robot lawnmowers. Maybe you are a blacksmith looking for an apprentice. Maybe you lobby senators to do away with child labor laws. Whatever it is, you need your words to inspire action.
To do just that, create communications that speak to the individual, you guys.

Disclaimer: This post is based on second-hand research. I didn't use text messaging prior to dating my wife, and even had to look up what someone might write when texting for a hook up.

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