Great copy is customer-focused copy – their wants, goals, dreams and desires. It might sound harsh, but honestly? They don’t care about brands or businesses; they care about themselves, their life, their family, and their needs.
So why do so many businesses seem to forget this?
“We’re excited to announce…” “Our team has achieved…” “We believe…”
If you (or the client you’re writing for) has a website full of “We”, here’s how to turn it around and write customer-focused copy that increases brand loyalty, creates a great customer experience and drives sales.
1. Put your customer first
Speak directly to your reader by using the word “you” throughout your copy. Addressing your copy as though to one specific person means you create a kind of intimacy – they feel as if they’re part of the conversation, the only person in the whole world who you’re talking to.
Go through your existing copy and content and count how many times you’ve used the word “you” compared to the words “we”, “us” or “I”. If the balance isn’t firmly in favour of your customer, you’ve got work to do.
You do need to talk about your business at some point – people buy from brands they know and trust after all – but even then, it should be firmly focused on the customer.
2. Get the tone right
Using the language that your customers use first means getting crystal clear on who those customers actually are. If you don’t have this part down, you’re going to struggle.
Move away from mere demographics and start to paint a detailed picture of your ideal customer. And I mean really detailed. Not just their gender and age range (because no one is a woman aged 20-40), but their job, family life, hobbies, likes and (just as importantly) dislikes. Give them a name. Name their dog.
Getting really clear on your ideal customer doesn’t mean you won’t attract anyone who isn’t this exact person, it just makes it so much easier to write copy that hits the mark.
If you’re not sure whether you’re talking to octogenarians who spend their weekends’ mountain climbing or art-house cinema loving hipster millennials, your copy will be bland, vague and won’t appeal to anyone.
Make sure you use this tone consistently across all platforms and communications. If you write one way on your website but use a totally different tone of voice in your emails, your reader will feel like you don’t really get them.
3. Focus on how you solve their problems
Once you know your audience you’ll get to know their pain points. Don’t just write about the service or product you offer, think in terms of the problems you solve.
Dig a little deeper than the obvious to really identify the emotions involved. What keeps your customer up at night?
Say you do garden maintenance. Which of your customer’s problems do you solve? They’re probably not lying awake at 2 am worrying that their grass is too long, but they may well be wondering if they’ve spent enough time with their kids lately.
Suddenly your service isn’t just about keeping their lawn tidy, it’s about freeing up time for them to be with their family. Putting the focus on the emotional aspect means your reader feels seen, heard and understood.
4. Address their worries
Your customers will have objections – barriers that prevent them from immediately signing up to your fabulous offering. Acknowledge and address these to show that a) you get it and b) they don’t need to worry.
Make sure you don’t end up sounding negative though, keep the focus firmly on the positive. If you know that price is a barrier, highlight the value they’ll get, the benefits they’ll receive and the cost of not spending the money with you.
If your audience is busy professionals, let them know that your efficiency and organisation means they won’t have to waste time chasing you for the goods.
Addressing objections means your audience is reassured before they’ve even had the chance to express their fears.
5. Use social proof
It’s easy to dismiss a company singing their own praises but much harder to ignore the views of other happy customers.
Use testimonials to back up your claims, and give enough detail that your reader can recognise themselves in your former clients. “Anna Smith, 35, self-employed, mum of two, from Edinburgh” is much more relatable than simply “A. Smith”.
Case studies are a great way to appeal to your audience, address their objections and relay your successes all in one. Use them in your web copy and sales emails to help your readers understand why you’re the right choice for them.
6. Finish with an empowering call to action
Always end your copy with a call to action – a clear next step for your reader to take.
Keep your reader in mind right to the last word and make your call to action empowering, something they can do to feel like they’re really taking control.
Use active, positive language and write from your customer’s perspective. “I want…”, “Send me…” and “Yes!” are so much more compelling than the drab, passive “sign up” or even worse: “submit”.
Your copy should finish with a call to action that your reader can hardly resist.
Continue Reading: 6 Features of B2B Copywriting
About the Author
Lily Karenza is a copywriter based in Nottingham UK. She works with independent business owners and creative entrepreneurs, creating compelling (and wholly customer-focused) copy that gets results.