Everything has rules, darn it, but the rules in copywriting are at least useful – and there to help you succeed.
Rule #1 is to remember that it is never about you. It’s always about your prospect. For that reason, you should never, ever, ever begin a marketing message with the word “I.”
Even more detrimental to your success as a marketer is to begin your message with the words “I want…”
Why is that?
Because the people you’re writing to care about themselves. They don’t care about you, and they SURE don’t care what you want.
Your readers want to know two things when they pick up your letter or open your email message:
- Why should I care about this?
- What’s in it for me?
You simply can’t tell them that by telling them what you want, what you think, or how wonderful you are.
Keep in mind – your marketing messages must not be about you – they must be about your prospective clients. If you think about it from that angle, it will be much easier to do away with all those “I’s.”
Today I visited three blog posts that offered free sample letters for agents to use, and after grumbling, growling, and gnashing my teeth, I wrote this rant about it on Active Rain.
It really bothers me when someone portrays themselves as an expert, then encourages trusting individuals to follow really rotten advice.
Writing a message that appeals to the reader takes a little extra thought, but you can do it.
Simply turn your sentences around and find a way to begin with “you” instead of “I.” If you practice, you’ll get the hang of it – and people will be much more likely to read what you wrote.
Rule #2 Regarding “I” …
When you’ve finished writing, count the number of times you use some variation of the words “I” and “You.” If you’ve done a good job, the “You’s” will outnumber the “I’s” by about 3 or 4 to 1.
If they don’t… re-write.
If you don’t have time to write or can’t figure out how to turn your “I” messages into “you” messages, get in touch.
My prospecting letters page offers more than 40 sets of pre-written prospecting and staying in touch letters, and I’ll also be happy to write custom marketing letters for you.