How the “you” technique will make your copy customer-centric
Searching for some sparkling home page copy? It might be right under your nose.
Instead of looking heavenward — as many of us do — for inspiration on how to improve our copy writing, sometimes it pays to do just the opposite: look downward.
By that I mean look deep down into the belly of your current copy for buried treasure using Joanna Wiebe of Cophacker’s ‘You’ Technique. I talk about this all the time because it almost instantly makes your page better because it forces you to focus on your customer, not on your service.
The ‘you’ technique is really, really simple. If not a bit of a head-spin at first.
Take every appropriate line of copy on your page, every sentence where you see “we” “me”, “I” or “our company” etc & re-write it with ‘you’ at the beginning of the sentence. That may sound ridiculous & mechanical — and it is — but it works.
Because it forces you to make sure that every single statement you make on the page puts your customer before you. The thing is, we tend to naturally & understandably default to putting ourselves, our products and our services first — because that’s just where our heads are at.
But wise marketers know you need to fight the natural tendency to put your business & your products first & spin that tendency 180 degrees to put your customers & the benefits to them first.
Use the word “you” twice as much as the words “me” & “I” or “we” & “us”. It automatically makes your customer the character in your story.
For example …
We Version: We provide at-home consultations for your convenience.
You Version: You’ll love our in-home consultations where you can meet a consultant in the comfort of your living room.
We Version: Our shoes utilise the Ortholite anatomical footbed.
You Version: Your feet will remain cool, dry & odourless thanks to our patented Aegis® antimicrobial breathable mesh lining.
We Version: Our trainers all have current working industry experience.
You Version: You will be trained by professionals who are currently working in the industry, so they know what your future boss is looking for.
We Version: Our team has developed comprehensive models and analysis to optimise domestic solar system power output.
You version: You can choose from a range solar models and analysis to draw maximum power from your system.
We Version: We identify the most efficient system size and make sure it will perform according to client needs, economic goals and capabilities.
You Version: You can be assured of reliable and predictable output because we help you choose the system that is just right for your needs.
Can you see how the “We Versions” are all about the company. Whereas the “You Versions” are all about the customer. Just by putting “you” at the start.
The thing is when you force yourself to re-write sentence with ‘you’ at the beginning. You then are more likely to be sure that you’re actually writing copy that your reader is going to care about. Then once you’ve re-written, then you can go through and improve the stuff that sounds clunky.