Why Everything You Write Should Seem Personal

Last updated on April 15, 2023 by Cameron Sheppard

After successfully closing over $3.1 million in sales on Saturday, we want to thank the participation of our dear customers.

Yeah, go ahead and call me a ‘dear customer.’ I’m so happy to contribute to your juicy $3.1 million revenue tag.

That’s what happens when you don’t make your writing seem personal. Take this, for example:

Dear John Doe,

We wanted to personally thank you for being apart of our event on Saturday. Your participation makes you a direct contributor to a fund of over $3.1 million that will go to starving children across the country.

I feel proud to be apart of something. $3.1 million?!

Notice how the second example directly addressed the participant by using personal pronouns such as you and your. Moreover, the participant’s own name was featured in the greeting, and not just ‘customer.’

This is one of many things that amateur writers fail to do when communicating with words. In this article, I’ll dive into the psychology behind seeming personal and why all your writing should look the part. Let’s go.

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Personality builds confidence

Think of a marketing email. The purpose is to get you to purchase something, right? But you’re not going to give up your hard-earned money plus your time spent reading the email if you feel the purchase won’t be worth it.

Your customers need to be confident that the purchase will be worth it. Otherwise, they’ll feel slighted and won’t complete the sale.

One of the best ways to build up confidence is by using personality. No, not the 23 traits that come from one of those online tests – I’m talking one-on-one. Let me give you an example.

Imagine you’re a car salesman. You’re talking face-to-face with a prospective customer. This is one of the biggest purchases they’ve ever made, so they want to make sure they can trust you to recommend a good car for them.

You could take this discussion one of two ways.

One, you speak like you’re the car dealership. You say something like this: “We guarantee the top service and ensure this is a reliable car.”

The other, you speak in the first person and talk to the customer like they’re a good friend. You provide your honest input on the car.

Which discussion will give the customer confidence to complete the purchase? The one where you talk like a robot, or the one where you talk like an authentic, friendly person? That’s an easy answer.

Note how the word personal has person in it. Your customers are people, and people thrive on personal connection to another person.

While selling something so expensive as a car might not be applicable to everyone, the point still stands: talk to your customer like you’re face-to-face.

But we’re talking about writing here, not one-on-one conversations.

I understand. But in all honesty, it’s not hard to make your writing seem personal. The secret is to hold a conversation with the power of your words.

Write how you speak

News flash: talking to another human is how you seem human.

I know. It’s rocket science right? But many copywriters I’ve seen fail to recognize this.

Think of when you talk to your family or a close friend. Those are the times you seem most personal and can be your authentic self.

The idea is to mimic this authenticity in your writing. In other words, write how you speak.

The easiest way to do this is to use voice typing. Many writing programs have this and you can even install an extension on your browser to voice type on any website.

Another way is to write something and then read it out loud to yourself. If the paragraphs don’t flow and the words seem discolored, then your writing certainly fails the personality test. (You can fail that?)

Of course, you can do some editing here and there. But try to make it seem personal to the best of your ability.

Write like your audience is an individual

Each member of your audience wants to feel appreciated. And the worst way to do that is by grouping them together and addressing them as ‘customers’ or ‘you all’.

Maybe you do that while giving a speech. But even then, engaging with your audience through eye-contact and asking questions is essential for keeping them awake.

One way to address them individually is through the use of a salutation. In a letter or email, the salutation is the opening line where you greet the individual by name. Many email marketing services automatically adjust this greeting per the individual’s name.

Another way you can make them feel ‘special’ is by frequently using pronouns in the second person such as you and your. Let me provide you an example.

Take the following service description:

[Service] is a tool that makes employee management easier and simplifies the process of making timetables.

That’s pretty good, but something’s missing. This should be better:

[Service] lets you manage your employees easier and takes some of your timetable stress off your hard-working hands.

Wow, I feel directly spoken to. Sometimes all your writing needs is an adequate dose of second person pronouns.

Be your true self

I already touched on this when telling you to write how you speak, but it needs some further explanation.

The word authentic seems to be thrown around in copywriting and marketing in general. But the definition here is ‘to be your true self’.

That means not copying another writer because you like their style. That also means not using big words just for the heck of it. Give yourself a chance to develop your own style and the sub-styles that form below it based on your target audience(s).

Again, this could be done by speaking like you would to a family member or close friend. That’s when you’re the most authentic.

You may think you have to wear a cool CEO mask in order to communicate with your customers. Just remember, they can see right through your words.

Final thoughts

Making your writing seem personal is a simple process but can make the biggest difference in conversions. I hope you got something out of my words. I’m wondering: does this article seem personal? I sure hope it does.

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