Why Conversational Copy Works Best by Bob Bly

Posted March 7th, 2012 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Uncategorized

We copywriters are taught to write conversational copy. Many marketers erroneously think “conversational copy” means “write like you talk”. But what it really means is “write the way your prospects talk”.

A public radio station in my area, featuring eclectic rock and pop, sent me a fundraising letter. It began: “Dear Neighbor: I know you are a savvy media consumer.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but if you ask me why I listen to the radio, I would not say because I am a savvy media consumer; I’d say, “I like music.”

Here’s my rewrite for the fundraising letter lead: “Dear Fellow Music Lover: Do you ever wish, when you turn on the radio, that they’d play OUR music?”

While my rewrite hasn’t been tested against the original, I believe it’s an improvement, for two reasons.

First, it talks about something the reader cares about: hearing music I like when I turn on the radio.

Second, it establishes an empathy-based bond through a common interest between the reader and the writer: that we share similar musical tastes

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One Response so far

  1. Wolfgang says:

    Thanks for this article, I have for some time now trying to write my article as if I am talking to the person, even asking the questions that I think he would ask, ther are some good tip’s in this article.

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