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