Write to One Person

Writing persuasive copy is a challenging task, even for a pro. There are a lot of tips to consider, but today I want to mention one simple idea that will make every piece of your copy and each of your marketing communications (or other communications) marginally if not significantly better:

Write to one person.

Even though the size of your audience might range from dozens to thousands, think of just one person in your mind’s eye, someone who fits the key characteristics of your audience.

I gave this advice to a non-pro not long ago. The young woman had the daunting task of writing an appeal letter to raise her own financial support for a new ministry. A recent college grad, she is an extremely bright person and talented writer, but the prospect of writing a letter asking for money shook her up.

Let me give you one bit of advice, I said, a small secret. Write to one person. Immediately, her face looked a little more relaxed, and she thanked me.

I was reminded of this strategy today when I saw a post at copyblogger, Five Ways to Bulletproof Your Copy.

The five ways? Depending on the circumstances, Sean Platt notes that he writes to his (1) mother, (2) father, (3) sister, (4) wife and (5) his friend Marco.

By doing so, he’s writing to just one person. The result is more personal, compelling copy that can influence and motivate the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people who will read it.

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