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Me, Me, Me

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Here's a joke from one of direct marketing's elder statesmen.

"What's a prospect's favorite radio station?"

"WIIFM." (Or, "What's in it for me?")

All right, we admit that the joke is kind of lame. But, the lesson behind it is right on.

Here's what the prospects you're marketing to do NOT care very much about ...

• What you think of your product or service
• How long you've been in business
• The awards and accolades you've won
• The technical features you're so proud of

Here's what they DO care about ...

• What your product or service will do for THEM

That's why the most powerful word you can use in direct marketing is "You." "You," as in the person you're talking to. In direct marketing, he second person tense is king. That's what's going to catch the attention of your target audience. That's what's going to make them keep reading. That's what will eventually persuade them to respond and — eventually — buy.

Here's a quick and easy test to make sure your messaging is as sharp and prospect-focused as possible.

Step 1. Output the copy from your ad, direct mail package, or website. And, find two different-colored highlighters.

Step 2. HIghlight every time you see the words "You," "Your," or "You're."

Step 3. Then, use the other marker and highlight every time you see the words, "I," "We," "Our," "Us," or the name of your company.

If the number of highlights from step one don't outnumber those from highlighter #2 (as in exponentially, as in by A LOT!) then you have some rewriting to do.

Happy editing!

 

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