How those old letters can improve your copywriting

When’s the last time you got something in the mail?

What was it? A new Amazon delivery of toilet paper? A box of quarantine chocolates? Or maybe a letter (remember those?)?

As a kid, I loved getting the mail. I’d immediately look for letters from my grandparents or my globe-trotting aunt. The envelope would have my name on it. Not my parents. Or anyone else. It was written to me.

Letter writing actually teaches an important aspect of good web copy.

Good web copy, like a hand-written letter, is specific.

No, true, you’re not writing to Caitlin, but you’re writing to your audience.

Just like you can’t send a letter to anyone, you need to know who your audience is before you write a single word of copy.

Who are they? Is it active-duty moms, mom-bloggers, or baby boomers looking to retire abroad?

Think about who your ideal customer, client or donor is, and write to them directly.

Don’t write to everyone. This might be tempting, but is the kiss of death to good copy. You’ll end up with bland, vague, web content.

And if your audience can’t quickly connect with you in those first few sentences, they’ll move on to someone else.

Vague, general copy doesn’t stand out. It doesn’t grab the attention of your clientele. Instead, it’s the equivalent of that guy in high school who sent the same message to 20 girls asking them to the prom.

And chances are you don’t want to work with everyone (and their mother). If your ideal client is a baby boomer looking to retire to the coast of France, you probably won’t be thrilled working with a 19-year old looking to backpack across Asia for their gap year.

It has nothing to do with you being polite, but the crux of what your business is all about and who you serve.

In the online world, you have just a few seconds to get someone’s attention and persuade them to keep reading. Write in a clear, deliberate way that speaks to them, their problems, and their desires.

Remember, if you write to everyone, you’ll write to no one. Always write with your audience in mind.

Now, over to you. Are you writing your web copy? How is it going for you?

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