The Copywriter Reveals the Great Debate: You vs We

Website copy – brochure copy – email content – newsletters – sales letters etc.

It doesn’t matter what you are writing copy for, if it isn’t effective, interesting and commanding it won’t have the desired effect.

The copy you are writing is designed to be read by your potential clients. Therefore it should always address them and their needs.

What is the simplest and most effective way of doing that?

By using the words you, yours, you’re and your.

I want to ‘we’

Well if you do you’ll become very lonely. The one thing that I see again and again are websites (and brochures etc.) that constantly bang on about the company.

“We were established in 1989….”

“We utilise the full range of skills offered by our diverse workforce….”


Remember what I said earlier? You are writing for your potential clients. They are reading your copy therefore it should address them.

Tell them how you will help them.

“The comprehensive financial review will save you time….”

Your life will become so much easier when you buy….”

“An effective website will make your company standout and get you noticed….”

See how much better that sounds? You are talking directly to your reader. You are showing them exactly what you can do for them. They will be able to see at a glance that yours is a company that puts their needs first – a company that cares.

So, when you’re next writing some marketing material remember, ditch the we and go for you.

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#1 Clare Lynch on 08.06.09 at 12:25 pm

This is so true and (you’d think) so basic but I’m going to be blogging next week about an example where a major highstreet brand gets it so, so shockingly wrong.

#2 Carole Seawert on 08.20.09 at 9:56 am

Yes. it’s amazing how many companies want to ‘we’ all over their copy. A rule of thumb is to have four ‘you, your, ‘ etc for every ‘we, our’.

And the other thing that continues to surprise me is how few people know the difference between features and benefits.

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