The Power of You

As a copywriter I know the power of ‘you’.

It’s a small word, but one that creates an instant connection between you and your customers. It shows you are thinking about them and how you can help make their life easier.

Back in 2010 I wrote a post about this very subject. It’s such an important part of copywriting I think it deserves a second airing – enjoy:

ThosThe power of you in copywritinge immortal words were famously uttered by Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in the 1976 classic, “Taxi Driver”.

This post isn’t about that particular iconic film though. Rather, I want to  talk about your website copywriting and how it should be written to gain the greatest effect.

Who do you want to read your website?

This is a topic that I have touched on in the past but it is so important, I’m going to talk about it again.

You might think it an odd question – “who do you want to read your website?” – but it isn’t really.

Look at it another way – what do you want your website to do?

Hopefully you answered “sell” or perhaps “generate enquiries”. But you will only do that if your website copy talks to your reader. Think back to the last networking event you went to. No doubt someone came up and introduced themselves to you and launched into their elevator pitch. What would you find most interesting? Someone who says:

I’m John, I sell websites. My websites have state of the art features and they look great. They are really eye catching and I work with clients all over the country. I can create ecommerce sites, flash sites and just about anything else you can think of. My company is called Websitearama, this is my card, look me up.”

Lost the will to live yet? I’m guessing that you have now made your excuses and left John to find another victim to bore.

But what if John had said this?

Hi, I’m John and I can help your website attract targeted traffic that will generate a constant stream of sales. With our software you’ll never lose a sale because it will automatically follow up every lead. You will no longer be walking away from business because you don’t have time to keep in touch with all your prospects – your website software will do it for you.”

In the first scenario John bangs on about his company. At no point does he even attempt to say how he can help his clients. His websites have state of the art features – so what? The are really eye-catching – so what?

But the second attempt starts to address his audience. His website attracts targeted traffic – so what? – so it generates a constant stream of leads. It follows up every lead automatically – so what? – so you’ll never lose another sale.

This time John has qualified the benefits of his product by illustrating what that will mean to his clients.

So what’s all that got to do with websites?

When someone lands on your website they are there for a reason – they want to buy what you are selling.

To make yourself stand out from all the other websites, you have to make sure you give them what they want. If they land on your site only to read all about your company (an Ego website) they’ll get bored and move on.

But if your website copy addresses them directly and tells them what you will do for them, you’ll get their attention.


That is a word that should be littered throughout your web copy. By using “you” and “your” you are directly addressing your reader. You are involving them in your website and showing them precisely why they’ll benefit from your product/service.

Stating what your benefits are and what they’ll do for your reader will prevent them from saying those dreaded words:

“What’s in it for me?”

If they have to say that you’ve failed to get your message across clearly.

So next time you are writing your web copy make sure you banish “we” and replace it with “you”. By writing directly to your reader you’ll begin to write benefits driven copy that will sell. It may take a bit of practice but stick with it as it will pay off.

By the way, this is also true for your other sales materials.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

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