Warren Buffett, world’s third-richest man, successful investor won prestigious international awards in 2004 for his skills based on clarity and persuasiveness of his annual report and the secret is, he does not write, he speaks. He is an incredible copywriter, his direct approach to address the reader (investors) is the key to his copywriting success.
“When writing I pretend that I’m talking to my sister. I just begin with ‘Dear Doris’.”
When writing, it is very important to keep the user in mind; as if you’ve written that particular piece just for them rather than for everybody.
There’s very little difference between spoken and written English. Spoken English is direct; as if you are speaking to a person and even if we are not trained, we can still recognize it. Its the exact tone of voice we need for sales in our copywriting.
Write as if you are speaking to a person.
People switch to written mode as soon as they get their hands on the computer keyboard but the approach should be other way around. Imagine you are speaking to a person and the selection of words should reflect that “you” approach
Take Apple of example. In a single piece of copywriting in one of their iPhone manuals, they’ve used;
iPhone 81 times, Apple 26 times but the word you or you’re is used over 100 times. Here’s an example
“You can browse, download and stream content at remarkable speed, wherever you happen to be”
Speak to a person in a way that they feel you are talking to them, even in a written letter. Another example is, instead of using indirect approach, always use a direct approach.
For example, “ABC Company is grateful for every new prestigious client”.
it’s better to use a tone that depicts that you are speaking to a customer. The above sentence once changed sends across a very powerful message. For example, “We are grateful for having you as our prestigious client”.
Warren Buffett gives us more clues when we DeCypher his notes.
Use short simple sentences using short simple worlds. Sometimes as a copywriter, it’s better to use one-word answers to our own questions. For example, how do they feel? Comfortable or who can benefit? Everyone.
Spoken is much more relaxed. It’s much less stuffy. We can do things a teacher would never let us do at school.
We can use contractions for example;
We are is changed to We’re.
Could not is changed to Couldn’t.
You is changed to You’ll.
Should not is changed to Shouldn’t.
Contractions are a single differentiator between written and spoken English and it gives the impression that you are speaking to your reader. This builds a relationship for the future.
So my best advice to you is, start in written English and keep the reader in mind. Write as if you are speaking to them and once you’ve written, simplify your verbiage and make it concise.
That’s what effective copywriting is. Use few words, try to express a lot while speaking directly to your reader or audience.