If there’s one easy way to make your copy stand out and sound different, it’s to mimc the conversation your customer is already having, either in their head or with friends and family.
All too often businesses (large and small) write copy that uses the words and phrases that people within the business use to talk about the product or solution.
Not, the words and phrases used by their customers.
On a side note, the theme of speaking your customer’s language always makes me think of Men at Work and the song Down Under:
Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscle
I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
And segueing into an even other side note, that song was number one in the US the day I was born.
Let the side notes cease.
Recently I spotted this half page advert for an energy company in the UK:
And even though they’ve put the headline in friendly little quotation marks as though this is what their customers are saying, I read this advert and thought:
Said no-one ever…
I may be wrong, but I don’t think I, or anyone I know has ever had a conversation enthusing about managing our energy.
- Gas and electricity bills too high?
- Switching around for a good deal?
- Using tools to monitor use and save money?
- Paying monthly to get a discount?
These are the things that people talk about when it comes to their energy bills.
So why not strike to the heart of that conversation?
Apparently this app has been designed to save us time, because now we can change tariffs, update direct debit payments and submit meter readings online.
But the copy doesn’t really make a compelling case to do any of those things.
So what could we change? How can we sell this app to our customers? I would love to see them go bold, and with a more honest approach about how customers really feel about managing their energy accounts. For example:
Take the pain and hassle out of your gas and electricity bills
Let’s face it. It’s not ‘managing energy’ that’s a problem, it’s the pain of getting a bill, reviewing the bill, grumbling about the bill and paying the bill that people hate.
This style of headline shows empathy and understanding: “Look, we know you hate getting bills, so we’ve made it easier for you.”
And to sell the app to our customer? I’d be looking to use points such as:
- Track your energy usage, see what you’ve used and get tips on using less so you can save more
- Get a breakdown of your upcoming bill so there are no surprises
- See if a different tariff could save you more money and swap in just a few minutes
- Submit your meter readings using the app in just a couple of clicks
These are the kinds of words and sentences you would hear if a group of friends started talking about this new app.
“It’s really easy to use, I can see straight away if we’re using too much, and I can decide whether to cut back or just budget for a bigger bill. It’s simple to use, everything’s at-a-glance and rather than the shock of a bill every few months, at least I know where I am day-to-day. It makes it easier than wasting time faffing with paper bills.”
And that’s what I want you to think about when it comes to your customer. What are the words they’d use? What are the problems they really gripe about to their friends?
Use this in your copy because most businesses are afraid to talk like their customers.
Your customers will respect you for it, they’ll feel like you really understand them, and you won’t sound like another boring business voice in a sea of mediocre content.
Go get ’em.