3 ways to write copy that charms

You see, small talk is not about facts or words. It's about music, about melody. Small talk is about putting people at ease. It's about making comfortable noises together like cats purring, children humming, or groups chanting. You must match your listener's mood.

This quote comes from "How to Talk to Anyone" by Leil Lowndes, and discusses the power of matching your audience's mood. Like any master of small talk knows, she says that if you want people to agree with your message, they must first find you agreeable.

When speaking with someone, Leil suggests that matching your listener's tone and body language will make you more likable. For marketers, we know that decisions are based on emotion first and justified with logic later; therefore, copy that charms is copy that sells.

But how do you match your audience in your writing?
Among the many ways, here are three I have found very useful.
  • Know how your reader reads
  • Know how your audience finds your writing
  • Write to them like they were an old friend (yeah, stole that from Mad Men)
You must first know how your reader reads. For example, Baby Boomers do not read the same way as Millenials. Millenials, despite what you may have heard, do in fact read. In fact, some studies suggest that Millenials read more than Baby Boomers. However, marketers must know that Millenials are scanners, read with a distinct purpose, and consume most of their information online. For Millienials, design trumps content. In contrast, Baby Boomers focus more on value and content tailored to their needs.

When you know how your reader reads, you know how to craft a more appealing message.

Also, think about how your audience discovers your message.  Consider this analogy, if a prospect was waiting in a dentist's office, how do they choose the magazine they will read? Among the many factors, they consider the aesthetic appeal of each magazine cover, check the magazine's label to mentally reference past articles, read the bolded text, and immediately choose one to give 5-10 minutes of their time.

Whether print or digital, your audience goes through a similar mental process before engaging your writing. If you want them to give your book, blog article, or Facebook post their valuable time, you must know their decision process.

Next, write to them like they are an old friend. Forget your other goals for a second, and write to your audience as if you were trying to convey a message just to them. Pick someone you know who is similar to your market. Could be your grandmother; could be your child. Your writing will be warmer, more sincere, and you may find your writing goes into new places you hadn't first considered.
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