Bonding with the reader

… through empathetic language was the exclusive domain of sales and marketing copywriters. No more. Nowadays, you’ll see companies like Microsoft using personal terms like “you” and “your” in everything from instruction manuals to support guides.

Why the change? In a word: profit. As mentioned earlier, bonding with the reader encourages consumption. When your copy is written from the reader’s point of view, you become likeable. And that’s only the beginning – the more your prospect reads, the more opportunity there is to show off your expertise and authority. All of which builds trust, the most important criteria in a high-value sales transaction.

Planning for bonding

What’s the most credible way to build rapport with your readers?

One step at a time.

This process, of course, includes the use of software personalization features. It also includes single-use and ongoing “hacks” that could provide you with an advantage.

The goal is to understand your reader in a more wholesale, three-dimensional way. At minimum, you know who they are, what they’re looking for, and how they found you (traffic source has a tremendous impact on reading!).

Deep knowledge, of course, requires research. You’ll pour over existing content, past marketing campaigns, competitor offerings, customer profiles, customer interviews, complaints, and more.

Authentic bonds

Fortunately, when you thoroughly research your audience, bonding with them becomes easier. It won’t feel forced, manipulative, or sleazy. Why? Because you’ll discover points of commonality that you share with them. It’s amazing how authentic copy can be when the writer and reader reference the same feelings, emotions, and goals.

Last word

Establishing a bond with your reader is a process. It isn’t made by any single copy component, such as a headline (no matter how long, brilliant, or clever it might be).

No, the components support each other. Taken together, they form a conversation between you, the reader, and the other voices in the reader’s head.

(Don’t laugh… we all have voices in our heads!)

The reader can opt out, at any time, without so much as an explanation.

Your job is to keep the conversation going until the moment of truth: a single call to action.

Now that call to action might be mild, as in “Keep reading,” or “Further questions?,” depending on the medium.

But it’s there. And whether the reader takes the next step or not tells you something.

Sometimes, it means that the bond you worked hard to establish with him or her didn’t penetrate deep enough.

Let’s change that, together.

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