It’s Not About Me: Six Tips for Customer-Centric Copy

Linda Mulcahy
February 1, 2019

Customer-centric copy puts the focus on your reader—which is what good copywriting is all about.

Potential customers, particularly in the early stages of interaction, don’t care that you’ve won awards, earned a fancy degree, or raised cute llamas. Facts about you or your company don’t motivate them to buy what you’re selling.

What they really want to know is whether you can solve their problem, help them make more money, or improve their lives in some other way.

Customer-centric copy helps you talk to and about your customer. It’s about them.

Six Tips for Customer-Centric Copy

1. Write you* far more often than you writeI* orwe

Look at your copy and find the sentences that start with I or We. See if you can reword them to make the customer the subject. Examples:

  1. “We are available 24/7,” becomes “You can call anytime, day or night.”
  2. “We offer widgets in every size,” becomes “You will find the right size widget for your project.”

2. Write you* instead ofour customers

Picture one ideal customer and write to that person. Writing in the second person like this personalizes the copy. People see themselves as your customer when you refer to them that way. Examples:

  1. “Our customers can request at-home consultations,” becomes “You don’t even have to leave your house for a consultation. We’ll come to you.”
  2. “We don’t use harsh chemicals to clean our customers’ carpets,” becomes “Your family and pets will be safe because we use only non-toxic shampoos.”

3. Talk about benefits, not features

A lot of business owners get tripped up here. They know their products inside and out, and the benefits sometimes get lost in the features. One trick to identifying benefits is to ask, “So what?”

We have a user-friendly sign-up system for our fitness classes.

So what?

So it’s easy for our members to reserve a spot in the class they want.

So what?

So they won’t show up for a class that’s already full and not be able to participate.

A-ha! Now we see a clear benefit to the customer. So we can rewrite that impersonal sentence about a user-friendly sign-up system, making it more customer-centric by spelling out the benefit: You are guaranteed a spot in your favorite class when you sign up through the website.

4. Address their underlying motives

This is the key to all good copywriting. If you can tap into what the customer truly wants, your copy will naturally be customer-centric.

Researching your customer helps here. So does an understanding of human psychology and why people buy.   

Wise marketers will tell you people don’t buy products or services; they buy solutions. They buy to avoid pain, quell fear, or pursue pleasure. They buy better versions of themselves. Figure out what’s really driving your customers and then speak to those motivations in your copy.

5. Use your customers’ language

While you’re researching their motives, learn your customers’ language, too. What acronyms do they use? What slang words are popular? What pop culture references do they respond to?

When you write the way they talk, they’re more likely to feel a connection with you and believe what you’re saying.

6. Share testimonials

Your readers will see themselves in other people’s stories. So ask your current or past customers to share their testimonials. Ask them to describe, for example:

  1. How you helped them solve their most pressing problem.
  2. How much money they made or saved through your product or service.
  3. How much better their lives are now.

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