The Benefits of Using the 2nd Person Perspective in Your Copywriting
Let’s get personal. When you’re writing marketing and communication material for your business, you want to get as personal as possible with your prospects. You want to connect with them. The key to doing this is to talk in a way that is conversational, yet informative. When you communicate, you have three basic perspectives you can opt for: 1st person, 2nd person, and 3rd person.
1st Person Perspective – First person is when the writer speaks about themselves; uses words like “I,” “we,” “us,” and “my.”
2nd Person Perspective – Second person is when you talk directly to your audience; mainly uses the words like “you” and “your.”
3rd Person Perspective – Third person is when you act as the narrator or talk about someone; uses words like “he/she,” him/her,” or “they.”
Marketing Communication and the 2nd Person Perspective
Too often, marketing material is written in the 1st person perspective. It’s better if you avoid this perspective as much as possible.
For the purpose of business marketing and copywriting, you’ll want to use the 2nd person perspective. Often in your marketing material you’re trying to present a product/service, persuade someone, provide step-by-step instructions, or give advice. To do these well, you have to use the 2nd person perspective. There are 3 good reasons to use the 2nd person in your marketing messages:
1. Personal Connection and Conversation
You want to form a personal connection with your audience. It should seem as if you are right there in the room having a conversation with the person reading your marketing message. You’ll get to connect with your prospects on a human-to-human level. After all, your prospective clients are people too, and not just statistics. During the process of making a connection, you are trying to achieve a few things:
1. Establish common ground between yourself and the prospect. The use of “you” gives you a license to break from a strictly formal format and establish a personal connection by discussing points the reader can agree with.
Ex. It’s kind of like how you feel when Monday morning comes around again.
This is a generalization that your reader is likely to relate to. Thus, you can provoke an emotional connection and response to your writing.
2. Engage their problem first and sell your product or service after. Give them a reason to care. Agitate the problem in their mind by getting personal with the use of “you.” Note that you’ll get to explain how your product/services solves the problem later.
Ex. Even if you’re busy, you still want to make a meal your family will appreciate, not scarf down or skip.
Most working parents can relate to that statement, so you’ve likely created interest among that audience. Notice that you’re not selling anything yet.
3. Solve your prospects problem. Since you’re using 2nd person perspective, it’s easy to now help them apply your solution to their lives.
Ex. You’ll be healthier, more energetic, and increase your muscle tone after only a month of our Yoga classes.
This helps your prospect resolve the problem with a very reasonable solution.
2. Forces You Into Your Prospects Shoes
While you’re crafting your marketing messages in the 2nd person, you are forced to look at the world from your prospective clients perspective. This will help you present information that is relevant and applicable.
Plus, it’s less likely that you’ll be perceived as self-absorbed. Remember, with any marketing message, you are entering into your readers world. It’s really important that you take interest in your prospect first. They don’t owe you anything – so if you want to do business you need to engage them.
3. You’re More Likely to Use Value-Oriented Language
Since you’re looking at the world through your prospects perspective, you’ll start rearranging the message to what’s important and relevant to them. This means that you’re more likely to use benefit and value-oriented language. That is, what’s beneficial to them – not you. Obviously, if someone can see the benefit of using your product/service, they’re much more likely to do business with you (and that DOES benefit you!).
A World of “You”
In the world of business marketing, the 2nd person perspective is your best friend. “You” can be personal or be used to refer to the collective, which includes the person reading your content. In fact, “you” is listed as a hypnotic power word because it acts as a place-holder for your readers name (meaning that your prospect mentally inserts their name into the text whenever there is a “you”).
We discussed 3 main reasons to use the 2nd person. You want to create a personal connection and start a conversation, you are forced into your prospectives position, and you’re more likely to use value-oriented language. Are you ready to give it a try now? I’d love to hear how it goes for you!
Can you think of any other good reasons to use the 2nd person perspective? When should someone use a different perspective in their writing? Please join or start a discussion below by leaving a comment.