I’m writing this post for YOU.
We’ve probably never met. But I try to picture you in my mind as I sit at my computer, pecking away at the keyboard.
I might even imagine you here in my home, sitting across from me at the kitchen table.
I’m writing to you as if you’re the only person in the world on my mind right now.
This means I’ll always talk about you in the singular.
One-on-one. You and me.
I think you notice and appreciate it… the fact that I’m writing this just for you.
But what if I stuck you in a group, and wrote to you as part of a crowd?
I could go a different way.
I could say, “As one of my loyal readers, I thought this might interest you.”
There are two things going on here.
First, I’m no longer writing just to YOU. I’ve stuck you in a group of other readers.
Now you’re in a crowd of thousands of other people. Way more than I can fit around my kitchen table!
The dynamic has changed. It’s not one-on-one anymore. It feels different.
Less personal. Less engaging.
Something else happened too.
I called you “loyal”. One of my “loyal readers”.
Now I’m talking like you belong to me in some way. It’s like I own you through having you on my list.
And I’m sitting back, judging who among my readers is loyal, and who isn’t.
I’m on the pedestal, and you’re down there below, invisible within the crowd.
How does that feel?
Not good, I imagine.
For me, that kind of language has me reaching for the nearest unsubscribe button.
You don’t own your readers.
Your readers are busy.
Their time and attention are valuable too. They’re under no obligation to give you even a second of their time.
So… treat them with respect.
Write to each person as if they were the only person in the room, across the table.
Pay attention and work hard to give that person something of value in return for the time they spend with you.
Don’t write to groups.
Write to individuals.
NOTE: This is one of the key principles I explore in my course on Conversational Copywriting…