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We-We Advertising Copy Does Not Work!


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We do this. We do that. We have. We are. We can.

If your ads are going to sell anything, you need to convert we to you. Your ads need to address what is in it for your customer. They (customers or prospects) could care less about you!

Here is a piece of copy I recently lifted out of a Minnesota newspaper ad: We have been in business 92 years.

Here is a better way to say this: You can take advantage of expertise that has weathered the test of time. You can feel confident you are working with a business that is not just another pretty face or a fly-by-night.

See the difference in believability?

Nothing wrong with being proud of your company and what it has to offer. However, understand very clearly that your customers care far more about how well you can help THEM meet THEIR needs. If you want your ads to produce results, you need to make your customer your specific target market-your focus in your copy.

What words you use and how you use them are immediately apparent to the reader of your ad. Do not get caught up in your own wonderfulness.

Talk instead about all the ways your customer or prospect can benefit from your expertise and the stuff you sell. When you we-we all over yourself, you send potential customers scurrying for the exit. . . as in turning the page or the dial!

If you want to guarantee that you are talking benefits, give your copy the So What? Test.

New coffee mug has built-in heating element to keep your coffee hot is what it says on the outside of the box.

So what?

Never sip a cold cup of coffee again! Our new mug insures that your final sip is just as hot as your first!

Bang! Benefit copy!

Here is another example taken from a furniture store ad from a Minnesota newspaper:

Our multi-functional bench is hand-made of solid oak and is now sale priced at 28% off the original price. This 3 foot wide bench will fit nicely in most any entryway.

So what?

Hang hats, coats, scarves, umbrellas and leashes on the hooks of this well made Arts and Crafts Bench. Store sports stuff, backpacks and phone books down below. Have a place to sit while you put on or take off your boots or shoes. This 36-inch wide solid oak bench serves many functions without taking up a lot of space. It will dress up your entryway or hall. Bingo! You just told me exactly what is in it for me. Benefit copy!

A common problem that small businesses have when trying to translate their product or service features into benefits is that they are looking at the label from the inside of the bottle, (quote from best-selling author, Roy H. Williams. )

They simply know too much about their own business (that is good!) but because they are experts, they often launch into a replay of what their product or service does or is and miss the so what? in addition, the what is in it for me?

They push the we-we and customers when prospects are looking for the me-me. Take a close look at your next ad and be sure your focus is on your customer and that you are speaking to him or her in his or her own language.

Results WILL follow.

Bob Schumacher books and articles give entrepreneurs a clear coffee-shop English perspective on how to steer their business or profession into the top 20% who achieve 80% of the business and profits. Visit for a complete directory of his articles and books.


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