Simple Copywriting Technique Guarantees You Never Sound Like An Obnoxious Braggart In Your Ads

Ben Settle

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One of my favorite copywriters - whose ads and books I study almost every single day - is the late Eugene Schwartz.

And one of the best lines he ever said (in a speech he gave to Phillips Publishing 13 years ago) was something to the effect of:

"If an ad doesn't have the word ‘you’ in it 100 times, I really don't like it very much. "

In other words, the word “you" should be in your ad as much as possible. Not only to help the reader feel like you're talking directly to him or her…but also to make the “bonding" process between you and the reader that much more intense.

But, in reality -and especially if you're selling your own products and services and the letter is being written by you and coming from you - you just can't get around using the word “I. "

Otherwise, you won't be able to really document your credentials, your expertise or say too much about why people should buy from you instead of the other guy.

But at the same time, if you say “I" too many times, you may start to look like an obnoxious braggart.

Luckily, there is a little “formula" I once heard (not sure exactly who invented it) that can help you strike that balance between using “I" and “you. "

And that formula simply says:

For every five times you say the word “you" in an ad, it's okay to say “I. "

Very simple, very helpful and very easy to implement in any ad.

Try it in your next marketing piece and see for yourself. It may not sound like an earth-shattering copywriting technique, but it works like nothing else to give that certain balance between talking up your qualifications while still bonding with your customers.

Ben Settle is a direct response copywriter and author of “The Copywriter's Cheat Sheet" - which contains over 300 pages of advanced copywriting secrets and rare swipe file ads not easily found anywhere else. You can get a free copy of his book and read his latest copywriting ideas and tactics at


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