There is a tendency among those charged with writing the marketing copy for any website, email, or advertisement to ignore their audience. This is not intentional, but rather, results from a natural human tendency to see things from our own perspective rather than others’.

But marketers should know, ignoring your audience is not the way to win customers. So the question becomes:

Who Are You Writing For?

Often, the answer to this question is simple. If you are writing copy for your website, you are writing for the many visitors who come to your site each day in search of a solution to their problem. If you are writing copy for an advertisement about your new product, you are writing for the prospective customer who is unaware of said product and all of its benefits.

Rather than trying to imagine this vague notion of your audience, though, you should seek to get as specific as you can. This is why companies create buyer personas, representative descriptions of a target customer group.

Rather than writing for “all website visitors”, you are writing for Susan, a 50-year old married woman with adult children who lives in a wealthy suburb and makes weekly trips to the grocery store. Rather than writing for “prospective customers unaware of your product”, you are writing for Tom, a 30-year old technology enthusiast who lives in a big city and takes public transportation to and from the office every day.

When you know who you are writing for, it changes the way you write.

Now you can speak directly to your audience, identifying how it is that your products or services can improve their life, instead of speak in vagaries, using the type of language that your employees might use to describe the product but means very little to someone who has never heard of your company before.

Sell the benefits, not the features. And talk in words or phrases that your customers would use, because that is how you are going to grab, and hold, their attention.