#ChallengeTheProcess: It’s not us, it’s you

One little word in the English language can give your reward and share plan communications more clout. There’s a clue in this intro but if you’re still stumped, you should read this…

Have you ever heard of the ‘You Rule’? Chances are unless you’re the kind of person who goes berserk when they see a missing apostrophe on a restaurant menu (i.e. a copywriter, like me), then the answer is no. And that’s OK because at Eximia, we know the rules about great communication, so you don’t have to.

The ‘You Rule’ can instantly turn your content from adequate to awesome. Functional to fantastic. Passable to… you get the idea. Put simply, using ‘you’ or ‘your’ resonates more with your audience than ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’. Why? Because when people read your message, they’re ultimately seeking ways to solve their own life problems, which is why you want to make your message all about them.

Let’s have a go at putting this in context. Say you’re promoting your pension. Your hook is that the plan is an easy way to save for the future. Yep, great, that’s a good message to have. So you want to say something like this, right?

Our workplace pension makes it easy to save for the future

Now there’s nothing technically wrong with saying this. But here’s why you shouldn’t. First off, you’re launching into your copy with ‘our’, which straight away creates distance between you and your audience. You’re saying “hey audience, our pension plan is over here, we want you to come on over and get it”. Next, you’re talking about ‘the future’. Whose future? Mine? Yours? The cat next door’s? It all just feels so… impersonal.

Let’s try again…

Your workplace pension can give you the retirement you deserve

There are a few things going on with the text here. Aside from a generous sprinkling of ‘you’ and ‘your’, this text also turns ‘the future’ into ‘retirement’. It’s a lot less vague, and the reader can actually imagine it. Then, adding ‘you deserve’ subliminally positions the pension as a reward for their hard work. It encourages an emotional response along the lines of “yes I do deserve a good retirement, now give me access to that pension plan!”

The ‘yous’ are the glue that hold everything together – they speak to the audience (rather than at them). They create a connection between what’s on offer and why the reader might benefit from engaging with it.

When I was learning my trade, I’d print my drafts and highlight mentions of ‘you’ in green and ‘I’, ‘we’ etc. in red, then stamp out as much of the latter as I could. (It may sound unthrilling, but any writer will tell you there is an odd sense of satisfaction to be gained from exercises like these!) I don’t think you can have too many ‘yous’ in copy; they can pop up many times and whenever they do, you happily read them anyway (just as you have now).

I’ll leave you with this…

Most copywriting rules – and this one is no different – come down to one thing and one thing only… write like you talk. The biggest bore in a room is the one who drones on about themselves. The best conversationalist is invested in who they’re talking to. The same applies when it comes to good writing. Simple!

Forget the X-Factor, give your employee comms the “you” factor and you’ll see results! Get in touch today to find out more.

phone Call us on 020 7420 1984 or send us a message

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


    Get unmissable insights


    Everything you need to know about communicating share plans and rewards, delivered straight to your inbox! Sign up to never miss out on the latest industry news and insights. Delivered monthly, unsubscribe at any time.