Writing to persuade and sell (pt. 3) – SCN Encourager 3/28/13

Bill Clinton was right. Or was he?

Flashback to September 1998. President Clinton was giving testimony to a grand jury about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. He was asked if he was lying to top White House staffers when he told them directly that “there is nothing going on between us.”

Clinton responded with this: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

I was amazed when I saw video excerpts of President Clinton promoting this concept on the evening news. I don’t think was I alone. (But I did admire his chutzpah … what school communicator wouldn’t?)

It was Dr. Michelle Mazur’s recent blog post about “How to kill a persuasive speech with one tiny word” that caused me to think about this. (Blame her. The link is below.)

Because it took me more than 1500 words spread out over the last two days to share with you six sales and marketing copywriting tips from expert Ray Edwards, I was devastated to discover later that there was “one tiny word” out there that could actually sink our best letter writing intentions and efforts.

Just my luck! Just your luck, too. What lousy timing. I could’ve just reported on Dr. Mazur’s letter killer word and skipped the couple of hours I spent outlining of ALL SIX of Edwards’ tips.

Anyway, ever the optimist, I think that all of us who write of copy for flyers, brochures, posters, and letters will find that both Edwards’ advice AND Dr. Mazur’s simple tip fit well together. (I’m trying to make lemonade here, folks…)

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

The horrible always-to-be avoided word according to Dr. Mazur is the word “we.”

Oh, she has her reasons … and I’m encouraging you in this Encourager to read her blog. It’s fascinating.

You’ll see why she thinks using the word “you” in a sales or persuasive letter is strategically much better than the word “we.”

So, you ready?  Click here… you, you, you school communicator you.

Tom Page, SCN
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