I don’t know about you, but I receive quite a few emails from individuals who are total strangers, but write to me as if they were friends.
A favorite approach right now appears to go along the lines of…”I was living in a dumpster five years ago and now have five sports cars. Luckily for you, I took notes along the way and can now share the secret of my success.”
That could be a compelling story, if it weren’t for the fact that so many people are telling it.
Also, if I don’t know you, if you’re not my friend, then I really don’t care about your dumpster story. Why would I?
I’m becoming accustomed to these emails when I know I’m on some list and am just one of a million “friends” all getting the same message.
But a new wrinkle is when someone writes to me in this way, one-on-one.
Last week I got an email from someone who wanted to do a joint venture with me. Here’s what he could have written:
“Nick, you don’t know me but our mutual friend Jack suggested I get in touch with you. I have this project in the works and would love to have you involved. The url of the site is below. Please let me know if you would like to know more.”
It would take me about ten seconds to read the email and another twenty to scan his web site. I might do that. I have thirty seconds to spare.
But that’s not the kind of email he sent me. Instead I got the full dumpster life story and a lot of stuff about what a truly remarkable guy he is.
I stopped reading at about line ten.
And this wasn’t a bulk email. This was a one-on-one communication. What was the guy thinking?
And when did people think they had to learn some super-cool copywriting style in order to develop a “natural, personal voice”.
You already have a natural, personal voice. It’s the one you use with your family, friends and colleagues every day.
What’s wrong with using THAT voice? Why develop a bogus and totally unconvincing facsimile of something you already possess?
If you are not convinced that a natural voice works when marketing online, then you’ve been hiding under a rock for way too long.
This is the world of Twitter, Facebook, millions of blogs and forums…and an endless list of places where people write in their true voices.
Online, your natural, honest voice is your most valuable source of credibility and respect.
Do you ever buy stuff from Amazon? Well, which text did you read the most, rely on the most and believe in the most – the product blurb or the buyer reviews?
Online….on the web, in emails and in blogs and e-newsletters…your natural voice has real power.
Your promotional voice is losing power day by day.
And your bogus, “I’m your buddy” voice is just a bad joke.