Most marketing messages and business communications are bland, directionless, and dull as dishwater. They lack a clear marketing voice.

If you’re sending out emails that don’t get a response or leaving voicemail messages that are largely ignored, take a look at what you’re putting out. I can virtually guarantee it’s missing one or more of the Five Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice.

If you’ve ever wondered what’s missing from your marketing — what causes it to be ignored rather than acted upon, It may very well be one of the 5 things we’re about to discuss.

First is a clear target: Knowing exactly who you’re reaching out to and why.

Every communication you put out should be written as if it’s to one person, even if it’s going out to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.

Think of one particular prospect or client you know well. Pick someone you communicate with most authentically, who could be representative of this group, and then write as if you’re writing to that person. Go back over it before you send it, of course, and make sure it applies to the entire group, but if you write as if you’re writing to just one person, it will be far more effective.

This leads right into the second thing which may be missing, which is “you” centered communication.

Have a look at the messages you’re putting out — the emails and texts you’re sending. Listen to yourself as you’re leaving a voicemail message and see how many of your sentences start with or contain the the word “I” vs. the word “you.”

“Hi, I was just calling because I’d like to set up a time to get together and go over some ideas I had for you.”

You may not realize it, but that simple sentence had 3 I’s before it ever got to a “you.”

That ratio, 3:1, is completely off. Whenever possible, your communication should lead with them, be centered around them, and refer to them… a lot. That means using the word “you,” more than “I” or “me.”

A third thing that might be missing is good, old fashioned, conversational English. Many marketers and salespeople, for some reason, slip into formal “corporate speak” the moment they start writing a letter or email.

Dear Mr. Phillips, pursuant to our conversation of Thursday, March 1st, I herewith enclose a detailed proposal incorporating my primary, secondary and tertiary suggestions, recommendations and guidance for your impending client promotion of April 15th.

That’s one side of the coin. The other is those who are too informal. If you’ve ever received an email with no punctuation, no sentence structure or capitalization — either all lower case or even worse, all upper case (which is seen by most as shouting) — you know what I’m talking about.

In both cases, the solution is the same: conversational English. While some clients prefer a more formal approach and some a less formal approach, you can always adapt your conversational English to their preferences without taking it to either of the two extremes we just discussed.

Fourth is a personality or point of view. Each of us is unique, so whenever possible, it’s good to convey the most positive aspects of our personality in our communication. This further humanizes our message and creates a better bond with the person who’s receiving it.

The Fifth element which may be missing is interest or passion. How can you make what you’re saying as interesting as possible to the recipient?

Are you excited or passionate about your ability to help your client?

If so, be sure to allow some of that excitement to show through in your choice of words in a written communication and your tone of voice in spoken communication.

This element is very compatible with the previous points, because when you infuse interest or passion, conveying your own personality, into a “you” centered communication, in conversational English to a clear target, it makes all of your communication more clear, compelling and authentically your own.

Ready to Put the 5 Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice to Work for You?

If so, go to or check out some of the other ways we can help:

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    2 replies to "5 Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice"

    • Tania

      Can you give some examples of a “you” centered commuication?

      • David Blaise

        Sure, Tania. In fact, the message above is a “you” centered communication. If you count the number of times the words “you” or “your” is used, you’ll find it’s about a ten to one ratio over “I” or “me.”

        That’s a higher than normal ratio, but if you go back over previous podcasts, you’ll probably notice an average of 3 “you” references, to every “I” or “me” reference. As you become aware of it, it gets easier and easier.

        “You” centered communication simply means putting them first. So whenever you’re writing an email, look for ways to turn around any sentences that start with I. For example:

        • Instead of “I have attached details on the promotion we discussed,” you could say, “As you requested, all the details on the promotion are attached.”
        • Instead of saying “I enjoyed talking with you this morning,” you could say, “it was a pleasure talking with you this morning.”
        • Instead of saying, “I was calling to set up a time to get together and go over some ideas I had for you,” you could say, “Would you be available this week to get together and discuss some ideas about your upcoming promotion?”

        So those are a few examples, but if you want to take this exercise seriously, take a look in your own outbox. Review the last three emails you sent. See how many sentences lead with “I.” Maybe there aren’t that many. If so, that’s great! It’s not a problem. But if you notice a lot of them, rewrite them to give yourself some experience leading with “you.”

        Hope this helps. Any other questions, let me know!

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