Marketers and copywriters need to constantly find new and creative ways to beef up their website copy. This means brainstorming new CTAs, trying new angles, and using the right imagery. As we all know, creating effective landing page copy is no easy feat. The smallest change can make all the difference in the copy’s effectiveness, and one thing to consider is the point-of-view in which you’re writing. So, that brings us to the question: First person vs. third person writing — which is best?
The difference between the two is anything but insignificant, so let’s dive into what each point of view entails and which one you should use for your own websites.
What Makes Great Web Copy?
Before we get into the different points of view available to you, we first need to talk about what makes great website copy in general. All content experts have a few golden rules to follow when writing copy — whether that’s for social ads, landing pages, banners, or emails. Here are a few quick rules of thumb to consider anytime you sit down to write:
- Know Your Audience – We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — nothing can be done well if you don’t know who you’re writing for. It’s imperative to know who your audience is and what they care about before you sit down to write web copy. Having a strong sense of your audience will help direct your messaging (and it’ll make it a lot easier.)
- Be Action-Forward – Action should always be at the forefront of your messaging. Passive language encourages passivity. Active language encourages actions. And when we’re looking to turn potential customers into loyal customers, action verbs win out every time.
- Keep It Scannable – It’s unlikely that your customer wants to read huge blocks of text when they reach your landing page. Keep all web copy as brief as possible, and use white space and different design tactics to your advantage.
- Benefits > Features – Rather than placing heavy emphasis on what your product or service provides, focus on how it will make your customers’ lives easier. Customers always ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”, and the sooner you answer that for them, the better.
- Always Use A CTA – Oh, the trusty call-to-action. It’s a copywriting staple for a reason. Having a strong CTA, whether that’s in the form of straight text or a button, clearly indicates to your customer what it is they’re supposed to do. Shop Now; Log In; Get Started; Claim Your Offer — all strong options for you to use.
What is First Person Writing?
Most people are familiar with the first person from everyday language and speaking. “I love ice cream.” “I run every day.” “We just bought a new house!” First person writing is often used in novels or personal essays, putting the reader directly inside the head of the narrator. In marketing copywriting, however, the goal is a bit different.
What does first person writing look like from a marketing angle?
- We’ve been proudly serving our community for over 20 years.
- As a new mom, I know how important it is to be 100% positive the products I put around my baby are safe.
- Our customers can enjoy gourmet coffee delivered right to their doorstep.
What is Third Person Writing?
Instead of referencing you and I, third person writing takes a more removed approach, using he, she, it, and so on. Third person writing takes a step back and centers on description and objectivity.
Third person POV includes three different subtypes: third person objective, third person limited omniscient, and third person omniscient. While these three types are important for prose writing, the goal for marketing copy is all pretty much the same — regardless of which third person tactic you use.
And what exactly does third person writing look like in action?
- The company offers services to over 25 different countries.
- The company’s founder expects to grow by 50 employees by the end of the year.
- Customers can receive free shipping on all orders over $50.
First vs. Third Person: Which Is Best?
When it comes to copywriting, first and third person can both be effective depending on who you’re writing for and why. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your audience, what you’re promoting, and where you’re promoting it.
If you want your customers to feel closer to your brand, take the first person POV route. Using pronouns like “we, I, us” build a strong sense of community and make your audience feel involved and heard.
This approach, however, doesn’t necessarily work for all businesses. Sometimes creating a bit of distance actually helps best tell your brand story or message. In this case, opt for third person copy. That separation between your offering and your audience can help create authority and expertise.
Tips For Writing in First and Third Person
The writing style you choose for your website can influence a potential customer’s perception of your brand. Since different types of businesses are typically more comfortable in one point of view than another, deciding which way to write is usually a matter of preference. That said, here are some quick tips to help you decide on a voice that’s right for your brand.
Let’s start with the first person POV. When dealing with first person copy, you’re guaranteed to have a quicker route to your customer’s emotions. This style of writing naturally lends itself to be more empathetic and understanding, so when using this POV, it can be helpful to think of what your audience might feel when reading your copy. But don’t make things too casual. At the end of the day, we are still trying to build loyalty and trust.
When should you use first person? This POV works best with:
- Personal statements
If you choose to go with third person copy, it’s important to proceed with caution. Third person sounds a lot more formal than first person copy, so if it’s a conversational tone and style you’re chasing after, this might not be the best choice. But how can we write in third person successfully? The most important thing to remember with third person is consistency. If it’s that authority and separation you’re after, stick with it throughout your copy and don’t accidentally switch over to first person. Use third person for content that can afford to be a bit more formal.
When should you use third person? Try it out with:
- PR announcements
- More technical emails
- “About Us” pages
POV: You Use Anyword To Help Write Your Copy
Deciding whether to use first person or third person copy in your marketing campaigns is one thing. However, actually writing that copy, and writing it well, is another. It doesn’t matter which POV you settle on — quality copywriting is needed either way. And that’s where Anyword steps up to the plate.
Anyword hosts a wide library of data-driven copywriting tools and features that write copy for you, with conversion at the forefront of every variation. Anyword’s AI Copywriting tool lets you generate everything from social media ad copy to entire blog posts.
But how do you know Anyword’s copy will convert? In addition to limitless copy, the AI tool also offers a unique Predictive Performance Score that determines a piece of copy’s conversion potential. This means you can make smarter, better-informed decisions about what you’re promoting. Get a feel for all of Anyword’s conversion-oriented features with a free 7-day trial.