Hi, I'm Chris, The Conversion Alchemist

When using Voice Of Customer in your copy can backfire

Published about 1 month ago • 4 min read

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When using Voice Of Customer in your copy can backfire

Welcome to today’s issue of Conversion Alchemy Journal. If you received this from a friend and enjoy it, subscribe here.

One of the biggest lessons since starting as a copywriter has been that using customer language in copy works.

Using the exact phrases, jargon, and tone that your customers use can create a sense of familiarity and trust. When your audience sees their own language reflected back, it signals that you understand them and their world.

It's because of mirroring.

  • Increases relevance: Copy that mirrors the audience’s voice feels more relevant and engaging, which leads to them reading and taking action.
  • Builds credibility: When customers see their own words and feelings reflected in your marketing, it builds credibility and trust.
  • Makes it more persuasive: Familiarity breeds comfort, which can make it easier to persuade customers to take the desired action, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

But there are also two overlooked ways to use it:

  • Mirroring can provide "social proof": Mirroring the customer’s voice in copywriting can act like social proof, suggesting that other similar individuals endorse a product or service.
  • Mirroring increases cognitive fluency: Using familiar terms and phrases reduces cognitive load, making information easier to process and more likely to be accepted.

It all sounds amazing doesn't it.

Except, mirroring and using your Voice Of Customer can also backfire.

I've been recently working with a client and their copy was actually already pretty good. They knew enough to use their customers' words to their advantage.

But there was a fundamental issue...

...these words were used pretty randomly and without any real thought into the narrative behind it.

That's where I see most businesses struggle. It's not in finding the right words (even though sometimes it is), but in using the right words the right way.

The narrative should always start by setting the context. This involves identifying who your customers are, understanding their environment, and knowing the challenges they face.

In your narrative, your customer is the main actor. You have to shift your perspective drastically if you want a chance at converting them.

Your narrative should connect the dots. That's when you can use customer language to describe not only the problems they face but also how they envision solutions, making your product the key to achieving their goals.

And your narrative should both create conflict and resolve it. It's when you address their objections and obstacles in their own words that you are more authentic and emotionally powerful.

In short, unless you have a clear idea of what your narrative is, using VOC won't help you that much.

You'd be just parroting words back to your audience.

Keep that in mind.

p.s. I shared a great way to craft your narrative in this workshop on my Youtube channel.

📚 3 things to get better at copywriting

Video: Travel back in time with AI

What would trailers for modern movies and stories look like if they'd been made in the '50s. This channel is all about that. Take a look at this one for Dune. I love how they've adapted the storytelling for this super cool format.

video preview

Article: Become a true cyborg

As Ethan Mollick says, the two most common ways to use AI are going to be either as a cyborg, mixing and matching your skills with LLMs, or as a centaur, clearly separating what you do vs what AI does. I am of the first camp and use AI daily (4 different tools) in my work.

This article goes into two great ways of seeing this machine-human collaboration. Are you gonna use AI as a second pair of hands, or as a second brain?

Swipe file: How to sell the absurd

"Diamonds are forever, but aluminium is for infinity". This is the line Liquid Death uses in this crazy ridiculous ad. Watch it and tell me you didn't laugh.

It's a great example of how to anchor your product to something that doesn't really make sense, but it's funny and still tied to your positioning.


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✅ Don't miss it

Episode 11 of The Message-Market Fit podcast is out!

I had an amazing chat with Matt Aiello, VP of Marketing and past client of mine at Service Core Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to evolve your marketing philosophy from curiosity to strategy
  • How a SaaS company revolutionized the portable sanitation industry
  • How to build a solid marketing foundation for your business
  • How an inside-out approach can lead to customer-centric marketing
  • How you can overcome software skepticism with creative strategies
  • How to gain valuable industry insights by harnessing Facebook Groups
  • How authenticity in marketing can be a game-changer for your business
  • How to deploy AI for content creation and strategic planning
  • How achieving message market fit is a dynamic and ongoing process

And way way more.

Check it out here, wherever you listen to podcasts or on Youtube. And if you find it valuable, would you consider subscribing and leaving a rating? 🙏

Get inside my head

Did you know I also have a personal newsletter? While Conversion Alchemy Journal is a way for me to nerd out on anything marketing, copywriting, AI and more, Negative Capability is a collection of my weekly reflections, lessons and the thoughts that shape my work and personal life.

I share weekly thoughts and quotes on Sundays and short insights on Wednesdays.

What I've learned from interviewing 30+ marketers and founders on my podcast and from constantly researching my clients' customers, is that most of the time it's learning about the person behind the job that helps you truly understand how they do what they do.

🤔 Thought of the week

"They are the three universal reasons for working. Survive—to meet your basic living needs. Save—to go beyond your basic needs and expand your life. And serve—to make a contribution to the world around you.”"
Bob Burg, The Go-Giver

The goal is to elevate your reason for doing the work to external motivation rather than internal. But there will always be work to do. Why do you do it?

Have a great weekend!

Chris Silvestri

Founder, Conversion Alchemy

🙌🏻 Let’s be friends (unless you’re a stalker)

23 Greyfriars, Eastgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire so238ea
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Hi, I'm Chris, The Conversion Alchemist

I'm the founder and chief conversion copywriter at Conversion Alchemy. We help 7 and 8 figure SaaS and Ecommerce businesses convert more website visitors into happy customers. Conversion Alchemy Journal is the collection of my thoughts, ideas, and ramblings on anything copy, UX, conversion rate optimization, psychology, decision-making, human behavior, and -often times - just bizarre, geeky stuff. Grab a cup of coffee and join me. Once a week, every Friday.

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