Writing Styles.. First Person VS. Third Person

by 18 comments
Hey you guys Im a writing a sales copy for an ebook im getting ready to launch.

Im having trouble figuring out whether or not I should write it in First Person or Third Person.

I see a lot of sales copies actually written in first person.. Is that the way to go?

(correct me if im wrong about the definition of first and third person but this is how i understand it)

What I am writing right now is in first person but, If I were to write without using "I" it would not be third person right?

Example sentences in first and third:

First Person:

Throughout my studies I have concluded that most people to do not run as quick as they should.

Third Person:

Studies have concluded that most people do not run as quick as they should.

Which is better for a sales copy?
#internet marketing #person #styles #writing

  • Profile picture of the author theultimate1
    Going by your example, I'd say a mix of both would work well. You might be an expert at 'running fast', but your studies alone will only be a tiny decimal worth of the whole population under study. So, if you're talking about "studies" or "research", go the third-person (or... passive first-person, I'd like to say) way.

    I'm no Sales Copywriter yet though, let alone being a Pro at it. I'm probably just telling you things out of what I've learnt about copywriting.
  • Profile picture of the author Rick W
    Maybe you should post this in the copywriting forum. Will probably get more help and an answer for your question there
  • Profile picture of the author Dean Thompson
    Writing in the first person style makes it more personal, and possibly sounds more authorative (as if you're speaking from experience), which sits better with some people.

    Just my opinion.
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Your examples are correct.

    First person is how you want to write sales copy. Sales pages are more commonly referred to as sales letters, meaning you are writing a letter to the person viewing your offer. That's exactly how you should write your sales copy. Imagine you are writing a letter to a friend but keep in mind that there should be a lot more use of the word 'YOU' than 'I' in effective sales copy. It is all about them, their problems and frustrations and what your product can do for them. Don't get tempted to talk about yourself too much.
  • Profile picture of the author kezman
    Originally Posted by Ozzelli View Post

    Writing in the first person style makes it more personal, and possibly sounds more authorative (as if you're speaking from experience), which sits better with some people.

    Just my opinion.

    totally agreed with you
  • Profile picture of the author cjbmeb14
    When I wrote my Ebook it was written in a first person style and this seemed to work well for me.
  • Profile picture of the author GeraldNitram
    WillR has brought up a good point. If you're trying to sell something, it's supposed to be for the benefit of your customers, so it's good if you're going to use a lot more second person. As for first vs. third, the times when I write in first person are when I write letters to people; the times when I write in third person are when I'm writing a detailed report.
  • Profile picture of the author learnrope
    "Avoid using FIRST person point of view, but you may use SECOND or THIRD P.O.V instead."

    what is second person ?
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Huggins
    I prefer first person
  • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    Your examples are correct.

    First person is how you want to write sales copy. Sales pages are more commonly referred to as sales letters, meaning you are writing a letter to the person viewing your offer. That's exactly how you should write your sales copy. Imagine you are writing a letter to a friend but keep in mind that there should be a lot more use of the word 'YOU' than 'I' in effective sales copy. It is all about them, their problems and frustrations and what your product can do for them. Don't get tempted to talk about yourself too much.
    This is golden...I spent a lot of time (and money) learning this technique. I am an amateur copywriter on my best day, but all of the sales copy I've reviewed and studied incorporate this technique..It works
  • Profile picture of the author Brian John
    i write copy in first person, but create the products themselves in a more technical, grammatically correct, third person.
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    A sales letter is generally written in first person but if you are
    not the expert you may change angle.

    There are sections that would sound better and less partial if
    written in third person such as the "about expert" section.

    -Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author ActA
    You could write in first person and bring examples using 3rd person how`s tht ?
  • Profile picture of the author eshapard
    Originally Posted by learnrope View Post

    "Avoid using FIRST person point of view, but you may use SECOND or THIRD P.O.V instead."

    what is second person ?
    Second person is you. First is I and we. Third is he, she, it, or they.
  • Profile picture of the author oscarb
    First, the definition:

    First person is "I" references. "I was broke, homeless, spit upon, soaking in sweat. Then it happened. I discovered a (blah blah blah) that showed me the way to completely transform my life."

    Second person is "you:" "Are you tired of scraping for pennies under the couch, putting on a happy face in front of family, wishing and hoping for a better life?"

    Third person is "they" as in: "They said it had to happen. Those thiefs. Those liars." It's also third person if you use a passive construction such as "one could argue that existence is impermanent, that that life has no meaning."

    In my experience, most sales letters worth their salt use a combination of tenses but the focus has to be on the person for whom the sales letter is intended -- and that means there's a lot of second person interspersed with first person. First and second person are much more immediate and better tenses for conveying or suggesting deep emotional triggers.
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Writing in 1st person is best if it's a product you created. If it's another person's product and you have the rights to it... write in 3rd person and make the book author sound like an obvious expert.
  • Profile picture of the author snowcloud
    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    Your examples are correct.

    First person is how you want to write sales copy. Sales pages are more commonly referred to as sales letters, meaning you are writing a letter to the person viewing your offer. That's exactly how you should write your sales copy. Imagine you are writing a letter to a friend but keep in mind that there should be a lot more use of the word 'YOU' than 'I' in effective sales copy. It is all about them, their problems and frustrations and what your product can do for them. Don't get tempted to talk about yourself too much.

    Thanks for this Will.. Quite possibly one of the best pieces of advice I have gotten in a while
  • Profile picture of the author Nick Lawless
    For me, I prefer the first person style of writing because it is more personalized and people can relate more to you as compared when using the third person form of writing. By doing the first person style, it will show to you readers that you are sharing your experiences.

    Remember the saying, “facts tell but stories sell.” So for me, 1st person form of writing would be better for a sales copy.

    Best,
    Nick

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