When I’m writing copy, I pay close attention to the copy’s “Wee Wee Quotient,” or WWQ. Smart copy has a low WWQ. The lower, the better. The WWQ is the percentage of the time you spent talking about yourself, instead of talking to your reader. (Learn more about why it’s a bad idea to wee-wee on your reader in my previous copywriting tip.)

What’s your copy’s Wee-Wee Quotient? It’s pretty easy to calculate. Here’s a simple way to discover if you’re talking to your prospects, or wee-weeing all over them:

Open your marketing copy in a word processor, and count the total number of words. Then count the number of instances of the following customer-focused words:

You
Your
You’re
Yourself
Your customer’s name
Your customer’s company/organization name

Next, count the number of times you find internal or company-focused words like:

I
Me
We
Us
Our
Ourselves
Your company name

Let’s say in your copy sample, you find 8 instances in which you talk about yourself. Such as,

“At ABC Widget Corp, we are committed to synergizing cutting-edge widget solutions. Our widget engineers are top-ranked, making us the go-to widget manufacturer in the greater tristate area. We pride ourselves on our status as the industry leader, thanks to ABC Widget Corp’s dedication to customer satisfaction.”

(Zzzz, I nodded off there…but this is probably very similar to the copy on your company’s website or brochures, isn’t it?)

In that 50-word sample, 12 of the words (or 24% of the total) are about ABC Widget. One out of every four! (And frankly, there’s a lot of empty palaver in there as well, but jargon is a topic for another blog post.)

Anyway, next, let’s add up the number of customer-focused words…hmmm. Zero. In this instance, I’m not even going to count the word “customer” as a customer-focused word, because there’s nothing in that passage that says the company gives a damn about customers. It’s a throw-away.

So, in this bit of copy (pretending you’re the copywriter for ABC Widget Corp), you just wee-wee’d on your reader 100% of the time.

Oops.

So, let’s change it up a bit and see what happens.

“Are cutting-edge widget solutions important to your business? When you demand industry-leading widgets, designed by top-ranked engineersconsider ABC Widget Corp. Over 10,000 happy widget customers like you have made ABC Widget Corp the go-to manufacturer in the tristate because your satisfaction is our only goal.”

That’s still 50 words, but in this case, only seven of the words are wee-wee words, or 14%. That’s a lot better than 100%! And seven of the words in the revised sample are customer-focused. So in this bit of copy, there’s still a fair amount of chest-beating, but at least it speaks directly to the potential customer as often as it toots ABC’s horn. The ratio is 1:1. Still not the best, but a LOT better than it was.

So, what’s your copy’s WWQ? And what can you do to improve it?

Kathleen Hanover
Certified Go-Giver Speaker and Copywriting Trainer
Kathleen Hanover helps entrepreneurs tell their story, attract their ideal audiences, and persuasively communicate their value. As a highly-regarded marketing copywriting trainer, she teaches persuasion psychology and the magic words that build rapport and sales. And as Ohio's first Certified Go-Giver Speaker, Kathleen shares the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from the international best-seller, "The Go-Giver," by Bob Burg and John David Mann, with business and community audiences alike.
Kathleen Hanover on FacebookKathleen Hanover on LinkedinKathleen Hanover on Twitter