Whether you are writing text for direct mail, email, blog posts, or any other type of marketing material, ask yourself, “Does my content sound human? Does it sound like something a person might actually want to read?” When competition is fierce, it’s tempting to throw in every feature and benefit to make your positioning clear or to make sure every keyword and tag is referenced. But readers are still people first. You have to catch their attention and draw them in. You won’t do that with copy reading like a spec sheet. Effective marketing copy should sound human, speaking to real needs, priorities, and challenges. It should sound like it’s written by a real person for a real person. When it comes time to write your next direct mail piece or e-newsletter, keep the following in mind: 1. Use natural language. Instead of “Helps you optimize efficiency and maximize organizational control,” say “Helps you get done faster—and done right.” 2. Use humor. Target audiences don’t have a sense of humor. People do. If you’re a car dealer promoting the newest models, rather than talking about trim options and leather interiors, try something like, “Your new car will look so good that you’ll have to remodel your garage!” 3. Speak to personalities, not demographics. “Demographics have ages, an assigned gender and even a college degree,” says Jeff Bullas, blogging expert. “[People] have personalities, they have fears, wants and passions.” Next time you sit down to write marketing copy, be real. Be relatable, and you’ll find yourself with an audience that is more highly engaged.