Whether you’re an entrepreneur selling DIY jewelry, a freelancer offering graphic design services or a company selling furniture and carpentry services, copywriting is a key component in helping you sell your products and services.
And one of the main goals of copywriting is building trust. You have to make your target audience believe in your brand, products and services. It’s only when they trust you would they even consider buying from you.
Here comes the million-dollar question… Is showcasing the number of customers or featuring customer stories better in building credibility?
Today, we’re going to explore and compare two copywriting techniques: Numbers vs People.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!
When you use many people to cite examples, you’ll probably use some numbers. Like 1,000+ parents trust us to teach their children.
These figures will appeal to your logical, rational side. Thus, adding credibility and building trust with your readers.
However, on the flip side, portraying people as mere numbers will widen the distance between your brand and readers. Readers will not be able to connect with them because they’re numbers rather than individual people. In fact, they’re just like any other statistic you see in the news.
Tip 1: Show Big Numbers
Would you buy from a fashion that sold to 100 customers or 1,000 customers?
If you have any statistics that depict the greatness of your brand, products or services, point that out.
Tip 2: Make Your Numbers Believable
Even if you’ve really sold to exactly 1,000 customers, such a perfect number will elicit suspicion from your readers.
Instead, use figures like 1,374 or 1,000+. Or even better, use a dynamic number that pulls from your customer relationship management (CRM) database. So if there’s a new customer, the number will automatically update to reflect the latest data.
Imperfect numbers, however, are more plausible.
Tip 3: Numbers Alone Are Not Enough. Pair Them With Compelling Copy.
Even with an amazing figure, you might not win your readers’ trust if your statement isn’t compelling.
- Okay: “1,374,829 trust us”
- Better: “1,374,829 fashionistas trust us”
- Great: “1,374,829 fashionistas trust us in designing trendsetting apparel”
Do take some time to craft your copy such that your numbers are paired with compelling copy.
On the other hand, you can choose to highlight a single individual when citing examples. Perhaps, you could talk about Sally who used your product or service or the story of how Paul stumbled upon your brand.
Notice something different?
This person has a name! They’re not a number anymore. I’m not talking about A, B, C or X, Y, Z. I’m talking about Sally or Paul.
By giving a name to that individual, you add a human touch and close the distance between your brand and readers. You’ll also sound like a friend who’s casually saying, “Hey, did you know what happened to Sally after she used xxx product/service?”
This is the reason why brands attach a name, job title and photo to each testimonial. By highlighting one person that used your product or service and providing more background information about him or her, this person becomes someone relatable. Someone whom your readers can identify with and connect to. And when you weave it into a story (like Sally did this and Paul did that), you make this person’s words credible. His or her story and experiences will appeal more to your readers’ emotions.
Tip 1: Include Your Customer’s Name & Photo
Obviously, you’ll need to give your customer a name and face.
By including this basic information, your readers will feel that this customer is a real person and they can then easily relate and connect to him or her.
Tip 2: Quote Your Customer
Which sounds more credible?
- Sally wore our latest spring dress to the beach and she absolutely adores it.
- Sally: “XYZ’s latest spring dress collection is amazing! I always wear them to the beach.”
I’m sure we all agree that the second statement is more credible.
Because it’s genuine. We’re hearing the actual words from real customers.
Hence, do remember to quote your customer (and include that quotation marks)!
Tip 3: Get Input From Your Customer
Unlike the previous copywriting technique, you will need to cooperate with your customers here.
Actively ask for testimonials by sending them an email a week or month after purchase. Dig deeper by asking open-ended questions.
From there, you should be able to get the full picture. Craft it into a story and substantiate it with quotes.
Check out these email templates that you can use to request testimonials from clients.
So… Who Wins?
There is no right or wrong. Or one is better than the other.
Instead, it’s more of which copywriting works better for your specific situation.
Take for example, you want to build brand credibility. In this case, you might choose to showcase the number of consumers who bought your products or the number of business owners and companies who engaged your services.
On the contrary, if you want to show how your products or services have helped someone or a company, highlighting a person’s story and experience might be more appropriate than listing down statistics.
Hence, do think about the goal of writing this web page or ad. Depending on your goal, you might feel that the numbers or people copywriting technique is better in your case.
Also, bear in mind that these two copywriting techniques are not mutually exclusive.
You can always do both at the same time. For instance, you could emphasize how many customers you’ve served and substantiate it by featuring a loyal customer who has used your products or services for years.
But this doesn’t mean you should always implement both techniques. If you just started your business and don’t have many sales yet, it wouldn’t be wise to display your statistics. Likewise, you shouldn’t make up a story if you don’t have any testimonials or case studies from real customers.
You can also view these numbers vs people copywriting techniques as quantity vs quality. When you include numbers in your copy, you’re painting a big picture. When you include people in your copy, you’re focusing on the specifics. So it’s like zooming out on many people vs focusing on one person.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you prefer using numbers or people when building credibility? Have you tried implementing both together? What other tips would you like to share with fellow copywriters when including numbers or people in the copy?
Always use a proofread tool like ProWritingAid to double-check and correct your grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
Do consider attending classes like Copywriting For Crafters or Write Copy That Compels And Sells. Besides CreativeLive where you can watch streaming broadcasts of free online classes, there are also copywriting courses at Udemy~