Category Archives: Copywriting

Ask Dalya: ‘We’ vs. ‘You’ in Appeal Letters

Q: We are writing an appeal letter and we’re trying to figure out what pronouns to use. You see, we’ve taken your advice to heart that we should include our readers in a “conversation on paper.” That means using the words “you” and “your” as much as we can. But sometimes we have to talk about what the organization is doing. It gets confusing. Help!

A: Yes, it can be a bit tricky at times, if you’re not careful.

A simple switch from the “we” of the organization to the “you” of your reader goes like this:

Original: We want to bring native plants back to our community. But we need your help!

Suggested revision: You can help improve our city’s environment by planting and saving native plants. They bring many benefits to our community and help us avoid eco-trouble down the line.

Did you see what I did there? Changing the perspective like that is pretty clear.

But did you also notice that in the suggested revision there’s a “we” also — and it now includes the reader? That second sentence is now talking about “our city’s environment” and “our community”. No longer is it “we” the organization needing “your” help.

The rule of thumb operating here is this: Continue reading