I wasn’t sure which language anyone was speaking at this point. All I knew was that I was about to choke on my paella I was giggling so hard?.
It was 2015, and my (very English-speaking) Grandma was meeting my (very non English-speaking) Abuela – aka my “host mom”. I was in Granada after deciding to live with a Spanish speaking host family to complete my Spanish minor.
I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but my host family were literal angels?. In fact, my host mother’s name was Angeles, and she’s a 70-year old woman and one of the best cooks I’ve ever met.
She also knew a thing or two about portion sizes, and due to my “American-ness”, I was given a footlong cheese and tomato sandwich for breakfast every morning…I can delightfully say I never wasted a crumb.
But back to the paella…when Angeles found out my mom, aunt, and grandma were coming to visit me, she insisted we do an entire family meal together.
She invited her daughters and grandchildren and spent weeks asking me to teach her some words she could use to speak to my family (despite the Spanish minor, I was a terrible translator…so she wanted to be prepared to take things into her own hands).
After my American family arrived and gave out the appropriate hugs and besos, we all sat down to eat. The grandmas knew it was their time to shine.
They both (somehow in sync?!) put on wide grins and shouted at each other…”?machu pichu!!” and “?grachias!!“.
The phrases I had taught them both were…”Nice to meet you” and “Gracias“.
The entire table – most of whom knew more Spanish and English than was just displayed – erupted into laughter, but the Abuelas didn’t even pay us any attention.
They were having an entire conversation of their own – each in different languages. They were smiling and laughing at all of the right times, and it was like none of us were even at the table.
The lunch (and siesta) were a smashing success, and the spirit of the day lingered long after my family went back home.
Whenever I was about to Facetime my parents, Angeles would be sure to tell me to send “besos a tu abuela“. In fact, even when she sent me a congratulatory voice message over Facebook for my engagement, she mentioned how much she loved my family and how we needed to come back to Granada and visit.
So despite the entirely incorrect delivery of the phrases “Nice to meet you” and “Gracias”, this entire exchange actually had me wondering if this was a miscommunication at all?.
What was actually happening is that the two of them were communicating with their hearts and intentions. They could feel the resonance of the words, even if they didn’t literally understand what they meant.
Yet…this communication with intention is something that is often overlooked when we write sales content.
It’s like all of the sudden talking about sales makes us turn into emotionless Zombie writers?♀️. Or worse, we think that what we write has to persuade and manipulate our audience into buying.
But in both scenarios, your excited customers are actually left feeling turned off, have ‘ick’? about purchasing, or are confused by the disconnect between your normal copy and sales copy.
If I feel like someone is trying to hard sell me in an email with 394 tactics, I immediately unsubscribe or stop reading.
Listen, if I’m investing in something, I want the process to feel like I’m about to receive value. I don’t want to feel like I’m about to be giving someone else a bunch of value (read: money) and then feel short-changed.
So how do you write sales copy that people can’t stop reading? You take a page out of the Abuela Book, and you lead with intention.
This is something I do with almost every single thing I craft for clients – even if it’s a non-sales webpage, Instagram content or newsletter. I always highlight the intention we have for the piece.
- Your intention is NOT to sell them your thing (that’s your CTA, or Call-to-Action)
- Your intention IS how you want them to feel while they read your copy
❌If my intention was for you to buy my yoga package, I’d be yelling at you to “BUY BEFORE SPOTS RUN OUT” or “START STRETCHING BEFORE YOU GET ARTHRITIS”.
?If my intention was for you to know that Yoga can help you still reach that goal of running a marathon someday (yes, even after the painful hip surgery), then I’d be saying, “Hey, I know it sucks to feel like that dream got ripped away from you with this injury, but I’ve seen clients get back on the treadmill after working up their strength and mobility with yoga.”
It reads different. But more importantly, it feels different. I know who I’d trust to get me back in running shape. What about you?