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FutureNow Post
Sunday, Mar. 25, 2007 at 9:38 am

How to Measure Your We We

By Bryan Eisenberg
March 25th, 2007

plastic rulerPhony & Plastic! Are you that company? The one that claims they are the… #1!, leading!, premiere!, fastest!, greatest!, smartest!, most dynamic!… blah blah blah. All that chest-pounding translates into some anemic saccharine sweet copy. The tone is in sharp contrast to today’s customer demands for greater transparency and authenticity.

Customers want the real deal. Your customers want to to know “what is in it for me?” HOW DOES YOUR COPY MEASURE UP? Care to find out?

Let’s take a look at the words on your we site. Are you talking about all the wonderful ways your visitors can benefit from your products or services, or are you talking about all the great features of your products, services, or company? In other words, are you speaking the language of “you,” or are you caught up in the language of “we”? As our friend Roy Williams asks, “Are you WeWe-ing all over yourself?” Your customer focus ratio is not a perfect predictor of success (there are lots of variables, of course), but it has proven to be so useful, that Seth Godin and Anne Holland have written about it. More importantly, it’s already helped a lot of people improve their conversion rates.

You really should link to the we we calculator and play with it before you read on.

The Customer Focus Calculator / We We Monitor, parses your page for self-focused words such as “I,” “we,” “our,” and your company name (which functions much like “we”), as well as for customer-focused words such as “you” and “your.” Then we calculate the ratio of customer-focused words to self-focused words. Run the tool to check your site; run it to check a variety of competitors’ sites. You’re likely to have an eye-opening opportunity to see your site through your customer’s eyes. This should be part of every audit process in your copywriting. A score between 60% – 70% seems to have the most natural tone. We have two versions; one that works on web pages and other where you can can copy and paste your text.

So how does your “We We” measure up? Check your site and paste the results in the comments below. We’ll pick a few of the sites and show you how you could have changed a phrase here or there and make it more customer-focused.

Run the Customer Focus Calculator on text
or ad copy
or fill the form below to test a web page.

URL to Test:
http://

Company Name as stated on the site:
(you can list more than one variation(s) on the company name, separated
by commas)

Add Your Comments

Comments (36)

  1. Bryan – I think this calculator is a great idea. With great trepidation I tried it on my site. Here is what I got:

    For the url: http://www.stonetemple.com
    Your Customer Focus Rate: 66.04%
    You have 35 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 33.96%
    You have 14 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 4 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about your customers approximately 0,002 times as often as you speak about yourself.
    Excellent!

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 18,956 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 6,975 bytes
    Total word count: 1,035

    Thank goodness! It would have been embarassing if we’d gotten slammed. Of course, I am sure there still are dozens of things we could do to make our site more persuasive …

  2. Dear Bryan,

    I also think this is a great idea. And, like Eric Enge, also tested it out on our site with great trepidation. Unfortunately, our results weren’t quite as impressive! It seems we’re clearly rather self-absorbed!

    For the url: http://www.cvcl.co.uk

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 47.57%
    You have 49 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 52.43%
    You have 50 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 4 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about yourself almost as often as you speak about your customers.
    Might you improve that?

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 27,264 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 10,362 bytes
    Total word count: 1,008

    Kind regards,

    James

  3. Bryan,

    What a fantastic tool. Thanks for sharing it via your superb newsletter.

    This gives us a unique insight into our copy, and after using this tool we now know that we need to be more customer-focused, especially since they are so important to our future success.
    _________________________________________

    These are the Customer Focus Calculator results:

    For the url: http://www.askaprice.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 46.15%
    You have 12 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 53.85%
    You have 10 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 4 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about yourself almost as often as you speak about your customers.
    Might you improve that?

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 21,898 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 4,463 bytes
    Total word count: 481

  4. (Before some clever reader does it, thinking that WE don’t take OUR own medicine… ;)

    For the url: http://www.futurenowinc.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 61.29%
    You have 38 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 38.71%
    You have 20 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 4 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about your customers approximately 0,002 times as often as you speak about yourself.
    Excellent!

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 18,461 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 7,987 bytes
    Total word count: 944

  5. First of all – I love the headline for this article – well done and effective! Secondly, thanks for sharing this tool with us. It’s one thing to take theory such as this, and apply it to your strategy. But it’s fun to be able to measure your results!

    Here are the results for my retail site;

    These are the Customer Focus Calculator results:

    For the url: http://www.myoutdoorfurnishings.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 65.31%
    You have 32 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 34.69%
    You have 14 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 3 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about your customers approximately 0,002 times as often as you speak about yourself.
    Excellent!

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 32,329 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 7,362 bytes
    Total word count: 1,067

    Return to Customer Focus Calculator

    Raise your Wewe! (your Wewe score that is!)
    Sign up for our free Newsletter GROKDotCom!

    Thanks again,
    Tim Fuller http://www.MyOutdoorFurnishings.com

  6. looks like we have room to improve, thanks!

    These are the Customer Focus Calculator results:

    For the url: http://www.smarthome.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 36.00%
    You have 9 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 64.00%
    You have 10 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 6 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about yourself approximately 0,002 times as often as you speak about your customers.
    Might that have an impact on your effectiveness?

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 33,865 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 6,890 bytes
    Total word count: 738

  7. Great tool. This is a marketers dream and I will certainly be talking about this a lot. I’m always trying to convince clients to talk more about customer needs and less about themselves – in everything from websites to brochures and more. Thanks Bryan!

    PS I ran the test on my blog and I’m really proud to say I scored:

    90% Customer Focus Rate
    10% Self Focus Rate.

    I will check my website next! Probably will not be so good, but I have a benchmark now!

  8. Your Customer Focus Rate: 63.16%
    You have 12 instances of customer-focused words.
    Your Self Focus Rate: 36.84%
    You have 7 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 0 instances of the Company Name.
    You speak about your customers approximately 0,002 times as often as you speak about yourself.
    Excellent!
    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 16,606 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 5,455 bytes
    Total word count: 423

  9. These are the Customer Focus Calculator results:

    For the url: http://hirerussians.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 53.85%
    You have 14 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 46.15%
    You have 12 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 0 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about yourself almost as often as you speak about your customers.
    Might you improve that?

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 17,195 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 4,115 bytes
    Total word count: 377

  10. On the intuitive level it makes a lot of sense. It has been used for centuries and that’s what any professional copywriter will tell you anyway. But let’s play devil’s advocate. I say that your “YOU YOU” is annoying, intrusive, familiar, and pushy. Do you have any stats to back your claim that “WE WE” is better than “YOU YOU”?

  11. Paul the calculator is a quick diagnostic tool and just like any diagnostic tool it can be fooled and manipulated. It was never meant to be scientifically accurate. You can write WE copy with tone that is inclusive and that works well; and YOU copy that is accusatory and that works poorly. However, over many years of testing before and after copy, our copywriters have found it useful as a tool to help them in improving conversion rates.

  12. OK, so did you get to test “we we” samples vs “you you” samples holding all other things equal (same copy, same copywriter, etc)? Can you attribute improvements in CR to changing this particular aspect of your copies? (I do understand that nothing will help a bad copy, that tools can be manipulated, and that it’s not a space shuttle launch).

  13. Of course. We do know a little something about how to do proper testing after doing it for almost 10 years now. I know most people think it is rocket science, so our Chief Thinking Officer used to work as an astrophysicist at NASA. You can check his whitepaper on the subject as one of the seven resources at http://www.grokdotcom.com/googlewebsiteoptimizer . Paul would you be up to testing it on your site? Any one else want to try?

  14. [...] …blah, blah, blah! They can't seriously believe a single WSJ reader cares about Direct Connect Architecture or DDR2 memory, can they? Remember when you talk the talk, you may want to walk the walk. If you're looking for a helpful tool to do just that- don't forget to run your ad copy through our We-We Monitor. Technorati Tags: advertising, Copywriting, marketing [...]

  15. Thanks. A great tool.

    —————————

    These are the Customer Focus Calculator results:

    For the url: http://www.customfitonline.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 66.67%
    You have 20 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 33.33%
    You have 10 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 0 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about your customers approximately 0,002 times as often as you speak about yourself.
    Excellent!

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 19,000 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 3,248 bytes
    Total word count: 368

  16. Here is our score, i think it is fair since the site is search optimized. But looks like we havent forgot our customers.

    Thanks this is very nice script / service

    For the url: http://www.homemediapros.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 48.98%
    You have 24 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 51.02%
    You have 23 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 2 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about yourself almost as often as you speak about your customers.
    Might you improve that?

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 17,344 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 5,735 bytes
    Total word count: 646

  17. [...] Most companies have to find a way to clarify their message before they can worry about differentiating themselves through emotion. If not, they end up sleepwalking through the dark woods of inflated adjectives, jargon, and "We-We" copy. [...]

  18. Its great tool. I have already changed few pages of my website after using this tool. Its eye opener.

  19. Great tool!

    And it my blog on outsourcing has great results:
    For the url: http://ipolyakov.blogspot.com

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 75.29%
    You have 195 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 24.71%
    You have 42 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 22 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about your customers approximately 0,003 times as often as you speak about yourself.
    Excellent!

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 81,210 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 42,876 bytes
    Total word count: 5,036

  20. Great tool guys thanks for the heads up

    we have a customer focus of 60%
    and self focus of 40%

    http://www.jennings-ford.co.uk

    we definately need to get something sorted.

    Cheers for the tool

  21. A fanatstic title and an even more fantastic tool! Thanks!

    These are the Customer Focus Calculator results:

    For the url: http://www.mycarquotes.co.uk

    Your Customer Focus Rate: 60.00%
    You have 9 instances of customer-focused words.

    Your Self Focus Rate: 40.00%
    You have 6 instances of self-focused words.
    You have 0 instances of the Company Name.

    You speak about yourself almost as often as you speak about your customers.
    Might you improve that?

    Original length of Page (including all HTML)= 13,885 bytes
    Content length after stripping HTML = 1,990 bytes
    Total word count: 223

  22. [...] self-centered vs. customer-focused your copy is.  You can also read our post to better understand how to measure your we-we.  I’ve had many people tell me that they boosted their conversion rate by improving their we [...]

  23. [...] auto-centré ou tourné vers le client. Vous pouvez aussi lire notre texte pour mieux comprendre comment mesurer votre we-we. J’ai eu beaucoup de témoignages de gens m’expliquant avoir améliorer leur taux de [...]

  24. This is an incredible tool and one I will definitely use. Thank you!

  25. Interesting tool – first time I tried it I got a score of 33 / 66 ‘against’ the site.

    Then I took the name / address/ e-mail / lawyer line stuff out (which reduced the number of time Buzz Associates was mentioned from 15 to 8) which changed the score to 41 / 58 ‘ against’ the site.

    Then… I changed three ‘we’ to ‘you’ which improved things to 50 /50 (again without the address details).

    Time will tell if that’s enough – and I agree with Bryan Eisenberg’s comments about the way ‘we’ and ‘you’ are used can make a huge difference. Hopefully, I have that right at least!

  26. I just tested my home page at http://www.leisuretimervok.com with the wewe customer focused tool and was surprised how low it is rated… but I’ve learned a good lesson when we did the test.

    Thank you for sharing this tool. We’ll try to do better.

    Tom Jones
    Internet Sales Manager

  27. I’ve been beavering away on my site – http://www.buzzassociates.co.uk – to improve its we-we score, my objective being to turn round the original 33 / 66 ‘against’. As of 31 July 2009, I’d got to 50 / 50 (see above).

    Having a spare afternoon today, I worked in stages, first to 53 / 47 ‘in favour’ then 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67.5 and, finally, 68 / 32 (all measured without contact details). Objective achieved!

    But should I leave it at that? And while I may now ‘speak about my customers two times as often as I speak about myself’, have I made the copy too sweet and sickly? Comments to peter@buzzassociates.co.uk please.

  28. I know this sounds like boasting, but I’ve made further improvements to my website, http://www.buzzassociates.co.uk – as always to make it a better site.

    In doing so I’ve improved it’s we-we score from 68 / 32 (see above) to 72 / 28 (all measured without contact details).

    The ‘speak about customers’ content has also improved from two to three.

    I look at my site – and those of my competitors – several times a week and ask ‘can I make it better?’. Thinking ‘we-we’ (as well as ‘is my proposition clear enough’ etc) is a great way to concentrate the mind.

  29. That is a great tool but I am not quite sure as how to use it does one place keywords in the below list under the URL,

  30. Yes – and if you’ve got things like your company name / address and similar details in a lawyer line, delete them before you do the we-we test as they will count against you, but have nothing to do with the point of the exercise.

  31. [...] you understand that, you can move away from we-we copy in order to focus on providing visitors [...]

  32. This tool is a fabulous resource, thanks so much for pointing it out. This is a open secret of advertising I learned long ago and always try and instill it in our clients. As the conventional wisdom states, ‘The most beautiful sound to anyone’s ear, is the sound of their own name’ and to us this is just an extension of that adage. Inclusion, and most effectively friendly and familiar inclusion never fails to get results, even if only as a positive brand impression. Thanks again – right into the bookmark bar!

  33. [...] This stands in sharp contrast to bragging, which never works regardless of how sincere it might be. So why does most copy brag instead of flatter? In the words of Bryan Eisenberg, why is there so much we-we copy? [...]

  34. Improving conversion rates is a must for any site looking to be successful online. Google Analytics helps give you a good gauge of the metrics on your site that can improve your conversion rate.

  35. In my website copy I’ve always tried to avoid saying things like “You can count on us!” or “[company name] can provide all your [company's service] needs!”
    I guess it turns out I was sort of on the right track. However, I do still have a tendency to put a few too many “We”s in my copy.
    I’ll have to try this calculator with all my clients’ sites and see what results I get after the changes.

  36. [...] out whether your communications are customer focussed or self obssesed, then you should try the We We Monitor at Grok Dot Com. Here you can analyse your website to find out if you are customer focussed or We [...]

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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