Newsflash: They Read the Copy (at least, in French, they do)

There’s a tired, old fallacy that exists in the marketing world that “no one reads the copy.” In fact, if you Google that very phrase, you’ll drown in a sea of 129,000,000 results (of copy). If that idiom is true, then you’re not reading this either—please comment to show the world that they’re wrong.

According to the results of a new study recently conducted in France, however, the copy is most certainly being read, and not in a way you may thing, either. The copy is being read in emails, sent by what are regarded as “trusted brands.” Just how many French consumers are opening the emails of these trusted brands and reading the copy? 82%.

Ignore that number at your peril.

Survey respondents also said that they are more likely to read the content of the message if the email is “pleasant to read.” Wait—people not only read the copy, but they respond positively to it when it is well-written, creative, and affable tone that connects with them on a human, interpersonal level? This sounds like revolutionary, Bastille-storming talk, n’cest pas?

It is time to wake up and smell the copy. We are awash in stimulating images, clever logos, inoffensive brand strategies, emblems, artwork and other ocular candy that we are forgetting the power of the written word, which has just as much ability to move an individual as an icon or a swoosh. We read emails from people we care about, trust and love because of what they have to say. If we want images of these people, we can hop on over to Instagram or Facebook and mindlessly scroll through their day. But we still want words, and that’s a good thing—for marketers, for corporations, for designers, for all of us.

Think words aren’t powerful? Go ask your mother how she felt when you said your first one.