I am writing a response to a Request For Proposal (e.g. responding to government agency or non-profit org), and I'm trying to understand what is the best practice for use of pronouns... I see a lot of online marketing / website material speaks directly to the reader with things like:

"This feature lets you create an opportunity for..." or "You can easily create an opportunity without being concerned with ..."

However, when writing an RFP response, it doesn't seem correct / formal enough to do this. I feel it is more appropriate to word things in this way:

"This features gives our customers the ability to save money..." or "Customers are able to create new opportunities without being concerned with..."

In summary, I feel like instead of speaking directly to the reader with the pronoun 'you', it is better to talk about 'our customer'. Hopefully that makes sense. Some of my colleagues don't seem to worry about this but I'd like to get this right / get to the bottom of it.

If anyone is able to clarify for me, it would be greatly appreciated! Also, what are the terms used to describe these forms?

1 Answer 1


"Our customers" sounds perfectly fine.

Another good candidate would be one in place of a personal pronoun. As in:

Instead of going through the list manually, one might want to consider this neat little feature instead: ... etc, etc

  • Thanks Ricky. Just wondering which would be preferred in this scenario though? Second person (you) or third person (our customers)? Apr 4, 2017 at 19:57
  • .................Third person.
    – Ricky
    Apr 4, 2017 at 20:00

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