5 Tips for Writing Persuasive Copy
There is copy, and there is
persuasive copy. Every integrated marketer knows that you need to write
persuasively to encourage your readers or customers to act. Below are five copywriting
strategies that will help any writer—or anyone tasked with writing—to improve
their skills and persuade readers to buy what they are selling.
Focus on Benefits, not Features
Admittedly, the difference between
the two can get a bit blurry at times, but benefits are much more persuasive
and convincing. Benefits are the positive
outcomes that customers will experience as a result of using or buying your
product or service, while features are aspects of what that product or service
has or is. Features may be technical, while benefits—usually highlighted at the
beginning of your copy to capture attention—give customers a reason to buy.
In short, writers should use
benefits to sell but support those benefits with features.
We like to think we are logical
beings, but in truth, we are often influenced by emotions when making
decisions. Applying to a reader’s emotions and putting them at the center of
your copy creates
a connection that makes the audience more open to your sales message. Users
care about their own needs and wants, so use language that will make them feel
good or that triggers their fear of missing out (FOMO) and helps them to
perceive your goods as a need rather than a want.
Don’t Make Your Copy About You
Tied to the need for the use of
emotion to persuade your reader, is to remain customer-centric in your writing.
Avoid extolling the virtues of your business and instead keep the spotlight on
the customer, assuring them that your product or service is what they need to
solve their problems.
To be sure that your copy is
customer-centric, use ‘you’ far more than ‘we,’ and place the customer pain
points front and center. No matter how great your organization, customers care
more about themselves and what you can and will do for them than who you are
and what motivates your business.
Get to the Point
Use short sentences and
paragraphs and straightforward language to convey your message. Your customers
don’t want to have to wade through dense copy to find out how you will solve
their problems—indeed, it’s likely they won’t even try.
Shorter sentences and paragraphs
are easier to read, especially online, and it is less overwhelming for your
potential customers who want to know how you will solve their problems and
improve their lives. You will also want to be sure that your language is
direct, to-the-point, and easily understandable for a general audience. Only use language
that convinces people to buy your product, persuade the customer, and
strengthens your argument. Everything else is unnecessary.
For effective persuasion, customers need to know why they
should act—in this case, why should they give you their business? People are
conditioned to respond and obey a
request when reasons are given—and if it can appeal to their emotions, all the
better. Integrated marketers can take advantage of this compliance by making
sure that their copy provides reasons why people should use or buy their
organization’s product or service.
Go Forth & Persuade
There are, of course, many tools and techniques
available to copywriters and integrated marketers to influence and encourage
customers to act. The five methods above will provide a great starting point
for anyone placed in the position of persuading customers to act in a specific
way or instance.