What Is Persuasive Copy?
The simple (and lazy) way to answer this question is to say persuasive copy is copy or content that is designed to persuade people to do things. And while that is completely true, the real meaning goes a lot deeper than a single sentence.
Persuasive copy is used every day online, in direct-mail packages, magazine and newspaper ads or even in a love letter from some fellow trying to win a young lady’s heart.
Persuasive copy does persuade, but over the decades it has been refined to the point that by following certain tips and strategies, you can use it for your ads, emails, web pages, articles or sales letters and realize a great deal of success.
If you don’t grab your reader’s attention, persuasion isn’t even possible, and they will just pass by what you have to say and get on with their day. In most cases, the way to grab someone’s attention is with a title or headline. This is the first thing someone sees, and most of the time they will decide whether to continue reading based on the title or headline.
There are more headline-writing tips out there than you can shake a stick at, and many of them are very effective. Asking a pertinent question, making it into a how-to, suggesting exciting benefits or throwing out an interesting statistic are all concepts that work. Your job is to figure out which ones work best at which times.
Talking to a Friend
If you are really interested in persuading someone to do something with your writing, it is imperative that you structure the copy as if you are speaking one-on-one with a close friend. Formal, clinical, detached kind of writing never persuaded anyone to do anything.
Keep in mind that you want people to sign up, register, click through or even make a purchase, and they will feel much more comfortable doing that if they feel like they’re hearing it from a friend. When you are writing that letter, ad, blog post or article, picture one person and write as if he or she is the only one who will see it.
Features and Benefits
Everyone has heard of features and benefits as they pertain to writing copy, but did you know one will make your prospective customers shrug their shoulders and one will cause them to ask for more? Basically, features are the things that differentiate your product from others, and benefits are how those features make your life better.
Heated seats and anti-lock brakes are features. Driving to work in comfort on frigid winter mornings and being able to stop just in time to prevent an accident and save your kids are benefits. If you picture the various features and then imagine how they make the customer’s life better, and relay that information, you are writing persuasively. Depending on the product or service, benefits may include greater cash flow, less stress, more self-esteem or confidence, or a longer life.
Tell Them What to Do
One thing is definitely true: none of the persuasive copy you ever write will be worth a lick if you don’t include some type of call to action at the end. Never assume that your readers will just “know what to do.” Be clear and concise and tell them to click here or opt-in there or call for more information.
It’s also wise to include some sort of offer to sweeten the pot just a little. A free paper or info sheet or video or product sample is always nice. Just keep your end goal in mind throughout the process and you should be fine.
Mistakes are also a big distraction when you’re trying to persuade. If you need assistance in that area, give us a call because we can definitely give you a hand.