3 Dirty Little Secrets About Persuasive Copywriting

May 25, 2016
Posted by admin

404,000 results in 0.52 seconds.

That’s what Google finds for me when I type in “Persuasive Copywriting” in the search bar.

And if you’re an online entrepreneur then you’ll have no doubt read a good few thousand of those results (or at least it feels that way).

But before you strut off to write the best sales page that the world has ever seen, you might wanna check out some of the things that aren’t widely spoken about. I’m not promising anything, but spending a few minutes to read this could save you some editing hours down the line…

Persuasive Copywriting Secret #1: Emotion isn’t the be all and end all of copywriting

Speak to people’s emotions and they’ll hand over their money in a blink of an eye.

I don’t know whether anybody has actually said this in as many words, but it’s definitely implied in a few places.

And to be fair, there’s reason to think like that.

Peter Noel Murray Ph.D. of “Inside the Consumer Mind” writes about various studies that show how emotions affect buying behaviour. According to one article;

“Advertising research reveals that emotional response to an ad has far greater influence on a consumer’s reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials and 2-to-1 for print ads.”

But you don’t have to be a psychologist to figure out why that is. You only have to think back to a time where you bought something you didn’t really mean to because you got swept up ‘in the moment’.

And I’m not just talking about the time you went to look for printer ink and came back with a new camera…

People Impulse Buy Services, Products and Training All. The. Time.

And a lot of that is down to great, emotive copywriting that pixelates a picture of a better future to strive for – or a dismal present to escape from.

So I guess we should all just stick to those angst-packed stories on our sales pages, right?


And here’s why:

You actually want purposeful purchases.

Impulse buys can be cool. But when somebody is actively looking for the service you offer, it means:

  • They will be more likely to actually take action on your advice
  • They’re more likely to be a perfect fit for your programmes because they will be looking for specific features according to their needs
  • They’re more likely to become amabassadors for your brand because they’ve got great results (see point above)

Emotion is a great way to get people excited and invested to learn more about what you do. But without appealing to the logical side of your ideal clients grey matter – you run the risk of attracting the wrong people to your business.

Grip them with emotion, follow through with facts and logic.

Persuasive Copywriting Secret #2: A Child is possibly the best copy editor you can find

If you’ve ever tried arguing explaining your point carefully and patiently to a child in this age bracket, you will probably have experienced the following reactions from them:

  1. “I don’t get it”
  2. Yawning/ fiddling around with the most expensive thing they can find/ standing up and walking away while you’re still making your incredibly important point
  3. “Why?” “Why?”… “Why?”

Trying to keep children interested in anything you say is a hard task. And while your ideal client is likely to be more educated than a young child, their attention span can be somewhat similar.

Here’s how to deal with each reaction:

  1. Keep language simple and explain things in plain English. Long words aren’t impressive, they just take longer to read. Try to use short paragraphs that focus on ONE point. When you’re explaining the benefits of something, you want to make sure your reader understands everything
  2. WAKE UP! <<< If I screamed that at you half way through reading out a page from a novel, you’d probably jump to attention. You can have the same affect with your copy by using words and phrases that interrupt the reading pattern of your ideal client. Try playing around with less obvious words and phrases to describe things
  3. If you want people to appreciate a benefit of your product or service, tell them why it works. (See above secret about emotion vs. logic). When people know why something is good for them, they can imagine themselves getting results

Keep things simple, to the point and back up any claims with proof.

Persuasive Copywriting Secret #3: Selfish people make shitty copywriters

Harsh but true.

Your audience cares about you. But not in the way that you think.

They care about:

  • Whether or not you keep your word – If you say you’re going to help them, you need to deliver on the promise
  • Why you do what you do – If they’re just a cash cow to you, they don’t want to know
  • If you can relate to them – If you don’t know what they’re struggling with then how can you begin to lead them through it?

Ever heard of the Know, Like, Trust Factor?

In case you haven’t, it’s what needs to happen before most people will buy into something. Especially services or informational products. Even more so for high ticket products.

So how can you build the know, like, trust factor through your copy?

  1. Write the way you talk – Make people feel as though you’re inviting them round for a cuppa and telling them about something that can help them. Build a feeling of familiarity, even if they’ve never met you before
  2. Don’t be afraid to put some personality in there – Scattering the odd personal insight here and there will help your reader see whether or not you’re the kind of person they can stomach listening to for an extended period of time (we all know somebody who essentially ticks all the boxes in terms of having the right experience, knowledge and teaching method – but frankly annoys the heck out of us so we would NEVER buy!)
  3. Make it about your reader’s dreams and goals – Talk about what they can achieve. If you’re advising people based on your own experiences then by all means, talk about your achievements. BUT… always bring it back round to what that means for your clients

Your copy isn’t a jumbled mixture of power phrases and trigger words.

It’s the way you explain a solution to somebody.

A person.

A human being.

And that human being doesn’t need a rundown of why you’re better than anybody else. They need to know that they can trust you to give them what they need.

Don’t be the person who constantly talks about themselves without any thought for the rest of the world. In a relationship, it’s a turn off. In business, it’s a good way to go bankrupt.

Key Takeaways for Persuasive Copywriting

  1. Balance emotive writing with logical features that fit your ideal client’s needs
  2. Keep your copy simple, to the point and engaging if you want people to get to the call to action
  3. Write for your audience, not your ego

Want to Dive Deeper?

I’ll be talking about persuasive copywriting techniques in more detail at the “Influence” NorthWest Marketing Conference on June 16th along with 5 other amazing speakers. Click here for the details.

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Back to You

Out of the three dirty little secrets, which do you think you could work on right now to improve your copy?

Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!









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