Copywriting 101: Be Persuasive

There are entire treatises on writing persuasively, but many copywriters overlook even the most basic of persuasive writing techniques.  Remember that copywriting is a sales process, and like other sales processes it typically takes all tumblers turning to unlock a sale, a click, a referral, a retweet, a share, a comment, or a return visitor.  What follows are some easy ways to add to the persuasiveness of an article or site in general via the improvement of persuasiveness in individual articles.

Make it Relevant

Brother SX4000 typewriter
While discussing the benefits or features of a product or service is easy to do, it is far more persuasive when those features or benefits are connected to real-life scenarios.  In fact, from both an SEO and persuasiveness standpoint, it might be best to rewrite pieces several times for different audiences with different examples.  For example, many businesses might find a security service advantageous, but an article that talks about a used car lot benefiting from periodic patrols will sell that service more effectively (in theory) to used car lot owners and managers than it would to owners of apartment complexes.

Research

Never forget to do research on a subject.  This research starts with keyword research and ends with factual/opinion based fact-finding.  Do not forget the opinions are also facts of sorts, in that people do state or hold certain views to be true.  The difference between truth and fact is simple, but a statement that certain parties or individuals hold something to be true is a fact in and of itself.

Stating opinions and points of view can be convincing, but a few statistics can lend those opinions extra weight.  If two or more statistics appear, then mention them both and be honest about the reasons why; After all, if one were to present a study on a subject, it is usually possible to find a study that says just the opposite or at least something else entirely.  Statistics are only as valid as the methods to generate them, so be sure to discover these methods or question statistics that seem to be the product of unknown and/or questionable gathering practices.  For example, feel free to quote Fox or CNN, but also check that against other statistics or simple logic.  It might be worth suggesting that statistics might be slanted due to one reason or another, such as the political bias of the source, but that other information was not readily available.  There is no shame in admitting that data might be flawed and questioning it; there is great shame in rambling without pointing out statistics or figures when they are required for intelligent discussion.

Integrity

It has been said many times and in many ways, but ignoring arguments to a cause it shortsighted.  Unless one is successfully peddling iron pyrite as gold, then it would be advisable to look at all arguments.  Roger Fisher, a noted lawyer and author, has been known to not only acknowledge the arguments of opponents in the court room, but also to add to them!  This act has made him a far more persuasive force in the courtroom because not only does he acknowledge valid points, but he shows a full understanding of the situation.  That full understanding makes his evaluation and assignment of merit that much more credible, and it can work for virtually anyone willing to take the time to look at various pros and cons.

Remember that nothing is pure good or exclusively bad, but persuasive copywriters will illustrate how the virtues outweigh the problems or setbacks involved with whatever course of action they are suggesting.  For example, if one agrees with the point of view of a politician or company then be willing to accept and evaluate the arguments of the opposition.  Nothing is purely black and white, and ignoring these arguments does not make one’s position stronger.  Instead, acknowledging the arguments and suggesting that a particular idea or course of action has more merit builds integrity.

All About the Reader

Remember that most readers are interested in their own interests and needs.  Any good segue from facts and statistics to a call for action needs to include those two and ‘sometimes’ three vowels that are always so important in making a connection: Y-O-U.  Connect benefits and drawbacks directly to the reader for maximum impact.

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Written by

Chad Weirick is a global traveler, ghostwriter, teacher, and father. His hobbies include reading, languages, mixed martial arts, photography, digital media, blogging, and spending time with his family.

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