Is the power of persuasion a myth? How do we get people to actually say yes (or no) to a product, a service or an idea? Like moths to a flame, how do we attract people and be glued to our every word? Let’s begin with these writer tips and tricks to keeping your customers convinced of your product and at the same time persuading those on the fence to jump in.
Make them “feel”
A good copywriter knows how to make his readers “feel.” Have you seen videos of epic fails where a skateboarder tries a jump but fails? Or someone swinging on a rope tied to a tree then the inevitable tree branch-breaking, man-falls-to-ground scenario happens. Did you feel their pain?
If you read a description of the same video, would it have the same effect on you? The answer is – IT SHOULD! Why? Because writers have to make their readers feel something when they read about your product. The right words will send a surge of emotions in them.
Copywriters must know how to keep the customers’ emotions while glued to your every word like a spy-thriller novel. Write directly to the readers’ feelings and not cram them down their throats.
If you’re selling apple pies, you need to summon memories of grandma’s home cooked kitchen. Like that scene where Anton Ego got transported back to his childhood with mommy’s comfort food of ratatouille.
Not all savings comparisons are good
Do not “sell” the idea of saving money. Rather, give them the idea that what you are selling is “time.” Time is probably one of the scarcest of resources. Once you’ve lost it, it’s gone! This scarcity is what makes it more meaningful to customers.
Like Mastercard and their “Priceless” ads. They make you feel that time with family, friends, colleagues or time alone doing anything wacky under the sun, is indeed priceless and that a certain amount of time should be spent and spent well. This personal experience with spending time incites personal feelings and eventually more purchases.
Present the flaws rather than the “perfections”
One mistake that copywriters love to do is forgetting to be credible. They write about their products and the promises they claim. But customers nowadays are information-junkies. If you don’t provide the answers to their future questions, customers will just gloss over them and not be curious.
For example, you might want to say upfront, “If you’re worried about the safety features…” This addresses a concern and by stating it for them, you’re already putting an issue into the spotlight. So don’t go flowery with words of perfect or best opportunity. Address concerns and give your assurances with facts about your product.
Words of Power
Verbs can be more powerful than adjectives. Just ask college students writing admission letters to someone deciding their future. They recommend action words rather than the vain-inducing adjectives. Forget the “talented, hard-working and industrious.” I’d rather admit who “founded a budding start-up in less than a year” or who “heads a small volunteer group.” Describe what you actually do than stringing up a list of adjectives of what you are.
Copywriters! Use verbs, not adjectives!
While verbs may be good, you should also use power words that have more lure. Words like:
You or that person’s name (the most beautiful sound)
New words: Introducing, Unique
Urgency words: Now, Hurry
Reassuring words: Proven, Tested
Caring words: Love, Family
Money-saving words: Free, Cheap
And finally, tell a good story
Nothing can keep you up late at night better than a good story. We love the way stories transport us to another place and time – no sales pitches, no infomercials. Use metaphors and irony. Your readers will have that “Oh, now I get it!” moment. Use more details to make your writing vividly clear that your readers feel like they are actually in the moors in Wuthering Heights, or that they hear the haunting sound of Captain Corelli’s mandolin. And finally, let your readers finish your story by making them want to know the ending. This means writing to catch their attention until the very end.
These are just a few but very useful writing tips that will hopefully bring out the best copywriter in you.