They won’t tell you this: Ads work best when you don’t notice them working. Consider the logic of how a specific brand of shampoo came to balance itself on your shower shelf. You likely can’t. You will find the best ads in the world listed on your shopping receipt. Forget the competition, pick apart the ads from the brands who got your money.
There is an old sales trick: Get them saying “yes.” The idea is to ask your prospective client a series of questions, regardless of topic, that will yield positive and agreeable answers. If you say “yes” five times, you’re likely to say it a sixth. Are your readers saying yes?
The goal of persuasive writing is to get someone to do something. Whether it is to subscribe to your mailing list or commit to changing their lives, they have to do something, to take action. In other words: Use verbs in the active tense.
Language is influenced by our grey matter and vice versa. Armchair psychology tells us getting people to do something starts with telling them to do something. This is as simple as writing instructions for your audience to follow. Read the word “duck,” and something lights up in your brain—you might need to duck down or take a punch, and your synapses prep themselves to take action.
No one wants to take a punch. Then again, maybe it’s just time to feel the ducks?
Use the sword to cut both ways. Anyone can target an ad to you, and you can show your copy to anyone else. Is your writing persuasive? Is your copy effective? Drop ten bucks on it to find out. Test it with a thousand people, learn from your triumphs and mistakes, and test with another thousand. Small business owners all over the world, usually without the guidance of copywriters, push out millions of ads every day to find out what might work. Why not do the same?
Every test of your writing, of your copy, is a chance to create a new draft and rephrase what you are trying to say. On a long enough timeline, the copy you write turns from why you would buy your product to why someone else would.
Can I Be Frank With You?
We all want the real, authentic, tangible, and genuine. In most cases, we’ll pay more for it.
Persuasion falls apart when you recognize the other person only wants one thing from you. Like a used car salesman with a lemon on their lot: Yry too hard and you come off as insincere. We stop talking to our high school friends when they message us with a great new business opportunity or when family guilts us into traveling for the holidays. With sincerity, the audience wants to buy-in to you.
Were persuasion easy, everyone would get what they wanted. There is no shortcutting the practice and experience needed to craft compelling and persuasive copy, but you can blaze your own path. The only guide you need along your course is the answer to the question: Is the reader buying in?
Writing is your passion. Why not make it your day job, too? Learn how to become a copywriter by building your portfolio and marketing your services through this online workshop.
Click to continue.