There is copy, and there is persuasive copy. Every integrated marketer knows that you need to write persuasively to encourage your readers or customers to act. Below are five copywriting strategies that will help any writer—or anyone tasked with writing—to improve their skills and persuade readers to buy what they are selling.
Focus on Benefits, not Features
Admittedly, the difference between the two can get a bit blurry at times, but benefits are much more persuasive and convincing. Benefits are the positive outcomes that customers will experience as a result of using or buying your product or service, while features are aspects of what that product or service has or is. Features may be technical, while benefits—usually highlighted at the beginning of your copy to capture attention—give customers a reason to buy.
In short, writers should use benefits to sell but support those benefits with features.
We like to think we are logical beings, but in truth, we are often influenced by emotions when making decisions. Applying to a reader’s emotions and putting them at the center of your copy creates a connection that makes the audience more open to your sales message. Users care about their own needs and wants, so use language that will make them feel good or that triggers their fear of missing out (FOMO) and helps them to perceive your goods as a need rather than a want.
Don’t Make Your Copy About You
Tied to the need for the use of emotion to persuade your reader, is to remain customer-centric in your writing. Avoid extolling the virtues of your business and instead keep the spotlight on the customer, assuring them that your product or service is what they need to solve their problems.
To be sure that your copy is customer-centric, use ‘you’ far more than ‘we,’ and place the customer pain points front and center. No matter how great your organization, customers care more about themselves and what you can and will do for them than who you are and what motivates your business.
Get to the Point
Use short sentences and paragraphs and straightforward language to convey your message. Your customers don’t want to have to wade through dense copy to find out how you will solve their problems—indeed, it’s likely they won’t even try.
Shorter sentences and paragraphs are easier to read, especially online, and it is less overwhelming for your potential customers who want to know how you will solve their problems and improve their lives. You will also want to be sure that your language is direct, to-the-point, and easily understandable for a general audience. Only use language that convinces people to buy your product, persuade the customer, and strengthens your argument. Everything else is unnecessary.
Give Reasons Why
For effective persuasion, customers need to know why they should act—in this case, why should they give you their business? People are conditioned to respond and obey a request when reasons are given—and if it can appeal to their emotions, all the better. Integrated marketers can take advantage of this compliance by making sure that their copy provides reasons why people should use or buy their organization’s product or service.
Go Forth & Persuade
There are, of course, many tools and techniques available to copywriters and integrated marketers to influence and encourage customers to act. The five methods above will provide a great starting point for anyone placed in the position of persuading customers to act in a specific way or instance.