When you think of persuasive copy, you might think of content that’s loud – red headlines, bold yellow highlighters and a mammoth-sized guarantee plunked right in the middle of the page, proclaiming the awesomeness of the product or service. It’s like the drunk guy at the bar who slurs through his library of pick-up lines in an attempt to impress. You’re not intrigued…you’re not amused and you’re definitely not impressed.
Real persuasive writing is silky smooth. It’s the cool guy hanging out nonchalantly by the jukebox: comfortable enough with itself to arouse your curiosity and tease you into taking one small step. Before you know it, you’re not only at the “thank you” page, but you couldn’t be more satisfied about your purchase.
So how do they do it? And how can you harness the hidden secrets of persuasive writing to make your offer more compelling? Follow these easy steps with your writing to make the customer acquisition process a whole lot sexier.
1. Digital Flirting: Establish a Bond with Your Customers
The first step to writing more persuasively is to find something you can both agree on. Remember, the customer might be hesitant to buy your product for any number of reasons. To the marketer, that only means that you haven’t given them enough reasons to buy yet.
Start with a statement that they can easily agree with or appreciate. Then slide in a compliment, a question or a light-hearted challenge.
Example – from the American Cancer Society:
Who doesn’t agree with celebrating more birthdays? Facebook is also a great outlet to get people committed, as Nexcare demonstrated with its focus on World Blood Donor Day:
People are naturally hard-wired to be curious – which leads us to the next step:
2. Getting to Know You – With Supporting Details
Some buyers need more convincing than others – and many of them have unanswered questions that your current content doesn’t address. Think of some ways that you can give your readers all the information they need to make a confident decision:
- Social Proof (Testimonials, Referrals, and Endorsements)
- And one of the best reasons: WHY
Show them why your product or service is worth spending money on, and how it will help them in some way. Go through your copy as if you were your own customer and try to address any potential issues they might have. Everything you do in this second step should lead right back to strengthening that bond you made originally.
For example, Hotels.com gets people started in three simple steps right on the main page of their website – without asking for personally identifiable information. Then adds in supporting details that will get them to take action under “Our Promise to You”:
3. Motivating by Agitating
After you’ve weaved in a good number of your best benefits, it’s time to get the customer to take the next step. This is where your call-to-action makes a huge difference. You can’t wimp out at this point with a scrawny “click here” button and hope for the best. You’ve lead them along the persuasive path all this time now – just to finish with a fizzle instead of a sizzle? Make that call to action big, bold and important. Tell them not only what to do – but what will happen when they’ve clicked.
If they’re still undecided, it’s time to remind them what they could lose if they don’t act. Real limited-time offer dates can apply here, as can things like a free bonus or a coupon. The idea is that you remind them of the issue you started with in your statement – and lead them to understand how your offer will make that issue a thing of the past.
Woot.com, the original “Daily Deal” site, displays a daily countdown, and how much of the product is currently in inventory. If anything is guaranteed to spike people’s actions, it’s knowing that you might miss out on a great deal.
You can also browse comments other users have had, and after the deal ends, see interesting analytics from the sale.
At its core, persuasive writing is designed to get you to take action without feeling like you’re being sold. It goes from a whirlwind romance of product benefits that perfectly meet your needs – to a long-lasting customer relationship that continues to reward you with loyalty, sales and referrals.