I remember the first time I wrote a sales letter. I was fresh out of college and had landed my first job as a copywriter at a small marketing agency. I was excited to put my English degree to use and convinced that my writing skills would be the key to success in this new role.
But as I sat down to write that first sales letter, I quickly realized that my understanding of writing was woefully inadequate for the task at hand.
Copywriting is not about writing beautiful prose; it's about persuasion. It's about understanding your audience, their desires, and their pain points and using that understanding to craft a message that will motivate them to take action.
And that's exactly what I learned how to do over the years.
Here are 8 sections that will teach you the art of persuasion and how to write copy that converts:
1. Know Your Audience
The first step in writing persuasive copy is to understand who you're writing for. You need to know their demographics, their interests, and, most importantly, their pain points.
Once you have a solid understanding of your audience, you can tailor your message to them. This might mean using particular language or tone or highlighting specific benefits or features that are particularly relevant to them.
Additionally, it's essential to consider where your audience will be reading or hearing your message. This will influence your format, whether a blog post, email, social media post, or something else.
Another important aspect of understanding your audience is considering their level of understanding of the topic you are discussing. Suppose you are writing about a complex subject.
In that case, you may need to provide more background information than you would if you were writing to an audience that is already familiar with it.
2. Identify the Problem
To persuade someone to take action, you first need to identify the problem they're trying to solve. This could be physical pain, emotional pain, or even financial pain.
Once you have identified the problem, you must communicate that you understand and empathize with the audience's situation. This can help to establish trust and credibility.
You can then present your solution as the best or most effective way to solve their problem.
It's also important to highlight the benefits of your solution and how it will specifically address the problem and improve their situation. Use specific and concrete examples to illustrate your points and clarify how your solution will solve the problem.
Additionally, it's important to consider any objections or concerns the audience might have about your solution and address them directly. This can help to overcome any resistance and increase the likelihood that the audience will take action.
3. Create a Unique Selling Proposition
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a statement that sets your product or service apart from the competition. It's why someone should choose your product or service over anyone else's. Your USP should be clear, concise, and powerful.
Your USP should be communicated in your messaging throughout your copy, whether it's in your headlines, your call to action, or in the body of the text. It should be the main focus of your message and repeated multiple times to ensure that it's not missed.
It's also important to ensure that your USP is unique and cannot be easily replicated by your competitors. This will help to set you apart and make it clear to your audience why they should choose your product or service.
It's also important to back up your USP with evidence; this could be testimonials, statistics, research, or any other proof that supports your claim. This will help increase your USP's credibility and make it more convincing for your audience.
4. Use Emotion
People make decisions based on emotions, not logic. Therefore, it's important to tap into those emotions when writing copy. Use words that evoke emotions like love, fear, and excitement. Tell a story that connects with your audience on an emotional level.
When using emotions in your writing, it's important to make sure that they are appropriate to the message and audience. For example, using fear to promote a children's toy might not be the best approach.
Additionally, it's important to use emotions in a way that feels authentic and not manipulative.
It's also important to use relatable and specific language to your audience; this will make the message more personal and increase the chances of connecting with them emotionally.
Another technique to use emotions is to use storytelling. People respond well to stories because they can relate to the characters and situations. By weaving a story into your message, you can help your audience see themselves in the story and connect with its emotions.
5. Use Scarcity
Scarcity is a powerful persuasion tool. If something is scarce, people will value it more and be more likely to take action. Use phrases like "limited time offer" or "while supplies last" to create a sense of urgency.
When using scarcity in your writing, it's important to ensure that the scarcity is genuine and not artificial. For example, saying that a product is in limited supply when it's readily available would be misleading and could damage your credibility.
You can also use scarcity by highlighting the exclusivity of your offer or product. Phrases like "available only to a select few" or "not available in stores" can increase the perceived value of your offer and make it more desirable.
It's also important to use scarcity in combination with other persuasion techniques. For example, you can use scarcity to create a sense of urgency and then use your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to highlight the benefits of taking action now.
6. Use Social Proof
Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to take action if they see others doing it. When using social proof, it's important to choose testimonials, reviews, and case studies that are relevant to your audience and that highlight the benefits they are looking for.
They should also be from credible sources, such as well-known industry experts or satisfied customers.
You can also use numbers, statistics, and awards as social proof. They can be a powerful way to communicate your credibility and the popularity of your product or service.
It's also essential to use social proof in a way that feels authentic and not fabricated. Using fake reviews or testimonials can damage your credibility and trust with your audience.
7. Write a Strong Call to Action
The call to action is the most important part of your copy. It's the part that tells your audience what you want them to do.
When writing a call to action, it's important to be clear and specific about what you want the audience to do. Avoid vague or ambiguous language. Instead, use action-oriented language that clarifies exactly what the next step is.
It's also important to make your call to action easy to follow. Provide clear instructions on taking action, and ensure that the process is as simple and straightforward as possible. This can include providing a clear link or button or giving the audience a phone number or email address to contact.
Another technique to make your call to action more effective is to use a sense of urgency. As previously mentioned, using phrases like "limited time offer" or "while supplies last" can increase the chances of people taking action.
8. Test, Test, Test
The final step in writing persuasive copy is to test it. Try different headlines, different calls to action, and different offers. See what works and what doesn't. And when you find something that works, stick with it.
When testing your copy, it's important to have a clear goal in mind. What do you want to achieve with your copy? Are you trying to increase sales, generate leads, or boost website traffic? Once you have a clear goal, you can set up a testing plan to help you measure your copy's effectiveness.
A/B testing is a popular method for testing copy. This involves creating two versions of your copy, with one small variation between them. You can then test which version performs better by comparing the results.
It's also essential to test different elements of your copy, such as headlines, calls to action, and offers. This can help you to identify which factors are most effective and which ones need to be improved.
It's also important to test your copy on different platforms, devices, and channels, to ensure that it is performing well on all of them.
9. Use the help of AI
One of the best ways to write persuasive copy is to use an AI copywriting solution like Jounce AI. Jounce AI uses natural language generation (NLG) technology to create high-converting copy that sounds like it was written by a human.
It considers all the principles of persuasion outlined above and uses them to create highly effective copy that drives results. Jounce AI can help you develop unique selling propositions, headlines, calls to action, and more.
It saves time and effort and ensures that your copy is tailored to your specific audience and their pain points. By using Jounce AI, you can test different versions of your copy and see which one performs the best, so you can make data-driven decisions about what to use in your final campaign.
In conclusion, the art of persuasion is crucial in writing copy that converts.
And with the help of a tool like Jounce AI, you can streamline the process and create high-converting copy that stands out in a crowded market.