8 Fundamental Elements Of Persuasive Writing :
The successful ad:
1. Gains attention
2. Focuses on the customer
3. Stresses benefits
4. Differentiates you from the competition
5. Proves its case
6. Establishes credibility
7. Builds value
8. Closes with a call to action
1. Gains attention
Parents (and almost everyone else) are attracted to pictures of babies and young children
STARTS TODAY … ADDITIONAL 40% OFF WINTER FASHIONS.” Not clever or fancy, but of interest to shoppers looking to save money.
ask a provocative question.
Injecting news into copy, or announcing something that is new or
improved, is also a proven technique for getting attention
2. Focus on the customer
When writing copy, start with the prospect, not with the product. Your
prospects are interested primarily in themselves – their goals, their problems, their
needs, their hopes, their fears, their dreams and aspirations.
Effective copy speaks directly to a specific audience and identifies their
preferences, quirks, behaviors, attitudes, needs, or requirements.
A good way to ensure that you are focusing on the prospects, and not
yourself or your product or your company, is to address the prospect directly in
the copy as “you.”
Element #3: Stress benefits.The better you understand your target audience, the more you have a feel for the way they think
and what they think about, the more effectively you can target copy that speaks to
3. Stress benefits
Virtually all successful copy discusses benefits. Copy aimed at a lay
audience would primarily stress benefits, mentioning features mainly to convince
the prospects that the product can in fact delivers the benefits promised in the ad.
4. Differentiate yourself from the competition
Companies that make a commodity product often differentiate themselves
on the basis of service, expertise, or some other intangible.
If your product is unique within its market niche, stress this in your copy.
5. Prove your case
If you say you are better, faster, or cheaper, and you do
not back up your claims with proof, people won’t believe you.
The most powerful tool for proving your case is to demonstrate a good
track record in your field, showing that your product or service is successful in
delivering the benefits and other results you promise.
Testimonials from satisfied customers are another technique
for convincing prospects that you can do what you say you can do. You can also
impress prospects by showing them a full or partial list of your customers.
6. Establish Credibility
prospective buyers will ask the question,
“Who are you?”
The prospect is interested in your company only as it relates to your ability to reliably make, deliver, install, and service the product he buys from you.
- We guarantee the best technical service and support.
- We have supplied more than 20,000 different gases and gas mixtures—in purities up to 99.99999 percent—to 2 million customers worldwide.
- I was a compressor service technician at Ingersoll Rand, and in the last 20 years have personally serviced more than 250 compressors at over 80 companies.
- For nearly two decades, we have dedicated ourselves 100% to training managers, engineers, and others in environmental compliance‐related subjects. Since 1989, our firm has conducted more than 1,400 workshops nationwide on these topics.
Credentials you can list in your copy include year founded, number of
years in business, number of employees, annual revenues, number of locations,
number of units sold, patents and product innovations, awards, commendations,
publications, membership and participation in professional societies, seals of
approval, agency ratings, independent survey results, media coverage, number of
customers, and in‐house resources (financial, technological, and human).
7. Build value
It’s not enough to convince prospects you have a great product or a
superior service .
Stress cost of ownership vs. cost of purchase. The purchase price is not the only
cost of owning something. There is the cost of maintenance, support, repair,
refurbishment, operation, and, when something wears out, replacement.
Therefore the product that costs the least to buy may not actually cost
If your product costs slightly more up front but actually saves money in the
long run, stress this in your sales talk.
Everyone knows that the cheapest product is not automatically the best buy;
The key to establishing value is to convince the prospects that the price you
ask is “a drop in the bucket” compared with the money your product will make or
save them, or the other benefits it delivers.
8. Close with a call to action
Copy is written to bring about a change—that is, to cause prospects to
change their opinion, attitude, beliefs, purchasing plans, brand preferences, or immediate buying actions.
Tell them to clip and mail the coupon, call the toll free phone number, visit your Web site, come to your store, request a free estimate, or whatever. Specify the next step directly in your copy, or
else few people will take it.