How does asking questions strengthen your copywriting?

Humans are naturally curious creatures. From an early age we learn to questions – why? If you have children you’ll know what I’m talking about!

If you were in a sales position with your customer physically in front of you, it would be easy to keep their attention. You can maintain eye contact, you could take them to a side room to chat undisturbed, you can use body language and intonation.

But what happens when you’re not in front of your customer? What happens when you have to communicate to them via a brochure, website or sales letter?

Don’t panic – it can still be done. As a freelance copywriter I use a simple technique to stimulate a ‘conversation’ with reader even though you are not physically with them.

Question time

Asking questions is the best way to get a conversation going. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to write in this style before. If not it can seem a bit contrived but bear with it because the results will be worth it.

If you ask your reader a question they will come up with an answer – because it’s human nature.

There are all sorts of questions you can ask within your copy:

  • Closed – these are the ones you are likely to answer yes or no to. The best time to use these is when you are trying to close a sale because they force the decision process.
  • Open – these have no fixed answer. Once asked your customer has conversation control. People love to  talk about themselves so asking this type of question can provide you with a lot of information.
  • Limited – these engage people. A limited questions gives a choice e.g. do you prefer PVC or wooden doors and windows? They can be a good precursor to introducing more open question.

It can take a bit of practice writing in this ‘open’ style but it’s worth persevering.

If it helps, imagine your customer is sat in front of you while you are writing. What would you ask them to get them to reach a buying decision? Use your imagination – you might surprise yourself with the results.