The art of writing persuasively is the cornerstone of great marketing.
Without it, your words become empty; mere squiggles on a page or screen that hold no meaning.
It’s not an easy thing to master, which is why I wanted to give you the chance to revisit a post I wrote about it a few years ago.
How to Write Persuasively
You can write factually.
You can write authoritatively.
Can you write persuasively?
Trying to persuade someone to see your point of view is tough.
Some try the awful spam tactics you see that practically shout at the reader to make them take an action, but there’s a better way.
Writing content that influences someone takes a bit of practice, but it’s something that can be mastered if you follow these simple tips.
- You are an expert
If you show yourself as an expert people will listen.
Granted, saying “I’m an expert” isn’t going to cut it so you have to show your readers your credentials by demonstrating your specialist knowledge.
You will get straight to the point and not rely on gimmicks or fluff to get your message across. Stick to your niche and offer advice that’s easily understood – i.e. no marketing or industry jargon; just good old fashioned plain English.
- Get to the point
If you cast your memory back to school days, you were taught to write your essays with a beginning, middle and end. You introduced your subject, put your opinion forwards and then backed it up with evidence.
You can forget all of that if you want to write persuasively.
For articles and web copy it’s important to get straight to the point, so make sure your most important information comes first.
By writing in this way, your readers get the facts first.
Just asking someone to do something isn’t enough. If you tell them to do something because…giving them a reason why, they are more likely to do as you ask.
Another good way is by asking them to visualise the benefits of your product or service. As them to imagine what their life would be like to provoke a happy image they’ll find hard to resist.
- Put your benefits first
The main reason anyone has for buying something is because it will make his or her life better or easier.
That’s why it’s essential you lead with the benefits you offer. Only once you’ve successfully conveyed that should you tell them about the features.
- Make it readable
Most people won’t read every word you write. Frustrating, but true.
That’s why it’s important to follow these tips and make sure the most important information (benefits) comes first. Then use bold, italics, bulleted lists and sub headings to draw them in further.
Also, keep your writing simple, in short sentences and paragraphs to aid comprehension. Oh, and the odd well-chosen image is always a good idea.
Using all these tips together will help you achieve a high level of persuasion in all your marketing writing.
Remember never to assume your reader knows anything about your product or service. Tell them everything they need to know to make a buying decision and then make sure there’s a strong call to action at the end.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter. Under the banner of Briar Copywriting, she delivers persuasive ‘why’ focused content to her global clients. Why? Because focusing on why you do what you do gives you the edge.