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Persuasive Copywriting: 3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start

In deciding what action to take (including which products to buy), we're influenced by both logical and emotional forces.

Logical motivations include:

  • Saving money
  • Saving time
  • Avoiding dangers or hassles
  • Achieving better results

Emotional motivations include:

  • Freeing ourselves of worry, fear or regret
  • Becoming wealthy or otherwise successful
  • Being admired and/or well-liked
  • Generally feeling better about ourselves

To be persuasive, we must address both the logical and the emotional factors: the practical reasons we should buy, and how our purchase will make us feel.

But how do we do this?

It takes a bit of homework and planning. In this post, I'll address the 3 things you should ask yourself before you start writing.

1. Why should your customers buy this product?

Before we can sell something, we have to know all about it. We must fully understand why someone should choose our product above all others.

This takes research. You've got to learn everything you can about your product, and those of your competitors. In particular, you must uncover:

  • What does this product do?
  • What problems does it solve?
  • How is it superior to my competitors' offerings?
  • How can I illustrate its benefits and prove its superiority?

Compile an exhaustive list of both the logical and emotional reasons your customers should buy. Then categorize them and rank them in priority. This “list of reasons” will form the backbone of your persuasive messaging.

2. Who's your audience?

Knowing your customer demographics might be a starting point, but to write copy that truly persuades, it's not nearly enough.

To know which buttons to push, we need a full understanding of our customers' deep motivations. In particular, we need to know:

  • What makes them happy and content?
  • What do they aspire to?
  • What excites and drives them?
  • What holds them back? What do they fear or dread?
  • How can our product make their lives better?
  • What might prevent them from choosing our product?

Once we understand these things, we're much better equipped to put ourselves in their position. We'll know what will drive them to take action.

3. What action do you want your customer to take?

You need to understand exactly what it is you want your readers to do.

If it's simple thing, then just tell them. For example, “Subscribe to my email list”.

If it's a complicated sequence, you need to simplify it and provide a clear first step. For example, “Call us NOW!”

Sounds simple enough, right? But you need to know this in advance. Because the more you're asking of your customers, the more you'll have to persuade them before asking.

Once you have clearly formulated the answers to the above questions, you are ready to start working on your messaging. In future posts, I'll get into the nitty gritty of persuasive writing.


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