how to be persuasive in copywriting

Your Guide to Persuasive Copywriting

We’ve all come across internet copy that is good — and web copy that is not so good.

So what’s the difference?

While a great deal of it comes down to skill (talented copywriters turn out better content than less skilled professionals), the big difference between outstanding and poor is a level of persuasiveness.

Sound complex?

It is.

Persuasiveness boils down to many things.

It’s about human psychology, the herd mentality, and emotions, to name just a few things.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can create persuasive copywriting, this guide is for you. Read on to learn more.

Learn all about #persuasivecopywriting and how to weave elements of psychology into your online copy, in our guide. Click To Tweet

5 persuasive copywriting tips

What Makes Copy Persuasive?

Persuasive copy has a primary purpose: to get people to convert.

When the copy is compelling, it plays on a reader’s emotions enough to get them to take a given action, be it to click, download, purchase, or share.

To do this, copy must match the following standards:

  • Well-written. Persuasive copywriting is professional-grade, free of errors, and clear.
  • Succinct. Copywriting that is too long or too jumbled loses the meaning very quickly. Because of this, the most persuasive copywriting is short, sweet, and to the point.
  • Intelligent. Nobody is going to be persuaded by copywriting that doesn’t come off as intelligent. To be persuasive, copywriting must be smart, forward-thinking, and well-rounded.
  • Relevant. What is persuasive to one audience won’t necessarily be persuasive to another. Because of this, persuasive copywriting in a given industry must be of interest to the company’s target audience.
What makes copy persuasive? @JuliaEMcCoy lists 4 #persuasivecopywriting standards. Click To Tweet

How to Create Persuasive Copywriting: 5 Keys of Success

Crafting persuasive copy is truly an art form. While it’s one thing to be a good copywriter, it’s entirely another to be a persuasive copywriter.

Writing persuasive copy takes a unique set of skills and a fair bit of expertise.

Luckily, it’s not out of reach for anyone who wants to dedicate the time and effort to learn it.

If you’re dying to craft more persuasive copy for your site, follow these key tips:

1. Focus on the benefits of whatever you’re offering

Think about the television commercials of today. Very few of them just list a litany of features before cutting out. Instead, nearly every successful commercial on tv emphasizes the benefits of its product.

Consider something as simple as one of Buick’s most recent ads, which shows a happy couple leaving a beautiful wedding venue and climbing into their sleek Buick commercial. As this happens, one groomsman says to the other, “Didn’t I tell you to decorate their Buick?” “You did, but that’s not a Buick,” the other replies. The camera cuts to an image of the pastor’s old station wagon, draped in “just married” signs.

The point: a Buick will make you seem sexy, high-class, and sleek. The ad communicates this without ever mentioning any of the specific features of the Cascada.

This is a prime example of persuasive content. If the commercial had listed the Cascada’s features, it would have lost its audience immediately. Since it focused on the benefits, though, it’s racked up thousands of views on YouTube, and millions more on television.

Case in point? Making your content more persuasive means focusing on benefits rather than features. When you can sell your customers a lifestyle, you’re in business.

How do you create #persuasivecopywriting? Tip #1: Focus on the benefits rather than the features of your product or service. Know more about @JuliaEMcCoy's 5 keys to successful persuasive copywriting. Click To Tweet

2. Get specific

Persuasive content doesn’t use generalities.

Why, you ask?

Because people don’t connect with generalities. Instead of hearing that “a lot” of people subscribe to a blog (so you should, too), people want to hear that millions of individuals have already signed up.

For an example of someone who does this well, consider Tim Ferris and his “7 Reasons to Subscribe” post.

tim ferriss

Instead of saying “I have tons of monthly readers,” he says, “1,000,000+ monthly readers means something – the content works.”

Are you sold? I am.

This is incredibly precise, and it works because of that.

The takeaway? Be as specific as you possibly can in your content – in everything from the statistics you use (What percentage of people do X? Where did the statistic come from? What year was the study you’re referencing conducted?) to the words you use. Generalities and vague pronoun references get you nowhere – specificity is essential.

'Be as specific as you possibly can in your content – in everything from the statistics you use to the words you use. Generalities and vague pronoun references will get you nowhere.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on persuasive copywriting. Click To Tweet

3. Appeal to reader emotions

Persuasive content is emotive content. When readers, viewers, or fans connect emotionally to a piece, they’re much more likely to remember it, even after the advertisement, blog post, or video has disappeared from their screen. Consider the Airbnb “Belong Anywhere” campaign, which showcases various Airbnb hosts welcoming guests to properties around the world.

If you didn’t tear up a bit, your heart might be made of cardboard. If you did tear up, you might be thinking, “Over an ad for vacation rentals??” Heck yes. And why? Because this ad appeals to your emotions – it appeals to the foundational human desire to be a part of something big, expansive, and loving, and Airbnb is using those emotions to position itself as a platform that can provide that feeling, in abundance, for anyone who wants it.

If there’s anything to be learned from this ad and others like it, it’s that appealing to viewer emotions is a very powerful thing. In addition to making a connection that outlasts the ad itself, appealing to human emotions also makes your content much more persuasive.

'Persuasive content is emotive content. When readers, viewers, or fans connect emotionally to a piece, they’re much more likely to remember it...' - @JuliaEMcCoy on persuasive copywriting. Click To Tweet

4. Use word of mouth

According to Bright Local, 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online testimonials exactly as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a valued friend. With that in mind, one of the easiest things you can do to make your content more persuasive is to add plenty of previous customer testimonials.

This does two crucial things: first of all, it boosts consumer trust in your brand and product. When people see that dozens or even hundreds of other people have left positive reviews, they’re much more likely to believe you themselves. Secondly, it helps you present yourself as a competent, professional, experienced company, which is awesome for upping the persuasiveness factor.

'According to Bright Local, 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online testimonials... one of the easiest things you can do to make your content more persuasive is to add plenty of previous customer testimonials.' - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

5. Feel it yourself

If you don’t buy what you’re selling, your customers won’t either. Because of this, it’s essential to be as passionate as you claim to be about the material you’re writing on. Unless you feel an authentic level of excitement about and belief in a topic, it’s going to come across as stale and phony.

Because of this, the most persuasive copywriting is penned by writers that truly care about their topics. If you’ve found your excitement to be lacking lately, try stepping out of your viewpoint and into your customers’. What is it about this product or service that’s life-changing? What sets it apart from all the rest? By taking a moment to reconnect with these things, you equip yourself with the authentic passion needed to create persuasive copywriting for your readers.

If you find that you can’t step outside of yourself enough to get that truly authentic voice, consider hiring a professional writer to do it for you. Because professional writers are third parties, it’s easy for them to create passionate, excited content that accurately describes the benefits, perks, and unique aspects of your product, good, or service.

'If you don’t buy what you’re selling, your customers won’t either. Because of this, it’s essential to be as passionate as you claim to be about the material you’re writing on.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on persuasive copywriting. Click To Tweet

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Persuasive Copywriting Starts Here

The web is lousy with copywriting, but persuasive copywriting stands out a head above the rest. Because persuasive copywriting requires real skill and real emotion, it’s the material that customers are most likely to remember, and it’s the type of writing that will ultimately benefit a company the most.

Without a doubt, you’ve come across persuasive copywriting before. It’s the content that makes you sit up in your chair and think twice about what you’re reading. It’s the content that makes you excited, makes you happy, makes you feel an urgent need to do something. If you’ve never created persuasive copywriting before, though, now is your time.

This is one of those things that’s made rather than born. As long as you know how to write copy, you can write persuasive copy, and this guide tells you how. By ensuring that your copy is specific, focused on benefits rather than features, emotive, chock full of testimony, and written from a place of authentic feeling and emotion, it’s easy to encourage readers to connect with it.

While persuasive copywriting does many things, its primary purpose is to drive conversions.

There’s no better platform for conversions than a base of users that is engaged, connected, and enthralled by your content.

And it’s one of the best ways to ensure the health and wellbeing of your company in the long-run, from Google rankings to conversion-oriented words on your website.

Need great writers to help you create persuasive content? Contact our expert copywriting team today!

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persuasive copywriting unicorn

The Keys of Persuasive Copywriting: The Unicorn of Online Content

Persuasive copywriting is the unicorn of online content.

It’s elusive, secretive, and mythical.

People whisper about it in darkened corners and tell stories about it to their entrepreneurial children.

Everyone dreams about it, but when you actually see it – BAM!

It’s a shocking and wonderful experience.

When it comes to the web, bad content is a nickel a ton.

Inexperienced, over-eager, or just plain bad copywriters jam topics down readers’ throats and try to sell a concept or topic at ALL costs.

Because of this, copywriting that doesn’t attack as much as it leads is worth its weight in virtual gold.

If you’ve always been intrigued by the persuasive copywriting unicorn of yore, this guide is for you.

In a few simple steps, you can learn to create persuasive copywriting that makes your audience want to follow you wherever you go. Read on to learn more.

unique persuasive copywriting

What Makes Online Copy Persuasive?

To be persuasive, online copywriting doesn’t simply need to make a point clear.

Nor does it simply need to use short sentences and easy language.

No – persuasive copywriting is much, much deeper than this.

In order to be persuasive, online copywriting must do the following things:

#1. Help the reader understand the context of an issue, rather than just the issue itself

Think about this in terms of the difference between a mechanic’s handbook and an advertisement for a new car. Even if they both discuss the same vehicle, the advertisement is likely to make you feel persuaded – to make you want to take the leap and purchase the car. Why? Because the advertisement gives you context while the ad just gives you facts. Persuasive copywriting helps readers understand the how, what, why, and where of an issue, rather than just the what. 

#2. Showcase the benefits of addressing an issue

Imagine I’m an SEO company, and I’m making these two pitches:

Pitch 1 – “You have an SEO problem. You should fix it now.”

Pitch 2 – “By investing in SEO, companies earn an average of 40% more site traffic within six months. This will help you drive increased sales and boost your company’s bottom line.”

Which pitch are you going to bite on?

If you’re like most people, the obvious answer is #2. Why? Because pitch 2 helped you see the benefit of solving the issue, rather than the fact that there was an issue to begin with.

People are goal-driven, and providing them with a clear list of benefits and potential outcomes is one of the easiest ways to earn a long-lasting customer base.

#3. Change a person’s perception of an issue or topic

If copywriting succeeds in changing a person’s opinion or idea about something, then it has done its job successfully.

The best copywriting is powerful, tactical, and smart enough to shift the way people view a topic or issue.

Without this, it’s just more words on a page.

How to Create Persuasive Copywriting: 4 Smart Tactics

Now that you know what makes persuasive copywriting persuasive, let’s talk about how to create it. While it may seem like persuasive copy is born not made, the fact of the matter is that anyone can learn to improve their online copywriting with the help of some simple tips and tricks. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Ask the right questions

According to Business2Community, the trick to persuasive content writing is asking the right questions. Which questions are these, you ask?

They’re the ones your audience will ask before they’ll make a purchasing decision of any kind.

To commit to your product, goods, or services, your customer must first know a few things: namely, that the product has value, that it will help them solve a problem, and that it’s better than anything else out there on the market.

To get ahead of these concerns and answer your customers’ inquires before they have a chance to ask them, consider the following questions:

  • What are your potential customers’ needs?
  • How does your product/good/service intend to fix them?
  • What proof do you have you can do the job?
  • What benefit will the customers gain from your product?

2. Stay conversational

Persuasive copywriting functions on a human-to-human level.

Without this, it’s virtually impossible to inspire a reaction from your followers.

With this in mind, ensure that your content remains as conversational as possible without being informal.

Striking this balance ensures that you’ll succeed at educating your consumers without patronizing or confusing them with lingo.

3. Tell a story

Remember that car advertisement vs. mechanic’s handbook example I laid out earlier? Why was the car advertisement more compelling?

The answer is simply because it tells a story.

While the mechanic’s handbook only tells you how to do something, the car advertisement tells you why. It opens your eyes to the possibilities inherent within the purchase of the car, and what kind of lifestyle you could live, if only you stepped inside.

All great copywriting must do the same thing.

While I’m not advocating writing everything like you would a car ad, I am advocating creating content that makes your readers feel something, and telling a story is the single most effective way to do this.

4. Emphasize the benefits

Back to the car ad: how many car ads just pop onto your screen with a bulleted list of the car’s features on a black background.

None of them.


Because this would be boring (the opposite of persuasive) and because nobody would care.

Why car advertisements do so well is that they advertise the benefits of the purchasing decision rather than the features included with any one vehicle.

This persuades people to act and is a wonderful way to appeal to a consumer’s emotions.

Get Your Readers to Go “Wow!”

Without persuasive copywriting, it’s impossible to grow a brand or create a content dynasty.

By implementing these four tips, however, and understanding exactly what goes into persuasive copywriting, it’s easy to stand out online and create quality content people want to get involved with.

Can’t locate your unicorn content writers? Stop looking – we’re here! Contact Express Writers today for great, custom content writing.