Persuasive Writing: How it Helps You Sell

What drives people to buy a product or service?

Chances are you already know the answer... Their emotions.

People act when what they see, read, hear and especially feel motivates them to do so.

Oddly, many websites ignore still ignore the emotional factors which motivate people and instead write content which is more about telling, than selling with persuasion.

Emotions and Motivations

Among the many emotions that drive decision-making it's possible to discover the decision persuading motivators your buyers may have. Such as -

  • Worry - Averting a crisis
  • Pride - Becoming more competitive
  • Envy - Being like or better than a rival
  • Frustration - Making jobs simpler
  • Fear - Keeping my job
  • Hope - Saving time & money
  • Love - Increasing self-esteem
  • Gratitude - Public recognition

Imagine you've got a prospect who is fearful of losing their job. Listing a whole lot of factual information about your product or service to them in a sales pitch is unlikely to get through all the other thoughts and feelings they're churning over on the inside as they mull over and over the prospect of losing their job.

In fact just listing factual information alone is unlikely to get through to anyone, which means if you're guilty of having a lot of this type of content on your web pages you'll want to consider repositioning your communication.

Benefits Focused, rather than Features Focused

Just to be clear -

Features are facts, they are what the product or service is or does.

Benefits describe how the product or services changes the buyers life; they are emotionally charged.

When a prospect understands the benefits they are more confident in their buying decision and as a customer, more satisfied with your product or service which increases their loyalty to your business.

24 x 7 Sales Person

Your website is a 24 x 7 sales person. It is out there every second of everyday promoting your business and persuading people to buy from you.

So if you haven't given the content copy any emotional "oomph" to persuade people emotionally to help motivate that buying decision, then you may as well save your money and ditch your website.

It can be difficult to change your writing style if you've spent years perfecting the features oriented writing style that schools, government agencies and corporate businesses all prefer. Should you be in this situation you have two options.

Option one. Be patient with yourself and take the time to retrain your brain so that eventually it becomes easy to write emotionally.

Or... hire someone who already writes emotionally to do it for you.

There are plenty of places to source talented copywriters - a quick Google search will present you with thousands of options.

Checking for Persuasion

Whether you do it yourself or get someone else to write your content copy for you there are a few things to look out for -

  • The copy must have an intention (there's got to be a purpose to your web page).
  • You have factual points to support your position (the truth is a particularly powerful persuader).
  • Persuasion techniques are used (such as objection handling, using positive language, appealing to emotions, having the reader say yes repeated etc).
  • The underlying argument is logical (unless you're selling a conspiracy theory I suppose).
  • There is a Call to Action (help the converted to take the next step and buy).

Basically, your persuasive writing is seeking to influence the reader to take the action (in your Call to Action) you intend for them.

Reasons, examples and comparisons are used to support your message, however the main purpose is to persuade your reader to think or act in a certain way, rather than inform them.

Another good way to check if your copy is persuasive is to high-light all your facts, features, examples etc. in one color and your sales, persuasion and benefits in another. There should be at least double the amount of the persuasion color compared to the facts color.

Many of the top Internet Marketers attribute their ability to write great emotional sales copy with the vast fortunes that they've made online. And if that doesn't persuade you to spend some time evaluating your content copy and making it emotionally persuasive, then perhaps the Persuasive Words for Copy that Sells "cheat sheet" will tempt you to experiment a little.

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