Some people are very good at convincing.
Surely you know someone like that, (or maybe it’s you), that kind of person who almost always gets what he wants.
Persuasion is not innate in everyone, but it can be learnt.
In order to sell, you have to persuade, but you have to do it properly so that people don’t run away from you.
And how do you persuade them?
But with arguments designed for the specific person we want to convince to do something.
Experienced salespeople are experts in persuading and they study the person in front of them before choosing the arguments with which they are going to convince them.
But you don’t have salespeople who are on the road visiting clients, so you have to convince your potential customers with the words you write on your website and social media accounts.
With the copy on your website and with your marketing emails you can convince your visitors and subscribers to do what you want: buy your notebooks, hire you as a coach or do your course online.
Telemarketing and aggressive direct sales no longer work.
People don’t want to be disturbed at their front door or to be called on the phone to hear a pushy monologue on why should they change their telephone carrier.
Do you also wonder how many of these calls are really attended?
99% of people have neither the time nor the desire to listen to this type of shoddy salesmanship, especially because they always seem to call at the most inconvenient moment.
Telemarketing should be history, along with passive gymnastics machines.
Nowadays people want to feel they choose freely, without being harassed, that’s why Inbound marketing and persuasive writing or copywriting are working so well.
Inbound marketing are those marketing techniques that aim to attract, persuade and convert potential customers into real customers.
It’s a matter of subtly attracting by offering valuable content and convincing with arguments, without being a pain.
There are lots of blogs and books to learn how to write with intention, as I call it.
In this post I give you the keys to write more persuasive texts in order to get closer to your potential customers and convince them that your product or service is what they need without sounding like a huckster.
Let’s crack on, shall we?
If you don’t have that person’s attention, you’re not going to be able to convince her to keep reading and not go somewhere else.
In my previous post, we talked about ways to get the attention of the reptilian brain, which is the part of our brain that takes the decisions, so I recommend you to read it when you finish this post.
I don’t think it’s necessary to tell you the number of websites that swarm around and the dozens of emails that we all receive every day.
The first thing you have to think about is: How am I going to make this potential customer dedicate her precious attention to me?
The answer is with a title and an introduction that anticipates something interesting for that person.
And what might interest her?
Basically two things: How to solve a problem or how to feel better.
Now you can tell me “okay, but I sell bags and bags don’t solve any problem”.
Yes and no (I hate this expression but here it fits).
At first sight, it might seem that we don’t need a bag to survive but we might want a bag to feel better because with that bag we will belong to the group of people who dress well according to our taste.
With objects like this the most important thing is to have great images, so to attract attention you will choose stylish photos with people whom your ideal customer wants to looks like.
For example, a sexy girl, or an intellectual woman, a hip guy, etc …
However, to sell a service, an online course or software you will need to attract attention with words too.
Already on your website’ header or in the subject of your email you are going to tell that potential customer what she will take away if she keeps reading.
Let’s see an example.
Xebia is a software development company. Immediately after landing on their website they tell us, using large typography, the main benefit we can take from them.
Let’s see, raise your hand if you want to be a digital winner.
With this great introduction they are already calling out our attention to continue reading so we can find out how they can help us to become a digital winner.
Amplification is a typical practice in persuasive writing.
It consists in raising a problem (in a positive or negative way) and empathise with the reader about that problem so the potential customer puts all his interest in knowing more about what we have to offer.
In the previous example, we have raised a pain point in a positive way, “Do you want to be a digital winner?”
Then you can use agitation to “stick your finger in the sore” of that problem and get the reader’s full attention.
It’s not about being a sadist but of showing empathy towards the reader and his problem.
Let’s see a completely different example to illustrate this point and make it clearer.
In this example of easyspanishforyou.com (it’s a client of mine), we’re agitating the problem.
We have put ourselves in the shoes of the person who wants to learn Spanish for one of those reasons but he is afraid to fail because he thinks it’ll be very difficult and boring since he relates learning a language with his high school years.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and empathize with him, feel with him and tell him not to worry anymore, because you are going to help him.
This is where you have to present your product or service as a solution to that problem.
Be honest in explaining how you can help your potential customer and don’t use sleazy sales techniques.
Don’t promise benefits you’re not sure you can deliver.
Avoid phrases such as “Incredible results” “Best in the market“.
And focus on describing your solution in honest and concrete words.
Let’s see this with an example.
We present our solution and how it is different from others that already exist. “My lessons are focused on conversation.”
“You’ll realize that Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn.”
I didn’t just add the above statement out of the blue, but I did some research and found that Latin languages (especially Spanish) are among the least difficult.
The human search for a WHY takes place even when we buy something. We all need a why.
No one is going to do what you want them to do if you don’t tell them why they should do it.
It’s like when your child, if you have one (otherwise you can picture yourself being 14), asks you for money.
– “Mom, can I have 20 €?”
Your immediate reaction will be:
– What for?
And depending on whether she tells you it’s to buy cigarettes or a book she needs for school, you may decide to give it to her or not.
Your customer wants to know why he should give you his money.
This is where you have to talk about the benefits of your product or service.
You need to describe in as much detail as possible how that person’s life will improve if they buy that product or if they hire you.
Remember, the benefits of your product are those advantages the customer gets.
Start by thinking about the features of your product and turn them into benefits.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Feature: “Platform with beta technology“.
Benefit: “You’ll save 20% of time doing your accounting.”
Feature: “Support via WhatsApp“
Benefit: “You’ll never get stuck, we’ll resolve your doubts at any time.”
Before they buy anything, people are going to have objections and doubts.
Your job, if you want to be persuasive, is to take away all those objections with more arguments.
Objection: “It’s expensive.”
Argument: “Quality is important. Nowadays nothing lasts a long time and in the end, we end up spending more money by having to buy the same object more often because it breaks”.
Sit down to think about possible doubts and objections your customer may have and raise them in your texts even before the person reading comes up with them.
Don’t try to hide an objection or a flaw that you know your product or service has, on the contrary, you should bring up the subject and turn that flaw into an advantage.
As an example, I’m going to tell you about a flaw that I have and that I can’t change no matter how much I want to.
In order to change it, I would need to be born again.
Let me explain.
I offer content creation and copywriting services in Spanish and English. I’m bilingual but not native English.
However, I have turned this “defect” into a virtue.
On my website I tell my potential clients that I write in international English so that everyone, no matter where they can from, understands it.
In addition, the fact that I have lived in several countries, travelled a lot and speak several languages makes it easier for me to communicate with international people.
This is an advantage for businesses that want to sell in different countries and in markets where people use international English and not native English.
And it works, because it’s true.
Reflect on your flaws and turn them into advantages.
I often talk about this point in my posts when I explain how to sell more over the Internet.
Using powerful testimonials can make a huge difference.
Having other people recommend your product or service will end up convincing your potential customer.
Because people tend to trust something when a lot of people say it’s good.
Why should we risk buying a product that nobody says anything about?
Make sure you add at least 3 or 4 testimonials to all your sales copy.
If you are designing an email marketing strategy with a sequence of emails, introduce testimonials in some of them, but not in all because it can be too much.
There are some tested email sequences that work, one of those emails always includes social proof.
This post explains the basics to create a sales sequence.
In order to obtain powerful testimonials, you can send your customers a short questionnaire with this kind of questions:
– Why did you decide to hire us?
– What objections did you have before hiring us?
– What is it like before and after working with me?
– What would you highlight about this product?
With these questions, you help those people who find expressing themselves difficult to write great testimonials for your business.
Comparing your product or service with your competition can be a very persuasive argument.
You can’t use your competitor’s name but you can suggest what others do and what you do differently.
Here it’s necessary to be very subtle, it isn’t a question of underestimating what others do, but of underlining what you do differently and better.
For example, you can emphasize the fact that you are the only company in your sector that offers customer service over the phone or that your shoes are manufactured in Europe and not in poor countries with very low wages.
Contrast will help you express your Unique Value Proposition, or what makes you different from other products or services.
So far we’ve convinced the emotional part of the brain, which is the part that makes the decisions. But if there is still any doubt we can convince the logical part of the brain with data.
Choose graphs and statistics that add tangible data to your arguments.
“Did you know that 70% of people who work with their computers suffer back pain due to bad postures?”
Do your research and find statistics, graphs and data that will help you convince your potential customers.
People are often absent-minded, we forget things.
That’s why repetition works very well when selling.
You should remind your potential customer, by choosing different words, what is that you offer and the strongest arguments you have put forward to answer the important WHY.
Repeat your offer several times throughout the text if it’s long, and especially at the end.
Do you know the popular technique of the PS?
Check next time you receive a well-written marketing email and more often than not you will find the offer repeated in the PS with different words.
Surely this has happened to you before.
You’re talking to a potential customer and he’s almost convinced but suddenly he says “Let me think about it”.
And 99% of the times he won’t come back.
Sometimes introducing urgency can do the job because it also brings into play the fear of losing an opportunity.
To play with the feeling of urgency you can introduce a limited offer or shortage of units (limited stock, only X units left).
But don’t overdo it with phrases like “If you don’t buy now, in 5 days everything will be sold“.
You have to be more subtle and say something like “I can’t guarantee that there will be units left in a few days”.
You can be even more subtle when you introduce the urgency factor helping the potential customer to imagine already enjoying the advantages of your service.
Let’s look at an example.
This is a text I wrote for a company that offers courses online on Nutrigenomics.
On the home page I talked about how important genetics will be in the prevention of diseases in the future and how prominent this science is becoming, so experts in this field will be in high demand.
I introduced the urgency factor with phrases like this:
“Be ahead of the crowd and learn Nutrigenomics now.”
This is a good example of how you can use urgency without using limited price or stock offers.
Call to Action
No matter how convinced a person is to do what you want him to do, (buy a product, make an appointment, subscribe to a newsletter), if you don’t guide him exactly where you want him to go, your efforts of persuasion will have been of no use.
The call to action (CTA) is that button that we want the customer to click to take him to the shopping cart or contact form.
Here you can be creative and use different phrases instead of the typical “Subscribe now” or “I want the free guide”.
You can say:
Persuasive writing is a technique that can be mastered over time and by practicing a lot.
Read and study all the sales copy you find and decide if you like it and why.
This is another way to learn, but you also have to practice writing yourself.
If you have any doubts when writing your copy I’m here to answer them.
Go for it!
I write web copy and engaging content for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, I write everywhere. I love arthouse films and books that make me think. Tolstoy and Chekhov are my life coaches.