What is persuasive copy?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - persuasive copy

The term ‘persuasive copy’ refers to copy or content which is designed to persuade people to do things; however, the real meaning goes a lot deeper than merely a single sentence. Persuasive copy is utilised every day online, in email marketing campaigns, magazine and newspaper ads, or even in a love letter from someone trying to win another’s heart!

A piece of persuasive copy does indeed persuade, however, over the decades, it has been refined to the point that through following certain tips and strategies, you can use it for your ads, emails, web pages, articles, or direct marketing promotions and realise a great deal of success.

What are the functions of persuasive copy?

Grab Attention

If you don’t grab your reader’s attention from the get-go, persuasion is not even possible. They will overlook what you have to say and then get on with their day. In most cases, the greatest way to grab someone’s attention is with a title or headline. This is the first thing which someone sees and -most of the time – they will decide whether to stay reading based on the title or headline.

There are more headline-writing tips out there than you can shake a stick at, and many of them are very effective. Asking a pertinent question, making it into a how-to, suggesting exciting benefits or throwing out an interesting statistic are all concepts that work. Your job is to work out which ones work best at which times.

Here are some more tips for writing persuasive headlines from the pros:

  • Perform A/B testing on your headlines

The optimal way to learn what makes a good headline is to have the chance to split test them. The value of doing this is not automatically the fact that you end up with a 1.5% increase in click-through rate, but more that you learn very fast what headline formats work well as well as how important it is to test assumptions.

A/B/ testing is the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing assets with just one different element. For instance, if you’re A/B testing a headline, you would create two versions of the same page with only the headline changed.

After you formulate your variations, you present each version to half of your visitors. The test will tell you which option proved most popular with your audience based on certain metrics, for example, conversion rate or time spent on-page.

  • Utilise numbers and then make them big

One thing that practically every guide on headline writing concurs on is that numbers work, and big obscure numbers work the best. Everything else being equal, ‘109 Ways to Grow Your Blog’ will overtake ‘6 Ways to Grow Your Blog’. Why? Because it promises increased value and – with any luck -delivers on that promise.

  • Use digits instead of words

In practically every scenario, the digits outperform the words.

  • Place the number at the beginning of the headline

If you’re penning a list, it’s typically better to structure the headline with the number at the start. For instance, ’10 Ways to Grow Your Blog’ is probably better than ‘How to Grow Your Blog in 10 Steps.’

  • Make an overly ambitious promise and over-deliver on it

The best headlines commit to doing anything valuable or emotionally stimulating. ‘How to generate R1,850,000 per year from blogging’ is incredibly compelling, as it’s a huge promise. If you could write an article which genuinely showed replicable formats and case studies on how that’s attainable, you’ve delivered on your promise.

Upworthy, as well as Buzzfeed, make huge promises in their headlines that their content will make you encounter extreme emotional responses, e.g. “You’ll cry when you see this tiger shaking hands with this baseball bat”.

  • Teach people something useful

We love learning new skills which complement our goals and our lives. For this reason, headlines containing ‘A Beginners Guide to’, ‘DIY’, ‘Introduction’, ‘In 5 Minutes’ tend to work very well.

There are some interactive elements to keep in mind when writing copy which persuades web readers to take action. Remember that you are attempting to convince someone to part with their time or money – commodities that are difficult to part with. The copy is THE most important aspect of Internet marketing. Your words must talk to the person reading it in a simple and compelling voice.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

Would you like to learn more about persuasive copywriting? If you do, then you need to study our National Diploma in Copywriting. For more information, please follow this link.

DSM Digital School of Marketing- Copy Writing