The Power of Persuasive Copywriting on your Website

Basically… you have 6 seconds… WOW me.

This is a blog about the power of persuasive copywriting.

The headline just about sums it up really …  and now the research is starting to back it up:

People surfing the net are impatient, discerning, and looking for instant gratification. They move on quickly and decisively.

So, how do you engage readers enough to keep them interested? And turn them into buyers? All in less than 10 seconds?

Well, in truth, there’s no perfect formula, or fail-proof solution, but there are some persuasive copywriting techniques that we do know work more effectively than others. I’ve outlined a few of them here.

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1. Make every word count:

People are constantly ‘scanning’ information – they don’t necessarily read in depth, so you need to get to the point. And then you need to stick to the point.

Use ‘everyday’ language that readers can understand and, above all, keep perspective: this is not your Booker Prize winning life-long ambition, this is a website.

2. A picture really does tell a thousand words:

Studies show that captions are consistently the most often read elements of a web page.

You can use these to your advantage – a well-placed image with a lengthy and informative caption can draw people right into your site. Graphs and charts can often be a good way to display those facts and figures that add credibility to your product or service but which can slow your copy down and turn people off.  Balance the text with the pics.

3. Empty the toolbox.

Readers like white space and simplicity. This helps to create the illusion of “easy-to-scan” text. You can enhance this by using tools such as bullet points and lists.  Short sentences and one-line paragraphs are also effective. These help to de-clutter your page and make your text look ‘less wordy’.

4. Use powerful language:

Here are some of the words marketers have been using for years because they elicit strong emotional responses. Use them appropriately. Too many come across as a ‘hard sell’, while a few well-chosen and well placed can really make your copy great.

‘YOU’ – this appeals directly to our desire to be recognised as individuals.

‘FREE’– there’s nothing we love more than something for nothing.

‘BECAUSE’ – deep down we’re all looking for a reason, justification or basis for decision-making.

‘INSTANT’ – we can’t get enough immediate gratification.

‘NEW’ – This is the ‘novelty’ factor. It’s the latest and the greatest – who doesn’t want it?

5. Make it personal.

There’s nothing people value more than feeling like you’re talking solely to them.

Understand your target market and write in a way they can relate to. If you can engage their imaginations, solve their problems or tell a good story then you’re on the right track… It’s important to be personal too, and by that I mean having a likeable, honest, uncomplicated style and not being afraid to share some personal experiences with your readers.

6. Remember, it’s a two-way conversation.

If you want people to comment, share, subscribe, or download then ask them to do just that. But please ask nicely. And provide an effortless way for them to oblige. In the world of advertising, there’s an age-old saying. “Sell the ‘sizzle’, not the sausage”.

This remains true even in today’s ever-changing, fast-paced online advertising and marketing space.As a general rule people don’t like to be sold to, but they do like having the ability to ‘buy’.

Persuasive copywriting seeks to engage and inform readers while establishing an essence of trust, authority and authenticity – enough for people to want to build a relationship with you and your website.

From that point, the future is wide open.

Talk to us about persuasive copywriting for your website

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