As a professional copywriter, you may long to write serious articles and interesting research pieces, however, keeping the lights on usually means writing a few persuasive pieces on insulation, car features, and other industry-specific topics.
Your client wants something that's useful, yet still indirectly nudging the reader towards a call to action. If you're having trouble hitting the mark, here's three tips to help you write effective persuasive copy while still keeping the reader engaged.
1. Benefits vs. Features
Whether you're writing product descriptions or informative blog posts, navigating the difference between benefits and features is an essential skill for a professional copywriter to master. While features generally entail a list of attributes or details about a product or service, benefits tell the reader why they should care about it.
A list of features might be good for a product package or on a landing page asking for contact information, but when you're writing copy you should focus on benefits. Benefits will always be more persuasive as they help a reader identify with a product or service and speak directly to the problems that the reader is trying to solve. Benefits also tie into a reader's emotions, which leads to the second tip.
2. Tap Into Emotions
No matter how well you've presented the benefits of a product, service, or idea, if the reader doesn't feel anything or have a sense of attachment to those benefits then they won't stick with your content and they won't follow through with any calls to action.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, common emotional triggers include value, instant gratification, trend-setting, and time. If you can elicit these triggers from your readers, they are more likely to be moved to take action from your messages. Help readers to see that you're showing them something of value, or something that they can have right now. Show readers how your ideas or products will make them leaders in their industry or save them five hours per week.
3. Be Specific
If there's one instruction that makes a professional copywriter cringe it's “no fluff.” Most writers want to give their best work and adding in unnecessary adjectives and irrelevant information just isn't part of the deal. On the other hand, how can you be sure that you're avoiding content that can be viewed as fluffy? By using details and specific information to make your case rather than wordy claims or general ideas.
For example, rather than saying that adding insulation to your home can cut down on energy costs, point out that a properly insulated home can save up to 20% of a home's heating costs. The first idea sort of seems appealing, but cutting a bill by 20% is an instant winner.
Bring it Together
The reason why people seek out a professional copywriter rather than applying these ideas to their own words is because it isn't always easy to tie these ideas together and create sensible sentences. That's where your creativity and expertise comes in. To bring it home for our example of insulation, here is one way to speak to the reader's emotions while delivering a powerful fact-based benefit:
“If you're tired of shivering through the winter and your energy bills are giving you the chills, maybe it's time to bulk up your home's insulation. A well-insulated home can cut your heating bills by up to 20% so while you're fattening the layer of insulation in your attic, you'll be fattening your wallet, too.”
If insulation can sound that great, anything is possible.