If your goal is to gain a loyal consumer base and turn a profit, you need more than good design alone — you need to give people a reason to believe. Persuasion isn’t about manipulating your audience or making promises you can’t keep. It’s simply about knowing what to say and how to say it. You want your audience to read your message and think, “Wow. They get me.”
Whether we’re talking content for print ads, the web or social media, compelling copy should:
1. Get into your audiences’ heads. I mean, really get in there. This includes understanding your audience far beyond their age, gender and geographic region. It’s about tapping into what motivates them and what drives their decision-making. Only then can your message hit home and get them to take action.
2. Stop them in their tracks. How can you persuade your audience if you can’t get them to read what you have to say? An eye-catching headline, informational subhead and clever intro copy have the important task of making enough of a connection to ensure people take the “bait” and want to read on.
3. Paint a picture. Once you’ve got them on the line, you’ve got to help the audience visualize how your product/service will make their life better. This involves painting a picture of what their problem is and how you can fix it. It’s about appealing to their emotions, telling a story and providing a clear solution.
4. Be genuine. If you think your audience can’t see past sales gimmicks and deceptive messaging, you’re not giving them enough credit. People want to buy into a brand that cares about who they are. Coming across as “real” and trustworthy goes a long way in persuading your audience that you’re the right fit for them.
5. Be subtle but clear. Sure, you want your audience to have a clear call-to-action. But, you also don’t want to pester them into it. At the end of the day, you want your copy to be so artfully crafted that your audience doesn’t even know you got into their heads. They should think they came to the conclusion all on their own.
Nailing down the right voice and perspective can make all the difference in whether or not people see the value in what you have to offer — and whether you’ll convert those people into customers.
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