How To Use Persuasion Principles To Write Converting Copy
There is a lot noise in the world.
And it can be deafening.
That’s why you as a business owner need to be more persuasive and more engaging in your conversations with your target audience to rise above the noise.
How do you go about doing that?
You use persuasion principles to write converting copy.
What Are The Persuasion Principles?
Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, developed these persuasion strategies to influence people to do, think, or say certain things. They’re easy strategies to use in your business writing that help customers understand exactly how valuable your services are. With the right persuasion tactics, you can give your potential leads clear vision for how you can improve their lives.
Before you get into a mindset of persuasion is simply manipulation, I want to reframe that thought.
With your copy, I don’t want you to force anyone or manipulate anyone to purchase your offering if it isn’t solving a real problem (whatever that problem will be). For example, we offer copywriting services. However, if a person is dead set on not producing any copy (for whatever reason), I am not going to manipulate or force them into something they are not interested in. That’s sleazy and is not the intent of this article. Instead, we’re just using these principles to frame your work in the best possible light.
Reciprocity is one of my favorite persuasion principles. Maybe it’s my people-pleasing tendencies, but I love giving something back if someone has given me something. Reciprocity is “a relation of mutual dependence or action or influence” (WordHippo).
BNI is a referral networking organization that exemplifies this persuasion principle really well. They rely on the principle of “Giver’s Gain”. In other words, if I give you referrals, I will receive referrals in return. In my personal experience with BNI, this rings true every single time I pass qualified referrals to another member.
Commitment & Consistency
This may top reciprocity as my favorite principle. From an early age, I remember being frustrated when people would say “yes” and then say “no” when a better option came along. As a result, I developed a mentality that my “yeses” will be 100%. There is no turning back. No returns or takebacks. When you commit and remain consistent, you build credibility with the other party.
In simple terms, this is best displayed when you make your vows to your spouse to love them through sickness and health. But it could also show in your public pursuit of a conspiracy theory (even if the evidence stacks against it).
Social proof might sound like a foreign concept, but we all know it by a more familiar term – peer pressure. When you employ social proof in your writing, you’re using the age old tactic of “C’mon! Everyone else is doing it!”
While we’ve all heard we shouldn’t jump off a cliff (even if all our friends are doing it), social proof is surprisingly effective.
You know what they say… It’s critical to build your know, like, and trust factor with your audience. And that’s because people buy from people they know, like, and trust.
Recently, I talked with a salesperson who retired from a company after 30 years. His clients stuck with him over decades not because he had the best product or even the best price. It was because if there was ever an issue or if they ever had a question, they could pick up the phone and talk with my friend.
After my friend retired, the company’s relationship with the client strayed. It got to a point where the client called my friend directly to help solve the problem. Turns out, the new salesmen at the company approached the relationship as a transactional one.
If you can, approach every client relationship (prospective or otherwise) with a relational perspective. Be likable. Get to know them. Build a friendship.
Let’s say you don’t have a likable personality, don’t have social proof, don’t want to give back, and lack consistency. Even then, we have a persuasion principle for you!
Establishing authority is a great persuasion tool for all business models. Even if your business was founded this year, you have one employee on staff, and you’ve never made a large sale, you can still establish your authority in your industry. It might not be easy, but it’s possible!
It’s like resume building right out of college. You’re not going to lie, but you’re going to focus on your business’s strengths.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all been at a super sale of our favorite stores and bought something we shouldn’t have. What drove each of us to temporarily go insane and ignore our carefully constructed budgets? Was it the “Don’t miss out! This sale is ending soon” signs that elevated your heart rate? Perhaps seeing that thing you wanted so badly sitting on an empty shelf put you in a panic.
We’ve all bought into the idea of scarcity. The thought might have crossed your mind that if you didn’t grab it right that second, you might never find such a good deal again. Finding a way to frame your own products or services in this mindset will create an urgency for clients to take action and will ultimately close deals.
Persuasion Principles Applied In Copywriting
So now that you know about the persuasion principles, how do you actually go about applying them in your copywriting?
Reciprocity in Copywriting
“So, what’s it in for me?”
Buyers today expect to receive something in return for their business. It isn’t a case of giving payment and receiving what you asked for anymore. You, as a business, must do more. Think, “How can I reward loyal customers? How can I show clients that our partnership will be mutually beneficial?”
The easiest way to do this is to create some sort of high-value offer like a guide, template, or cheatsheet. Something that your audience will find valuable without requiring even more from them.
For example, we created a bunch of resources over the last year. One, in particular, has been really effective for us in giving value away for free. It’s our How To Answer The 6 Most Important Questions On Your Home Page Guide. If you look further down this page, you’ll find what you can discover inside the guide without having to fill out your contact information.
Here are a couple more ideas for how to write out this reciprocity principle.
Commitment & Consistency in Copywriting
At FocusCopy, we exist to build up and support female entrepreneurs. Now, we don’t exclusively work with female entrepreneurs; however, we want to find opportunities to help those women, create custom offerings to grow their businesses, and generally cheer them on as they grow their ventures.
We are committed to our mission, and we make that commitment known in our writing. If you read any of our blogs or even just peruse our website, this mission is consistently visible. Make your commitments known to your audience!
You can demonstrate your consistency through helpful statistics. Do you know how much money you save your clients in the long term? Do you have 100% customer satisfaction? If there is solid evidence that your business can achieve a consistent result, let your customers know.
Social Proof in Copywriting
No one likes to feel like an outsider – especially when being an insider has so many benefits! Call out all the ways your potential customers would “miss out” if they didn’t decide to work with you or buy your product. More importantly, highlight all the benefits that are waiting for them if they decide to say yes.
Show off glowing reviews from favorite past customers, highlight impressive brands you’ve worked with, and lean on the tangible data that proves just how good you are at solving your customers’ problems. Social proof is all about making a customer wish they had worked with you sooner.
Likability in Copywriting
You can be more likable in your writing by being more personal and vulnerable. The About Page on your website is an awesome place to tell your story and build connections with potential customers. But you can be personal in any and all of your business copy.
If you’re worried this might make your copy seem unprofessional or too touchy-feely, try looking at it another way. You’re just a human being talking to another human being. You want to help solve your customers’ problems and make their lives easier. Being professional does not mean acting like a corporate robot, so don’t be afraid to show a little bit of who you are in your writing.
Authority in Copywriting
If you have credentials – whether those are awards, certifications, etc. – list those. For example, you may boast that you’ve worked with over 75 brands across 4 countries, are endorsed by some hotshot celebrity, or have completed your Ph.D. Maybe your product is super high quality and blows your competition out of the water in every demo. Before you start writing, create an outline that puts your greatest strengths front and center.
Scarcity in Copywriting
When you put pressure on your target audience through limited time offers, deadlines, or limited availability, you increase the value of your products or services in the minds of your customers. That’s why we saw a shortage of toilet paper at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. People thought they wouldn’t be able to get toilet paper, so they cleared the shelves of every grocery store.
If you’re selling services, you only have a finite amount of your time to sell. Remind your customers that your time is limited and valuable.
Learn How We Persuade Your Potential Clients
If you don’t have time or struggle to write your own copy, we’re here to help. Whether you need a persuasive website, newsletter, or blog, we can turn your copy into a powerful sales tool for your business.
Contact us today for a free discovery call and get back to running your business.