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Marketing / Business writing

How to write persuasively

Your clients ask one main question when they read your website, brochures, ads, direct mail letters and other marketing material. If you write the answer to this question effectively, you’re persuading them to do business with you.

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One question to rule them all

The question that every client asks when they read your marketing material is: ‘What’s in it for me?’ If you write the answer to this question in a compelling and concise way, you are writing persuasively, because you are grabbing the reader’s attention and increasing the chance of a sale.

How to answer the client’s question persuasively

1. Turn your features into benefits

Most businesses write predominantly about themselves in their marketing material, but this can be a big sales-killer. To write persuasively, you need to focus more on what the client will get out of you rather than what you actually provide. In other words, focus more on the benefits rather than the features. The feature is the straightforward explanation of your product or service, the benefit is the positive outcome the client derives from your product or service.

You can find out the benefits of your business by placing the words ‘which means that’ after the feature. For example:

Johnny’s Hairdressing Salon specialises in style cuts (feature) – which means that – you get a haircut that makes you look attractive (benefit).

"The question that every client asks when they read your marketing material is: ‘What’s in it for me?’"

Dindi’s goat milk soap contains no chemicals (feature) – which means that – your skin becomes softer, smoother and requires less moisturiser (benefit).

2. Keep it simple

Language that is too complex will only confuse the reader, giving them a reason to click away from your website or discard your brochure. Just keep your message crisp, clear, and uncluttered.

3. Change the words “I” or “We” into “You”.

If the question is, ‘What’s in it for me?’, then the answer must involve the word ‘you’.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business writing section.

Some examples of persuasive writing in action

A computer specialist

Before: We offer computer backup solutions to fit your budget. We can offer external backup solutions or online solutions to meet your needs.

After: You won’t lose precious photos or vital documents from your computer thanks to our affordable backup solutions.

A personal chef

Before: I am a professional and experienced personal chef with 30 years experience. I will come to your home to cook delicious meals for your special dinner party.

After: Add a touch of elegance, prestige and magic to your dinner party by hiring me to be your personal chef. With 30 years industry experience, I guarantee that your food will be delicious and professionally presented. Your guests won’t want to leave the dinner party and you’ll be the talk of the town!

A copywriter

Before: My copywriting skills are second to none. I write words for websites, brochures, pamphlets and advertisements.

After: Do you need persuasive, sales-boosting words written for your marketing material? Then I’m the copywriter for you!

The power of written persuasion comes in many different forms, this is just one simple strategy for how to write persuasively to help make a positive difference to your marketing material.

What are the benefits of your product or service? Go on, persuade us to do business with you by leaving a comment.

Lucinda Lions

Lucinda Lions is the owner and chief copywriter at Lion Writing. She writes persuasive, compelling and engaging website copy that converts visitors into customers. All copy comes with a 100% Lion-Clad guarantee. She is also the owner and chief tagline writer at Slogan Creator. You can also find Lucinda on Facebook.

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