Summary: Understanding the principles of persuasive copywriting will help any prospector increase their response rate when dialing leads, writing emails, facebook ads, newsletters, and postcards. However, most agents don’t know what persuasive copy is, let alone how to make it work with their prospecting or marketing. This article will cover what persuasive copywriting is, how it will benefit your business, and six easy ways to use these principles to improve your results.Download Audio
What is Persuasive Copy and Why it’s Beneficial to Your Business
According to Statista.com, 81% of adult Americans in 2017 used social media regularly. That’s why in addition to your prospecting calls, your emails, ads and other lead generating activities need to be just as good as your phone skills.
There are a few ways to think about “what is” persuasive copy. One way to think about it is as salesmanship in print. But regardless of whether your words are on a page or spoken out loud, your job is to influence a sale. So when you design your messaging to influence your prospects to follow an action you prescribe (that is aligned with their goals) you’ve got persuasive copy!
Persuasive copy can grab and hold your prospect’s attention all the way through to closing. It gets them to do things like respond to your ads, make pricing adjustments, and even send you referrals. Understanding persuasive copywriting will give you an advantage over other agents, but you have to do it right…
6 Ways To Improve Your Writing and Response Rates:
The next six copywriting tactics come from expert copywriter Bond Halbert and his book “The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III”. These are six proven ways to improve the persuasive power of your prospecting and marketing.
1. Make the Copy Easy to Read
One goal of persuasive copy is to get your prospects to read every single word of your ad, email, or social media post. However, if you have an email with 500 words in two large paragraphs with little to no formatting, it is hard to read. If it is hard to read, most people won’t read it.
Bond refers to a concept he calls “providing eye relief” and says that “without it, you will lose everyone who doesn’t have OCD.” Make it look exciting and easy to look at rather than something boring and long.
You never want the reader to think they are reading. The idea is to get them so captured by your content they don’t realize what they’re doing until they’ve already picked up the phone to call you.
2. Write as if Your Prospect Needs to Pee
Everyone is busy and in a hurry. Consequently, Bond says “once readers think they know all they need to know, they start looking for a good place to stop reading” or listening.
That is why Bond brings up the idea of writing (or speaking) as if your reader needs to pee. It will help you cut out all the fluff that won’t keep your prospect engaged or distracts from your message. “Every word should earn its place,” says Bond.
3. Keep the Words Simple, Stories Exciting, and Paragraphs Short
Don’t make paragraphs too long, sentences complicated, or words too big. Instead of using the words like advantageous, use simpler words like helpful. Because the second you use a word that someone doesn’t understand or is difficult to read, they check out.
You also need to keep your copy exciting and filled with enthusiasm. Bond says to “give readers the same level of emphasis in print as you would when speaking to them.” This energy will transfer to the reader and influence them towards the goal of your message. Keep the excitement flowing by keeping your paragraphs short. Long paragraphs tend to take longer to deliver value. The longer it takes to deliver your message, the less people will respond.
4. Provide a Fear of the Unknown
The second someone opens your email, starts reading your facebook post or ad, or you start delivering your script, they start searching for a place to stop reading or listening. In other words, Bond says that “they will continue reading if they think there might be information coming up which will make their life better.”
You don’t want them to read or listen to your first two sentences and determine that they’ve got enough information to know what it’s about and mentally decline your offer.
An essential thing in persuasive writing is making sure the prospect never gets the chance to jump out of the conversation. They need to feel like they can’t stop reading or paying attention in fear that they will miss out on something that will benefit them. As Bond puts it, “never give them a place to feel safe if they stop reading.”
For example, mention the benefits of listening or reading further, before revealing what you are offering them. This will get your prospect “hooked” until the end.
5. Add Cliffhangers and Hooks
We all latch on to cliffhangers and hooks. That’s why we stay up late binge watching Netflix shows. The writers of those shows know how to reel you in and keep you hooked to watch the next episode.
“You want the reader so caught up in the copy they forgot about everything going on around them,” Bond says. Including phrases like “then came the shocking part…” or “and then things got worse…” will have people drawn into your content and they won’t leave until the very last word.
Now look for ways to apply this concept to your messaging and conversations.
6. Understand People
When it comes down to it, you need to understand what your prospects most want and why in order to persuade them. Bond says that “great copywriters understand people”. Great copywriters and prospectors know what attracts and repels prospects. One common repellant are words that sound like “work”.
For example, words “teach” and “learn” sound like work. They’re words that people secretly hate. The common person doesn’t want to read about something they have to be taught. Those words can seem unappetizing and cause prospects to lose interest.
Bond says, “we humans prefer simple tasks to learning profession techniques and we would rather have a quick fix than a plan of attack.” Consider how the saying “let me let you in on a secret…” feels vs. “I will teach you how…”. Engage your prospect with attractive copy rather than repelling them with a seemingly difficult process.
Now that you know what persuasive copy is and six new ways you can immediately increase your results, what are you waiting for? Get out there and put these tips to the test! Your content and conversations will never be the same.
To learn even more ways to rapidly raise your results with persuasive copywriting, check out The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III by Bond Halbert. You will get the full formula we covered in this article.
Here are a few other sources to check out to help make your copy convert into listings and sales:
Real-Estate Copywriting: Generate More Leads By Starting With Your Audience
The 4 Elements of the Most Persuasive Copy
5 Copywriting Tricks for Turning Blah Text Into Persuasive Copy
21 Snazzy Copywriting Examples (and Why they Work
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition