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The art of persuasion is one that comes naturally to very few people. Instead, most writers, speakers, and even performers need to learn how to add persuasion to their content.

persuasive-copyPersuasion is particularly useful – okay, it’s essential – when you’re writing sales copy or copy meant to elicit some type of action.

Here are six things you can do to tweak your copy and make it more persuasive, aka effective.

#1 Use Statistics

Statistics add credibility to your material and they help readers solidify their buying decision. 79% of people who read a statistic in a sales page actually make a purchase. Okay, this isn’t true, but it helps demonstrate the point.

#2 Use the Word “Because”

Your reader is always wondering Why? Answer that why before your reader asks it. Anticipate the question and provide the information. They’ll move seamlessly through your copy, never once stopping. Why? Because you’ve given them all the information they need, and want, to know. There was a psychology research study that demonstrated this very powerfully. In this study, an attractive young girl asked to go to the head of a long line of people waiting to use the copier. When she simply asked, “May I go to the head of the line?” – people refused to let her in. But when she asked, “May I go to the head of the line, because I need to make some copies?”- people let her in most of the time. This simple example illustrates the power of because.

#3 Ask Questions

Asking your reader questions gets them involved in the material. It makes them think about what they want or need. Questions are a way of engaging the reader’s attention and having them consider more deeply what you are asking. This is a good way to increase the time people spend interacting with your content.

#4 Know Your Audience

This is basic, but so important. The more you can present your copy using words your audience uses, the way they use them, and the more you can ‘sound like them’- the more persuasive your copy will be.

#5 Clarify and Specify

Many sales pages are written with the mistaken assumption that your reader understands the content, the need for the product or service, and the information on the topic. Make sure you talk to them with respect; don’t patronize, but also clarify and specify – write copy that your reader is sure to understand.

#6 Incentivize Your Copy

Have you ever watched an infomercial? If you have, then you’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “but wait, there’s more” as the narrator goes on to add more benefits and add-ons to the purchase of knives that can cut through tomatoes and bricks. Why do they do this when it’s cliché and everyone expects it? Because it works.

In a way, you want to do the same thing with your copy. You want to create reasons for your reader to continue reading. You want to motivate them to get to the good stuff. How do you do this? Make promises, incite curiosity, ask questions and use formatting to draw your reader’s eye through the copy.

Writing persuasive copy takes a bit of practice, willingness to experiment with various tactics, and a deep understanding of your audience and reader. Try incorporating a few of these persuasive copy tips into your next piece.