27th October 2016

Persuasive Copywriting. What is it and how does it work?

Persuasive Copywriting. What is it and how does it work?

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Persuasive copywriting in eCommerce is the most effective approach to writing copy. It is a style that seeks to engage and inspire consumers, to the point that they feel enticed to make a purchase through a site. The style of writing is not just intended to inform, nor is it designed purely for SEO purposes, its main intention is to sell and induce behaviours, namely those of the purchasing kind.   Persuasive copywriting takes many forms and can be effective through many clever techniques. Let’s explore some of those.

Cognitive ease

Cognitive ease is just what your users want from your site and you can supply it through quick and simple copy, normally in the form of calls to action. For example, the copy on call to action buttons, is often short and to the point and emphasises swiftness of transaction. By writing things like “ Buy now, shipping only takes 2 days”, the consumer is immediately spurred on by the promise of swift delivery and ease of purchase. Use of copy that talks directly and succinctly about how quickly acts can be performed, is an amazingly effective way of ramping up those sales. When you let the customer know that their transaction can be carried out in minimal steps with little or no fuss, they are immediately grateful. Try adding in prominent, easy to read, short bits of copy to your site. Copy that reads; “Free returns until the 17th” or “Free shipping until midnight” are good examples of persuasive copywriting because of their straight to the point messages and promises of making the consumer’s life easier.

Social proof

Another great example of persuasive copy writing, is text that encourages the consumer to do something because quite simply others are doing it too. Onsite copy that conveys the idea that people are buying things or signing up to things on mass, will resonate massively with consumers and achieve the desired result of increased sales. This is because people are social creatures. People want to feel that sense of belonging, like they are connected to a wider concept. Text such as “ sign up today and join the movement” and “most viewed” sections, lead consumers to believe that there are others just like them getting involved with your brand and thus this acts as a testimonial and validates your brand’s status, making the consumer feel more comfortable about buying from you.

Candour.

The internet can often seem like a dangerous and hostile place. Consumers are wary of online scams and the threat of fraud. If through your copy you can convey the idea that you are human, trustworthy and safe, you will see your sales increase. You can exude all of these things through the magic ingredient of candour. Weave it into the tone of your copy and your audience will love you for it. For example, when you ask for dates of birth include text in brackets below, something like “sorry for being nosy, we just need this to confirm you are over 18”. Let users unsubscribe from your emails at any time and if they do opt-out, send them an automated message or trigger a pop-up that says something like “sad to see you go”. These sorts of messages and approaches to copy writing let your customers know that you are not just a faceless company and allows them to develop a bond of trust and establish a connection with you.

FOMO

FOMO, or fear of missing out is a powerful motivator. Your consumers will be spurred on to do something if they think it is their last chance to do so. Persuasive copy writing can easily convey a sense of urgency and the idea that it’s last chance saloon for ordering a certain item or size or colour.  Many websites deploy this technique. They will sprinkle text reading thing like; “hurry only 4 left” or “low in stock” next to particular items that the customer has selected to push the customer into acting now rather than later.  This type of persuasive copy is a powerful trigger for sales.

Your onsite copy needs to be encouraging those purchases, without sounding too salesy and cliched. Persuasive copywriting is the key to achieving this. By using a tone in your writing that is human and friendly, but ultimately hurries the sales process along, you are guaranteed to start seeing those sales figures climb. After-all, once you’ve assembled a great product range your customers will still need a gentle nudge towards the checkouts.

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