This copywriting skill is so simple you will wonder why you haven’t thought about and applied it. But as William Golding, author and speaker said; “the greatest ideas are the simplest”.
If you’re reading how to write a persuasive sales copy, that’s fine. My guess is you must have heard that persuasiveness is a vital copywriting skill. So, you’re totally focused to learn the emotive and power words to persuade your readers. That is fine too. Except that persuasion as a copywriting skill is more useful at the execution stage of copywriting.
Yes, copywriting is an art of persuasion in print. But persuasiveness is not the only skill. There is another copywriting skill that nobody have probably told you about.
Ok, think of it like this;
If you’ve ever been in a courtroom, you must have witnessed persuasion in action. A prosecuting team verses a defending team, each using their questioning skills to pitch their case before a judge and a jury. What you witnessed was also the execution stage of a case.
But have you ever wondered how each team got the points that guided them in executing defense or prosecution proceedings? They prepared their cases by gathering and asking questions that’re relevant to their interest in the case. Cases are won or lost at this preparation stage.
And so, when it comes to copywriting, what is your interest in the copy you write? And how do you ask relevant questions that help you execute your interest?
It’s a common belief that a copywriter relies on his/her persuasive skills to wow the audience to win them over just like a defence or prosecuting lawyer. But again it is important to think of what happens before the execution stage of copywriting. It takes more than persuasion to win as you’ll find out shortly.
Despite what clients might think, or what you’ve learnt about writing a persuasive sales copy, copywriters are not magicians. Although there are instances where copywriters have come up with magical copy that changed the fortunes of organisations.
But to craft copy with such literally magical power; copy that persuades and causes target audience to listen, follow instruction and act on advice, a copywriter must know what he/she is saying. The skill required for such success therefore is not in persuasion alone. But also in making adequate preparations to gather information on what to write.
So, we may ask,
How Does a Copywriter Learn to Know What to Say?
Whether a copywriter is writing for on or offline audience, primary aim is to persuade a target audience to take a specific action. That’s what constitutes a win for him/her. Whether it’s to enlist to email list, visit a website, call a phone number; whatever it is that you want to achieve, you can’t persuade on emptiness. It is in knowing that you can persuade. It is in asking that you get to know what to say.
When you know what you’re saying, you’re better equipped to persuade and convince from a position of knowledge.
David Ogilvy said;
“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it”
It’s a mystery to some people how copywriters write captivating advertising materials across every sector. They opine that they must have broad knowledge or magical powers.
Yes, broad knowledge acquired through various life endeavours could be helpful to a copywriter. But magical power doesn’t float in the boat of copywriting skill.
In truth copywriters don’t need to know very much about every product/service before crafting its marketing material. But every copywriter needs one indispensable skill; a deep desire to learn, a vigorous determination to gather every possible information about a product/service before he/she could write a persuasive copy.
Yes, one skill. It is called curiosity…a strong desire to know.
Have you stopped for a moment to think about it? Everything a business knows about its customers and competitors comes from curiosity. So they ask questions. Businesses are driven by the desire to know…curiosity.
If you want to know how to serve your customers better, what your competitors are doing or perhaps you want to write a sales copy that sells;
You must be curious. Curiosity drives you to ask questions.
It’s for the same reason that businesses have marketing departments. They want to be on top their game. They conduct surveys to guide product design, development, packaging, pricing etc. They want to know the views, trends and opinions of the stake holders including end users. This knowledge guides them through the marketing process.
Without it, they’ll be groping in the dark, driving blind folded.
Ad man Bill Bernbach once said…
“Advertising doesn’t create a product advantage. It can only convey it…No matter how skilful you’re, you can’t invent a product advantage that doesn’t exist”
But what happens where product advantage exists; the basis on which advertising campaigns are built? It takes robust questioning skill to extract these benefits and features that support them.
Now you know that questions are driven by curiosity. And that it’s by asking questions that you get answers.
It is fair to say that copywriters depend on answers they got to build marketing campaigns that persuade and convince targets to act.
And that brings us to,
What Should a Copywriter Be Asking?
There is one major reason a person buys a product or pays for a service; it meets his/her needs and wants. Since copywriters ultimately write to sell, you must persuade your target to start that journey that leads to the predetermined destination-your client’s cash register.
It’s time to put on your curiosity cap and ask that one-all-important question to your client; “why will a person buy your product or pay for your service instead of your competitors”?
In one swoop, you’ve asked for and will get information covering the product/service, target audience and competitors.
You could ask follow-up questions by digging deep on the answers until you assemble your pearls for a sparkling sales copy.
Remember pushy selling turns targets off. I always remind myself that I’m not selling. I’m simply helping my target audience solve a problem by presenting the solution in the form of a product/service. That’s how you sell without selling your soul. It starts with curiosity.
Are you curious to sell your product/service ? Get answer at sales copywriting.