Proven: Great Copywriters Wield Great Power

Stencil art on a wall showing a boy scrawling 'No loitrin'

Chris Devers

You can convince anyone.

Scroll down to the second point in this article to learn the single most important thing you need to become a powerful copywriter.

In this article, I want to show you how persuasive copywriting can be one of the most powerful tools to draw your customers into your website, and convince them to make a choice.

Once a user has landed on your website, it’s time for your design and copy take over. It is the magic of words and visuals that will keep them exploring.

Conversion-centered design (as opposed to user-centered design) aims to reduce the number of leaks from your site and help the customer complete a task.

We’ll talk about visuals in another post, but for now, let’s look at the power that is wielded by a talented copywriter.

1. They Can Change Your Mind

There has been a lot of research into the power of words to alter emotional states, logic processing and decision making in readers. In fact, it’s been demonstrated that even momentarily showing a ‘NO’ flash card was enough to trigger the release of dozens of stress-inducing hormones in the brains of test subjects.

Of course, the last thing we want to do is stress people we are trying to connect with, right? So, what are the words that typically trigger a positive emotional reaction with a reader?

Here are the top FIVE words that grab attention are:

‘You’ or your name

Graffiti: Hello,  My name is..

Photo :quinn.anya

People are becoming wary of these words because annoying spam e-mails have overused them.

Nevertheless, if used carefully, your name is still very persuasive.

It is human nature to respond to your name. Sometimes it makes you suspicious how they got to know you; sometimes it makes you curious; sometimes it gives you the feeling that it is personal – only for you.

Free

Backlit theatre billboard showing the word 'free'.

Photo : Thomas Hawk

Compared to a priced option, you would rather choose a free one. That’s another thing ingrained in human nature.

Motivation depends on two things: possibility and reward. If it’s free, it is rewarding and easily attainable.

What’s not to be motivated about?

Because

Humans are eternally curious.

Painted sign: It's Famous because it's good

Photo: geoftheref

We are drawn to question.

Why are some people afraid of heights?
Why does alcohol create drunkenness?
Why is Friday the 13th unlucky?

Answers to our problems begin with the word ‘because’.

Since we’re all trying to solve our own problems, we love to read about solutions.

Instantly

Rapid technology is taking over our lives.

 Nescafe Instant Coffee magazine ad

alsis35 (now at ipernity)

No-one wants to be last to know about the latest gossip. Things have to be ‘instant’.

If I can get a free tutorial from you right now, I’d take it. If I have to wait, it depends on how long the wait is and how much it is worth.

New

'New' visible on an old deli sign

Photo: Thomas Hawk

We all want the latest of everything — gadgets, news, weather, shopping deals.

The word ‘new’ sends a signal to our brain, sparking our interest. Here’s something we haven’t seen before!

Have you noticed? One thing common in all of these five words is the copywriter’s power to influence the mind. As copywriters, you need to understand how we perceive word signals.

If you want to activate the mid-brain, talk about immediateness.

If you want to engage the frontal cortex, make them wait so that the memory stays for longer.

If you want to answer questions and quench their thirst for knowledge, be specific. Tell them why people are afraid of heights or why alcohol creates drunkenness or why Friday the 13th is unlucky.

2. Speak With Authority And Conviction

Portrait: Martin Luthor King

Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t move a crowd of people because he had a well-written speech.

He was able to move them because he was sure of what he was saying. He had an air of authority.

They could see he was in control.

Why are you here? Reading the second point of this article’ Because you want to be able to convince ‘anyone’. The key to effective communication is your self-confidence. If you don’t like a jam, it’s very difficult to market it to a customer and make them want to buy it.

If you don’t believe in a company, it’s very difficult to persuade others to work there.

David Ogilvy, the marketing guru, would try out his client’s product before advertising it. Only if he liked it, would he create an ad and himself become a customer.

How are copywriters powerful? Because they mean what they are saying.

3. They Help Direct Your Decisions

A copywriter’s strength is in keeping a user hooked on to your website surfing page after page, filling forms and using your site.

For a good copywriter, words are signposts and arrows on the road, plotting out your journey for you.

Oh, before I forget:

a). Some people are afraid of heights because they associate anxiety (earned from other aspects of life where they cannot express it) to objects or situations, for example, tall buildings.

b). The reason why Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest is because the number ’13’ was considered unlucky in Scandinavian mythology and ‘Friday’ is unlucky because Christians believe Christ was crucified on a Friday.

Combine them together and you’ve got a very unlucky day!

c). Alcohol causes drunkenness because it paralyzes the inhibitory fibers in our nervous system that act like brakes in stopping us from making wrong decisions.

If you’ve come all the way till the end of this article with me, I’ll consider it an honor.

Let me know in the comments below if you did.

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  • http://www.KeithJamesDesigns.com/ Keith James

    Great copywriters are worth their weight in gold (as long as they are petite). When you find one make sure you keep them so busy they don’t have time to work for your competitor. A good copywriter can make or break a site and dramatically increase conversion and sales.

  • http://www.karlbrownvoiceover.com/ Karl Brown

    I started as a copywriter before being moved into a role in web development but I still get praised for the copy I wrote for products 3 years ago! Writing clear, useful copy is a skill that sadly gets overlooked by many when it more than pays for itself in increased revenue, reduced marketing costs (because you’ve already done the SEO work for them!) and better conversions among several demographics at once. A wonderful article, Julia! Thank you.

  • bruce norton

    Thank you Julia, for your free article. It made an instant impact on my new venture because I plan to use your tips to reach dizzying heights of success, launching on Friday the 13th.

  • Rae Francoeur

    Great piece, Julia. Thanks for the tips. And, very funny, Bruce Norton. Here’s another point to consider: copywriting is a hard-won skill and an art. That is, it takes practice but some practitioners are amazing.

  • http://kathleenkrueger.com KMKrueger

    You don’t need a copywriter at your job. Most of us work as freelancers. Just call us when you need us. That’s what my designer/developer clients do. Usually it’s – Can you have this for me tomorrow?

  • http://kathleenkrueger.com KMKrueger

    I always jump ahead to see if it’s worth reading the whole thing. Good copywriting will turn that heading scanner into a reader.