19 persuasive copywriting techniques that’ll captivate your customers

5 Jan 2023
Harry Jenner

You may remember having persuasive writing lessons in English class at school, but how well did you listen and pay attention? Well, today we’re going to find out how much you remember about the importance of persuasion. Pencils down. Listen up.

Of course, there’s a slight jump from the school curriculum to the corporate world of copywriting, but the basic fundamentals still remain. 

Effective persuasion shouldn’t be sleazy or cheesy – it’s just about standing out in all the right ways. It’s not about having the loudest voice in the room and hogging the limelight. It’s better to simply have the right things to say, and say them in the best ways to the people who want to listen.

Whether the objective is getting more sales or growing your website traffic, you’ll want to capture your customer’s attention and convince them to listen and trust your voice. Your choice of words are what matters, and team writefully knows a trick or two about captivating your customers with high-quality and results-driven persuasive copy.

Why is persuasion so vital in copywriting?

First, let’s explain why the value of persuasion in copywriting is gold. Persuasion and conversion are essentially best friends. Find a strong persuasive voice and you’ll soon see that your copy is converting customers. Most sales-driven copywriters will agree that persuasion is at the forefront of their minds whenever they sit down to conjure up wise convincing words.

In fact, there’s a science to persuasion that copywriters should understand. Social psychology suggests that the right kind of communication is key – you need to dig deep into the human psyche and understand your customers’ needs and behaviours. It’s all about knowing how to speak to them in the ways they want to hear.

So why is a persuasive copywriting voice so vital for you to find success? Well, there are four things that great persuasive copy does: 

  1. draws attention to your brand
  2. brings authenticity to your name
  3. engages people with your services
  4. generates high customer conversion rates.

Need advice on how to master your persuasive voice? Well, let’s finally look at the 19 copywriting techniques to try.

1. Become a storyteller

Is there anything more captivating than gathering around and listening to a wonderful story? Those four words of ‘once upon a time…’ hold a dear, pure place in our hearts, and that’s because we love accepting the invitation of absorbing ourselves into an imaginative world. 

So transport your readers into a memorable and meaningful fantasy land. Tap into their creative consciousness and draw them into a story that feels important. 

2. Write like you’re having a conversation

Writing conversationally doesn’t come as naturally as sitting down for a catch up with an old pal. But boy is conversational copywriting powerful when done right. 

Make your customers feel at ease with a touch of lightheartedness. Talk TO your customer not AT them. Your copy should be simplistic and easy to read – like breezy coffee shop chatter.

3. Be sensual and evocative 

Your copy consists of the words you want them to be – so choose wisely. Appeal to your customers’ emotions and use sensory and suggestive words that tap into the deeper parts of our humanity. Use words to paint a pretty picture – a picture that’s relatable and believable. 

Evoking some form of emotion or feeling is an absolute must, but don’t go overboard. Keep your copy real and heartfelt to your brand. There’s a thin line between overly flowery and descriptively convincing language.  

4. Keep your curious readers on their toes 

Perking your readers’ ears is the first step – keeping them engaged is the next. Sparking their curiosity is the key to wanting more. Make it as hard as possible for them to stop reading your copy by filling their knowledge gaps.  

Tease what’s to come with bucket brigade phrases (phrases that encourage you to keep reading) such as, ‘In case you’re wondering…’ or ‘Well, that’s just one side of the story…’

5. Establish your undeniable authority

Yes, this one’s a lot easier said than done. So give yourself a better chance by honouring any merit you already have – including awards you’ve won or any mentions you’ve had in the media (like newspaper articles etc.) 

Don’t shy away from this self-pedestaling! It’s not gloating, it’s simply taking some pride in your achievements. 

6. Speak their language

Make your readers think you’ve read their minds by saying what you know they want to hear. Speak the language of your target audience and use the familiar words they typically use too. 

For example, if you’re trying to attract yoga enthusiasts, use the technical words and terminology that might be used in their normal conversations, like ‘core’, ‘mantra’ or ‘asana’.

7. Don’t shy away from humour

Making your readers’ laugh isn’t always the right avenue to venture down – that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Humour is a tricky thing to get right, so only try your luck if it feels natural to your brand and core values. 

There’s nothing more deflating than a red balloon that tried to be funny but simply wasn’t, so use humour carefully by making it memorable.

8. Apply the features vs. benefits theory

You’ve heard of the features vs. benefits debate, right? If not, it’s time to concentrate. This moment could be a major turning point for your understanding of persuasive copywriting. 

So what’s the difference between a feature and a benefit? Well, a feature describes what a product or service technically does. For example, a new mountain bike might have 11 gears. That’s a specific feature of a bike. 

On the other hand, a benefit is a specific value that a customer can gain from a product or service. How can it improve and enhance their lives in some way? 

So, the bike might have 11 gears, but what does that matter? Well, a benefit of the bike might be that the gears allow any rider to ‘streamline their movement over rugged terrain’. Make sense?

As a general rule, always outline each feature with a notable benefit too.

9. Wield the power of imagination

Any good storyteller knows how to wield the power of imagination. Your copy should invite readers to use their own ideas and emotions – entice them to think about the smell, taste, touch, and sound of everything you’re describing, without actually experiencing it. 

Evoke a reaction and activate the senses, blurring the lines between reality and imagination. 

10. Tap into their fears

Let’s be honest, we humans are plagued with fears. And as a persuasive copywriter, tapping into these fears will open up a deeper, more revealing way of communication.

It’s not about frightening your customers, it’s more about offering up solutions to the common problems or life concerns that scare them the most.

For example, a company that provides photo-print services might tap into the familiar fear that ‘life will pass you by before you know it’, so printing your photos will ‘capture the moments you cherish most’. Get it?

11. Watch your choice of verbs

The most persuasive forms of copywriting initiate an action. And what better way to do so than use power verbs (a potent and motivational ‘doing word’ that triggers an immediate response). 

For example, you could say: ‘The bike’s gears increase your speed and improve your riding experience’. Which seems kind of stale and flat, right?

A better choice of power verbs would be: ‘Our bike pushes you further and elevates your experience.’

12. Predict their qualms

The truth is, not every potential customer who reads your copy will be convinced and converted into an actual customer. Ultimately, there are many reasons why they might not make the purchase. So predict their qualms and provide a solution – whether it’s the price, the colour, the features, etc.

FAQs are a perfect opportunity for resolving qualms and objections. Address any common questions that might prevent potential customers from giving you their trust and moving forward with their investment.

13. Don’t forget about bolding and italics

This technique might seem so ridiculously rudimentary, but trust us, the correct use of italics and bolding matters. Mastering the obvious basics is a great starting point for excellent copywriting.

Think about how you’re accessorising your words, whether it’s bold for emphasis or italics for contrasting. Even knowing how to paragraph your copy correctly will maximise the readability of your words. 

14. Use repetition wisely

If you hear something over and over, chances are you’ll start to believe it, no matter if it’s true or not – there’s a power to repetition. 

It’s almost like when you try an unsugared black coffee for the first time and you’re disgusted at how anyone can enjoy such a dark and bitter drink at 6:30am in the morning. Then four tries later, you’ve learned to love its strong, bold taste. It’s now the perfect morning beverage.

Well, your copy can hold the same kind of power too. If you hear the information again and again, your mind tricks you into thinking, ‘You know what? It must be true!’

15. Provide real factual truth

Alternatively, you could provide pure truth. We’re talking about the hard cold facts that your customers simply won’t be able to deny. 

If you’re making a bold statement or claim, make sure you back it up with any solid facts and figures that demonstrate your logical thinking. Elaborating on the points you make with statistics boosts your credibility as a well-read authority who knows what they’re talking about. 

16. Never underestimate social proof

Customers tend to trust other customers more than they trust the company itself. People tend to believe in the good or bad things they hear through the grapevines, so do your best to make the word-of-mouth hearsay about your brand as positive as can be. 

Showcasing your customer testimonials that vouch for your services is definitely worthwhile. In fact, 92% of people say they read online reviews before making online purchases.

Social proof like these reviews and case studies will demonstrate how past customers have benefited from your brand. Gain trust by showing how you’ve already earned it. 

17. Value your customer’s hard-earned money

Don’t forget that your customers will be giving you their hard-earned money. So respect the time and effort as a) readers of your copy and b) buyers of your brand. 

Have faith in yourself and offer a guarantee that protects them if they decide to make the purchase. This could be a money-back guarantee, a best-price guarantee – even a free trial.

Lure them in and reassure them, making them feel comfortable and posing no risk whatsoever.

18. Create a sense of urgency

There’s nothing more pushing than a sense of urgency. Motivate your customers to make the purchase as soon as possible by informing them of your short time and limited supplies.

If it’s true, say things like, ‘Last day to buy!’ or ‘For a limited time only’. Suggest they act now or miss out. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a huge incentive for acting urgently. You always want what you can’t have, right?

19. Tell them exactly what to do next

Any great copy ends with a great CTA (call-to-action). Pass the baton over and tell your readers exactly what they need to do next. Guide them towards doing something else that you can benefit from again.

An effective and worthwhile CTA may simply be a link to the product page: ‘Buy yours today’, a link to any of your related blogs: ‘Find out more’ – even a request to follow your social media pages. Just make sure it’s a straightforward action that’s right at their fingertips. 

Discover more writefully tips and tricks

There are endless possibilities for transforming your copy into a persuasive masterpiece. The trick is to find the techniques that work best for you and your audience – because not every one of our suggestions will magically work each time. 

You’ll start to develop your own commanding and persuasive voice, with engaged customers and results to show for it. 

That’s it for now – but we’ve always got more copy tricks up our sleeves. So head over to our writefully knowledge hub.