Hi, I’m Laura, welcome to my blog. I help business-builders write their own web copy, blog posts, marketing emails and social media content. Get hands-on help from me when you become a Worditude VIP. And get instant free help with your web copy and online content with the Worditude Online Content First Aid Kit.

Persuasive copy isn't just sales pages. Any time you write content designed to drive a particular action, you're creating persuasive content. You could be seeking a link click, a sale or even an email address. You are probably already writing way more persuasive copy than you realized.

Something that comes up time and again with my Worditude VIPs is a fear of being sleazy. They've seen selling done in a pushy style, and that's not how they want to communicate with their audience. But at the same time, persuasion is an essential element of online content. You can't help your people if you can't persuade them to open your email, click on your link, or buy your offer.

In the video below I discuss the three features of your persuasive copy that you need to get right so you can sell without being slimy.

Text highlights also available under the video.

Three features of your persuasive copy that you need to get right so you can sell without being slimy.

#1 Pushing Pain Points

When was the last time you came across an enormous sales page. One that dedicates a few hundred words to your pain points, painting a life filled with anguish and despair. You just keep scrolling and that sales page just keeps coming. And by the end you don't even care what they're selling, you'll buy it if it's going to make this horrendous problem go away.

Those are not the kinds of sales pages that I write. They work pretty well. But the buyer's remorse hits pretty hard because the customer hasn't made a positive choice to buy, they've submitted under pressure.

Pain points are an essential ingredient in persuasive copy. It shows that you understand the problem, that you can empathize with the reader, that you are able to understand what they're going through and so it prepares them to hear what your solution is because they have developed that trust in you.

Pushy: Relentless pain points presented to make the reader feel worse and worse about their current situation until they are desperate for your help.

Persuasive: Just enough pain points to show that you understand the reader's problem - that's typically three to five. These help the reader feel better, they become hopeful that you can help them.

#2 Presenting The Solution

The second area my VIPs often struggle with is how to present their offer. They tend to be overly humble, wording their copy as if the reader is doing them an enormous favor by buying the product or downloading the freebie. And again, this usually happens because they've been on the receiving end of pushy selling are trying to distance themselves from this as much as possible.

When we present our solution, we've acknowledged that the reader has as a problem, and we've shown that we understand what that problem is, and now we're offering is a solution that will help them, a solution that will give them what they need. This isn't pushy. This is helpful. And you can help them decide if that's the right option for them by clearly explaining the features and benefits, and displaying any testimonials you have.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of an email or sales page that implies you're an idiot if you don't take up their offer? That's pushy. They're implying they not only have a solution, they have THE ONLY solution. And if you don't take it, the future looks grim for you.

Pushy: The reader feels pressured to take the only solution available to them.

Persuasive: The reader feels excited to try your solution as it is the best option available to them (including the option of doing nothing).

#3: Attention-Getting Headlines

This is another persuasuive copy element I see people struggle with. Whether it's a subject line, the opening sentence of your social media post, or the headline of your blog post - the goal is the same - to get the reader to keep on reading.

And once again we've all seen this done in truly yucky style - click-bait headlines that promise awe and astonishment, and deliver nothing but disappointment

This time, it's not about how the copy makes the reader feel at the time - it's about how they feel afterward. Scammy, spammy, slimy headlines lead to disappointment and distrust. Persuasive headlines lead to appreciation because as the reader continues to consume your content, they realize you have something of value to offer (paid or free).

Pushy: Headline uses overly emotive language, exaggeration and hyperbole to get attention, but following content fails to live up to the hype, and the reader feels like their time has been wasted.

Persuasive: Headline uses emotive language to generate curiosity and anticipation and following content keeps reader engaged, delivers something of value, and the reader feels their time has been respected.


More resources to help you write persuasive copy:

3 Changes To Make Your Services Page Convert Better
♦ The Right Way To Use Lists On Your Sales Page
♦ Ultimate Website Content Planner - contains templates and step-by-step instructions to help you write core web pages, including sales pages.

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Worried you come across as sleazy when you're trying to sell? Writing your own sales page is a delicate balance between too pushy and being too humble. These copywriting tips for small business will help you write persuasive content, including sales pages, that leave you and your audience feeling good.