Creative Thinking, Views and Musings

Stealth Copy – Part 2

Thursday, September 29, 2011
This is the second installment of our 6-Part series outlining proven methods for for writing more effective copy. This month we are pleased to present: 10 Top Persuasive Language Patterns.

Persuasion in copywriting is the process of getting the reader to do what you want them to because they want to and to believe what you are telling them. Whether you want someone to accept your ideas, your suggestion or your products / services, persuasion skills are the key.

Language is one of the most profound influences on the way human beings shape their reality. Your ability to use language skilfully with intention will become one of the most powerful influencing ‘tools’ you possess – when used effectively!

Language is processed by the unconscious mind and as people listen to words, they make pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes in order to make sense of the words. While people often believe they are in conscious control of the decisions they make, the unconscious has much more to do with it than they think. It is possible to communicate directly with a person’s unconscious mind, bypassing the conscious mind.

The following language patterns can be applied to gently persuade people in many different situations.

1. It’s good that ________. When I say that something’s good, it presupposes it’s true. And if it’s something you’re involved in, the fact that it’s good is rather satisfying, isn’t it?

a. It’s good that you’ve had the foresight to involve your company with us at this point. b. It’s good that you’ve decided to make a commitment to your financial independence. c. It’s good that you’ve chosen to increase your linguistic flexibility by learning these language patterns. Well done!

2. Has it ever occurred to you that_______? Has it ever occurred to you? If it hadn’t, it has now.

a. Has it ever occurred to you that you could be sitting on a goldmine? b. Has it ever occurred to you that, by making a few simple changes, your business could become the market leader? c. Has it ever occurred to you that you have the potential to be one of the most influential people in your profession?
Well, has it?

3. _______ when now would be a good time _______. Now is a powerful word because it brings a person’s attention into the present moment. It’s particularly useful when you want someone to take action now.

a. I’m just calling to find out when now would be a good time for us to put a date in the diary and meet up. b. Now, I was wondering when would be a good time for you to tidy your room.
The phrasing’s a little bit odd, but people don’t seem to notice. I’m not sure when now would be a good time to practice this pattern. How about now?

4. I’m not going to say “_________”, because ________. This pattern uses the power of both negation and quotes, and you can use it to say the unsayable.

a. I’m not going to say “I’m the perfect person for you”, because that would just be arrogant. b. I’m not going to say “Your business is in safe hands with us,” because that’s such a cliché. c. I’m not going to say “Use these language patterns to make your copy more persuasive,” because that’s obvious.

5. _______ by ________. “By” is an ambiguous word, because it can mean many things (bi, by, bye, buy) but sounds the same for each one. This makes it particularly useful for sales.

a. As a company, we stand or fall by our products and services. b. I’ll meet you over there by the handmade electric guitar. c. By and by, you’ll find this pattern to be a valuable way to motivate people to act.
6. You might want to _________. You might, or you might not. I’m just stating a possibility.

a. You might want to imagine how good you’ll feel when you get your website audited by a Corporate Identity Designer. b. You might want to talk with a CID today. c. You might want to find out how affordable it would be to have the copy on your website professionally rewritten.
It’s just a possibility. Keep it in mind!

7. ________ will cause (benefit). A will cause B, like night follows day. We’ve all been taught about cause and effect, so it’s an equation that makes sense to people.

a. Your decision to partner with Pardue Associates will cause you to clear away the obstacles to success, and start to achieve the results you want for your online business. b. When you choose our bespoke service, you will cause a steady increase in your company’s turnover for the next three years. c. The decision to use our services will cause you to learn more rapidly than you ever thought possible.
8. It’s important ________, is it not? ‘Is it not?’ is such a strange way to end a sentence because it’s just so difficult to disagree with, is it not?

a. It’s important that you feel you’re getting a good deal, is it not? b. It’s important to know that you’re making the right decision, is it not? c. It’s important to really feel good about yourself, is it not?
9. It’s easy to _______ when _______, isn’t it? Isn’t it nice to know that things can be easy, under certain conditions?

a. It’s easy to make a quick decision when you see exactly what you’re looking for, isn’t it? b. It’s easy to forget about going elsewhere when you’re already in the presence of the best, isn’t it? c. It’s easy to do something spontaneous when the conditions are perfect, isn’t it?

10. You can _________ because ________. Because is a magical influence word because people love to have reasons for things. Studies show that people are much more likely to comply with a request if they’re given a reason why they should. The reason doesn’t even have to make logical sense!

a. You can leave a message at the tone, because I return all calls. b. You can relax about the price because we offer very reasonable payment terms. c. You can learn faster through our training because it’s been designed with your learning in mind.
It’s good that you read this blog post. Has it ever occurred to you that the copy you use to sell your products/services can be made more powerfully persuasive and bring you in more business as a result? If it hasn’t yet, sooner or later it will. If it already has, when now would be a good time to get your copy professionally rewritten?

Bye now!