Have you seen those pieces of advice that encourage you to use specific words that promise to make your writing jump off the page and persuade potential clients to beat your door down? Words like "you", "free", "because" and others, often presented as "The 3 (or 5 or 7) most powerful words in writing."
Lots of information on writing marketing materials focuses on these individual trigger words that have been proven to be persuasive if you sprinkle them throughout your content.
Sure these words can work for you - but only if they are embedded in a framework that makes sense. How do they fit into the overall picture that you want to paint? Without a strategy to follow and a concept to fit into, they're just words that don't create the effect you want.
It's like giving a speech. You can be skilled in using gestures to underline your points, or speaking quickly to create a sense of urgency, or dropping the volume to make people really concentrate to catch a critical point.
However, if the speech does not have a core message that's presented in a cohesive and compelling way, those single skills don't matter because there's no bigger picture for them to fit into.
It's the same with those trigger words when you throw them higgeldy piggeldy into a piece of writing that is not built around a basic concept.
What do you need to be able to incorporate these trigger words effectively?
First create a core message that:
In other words, get clear on the basics.
- Appeals to the wants, problems and emotional needs of your target audience.
- Underscores what makes you different from others in your field.
- Supports what you want to achieve with that particular marketing piece.
Without this foundation in place, the best words are only tricks that can backfire.
Once you have a message with these basics in place, you can incorporate trigger words in a way that works and will put you on a solid path to persuasive writing.
Copyright 2010 Maggie Dennison