13 Easy Tips for Freelancers To Make Persuasive Copy
Many people excel at persuading others through verbal communication.
But as a freelance copywriter, you know all too well how persuading people through writing is an entirely different beast.
Because people can just leave your website. They can ignore your Facebook ad.
Or they can just not open your email.
Essentially, they can be more rude online than in face-to-face situations.
So it’s crucial that you deliver copy that grabs and holds their attention.
In this article, you’ll read about 13 tips to make all your copywriting projects persuasive to your audience.
Just some of the many benefits of persuasive copywriting are:
- Resonate more with your readers
- Increased website traffic
- Making your content more likely to be shared
- Generate more sales conversions
If you’re ready to take your copywriting game to the next level and impress your clients, then let’s start it out by explaining some of the copywriting insights you might be unaware of.
Copywriting Insights You Probably Aren’t Aware Of
Copywriting is a fine art.
And the reality is, most people aren’t great at it.
But freelance copywriters like yourself have a special way with written communication.
For that, you should take pride.
With that said, there’s still some copywriting insights that you may not be aware of..
Think of these insights as a little appetizer for the real meal (the rest of the article).
1. Using a hyphen or colon in a headline can increase your click through rates by 9% (OptinMonster)
2. 59% of Britons would not buy from a company that has grammar and spelling mistakes (Real Business UK
3. Headlines with the word “who” generate 22% more clicks (HubSpot)
4. Blog posts with 1,000+ words perform the best (Orbitalmedia)
5. The average word count for a Google first page result is 1,447 words (Backlinko)
6. 62.96% of readers think blogs that have more than one author are more credible (OptinMonster)
7. 38% of bloggers say consistency is the biggest challenge to publishing high-quality content (Semrush)
8. Listicles get shared 2X as often as any other type of blog post (HubSpot)
9. 82% of freelance copywriters have a bachelor’s degree (Zippia)
10. The top three freelance writing niches are finance, B2B and SaaS (Writing Revolt)
So now that you’ve got a little clearer outlook on the state of the copywriting world, let’s start looking at how to become a freelancer powerhouse that will start earning hundreds of dollars per hour, like some actually do.
The first persuasive copywriting tip starts with the basics ...
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #1: Know Your Audience
Before you persuade anyone with your copywriting, you first must know who you’re writing to.
And where you can reach out to them.
See, you want to understand what sort of pain points they have. Or what qualities they possess.
For example, iced tea franchise Chatime reaches out to Gen Z and millennials on Instagram in a fun and youthful way.
According to Pew Research Center, 71% of 18- to 29-year-olds use Instagram.
Over on the Chatime Instagram feed, you can see posts featuring celebrities like Mariah Carey and the use of slang that resonates with younger audiences.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #2: Use Emotions To Drive Your Messaging
Another tip to be persuasive with your copywriting is by appealing to the emotions of your target audience.
When writing, try to think of the emotions that your audience feels. Or at least what emotions you want them to feel.
Instill those emotions into your copy.
Often, you see TV advertisers play on our emotions.
But you can also use it for online marketing strategies too.
As a perfect example, Viking Revolution promotes its Movember Drive on its company homepage with the use of a little guilt.
Viking Revolution’s copywriters say, “Your Mo Can Save a Bro,” to get people to sign up and join the Movember Cause that donates to charity.
And if you sign up, you get an exclusive offer for your next beard style, such as conditioning and groom kits.
This copywriting is persuasive because of the balance between humor and guilt.
Combined, it evokes a powerful emotional reaction.
The idea here is, if you don’t “Beard Up,” then you’re refusing to contribute to a good cause.
It’s the ultimate guilt trip.
Emotional appeal is one of the most effective persuasion tactics known to man.
And for good reason. Because it often works.
Lawyers try to cater to the emotions of jurors all the time.
In fact, the prosecution team for the Kyle Rittenhouse trial carefully chose their wording to carry out this tactic.
If you want to hear more about how persuasion was used in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, check out Matt’s video, “3 Prosecutor Persuasion Tactics in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial.”
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #3: Keep It Simple
It may seem obvious to simplify your copy.
But a lot of copywriters fail to do so.
Do you ever come across a reading that just didn’t make sense to you?
That’s because either it was targeted for an expert audience or the copy just wasn’t simplified.
Persuasive copywriting is short and to the point.
That way, you don’t confuse or overwhelm your reader.
For long-form content, you can simplify your copy with short and sweet sentences.
And try to explain technical terms in a watered-down version that the average consumer will understand.
According to Buffer, shorter social media posts get more engagement too.
For example, Tweets with less than 100 characters see a 17% higher engagement rate.
It makes sense.
Social media users aren’t looking to read an essay. Instead, they’re there to kill some time real quickly. And they’re going to take the path of least resistance.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #4: Use Benefits to Your Advantage
People love what they stand to gain more than what they can lose.
So for this persuasive copywriting tip, you want to clearly define the benefits of buying from your freelancer client.
But sometimes copy just comes across as useless to a consumer. And they’re left wondering what’s in it for them.
Whether it’s a sale, discount, rewards or even just a case study, you must always put your core proposition front and center. Don’t beat around the bush.
As an example, if you land on Roku’s homepage, the words “Lowest Price Ever” instantly jump out at you.
Roku is telling its website visitors that they’re offering their lowest price point of all time at $19.99. And with free shipping.
This is persuasive because it lets you know that your patience has paid off — and now you’re going to pay less than every other Roku customer ever.
Another way to make your value known is by highlighting or bolding your key takeaways.
For example, look at the summary for Brightcove’s “7 Ways To Drive More Revenue With B2B Video Marketing” guide.
And for one more example of persuasive copywriting through showing benefits, take a look at Thread Spread Store’s Amazon listing.
The first words you read are “Pure Egyptian.” I’m no expert in bed sheets and pillow cases, but I know enough to realize that Egyptian cotton is quite the buzzword.
And it’s associated with high quality.
To someone searching for bed sheets and pillow cases, this listing looks more appealing than listings without Egyptian cotton included in the copy.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #5: Always Be Honest
You may feel tempted to stretch the truth when copywriting for clients.
But don’t do it.
Instead, stick to the truth.
Consumers want to see authenticity.
And they’ll sense your exaggerations.
As reported by advertising and public relations company Havas Group, 71% of consumers think brands won’t deliver on their promises.
And Stackla says authenticity is important to 86% of consumers.
So don’t make claims about the benefits of your client’s products or services that can’t be backed up.
Similarly, don’t promote something like sustainable products if that’s not what your client offers.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #6: Keep a Stash of Great Content
As a copywriter, sometimes you just get stuck.
Look, you’re not a robot.
Maybe you lose your concentration.
Or your client’s industry just doesn’t resonate with you.
The thing is, you’re not always going to be on your A-game 100% of the time.
For those rare instances, reference back to a compilation of your top-performing work.
Either optimize your portfolio for your most persuasive copywriting work or create a cloud-based file.
And use your past work as inspiration.
With that, you’ll see what you did so well.
Moreover, you could even start a compilation of your least effective work too. You know, like the ones that saw an average page view time of 3 seconds.
That way, you know what tactics to avoid.
But remember, not every audience has the same exact tastes. For good measure, you could keep a portfolio for each client you have.
Perhaps what didn’t work with one client does work with another.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #7: Make It Personal
Personalizing your copy always helps.
Consumers want to be addressed as an individual.
A personal thank you note or email goes a long way.
So too does writing that’s peppered with someone’s name to make them feel special.
Using personalization in your copywriting obviously can’t be done with social media posts or organic content.
But you definitely can use it for more one-on-one interactions between the brand and the customer.
According to Expirian, emails with a recipient’s name have a 26% higher open rate than those without a name.
But personalized copy can help with your persuasion tactics in other places besides email too.
You can also write a custom reply to a customer on social media or you could add a “welcome back” notification on your client’s website.
Besides just simply adding a name, you should also relate to people on a personal level.
Salespeople do this all the time.
For example, if you’re sending a cold email pitch to a prospective client, you can dig a little deeper and see what kind of interests the individual has. Or perhaps you point out some kind of new business trend that the company has posted.
And include that information in your email.
Just avoid being generic.
Believe me, you’ll stand out among a lot of others.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #8: Don’t Let the Reader Say No
As a good rule of thumb, never use open-ended questions that allow your readers to say no.
Instead, use questions that have options to choose from.
Or don’t ask questions at all.
Admittedly, asking an open-ended question is a convenient segue to your pitch.
And even big name brands do this.
But it’s just lazy copywriting and won’t be persuasive.
To illustrate, say your client sells a variety of gaming monitors.
You wouldn’t want to send an email promotion with a headline saying something like, “Are You Ready To Immerse Yourself?”
You see, even a gaming enthusiast can instantly shut you down and say no.
From here, you have two options:
- Just don’t ask a question: Use a more objective headline like, “Immerse Yourself Into Your Gaming World.”
- Provide two or more options: Give the customer a choice between two or more gaming monitors by using a headline like, “Which Gaming Monitor Is Best for You?”
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #9: Use Social Proof
Naturally, people like to know what other people think.
And this is especially true when someone is thinking about buying a product or service.
As per FinancesOnline, 93% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
To lessen the likelihood of wasting money on something, customers seek out validation that a product or service will provide them with value.
For the most part, people just copy others.
If you’re thinking of new ways to make your copywriting more persuasive, consider adding social proof to your content.
Social proof can come in the form of:
- Customer testimonials
- Expert advice
- Influencer endorsements
Or any other way to convey how trusted your client’s brand is.
For example, an ad from retail marketing platform Bluecore claims that its brand is the #1 chosen platform of choice among retailers.
To anyone on the fence about Bluecore, they can rest easy as they know so many other brands trust its technology.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #10: Tell a Story
Stories are powerful.
With the right reader, it can leave a lasting impression.
And it’s no wonder why it’s used so often in persuasive copywriting.
According to a report from Headstream, 79% of consumers think it’s a good idea for brands to tell stories.
Although the survey only consisted of UK consumers, it’s still a good representation of Western shoppers in general.
Stories allow readers to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
As a result, it can agitate a problem they already have.
But storytelling is also highly effective at grabbing a reader’s attention immediately.
At AutoGrow, we use storytelling all the time.
To illustrate, take a look below at the opening of our article, “7 Agency Website Designs You Can Find Inspiration From.”
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #11: Do Your Homework To See What Works
If you’re going to maximize the persuasiveness of your copy, you better plan to track some key performance indicators (KPIs).
This persuasive copywriting tip is simple but so, so effective.
Because how else will you know what to improve on?
As you spend more time on each client’s work, you’ll start to get a sense for what works and what doesn’t.
Some of the best KPIs to track for copywriting are:
- Sales — for product and service ads, email promotions, landing pages, etc. (Note: this can also be labelled in other forms like “earnings per click” and “cost per click”.)
- Average Page View Time — to see if readers are actually reading your blog posts or other website pages.
- Conversion Rate — so that you know what percentage of users take a desired action such as signing up for your newsletter or turning into new clients.
- Click-Through Rate — for determining how effective you are at persuading consumers to click on your calls to action.
- Open Rate — allows you to determine what email subject lines are the most enticing to your newsletter audience (A/B test should be used).
- Bounce Rate — Refers to how often website visitors leave your page without interacting with anything else (e.g. click on another article).
And not every copywriting project calls for the same metrics to track.
Sometimes you might be more interested in how much organic traffic a blog post brings in.
But other times, you care more about how many customers clicked on your email.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #12: Use Exclamations Points for Email Subject Lines Sparingly
Exclamation points for email subject lines are great at grabbing your email subscriber’s attention.
But if you use them too often, it makes you appear pretty desperate.
And it negates the effect of exclamations for occasions that really do deserve an exclamation point.
To make your subject line copy persuasive, use them rarely.
The thing is, when you do use them correctly, you can see some great results.
As found by Smart Insights, 7 out of 10 brands they studied saw a 10%-20% increase in open rates.
Again, just don’t overdo it.
Elmore Lenoard, one of the great novelists, is a big critic of exclamation points.
In his book, “10 Rules of Writing,” Leonard states that ...
“You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.”
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to see someone else live up his standard.
Because Leonard still used 49 exclamations per 100,000 words in his 45 novels.
Nevertheless, he still uses less exclamations than other great novelists.
Persuasive Copywriting Tip #13: Make Your Content Scannable
As found by Nielsen Norman Group, most web visitors will read just 20% of the words on your page.
See, they just want to easily scan your pages. That way, they can identify sections that they’re interested in.
For this persuasive copywriting tip, make sure you always use subheadings that clearly convey the value to readers.
Highlight all your keywords.
Breaking up your pages into easily digestible chunks is much more useful for readers than something resembling an essay.
Below is a case study from SaaS company Veeva that focuses on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.
By highlighting main points and using contrasted color, Veeva allows readers to quickly see what results a client of theirs was able to achieve through its services.
It’s no secret that writing copy can be difficult. We all know the feeling of staring at a blank page, wondering how to start and what to say next.
But with these 13 persuasive copywriting tips, you’ll always have a jumpstart when you’re stumped. Consider downloading this blog into PDF format for convenient future reference.
With these tips, you’ll be able to craft content that will grab your audience’s attention and nudge them to take the next step in their customer journey.
That way, you make your freelance clients happy — and add to a stellar portfolio.
And in case you want more help with growing your freelance business, let us know. We have professional copywriters that can help make the process less tedious and time-consuming.
Take a look at our Copywriting and Content section on our Examples page.
Or you can check out our on-demand video to learn more about how the AutoGrow digital marketing platform works for clients.
Now, tell me ...
Of these 13 copywriting persuasion tips, which one do you think has been most effective in increasing conversions?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.