Hitting the Target with Persuasive Copy!

My last posting was about getting your e-mails read.  Now it’s time to talk about getting the content to deliver the results you want.  This post focuses on the first key factor from last week, “The Message”.  Whether you recognize it or not, even though most of us are in ministry, we’re always selling ourself, our products, and our services. 

Writing a persuasive message is the key to achieving the results you want.  Whether its for e-mails, letters, newsletters, blogs, website content, web directories, book introductions, facebook fan pages, twitter, conventional advertising, or even your LinkedIn invitations, you are selling, and your message must be persuasive to get results!

Here are five easy steps that will help you get the results you desire:

  1. What do you have to offer?
  2. What will it do for your readers?
  3. What does it contain?
  4. Who are you?
  5. What are the next steps?

 

  1. What do you have to offer?  The most important thing to getting results, and for that matter, getting the reader to keep reading is to capture their attention.  Tell the reader what your message is about in the first or second sentence.  What is your product or service?  What does it do?  Who is it for?
  2. What will it do for your readers?  The second step should tell the readers what the benefits will be if they take action on your offer.  Put simply, what it will do for the reader?  How will it make their life better?  Examples might be; “you will have less stress”, “you can eliminate bad habits”, or “you can overcome fear”.
  3. What does it contain?  This is about the features of your product or service.  What’s in the box?  The benefits in #2 are the most important, but telling the reader what’s involved builds trust, and helps the reader justify the expense.
    a.  Some examples of features might be:
         i.   3 hours of teaching and 2 hours of personal ministry
         ii.  10 hours of MP3 or DVD teaching
         iii.  275 pages of information packed pages and 10 action plans for bringing blessings and favor
    b.  Compelling “teasers” can create a curiosity to encourage action, some examples might be:
         i.   The three most damaging actions and how to overcome their results
    c.  If possible, attach a benefit to each feature, some examples might be:
         i.   Each lesson comes with prayers (or action plans) to break curses and achieve life changing results
  4. Who are you?  This step is for those without an established following or those trying to reach a new target market where establishing your trustworthiness and credibility are key to your success.  A great LinkedIn profile with a photo gives you an element of trust to new contacts.  Including your training and education is important to show your expertise.  Recommendations tell new clients what they can expect from their involvement with you.  Including your payment options, return policies, cancellation charges, shipping and handling charges, and other policies “up front” can eliminate any reluctance to proceed by cautious readers.
  5. What are the next steps?  Call this a “call to action”.  What do you want your target contacts to do next?  It might be order your product, contract your services, or fill out an interview form.  Tell your reader (don’t just suggest) the exact steps you want your contact to take.  Most people like to get a bargain, offering a limited time discount or suggesting scarcity can encourage quick action.  If you are offering a “free” product or service, don’t overlook the fact that you will have to “sell” those as well.
     

Bullet points work well because they allow you to highlight information in a powerful skimmable format that focuses the reader’s eyes on exactly what you want them to see. 

Don’t forget to use the suggestions from “Get Your Emails Read: from my October 22nd posting.

 As always, thank you for reading Linked4Ministry.  If you are new here, the best way to receive all the new posts is to subscribe for e-mail updates at the top right.  If you have been following Linked4Ministry and find it helpful, please consider sharing it with other ministry partners that it could benefit.  It’s easy to do by clicking on the following buttons, and it’s OK to click more than one !

Blessings,
Bill Bender
Anothen Life Ministries

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