How to Use Words to Persuade

How to Use Words to Persuade

Persuasion techniques and tips to persuade readers are often viewed in a negative way.

Together with “selling,” both words conjure up unsavory tactics used to manipulate people into buying things they don’t want or need.

But the irony is we persuade and sell all day long and never think about it in a negative way.

For example, when you tell a friend about a great movie you use words that persuade. “You gotta see this! You won’t believe the ending…” You’re selling them on your recommendation to see the film.

Recommending a restaurant, hair stylist or even a physician is another way to use persuasion to get someone to see things your way.

“Sure,” you may be thinking, “But I think it’s something they’d enjoy or benefit from.”


So is persuasion done the right way. 

For example, take a minute to look around you. 

The phone you’re using, the chair you’re sitting in and the desk or TV in front of you were all sold to you either by a salesperson or words on a print ad (remember those?) or online.

My point is this: When you’re in the market for a particular offer or item, it never feels slimy to listen to someone who is genuinely interested in your welfare and honestly feels their product or service can help you.

The right offer, product or service enables the person who benefits from it to become a better version of themselves.

It’s only when you’re being pitched a product or service you have NO interest in purchasing that makes you want to go home and take a shower and burn your clothes to fend wash off that slime.

When you know your audience has an interest in either learning more or is otherwise intrigued by what you have to offer… they will, at the very least, hear you out.

Even if they don’t take you up on it, they won’t take offense that you’ve put it out there.

It may not be the right time. You don’t know. 

So all this to say… 

Done right, selling through copy — whether emails, landing or sales pages, opt-ins or what have you — is a good thing.

Tell why

No one likes to be told what to do. Ever. It’s why there’s so much fury over mask wearing. 

However, it often helps to insert the word “because.” A study (you can read the deets HERE ) shows people allowed others to barge in front of them in line at a copy machine simply by using “because.”

So when you make suggestions tell people WHY it’s a good idea and they’re more likely to comply.

Prove it

Whether we think we do it or not, we look for others to determine how to act. Sociologists refer to this as the “herd mentality.” 

It’s the basis for social proof in the form of testimonials and referrals. It’s also why people follow others on social media purely because that person has a large number of followers. They must be worth following if so many other people think so…

In this way, what others say about us matters more than what WE say about ourselves. Hence, use testimonials and referrals to boost your influence wherever possible.

Help them see the future

Talking about your offer’s benefits is one thing. Helping them look at how their life will change for the better (a.k.a. “future pacing”) is even more powerful.

Say, for example, you’re selling a fitness product. 

Help the reader visualize how they’ll feel once they start seeing results from using your product… 

Going out ( imagine it’s post-pandemic…) with a sleeveless shirt or tank top and having people ask you, “Where do you work out?” or “How do you get your arms like that?” 

… or finally being able to beat your friend in your weekly push-up challenge.

Find out what’s important to them, be it how they look to themselves, the way their clothes fit, the compliments they get from friends or even being able to do activities they could never do in the past.

Then drive that home.

Anticipate and address objections

What stops people from buying or investing in your product? 

The only way to know for sure is to ask them. For many offers, it’s about the money, especially these days.

If that’s the case, be sure to include a response to that objection in your email or landing page – aside from offering payment plans when it makes sense. Have a way to show how the benefits of your service far exceed the monetary cost (it does, right?).

Clearly, no one wants to feel misled or ripped off. But paying for a product or service that improves their life in some way?


It’s not the money. It’s their perceived value of how this will make their life better, happier, or otherwise improved.

Know your readers inside and out so your message clearly shows your value.

And you won’t need a crystal ball, just the right product / offer / service in front of the people who already want it.

Other posts you may enjoy:

How to Create Opening Hooks More Compelling than A Legal Thriller (with a real-life example pulled from my Inbox)

5 Reasons Your Emails Are Getting Banished to the Junk Folder Zone

 7 Keys to Building a Large List

 P.S. Need a little help getting better conversions on your website? Hop on over to my QUICK COPY FIX or email me at for more info.


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