Why do I need this skill?
Persuasive writing techniques can help you write a better cover letter (where you convince the reader to buy your product) but can also help write a better story opening (where you also need to convince the reader to buy the product – so they can keep reading!)
AIDA: Attention – Interest – Desire – Action
Step one: Attention
Grab their attention as soon as possible. The very first line needs to convince the reader that they want to spend their time on whatever your message is.
- Personalize your message by using the recipients name.
- Use trigger and power words
- Use active voice
- Explain why you are addressing them.
Step two: Interest
Help them understand why your message is relevant to them. Break up the text to make these points stand out.
Answer ‘Why should I care about your message?’
Build trust by establishing your credibility. Explain who you are, what authority you have (if any) and why you are competent to speak on the issue.
Answer ‘Why should i believe you?’
Consider the counter arguments to your points. Use well structured and clear (concise!) arguments. Show why these arguments are relevant. Provide evidence for your claims if you have them (exact data is extremely persuasive).
Example: I won the 2019 award for best new author.
Answer ‘ Why should I buy your product?’
Appeal to their emotion by connecting to their values and interests. Consider what your audience expects and what they are hoping to take away from your message.
Help them understand how your product is useful to them and elicit interest and desire by explicitly telling them the benefits.
This step is also known as the “call to action,” or CTA. Be very clear about what action you want your readers to take.