In copywriting, as in any writing project with a transformation vocation, persuasion is a key factor to increase the conversion rate, at the risk of creating semantic saturation. 3 clichés under the microscope…
All web editors dream of placing words and expressions in their publications that will trigger downright subliminal reactions. Words that would lead to high rates of opening emails and sharing their blog posts. The purpose of our pro blogs is used for that: to provide advice and other tips for writing and selling.
The risk ? Produce texts full of editorial triggers and incentives which, instead of reassuring and guiding the consumer in their decision-making process, only saturate and sabotage the message.
It’s unfortunately a current trend : in the attention race, we redouble our efforts and springs to try to capture and transform the barge. Sometimes even flouts basic rules of common sense. Speaking of common sense, you have heard of the conference organized on January 18 in Paris by the young association KONTNÜ: content strategies and common sense…?
Semantic saturation is therefore when the signifier takes precedence over the signified by the effect of overflow, stuffing, excess. This is a topic that has already been covered on your dear blog CWT Advertising and Co’m. It is about topicality, common culture, slip of the tongue and decontextualization. I invite you to read it.
For my part, I offer you 3 clichés, three preconceived ideas or springs that many copywriters believe should be used to be the most persuasive in their copywriting and engage readers, triggering action.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use these methods. They simply are not enough, or are not to be taken literally. Because they are, precisely, springs or strategies, but bottomless, without message, without common sense, they are useless.
The tone of voice is not enough. If the service or the offer behind does not follow, it is only varnish.
1. Focus on personalization
Readers love texts in “you” or “you”. It’s fashion in addition: a little personalization, a touch of humor, a little cash and raw tone, which takes its marketing, and zou: it’s in the pocket. Great fashion among startups, Backmarket and Selency in mind. With a risk of saturation also: a tone of voice is not enough. If the service or the offer behind does not follow, it is only varnish.
- Using “you” in copywriting creates proximity. Is that so ?
- The reader feels concerned by what is said. Really ?
- Use the “you” in the headings, in the form of questions, and in the call to action (CTA), to trigger a confident action: “Register for your 30-day trial”. As long as that?
- People love “you,” and they love reading their own names even more. It’s the ultimate in customization all the same! Receiving an email in his name is a guarantee of trust. In fact, it’s mostly a legal obligation, right?
In short, it is tempting to say that by using you and the first and last names of our targets, they will have the impression that we really meet their expectations. But you have to know your targets, their expectations and, above all, formulate them in their language. Without it, personalization will not make the transformation.
It’s not the “free” thing that makes people feel like they’re getting a good deal.
2. Offer free
People want free. Studies prove it, and SEO too: the word “free” comes up in all expressions, in all sectors. Well, well … I’m not sure I would accept a tooth extraction for free, or even apply a moisturizer that I would have received free of charge from an unknown brand.
It’s not so much “free” that makes people feel like they’re getting a good deal. This is the logic of donation and counter-donation: the fact that you give added value to your arguments, to your sales proposal which reassures.
Matching your product description with advice on selection, use and maintenance is what makes the good deal. Whether you integrate your product discourse into a logic of experience.
The question of pricing strategy is an exciting debate as such, where a large part of the culture and notoriety of the brand is played out. I refer you to the excellent presentation of the Pixelis agency, on this subject: A pricing strategy, above all a question of branding.
It’s a real moral question, actually, the “why” in a sales pitch.
3. Justify the purchase
Ah, the famous question of why. “Why”! It’s also a big trend: it’s all about the why. Why choose this or that brand, this or that product.
On the pretext that, in principle, we men, we tend to grant a favor if we are exposed to the reasons for granting it, here we are plastering our contents with “why”: “5 reasons to choose our waffle oven “,” Why subscribe to a fitness subscription now “…
Copywriters are told that they must constantly answer questions that the user is asking. What are the benefits of the product? What does the product do for him? But then again: what do we really know about his product experience? Or the personal experience of our target and their relationship to our product, our brand.
It’s a real moral question, actually, the “why” in a sales pitch. I evoke this moral requirement in another article, entitled “Who does not lie, does not sell. Really ?” . When you write for a user, a prospect, a customer, a consumer, it is not a question of theorizing and starting from a postulate or from own experience. It is also the subject of the conference on January 18: authentic speech, ethical content.
Meaning is the essence of trade between people.
And other so-called persuasive language tics
There are many the tics of copywriters doomed to trigger an action on an article title in Facebook, a hyperlink in an e-mail, an action button on a landing page.
Some even have their own repository, riddled with words like “instantly, now, immediately, without delay, new, innovative, new, simple and easy, guaranteed, safe or reliable …”
By dint of hackneying words and concepts, with the noble aim, however, to fly, we lose meaning. Now the meaning is the essence of trade between people. Didn’t Montesquieu say that the history of commerce was that of the communication of peoples?
We replace the qualities of the objects we present with promotional language tics.
From semantic saturation to nonsense …
Language marks the limit of what can be saidsaid Wittgenstein. Beyond the limit, there is simple nonsense. However, in our editorial practices, to account for the products we promote, we tend to impose our vision, our requirements as content producers. We replace the qualities of the objects we present with promotional language tics. We sell concepts and promises rather than profits and solutions.
In short, to maximize the persuasiveness of our copywriting, we tend to use words that we think are capable of triggering positive reactions from readers. But these are only signifiers. Not signified. What matters are the real arguments, which answer the real questions that the user is asking. What matters is the relationship and the experience.