Persuasive copywriting tips and techniques are specific methods you use to convince a reader, through what and how you write, to take action. The action can vary from buying your product or give to your cause … to simply coming around to your viewpoint. (See more persuasive writing techniques here.)
One of the most powerful persuasive writing tips you can use is to raise objections. That is, anticipate why your reader may protest, question, doubt, embrace skepticism – and address those objections head-on in your copy or content.
Why is this persuasive technique so powerful?
Won’t raising these objections lead the reader to jump ship even before you’ve made your argument?
Maybe you’re hesitant to make your audience aware of other viewpoints.
Not so, according to social psychology researchers – especially when you raise objections and then refute them with a counterargument.
In fact, when you raise an objection and counter it with solid evidence, you are twenty percent more persuasive than when you simply present a one-sided message, according to Mike Allen of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in the Western Journal of Speech Communication.
The reasons why this works make a lot of sense. By presenting objections (and refuting them) you …
Readers are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content that comes their way, which leads them to become notoriously complacent. They skim and read and absorb, but along the way they’re looking for any excuse to not to act on what they read. There’s too much information! And you can bet when the reader has an objection, she uses it as an excuse to click off the site or scroll down the page. When you raise objections for your reader and refute them clearly, you take care of that step for her and eliminate her excuse. (Overwhelm is one of the top 5 basic objections.)
By raising objections, you show your reader that you “get her.” You see the same issues that she does and you understand her hesitation. This is important because readers make an initial decision with emotion, but they don’t want to be “sold.” Empathy makes you human and it shows that you respect your reader.
If you offer a one-sided argument, readers suspect you conveniently omitted the opposite viewpoint. He will view you with a touch of skepticism. By raising objections, you acknowledge that there’s more than one side to the story. And when you present a two-sided argument and refute your objections with clear facts, you show you’ve done your homework. You’ve reached a logical conclusion. You score credibility points with your reader.
I don’t prefer to position fear as a motivator even though it is a fierce emotion and many, many copywriters use it successfully. But in this case, I’m referring to FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. When you raise objections, you show the reader what she might miss by not taking action. You stimulate her to think and process more deeply than she might have done previously
Why might readers object to your viewpoint? Find opposing sources that may disagree with your viewpoint. Collect and study the data.
Attorneys and debate teams prepare for their arguments not only by preparing their own arguments thoroughly but by understanding the opposing point of view. What evidence does the opposing viewpoint they look at? What might they accept that evidence? Follow the path of each objection. Then you’ll be ready to present a counterargument.
Here are several ways you can persuade your reader by raising an objection and presenting a counterargument.
More Persuasive Writing Tips
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