Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing tips & ideas to help you grow your business, by Jim Connolly

Marketing copywriting: The power of reasons

Today, I thought I would share a very quick, yet very powerful copywriting idea with you.  It’s all about the power of reasons and it can dramatically improve your copywriting results!

The power of reasons

business development ideasIf you give someone a request, it has been proven time and again that they are massively more likely to comply, if you give them a reason.  By the way, Brian Clark covers this as part of this excellent persuasive writing post on copyblogger.

As you might expect, if you give people a GREAT reason to do something, there’s a good chance they will do it.  However, even if you give them a relatively weak reason, they are still more likely to take action, than if you give a request, with no reason.  In other words, from a conversion perspective, it’s best to explain WHY you want someone to do something, rather than just ask them.

Here’s an example of what I mean.  Imagine you want people to to subscribe to your newsletter.  You would almost certainly get a significantly better response by offering them a reason to subscribe, rather than just asking them to.  Look at the following 2 requests:

Subscribe to our newsletter today.

Or

Subscribe to our newsletter today, for the latest news, information and special offers.

So, whenever you ask your readers to do something, give them a reason.  The better the reason, the more likely they are to proceed.  If you want to show your friends how helpful, wise (and cool) you are, share this post with them!

…see what I did there ;)

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Jim Connolly

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15 Comments

  1. Carissa Dunphy

    January 29, 2011 at 10:35

    Good tips Jim! I agree, why would someone sign up or comply if the other end is a mystery – you’re almost telling them not to.
    Nice little trick at the end there ;)

    …but it worked.

    • Hi Carissa. People are a lot cleverer than many marketers seem to think they are.

      Show them the “why”.

      Show them the “because”.

      Don’t just ask and hope.

      Thanks for the feedback my friend!

    • Short and the to the point. I like it. I’m actually moving forward in this direction.

  2. If you take Robert Cialdini’s works as fact, merely using the word because in your statement will increase your chances of persuading someone to take the action you want them to.

    I personally haven’t been cheeky enough to use this to skip a queue for a copying machine as Cialdini did ;), however in a marketing setting it has helped increase the amount of leads from a franchise website I manage.

  3. Jim – Only just noticed that your link to Brian Clark’s article already mentions the use of the word because.

    You’re already one step ahead squire :)

  4. SO this is the little trick to gain 1,000s I will try it out this year.. instead of a demand use a persuasive tactic.. Really sounds like a simple but very effective reason!

  5. Bill McCartney

    January 29, 2011 at 15:44

    Good advice Jim.
    Funny thing is some people back away from asking.
    At times people don’t even need a great reason. Just ask nicely.
    If I tweet something I feel is important I add Pls RT.
    Will try now though to also include a good reason for RT.

    • Hi there. I don’t like the frequent use of “please RT!” as it sounds needy. If something is useful enough and you are followed by bright people, they will RT it anyway.

  6. Yo Jim — it’s the little things that make all the difference!

    You always share little gold nuggets that can be implemented immediately for improved results.

    That’s why I share most of your posts with the community – thanks for all of the insight you freely share — it’s valuable.

  7. Bill McCartney

    January 30, 2011 at 16:11

    Hi Jim,
    Good point on asking for a RT.
    I don’t use it frequently, simply because it can lose it’s impact and annoy people. Used very occasionally it can produce a startling success.

    One of the most abused calls to action is “like my Facebook page”.

  8. Salomon Wancier

    January 31, 2011 at 19:07

    Great post, the simple things often get overlooked. Especially for clients that think or insist on wirting their own content.

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