Writing Truly Irresistible Marketing Copy (part 2)

Written by: Ricky Warren
Published on: 3 Oct 2011

Part 2: Mind reading, style matching, ambiguity & story-telling

Guest post by Ricky Warren, Marketing Manager, Research LtdCopywriting part2

This piece is the sequel to the critical factor and pacing & leading copywriting article featured last week.  Here are a few other techniques you can start to use which will make your copy more engaging…


Mind reading

“You’ll have had times where…”
“All marketers feel the pressure to keep up with the latest trends in…”

We’ve all used this particular technique on a regular basis in conversation but often not truly understanding why. The ability to apparently ‘mind read’ makes the reader feel like you understand them. It can often make the difference between the copy being fully read or not. Once you have lost a reader’s interest you will know it is extremely hard getting it back. Researching your audience properly in advance of writing copy is essential – prepare yourself. You will gain trust and rapport through your copy much more quickly by showing the reader you understand their needs and are not wasting their time.

Style matching

“Grab your copy now” versus “Purchase an issue today”
“Sneak a peek at our next meet-up” versus “Preview the next networking programme”

Humans are wired to emulate each other when communicating. The best results in conversation are experienced when you match your tone, pitch and pace to that of the clients. If they are talking quickly and in Elizabethan English for example, you would copy this to maximise rapport. Applied to copywriting, you should write your copy as if you are talking to your reader – learn in which way they like to be addressed and use that style to create maximum engagement with your copy.


“Many marketers find it useful for its ability to send emails with only one click…”
“The event is for those who like to stay up to date with the latest trends in…”

The above statements create something in the reader known as ‘transderivational search’. That is, a look inwards to find the answer to something which is ambiguous. Take the second line above – ‘those’ does not refer to any person in particular. But the mind automatically begins an inward search of possibilities in order to give context to the sentence – the most natural context to put that in for anyone looking at a training event would be themselves – why else would they be looking at a training event if they are not that type of person? So through suggestibility, you have made the reader assume themselves as the right type of person for the product, without saying “you the reader” specifically need it.

Ambiguity leads to more rapport, as more specific language is more limiting and has a greater chance of excluding concepts from a person’s experience or opinion.

Story telling

Story telling is often a great way to use the “my friend has a problem” technique.

“Some marketers are unsure of how effective these techniques can be. One marketer wasn’t sure but after I showed him the most important technique he started selling more immediately. Now he uses it in all his copy and has made great strides in…”

Again, here the client goes into transderivational search and puts themselves into the role of the person in the story, in an attempt to add some context so that they can empathise with what you are telling them. This allows them to act out in their heads what you are saying and is a great tool for leading someone down a desired thought process.

So, read your current copy as if you are one of your desired readers/prospects and have a go at using the above techniques – by utilising these elements of psychology and working them into your writing structure you will find your copy becomes much more enticing, flowing and effective in doing its job.

Read part 1 of Writing Truly Irresistible Marketing Copy: The critical factor and pacing & leading

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