Be A More Persuasive Writer
The Four “P” Approach To More Persuasive Writing
The Four “P” Approach: A Persuasive Writing Structure That Works by Brian Clark of CopyBlogger.
The 4 Ps Approach to Persuasion
The 4 Ps structure consists of promise, picture, proof, and push in place of the four elements of attention, interest, desire, and action.
- The promise you make is designed to catch attention
- That beneficial promise is made with the headline, and carried over into your opening.
- This is the most important part of the piece, because if the reader stops here, it’s game over.
- This promise is “what’s in it for them.”
- Instead of the vague notion of “interest,” here we segue into painting a vivid picture for the reader.
- You’re fleshing out the promise and beneficial payoff using vibrant descriptive language.
- One way to do this is to get the reader to imagine themselves enjoying the benefit or desired outcome.
- Then you get very specific about how your proposed solution or idea makes that benefit happen.
- The Picture phase suggests using storytelling and vivid descriptive imagery as a way to hold the reader’s emotional interest while you nudge them down the path to acceptance.
3. Proof Statistics
- Studies, graphs, charts, third-party facts, testimonials, a demonstration that the features of your product deliver the benefits you’ve promised—these are all part of the Proof section of your piece.
- Now’s the time to play it straight and appeal to the reader’s logical mind to support the emotional triggers you pulled with the Picture.
- The Push phase is more than just a call to action.
- It’s delivering an outstanding offer in a promotion, and then asking for the purchase.
- It’s the grand finale where your big idea makes as much sense to the reader as it does to you.
- Persuasive writing begins with the ending in mind, so during the push you’re tying the beneficial promise and the vivid picture to solid acceptance and concrete action.
- Don’t be shy about “telling them what you’ve told them” as a way to connect the dots, because an assumption of understanding is an enemy to acceptance.
Understanding is the Key to Persuasion
- Persuasion is not about coercion or manipulation, persuasion is about understanding.
- Understanding leads to acceptance when the product is relevant and high-quality, and when the idea is sound and well-targeted.
- Just don’t assume people understand on their own.
- It’s a noisy world out there, so you’ve got to educate your readers.
- Good copy simply educates the reader in a way that the brain finds appealing.
- And a big part of brain-friendly language is the compelling structure that people need to see things your way.
(About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media.)
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