The 10 Copywriting Techniques You Need To Know in 2023


Copywriting can sometimes feel like cracking a secret code, a puzzle that only a select few have the key to.

You sit there, staring at a blank page, grappling with words and ideas, desperately trying to craft the perfect message that will captivate your audience and drive them to take action.

Nothing seems to click, and frustration starts to creep in. What follows is a rollercoaster of doubt, second-guessing, and countless revisions, all in pursuit of that elusive copy that truly resonates.

If this experience sounds too familiar, then this blog post is for you. Below are ten persuasive copywriting techniques that can help you engage, persuade, and convert. 

Captivate and Persuade Your Audience Using Storytelling 

Humans are inherently drawn to storytelling. It is a fundamental aspect of human culture and communication that has existed since the dawn of humanity. Our brains are wired to respond to stories, making them a powerful tool in copywriting.

By incorporating storytelling techniques into your copy, you can tap into this natural inclination and create a captivating and persuasive experience for your audience.

Storytelling offers several other benefits in copywriting:

  1. Emotional connection: Stories have the power to evoke a wide range of emotions, from joy and excitement to empathy and nostalgia. By sharing a relatable and emotionally engaging story, you can create a bond with your audience, making them more receptive to your message.

  2. Memorable and engaging: Stories have a way of sticking in our minds. When information is presented in a narrative form, it becomes more memorable and engaging for the audience.

  3. Relatability and identification: Stories provide an opportunity for your audience to see themselves in the narrative. By painting a vivid picture and letting them envision themselves as the protagonist, you create a sense of relatability and identification. This allows your audience to imagine how your product or service can positively impact their own lives.

  4. Persuasive impact: By presenting your offering within a compelling story, you can demonstrate its value and effectiveness in a more persuasive way than listing features and benefits alone.

An excellent example of storytelling in copywriting is David Ogilvy’s “The Man in the Hathaway Shirt” campaign.

Created in the 1950s, it featured a distinguished man wearing an eye patch and a Hathaway shirt.

Rather than focusing solely on the features of the shirt, Ogilvy crafted narratives that sparked curiosity and intrigue. Readers were drawn into the story behind the man’s eye patch, wondering about his adventures and the air of mystery surrounding him. The copy subtly linked the qualities of the Hathaway shirt—sophistication, elegance, and individuality—to the persona of the man, making the shirt an aspirational symbol.

The shirt became more than just a piece of clothing; it became a part of a captivating narrative that consumers wanted to be a part of.

The result? This campaign was highly successful and helped establish David Ogilvy as a legendary figure in the world of advertising.

That said, while David Ogilvy’s sales letters date back decades, his principles and techniques of storytelling in copywriting remain strong to this day. Some of the methods you can use include: 

  • Use vivid descriptions and sensory details to paint a picture that engages the audience’s imagination and senses.

  • Develop relatable characters that embody the struggles, desires, and aspirations of your target audience.

  • Create a narrative arc that follows a logical progression, building tension and culminating in a resolution that showcases the benefits of your product or service.

  • Use storytelling devices such as conflict, suspense, and resolution to keep the audience engaged and curious about the outcome.

  • Incorporate testimonials or success stories from real customers to add authenticity and credibility to your narrative.

Agitate Pain and Ignite the Desire for Solutions

This copywriting technique involves highlighting the specific challenges, frustrations, or problems that your target audience faces. By bringing these pain points to the forefront, you create a sense of urgency and make your audience realize the need for a solution.

To begin, vividly paint a picture of the specific difficulties they encounter in their daily lives. Whether it’s struggling to meet deadlines, feeling overwhelmed with tasks, or experiencing a lack of work-life balance, shine a spotlight on these pain points.

Emphasize the negative consequences of not taking action, showcasing the stress, missed opportunities, and decreased productivity that results from poor time management, for example.

Once you have successfully agitated their pain, it’s time to shift gears and ignite the desire for solutions. Showcase how your offering can provide the relief, comfort, or success they long for. Highlight the benefits and positive outcomes that your product or service can deliver.

Craft a compelling vision of how their lives can be transformed by using what you offer, appealing to their deepest desires and aspirations. Allow them to envision a more organized, fulfilling, and balanced life that they can enjoy by taking advantage of your software, for instance.

By effectively tapping into their pain points and igniting the desire for solutions, you create a powerful case for your audience to take action. They will recognize the value in your offering and feel motivated to seek the relief and improvement it promises.

Be Unforgettable with Humor

Humor, when used strategically, can transform your copy from mundane to unforgettable. It goes beyond simply eliciting laughter; it has the ability to: 

  • Capture attention: Humor acts as a hook, enticing readers to continue reading and explore what you have to offer. By adding an unexpected twist, clever wordplay, or a witty remark, you engage your audience from the outset.

  • Build rapport: When you make your readers laugh or smile, they perceive you as relatable, approachable, and human. This helps in building trust and fostering a positive relationship with your audience.

  • Make your message memorable: Humorous anecdotes, amusing metaphors, or clever wordplay stick in the minds of your audience, making your message more likely to be recalled later.

Consider, for example, Poo-Pourri’s About page, where they share the story of how their product came to be. They describe a relatable situation—an all-too-intimate dinner party where someone blew up the bathroom. This humorous anecdote instantly captures the reader’s attention and creates a memorable brand experience.

The company’s playful and witty tone throughout its copywriting keeps readers engaged and entertained. They use clever wordplay, such as “It was a movement. A bowel movement,” creating a memorable and amusing association with their brand. They understand their target audience’s sensibilities and tailor their humor accordingly, striking a balance between amusement and showcasing the value of their products.

That said, humor can create a connection with readers, but making them laugh doesn’t always guarantee increased conversion rates. It can build rapport and create a memorable experience, but should be complemented with persuasive messaging and a clear call-to-action.

Connect Deeply with Your Ideal Buyers By Speaking Their Language

To deeply connect with ideal buyers, go beyond surface understanding and speak their language. Conduct thorough research, and delve into their values, beliefs, and preferences. Gain insights to craft copy that resonates personally.

Imagine you’re creating sales pages for a fitness brand targeting young adults. Messages like “Burn fat and build muscle with our training plan!” and “Transform your life with our fitness program!” won’t cut it.

You need to adopt a tone that reflects their energy and enthusiasm. Infuse your sales copy with an upbeat and motivational style, using exclamation marks, inspiring quotes, and words that convey excitement and determination. 

Phrases like “crush your goals,” “get ripped,” “unleash your inner athlete,” and “push your limits” align with their mindset and aspirations, speaking directly to their desire for physical transformation and personal achievement.

Incorporate terms like “gains,” “macros,” “HIIT,” and “PR” (personal record) to show a deep understanding of the fitness culture and the language commonly used within their community. 

This level of detailed language customization helps build trust, credibility, and a sense of camaraderie between your brand and the audience.

That said, speaking your audience’s language goes beyond just connecting emotionally; it also has significant benefits for your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing/digital marketing efforts.

When your writing mirrors your target customers’ language, it aligns with their search queries, increasing the chances of your content appearing in search engines with results related to your offerings.

Harness the Power of Testimonials and Social Proof

Social proof works on the principle of conformity. When people see others using and benefiting from your product or service, it creates a sense of “if others are doing it, it must be good.” This psychological phenomenon can influence potential customers to follow the actions of others and make a purchase. Testimonials and social proof act as validation, providing reassurance that they are making a wise decision.

To effectively harness the power of testimonials and social proof, consider these writing tips when planning your copywriting strategy:

  • Use real customer testimonials: Authenticity is crucial. Collect genuine testimonials from satisfied customers and ensure they are verifiable and credible.

  • Showcase diverse experiences: Feature testimonials from different customers with varied backgrounds, needs, and challenges. This allows a wider range of potential customers to relate and find relevance in the shared experiences.

  • Include specific details: When sharing testimonials, include specific details about the customer’s journey, the problem they faced, the solution your product or service provided, and the measurable results they achieved. This specificity adds credibility and makes the testimonials more impactful.

  • Incorporate visual elements: If possible, accompany testimonials with photos or videos of the customers. Visual elements can further enhance the authenticity and impact of the testimonials.

  • Use case studies and success stories: In addition to individual testimonials, consider presenting in-depth case studies or success stories. These provide a more comprehensive look at the customer’s journey and the transformative impact of your offering.

Write Like You Speak

Conversational copy has a natural flow that invites readers to engage with the content. It feels less formal and more relatable, encouraging readers to continue reading and interact with your brand.

Also, complex jargon and convoluted language can be off-putting to readers. Using simple and concise sentences makes your copy more accessible to a wider audience.

Innocent Drinks, a UK-based smoothie and juice company, excels at adopting a friendly and approachable tone in its copy. Consider the company’s homepage, for example. 

They infuse their messaging with a conversational style that feels like a genuine conversation with a friend. They use phrases like “You knit a little hat, we’ll pop it on a bottle, and together, we can help out a lonely older person. Win-win-win.” This relatable and down-to-earth approach instantly establishes a connection with the audience, making them more receptive to the brand’s message. 

They also sprinkle humor and wit throughout their messaging, such as their playful remark, “There’s a 32% chance you won’t regret it” when encouraging readers to follow them on social media. They present information in bite-sized chunks, using short sentences, bullet points, and subheadings. 

And most importantly, the smoothie company showcases authenticity and values to build trust. They openly share their mission to make the world a better, healthier place and highlight initiatives like being carbon neutral and donating profits to charity.

Craft Persuasive Copy with Specificity

When your messaging is specific, it becomes credible, relatable, and persuasive.

Imagine you stumble upon a website that claims its product is “top-rated by many small businesses.” It sounds vague and lacks substance, doesn’t it?

Now, consider this alternative: “Over 10,000 small businesses use our accounting software to track expenses customize invoices, and run reports.” Notice the difference? By providing a specific number, you instantly grab attention and enhance credibility.

Numbers have a profound impact on human psychology, evoking a sense of accuracy, precision, and legitimacy. They help readers grasp the scale, impact, or extent of a claim, making it more convincing.

But specificity goes beyond numbers. There are several other ways to infuse it into your copy. Let’s explore them:

  • Concrete details: Instead of using generic language, provide specific and tangible information about your product or service. Describe its features, benefits, and unique qualities in a precise and detailed manner. This demonstrates your expertise and gives readers a clear understanding of what sets you apart.

  • Quantifiable results: Highlight measurable outcomes, such as increased revenue, time saved, or customer satisfaction ratings. Demonstrating the tangible benefits your offering delivers strengthens your position and instills confidence in your audience.

  • Timeframes and deadlines: By specifying when an offer or promotion expires, you create a fear of missing out and motivate readers to act promptly. This copywriting technique leverages the psychological principle of scarcity and prompts immediate decision-making.

Target the Emotions

Human beings are inherently driven by their emotions. Our choices are influenced by how we feel — the desire for success, happiness, love, security, or the fear of missing out, failure, or uncertainty. 

Take the time to understand your readers’ needs, motivations, and pain points. What are their dreams and aspirations? What are their biggest pain points? What keeps them up at night? 

Once you’ve identified the relevant emotions, it’s time to strategically incorporate them into your copy. Begin by establishing a strong connection between your product or service and the emotions you want to evoke. Show how your offering directly addresses those emotional needs and desires.

That said, authenticity and genuineness are probably the most vital ingredients when targeting emotions in copywriting. Your audience can sniff out phoniness from a mile away, so you need to keep it real and genuine. When your message resonates with them on an authentic level, it creates a powerful emotional connection that drives action.

And very few brands have mastered this art better than Dove. Consider Baby Dove’s landing page, for example, where the company employs emotional messaging to connect with new parents and address their common worries and insecurities.

The tone is informative, empathetic, and reassuring. The language used is warm, compassionate, and relatable, creating a sense of trust and understanding. Dove establishes itself as a reliable source of knowledge and support, offering guidance without being condescending or judgmental.

The testimonials from real parents showcase diverse experiences, emphasizing self-trust, individuality, and learning. These stories connect with the emotional aspect of parenting and promote confidence in personal choices.

Dove further acknowledges the challenges and pressures of parenting, validating the fears and concerns of new parents with compelling statistics. They mention the “conflicting advice from family, friends, baby books, and baby websites” and acknowledge the influence of social media’s portrayal of seemingly perfect parents.

By doing so, Dove reassures the reader that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and fosters a sense of community.

Take Advantage of Power Words

Power words are impactful and persuasive words that grab attention and evoke strong emotions. Words like “free,” “exclusive,” “guaranteed,” or “transform” can make your copy more compelling and memorable. You should, however, use them sparingly and strategically to avoid diluting their impact.

Below are some examples of different types of power words

  1. Emotional power words: These words tap into the deep-seated emotions of your audience, evoking strong feelings and stirring their desires.

  2. Persuasive power words: They create a sense of urgency, highlight benefits, create interest, or appeal to the logical and rational side of decision-making. Examples include “discover,” “proven,” “irresistible,” “must-have,” and “instant.”

  3. Sensory words: These words engage the senses and paint a vivid picture in the minds of your audience, making your message more tangible and relatable. They allow your readers to imagine the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures associated with your product or service. Examples include “sizzling,” “whisper,” “velvet,” “crunchy,” and “fragrant.”

  4. Exclusive power words: They convey a sense of exclusivity, rarity, or limited availability, creating a feeling of privilege and special access. Examples include “exclusive,” “limited edition,” “members-only,” “VIP,” and “elite.”

  5. Reassuring power words: These words instill confidence, trust, and reassurance in your audience. They help alleviate doubts or concerns and position your product or service as a reliable solution. Examples include “guaranteed,” “proven,” “trusted,” “secure,” and “peace of mind.”

Remember, the effectiveness of power words lies in their context and how well they resonate with your audience.

Match features with benefits

Persuasive copywriting strikes a delicate balance between highlighting features and focusing on benefits.

Features are the specific attributes and functionalities that set a product or service apart from the competition. Benefits explain why these features matter and how they directly help the target audience.

The latter is the driving force behind selling a product or service as benefits connect directly with readers’ desires and aspirations.

Merely pitching a feature without addressing the needs and desires of customers falls short of creating a compelling message. While mentioning the solution indicates customers are in the right place, the emphasis should be on conveying the benefits they stand to gain.

To effectively demonstrate the connection between features and benefits, ask yourself, “So what?”

Let’s consider an example: The smartphone has a long battery life.

So what? You can go through your entire day without worrying about battery life.

So what? You stay connected and productive from morning to night, uninterrupted.

So what? You can confidently use your phone for work, entertainment, and staying in touch with loved ones, knowing it won’t let you down when you need it most.

In this example, the feature of a long battery life transforms into a series of compelling benefits. Emphasizing the ability to go through the day without battery concerns addresses the practical need for uninterrupted usage. This benefit extends further to staying connected and productive, highlighting

Final Thoughts: 10 Persuasive Copywriting Techniques

Remember, you don’t have to use all these copywriting strategies in every piece of copy you create. The key is to understand their power and versatility and to strategically select the techniques that align with your goals and resonate with your target audience when writing copy. 

Whether you’re harnessing the persuasive force of power words, crafting compelling storytelling narratives, or tapping into the emotions that drive action, each technique has the potential to elevate your copy to new heights. Experiment, iterate, and find your unique voice when you write copy.

If you’re a copywriter yourself, make sure to click the orange button below to get interviewed on