Posts on the art and science of persuading with words.

Buy this, you fool Buy this, you fool

Two recent ads that both try ‘negging’ the reader, with mixed results.

Why copywriting depends on empathy Why copywriting depends on empathy

To reach your reader, you need to get inside their head and feel what they feel.

Make it real Make it real

Choose your words carefully, because your reader will picture whatever you describe.

Five metaphors for Brexit Five metaphors for Brexit

Cake, war, game of poker, prison, Holy Grail… how do metaphors shape our thoughts about Brexit?

No-one buys alone No-one buys alone

Psychologists picture us making decisions alone, but we hear many other voices when we decide to buy.

Four big marketing illusions Four big marketing illusions

Four proven cognitive biases that distort our view of customers.

Persuasive copywriting 5: Scarcity Persuasive copywriting 5: Scarcity

Persuasive copywriting is a matter of exploiting a number of proven, well-established principles. The principle of scarcity states that people value something more if it is in short supply.

Persuasive copywriting 4: Authority

The principle of authority states that people defer to experts, and are more likely to accept a suggestion if it is backed up by authority.

Persuasive copywriting 3: Consistency Persuasive copywriting 3: Consistency

The principle of consistency states that people align their actions with their clear commitments. Once they’ve made a public or explicit commitment, they tend to stick to it, since they want to appear consistent and honest.