Posts on the art and science of persuading with words.

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.

Persuasive copywriting 2: Social proof Persuasive copywriting 2: Social proof

Copywriters can exploit the principle of social proof by positioning a product or service as the choice of the majority.

Persuasive copywriting 1: Liking Persuasive copywriting 1: Liking

The principle of liking can be exploited to persuasive effect by setting up a rapport with the reader.