Today we are going to dive into three powerful techniques that can help you write persuasively: the Grease-Slide, P.A.S., and Hooks.
Because effective communication isn't just about what you say—it's about how you say it.
And your writing may be well-crafted and beautifully written, but if it doesn't pull your readers down the page, then it's all for not.
Persuasive writing is an essential skill for Digital Writers, as it can help you convince your readers to take action, whether it's buying a product, signing up for a service, or simply changing their minds about something. It can take years to master, but there are some simple techniques that you can use to make it more effective.
Let's get into it.
Persuasive Technique #1: The Grease-Slide
Have you walked through the mud?
Every step feels heavy and cumbersome, as if you're constantly fighting against an unseen force that's trying to hold you back. The resistance of the mud makes it difficult to move quickly, and the effort required to take each step can quickly tire you out.
Imagine reading a piece of content that feels like that.
The words are long, the sentences are convoluted, and you can't seem to make sense of what you're reading. You quickly lose interest and move on to something else.
Now imagine reading a piece of content that flows effortlessly from one point to the next. The sentences are short, easy-to-read, and each one leads you seamlessly to the next. You're engaged, interested, and compelled to keep reading.
This is the power of the Grease-Slide technique.
By breaking up your writing into short, easy-to-read sentences and using transition words to connect your ideas, you can create content that's both easy to read and highly persuasive. When you gradually build up to your main point, you can make a more persuasive argument while maintaining a friendly and approachable tone.
For example, let's say you're writing about a new skincare product that's designed to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Notice how the sentences ease you from one point to the next:
Everyone wants to have smooth, youthful-looking skin, but sometimes that can feel like an impossible feat. Perhaps you've tried countless skincare products that claim to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, but nothing seems to work.
That's where our new all-natural skincare product comes in. We've specifically designed our product to target wrinkles and fine lines, so you can finally achieve the radiant, youthful-looking skin you've always wanted.
But what sets our product apart from the rest?...
And away you go!
The key to Grease-Slide technique is to help the reader follow along by transitioning them from one point to the next. Help them pick up the benefits of reading along the way. The more they carry on, the more and more likely they will take the action you want them to take.
- Set the stage for your reader and give them a mental picture of where you are headed. (Imagine reading a piece of content that feels like you’re walking through the mud.)
- Connect with your reader by showing empathy and understanding their emotions. (It's not easy to X, We know it's tough to Y, Perhaps you’ve tried Z.)
- Use transitional phrases or questions to get the reader to the next point of action. (Let’s dive in!, But, And the best part?)
Ready for the next technique?
Let’s keep going! (See what we did there.)
Persuasive Technique #2: P.A.S.
The P.A.S. (Problem Agitate Solve) framework is a powerful tool for persuasive writing because it opens a pain loop that the reader desperately wants to close.
Nobody likes to be in pain. And we definitely don’t like to have salt thrown in our wounds. By identifying the problem, agitating it, and offering a solution, you can create a message that's both compelling and effective.
For example, let's say you help gym owners grow their business. Using the P.A.S. framework, you could create a message like this:
- Problem: Many gym owners struggle to grow their business due to a lack of focus and differentiation in their offerings.
- Agitate: The reason this happens is because gym owners try to cater to too many types of customers without establishing a clear target market or unique selling proposition. As a result, their gym may have a variety of equipment and classes, but lacks a distinct identity or appeal that sets it apart from other gyms in the area.
- Solution: Fortunately, there’s a very easy solution. By specializing in a particular area such as strength training or yoga, and developing a clear marketing strategy to attract their ideal customers, gym owners can differentiate themselves from the competition and build a loyal customer base.
Notice how the P.A.S. framework addresses the gym owner’s pain and then offers a solution that speaks directly to their needs.
Here’s how to do it:
- Identify a problem: Start by identifying a problem that your target reader is facing. This could be a pain point, frustration, challenge, or a need that they have.
- Agitate the problem: Once you've identified the problem, agitate it by highlighting the negative consequences of not solving it. You want to create a sense of urgency and make your readers feel like they need to take action.
- Offer a solution: Finally, offer a solution that addresses the problem you identified and solves it for your target audience. Make sure your solution is clear, actionable, and easy to understand.
By presenting a problem, agitating it, and then offering a solution, you've created a message that's both persuasive and effective.
Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
Persuasive Technique #3: Hooks
Hooks are the coup d'etat of writing—they overthrow the reader's indifference and capture their attention.
Whether you're using a question, fact, or bold statement, your hook should be relevant to your message and create a sense of intrigue or curiosity that makes the reader want to know more.
There are 2 main goals you're looking to achieve when you write a hook:
- Get the reader to stop scrolling
- Get the reader to keep reading
And if you don't get people interested, you might as well not write. Writing takes time and effort. Why not do everything in your power to reel in readers—using sound persuasive principles?
The great part about writing hooks is that there are some very simple formulas you can follow for headlines AND effective lead-in sentences.
Here are a few to get you going:
Raise a question without giving away the answer: Leave the reader wanting to know more. Motivate them to engage and seek out further information.
- Can you explain...
- Have you ever wondered...
- What's the story behind…
Highlight the accolades of a story without offering the reason why: Create a sense of curiosity and anticipation. Prompt the reader to seek out the reason behind the achievement and engage with the story.
- Did you know that...
- It's important to understand that...
- The reason why is not what you might expect…
Show a common problem without providing the solution: Create a sense of empathy and understanding, highlight a shared experience and prompt people to seek out solutions and alternatives.
- Have you ever struggled with...
- We all know how frustrating it is when...
- You're not alone if you've experienced...
Notice how each hook creates a sense of intrigue and sets up the message that follows.
The key to a strong hook is to make it relevant to your message and to use language that's both attention-grabbing and compelling. By doing so, you can capture your reader's attention and draw them into your message, increasing the chances that they'll take action.
Boom! Now get out there and start experimenting with these. With a little practice, you'll be well on your way to becoming a master of persuasive writing!
And if you are looking for an even deeper dive, you are in luck!
We recently released our new Headlines & Hooks Masterclass.
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