The reason why you choose to put that coin into that homless’s pocket instead of the other one’s is that the first just was bigger than the second one’s
A homeless person asks for money in a busy street. In front of him he holds a sign with the words “I need help, I’m blind.” On the floor there is a tin to put coins. A publicist passes near him and stares at his poster before asking him a question in a soft voice.
Excuse me, sir. Would you let me write a new poster for you?
Why? -the blind man is surprised-. It’s just what I want to say.
I understand, but I am sure I can help you.
The blind man accepts the strange request and the publicist writes a new message on the other side of the cardboard, places it so that everyone can see it, and leaves satisfied.
Barely a few hours pass and the can is already overflowing with money. The blind man, delighted with each tinkle, suddenly hears a familiar voice.
I see that my poster has worked, I’m glad.
And it is! Thank you very much sir! May I ask what you have written?
Of course. I’ve said the same thing, just in different words.
The poster said:
“Spring is coming, but I will not be able to see it.”
Maybe you already knew the story. This version is an adaptation in my own words, although as a curiosity you should know that it is based on a real anecdote by the French poet Jacques Prévert.
Another writer, James Kirby, used his story in one of his books and later fell in love with the famous publicist David Ogilvy, who shared it with the rest of the world. This is how it went viral with different endings.
His conclusion is clear: it is not what you say but how you say it. This phrase attributed to Mae West may seem somewhat hackneyed to you, but it is the basis of what I am going to explain to you in this chapter. Our word choice (grammar categories) and order within the sentence (syntax) matter as much with content.
If you are a student of my free Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/chiefcontentofficers) you will already know some techniques. If not, I am sure that this section will surprise you and you will end up understanding the true power of neurocopywriting.
What is argumentation and why do you have to learn to use it?
To persuade before you must provide reasons. When you argue, you are trying to convince the recipient to take an action, from aligning with your opinion to joining your cause, going through the purchase of your product or service.
An argument can be justifying (by clue, cause-effect, comparison, etc.) or refutative (by retaliation, metastasis, demystification, etc.). Are there names that you have not heard in your life? Don’t worry, it is not my intention to describe each one of them, just to give you some examples.
If you want to delve into this topic, I recommend that you review specialized books on linguistic argumentation where you will have complete lists.
Besides the guys I’ve mentioned, another way to convince is through fallacies (misused wrong arguments), but I hope you stay away from them.
So that you understand what a fallacy is, I am going to give you an example of the ‘ad hominem’ type where an attempt is made to discredit the subject.
“You cannot talk about ethics because you are a publicist and we already know how you act.”
In this case, the plural (we know) is also used to give more force to its argument and turn the issuer into “all of us”.
Before basing your texts on fallacies, I prefer that you apply another resource of emotional argumentation such as counterargument, which helps us to refute the idea that could contradict ours.
The structure of the counterargument is idea to refute + connector + idea to confirm.
“Surely there are people who think that the nomadic lifestyle is unprofitable. YetinsideThey would like to live traveling and they envy those of us who earn great numbers doing it ”.
What argumentative factors and resources can improve your texts?
Perhaps you write persuasively without stopping to think about what kind of resources you use, but knowing them will give you even more power to enhance the texts in your favor. I have selected some of them along with examples to guide you.
The adverbs of evidence
When using them we stop being the sender of the message so that the statement creates a reality confirmed by a multiple or public sender.
Example: Of course you are afraid, I felt the same. The only way to overcome it is to take action.
The conjunction ‘as’ in function of the locutory complement
We put the responsibility on the receiver of the message. To deny the claim, you would have to oppose your own opinion.
Example: As you already know, continuing to procrastinate will lead to the ruin of your brand. That is why this course is going to help you solve it.
Possessive determiners and determinate articles.
The more specific and focused on the reader the message is, the greater sense of identification you will achieve.
Example: Here is the ultimate online marketing strategy that will help your business succeed in the long run.
Verbs in imperative
The brain receives an order as an action already performed, so your message has a better chance of getting the reader to act as you expect.
Example: Stop losing money and start earning with an investment plan tailored to you.
The conjunction ‘because’ as a reason
Adding a ‘because’ to your phrase automatically activates the acceptance pattern of our unconscious mind.
Example: Book a spa session with your friends now because you deserve to spend more time together.
Related to this last point, I want to tell you about one of the most shared studies on persuasion19. Ellen Langer discovered in 1978 that providing a reason could increase the success rate of the lawsuit.
The experiments were carried out in front of the New York University copy machine. The subject approached when there was a queue to be able to use it and asked if they could let him pass in front of the rest of the users.
They tried different versions, even varying the number of pages or gender, but we are going to focus on the next one.
Which of these 3 phrases do you think was the most successful?
- Sorry, I have 5 sheets. Could you use the machine?
- Sorry, I have 5 sheets. Could I use the machine because I’m in a hurry?
- Sorry, I have 5 sheets. Could I use the machine because I have to photocopy?
We could think that the winning option is the second, since it provides a real reason (haste). However, they were surprised to find that the third version (with a redundant and nonsensical motive), achieved the same success rate.
- (60%) Sorry, I have 5 sheets. Could you use the machine?
- (94%) Sorry, I have 5 sheets. Could I use the machine because I’m in a hurry?
- (93%) Sorry, I have 5 sheets. Could I use the machine because I have to photocopy?
The structure of the sentence activated an automatic behavior pattern that received a yes as an answer. Isn’t it incredible that a single word can convert in this way?
I hope that before reading the book you did not know most of the studies that I am sharing with you, that means that you are learning as we go along.
Now that we have also seen several argumentative resources, I want you to start applying them every time you write a text for your brand and indicate the name of the learned resource.