Using the Golden Thread to Get Your Prospect to Take Notice

I’m glad to see you back!

Yesterday I shared a core secret to effective persuasive writing from one of my Circle of Success blog entries … the crucial importance of offering real benefits in your writing.

I left you with this question: Where do you offer those benefits?

Let’s answer that question by looking an example from an alternative health promotion we study in depth in the Circle of Success Targeted Learning Program.

(While this example comes from copywriting, this same approach works with all types of persuasive writing.)

We start by knowing that your prospect wants her joints to stop aching. And, she wants to do it naturally. Here’s the promise in master copywriter Kent Komae’s long-running Mt. Home Nutritionals promo:

“In the future, this is how people will soothe stiff joints and ease discomfort. Only you don’t have to wait. You can start right now!”

Using this promise, you come up with many strong benefits. Let’s focus on being able to do important activities without worrying about prescription drug side effects as your big benefit.

You want to get this powerful promise/benefit combination into your headline and lead within the first 100 words or so. Do that, and your joint-suffering prospect takes notice.

Once you get the promise and benefits into your writing, do you let them drop?

Not!

Many mediocre writers don’t understand you want to weave your promise and benefits throughout the entire piece. We call this the Golden Thread.

Don’t drop the thread …

After this strong beginning, you start painting a colorful, visual “picture,” so your reader can see herself benefiting from what you’re offering. You describe daily activities vital to her life: knitting, playing catch with the grandchildren, helping out in church.

It’s easy to keep focus on the promise/benefit in the lead and picture part of your writing. But there comes a time when you have to give some type of proof of the effectiveness of what you’re offering.

This is where many writers drop the Golden Thread. They give data and details to prove what they’re saying. But they forget to return to the promise and benefits.

Big mistake. It’s vital to weave your Golden Thread through this part.

Let’s say you want to prove a natural herb is effective in easing joint pain. After briefly citing two studies, weave in the Golden Thread:

“You can see how effective this side-effect-free natural herb is for keeping your joints supple and young. Young enough to pick up the knitting basket again. Or … [and so on].”

Most writers drop the Golden Thread at this point. (Not you, now, right?) But those who don’t almost always forget about it at the close, where you ask your reader to take action.

This, again, is a big mistake. It doesn’t matter what type of persuasive writing you’re doing, your purpose is to get action. The Golden Thread reminds your reader why taking that action is important for her.

The Golden Thread in the close gives her a reason for doing what you ask based on why she started reading in the first place … the promise and benefits you offered her.

Should you consciously include the Golden Thread throughout your copy?

Yes, you should. But it can be hard to do without practice. So, after you’ve finished writing, go back into your copy and make sure you haven’t broken it. If you have, pick it up and pull it through.

When you do, you’ll be pulling your prospect through to the point in your writing she says, “YES!”

I hope you return tomorrow when we’ll be looking at one of every writer’s biggest bugaboos: Writers block!

I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow. But before you leave, please let me know what you think so far. Leave your comments and questions in the comment section.

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Published: May 5, 2015

22 Responses to “Using the Golden Thread to Get Your Prospect to Take Notice”

  1. Hi, Mr. Newman! I am a new AWAI member and plan to begin the program very soon. I am a fiction writer and received an absolutely glowing review from the Mount Everest of review journals, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. But I haven't seen an upswing in sales - I simply can not seem to tap into that mainstream audience. I am working on a 3rd novel but if it is all in vain, I question pursuing it. When I read about AWAI, I immediately thought of putting my Bachelors in Creative Writing to use.

    Real McCoyMay 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm

  2. Good Tuesday morning, Will...

    The Golden Thread is mentioned in AWAI courses. However, not to the depth you shared.

    I'm starting to see the value of being a CoS member...

    ~joseph

    Joseph LaceyMay 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

  3. Mr Newman, You have again offered a strong visual to someone who enjoys sewing by hand....the golden thread. To drop it spells disaster. And I see that keeping your prospect's EYE ON THE BALL is crucial. I get it, BUT I will endeavor to learn the seamless reintroduction of the thread, again and again. THAT is the challenge. Hold onto the thread, but keep it going FORWARD. Your thinking, your advice, your kind ways ALL come into play when reading you. I feel very lucky indeed. Thnx, Jackie S

    Guest (Jackie S of NH)May 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm

  4. Dear Will,

    Hello, just wanted to let you know I am finding your tutorial a real bonus to,"The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting", course I have only just begun! Thank you in GOLD!

    Question: What would the example look like in the closing statement using the promise/benefit? I wish you would have shown how Kent Komae Sewed-Up the,"Golden Thread", tying it seamlessly through to the finish.

    I look forward to your next lesson!
    Best wishes, Sean

    Guest (Sean )May 5, 2015 at 2:31 pm

  5. yes, it's like a flow, or everything else follows naturally, or by second nature. one comes after the other, so on & so forth.

    learned something! thank you, that was great!

    Guest (rissa)May 5, 2015 at 3:24 pm

  6. Hello Will, I am really enjoying your teaching and looking forward to learning more from you. I am not yet a member, as I can't afford any of the great programs AWAI is offering, but my soul yearns to write, but I'm afraid to market myself without professional training. I have previously received positive comments on my short stories, etc., but I don't know if I am good enough to make a living and feed my kids from, as yet. I hope to continue reading your advise for free until later.
    Thank you

    Guest (Yanna)May 5, 2015 at 6:19 pm

  7. Hi will,

    Your letter opened my eyes up to a lot. I was very impressed.

    I'm not really a writer but I think I would love it. I wasn't an inventor in 2009 but yet I invented a Christian board game and a food processor and I had to do a lot of writing for both. I figure if I can write for them. I should be able to write anything.

    Thanks for the lesson it was wonderful,

    God Bless, Pat

    Guest (Patricia )May 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm

  8. Hi, It is really important for the copy that the chain of benefits and promises should not break at any time. The golden thread technique, suggested by you, is the pillar of your copy. If, while writing, your golden thread breaks it will not only mar the effectiveness of your copy but also your talent. Keeping in mind the theory of golden thread, while writing, is very important.

    Mahesh SeelviMay 6, 2015 at 6:51 am

  9. Hi Will, As an AWAI student, of course I've heard about the Golden Thread before, but there was something about your description and examples that really made it click in a more solid way.

    Thank you. Always enjoy your writing.
    Cecelia

    CeceliaMay 7, 2015 at 8:44 pm

  10. Thanks Will! I finally truly grasped the concept behind "The Golden Thread" after reading your explanation in this article. My writing background is in business and legal. It calls for a very organized, concise manner of writing so I'm working at re-training myself as I make my way through the Accelerated Program. I look forward to learning more from you and the other wonderful writers in AWAI!

    Guest (Bev W)May 13, 2015 at 11:33 pm

  11. Hello Will, Thank-you for the Golden Thread concept.....it is important to me in my other "mad brained" hobby of crochet, and is also critical there or the garment just doesn't come together!

    How it applies to persuasive writing is still mostly a tantalizing mystery to me! am looking forward to learning more...

    GigiJune 22, 2015 at 5:33 pm


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