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?
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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