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How to use details to boost your copy’s power and persuasiveness

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Yesterday we talked how to understand people.

And why sometimes they do crazy s#*t.

It comes down to their core traits and to the states they assume.

Knowing the difference helps us frame the arguments in our copy to match their traits and move prospects from one state to the other, until they’re ready to convert.

But in order to give more ooomph to all of it, in order to make our copy truly sing to them, we have to inject details in it.

Again, the book Mindreader by David Lieberman, gives us some helpful strategies for this (that secret services and FBI agents use to detect lies and dig for the truth in interrogations).

To build powerful details in your copy, pay attention to:

  • Significance: How relevant the details are to the entirety of the story or the statement
  • Proportion and Placement: Where and how the details appear and, quantitatively speaking, how much time is devoted to them
  • Integration: How layered the details are and whether they are in proper physical and conversational context”

To make this even clearer, you just need to think that a liar, typically tends to infuse a story with irrelevant details to throw you off. They pepper it with minutiae that are simply there to distract you from the fact that they are reconstructing a story.

That’s why in your copy you should be careful not to go overboard, but use details that match your reader’s traits and state, too.

Details that are relevant to their journey, to their goals and pain points and that are balanced.

In some cases however, details are taken to the extreme…

Take this leade from a sales page for a copywriting course by Chris Haddad (which is a legend, don’t get me wrong):

I mean, I could start off with some super-intense P.I.G. story where I talk about my fingers going white on the steering wheel and my car SCREAMING like some wounded animal being dragged down to hell… using my own terror and feeling of powerlessness I felt as I slammed into a concrete wall and twisted my spine like a pretzel (on the way home from my very first meeting as a copywriter, no less – true story)…”

You get the gist.

That’s a TON of detail…

Does it mean you have to do the same in your copy?


Chris simply understands that his readers, being other copywriters, are suckers for these kinds of intros and vivid details.

But this might totally flop (don’t even think of mirroring it in B2B) in other instances.

So the lesson here is:

Use details, yes, but also beware of details.

Use them when they’re relevant, use them with balance and proportion to your audience’s traits and states – and integrate them in the context of your argument so they make sense.

Not everyone wants to read your next big novel.

They hopefully just want to buy from you.

On another note, yesterday I asked on Twitter for an opinion on picking the title for the free ebook I’m about to launch:

Which one sounds more interesting to you?

Feel free to reply to the tweet or here with either A, B, C or any other idea 😊

Quote and reflection of the day:

“The pursuit of meaning gives us maximum pleasure, the prerequisite of which is self-regulation, or the ability to maintain control over oneself. This is the highest form of power.”

– David Lieberman, Mindreader

Reframe the pursuit of happiness in the pursuit and mastery of self control.

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brain dump?

Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.