Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

What the Bible Teaches Us About Copywriting

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Time Magazine calls the Bible as the most influential book ever written. Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time, it is the best-selling book of the year every year.

Copywriting is “salesmanship in print” and it is best described as the skill of persuasion. Perhaps the most influential book can teach us lessons on persuasion.

The Great Commission instructs his followers to, “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), and that involves a great deal of persuasion! Jesus said to “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and persuade them to come in” (Luke 14:23).

Biblical Wisdom For Persuasion and Online Sales

Biblical Wisdom For Persuasion and Online Sales

Based from the Bible, I set forth six principles of persuasion which are all in harmony with what Dr. Robert B. Cialdini established from his many years of empirical research. His book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” is an essential reading on Copywriting.

Principle of Reciprocity

People repay in kind. Give what you want to receive.

Paul uses this motive, “I urge you therefore…by the mercies of God” (Romans 12:1). He is saying that since God has given us so much, we are obligated to, “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).

Principle of Commitment

People align with their clear commitments. Make their commitments active, public, and voluntary.

James spoke of this principle regarding falling into sin (James 1:13-15). He said the first step is moderate temptation, the next step is a deeper commitment with enticement by lust, and the final decision is the full commitment to sin.

Principle of Social Proof

People follow the lead of similar others. Use peer power whenever it’s available.

This is why the writer of Hebrews wrote, “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:25). That is why advertisers try to convince us that many people use their product; consequently, so should we. It is proof that their product is best.

Principle of Likeability

People like those who like them. Uncover real similarities and offer genuine praise.

Paul wrote of this principle, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6). In other words, be a nice, likable person. It is like the old proverb, “You will catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Principle of Authority

People defer to experts. Expose your expertise, don’t assume it’s self-evident.

Jesus Christ used this principle, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’” (Matthew 28: 18, 19).

Principle of Scarcity

People want more of what they can have less of. Highlight unique benefits and exclusive information.

The Bible uses this sense of urgency, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:28). In other words, if we want to be saved, we better do it now, because after death the offer is over.

The above are simply principles of persuasion and the challenge is for us to apply one or more of them whenever we make copy.

About JosePaclibare

Jose is a Christian entrepreneur who is currently working as an intern with Terry Dean…and specializing in learning copywriting with a Christian perspective. If you’re looking for beginning copywriter, contact him today to see if he has room available for you as a client.

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