Using Experience for Persuasion

By Justin Hitt, Professional B2B Copywriter

How do you connect with buyers who read your copy in a meaningful and emotional way? To do this you need to have two important insights, easily gained but often ignored.

In the November 2008 AdBriefing Newsletter, I quoted David Ogilvy with:

“I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.”

Everything you do in life influences your prospective, understanding, and ability to persuade. If you accept this fact, then understand everything in the life of your reader is influenced by the same things, but in their life. Connecting with the experiences of buyers improves credibility, believability, and their willingness to take action with you.

David Ogilvy faced financial difficulty growing up during a depression, just barely went to college. He was an apprentice chef at the Majestic Hotel (in Paris.) After returning to Scotland he sold cooking stoves door-to-door.

Through his success, David Ogilvy was asked to write an instruction manual for other sales people, considered one of the finest sales instruction manual ever written. (It's titled, “The Theory and Practice of Selling the AGA Cooker“, contact this site if you have a copy of it.)

Beyond all this, David Ogilvy got his start in advertising through his brother, later offered a position and the agency sent him to the United States for a year. Through these experiences he is considered the father of modern direct response.

Through out David Ogilvy's life, his experiences influenced his copy. It helped him quickly to relate to the interests of buyers, speaking in their language one-to-one. When he wrote he started with solid research, understanding every detail of who he is communicating with.

His big ideas connected people to products emotionally, building on the same experiences he had as a sales person. This is also where his focus on results for clients was born.

To write better copy that sells, build on who you are as an individual. Think about people you know who would have problems solved by the product you present, focus in on their real emotions. Do the research necessary, both in your own life, and the life of others to know what will motivate your buyer.

Use your diverse background as a stepping stone for success in copywriting. With this mindset, everyone you meet becomes ideas for persuasive copy.

If you want persuasion in powerful copy that sells more of what you offer, then start with experiences. Practice, do the research necessary, and write to someone you know who will greatly benefit from what you offer.

© 2008 AdBriefing Copywriting Tips, All rights reserved.

Justin Hitt turns your companies experiences into meaningful business advertising that turns business relationships into profits. For complete copywriting services visit

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Staff Writer
Helping copywriters attract top earnings with words that sell without struggling for years. Transforming frustrating jobs into extraordinary freedom with sales persuasion insights. Inspired by world-renowned copywriter Patrick Quinn.