Become an Effective Copywriter: Lesson 4 – Asking Questions



Any of you reading this with children would have experienced the perpetual ‘but why?’ phase that all children go through. It is a question everyone learns ask from a very early age. Sadly, although my children are rapidly heading towards their teenage years, it is a question that is still being asked with annoying regularity.

When you talk to someone directly it is easy to keep their interest as you can hold their attention with eye contact, your body language, the intonation of your voice and of course dialogue. When you are communicating via the written word you can’t use any of these techniques.

But all is not lost; there is a very simple technique you can use to stimulate a ‘conversation’ with your reader.

Ask Questions

If you are not used to writing in this style it can sound a bit obvious. But it does work. If you ask your reader a question, I can guarantee that they will think of an answer.


Because its human nature.

They can be:

  • Closed questions – those that have a yes or no answer. These are great for closing a sale. They force someone to make a decision to buy.
  • Limited questions – those which offer a choice from a set of answers (e.g. which do you prefer, white wine or rosé?) to engage people.
  • Open questions those which have no fixed answers. By using these you hand over conversational control to your reader. They can take their time considering their answer. People love this type of question.

Granted, it will take a bit of practice writing like this as it isn’t a style that comes naturally to many people. But stick with it, it will work.

Sally Ormond

This series of posts was inspired by the writing of Andy Maslen, copywriter (the link takes you to Andy’s Amazon page where you can find his range of excellent copywriting books) and his book ‘Write to Sell’ (Chapter 11).

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Enlargement on 01.15.09 at 7:48 pm

I am amazed with it. It is a good thing for my research. Thanks

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