Questions, questions

Do questions work in copy writing? A short guide to using questions in copy.

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Mr Michael Cobb

2021-07-27 2 min read

Do you know when to ask a question in your copy?

What sort of questions work best in copy?

What is the secret to asking a good question?

Or are there simply too many questions in this post already?

Asking a question in copy can be very useful, when used well. Above are a few of the sorts of questions that typically work well in copy, and one that really doesn’t.

The first is an example of the sort of question that may make your audience think, perhaps even about something they didn’t realise they had an issue with. You’d most typically find it somewhere where you are going to have a general audience and where you need to bring in someone who does not even know they have a need for your item.

The second is an example of a question where the reader is already aware they have an issue, but might want a bit of guidance. They have probably already googled their problem and are now just wondering who to choose. By posing the right question you are giving them an idea that you understand them and better still, can solve their problem. They are an informed audience, but have not made their mind up on who has the best solution. Your question goes some way to letting think you do.

The third is a temptation, the reader may not realise they had an issue, or they did, it doesn’t really matter. The important part was you’ve dangled the ultimate prize in their face, that you could let them in on a secret. Who doesn’t love that? This is all about the psychology, rather than the need.   

The last one, well, it is a bit problematic.  If your readers can too easily say no you’ve lost the chance to get them involved in a deeper conversation. So why risk posing a question they can say no to?

Actually, there are many reasons. One might be a desire to weed out the right audience for you from the first sentence. “Do you want to lose weight?” for example. It’s a self-selecting question. Someone who says no, isn’t the audience you want anyway. You just want the audience who thinks yes.

But asking questions isn’t always the right approach. The wrong question can drive the audience to think, oh yeah, that is what the other guy does. Especially if you don’t work on the most important part of your copy.

Posing a question in your copy isn’t all about how you ask, but how you answer it. The rest of the copy has to answer it in a way that makes you the only real solution. If the answer doesn’t make them think only of you then you’ve just helped someone else become more successful at your expense.

So which of those questions would you use first and how do you want to answer it?

Mike Cobb Copywriter

Cobb Communications Ltd.

Vat registered: 372 6181 91

South Woodford- London - United Kingdom - E18