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What is Copywriting: Charisma Checks and The Art of Persuasion

If there's one thing that I enjoy about RPG games like Baldur's Gate, Skyrim, or Fallout 4, it's the fact that you can talk yourself out of potentially dangerous and violent situations.


Maybe you came from JRPGs like Final Fantasy and it's your first time playing something like Skyrim, not realizing that you can't just pick-up and tuck away every single in-world item that's available to click on. Perhaps there was an accidental click on an NPC-owned item, and the shopkeeper threatened to take you to the city guard, where you either have to pay a fine or do some jail time.


Thankfully, there are peaceful and creative ways to get out of these types of situations that don't require you to hack and slash your way through the local militia.


After all, part of the allure of these games is the ability to create a character that can charm and persuade other characters through dialogue options. And the concept of charisma checks in video games is not just a fun mechanic, but it's also a real-life phenomenon that can be applied to copywriting and marketing.


But what is copywriting?



What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the art of writing words that persuade people to take action. It's a specialized form of writing that's used in advertising, marketing, and sales. Copywriting is not just about creating clever headlines or taglines, but it's also about crafting messages that resonate with your target audience.


In the world of copywriting, the art of persuasion is a crucial skill that can make or break a campaign. Just like in video games, the ability to charm and convince others through language can be the difference between success and failure. In this article, we'll explore exactly how copywriting influences consumer behavior and how you can use persuasion techniques to create more effective marketing campaigns.


So, grab your controller and get ready to level up your copywriting skills. We'll delve into the science of persuasion and explore how the charisma mechanics in video games can teach us valuable lessons about the art of copywriting.


How is Copywriting Different from Other Types of Writing?

Unlike other forms of writing, copywriting is all about persuasion. While other types of writing, such as creative writing or journalism, are focused on telling stories or conveying information, copywriting is about getting the reader to take a specific action. This action could be to buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, or visit a website. All this doesn't mean, though, that copywriting is devoid of storytelling techniques. On the contrary, storytelling can be a powerful tool when applied to copywriting.


Types of Copywriting

There are various types of copywriting, such as direct response copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, and more. Each type of copywriting has its unique features and techniques that require specialized skills.


1. What is Direct Response Copywriting

Direct response copywriting is all about persuading a reader or viewer to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter. The copywriter must use the right combination of language, messaging, and calls to action to convince the audience to take that action.


In a lot of these RPG games there are different dialogue options that lead to different results. Video games that use Dungeons & Dragons mechanics, in particular, allow you to take advantage of specific stats to produce a certain outcome.

Your charisma, for example, determines whether your attempt at persuasion is successful. You also sometimes have other dialogue options that are dependent on your wisdom and intelligence stats. Each of these techniques produces a different outcome from the other, which then leads you to different pathways of the game's overall plot and story.


And just like in a video game, where you might have to try different persuasion options to get the desired outcome, a direct response copywriter must also experiment and test different approaches to see what works best. They might try different headlines, calls to action, or email subject lines to see which ones get the most clicks, conversions, or responses.


Ultimately, the goal of direct response copywriting is to create a sense of urgency and persuade the reader or viewer to take action right away. This is often achieved by using scarcity or time-limited offers, as well as by appealing to the reader's emotions and desires.


2. What is Content Writing and Marketing

Now, content writing is a type of writing that focuses on building long-term relationships with your audience. Where direct response copywriting is all about achieving a certain result in-the-moment (fulfilling that desire for instant gratification), content writing can be compared to when you, the player, make constant and continuous efforts to get to know the members of your party.


Like your typical RPG, you start out in your content marketing journey alone and by yourself. Somewhere along the way, you meet other adventurers that will tag along and support you. Over time, you develop certain relationships with these party members, eventually becoming rivals, good friends, or lovers.

The relationship you have with the audience that you're building through content marketing is similar to your video game party. Your goal isn't to get them to convert right away. Rather, your primary goal is to educate, inform, or entertain the reader.


Compared to direct response copywriting, content writing is more focused on providing valuable information to the reader rather than directly selling a product or service. It may include calls to action, but they are generally softer and less urgent than those found in direct response copy.


3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is sort of the offshoot of direct response and content writing. If these two types of writing had a baby, that baby would be email marketing.


Email marketing is a specific type of marketing that uses email as a means of communicating with customers or potential customers. The goal of email marketing is to build relationships with subscribers, provide them with valuable content, and ultimately, drive sales.


In terms of copywriting, email marketing involves crafting compelling subject lines and body copy that entice subscribers to open, read, and take action. This requires a deep understanding of the target audience, their pain points, and their motivations. Like other forms of copywriting, email marketing also relies on persuasive language and storytelling techniques to capture the reader's attention and keep them engaged.


However, there are some key differences between email marketing and other forms of copywriting. For example, unlike direct response copywriting, the goal of email marketing is not always to elicit an immediate response or sale. Instead, it can be used to nurture leads and build relationships over time. This means that email marketers need to focus on building a strong rapport with their subscribers and providing them with value in every email.


Similarly, while content writing can be used as part of an email marketing campaign, the focus of content writing is on creating valuable, informative, and engaging content that attracts and retains an audience. Content writers may use storytelling techniques and persuasive language, but their primary goal is not to drive immediate sales. Instead, they aim to build brand awareness, establish thought leadership, and engage with their target audience in a meaningful way.


The Role of Copywriting in Marketing

Copywriting plays a critical role in marketing by creating messages that compel people to take action. It's the backbone of advertising campaigns, and it's what drives sales and revenue. In the world of marketing, a well-crafted copy can make all the difference between a successful campaign and a failed one.


Just like in many of your favorite role-playing games, persuasion is a critical element in copywriting. In Skyrim, for example, players can use their character's speech skill to persuade other characters to do things they wouldn't normally do. In copywriting, the goal is to use language to persuade people to take a specific action, such as clicking a button, filling out a form, or buying a product.


One of the key elements of persuasion in both copywriting and video games is building rapport with the audience. In video games, this means taking the time to get to know the character you're trying to persuade, finding out what they care about, and using that information to craft your message. In copywriting, this means understanding your target audience, their pain points, and their desires, and using that knowledge to create messages that speak directly to them.


Another similarity between charisma checks and copywriting is the use of emotional appeals. In video games, players can use emotional appeals to convince other characters to take a specific action. In copywriting, emotional appeals are used to create a sense of urgency or to tap into the reader's desires and aspirations.


In conclusion, the art of persuasion is a crucial skill in both video games and copywriting. By understanding the mechanics of charisma checks in games like Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Baldur's Gate, we can learn valuable lessons about how to write copy that resonates with our target audience and compels them to take action. So, the next time you're playing a video game and trying to persuade a character to do something, remember that you're practicing a valuable skill that can help you become a better copywriter.


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