In marketing legal services, we typically show people something they didn’t know or confirm something they thought they knew. We educate them about the law, the risks, the penalties, the options, and the benefits of taking action, i.e., hiring us. 

Besides “telling,” we also persuade them by dramatizing what they know (or what we’ve just told them) by making the risks and penalties more formidable and urgent, and/or the benefits and relief more enticing. 

We do the latter by providing more information, arguments, or examples, or agitating what we’ve told them by adding more fuel to the fire. Some copywriters call this “twisting the knife”. 

We want them to feel more emotions, enough to tip the balance in favor of taking the next step. If they’re scared, that means scaring them more, but not so much that they shut down.

A little can go a long way. 

The key is to talk about things they care about and make the threat or promise more likeable and believable. 

The most important place to do that is in your headline or title. Show them you understand them and have something important for them, and they will be more likely to notice, click, and read your message. 

In the body of your message, you continue to twist the knife. 

Enough to make them cry ‘Uncle,’ but not enough to kill them.