Pre-suppositions in copywriting – an intermediate lesson (for beginners)

OK, I already know some of you more intelligent, and experienced copywriters, understand what pre-suppositions are, when it comes to persuasive copywriting?
So this lesson is for the less experienced sales writer, who wants to “up their game.”


First, let me start with a short and sweet definition, just to get this party started…


For the sake of this post, a pre-supposition (when it comes to copywriting) is basically the same thing as pre-framing or “priming” the next thing you’re about to say, to put your reader in the right state of mind.
(Yes, I can already hear the grammarians among us screaming “that’s not the true definition of a presupposition!”)

Well, maybe… maybe not. But I write copy designed to sells things, not to impress my English Lit. Professor. So this is the definition we’re going with for this post.

A pre-suppostion is often used to subtly achieve acceptance, and pre-dispose your reader to an idea, so they’re more open to believing the next part of your message.

OK, I’ll admit that definition might sound a little confusing. So…Would you like to see an example of what I’m talking about?


Well then, go back and re-read the first part of this post. (go ahead, I’ll wait)

In case you missed it, I started this post by saying…
“I already know that some of you more intelligent, and experienced copywriters understand what pre-suppositions are, when it comes to persuasive copywriting”
“So this lesson is for the less experienced sales writer, who wants to up their game.”


Basically, I stated that… if you’re intelligent and experienced (like me 😉 ), then what I’m saying is already established truth, and you should already know it.
And for the less experienced writer (my target market)… if you want to become a more intelligent, experienced writer, it’s in your best interest to pay attention to the wisdom I’m about to lay down for you.
(Or… you can certainly ignore what I’m about to say, and admit you don’t want to be intelligent, or experienced)… The choice is yours.

See how that works? I subtly set the scene for my target audience, so they’ll more easily accept me as an expert, and believe my lesson will help take them to the next level with their writing.
I haven’t tried to sell anything yet, I’ve simply put my target audience (rookie writers) in the state of mind that they’re about to learn something valuable.
And I’m the guy who’s gonna teach it to em’ 😀


In the real world (if I was trying to sell something to newbie copywriters), I’d then continue with some brilliant insights (making my sales piece itself valuable to them).
And finally I’d present my call to action. Which would be for them to sign up for my email list, or buy my book, or contact me, or whatever action I want them to take next.

(Because if they want to get the real juicy stuff, then they need to respond to my offer).

Now I admit, pre-suppositions (or pre-framing) is a simple little tactic. But, are you starting to see how powerful this could be for your writing?

Of course, you gotta be careful using them. Because if what you “pre-suppose” doesn’t sound believable, then everything you follow it with will have a big fat skeptical question mark, hanging over it.
(in other words… If you start slinging too mush B.S. – Yer credibility will be shot to hell in a heartbeat.)


So now, the questions beckon…

Is using this tactic dishonest?… No, not really. As long as you’re only using mild rhetoric, and not flat out lying to anyone.

Is it manipulative?… Well, maybe? But if you’re only using it to provide honest value to people, that will improve their lives, then it’s leaning more towards persuasion, rather than manipulation.

Is it powerful stuff?… You betcha, it is! (as long as you don’t overdo it)

Anyway, I hope this short lesson gives you up and coming writers, something that helps improve your persuasive sales writing skills.
It’s certainly NOT an end-all-be-all, cure for the crappy sales piece. But, it can be another tool for your persuasive writing tool kit.

Here’s to writing better winners, more often.

All the best,



Posted in Copywriting, Email Copy, Offline Copywriting, Online Copywriting, Written Persuasion Techniques and tagged , , , .

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