Great copywriting is about great sentences

That great copywriting is all about appealing to the emotions shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise to anyone. However, writing great copy is often easier said than done, with many traps awaiting the inexperienced writer.

But why is emotion important? Well, if you get an emotional response from your reader then you can sell to them – they’ll generally only use your stats and facts to back-up that initial decision.

Indeed, as copywriting legend Eugene Schwartz once wrote: ““No sentence can be effective if it contains facts alone. It must also contain emotion, image, logic, and promise.”

So how do we get to the heart of the reader?

We need to write about what the reader cares about. If it’s friendship, for example, we write about that, while mentioning things like loyalty, camaraderie and fun. I’ve blogged many times about the importance of the benefit over the feature and it’s by reaching the deepest possible benefit that we’ll appeal to the reader’s emotion.

We also need to involve the reader. Again, writing in the second person (you) will do this, as it’s invariably more direct and holds the reader’s attention more effectively.

From a technical point of view it’s important you write in the active voice. Passive sentences are, by contrast, just so weak, and once again you’ll lose the immediacy your reader feels with your writing and your offer if you use them.

Of course, it always helps to be honest. Your reader isn’t an idiot and will sense pretty quickly when a claim is unlikely or just untruthful. Sure, you can refer to stats to verify your claims, but even if these are believable they’re still not as persuasive as getting the reader to imagine the difference your product or service will make to them.

And that, ultimately, is the key to writing great copy. Paint a picture for your reader – with them in it – of how much better their life will be if they purchase. Use the other techniques I’ve mentioned above to enable you to do so successfully and your copywriting will have much great pulling power.


About the author: Mike Robinson

I have an Honours Degree in English Literature from Edinburgh University, a Masters in Corporate Communications and of course I’m a qualified copywriter, but then giving you prose that’s powerful, grammatically correct and spelling error free should be the least of your expectations from a copywriting professional.

Get in touch now and we can discuss how best to drive your marketing forward – you’ll find it a very productive conversation.