Proven Copywriting Methods: Emotional Advertising

For copywriting to be truly persuasive, you need to know that it’s all down to human emotions. All buying decisions are based on emotion. By using emotion and then adding in logical reasons to back up what you have said, you’ll be able to make the sale.

In this article we’re going to look at how to connect to readers through emotions. It’s really all down to knowing what makes them tick. What are they frustrated about in life, what they love with a passion and what is it that they secretly desire? Find the answers to these and you’ll be in pole position to create some sales winning copy.

If there is one secret to successful copywriting, it’s the use of emotions. Even if you are writing for a B2B selling situation, it’s still people that you’re dealing with at the end of the day.


In this article we are going to look at:

· How emotions influence buying

· How self-interest is the biggest human motivator

· How to use the benefits to get to the emotions

· How adding some facts will confirm that they are making a sound buying decision

· Then at the end you’re going to learn how to really create a compelling headline that won’t just hit the sweet spot of your prospects, it will blow it out of the water!

But first, let’s get started with a few proven techniques on how to discover the hidden emotions in your copy so that you can connect to your readers.

First things first – emotions is what sells

To get started, you need to get familiar with how your audience thinks. You need to consider the answers to these questions:


· Who you are selling to?


· What are you really selling to them? (think what emotions you’ll be giving them)


· What is the customer really buying? (Emotions)

Self-interest is the biggest human motivator for action

Remember that no human does anything unless it suits them. That’s why it’s so hard to convince some people to do a favor for you unless it’s a win/win situation. It’s also why some people are very, very nice to deal with. It sounds very cynical to read in cold print – but at the end of the day the people who are very helpful gain something from helping people – they get to feel good. EVERYBODY is taking action with their own gain in mind.

What are your readers thinking about?

To promote your product, you need to be fully in touch with your prospects and what is going on in their minds.

What are their:

· Fears

· Passions

· Thoughts

· Wants

· Desires

· Frustrations

You can get to find out more about your target market by immersing yourself by living the life that they live. Do the activities that they do. Read the magazines that they read, visit the blogs that they read and go to the places that they go. If there are trade shows for these people, then go along to them and mingle.

It’s your job as a copywriter to get into the head of your reader and influence them by stirring up their emotions. You then need to demonstrate how your product can solve the pain suffered by the prospect.

Is it exploitation? Perhaps. But if you really can solve their problem and give them something that really will improve their lives then you should offer them your product. As Robert Collier puts it, the successful ad will “Join in on the conversation the customer is already having in their mind.”

Being able to tap into the thoughts of your prospects is what is going to bring you success when it comes to selling your product or service. You’ve got to get into the same mindset as your prospects. You’ve got to know what is on their mind all the time so that you can seamlessly join in with their conversation.

Psychologists and analysts are well aware that we walk around all day long with mindless chatter going on in our brains. It’s your job to write copy that is strong enough to get the attention of these people and to provide them with answers to the issues that are irritating them, annoying them but that will also meet their needs for:

  • Fear of loss
  • Comfort and convenience
  • Pride of ownership
  • Desire for gain
  • Emotional satisfaction

Remember that you are selling the feelings that your prospect will attain from having purchased your goods. You’re not selling the hole that the drill makes; you are selling how the customer will FEEL once they’ve drilled the hole and used it.

To identify the benefits and go beyond

The easiest way to extract the benefits is to take a piece of paper and a pen. Now, down the left hand side write out all the features of your product. On the right hand side of the paper write down what that feature means to the prospect.

Think about the problems that your market has and which issues are solved by your product.

Let’s look at an example of the type of connection you can make between features, benefits and emotions.

Let’s suppose that we have a television recording device to sell to middle America, where the winters are cold and the recession has hit hard .

If you were selling by benefits only an example might be:

“Set the Clock and Record Your Favorite family movies”

And if you are selling with benefits and emotions you could write:

“Enjoy staying home this winter…. Set the clock and record your favorite family movies”

Not only does this headline clearly state the benefit of the device, but it taps into the feelings of the reader. It highlights that the winter is coming and it can be a miserable affair, but with this recording device the prospect will be able to gain more pleasure from it. They’ll be able to enjoy watching their favorite TV programs. It could also be read from the angle that many people are feeling the impact of the global economy and they won’t have to go out and spend money to enjoy themselves – they can do it in the comfort of their own homes.

Then you could go further and mention more about how they will feel when they are sat on the sofa with their family, with a nice hot chocolate watching some of the best family movies that have ever been produced.

Bring in the logical reasons

People like to think that they’re logical in their buying decisions, but that’s not really the case. If a married guy bought a fancy new Lamborghini, he’s not going to admit to his wife that it’s for him to get attention from young women when he goes out. He’s going to tell his wife that it’s all about the engineering, the braking system, the fact that it uses less gas than his old beat up Mercedes. He’s going to tell her anything logical but he’s not going to tell her why he really bought it.

When people get their teeth fixed, they’re not really looking for a set of chicklets that will chomp their food better, they’re looking to look good!

Once you use emotional advertising, you’ll start selling, but it’s critical that you pepper your copy with a few logical reasons to satisfy the logical side of the buying brain.

If you’ve ever bought something just a little expensive, then you’ll be familiar with this. You know that feeling when you’re undecided – should you really spend all your money on that state of the art bicycle so that you can look good in front of your cycling pals? Then you go back and check the details, reading through the specifications confirms that you are indeed making the right decision. After all, you’ve been having trouble with some of the hills in the city and having 20 gears will make it a lot easier. It’s also got a specially designed saddle so that you’ll be more comfortable than on your current ride.

Bonus tip: Use emotion and logic in headlines for a power punch!

Take a look at this headline:

Look Good This Summer! 11 Steps for Weight Loss Success

“Look Good This Summer! is an emotionally attractive line. It conjures up a positive image. “11 Steps for Weight Loss Success” bring in the logical, rational side of things with the delivery of a process.

These two combined create a headline that is irresistible to the people who want to lose weight. It offers a promise and a benefit of reading more.

Remember as you work – think about your prospects. What is going to appeal to their mindset?

Take Away steps on how to add emotion to your copy

1. Sit down and write some power words for your product. Try these for starters:

· Customized

· Personalized

· Timeless

· Intimate

· Keepsake

· Exclusive

· Elegant

· Inspiring

Look in your thesaurus to find words that will further connect to your prospect. On our course we supply over 100 of the prime selling words that will help you to craft compelling copy.

2. Think about your prospects and answer these questions:

  •  What is keeping them up at night?
  •  What do they feel passionate about?
  •  What is their biggest fear?
  •  What do they secretly desire – but they aren’t going to tell anybody!
  •  How do they make their decisions?

3. Write 10 to 20 headlines that combine both emotion and logic.


About the author: David Alger


David Alger is a teacher at the San Francisco School of Copywriting. Offering online
and in person copywriting classes since 2012.

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This article was first published by David Alger

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