Why emotions are essential in copywriting Thursday September 5, 2013

Being a freelance copywriter, I can’t help noticing something missing from a great deal of the content I encounter out there.

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It’s missing even when the copy is well written from a technical point of view. Or when it’s done a good job of covering all the things the client might want to know. Or even when it has successfully communicated what is unique about that particular business – and why the client should buy into it.

What’s still missing?

Emotion.

Why the warm and fuzzies matter

Why emotion? Isn’t that inappropriate for a copywriting approach? Isn’t an emotional tone likely to put your customers off? Not so. People are human, after all. Emotion in copywriting isn’t about being ‘full on’ or intense. It’s about matching your tone of voice with your customer’s needs, interests and aspirations. Even when we like to think that we make decisions on a rational level, our emotions are always involved.

Think about the last time you decided to buy something. If you look a little closer, you’ll probably find that there was an emotional reason there too. Perhaps you wanted to change your life for the better, feel like you’re making progress or simply to boost your confidence. Emotion creates a closer link between you and your audience. It’s the spark that means that what you have to offer stays a little longer in a person’s memory than someone else’s offering.

Need to know

Copywriting is not simply the process of saying something effectively. It’s the sequence of steps you take towards connecting with people’s feelings. Emotion is what makes it so important to know who you’re writing for, so that you really understand they want. Most of us know about the benefits of marketing personas. But when it comes to bringing the power of emotion to bear in content, it’s helpful to start by asking these questions:

1. What is important to my audience right now? What are their priorities and how can I match that in my copywriting approach?

2. What kind of goals and fears motivate my clients? What bothers them?

3. What tone of voice does my audience respond to? Are they more likely to listen to an authoritative voice, an informal style or something more neutral?

Start with these kinds of questions and you’ll find that you naturally build the advantage of feelings into your content. Because if you’re missing emotion in your copywriting approach, your potential customers could be missing out on what you have to offer.

By Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, Nottingham, September 2013

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