I can already hear you groaning.
A lot of content creation advice talks about creating an emotional hook, but much of that advice is either totally off, really bad, or teaches you to exploit FOMO in tacky ways—which just pisses readers off.
But just because there are scores of people giving terrible advice about how to use emotion to sell more doesn’t mean the concept is broken…it just means that they are.
The good news? You don’t have to listen to them.
So here’s a look at why emotion in copywriting actually works and resources on how to do it. Plus, we’ll look at why logic is the essential player that hits the grand slam when you’ve got three runners on base from the emotional attachments you’ve built up.
The thing is, you’ve got to use emotion in your content creation. Even if you’re in a technical B2B company whose operations couldn’t be more boring. You must find a way (*cough* emotion *cough*) to make what you publish on your site not boring to the people you’re marketing to. You have to say something different than all the boring jargon that’s already out there.
Because when you’re afraid to write something different from how things have been done in your industry for years on end because you’re scared of what people might say? You will not get noticed. You will not produce more leads. And you will not get those high-dollar sales you’re after.
Emotion is what hooks us to absolutely everything we care about in life. We care about a healthy lifestyle because we get sad if we think about our health becoming a burden to our loved ones. We care about having a good job because not having savings in the bank in case of an emergency is terrifying.
And these emotions get us going on a physical level, too:
“In the brain,” said Dr. Paul Zak, “maintaining attention produces signs of arousal: the heart and breathing speed up, stress hormones are released, and our focus is high.”
According to ChangeMinds.org, the arousal-based emotions (the ones that get and keep attention) you should go after are joy, happiness, anger, frustration, hate, and excitement.
But the calming emotions that you should avoid trying to make emotional attachments based on are contentment, sadness, confusion, shame, guilt, and satisfaction. Since feeling these emotions generally make us feel like shutting down and holing up in our apartments rather than acting, they’re better off avoided.
Emotion gets your readers’ attention and keeps it. Long enough for them to realize that buying your product is a good idea. And long enough for you to make your logical arguments to erase any doubts that might creep up in their emotional way of thinking.
Since telling you how to write these emotional elements could take days, we won’t cover it for the moment. Here are some good resources for you to check out on that:
Emotion in content creation is important. So important that it has the power to get your readers into a state of physical arousal. And depending on which emotions you use to get them into that state of arousal, you’ll need varying amounts of logic to seal the deal.
Fear, for example, is one of the emotions that needs more logic than others.
According to ChangingMinds.org, “In arousal caused by a threat, the fight-or-flight reaction is triggered.”
In that case, you’ll need to provide more logical explanations so your readers will stay with you and buy from you to fight off their fear rather than running away and hiding, hoping the scary problem will solve itself.
That isn’t to say you need to over-justify yourself and start sounding like a slimy salesman that just won’t shut up. But you do need to help people ride their emotional wave to see that yes, buying from you is the best decision they will make today.
Think of it this way: The emotional attachment gets them to like you. And logic makes the sale.
And when someone already likes you, you’ve got to do a lot less selling.
Rather than convincing someone that your product is necessary and your price is worth it, you’ve pretty much just got to give them reasons that could help them justify the purchase to others. Case in point:
“We buy on emotion and justify with logic,” says The Adweek Copywriting Handbook. “I know that when I first bought a Mercedes and my friends saw it, I told them that the reasons I bought it was because of a series of technical features that I found very impressive. The real reason I bought the car was not for the technical features at all. I wanted to own a prestigious car and blog to the crowd that drove a Mercedes. But when I had to explain the reason for my purchase, I ended up using logic.”
The best part is, getting emotion and logic to work together in your copywriting isn’t some sort of undercover science. It’s pretty straightforward.
Use emotion first, particularly in the headlines, sub headlines, and anywhere else you’re placing a hook for attention, and weave logic into your explanations. Simple as that.
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