Why Emotional Copywriters Sell More

Consumers are the epitome of what it is to be a human being. Constantly (if unconsciously) seeking a sense of security and gratification, humans as consumers are naturally attracted to things with which they can easily understand, readily identify and empathize. Over a century ago, when companies began marketing mass-produced products, they quickly realized the power of tugging at and exploiting human emotions for selling products. That’s why early advertisements reflected poignant images of children and women surrounded by connotative rather than denotative product descriptions.

Although the images and words found in today’s modern advertisements present obvious differences from those of a century ago, the concept of persuasion through emotionally connecting with consumers remains the same.

Descriptive Copywriting vs. Emotional Selling

While consumers want to see a picture of the product in which they are interested, they also want to read about the product’s specifications to determine whether it suits their needs. This kind of “descriptive” copywriting is based on facts about the product and contains only necessary words. For example, a simple description of a digital camera consists of information about its shutter speed, lens type and video capabilities. All words used in a product description are denotative, or words that impart no other meanings other than a one-dimensional definition intended to educate.

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However, this description does nothing to persuade the consumer to purchase the product because it does not appeal to his or her emotions. Rarely does a person make a decision based solely on rational analysis of a situation. Instead, we tend to rely on immediate feelings that are closer to the surface of our awareness and easier to process.

Famous behavioral psychologist John B. Watson once asserted that effective advertising must provoke three basic human emotions–fear, anger and love–before consumers can be persuaded to invest in a service or product. Selling something using connotative words also facilitates the ability for a consumer to remember the product. Connotative words are words that present a generic definition but also have sociocultural or personal meanings that compel people to view it out of context. Examples of connotative words include “slovenly”, “ugly”, and “immature”. Now substitute “slovenly” with “untidy”, “ugly” with “unattractive” and “immature” with “young”. Notice the difference in the emotions and images elicited by connotative words over the less evocative, denotative words? So would a potential customer reading sales copy containing connotative, implicative words.

You’re Not a Copywriter Until You Make Somebody Laugh, Cry or Break Something

Competition among businesses selling products and services is now more intense and cutthroat than it has ever been–and it’s only going to get worse.. The ability of a business to effectively use the power of emotional persuasion in writing sales copy is essential to its long-term viability. When a company needs to hire a competent copywriter, it’s imperative that they find a copywriter who has a keen understanding of emotional selling techniques as well as the skills to craft dynamically persuasive and memorable sales copy .

Livia Owens

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Livia has written website content for over 100 businesses and online magazines. She is a psychology graduate student specializing in neuroscience. Livia has exceptional writing, SEO, inbound marketing and critical analysis skills. Livia upholds Crowd Content's high standards of quality content creation by consistently providing professionally written, error-free content.

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0 thoughts on “Why Emotional Copywriters Sell More”

  • Avatar
    Georgia Potts says:

    Emotional writing is certainly vital for selling anything. Do you NEED a yellow shirt with a funny picture on it? No. Does it really serve a purpose? No. Would it be fun to have and fun to wear? Totally.

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    Emotions are so important. I think that we need to remember that when we are writing, even when we are writing product descriptions and the like.

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    I like the way this post reminds us that copywriters must have the special skill of appealing to the shopper’s emotions. Effective product descriptions on an e-commerce site have to make the buyer feel as well as think.

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      You’re right, it takes special talent to write stuff that appeals to the customer’s emotions. I find it very challenging.

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      Stores aim to appeal to a shoppers emotions in store so there is really no need for it to be dismissed in the online space. It’s a good reminder that what works in store can be emulated, perhaps in a different way, to the online Marketing of products.

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    Economists base a lot of their theories on the premise that humans are perfectly rational beings.

    We are not perfectly rational beings. Ever. Using emotions to convince and convert acknowledges that… otherwise we’d just be sold by tech specs.

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      Yeah, even when talking about benefits of a given product, doing it in a way that invokes certain desired customer emotions can produce impressive responses.

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        Agreed! I find descriptions that consider the benefits of a product to be very persuasive, but that emotional aspect is also key!

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          So true, Tricia. A completely accurate and factual product description with tons of measurements is not going to convince me to buy. The text has to make me feel something, and the writer’s enthusiasm must be contagious.

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      Certain fields of economics, sure. Not all economic approaches focus on rationality, though. Behavioral Economics, for instance, doesn’t.

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    It would be humorous to have your products described in a fun yet persuasive style depending on the target audience. Connecting with the emotions of your users is key.

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    I love it. Laugh, cry or break something seems to work to get a reaction in copy writing and in parenting….just saying.

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    justinzipprich says:

    Great read! It really does make a major difference when the copywriting means something. Advertising just for the sake of advertising really isn’t productive.

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    Thanks for sharing! I sometimes hate gimmicky writing that basically forces a quick emotional reaction, but I do like reading and writing that helps build the foundation and helps you appreciate it from your brain and your heart.

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    I could not agree with this post more. The emotional weight of words sets the whole tone of any form of writing. This is most evident I think in journalism as it is purposefully demonstrated to be noticed. Product descriptions whilst a trained eye will see the difference, it’s also important for the customer to read and absorb the information written in a natural way. If this isn’t achieved it misses the mark of connecting I. Much the same way as a sales pitch that is read off a page and not authentic to the reader.

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    Imagine how much less consumers would buy if they only relied on rational analysis when debating whether or not to buy something. The idea probably gives nightmares to all those who try to sell us goods.

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      Right, people are emotional beings and are incapable of leaving emotion out of a buying decision. So the copywriter needs to help suggest, steer and evoke positive emotions.

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    I agree that emotional writing is important, but it’s also wise to know when it’s not necessary, like in data-driven documents.

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      Even in data-driven documents, we aren’t free from emotions. In that case, the writing should keep emotions calm — the words are still impacting emotions, though. Calmness is an emotion.

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    Charlie Parker says:

    I find one of the challenges of writing from an emotional place is that in appealing with emotion you reach less people sometimes because not everyone is moved by the same emotional pulls.

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