There are two ways to advance a sales proposition to your target customers. One is to use rational explanations that make solid sense. The second is to use emotional drivers. Which do you feel works best?
Well, if you believe what the experts from Aristotle to Bernbach tell us, emotion wins every time. The philosopher Aristotle said "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all". And William Bernbach, who was the first ever inductee into the Copywriters Hall of Fame, told us that "You can say the right thing about a product or service and nobody will listen. You've got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don't feel it, nothing will happen."
For many copywriters, understanding that they need to get more emotion into their persuasive writing is one thing. Understanding how to do it is another.
One easy solution is to incorporate 'emotional states' within your writing. Emotional states are simply the things we all feel. These include feeling: proud, confident, in-control, excited, content, frustrated, disappointed, confused, embarrassed, secure, responsible or satisfied. The list is huge.
So, when we write about the customer's current situation, concerns, challenges, objectives, etc. we should make sure we include at least one or two emotional states within our copy. One easy way to do this is to apply a writing device called 'internal representation'. You can encourage internal representation by using suggestions in your copy such as: Imagine, Consider, Suppose, Think about. Or you can ask a question: What if? Have you ever? How would you feel? When was the last time? Internal representation invites the reader to imagine themselves in a situation. When they do this they literally feel themselves in that situation.
The most persuasive copy maintains a balance between both rational and emotional language. But if you have to choose one over the other, choose emotion. Because as Donald Calne, the Neurologist and author explained: "Reason leads to conclusions. Emotion leads to action."
You can hear more from Paul about engaging and persuasive copywriting by attending his one-day Copywriting Masterclass at the IDM in London on either the 23rd June or 4th July.