11 ways to write emotional copy that sells

In my last two blog posts, I explained why your copy needs emotion, and I told you which emotions you should target.

Here’s the thing, though: It’s one thing to know that your copy needs to evoke emotion. But it’s another thing to know HOW to give your audience #allthefeels (without being cheesy or making yourself look like an emotional basketcase).

So what specific strategies can you use to weave emotion into your copy so that it truly resonates with your audience?

Scroll down to discover my 11 favourite ways to write emotional copy that sells.

 

 

Need help finding the right words to make your copy persuasive and compelling?
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1. Get into your audience’s head

When you write copy, there’s one thing you always have to keep in mind: It’s not about you. It’s about your audience. (Yup, even when you write an about page.)

So when you’re trying to write emotional copy, don’t choose an emotion that appeals to you and force your audience to feel it too. Instead, play to the emotions that they’re already experiencing. Or focus on the ones they want to feel.

How do you do this? Get into your audience’s head. Specifically, figure out what they’re struggling with (their pain points), what their dreams are, and, most importantly, how these things make them feel.

When you know how your audience feels or how they want to feel, you’ll find it much easier to write copy that resonates with (and, ultimately, converts) them.

 

2. Evoke emotion in your headlines

Whether you’re writing a sales page, email, or ad, your headline plays 2 important roles:

  • It has to grab your audience’s attention
  • It has to convince them to keep reading

So when you’re writing emotional copy, don’t forget about your headline.

To infuse your headlines with emotion, refer to the negative emotions your audience wants to stop feeling or the positive emotions they want to start feeling. This way, you can start pulling at their heartstrings right off the bat.

Related: 9 effective headlines that attract customers & subscribers + 72 free headline templates

Example: Goodfood explicitly refers to an emotion (“love”) in this headline to tell their audience how their prices will make them feel.

 

Goodfood website

 

3. Talk about their pain

One of the most effective ways to convince someone to buy something is to remind them about a key problem that they’re experiencing and then present your product or service as the solution that will fix it all.

But you can’t just mention their problem in passing. You have to talk about it in detail so that they recognize that it’s an issue that’s worth solving—and worth solving now.

Instead of just describing their problem in a matter-of-fact way, dig deep into the emotions your audience feels when they think about this problem. Of course, you don’t want to upset your audience or make them feel terrible about themselves. But you do want them to truly feel the emotions that naturally stem from their problem.

When you do this, you motivate your audience to take that all-important step that’s going to solve their problem (buying your product or service).

But that’s not all. You also win your audience over by showing them that you understand what they’re going through and can empathize with them.

Although there are many ways to talk about your audience’s pain points, storytelling is especially powerful. Stories have a natural way of evoking emotion. So it’s especially strategic to use storytelling to highlight your audience’s pain points.

You can use storytelling to describe your audience’s experience. Or you can leverage it to weave your own story into your copy and show your audience how you overcame the same obstacle with the solution you’re about to offer them.

Related: 9 copywriting secrets to write better sales pages + free list of 100 copy phrases

Example: On the sales page for her Pinterest course, Melanie Duncan shares the story of how she discovered the power of Pinterest and used it to grow her business.

 

Melanie Duncan sales page

 

 

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4. Tie emotion into product/service benefits 

Once you’ve reminded your audience about their big problem, it’s time to show them a solution for it—your product or service.

I’ve mentioned before that when you discuss your product or service, you want to focus on the benefits rather than the features. Because it’s the benefits that your audience really cares about. They want to know how your product or service is going to help them.

Now, when you talk about benefits, you can take one of two approaches:

  • you can focus on something positive people will gain
  • you can focus on something negative people will avoid

For example, when discussing the benefits of its sous vide cooking device, ANOVA emphasizes what its customers will gain.

 

Anova website

 

On the other hand, Crazy Egg grabs people’s attention on this landing page by focusing on how the company can help them stop losing lots of website visitors.

 

landing page copy

 

 

Both approaches can be effective. But experts suggest that people are more motivated to avoid losing something than to gain something. So when writing emotional copy, try framing as least some of your benefits as a way to avoid losing something.

Related: 6 reasons why people STOP reading your sales page + free list of 100 copy phrases

5. Use future pacing

What’s a great way to use emotional copy to convince people that your product or service will be a game-changer for them? Use future pacing.

When you use future pacing, you get your audience to imagine what their life would be like if they bought your product or service. For example, if you provide a prepared meal service, you might get your audience to imagine what their lives would be like if they no longer had to worry about cooking dinner when they get home from work and are completely exhausted.

Future pacing works because it helps people envision the results they’ll experience if they buy your product or service. And when you do it right, future pacing doesn’t just make your audience think about what their life would be like. It gives them a taste of just how good they can feel if they take the plunge.

Related: 8 tips and examples for writing a high-converting services page + free template

Example: Melyssa Griffin uses future pacing to help her visitors see how her course could transform their life.

 

persuasive website copy

 

6. Evoke FOMO by emphasizing scarcity

I’ve talked about how fear can be strategic to use in emotional copy because people are motivated to avoid it. And it’s no different when it comes to FOMO—fear of missing out.

Evoking FOMO is an effective strategy when you’re trying to sell a product or service because people have a tendency to procrastinate. They’ll tell themselves that they can always click “buy” tomorrow when they have more time or more money. The problem is that when people get into that mindset, “tomorrow” is always one day away.

How do you get people to finally complete their order or contact you for a discovery call? Evoke FOMO by emphasizing scarcity. In particular, tell your audience that if they don’t act now, they might miss out on your product or service altogether.

You’re most likely to see this in action with retailers when they say that they have only 5 units of an item left in stock. But you can also use it to convey that there are only 20 seats left for an event, only 3 slots left for new client bookings, or only 24 hours left to enroll in a course.

No one wants to miss out on a good opportunity. So telling your audience that it’s now or never can evoke just the right amount of fear to make them take action.

Example: Melyssa Griffin is also great at using FOMO in her copy to nudge her audience to buy her online courses. Check out this subject line for one of her course promotion marketing emails.

 

Melyssa Griffin email

 

7. Put them at ease

Writing emotional copy isn’t all about getting people to feel intense emotions—whether they’re good or bad. Sometimes it’s about putting people at ease so they feel confident about the decision they’re about to make.

How do you do this? By showing your audience that they can trust you. Inspire trust in your product, service, or business by including product reviews, testimonials, credibility stamps, or money-back guarantees in your copy.

Related: 8 tips and examples for writing a high-converting services page + free template

Example: In this marketing email, Crystal Cruises uses credibility stamps and references to industry awards to establish trust.

 

Crystal Cruises email

 

8. Use power words

When you write emotional copy, you’re often trying to put words together in a way that allows them to create powerful and moving mental images.

But some words elicit emotions even on their own. Yup, I’m talking about power words.

Power words are words that tend to trigger emotions in people. They tap into our most basic motives for doing things. And they tend to have strong meanings and help people visualize outcomes.

However, what’s really important is that power words grab people’s attention and convince them to take action.

Here are some examples:

  • Confidently
  • Exhausted
  • Successfully
  • Disastrous
  • Affordable
  • Profitable
  • Crush
  • Money-saving

Add power words to your copy to instantly give it an emotional boost.

Related: How to use power words to instantly write stronger copy + free list of 476 power words

 

 

Need help finding the right words to make your copy persuasive and compelling?
Download my FREE list of 476 power words.

Send me the list

 

9. Use shorter, simpler words

If you know me, you know I love short, simple words. Why? Because they’re easier to understand, and they take up less real estate.

But there’s another reason why short, simple words are #goals: they elicit more emotion than their longer counterparts, which tend to be more rational.

Here are some examples:

 

Rational

Emotional

Concerned

Worried

Difficult

Tough/Hard

Additionally

There’s more

Perhaps

Maybe

Immediately

Right now

Terminate

End

Superior

Better

 

See the difference?

So if you want your copy to have more of an emotional impact, simplify your words.

Related: How to write clear, concise web copy that converts + free copy planning worksheet

10. Use humour

Everyone loves having a good laugh. So another way to write emotional copy is to use humour.

For example, tell a joke, share a funny anecdote, or even make fun of yourself.

Of course, if you’re thinking about using humour in your copy, it’s important to make sure that it’s appropriate for your business. Your brand doesn’t need to be funny through and through. But if you’re a personal injury lawyer or a company that sells NICU medical equipment, humour probably isn’t the best way to go.

Example: The copy on this MeUndies webpage doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But it’s funny and memorable.

 

MeUndies website

 

11. Include images

Okay, so this isn’t about copy per se. But images support copy, including emotional copy, so they’re worth mentioning here.

Not every image has the same emotional impact. And sometimes, you might include an image primarily to keep your audience engaged by breaking up large blocks of text.

But when you select images strategically to support emotional copy, they can amplify it’s effect. That’s why memes and gifs have become so common—even in sales copy.

Related: The 10 best stock photo sites for your blog or website + 15 bonus sites

Example: On its website, luxury resort chain Banyan Tree uses beautiful images of people relaxing and spending time with their partners on their properties.

 

Banyan Tree website

 

Emotional copy sells

When you’re writing copy for your business, it’s easiest to focus on what’s most obvious—the features of your product or the details of your service. But people don’t buy products or services based on features and specs. They buy them because of how these products or services make them feel (or how they think they’ll make them feel).

So if you want your sales page, website, email, or ad to convert, you’ve got to make your copy emotional.

Fortunately, writing emotional copy isn’t a mystery. Just use the 11 tips I shared above. They’ll help your audience understand how they’re feeling now, imagine how they can feel in the future, and feel confident about the decision they’re about to make. In other words, they can help you write copy that gives your audience #allthefeels in just the right way.

 

 

Need help finding the right words to make your copy persuasive and compelling?
Download my FREE list of 476 power words.

Send me the list

 

 

 

How do you write copy that packs an emotional punch and convinces people to click “buy”? Learn my 11 favourite ways to write emotional copy that sells + grab my free list of 476 power words.

11 ways to write emotional copy that sells + free list of 476 power words
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