How to Easily Add Emotion to Your Copy – Without being sleazy or salesy

I recently reviewed a piece of copy for a client.

It was decent – grammatically correct, short, to the point, direct language.

The problem?

It didn’t make me want to take the action she wants the reader to take.

This client is probably one of the smartest people I know. The work she does is incredibly high value and makes a tremendous impact on the clients she works with by improving sales and cash flow while reducing their stress.

But her copy was “just the facts ma’am” sort of copy.

I understand where this comes from because I suffered from it myself when I first started as a copywriter.

One of the things the clients I served (while working at two different agencies) liked was that they believed I sounded like them and wrote what they’d say if they could think like that.

The biggest thing they liked was that I never made them sound salesy.

While I never tried to be one of those “BUY NOW!!” copywriters, I knew I had to touch potential clients in their heart as well as in their head.

That means that the headline is compelling – it gets the reader’s attention and draws them in to read the next sentence in the copy.

And every sentence is written with the intention of inspiring the prospective client to read the next line.

But you can’t be blah. People are in a hurry. They’re busy. They’re juggling multiple issues.

You’ve got to grab their attention and inspire them to action…whether that’s to join your community by opting in, opt-in for a bigger piece of content than “just” your newsletter, or to make a purchase.

And we’re all super pressured and time-crunched. Especially entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals, and owners of micro firms.

You know that in theory right?

You know that people buy on emotion and rationalize with logic. (Just ask my husband who came home from the car dealership with a different car than the one he went there to buy.)

Here are 4 common reasons you likely find it hard to add emotion to your blog posts, sales pages, and emails. Let’s see which one(s) resonate with you.

  1. You don’t want to be one of “those people.” You know the kind. The ones who make these outrageous promises about the results you could get based on the fact that one outlier client of theirs achieved something big one time. You also know the importance of managing someone’s expectations and the problems that ensue when you lead someone to believe they’ll be rolling in dough virtually overnight.
  2. You’re naturally in control of your emotions. Several years ago when I was working on my husband’s resume and cover letters I reached out to people he worked with and asked them what they liked best about him. What did they think made him so special? One of the things mentioned time and time again was his ability to remain calm in a stressful situation and help them get and remain calm too. That’s actually one of many things I love about him.If you’ve been a manager or higher in an organization I’ll bet people would say the same thing about you.If you’re like me, you saw people who would freak out over the slightest problem (maybe you reported to people like that). You had people coming to you talking about a “crisis” or the latest “disaster.” And I’ll bet you prided yourself on being the voice of reason…the calm in the storm.

    I know I did.

  3. You tend to under promise and over deliver. If you start out making what you see as wild promises you fear you can’t deliver on them so you keep the emotion in your copy very low-key.
  4. You think your audience will believe you’re coming on too strong. I know some of you sell to CEOs, CIOs, and all the other C-suite people, and others sell to entrepreneurs who run multi-six figure and even 7-figure or higher companies. But unless you show you know exactly what they’re feeling as well as what they’re thinking you’re just not going to get their attention.

So here are a few easy ways to dip your toe in to adding more emotion and connecting with the dominant emotions of your audience.

Get to the emotion behind what your audience wants. Yes, your potential client wants to have their problem solved but they want it solved for the emotional outcome solving it provides. People aren’t just “happy” you solved their problem. Are they “relieved” because you took a project over that they weren’t going to get done? Do they now have “less stress” and are “able to be fully present” with family on the weekends now. Think about what you give them. There are emotions in there. Identify them.

Use testimonials. Can’t come up with the words to emotionalize a benefit? Take excerpts from a testimonial. Your clients have no problem gushing about how fabulous you are and the joy they felt when you helped them achieve something.

Get out a thesaurus. Whether you use the online version or whip out your trusty Roget’s, sometimes you just need help coming up with a better word. You can also grab the list of 317 Power Words on Jon Morrow’s SmartBlogger site. Remember, you’re goal isn’t to choose the biggest words, just the ones that are more compelling than the not so exciting ones you’re using.

Remember, you’ve got to connect emotionally with your audience as well as communicate a message that makes sense to them logically.

But clients choose to work with you because they trust you, feel you understand them, and want the solution you offer in the way you offer it. Let them see how much you understand them by using emotional terms that reflects what’s going on in their heart and head.

Do you struggle to use emotion in your copy?

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