When it comes to emotional copywriting words, I’m reminded of the immortal words of Mark Twain:
“The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
People ask what makes copy compelling. I think it’s because… it evokes the right emotional states… using the right words… in the right sequence… at the right level of intensity.
When working with emotions, I focus on 4 different things:
First, what emotions does my market WANT to experience? And not want to experience? (Because I’m going to use those too.) Specificity is key.
Most copywriters are content just to get an occasional rise out of prospects. General emotions. But there is so much power in being intentional as well as specific about using the RIGHT emotions using the RIGHT words. (Which is why the Emotional Copywriting Words tool below is so helpful.)
What you’ve got to appreciate at all times, is your prospect WANTS, NEEDS, DESIRES to be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride. And emotional copywriting words are the vehicle.
You might feel you’re manipulating them. And you are. But my belief is prospects WANT to be emotionally manipulated. If they’re a long time customer, they actually look forward to it.
Let me ask you. Why do we go to the movies? Because they’re interesting? NO. To be emotionally guided, from one emotional state to another. Sometimes abruptly. Sometimes smoothly.
It doesn’t matter. Just so long as you do it and keep doing it. Which leads me to my next point.
2. Next, think about how to lead your prospect through A SEQUENCE OF EMOTIONS you want them to experience. For instance, in the survival market, I often use:
Shock–> Fear–> Anger–> Interest–> Hope–> Desire–> Conviction
Most copywriters think if they can get the prospect to experience one or two emotions, that’s good enough.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But the idea is to guide them through the sequence of emotions you believe will have the best chance of them doing what you ask. Whether that’s a sale, an optin, or click.
If you can control their emotions,
you can control the sale.
3. Then like a series of dials, I think about how much I want to dial up or dial down the emotional intensity.
I may want them to experience fear, but I don’t necessarily want to terrify them. It depends upon what I’m trying to accomplish.
In the survival market, with some products, I may want them to experience intense paranoia. For instance, selling potassium tablets and Geiger counters when the Fukashima meltdown was all over the news.
It’s these three reasons why the Emotional Copywriting Words Wheel is so useful. (Mr. Twain would love this wheel.)
What the wheel does is give you specificity as well as a range of emotions regularly used in compelling copy. It allows you to easily evaluate which word would be the most appropriate for the emotion you want to evoke.
Emotional Copywriting Words Wheel
7 Random Ideas on Using Emotional Copywriting Words
1. Focus on one emotion at a time.
2. Don’t let the AIDA formula confuse you. For instance, there is no such thing as the “attention” emotional state. However, you can get attention using shock or surprise. e.g. “Shocking Discovery! Doctor Discovers Cosmetic Surgery in a Bottle!” (Hokey, yeah I know. But you get the idea.)
3. When you do it right, you’ll keep your prospects’ attention throughout the copy because you’re continually yanking on their emotions, just like in a movie.
4. If you’re going to err, my experience suggests erring on too much emotional intensity rather than not enough. Your copy may sound “over the top” but test it and see. I think you’ll be surprised.
6. The more empathetic or emotionally sensitive you are by nature, the better you’ll do.
7. More is not necessarily better. There may not need to be many emotional copywriting words in your copy. Just one or two may do the trick. Play with them.
PS: Thanks goes to copywriter Joe Ditzel who found this tool.