Words move us. Whether we hear them in a song, or read them in a poem, words have the ability to influence us. They inspire action. Words elicit emotion. They arouse excitement, fear, anxiety, happiness, hope, joy, and sadness. Words are powerful, there’s no doubt about that.
“So, why should I care?” you ask. Simple: This information will help you to become a better copywriter (and a better writer in general). You can use this nugget of wisdom to your advantage. Keep reading and I’ll show you how.
More about emotions (to drive my point home). Here we go:
All of us feel emotions on a daily basis. They push and pull us in one direction or another. They’re an expression and manifestation of our dreams and goals, even our own identities. You could think of yourself like a stringed instrument, perhaps a violin or a guitar. Like note to song, with each strum you’re affected. Your emotions, manifested as subconscious reactions, form together like an intricate melody. Each note strikes you at your core, like a tuning fork reverberating vibrations and sound. Think of the written word as the hand that strums upon instrument, catalyzing actions and reactions. Most of us respond to emotions without thinking. Some of us are more in-tune with our emotions (I’m sure you belong in this category). Regardless, emotions are a huge part of who we are. There’s no denying that.
A copywriter’s job is to deliver content that plucks away at the heart strings—to affect the reader. A talented copywriter paints a picture of the world that you live in, and shows you a glimpse of the one that you wish you lived in. A good copywriter is aware of, and speaks to, the emotions of the reader.
Now, how can you use this knowledge to become a better copywriter? How can you write content that inspires emotions and action? I’ll get to that. First, more on emotions and decision making:
Do emotions impact decision making? Absolutely! Do decisions even exist without emotions? I don’t think so. According to Sigmund Freud, “When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature.”
Contrary to popular thought, and what Freud refers to as “decisions of minor importance,” almost all of our decisions, big and small, are emotionally fueled. I would argue that emotions don’t hinder our ability to make rational decisions. In fact, many suggest that without emotions, we are incapable of being rational, let alone pulling the trigger on even the simplest of decisions. Many studies show that we often make decisions unconsciously, and then look for information to support and reinforce our original biases. There’s even a fancy academic name for it: “confirmation bias.” According to Eva Rykrsmith, a psychologist who writes for Quickbase, “Once we have formulated a theory, we pay more attention to items that support it, and ignore evidence that disproves it.” And she’s got the studies and experience to prove it, folks. You can’t argue with science.
I think you get my point, don’t you? Now what? How can you use this information to go forth and copy-write like you’ve never copy-writed before? (Or is it ‘copy-wrote?’ Moving on…)
The moral of the story:
We all access emotions to make decisions, no matter how rational and cool-headed we may seem (or pretend to be). Smart copywriters and bloggers step into the shoes of their reader to effectively persuade. The evidence that emotions are an important element of decision making is definitive. Smart copywriters, bloggers, and business owners will use this knowledge to their advantage. They will tap into the emotions of their audience, and use these emotions to help their readers make a decision. So, the next time you write a blog post, instead of getting lost in features and benefits, and technical jargon, think hard about what emotions your reader may be feeling. Then appeal to those emotions. What do you think? Do sound decisions exist without emotions? Over to you, folks!
About The Author
Content brought to you by Tanya Roberts, a Vancouver-based online marketing consultant that specializes in slick content strategy to rock your website traffic, build your brand, gain leads, and increase sales. Tanya is an experienced marketer, copywriter/editor, freelance writer, internet/online marketing consultant, and social media specialist. You can also find Tanya on Google Plus. Results matter; here are a few of mine.