When you write, you build a connection with your reader. Every sentence should be made with great care and preparation since you are investing the time and effort into bridging a gap between yourself and the reader to get the emotional response you’re hoping for.
That response is what drives people to become conversions. If you’re trying to convince someone to make an impulse buy, there’s a need to evoke an emotion that yearns to help satisfy a need. They dominate our decisions and experiences. They’re dangerously overwhelming.
Take being in love as an example.
When you’re in love, you obsess over it and become irrational. Suddenly, logic is absent and you start to do, say or think things that are almost alien to you and your ideals. When emotion fades away and you come to your senses, you look back and ask yourself what you were thinking. You might even be embarrassed by your actions, yet you can’t explain them.
Emotions can blind and lead you down paths you’ve never experienced, for better or worse. This is the level copywriters need to establish with their audience. Emotion in copy is a necessity because it’s how you engage and build a relationship with your audience.
Your words have to tap into a recess of the mind that are going to convince the user to take action. Otherwise you’re just writing for the sake of writing; affecting nobody, treating the task like a chore and letting everyone know about it because of how sober it is.
If readers aren’t engaged in your writing, they’re not going to keep reading. They’ll get bored or distracted and move on to something else that they hope can captivate them. You can’t blame this as a phenomena of our times. If your work is passionless and devoid of substance, the response will reflect it.
The importance of connecting on an emotional level cannot be overstated:
“Everything starts with emotion. Memories affect our thoughts and opinions; feelings affect our moods and behaviors. The human limbic system is the gatekeeper for all higher thought processing and evaluation.”
Since you’re not writing the great American novel with every post, email or piece of web copy, you are limited in your ability to fascinate. This ability to enable focus and generate undivided attention is a pillar of connecting with someone. Think back to grade school when you used to bring something from home for show and tell. You weighed every possibility in your possession to find something that would impress your peers.
Something that would fascinate them.
Now the question is, “How can I apply this to my writing?”
Fortunately, bestselling author and brand consultant Sally Hogshead commissioned The Kelton Fascination Study, where she discovered seven basic facets to fascination:
Write something that will get your reader’s heart racing and make them see red. Evoke thoughts of danger, sirens, and hysteria to keep your audience fascinated and what action they should take next. Whatever the warning may be, it’s fear that you should be generating.
Basically, watch CNN or FOX News for an hour and apply that to your content.
Just think back to any unsolved mystery or conspiracy theory that fascinates (There’s that word again) you.
This is CNN spending days on what could have possibly happened to a plane disappearing, BuzzFeed exclaiming that “YOU WON’T BELIEVE” this minor thing that happened, or unconfirmed reports of Polish explorers finding long-lost gold from World War II.
People are inherently curious and love a good mystery. A lot of people will take things at surface value, but there are many others out there that want to dig deeper.
“To create mystique, begin your introduction with a juicy question that begs for an intriguing answer. Jump in with a descriptive story, tapping into the senses, to trigger passion. Establish trust with supporting facts and figures, or maintain a consistent (yet engaging) style your readers can count on.”
I alluded to this in a previous blog about the prospect of something ‘New’ and just how powerful of an influencer it can be:
“People are constantly on the lookout for something new that’s going to add a breath of fresh air and an extra boost to a life that may be entrenched in the trudging pace of mediocrity and routine. With a promise of something new, it represents hope for a change for the better.
The prospect of ‘Something new on the horizon’ excites people. Your curiosity and wonder is heightened because ‘new’ represents mystery, possibility and discovery. A ‘new’ car means newer, better features. A ‘new’ home means updated, modern designs and the start of a new life. A ‘new’ job means new opportunity.”
A staple of advertising geared towards high society and those with deep pockets, prestige is all about one-upsmanship.
Your neighbor gets a nice car, now you need a nicer car. Your co-worker gets a brand new phone, now you need to pre-order the phone that hasn’t come out yet. Your friend gets a nice house, now you need a bigger house.
Just look at this ad by BMW reeking of smugness and achievement:
If BMW telling Audi, “Good job, good effort” isn’t the ultimate sign of elite one-upsmanship, I wouldn’t like to know what is.
Before anything else, you need to build trust with your audience. This is also something I mentioned in a previous blog post:
“Trust is difficult to cultivate, especially with someone you just met, mainly because of their past experiences. Your buyer’s jaded and you need to lay it all out there that you’re different. The only way to break through someone’s tough exterior is to make yourself vulnerable first by genuinely letting buyers know who you are and what your product does.”
Your audience needs to be secure in their decision-making when dealing with you. Build it through transparency and honesty displayed through your work with previous customers. Use testimonials to showcase how trustworthy you are.
Of course, you can only gain those testimonials by being honest and reliable in the first place.
Offer your audience something that’s going to make them feel powerful and in control. Something that will give them power over “people, circumstances and self.” Even if the power is minimal, make your reader feel that the knowledge they wield will break down walls and reconstruct the norm.
We’re addicted to it and it’s evidenced by any recently promoted manager who suddenly gains control over the actions of five waiters at your local restaurant.
If you’re not passionate about what you’re writing about, then how could you ever expect your reader to be interested?
Passion is a beautiful, wondrous thing that leads to groundbreaking discovery and innovation. A man passionate about history can indulge readers in comprehensive events of a significant time. A woman who is passionate about music can enthrall listeners with new mixtures of sounds that can take your mind to new places. A child who is passionate about computers can keep innovating throughout his life before making scientific achievements never once thought possible beforehand.
Elon Musk wouldn’t be trying to send people to Mars if he wasn’t passionate about technology. Michael Jordan wouldn’t be the greatest player in basketball history and usher in a new era of kids emulating him if he wasn’t passionate about competition. Jonas Salk wouldn’t have saved millions of lives through the creation of the Polio vaccine (and then refuse to patent it) if he wasn’t passionate about humanity.
Be passionate in your writing and you can move the world to do things that were once thought impossible. Be emotional, expressive and animated enough so that your reader becomes as passionate about the subject you’re writing about as you are.