Why does a piece of copy fall flat, even when it's benefit-oriented and directly addresses your target market's urgent problem?
One reason could be that it lacks feeling.
Your copy may convey all the facts about your service or product accurately. It may be well-written in terms of grammar and style, but if it doesn't have feeling, then it simply won't connect with your reader.
For example, which headline has more feeling:
Does The Law Of Attraction Really Work?
Why Hasn’t The Law Of Attraction Worked For Me?
I think the second headline has more feeling and, consequently, I expect it'll be more successful in getting the reader to read the next paragraph. It reflects the reader's frustration with the Law of Attraction, as well as the desire for something good to happen in his or her life.
Why does your copy have to be emotional anyway? Well, the simple answer is that emotions are what motivate people to buy. No matter how rational we humans make ourselves out to be, the truth is, it's fear, anger, embarrassment, desire or some other strong emotion that makes us click the buy button.
Next time you're about to buy anything, stop and think: What emotion is driving you to make that purchase?
But, at the same time, we like to justify our purchases with facts. Remember, we like to think of ourselves as being logical beings. At least, we want our spouses to think so.
Therefore, your copy should do both: stir an emotion that leads to buying and provide the facts to support the buying decision. Between the two, it's the emotions that's usually harder to put into copy.
Forget about what you learned in composition class. Write as if you're writing an email to a friend who's asking you to explain what your business is all about. If it helps, try speaking into a recorder and then having your words transcribed.
I like taking words from my clients' everyday speech and putting it in the copy – and they love hearing themselves back in the resulting copy. Don't be afraid to put some personality in your copy, even if you're selling something as serious as x-ray machines.
Intimate knowledge of your target market is key to successful copy. Get under your target market's skin to find out what they really care about and what problems they have. Find out what their feelings are in relation to what you have to offer.
As in the example above, the headline is actually something taken right out of the target market's thoughts. Do some sleuthing to discover what fears, possible objections and doubts your target market has about your product or service. Then butt into that conversation with your copy.
This is the single most effective way to find out if your copy is truly conversational, easy to read, and has personality and feelings. Besides, your prospects will be reading the copy aloud in their minds, so you'll want to have an idea of how everything “sounds.”
If you have the chance, test-drive your copy with a few friends and ask them what feelings they get as they read the copy.
Remember Strunk & White's “Elements of Style”? They advice us to use nouns and verbs more than adjectives and adverbs. Why? Because nouns and verbs are more concrete than adjectives and adverbs. Compare:
“The strong wind blew gustily.”
“The wind blew the roof off the house.”
Which sentence conjured a specific image in your mind? Use words to paint images in your readers' minds and you'll be sure to stir up emotions.
I'm not talking about manipulating your readers' feelings here. I'm talking about knowing what feelings your prospects already have, and reflecting those emotions back to them through your copy.
Your copy should be a little reminder that, yes, they're sick and tired of visualizing and chanting for hours and still being unable to accomplish any of their targets. That you know how they feel and are happy to offer them a solution.
What are your thoughts on putting feelings in copy? Do share by posting a comment below.
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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Visualizing & chanting for hours? No wonder I hear so much smack on the subject! Can tell that we’ll need to put out a product or two on this subject for sure. 😀
“Remember, we like to think of ourselves as being logical beings. At least, we want our spouses to think so.”
BWAHAHAHAHA!!! So true! 🙂
Glad I discovered your blog! 🙂
Do you have a way to subscribe via e-mail?
Busy Birdy brains need to be reminded via Inbox these days. 😛
Bright Blessings & Good Fortune! 🙂
Glad you discovered my blog, too, Birdy! You can subscribe to my e-course at the box on the upper right.