Competition among businesses that sell products and services within the “cloud” is now more intense and cutthroat than it has ever been. The ability of a business to effectively use the power of emotional persuasion in writing sales copy is essential to its long-term viability. When a company needs to hire a writer, it is imperative that they find a copywriter who has a keen understanding of emotional selling techniques as well as the skills to craft dynamically persuasive and memorable sales copy .
Consumers are the epitome of what it is to be a human being. Persistently seeking a sense of security and gratification, humans as consumers are naturally attracted to things with which they can easily understand, identify and empathize. Over a century ago, when companies began marketing mass-produced products, they quickly realized the power of accessing human emotions in regards to selling products. Consequently, early advertisements reflected poignant images of children and women that were intensified by connotative rather than denotative product descriptions. Although the images and words found in today’s modern advertisements present obvious differences from those of a century ago, the concept of persuasion through emotionally connecting with consumers remains the same. A company looking to hire a writer who claims to be a copywriter should make sure that the copywriter is experienced with using this concept.
Descriptive Copywriting vs. Emotional Selling
While consumers want to see a picture of the product in which they are interested, they also want to read about the product’s specifications to determine whether it suits their needs. This kind of “descriptive” copywriting is based on facts about the product and contains only necessary words. For example, a simple description of a digital camera consists of information about its shutter speed, lens type and video capabilities. All words used in a product description are denotative, or words that impart no other meanings other than a one-dimensional definition intended to educate.
However, this description does nothing to persuade the consumer to purchase the product because it does not appeal to his or her emotions. Rarely does a person make a decision based solely on rational analysis of a situation. Instead, we tend to rely on immediate feelings that are closer to the surface of our awareness and easier to process.
Famous behavioral psychologist John B. Watson once asserted that effective advertising must provoke three basic human emotions–fear, anger and love–before consumers can be persuaded to consider purchasing a service or product. Selling something using connotative words also facilitates the ability for a consumer to remember the product. Connotative words are words that present a generic definition but also have socio-cultural or personal meanings that cause people to view it out of context. Examples of connotative words include “slovenly”, “ugly”, and “immature”. Now substitute “slovenly” with “untidy”, “ugly” with “unattractive” and “immature” with “young”. Notice the difference in the emotions and images elicited by connotative words over the less evocative, denotative words? So would a potential customer reading sales copy containing connotative, implicative words.
Kimberly M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.