Writing with EMOTION? Help

30 replies
Can someone help me figure out how to put emotion in my writing - I seem to be missing this in a BIG way???

I've read through the archives and found some great stuff, but I can' seem to put it all together. A few examples would be great.

I know this is easy for those of you who are very emotional - but is there a "mechanical" way that I can make sure I'm getting it???

Thanks for your help...ml
#emotion #writing
  • Profile picture of the author moreymcmb
    I believe that it depends on the subject or niche on which you are writing if you want to get emotional or not. In order to capture the attention of your visitors your writings must express a feeling or emotion. It does not matter if you make them laugh, cry or happy, the purpose is to give them somthing that they can remember.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6862170].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    You have to create an Emotional Map for your copy.

    It starts by deciding upon the feelings that you want to address first, then taking them on a deliberate journey that builds the evolution of your emotional progression.

    That means...

    You have to KNOW the circumstances that will trigger a predictable emotional response.

    For instance...

    In a letter I just wrote for a financial market...

    I wanted to address people's feelings of skepticism, while using doubt to tap into their fear of missing out on tremendous opportunities... and ultimately... inspire hope:

    "Dear Profits Seeker!

    Risk.

    It doesn’t exist.

    There’s no such thing.

    For the people who understand human nature and the predictable, natural flux of money…

    …profits are inevitable.

    Did you just think to yourself, “That’s the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever heard!!! Are you serious?!?!”

    Well…

    Yes, I am serious.

    Dead serious.

    And if you DON’T pay absolute attention to every single word I’m about to say, like your financial reality depends upon it, I can honestly say, without hesitation…

    ...You're making the single biggest mistake of your life!"

    I spent the next page or so building consequence.

    Explaining what my prospects want.

    Building their attachment to a better life.

    And it worked.

    The letter converted (after an initial test by driving traffic on adwords via extremely competitive and expensive keywords.)

    My point is...

    You just have to know where your target prospects are at (i.e. why are they desperate for your solution,) and capture their attention by demonstrating you get it...

    You know what they want.

    And you know how to take them from where they are - to where they want to be.

    That's what makes pressing the buy button a no-brainer.

    So my question to you, Mike, is how can you put yourself in the shoes of the people you benefit?

    Because once you there.

    You'll know what they're feeling.

    You'll know what circumstances they're experiencing.

    You'll know what they want.

    And you'll know how to articulate the circumstances your solution provides.

    Here's a mock up (not a formula.)

    Step one:

    What are my prospects feeling RIGHT NOW?

    Step two:

    What do they REALLY want?

    Step three:

    Introduce my solution and demonstrate how it is the ONLY way to get from what they don't want - to what they DO want.

    Step four:

    Build the consequence for what they'd leave behind if they don't take action.

    Step five:

    Identity and address their BIGGEST objections and turn them into positives. (The example I showed above started with addressing a major objection.)

    Keep it simple.

    Meaning...

    If I have horrible acne, pinpoint what I'm feeling.

    What do I hold myself back from doing?

    What could I have if your solution cleared up my face?

    Stuff like that..

    Mark Pescetti
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6862363].message }}
  • stemdrea- That's good stuff from Mark P. Run with it.

    Also, check this out. I was just re-reading this post from Clayton:
    Know Thy Prospect | MakepeaceTotalPackage.com
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6862464].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    Thank you Mark! This is really appreciated - I will, dig into the prospect, and the market, and ultimately try to feel what they feel and I will practice, practice and practice some more...

    Joe, thanks for the Makepeace article - I'll dissect it and try to figure out what I'm missing.

    It seems that everything I do comes from analytical and logical thinking and I have the hardest time moving from there to emotions - you could give me the best gift anyone ever received and I'd still look at you with a poker face - oh, I'd be thankful and grateful but my emotions wouldn't show. Guess I could practice being emotional???

    Don't remember who said "assume a virtue and it's yours"

    Thanks...ml
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863112].message }}
  • Here's one thing I've learned about writing with emotion:

    It's better to just bang out your first draft really quickly, then go back and edit it later.

    Doing this allows you to capture a certain enthusiasm and urgency, because it feels like TALKING to someone instead of PUTTING TOGETHER a marketing piece.

    Enthusiasm and urgency may not be the right "emotional" tone for every market, but it's a good in many of them,

    It's really hard to capture any kind of emotional tone when you're editing and re-editing as you go.

    Doing that just tends to produce an overly formal style.

    Just write a very sloppy but engaging first draft by "writing the way you talk," then edit out any mistakes later.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863191].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    Thanks Andy,
    That's great advice I always find myself editing as I go - bad habit. I'll start writing first and editing later...ml
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863234].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I felt so bad for little Johnny. He reached puberty at the age of four and broke out with a face full of pimples the following year, just in time for kindergarten. It pained me so to see my little boy running up our walkway, tears dribbling down his face over his zits, "Momma," he cried. "The kids at kindergarten called me pizza face. And then they all threw up. I can't go back to school, I just can't!"

    I knew I had to do something. I searched high and low for an acne remedy. But there were none for five year old boys. I was at my wits end. Every day my little one came home from school he was more upset, more heartbroken. Loogies dripped from his little blazer. Kids can be sooo mean. I was beginning to think I was going to have to bag his head and cut two slits for eyes and a big circle for breathing and food.

    But then one day something magical happened. It was almost like it was sent from angels. I couldn't believe it. Tears ran down my own face into my own zits. I knew the the answer had arrived. What was it? What, you ask?

    It was Pillsbury yeast cakes, a simple home remedy pimple cure. Now, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to rub these things on his mug or if he's supposed to drink them down with Koolaid. Maybe I better cough up the $37 and spring for the last chapter of that damned ebook. After all, Johnny's well being is counting on it.

    Obviously, this is tongue in cheek but take out the smartass stuff and you've got an emotional appeal that works in the sales setting. Good luck.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863736].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Spencer
    This is easy my good friend.

    Telling stories is the best way to drive down into intense emotion.

    I have done this, and I like to fancy myself a pro at it. I may be able to provide you will some of my work, so you can see how it is done effectively.

    Talk soon,

    Justin
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863845].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    Thanks Tralinguy,
    That was a great example - I shall staple it to my forehead and engrave it in my ears (can you actually do that?)

    I guess the biggest thing to take away is to know the target prospect, the feelings they have now, the feelings they want to have, and the feelings your product or service will give them and then simply write to them in a way to touches and uses those feelings - hard to do - but I'm going to work on it.

    I appreciate everyones advice on this - and I hope you wont mind if I practice and display it here for everyone to see. I'll bare my soul and hope you wont step on it or make me feel to small for my mistakes and shortcomings.

    Thanks...ml
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863902].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    Justin,
    I look forward to receiving anything you're willing to share. You can PM me email it to me or what ever you'd like to do - I appreciate your help...ml
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863910].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author EaglePiServ
    Here's a neat checklist, but Mark gave you the same thing flushed out..

    How to Add Emotion to a Story: 5 steps - wikiHow
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6863979].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
    One word: psychology
    Signature

    Free action plan : Think less. Do more.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6865437].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    You might also want to review Karl Iglesias' book, Writing for Emotional Impact.

    You can get it at amazon.com.

    Good luck with your copywriting.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6865974].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by stemdrea View Post

    Can someone help me figure out how to put emotion in my writing - I seem to be missing this in a BIG way???

    I've read through the archives and found some great stuff, but I can' seem to put it all together. A few examples would be great.

    I know this is easy for those of you who are very emotional - but is there a "mechanical" way that I can make sure I'm getting it???

    Thanks for your help...ml
    If you have the right product targeted to the right market there's not much else you have to say...

    People want to look good, feel good, and have others think good about them.

    You either have the ability to connect with people on an emotional level, or you don't. It's not something you can learn...it's what separates the good sales people from the bad ones.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a copywriter...you can better yourself...but you'll only be as good as your natural talent allows you to be.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6866299].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Originally Posted by stemdrea View Post

    Can someone help me figure out how to put emotion in my writing - I seem to be missing this in a BIG way???

    I've read through the archives and found some great stuff, but I can' seem to put it all together. A few examples would be great.

    I know this is easy for those of you who are very emotional - but is there a "mechanical" way that I can make sure I'm getting it???

    Thanks for your help...ml
    1. Write to the senses

    2. Use metaphors

    3. Use stories

    4. Think about how the prospect is feeling and level with the prospect in your copy

    5. Think about how what you have relates to how the prospect is feeling

    6. When you're going over your drafts, rate each paragraph on a scale of 1 to 10 -- 1 being the least emotional, 10 being the most emotional (I think I learned this from David Garfinkel, can't remember)

    7. Use very simple words, sentences, and paragraphs
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6866463].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yanminis
    Here is a quote from the 12 Step Sales Letter from David Frey where he talks about motivation:

    Motivation - An Emotional Thing

    We buy based on emotions & justify our purchase based on logic only after the sale. So each step in the sales letter process must build on reader's emotions to where they aremotivated to act.

    Only 2 things motivate people: the promise of gain or the fear of loss.

    Fear of loss is the stronger motivator.

    Would you rather buy a $50 course on "How to Improve Your Marriage" or "How to Stop Your Divorce or Lover's Rejection?" Stats prove the 2nd title outsells the first 5 to 1. Why? It addresses fear of loss.

    Underlying promise of gain & fear of loss are 7 "universal motivations".

    Position any product or service so it provides 1 or more motivation:

    1. To be wealthy
    2. To be good looking
    3. To be healthy
    4. To be popular
    5. To have security
    6. To achieve inner peace
    7. To have free time
    8. To have fun

    Ultimate motivations are what people really want. Your product is just a way to give these benefits. Always focus on these motivational factors.
    Signature
    Saying thanks is more than good manners. So hit that little button please to pay it forward...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6866558].message }}
  • Here's a few tips on how to get that emotions accross.

    Use detail in your copy- it rachets up beliveability too
    Use words the evoke emotional responses- you can be dramatic without exaggerating
    use words that evoke pictures, sounds and feelings
    tell story in the copy- this is where you can bring out true emotion

    One thing to note

    if you are in market where people are feelig shame-its best not to address this directly by telling them what they are feeling
    Signature
    "Peter Brennan is the real deal, In the first 12 hours we did $80k...and over $125k in the first week...if you want to be successful online, outsource your copywriting to Peter"
    Adam Linkenauger

    For 12 ways to sell more stuff to more people today...go to...www.peterbrennan.net
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6867156].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author schttrj
    That's a very absurd question you ask. To write with emotion, well, is just a by-product of "writing as ONE and writing to ONE".

    Personalize, personalize and personalize!

    That's what you gotta do, to paint each of your write-ups with buckets of human emotion.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6867197].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wand3rjahr
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6867540].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and techniques. I'm working on it...ml
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6871648].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author George Lee
    If you don't have a clear idea of who your target audience is, it makes writing to the emotions more difficult.

    Create a in depth persona on a target customer. Go into so much depth that you have a picture in your mind of what this person looks like. Then ask yourself what is the problem that they are experiencing? How do the other things in their life like income or where they live influence the problem? (a college student is more likely to be interested in saving money than a housewife with a six figure income who lives in an affluent neighborhood).

    You should always write to this one person. If you don't speak to someone, you speak to no one.

    Then ask youself what they fear. What keeps them awake at night? What are the consequences of having the problem? What pain are they trying to avoid?

    Then you want your copy to convey that you understand their problem. Show empathy. Then provide the solution through your product.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6874512].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author justinkemp99
    Emotions are related to love. When you love something emotions starts to flow, its something which comes naturally and there is no hard and fast rule to achieve that. Regarding your writing, you need to focus on your content, love the topic you are about to write, attach yourself with the topic and you would be amazed to see that words would start to flow. Adding a personal touch in your writing is a vital way to add emotions.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6896825].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
      Originally Posted by justinkemp99 View Post

      Emotions are related to love. When you love something emotions starts to flow, its something which comes naturally and there is no hard and fast rule to achieve that. Regarding your writing, you need to focus on your content, love the topic you are about to write, attach yourself with the topic and you would be amazed to see that words would start to flow. Adding a personal touch in your writing is a vital way to add emotions.
      You've got half the equation. Emotions are related to love and fear. In fact, all emotions are derivatives of love and fear.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6898491].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MarkWMS
    I believe that if you get into the topic you are writing on, it will naturally bring out the emotion from within you into your writing. The best way to come out with the right emotions in your work is thinking from your readers' point of view. Think how you would like them to react to your writing before starting your work.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6897100].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MadHattie123
    I read through all the great advice in this thread, and even saved it for my own copywriting development. I didn’t think there was anything I could contribute beyond what had already been said.

    However, I remembered what Drayton Bird said - how what we read, and the breadth of our reading can contribute to our development as copywriters.

    I also remembered a “midlife” crisis of my own, when my writing instructor assigned some poetry reading and analysis. In doing the assignment I found myself engulfed in such a sudden storm of emotions that it actually frightened me. It was too overwhelming.
    But it did open my eyes to the fact that I had pretty much insulated myself from my own emotions, and thus from being touched by others emotions. I had developed a well functioning equilibrium in life, very balanced, very logical and analytical.

    So, back to Drayton’s recommendation and a question: Is poetry included as part of your reading material? If not, why not?

    Here’s an interesting article about just that topic:



    Improve your writing skills

    Poetry’s rhythm, structure and creative language are known to improve creative writing skills. And it is precisely these three aspects that will improve our copywriting, especially in creating and maintaining an emotional connection with our readers.
    ---Read more: Feeling like a robotic copywriter? Cure yourself with poetry

    It’s something to consider.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6897570].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MadHattie123
      Originally Posted by MadHattie123 View Post

      So, back to Drayton's recommendation and a question: Is poetry included as part of your reading material? If not, why not?
      I forgot to note (and its important)... to really benefit from the magic of poetry, you need to read it aloud.

      Evelyn Waugh and Elmore Leonard (among Drayton's recommendations) don't have to be read aloud but do allow yourself to laugh, or at least chuckle when reading them.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6899495].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author stemdrea
    Thanks George, Justin, Mark and MadHattie - that's all great stuff. I'll try to work it all in - there's so much information here it's almost overwhelming but it's already made a difference in my writing. Poetry - who would have thought it. I have a couple of books loaded with great poetry, maybe I should open it. Thanks MadHattie - great advice...ml
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6898010].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Elle Davies
    We're run by our emotions - and these can make us behave in certain ways i.e. force us to buy a product online!

    Rule #1: Your passion and emotion needs to be sincere.
    Rule #2: You can write with emotion when you know the market that you are targeting.

    Try to appeal to what people want - not what they need. Or try and bridge the gap between the two! What people WANT is more of an emotional response than what people NEED.

    It's about empathy and appealing to a prospect's emotional side. For example in the weight loss niche, the general appeal will be to lose weight.
    Logical writing will target the 'logical' side of people's brains i.e. Needing to improve their health.
    Emotional writing will target the emotional side of their brains i.e. Wanting to look good in a bikini/ Wanting to attract the opposite sex etc.

    I could write essays on this, but I hope this small example helps a little!
    Signature
    Need an Expert 'ENGLISH NATIVE' GhostWriter?
    I'm offering my personal services on Fiverr for $5,
    Click Here Now to reveal A* reviews left by others.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6898606].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MHWSO
    The way that I do it is to imagine myself in the reader's place. When there is a product or service I need to write copy for, I think about someone interested in it sitting down at their computer looking for it. I think about what it is they are struggling with or the goals they are trying to achieve. I take that thought and express it the person. I want to build rapport right off the bat. When you can get the reader to identify with what you've written, you engage him or her. From there, you build excitement by telling the person that there is hope and this hope has many benefits. After giving the person hope, you slam him or her with whatever it is you are trying to sell. You have continue thinking about some of the thoughts going through the reader's head, such as "This won't help me..." You have to squash those thoughts by telling him or her how the product and service will help. You have to spell it all out, but not lengthy. You need to be to the point with it. Copy often sparks impulsiveness, and that can be short lived, so you have to give your reader what they want quickly, or you'll lose it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6908627].message }}

Trending Topics