A “copywriting emotion” is an emotion that copywriters target in order to compel action.
The list includes emotions such as:
To name just a few.
Now, for those of you who know a thing or two about sales copy, you’ll also know that copywriting emotions are more than just the “king of copywriting”…
Emotions are the king, queen, emperor, and deep state … all rolled into one.
Yes, emotions are that important.
Every time you write a promotion, you have to base it around whichever emotions are “resident” in your target prospect (as Clayton Makepeace would say).
Let’s look at an example.
Ye Olde Weight Loss
Weight loss is something so over-marketed that anyone can relate to it.
Let’s imagine you’re writing copy for a weight loss product.
(By the way, for the purposes of this article, I’m just pulling all this off the top of my head … to illustrate a point. None of it is researched or real.)
What kind of emotions might you target?
Vanity … insecurity … loneliness … laziness?
What kind of copy could you generate with these ideas?
Look better, feel more confident, and have guys begging for your attention … while eating all the chocolate you want.
This type of copy targets the emotions mentioned above.
Now, this type of copywriting is good – but it doesn’t dive into the deepest emotion of them all:
Primal Desire: The One Copywriting Emotion to Rule Them All
Relationship copywriter Chris Haddad doesn’t put too much copywriting info out there, but the stuff he does put out is great.
If you’re a copywriter, be sure to find some of his stuff on YouTube.
According to Haddad, to write succesful promotions, we should:
Figure out the primal desire of your market and give it to them.
So let’s try it.
Let’s do a little copywriter-style psychoanalysis on our friend, the “weight loser.”
Asking why a couple times can give us some insight to her psychology:
- Clearly, she wants to lose weight.
- The reason why — she feels fat, insecure, and lonely.
- The reason why — men always talk to her friends when the go to bars instead of her. In high school, she was made fun of, tagged “fat” on Facebook, and one time when she went on a diet she got called “weight loser.”
This is a trimmed down version of what copywriters do when doing their detective work.
By drilling one layer deeper than the surface emotions mentioned earlier — insecurity, loneliness, and vanity — we arrive at our prospect’s real motivations.
Her primal desire isn’t “being skinny.”
It’s the opposite of what she has now. It’s not being shrugged off by guys … not being laughed at … not being made fun of.
Her “lizard brain” has a deeper, more primal desire — to be desirable, admired, respected, and so on.
This is the problem that keeps her up at night.
So if you talk to her about that, she will listen … and buy.
Another primal desire would be: being skinnier than her friends.
And that’s exactly what products like the 6 Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends diet do. They target the animal brain that’s concerned with status, pecking order, and dominance.
Good copy would hold up a mirror to that part of the psyche. For instance:
In 6 weeks, you will walk into a bar and guys will flock to YOU … and brush your friends off like flies. Think of the JEALOUS look in their eyes when YOU score that gorgeous man’s phone number … and how GOOD you’ll feel when you look in the mirror every morning.
Primal Desires vs. Primal Fear
Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino, is a very fascinating literary exploration of human psychology, life, cities, among other topics.
In that book, he delves deeply into the topic of desires and fears, which are presented as inseparable … as two sides of the same coin.
And I think the same holds true in copywriting psychology.
Think about these desires:
- The desire for someone to share your life with
- The desire for acceptance by your peers
- The desire for a comfortable work environment
I challenge you to find an instance where a desire isn’t accompanied by a fear.
In this case: the fear of being alone forever … of always being rejected and laughed at by the cool crowd … of being under the thumb of asshole bosses … and so on.
Feed Primal Needs, Sell More Products
Humans are driven by emotions and always make decisions based on those emotions.
Even research into B2B purchasing decisions have demonstrated that emotions — particularly trust — play a massive role in purchase decisions.
Regardless of your product, your market, or your audience, it’s vital to understand your prospects on a deep, emotional level.
Because in almost all cases, our animal brains make purchase decisions and we later rationalize those decisions with logic.
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