7 friendly emotions in writing selling copy

How can you improve sales of your services or products? How can you convince customers that the service or product you offer is better than your competitors’?

We’ve all heard of the 7 deadly sins so now it’s time to learn about the 7 friendly emotions. These are the 7 copywriting friends you can and should use to help you whenever you are developing written communications aimed at potential customers.


Fear is actually one of our most powerful motivators. While it’s generally better to focus on positives rather than negatives in business copywriting, if you think you can instil fear in your potential customers this can be a winning strategy. Insurance sellers have been using fear to sell their products for years!


Greed is another powerful motivator. Most of us want more: money, time, holidays, luxury items, technology devices, food… By appealing to people’s sense of greed you can increase your chances of making a sale.


If you’ve ever had an issue that’s driven you crazy you’ll probably know how despair can be a great motivator. Chances are you’ll notice every piece of communication that promises to solve your solution and if your despair is great enough you’ll pay to buy the solution. Diet programs and quit smoking products are good examples of industries that use despair to sell services and products.


Pet owners and parents may be aware that they’re the targets of guilt-laden copywriting to make a sale. Key messages such as ‘Doesn’t your pet deserve the best?’ and ‘Are you giving your baby the best start in life?’ are classic examples of guilt in action.


It may be a bit unfair to say that industries such as health and cosmetics prey on people with self-esteem issues, but they certainly do use this emotion to drive sales. Many weight-loss programs, beauty creams, therapies and other health products and services use self-esteem as a key ingredient of their campaigns.


If you’ve been slugged by bank fees and get annoyed by service calls which leave you on hold for ages, messages such as ‘Tired of banks charging you exorbitant fees?’ and ‘You’ll speak to a real person’ may very well hit the target. Annoyance is another power motivator of people and if you use it correctly in your business copywriting you can increase your sales.


I could also lump emotions such as relief into this category. Some of the more successful marketing campaigns have focussed on the happiness, relief and liberation people will feel when customers use a product or service.

Why do these 7 emotional triggers work? It’s no real secret. By using them correctly you are being empathetic with your potential customers, focusing on benefits rather than features and engaging their emotions. If you do this people are more likely to listen to or read your communications and then possibly go on to become a customer.

The key is to know which emotional triggers are more likely to work with your customers. If you’re unsure, experiment by writing a few different versions of your copy and ask colleagues, friends or family which version is more likely to work for them. For inexpensive mediums such as email marketing, you can experiment by focussing on different emotions over a number of campaigns. Monitor your success with each campaign and compare the results to see if there is a noticeable difference. With a bit of luck and perseverance you may hit on a winning formula that makes a big improvement for your business.

Leave a comment