4 Tips to Keep Your Readers Hooked With Emotive Writing

As copywriters, we constantly ask ourselves: What makes copy engaging and captivating?

There exists a plethora of writing techniques out there that you can use to capture your readers’ attention. Whether you are on team “More facts, less feelings” or an ardent follower of copywriting formulas like AIDA, you can’t overlook the one writing technique that does one of the best jobs at being relatable to your readers: emotive copywriting.

Emotions are powerful forces that can translate into actions. Our feelings affect our perspectives, interactions, and states of mind. The emotional copywriting technique goes beyond the traditional approach to marketing a product or service – that is, to simply provide facts and details about said product. Instead, emotional copywriting uses storytelling, images, and metaphors to create an emotional bond with readers that will make them go, “I can totally relate to this, they know me so well! Maybe I should try out their product?”

Here are some useful tips on how to craft great emotive copy:

Choose your words wisely

Pick the right words to channel the emotions that you want to evoke. Use words that vividly describe a feeling or a situation — something that the reader can instantly relate to or imagine. For instance, if you are writing copy for public transport or e-hailing services, use phrases like “tired” or “frustrated” to evoke the dreadful feeling of being stuck in traffic, which is relatable to many. It creates an instant connection with readers by appealing to their anger, positioning your product as a solution to resolve their frustrations – because who doesn’t want convenient mobility choices to get to their destinations faster?

Create a sense of urgency or curiosity to keep your readers hooked. WWF’s Fish Forward campaign is a great example of emotive copywriting that uses strong words to highlight the importance of sustainable fish consumption. The ads start off their statements with bold, big text that say “Sad”, “Ugly”, and “Pathetic” to describe the effects of overfishing our oceans, followed by a call for consumers to opt for sustainable seafood alternatives instead. The usage of emotive copywriting captures the readers’ attention and evokes strong feelings of empathy, by conveying a message about the negative impact of overfishing.

A poster from WWF’s Fish Forward campaign 

An image of a CGI-generated “ugly fish”

is what's happening in our oceans.

Ugly is to see overfishing destroy the future of 800 million people who depend on fish to survive.

Make a difference. Choose sustainable fish.

Provide concrete examples or relate to current events

Readers love fresh, new, and unique content. To make your copy stand out, copywriters are encouraged to incorporate references from pop culture or current world events for better engagement and stronger persuasion. For instance, famous movie quotes and viral tweets can be useful material to illustrate your message and convey emotions; plus, many people can relate to them because of their popularity, which helps to expand your copy’s outreach.

Memorable lines from movies or happenings in pop culture that have cemented their place in the public’s consciousness can be used to give your copy a certain charm. It definitely helps to take your copy up a notch in terms of creativity and relatability!

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s iconic 2019 single,“Hot Girl Summer”, is a brand copywriting favorite. The track essentially talks about how people should be unapologetically themselves and have a good time – and brands hopped on the trend to capitalize on the fun and excitement generated by the song. For example, fast food chain Wendy’s tweeted that their lemonade was the “Official Drink of Hot Girl Summer”; fashion and fitness blogs churned out articles on “How To Prepare For Hot Girl Summer” to relate to their primarily Millennial and Gen-Z audiences through lively emotive writing.

Although “Hot Girl Summer” does not have a clear definition on what it means, it carries the feeling of excitement that urges the audience to “live and enjoy every moment” to your hearts’ content.

A GIF of Megan Thee Stallion in "Hot Girl Summer"

Positive reviews from other customers

Do you find yourself checking out online reviews about a certain product before purchasing it? More often than not, the old-school way of including reviews and quotes from customers works best to promote your brand. Positive feedback about your product or service can project your brand as trustworthy and authentic, which makes people more likely to purchase it. Beauty brand Glossier repurposed user-generated content as testimonial advertisements. Their website’s “Real Life” page features a selection of selfies from actual customers that tagged them on Instagram, to showcase the effects of their products with “concrete proof” and genuine satisfaction to appeal to their audience.

If you are writing for small businesses that do not have huge marketing budgets, skip the influencer endorsements and paid ads — you can rely on genuine reviews from customers to craft an emotive brand story. Try including customer reviews with positive experiences on how the product benefits them tremendously or brings a huge change in their lives, these user-generated content are extremely helpful in bringing people in.

Speak your audience’s language

It takes more than words to write emotive copy — it’s about connecting with your readers on an emotional level. To create engaging content, try stepping into the shoes of your audience and imagine their everyday lives: What do they aspire to achieve in life? What are the things they find comfort in? Use these insights to create meaningful pieces of writing that your audience will connect with emotionally and mentally.

Consider one of Disneyland’s slogans: “Where dreams come true.” It’s not just about the cute mascots, fun rides, and delicious snacks; it is a place that lets you experience the magic of childhood again and feel like a kid who’s just discovered something new and wonderful. It speaks directly to their audience — friends, couples, and families — those who want to create memories that will last a lifetime with their loved ones in a special place.

Emotive copywriting is all about wearing your heart on your sleeve – with words!

Our emotions and feelings affect us more than you may realize. It motivates responses, figures out our likes and dislikes, and helps us communicate with others through empathy. It also affects purchasing behaviors, as people rely on their emotions to make decisions by picking the option they are most familiar and comfortable with.

Copywriters and businesses do not have to shy away from emotive writing; it gives you an advantage to understand your customers better by listening to their inner desires. Having a clear understanding of your audience’s emotions is also a great way to show that you are a brand that cares.

It’s time to grow your brand with quality copy! If you are looking for copywriters who can write engaging and relatable emotive copy, reach out to us today.

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