The Persuasive Power of Emotions

Marketing EmotionsFeatures and benefits — the nuts and bolts of marketing — are a piece of cake, right? Well, maybe not.

First, answer this: Are you tapping into an emotional benefit that drives your customer’s desire — one that your customer is willing to pay for?

Anger and fear… joy and sadness… trust and disgust… anticipation and surprise.

Ah, yes, identifying and speaking to a meaty, emotional benefit is a bit trickier. But the reward for mastering this task comes in the form of increased sales.

Ad copy that speaks to a dominant, driving emotion is much more powerful and persuasive than copy that lists features and facts alone.

Let’s have a look…

Headlines that leverage the power of emotions:

  • “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?” – Speaks to the fear of embarrassment.
  • “‘No Time for Yale — Took College Home,’ Says Well-Known Author” – Speaks to the desire for advancement, and gives a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
  • “When Lisa Cooper Sold Her Mother’s Jewelry For $12,000, She Made A $4,000 Mistake. Visit The Fabrikants And You Won’t Make the Same Mistake.” – The emotion that this headline speaks to is obvious… the fear of an embarrassing financial loss.
  • “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” – Speaks to the feeling of accomplishment and exclusivity.
  • “The Giant Panda needs your help to survive.” – This headline from the World Wildlife Fund speaks to the sadness you’d feel should the Giant Panda become extinct.
  • “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano, But When I Started to Play!” – Speaks to the feeling of pride and accomplishment.

See how this works? Emotional-based benefits super-charge the persuasiveness of your ad copy.

But just how powerful are human emotions, anyways?

Get a load of this: Scientists now know why you and I feel as if we’ve been physically injured even when the wound is purely emotional. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the same area of the brain is activated — whether we’re experiencing physical pain or emotional suffering.

Researchers scanned the brains of volunteers as they were poked with a hot probe. (I know, sounds fun, right?) The scan was repeated, but this time, participants were asked to mentally relive the rejection of an ex-lover.

The result: Your brain views the pain of a breakup and a punch in the gut exactly the same.

“It means that the expression, ‘My feelings are hurt,’ may be more than just a metaphor,” says the study’s lead author, Ethan Kross, an assistant professor in the psychology department at the University of Michigan.

Yes, emotions are pretty powerful.

So now that we fully appreciate the impact of emotions on the brain, what’s the dominant, driving emotion that will cause your customer to take action?

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One Response to “The Persuasive Power of Emotions”

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  1. Hbw Hal says:

    On-the-Dinero. One problem – mix emotion with scientific facts because
    emotions lower rational thinking. We are not in business to trick folks,
    just persuade them based on reality, not lies.
                                                              Hal
    www,speedlearning.org
    hbw@speedlearning.org

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