Marketing with Emotion

Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

Okay, stop singing to the tune in your head and think about the last big item you bought. Was it a computer? A car? A house?

Here’s another one: Have you donated to a certain charity recently? What made you choose it and the dollar amount to donate?

One more to think about: Have you read any junk mail letters that made you pull out your credit card for something you absolutely don’t need? (It happened to me with the VitaMix machine. My husband stepped in before I could make the call. Drat!)

Whether you bought the item or not, do you remember what exactly caught your attention? Chances are, your decision was based largely on emotion. It’s a common practice in marketing to sell to the buyer’s heart, not to his head. We buy based on desire and justify the purchase later. Case in point: I loved how the VitaMix made me feel healthier and smarter for not wasting foods. Plus, it allowed me to make soup, ice cream, dips, smoothies, and on and on.

See the emotion and the justification? The copywriter for this ad went for my desire to live a healthy lifestyle, and my justification to spend $500 was that it would actually save us money (by not wasting foods) AND we’d have a wide range of menu options. Clever.

When you write ad copy or promotional material, make sure you’re not acting in an unethical manner by manipulating your readers’ emotions. Evaluate your product, idea, or service. Is it a legitimate need? Can it improve lives? Are you putting an unrealistic and unnecessary price point on it just to rake in cash?

What emotions can you target to trigger a sale and still sleep at night? Try some of these:

  • Love
  • Generosity
  • Compassion
  • Healthy living
  • Knowledge
  • Good stewardship

Just remember to offer a quality product so your buyer can justify the decision to invest in you.

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