5 Proven Emotional Copywriting Strategies


Powerful states of mind we experience in life.

They are the reason we act and perform certain habits.

Ever made an impulsive buy, then later regretted it?

You more than likely fell for a tactic businesses use called emotional copywriting.

According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman, his studies show that 95% of consumer’s purchasing decisions stem from the subconscious mind.

In other words, consumer’s emotions have a large influence on their buying behaviors.

Check out these emotional copywriting ways to make readers fall in love with your copy.

How to use emotional copywriting strategies

1. Fear and Fomo – Fear of missing out

Remember horror films back in the day when the masked killer terrorizes his next target, an innocent high school girl? After receiving creepy calls, panicking, and realizing a man in a white ghost mask is stalking her. It’s almost like a puppet show where the murder torments, intimidates, and manipulates the girl into extreme trauma. To the point of calling the cops, running for her life, crying herself to death, to experiencing complete insanity.

That is the power of fear.

It manipulates us.

Fear is one of the strongest emotions that can easily control our reality, behavior, and actions that affect our decisions.

Check out a real-life example in a for a home security print advert.

home security advert with emotional copywriting example of fear of missing out

The print reads, “Most people don’t think about home invasion until you become a victim.”

Genius advertising!

This is a classic example of creating fear. With the fear words, ‘invasion’ and ‘victim,’ urging ‘you’ to take action on securing your house.

“I fear missing out on my children’s’ safety.”

Imagine being a homeowner with precious children you care about. After seeing this advert, wouldn’t you want to protect the loves of your life? Imagine, your house being robbed with your children and partner in danger.

This advert presents a problem with a fearful scenario (using fear words) and offers a solution.

By instilling fear as one of your emotional copywriting tactics is one of the most persuasive techniques you can do.

Effective ‘fear’ power words: doubt, fail, warning, mistake, lack.

Here’s a complete list of ‘fear’ power words to use in your emotional copywriting.

2. Instill scarcity to create a sense of urgency

Similar to the fear tactic, promoting a sense of scarcity or urgency is another method to evoke disbelief or action.

Scarcity influences belief on a lack of supply of a product.

Whereas, urgency influences customers to act fast on something.

Imagine, walking into your favorite clothing shop and a clearance is going on. You resort to buying unnecessary clothes you do not need due to a low supply and bargain prices.

“I have to get this shirt, it’s on clearance.”

“I have to get these shoes, it’s the last one left.”

Scarcity/urgency words: clearance, last one.

Scarcity and urgency Example #1

Check out this magazine print from Ikea.

ikea advertisement with emotional copywriting scarcity and urgency

The print screams scarcity and urgency all over these pages! Let’s break it down together.

First words you see in big, bold, letters: “IKEA FAMILY ONE-DAY PREVIEW SALE” with the date and duration.

“It’s a one-day sale, we have to go to Ikea!”

“The promotion only lasts 24 hours, we have to buy a new table whilst it’s on sale.”

“Only” on March 1.

“Receive a $15 IKEA Gift Card when you spend $150!”

Take a look at the markdowns within the print. You can see the original prices crossed out in a red strikethrough, with a reduced sale price nearby.

Scarcity And Urgency Example #2

Here’s one more example with Costco. Stores are infamous for creating a belief of limited supply for their items. It’s a trick popular during Black Friday.

costco advertisement with emotional copywriting scarcity and urgency

The Costco Black Friday promotional print portrays limited items, which evoke a belief of scarcity.

The words, “online only: Nov 28” influence customers to run to their computers on a specific date.

Next time you see adverts, try spotting these tactics with your eye. They are all over the place.

Effective ‘urgency’ power words: soon, quick, limit, last, now.

Here’s a complete list of ‘urgency’ power words to use in your emotional copywriting.

3. Bring value into their lives through happiness

Customers buy products or services to add value to their lives. Otherwise, they would be wasting their own hard-earned money.

The value feeds their sense of happiness, ego, and satisfaction.

“I can’t live without my beautiful diamond ring, it makes me feel happy.”

“I need my pumpkin spice latte to start my day on the right foot.”

“Take this medicine, I will get my life back, so I will have quality time with my family.”

“Take this medicine, I will live a happy life again.”

Promote the benefits of the product or service and how it can value to people’s lives.

consumer drug advert of happy couple through emotional copywriting
consumer drug advertisement showing emotional copywriting happiness

Effective ‘happiness’ power words: freedom, cure, fulfill, conquer, win.

Here’s a complete list of ‘happiness’ power words to use in your emotional copywriting.

4. Authority

Naturally, people gravitate towards figures of authority when making decisions. We recognize their accomplishments as a reason to validate our thinking they are credible. Because authority figures are considered “experts” or “experienced” when it comes to knowledge in their field.

Would you want want someone to perform eye surgery on your cornea without their license?

Similarly, you probably respond differently to someone of a higher position in an organization. What about someone in uniform like a doctor’s white coat or a firefighter? Does someone with a credential automatically grant authoritative power?

Let’s find out what research says.

A study performed by psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s – tested the correlative measures behind obedience and authority.

The objective of the Milgram Experiment was to assess the psychological inclination of participant’s obedience from figures of authority.

Stanley directed his participants to initiate high-electrical shocks to another person in a different room. The other person receiving the electric shocks was involved with the experiment as an actor to scream in pain. While the participant initiating the shocks was made to believe the shocks were real.

Shocking findings from the Milgram Experiment

  • Majority of the participants executing the electrical shocks complied with Stanley’s orders.
  • Participants continued to follow Stanley’s orders when hearing painful screams.
  • Authority is a potential means to bypass ethics and morals.

A key takeaway from Stanley’s experiment gives insight into the power of authority. Authority justifies our reasoning as compelling evidence to influence our decision-making process.

In copywriting that sells, using authority is as effective to persuade your readers.

There are many types of authority to convey in showcasing what you offer to your readers in your copy.

  • Academic Authority – Titles, degrees, or certifications show you are knowledgeable in your field.
  • Experience Authority – The number of years you have under your belt.
  • Expert Authority – Your knowledge and skill at honing your craft.
  • Ownership Authority – Being a founder or owner of an organization. Someone who makes key decisions.
  • Influencer Authority – One’s knowledge or reputation to influence groups of people.
  • Ranking Authority – Your job title, role in society, and endowment.
  • Results Authority – The track-record of achievements and targets you’ve met.
  • Reward Authority – Honors, mentions, achievements, laurels, and accolades.

Look at WordPress’ landing page where they use authority to convince their readers.

emotional copywriting landing page for wordpress using authorty
  • “The world’s most popular website builder” is a powerful and renowned statement.
  • Less than 40% of the world’s websites use on WordPress. That statistic alone says a lot about the popularity of WordPress.
  • “Bloggers, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies use WordPress.” Now that’s compelling evidence to use the platform!

When you add authority indicators to your copy, you will notice an uptick in your conversions.

Using authority in your copy instills trust and credibility in your readers.

5. Make it personal

Personalization is one of the most powerful emotional copywriting techniques to exist.

Have you ever walked into a store and got the sense of associates only caring about hitting their sales targets?

Whether it be through a lack of customer service or unnecessary upsells, it’s not the most pleasant experience.

Or, how about a time when someone greets you by your name versus an impersonal ‘hey.’

Personal experiences build meaningful connections. They provide real value in creating a positive user experience. It’s what sells your customers.

Making your copy personal in emotional copywriting add value to your readers.

According to research done by McKinsey, personalized copy in has the ability to:

  • increase revenue by up to 15%.
  • cut acquisition costs up to half.
  • boost marketing spends efficiency of up to 30%.

Marketo also performed a study and found 63% of consumers get “highly annoyed” when companies continuously blast generic emails.

After all, no one likes constant emails that fill up their inbox. It’s a cost of time, energy, and you guessed right – emotion.

Personalization Example #1

Here’s an email campaign by Sephora where they used personalized emotional copywriting.

sephora email campaign using emotional copywriting through personalized marketing

It makes sense, not all customers have the same needs, so why would you send them the same promotion?

Personalization Example #2

This one’s a classic.

Back in 2011 in Australia, The Coca-Cola Company introduced its “Share A Coke” campaign.

Consumers were able to buy and share Coke bottles with their names on it.

share a coke campaign using emotional copywriting through personalization on a coke bottle

How cool is that?

Now that is effective emotional copywriting in bringing a personalized user experience!

Reflecting on emotional copywriting

Humans are a big ball of psychological emotions.

It is no wonder effective copy influences our lives.

Remember the last time you bought something because you felt a certain way?

You needed a remedy to fix that emotion, so you acted upon your mood.

We are quite interesting and complex creatures.

So, next time try using emotional copywriting as a strategy to sell your readers.

They will be bound to take action.