Sensory words. Your brain has to work harder without them.
Imagine this scenario.
Your trip to tropical lush Hawaii has finally arrived.
You’re sunbathing on the illuminated, smooth, white sandy beach.
You close your eyes in peace. Smell the crisp sea air. Hear gentle waves crashing on the shallow shoreline.
You haven’t even arrived at your stiff airplane seat yet. You can’t help but keep on breathing in the recycled and musty air.
The new mother behind you can’t get her high-pitched baby to stop crying the whole way through.
Next thing you know… a pulsating migraine behind your eyes.
Are you able to visualize the setting?
Sensory details are also known as sensory words. And they help your readers grasp your text through the use of words that appeal to the human senses.
Sprinkle them around in your sentences to make your copy even more effective!
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” How do convey a clear message to your readers?
This is where sensory details come into play.
Table of contents: The Ultimate List of Sensory Words
- What are sensory words in copywriting?
- Where can you use sensory words?
- Examples of sensory words
- List of sensory words
- Do you see the impact of sensory details?
What are sensory words in copywriting?
Sensory details contain effective words used in helping readers experience copy through powerful visualization using the human senses. They act as tools to foster the imagination process for your readers.
In fact, studies show that certain words stimulate our brains differently than other words. Specifically sensory words, where they activate the somatosensory cortex.
Imagine looking at a black and white photograph.
Now compare that black and white photograph to a colored photo. Where you see more vivid detail, luminescence, and aspect of the image.
Chances are your visual experience is more enhanced looking at the colored photo. Whereas a black and white photo may seem lackluster.
The same concept applies to copy using sensory details. They bring life into your copy that energizes your reader’s experience.
Examples of sensory words
The senses consist of visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, taste, and even kinesthetic qualities:
Sensory ‘sight’ words describe visual elements
Words that describe color, aspect, shape, size, and appearance.
- The fresh pear was lush after a day’s rain.
- The new massive building set a new world record.
- Her cheeks were swollen as soon as her allergies kicked in.
Sensory ‘touch’ words describe texture
- The plant’s leaves were dry and brittle after having no water.
- I’m looking for a scarf as soft as a baby’s skin.
- The chief used a rough stone to sharpen his knife.
Sensory ‘hearing’ words describe sound
- It was dead-quiet in the abandoned house, you could hear your breathing.
- He threw the glass bottle in the bin that made a satisfying clink.
- After the concert, her voice became raspy after screaming so much.
Sensory ‘smell’ words describe olfactory attributes
- The putrid-smelling trash can was left to rot.
- With Spring in the air, the flowers began to release a fragrant aroma.
- Grandma’s house is always musty when we come over.
Sensory ‘taste’ words describe the perception of taste or flavor
- The small pepper tasted spicier than the bigger one.
- I forgot about the toast in the oven that it tasted burnt.
- The green banana wasn’t ready to eat that it tasted bitter.
Where can you use sensory words?
Check out the differences in these sentences with and without the use of sensory words. Keep in mind how you feel after reading each sentence. Are you able to understand one sentence over the other more clear?
- Without the use of sensory words: Window cleaning service for all your glass, inside and out.
- With the use of sensory words: Spotless and shimmering window cleaning service for all your filthy glass, inside and out.
- Without the use of sensory words: In-house guacamole and lime with a side of tortilla chips.
- With the use of sensory words: Fresh-picked guacamole mixed with a juicy punch of lime and a side of crunchy oven-baked tortilla chips.
- Without the use of sensory words: Sorry for the late reply, I have been getting a lot of requests!
- With the use of sensory words: Sorry for the late reply, I have been swamped with massive requests!
- Without the use of sensory words: I teach people how to write better.
- With the use of sensory words: I teach people how to grow their writing skills.
Reviews and testimonials
- Without the use of sensory words: The band performed well.
- With the use of sensory words: The band did a show-stopping performance.
- Without the use of sensory words: How to be confident at work.
- With the use of sensory words: How to radiate confidence at work.
The ultimate list of sensory words
Sight words 👁️
Sound words 👂
Touch words 🖐️
Smell words 👃
Taste words 👅
Do you see the impact of sensory details?
Copywriting is all about communication.
Sensory words link the connection to help your readers easily understand your copy through their senses.
Your sentences need to be structured for a human being with feelings to interpret your copy.
Not a robot.
Copywriting is the art of bringing people together by solving problems through the human senses.
So, it is important to avoid writing one-dimensional copy without sensory words.
You can also combine sensory words with power words to take your writing even higher.
Engage with your readers on a human level with sensory details.