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Rookie Mistake: Emotion Through Hype Words

Hey theres!

It’s time we looked at one of the most common ‘rookie mistakes’ in copywriting.

It’s an easy mistake to make, and even easier to confuse with something real and effective.

I’m talking about the mistake of trying to elicit emotion in the prospect by over-using power words etc.

Creative Commons License photo credit: joelogon

You know: Cash-Sucking Vacuum Cleaners On Steroids Exploding Your Brain While Emptying Your Wallet… you get the picture 😉

Make no mistake, word choice is VERY important in copy, and you do need to know how to use power words in carefully chosen places to elicit a very specific response.

In fact, it was one of the last things I really learned to do as I was learning the art and craft of copywriting.

But the newcomer easily mis-interprets this as the sole way to elicit emotion in the reader.

After all, everyone keeps telling you how the sale is dependent on the emotion you’re able to drum up, right?

Well, wrong. Kinda.

So here’s the cure.

I’ll explain.

Instead of trying to elicit the emotion directly using copious amounts of power words – which makes it look like blatant advertising AND takes away from the clarity of the piece – pick the most powerful benefit and write around that.

If you’ve done your research, you probably have a list of dozens of benefits. But it doesn’t mean you should use them all… just the best ones.

If you don’t think you have any really strong benefits to work with, there’s something seriously wrong with either the product or your research.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage that in copywriting, you shouldn’t try to CREATE a desire for a product or a solution, but to channel an existing one.

That’s exactly what this is about.

Now check out these headlines:

New Visa Card Lets You
Buy Almost Anything In
The World… Even If…
Your Credit Is Terrible And You
Can’t Get A Bank Account!

Not a power word in sight, yet it plays to the ultimate benefit of the product. Result: emotion, more emotion and salivation. 🙂

Another one:

How Wealthy Senior
Citizens Buy Life
Insurance… And… Make
A Substantial Profit From
It… While… They Are Still

These legendary headlines were written by Gary Halbert, as far as I’m aware. One of my biggest influences for sure.

See how these headlines have ZERO power words, and yet they create not only incredible emotion, but almost illegal level interest in the product?

And by illegal, I mean the benefit is written up so that it almost seems like it should be illegal, but obviously isn’t.

Everybody wants in on a loophole.

Time and again, the most emotion-creating benefit, hook and angle is found during research. You just need to have the patience and the awareness to look for it, and grasp it when it stares you in the eye. A great benefit explained, wins over emotion every single time.

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