People Buy on Emotion and Justify With Logic

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One of the biggest mistakes people make when they write copy for websites is assuming that the person reading the copy is a logical machine. Not a chance.

Regardless of whether you think you are marketing to small business owners, consumers or huge corporations, your copy is being read by a living, breathing, flawed, emotional human being.


I enjoyed your presentation at the TC Web Pros meeting very much.  I learned a lot about how to write for the web.  It makes me want to re-write every website I've ever created.  I'll probably just stick to re-writing my own though!

Michelle Adams
Michelle Adams Web Design

And human beings make decisions based on their emotional response to your copy and then justify it with logic.

How do you tap into their emotions?

There are magic words that tap into people's emotions. Phrases like:

  • “Does it frustrate you…”
  • “Doesn't it make you angry…”
  • “Imagine what your life would be like…”
  • “How would you like it if…”
  • “What would it mean to you to be able to…”
  • “Wouldn't it make your life easier…”

You have to connect with your reader on an emotional level. Either tie your product or service to a positive emotion or as a solution that removes the pain of a negative emotion.

You can talk about features and benefits all day long but if your reader doesn't “feel” a solution to their problems, you won't “see” a sale.

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Emotions are scary

A lot of people I write for are afraid of anything that might elicit an emotional response. They are so afraid of it that they demand I write completely emotionless, third person lists of features and benefits.

But I ask you, when you meet a potential client or customer for the first time, do you shake their hand warmly, smile, look them in the eye? Why? To remain aloof and distant? No, to make a personal contact and elicit trust.

As I've iterated before, a brochure in the hands of a skilled sales person is a valuable weapon. A brochure dropped on a desk or slipped under a door with no human selling always ends up in the same place. The round file.

Don't create an emotionless brochure site that doesn't connect with your customer or client's feelings. They'll have no reason to stay.

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