Growing up we’ve all heard “Don’t be too emotional” a number of times. Even as adults we steel ourselves with phrases such as – “If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t show your feelings”. Perhaps, we’ve even given the advice ourselves? Emotions are bad and must be kept hidden or else, all hell will break loose.
Emotions sellAdvertising experts know that emotions sell. People respond to emotions. We remember commercials that make us cry, laugh and think. To make a campaign ad successful, it has to touch people enough to want to do something, whether it is to pick up the phone to give a donation or to order that delicious-looking pizza you’ve just seen on TV.
If you could translate that into your writing, you won’t have to worry about boring your audience. So yes, this is the time to unearth all that pent-up emotions you’ve been hiding, because guess what, you might actually earn from them!
Choose the Right EmotionBegin with yourself: what makes you cry, angry, sad, hungry or laugh? When choosing a book, do you go for romance, suspense or crime novels? If you can’t even decipher your own feelings, you won’t be able to translate this into paper. Once you’ve chosen the right emotion, your readers will be hooked.
Begin with a strong EmotionPut a strong emotion to catch your reader’s attention in your headline. Pick a feeling and try to stay focused on that particular feeling all-through out your writing.
For example, your latest assignment is a travel article on the city of Venice. Will you try to evoke romance? Romance will always sell, yes. Who doesn’t want to fall in love? The only problem is - it’s trite. It’s been used a million times.
BrainstormThink of all the other romantic cities in the world like Paris and Rome among others. So what makes Venice any different - apart from the gondolas and the birthplace of Casanova? Think – global warming or sea level rising, yes! Venice is slowly sinking!
In fact, experts say that it is sinking five times faster than previously reported. Lines like -Visit Venice before it disappears, gives us a sense of urgency, it catches the readers attention at once. If they’ve never been to Venice before, the title makes them want to visit it before the sea swallows it up, even if at the back of their heads they know that this probably won’t happen in our lifetime.
Call for ActionNow you have them by the scruff of the neck and they are actually thinking of their next available vacation. Before their attention drifts away with nagging thoughts like, I can’t do it. I’ve just got too much work on my hands right now, collar them again and try to win them back this time with a call for action. Make them want to fast-forward to surfing the net for the cheapest available flights to Venice. Who knows, they might even book their tickets?
Emotional BlackmailYes, that’s what it’s called. Writers, singers and advertisers do it all the time. They bleed you dry till they get what they want from you. And it works, why do you think people do it every day in their lives?
So go ahead and use emotional blackmail (in a good way) to hook your audience. However, keep it all in writing. In real life, be nice.