Writing with emotion can be hard. Really hard. Especially when it’s on a subject that’s technical.
I’m speaking from experience. You see, I recently launched an ebook about keeping WordPress sites more secure, and I asked my friend James Chartrand of Men with Pens if I might be able to write a guest post to try and spread the word.
If you’ve been following James’ blog for awhile, you know she doesn’t publish many guest posts, and when she does, her standards are high. The reply to the first article I submitted was, “I’d prefer one that’s less technical and more emotional.”
“Um, it’s WordPress security enhancements.” I think I may have said that out loud.
Now how the heck am I supposed to tell an emotional story about setting up a WordPress Firewall?
I’ll tell you though, it can be done. The story just needs to be told in the right way. It can’t only focus on implementation. After all, the implementation and the “how to” are covered in the ebook.
To write with emotion about WordPress security, I had to get to the Why. And whys can be very emotional.
I’m not a copywriter, nor am I the world’s greatest storyteller. I’m just a guy who knows a thing or two about how to keep your blog safe at night while you sleep. I know what it’s like to wake up one morning with a nightmare you never knew you had.
Telling the “why” from your heart
My wife and I had that nightmare once. Our dream was taken from us by someone we never met, someone who could care less that the website they ruined for us helped put food in our kids’ mouths.
I tried to describe what happened to us, in hopes it might convince others to take action so it wouldn’t happen to them.
My goal in writing the post for James was to convince her readers that the threat of someone breaking into your blog and destroying what you’ve worked so hard at building is real.
In fact, it happens all the time. And it’s getting more and more common.
When I told the “why,” the “how” became easy to sell.
How I learned to become a copywriter (sort of)
The truth is, I’ll never be a great copywriter. I’m just a guy who wants to help people, and to sell some copies of my ebook.
But my understanding of marketing changed when I understood why emotion matters. When you’re getting out there and trying to sell your product or service, you’ve got to connect on a deeper level.
We all hear how you should mention your product’s features, but you really need to glorify the benefits.
Features, Advantages, Benefits (FAB).
Okay great, got that.
But if that’s all you’re looking at, there’s one more piece of the puzzle missing.
You need connection
You can glorify the benefits of your product to customers all day long. And yeah, that might be good enough.
But they also need to connect with you.
If you can not only convey the benefits of your product or service, but also the passion you have to help your customers, especially if you tie that into your own personal story, then you’re that much closer to retiring to Hawaii.
Since I know my limitations, I asked James to tell my story for me.
Reading how James rewrote my own words made me realize just how complex attractive sales copywriting can be. It’s not only about conveying benefits. Nor is it about simply sparking an emotional response.
In fact, it’s not “simply” anything.
To me it’s almost like a mathematical formula (sorry, I have a minor in mathematics). Attractive sales copywriting is about making connections.
Connecting features with benefits. Connecting your “why” story with their problem. Connecting desire to action.
Since Copyblogger readers are some of the best copywriters around, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What other connections do you think are critical when we’re writing to persuade customers to buy?
And how have you used emotion and storytelling to create a stronger message? Let us know in the comments.
About the Author: John Hoff isn’t a copywriter, but he does blog for a hosting company, WP Blog Host and has created a free video mini course on how to secure WordPress from unwanted intruders. He really, really, really hates hackers.