Whether you’re crafting an email pitch, a sales letter, or an ad, the task of writing compelling copy is a common challenge. Perhaps you’re writing to solicit support for a product or service. Or maybe you’re aiming to promote an event or initiative. No matter what your reason for writing, it’s important to include words that evoke an emotional response in your potential audience. After all, that’s how you intend to make a lasting impression.
What is the Emotion Wheel Technique?
The Emotion Wheel technique was developed by HubSpot’s Senior Copywriter and Brand Specialist Elle MacLeman. A while back, MacLeman created a quick how-to guide for describing the technique, which you can review here. Essentially they way it works is by taking an element of an emotional experience and spinning it into descriptive copy to capture your audience’s attention and compel them to take action. For instance, if you’re trying to convince someone to buy your product, you might want to utilize concepts of novelty, nostalgia, and reward to describe the experience of using the product or service you’re selling. Doing this effectively will bring vivid, concrete images to mind for your reader, and make them more receptive to your message. The following sections will walk you through each step of the way.
Take A Whirl
To get started, you’ll need to take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and set the stage for what you’re going to write. Begin by reviewing your purpose for writing. Is it to persuade someone to purchase a product or service You’re selling? Or are you writing to inform, entertain, or engage your audience?
Now, you might not feel completely comfortable pitching an emotional response to a stranger you’ve never met, so it’s important to note here that this technique is primarily aimed at boosting your sales, not at creating a sob story. As MacLeman states in their guide, the key is to make the reader feel as if they’re experiencing the emotion you’re trying to evoke. So, if you’re writing to inform your audience of the benefits of a product or service, you might consider using language that evokes a sense of awe, like “the spectacular display of stars at dusk,” or “the feeling of being overwhelmed with gratitude at being chosen to be a part of something so special.” You could also choose to describe how the product or service has changed your life for the better. But, in this case, you might want to temper that with a sense of curiosity, as you want the reader to see beyond your words and truly feel what you’re trying to convey.
Set The Scene
As you’re preparing to write, you can further polish your piece by setting the scene. What is the environment you’re in? Is it a luxurious hotel room, a quaint little café, or a dimly lit bar?
You might want to consider the atmosphere you’re in when selecting your words. Do you mean to evoke images of splendor in your readers or an evening out in a pub? You need to be careful not to put yourself in a situation where you might embarrass yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable writing about yourself or the topic at hand in a social setting, maybe you’re better off avoiding those words entirely.
Create Your Characters
Humans naturally respond to fictional characters with a feeling of empathy. We project ourselves into the minds of others and experience what they’re experiencing. So, when you’re putting your thoughts into words, you should consider what you would say if you were in the same situation. This will help you choose the right words and put you in the right frame of mind when writing. It might also mean that you have to change some of the terminology you’re using. After all, the words you choose can determine how your audience will respond. And in situations where you’re trying to convince someone to buy a certain product, you might have to alter the message a bit to suit your purposes. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to get real. It’s important to remember that your reader is not a robot and they’ll recognize when you’re trying to manipulate them. So, as you’re crafting your piece, be sure to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and consider how you would feel if you were in the same situation.
Describe Your Characters’ Emotions
If you’re writing to persuade someone to buy a particular product or service, you need to make sure that you’re keeping their attention. The best way to do this is by evoking an emotional response in your audience. To create a sense of novelty and curiosity, you could write about how the product or service you’re promoting is new and different from what your readers are used to. And to make them interested in what you have to say, you could describe a scenario where they could apply what you’re teaching them. So, if you’re writing to persuade someone to purchase a product for their business, it might be a good idea to write about a time when you felt insecure about your abilities, or a situation where you felt out of place or unappreciated. All of these are examples of the kinds of emotional responses that might make someone interested in what you have to say.
Describe Your Characters’ Thoughts
In addition to describing their emotions, you should also make sure to give your readers descriptions of your characters’ thoughts. If you’re trying to convince someone to purchase a product or service, you’re more likely to succeed if you can make them see your message as a reasonable solution to a problem. To do this, you could start by presenting them with the downside of their current situation before presenting your solution. For example, you might write, “Today, people commonly experience anxiety before an important event like a sales call or an interview. But what if I told you there was a way to decrease your anxiety before those important meetings?” By taking this approach, you’re not only making them see your point of view, but you’re also showing them that you understand where they’re coming from. This is crucial in any interpersonal relationship.
As you’ve probably guessed, the last step is to bring it all together. With the details you’ve gathered and the atmosphere you’ve created, you can step back and reread your piece. Is everything in order? Are the details supporting the main idea? Is the language easy to understand? Does everything hang together well?
If you’ve followed these guidelines and used the right words, you can rest assured that your piece will be compelling. You might also consider experimenting with different styles and sounds to see which ones work best for you. And don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. As long as you’re willing to listen, people will generally be glad to help. Remember, your goal is to create something that will engage and convince your audience, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.