Plato, a classical Greek philosopher, believed the mind was a chariot pulled by 2 horses. The charioteer represents reason with the two horses representing good and bad instinct or emotions. It is the driver who must drive the horses forward but also rein them in and prevent them from overturning the chariot.
Modern neuroscience suggests that the relationship between reason (or logic) and emotion, (or feelings), is much more dynamic than that, and that in fact rather than logic trying to over rule emotion, they are inter- dependent. Emotions plat a vital role, propelling us to act after digesting all the available data.
The word emotion and the word motivation come from the same Latin root, movere, which means to move.
To encourage readers to act you need to create an enticement, a catalyst. I call this an Emotivator. I'll tell you what this is and how to create one, but first, let's talk about emotions.
What are emotions?
Emotions in this context are instinctive feelings as opposed to reason. We think of instinctive feelings as based on intuition that comes from our sub- conscious, working at a level we cannot analyze.
In simpler terms, have you ever made a business decision based on your gut feeling? Sometimes, even after weighing all the evidence between two courses of action, you know your choice is based on something more than logic. A positive feeling that engaging company A’ services is the right choice, even though there is nothing to suggest that company B can’t do the job.
You feel more positive about Company A.
We use emotion to form opinions and these enable us to act.
If you were to make decisions simply based on weighing up the pros and cons, decision making becomes almost impossible. With unlimited variations you would never reach a conclusion, never have an absolute winner.
Emotion kicks in to help us form opinions based on the data we’ve collected.
How do you use this information in copywriting for your farm business?
You need to stimulate an emotional response.
When you are writing copy for your farm customers or potential customers, you can present all the benefits, have glowing testimonials, and a strong call to action but if you don’t engage the reader and stimulate an emotional response, then they won’t take the action you suggest.
Engaging readers and customers is a popular mantra in the marketing and communications world, but what does it actually mean?
It means provoking that positive emotion around your farm products or services.
The easiest way to do this, is to show that you understand the customer and her dilemmas and that you have the perfect solution. You can do this by creating a Emotivator .
What is an Emotivator?
An Emotivator is a sentence or phrase that you can use on your leaflets, business cards and in your email signature. It is a crucial line in your sales letter or web sales page.
It is not a tag line, as its focus is not to sum up your brand or premise of your business. It is more like a musical hook, designed to catch the ear of the listener and encourage them to read on.
The Emotivator must do three things:
- Who: It must attract people that you can genuinely help with your products or services.
- Before: It must identify these peoples’ current situation, their problems or aspirations.
- After: It must hint at how life will be after you use the product or service. The hint must intrigue the reader and entice her to read on.
The purpose of this is very simple. You want these people to realise this message is for them and only them, then to feel that the writer understands precisely where they are and where they want to be in terms of your product or service. Finally the Emotivator must offer an enticing picture of a better future situation as a result of using your product or service.
The response to a good Emotivator is almost subconscious and crucially if someone reads your message and that person isn’t in your target audience, then there may be no reaction at all. That’s fine. You don’t need the people who are never going to buy to be moved by your copy.
Examples of Emotivators
Who – food businesses
Before – copy not working
After – copy attracting paying customers
Turning stale content into fresh sales
CCTV and alarm systems for farmers
Who – farmers
Before – unprotected farm, afraid of losing valuable stock or equipment
After – sleep easy
Keeping watch all over your farm so you can sleep easy
How to create your Emotivator
- Define who you want to attract.
- Think about your business from the cusotmers point of view
- Where are they at now. The Before. Think about their issues. Isolate the problem: them most pressing problem.
- What feeling does the problem produce – e.g. Irritation, fear, rage, longing, disappointment etc.
- How does that manifest? e.g. Jumping at noises, disturbed sleep
- How can you solve that problem/change this? e.g. an alarm gives someone else the task of being the night watchmen.
- What feeling will the solution bring? Relief, joy, peace of mind, gratitude etc. Sleep easy
Practise developing an Emotivator for your farm service or product and then test it out. You’ll know if it’s working because people will say, ‘how do you do that?’.
© Juliet Fay 2011.
If you run a farm based or rural enterprise, you can get more articles like this on farm marketing and copywriting direct to your inbox twice a month, by subscribing here.
You'll also get updates on workshops and e-books that will help you understand more about your customers and how to connect with them.
If you like this article, feel free to share it with your own list, post it on your site, on your blog, or add it to your autoresponder. As long as you leave it intact and do not alter it in anyway. All links must remain in the article. No textual amendments permitted. Only exception is Twitter.
Workshops and Training
New! for 2012 – Business writing for an interactive audience
Currently I am developing a new course for business owners who want to improve their understanding of business writing techniques and get practical help to make writing easier. The course will combine workshops, home study and online support. I am looking for your input to decide on the focus for this first intensive course.
What are the 3 most things you find most difficult in your business writing?
Please add your thoughts to the blog post on my site.