How To: Sales Letter Template – Understanding Emotions

March 28, 2009 in SEO Copywriting | Comments (0)

Wouldn’t it be nice if you simply followed a template when writing your sales letters? Something a step by step guide to writing effective copy? I’ve struggled with poor copywriting skills and writers’ block for most of my life. But I’ve learned a step by step sales letter technique that makes writing sales copy easy! (I like easy)

In this portion we are going to discuss Emotions. Emotions are the reason why people buy – usually painful emotions, but there are 10 hot points, or emotional angles that you should try to cover, if applicable:

Will this method make things stable in their life? Will it prevent danger?
Does this method make them more appealing to the opposite sex?
Does this method give them control over themselves, their environment, or others?
Will this method extend their life or allow them to leave a legacy?
Will this method make them rich or provide them with a rich lifestyle?
Will this method bring true happiness in any area of their life?
Are you sure this method is safe, assuming other methods are unsafe.
Will this method make them healthy (slim, attractive, strong, smart)
Will this method impress their friends?
Will this method increase time with family or improve relationships?

These are the emotional hotbuttons. The more of these that you can really connect to a customer with, the more likely your sales copy will perform. You do not have to use all of them, but whatever emotional hotbutton you choose to use, describe it very well and really understand how it affects your target audience.

For my writing, I take this list and think about how to integrate each into my sales letter. Then I go to and look up images to help me understand my customer. Are they frustrated? Alone? Tired? etc. I look for pictures that help me visualize this single person, then save them all to a folder. I keep the folder open in thumbnail view as I’m writing my sales copy.

Wikipedia also lists a great table of emotions, which I think is worth reviewing. I go down the list below and check off each one that applies to my audience. Once I know exactly how my audience feels – my writing comes to life (after a few revisions of course).

Here is the list of core emotions:

Emotion Opposite
Joy Sadness
Acceptance Disgust
Fear Anger
Surprise Anticipation
Sadness Joy
Disgust Acceptance
Anger Fear
Anticipation Surprise

Here are some Advanced Emotions to Consider:

Advanced emotion Composed of… Advanced opposite
Optimism Anticipation + Joy Disappointment
Love Joy + Acceptance Remorse
Submission Acceptance + Fear Contempt
Awe Fear + Surprise Aggressiveness
Disappointment Surprise + Sadness Optimism
Remorse Sadness + Disgust Love
Contempt Disgust + Anger Submission
Aggressiveness Anger + Anticipation Awe

Here is the list of emotions sorted by category – I use this list to fully understand the pain of my customers:

Love Affection Adoration, affection, love, fondness, liking, attraction, caring, tenderness, compassion, sentimentality
Lust Arousal, desire, lust, passion, infatuation
Longing Longing
Joy Cheerfulness Amusement, bliss, cheerfulness, gaiety, glee, jolliness, joviality, joy, delight, enjoyment, gladness, happiness, jubilation, elation, satisfaction, ecstasy, euphoria
Zest Enthusiasm, zeal, zest, excitement, thrill, exhilaration
Contentment Contentment, pleasure
Pride Pride, triumph
Optimism Eagerness, hope, optimism
Enthrallment Enthrallment, rapture
Relief Relief
Surprise Surprise Amazement, surprise, astonishment
Anger Irritation Aggravation, irritation, agitation, annoyance, grouchiness, grumpiness
Exasperation Exasperation, frustration
Rage Anger, rage, outrage, fury, wrath, hostility, ferocity, bitterness, hate, scorn, spite, vengefulness, dislike, resentment
Disgust Disgust, revulsion, contempt, loathing
Envy Envy, jealousy
Torment Torment
Sadness Suffering Agony, suffering, hurt, anguish
Sadness Depression, despair, hopelessness, gloom, glumness, sadness, unhappiness, grief, sorrow, woe, misery, melancholy
Disappointment Dismay, disappointment, displeasure
Shame Guilt, shame, regret, remorse
Neglect Alienation, isolation, neglect, loneliness, rejection, homesickness, defeat, dejection, insecurity, embarrassment, humiliation, insult
Sympathy Pity, sympathy
Fear Horror Alarm, shock, fear, fright, horror, terror, panic, hysteria, mortification
Nervousness Anxiety, nervousness, tenseness, uneasiness, apprehension, worry, distress, dread

Go ahead and compile a psychological profile of your customer – it will greatly enhance your sales letter writing!