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Emotional Copy Drivers that Generate Response

When developing a direct mail campaign, here are the top emotional drivers that bridge the gap between your client’s needs and wants and your company’s product or service. The first seven drivers were defined by Swedish entrepreneur Axel Andersson and Seattle direct marketer Bob Hacker and are outlined in the Denny Hatch’s book Secrets of Emotional, Hot-Button Copywriting. We are including a few others that may fit your campaign.

Fear: Fear is a strong emotion and a powerful motivator. Fear of being left out, fear of being unprepared or losing something, and fear of financial ruin can all stimulate insecurity and provoke action. Once the fear is identified, the company can position their product or offer as the best solution. Immediate action will help alleviate the threat.

Greed: Consumers love getting a deal, whether it’s a free gift, free food, bonus points, or winning a prize. Greed plays on the imagination: inspiring dreams of a more comfortable lifestyle, financial freedom or more vacation time. The company will most likely need to give something away for a chance at something in return from the consumer.

Guilt: Most frequently used in fundraising direct mailers regarding children, animals, healthcare or the hungry. They are designed to make the consumer feel personally responsible.

Anger: Stir the pot and get action. Remind your target audience of an injustice such as high credit card fees and channel their anger into passion that can motivate them into action. Many political campaigns use this approach.

Exclusivity: Who does not want to feel special or included? Exclusivity is often used to help consumers be the first, the best or part of an “insider” club that is entitled to special pricing, behind the scenes extra content and bonuses. The exclusivity should illustrate that not everyone can redeem.

Salvation: In our busy lives, everyone is hoping for easy solutions to fears and worries, such as getting rid of debt or providing a shortcut to losing 20 pounds.

Flattery: Flattery will get you everywhere. Boosting the self-esteem of the consumer by making them feel young, smart or capable can make your offer that much more attractive.

Love: The most basic human emotion. Romance works!

Improved health/well-being: Help the consumer feel healthier, stronger or younger. May be a dietary supplement, a gym membership or meal plan.

Patriotism: Harness national pride.

Nostalgia: Reflecting on the past can bring back fond memories on the part of consumers.

Instant gratification: With resources such as the internet at consumer’s fingertips, they expect immediate response or convenience.

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