The Emotional Sell

My father’s a storyteller.

You know those people. They’re the kind that can make the most everyday of instances come to life with a couple hand gestures. That’s my dad.

He tells this one story about pulling off an elaborate prank with his friends in university that makes everyone howl. I’d tell it to you myself, but trust me – it won’t be the same.

That’s the thing with storytelling, especially stories that you haven’t experienced for yourself. You may remember the details right, but if you can’t tap into its emotional significance, it won’t be the same. Without emotion, the story falls flat.

You may have noticed this in half-decent public speakers. Sure, their points are well-rehearsed. They may speak clearly and stand up straight and avoid every urge to fidget, but they’re missing one key element: emotion. If the speaker isn’t emotionally invested in what they have to say, then it’s no surprise that the audience isn’t, either.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather listen to a passionate speaker with a couple quirks. I don’t really mind if they pace or touch their hair or say uhm once in a while. If I can tell that they care about what they’re saying, I will give them my attention.

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Emotional Messages in Marketing

I bet you know where I’m going with this.

You’re absolutely right – it’s the same with marketing. With oversaturated markets and brands vying for attention, you better believe authenticity and consistency will speak the loudest. People have a hard time trusting the promises that come from corporate entities. From their perspective, there’s enough evidence to suggest that trusting corporations is a bad idea. Classic marketing messages don’t work in these cases – to the consumer, they’ll come across as unfeeling. Well-rehearsed, but unfeeling. And what consumers are really looking for is an emotional connection.

Practical Advice for Stronger Marketing

Now, I recognize that injecting emotion into your marketing may not seem like an easy task. What if your industry has all the practicality without any of the pop and fizz of a trendy, celebrity-endorsed brand?

It’s still possible.


When you’re creating your marketing messages, it’s always good to remember that you are speaking to real people. These real people have everyday lives and routines – work, carpools, favourite sweaters, and a definitive stance on Coke vs. Pepsi. They’re flesh and bone with stress, joy, and secrets. Sometimes, as marketers, we forget that emotions play a factor in consumers’ decision making. But they should be at the forefront. To create successful marketing messages, marketers must demonstrate that they understand the needs of the consumers they communicate with. That means research and data analysis. You’ve got to know who your customers are in order to speak with the most effective tone. You’ve got to know what they need in order to offer them the right emotional experience.

Once you have your audience’s needs established, it’s as simple as telling them what they need to hear. If your business has something to offer them that will improve their life, or make an unsavoury task easier, tell them. Tell them in a way that helps them recognize the value of your offer. Use emotions to accomplish that. Use words like love, satisfaction, adventure, and connection. Tap into those feelings that consumers can relate to, and watch how the conversation changes. Now, you aren’t just offering them a product or service; you’re offering them a sensation, a solution. That kind of reaction is irreplaceable.

Take a look at your own messaging this week. How much emotion is there? Can your audience connect to it? Let’s risk a little with our content this week – let’s put a little heart in our words.

Want to start creating dynamic, interesting content that your customers want to read? Contact us for a digital marketing consultation.