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Emotional Copywriting Revealed by Timothy S Van Milligan

In my review of

Emotional Copywriting Revealed by Timothy S Van Milligan

on Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A revealing look at emotions and how they can be used in copywriting

You’ve probably heard the maxim that people buy emotionally and then justify the purchase logically.

If you watch your own purchase decisions, you’ll see that there’s a lot of truth in it (although the thinking fast and slow issues also apply) so the issue becomes, how do you use emotion in your marketing to help encourage potential customers to buy? This book goes some of the way to answering that question.

I admit that it’s a problem for me because I’m more logical than emotional or at least I suppress my emotions. The author admits that he had a similar problem which is why he started a long research project into the subject.

The first problem is identifying emotions that impact on buying decisions.he falls back on the work of well known psychologist and influence specialist Kevin Hogan who has identified ten buying emotions. These can be groups into the two NLP categories of moving towards a gain/pleasure or moving away from pain.

The author then goes on to look at each of the ten emotions by defining the emotion and then looking at how it impacts on marketing together with including some sample campaigns.

If you’ve read other copywriting books, you’ll recognise some of the headlines but, if you’re like me, you might not have recognised which emotions they are targeting. He sometimes talks about TV advertisements and these don’t cross the Atlantic as well because they weren’t familiar to me and therefore didn’t have the meaning that he hoped.

I also found some of the links to the underlying emotions tenuous but that might be because I’m not yet familiar with looking beyond greed (not an emotion according to the author) to what drives it.

I thought the book made too many references to the Personality Marketing Manual, a $350 resource that has more of the answers.

A better book would have brought more material in and charged a higher price. I can’t believe many people will make the jump and I found it frustrating to be regularly reminded that I was only being told part of the story as different personalities will respond to different emotional pitches in different ways.

I also found references to the Myers-Briggs personality test indicators frustrating because these won’t stick in my mind.

However I think the e-book at the current 99p level is well worth buying and spending the time thinking about and learning these ten emotions. If people do buy emotionally and justify rationally, then you can’t afford to ignore or downplay emotional issues.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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