Touching the Prospect’s Emotions in Your Sales Letter

How can you turn prospects in to happy customers? How do you turn product inquiries into new sales? The secret is to appeal to their emotions. Here’s how to do it.

Your prospect has emotions and you must touch these emotions in your sales letter. Your copy has to excite. Stir curiosity. Generate fear. Create deep desire.

If it doesn’t your copy will fail.

The reason is simple. By and large, it’s emotions that move us. Your prospect might be a man who seems completely unmoved by anything other than cold logic.

Not true.

Even this kind of person won’t act until he’s motivated to do so by his feelings. You must inject emotions in your sales letter for him to want to become a buyer.

You Can Do This By Studying Three Things:

  1. Your Prospect. Determine what kind of a person they are. What is it they REALLY want out of what your product?
  2. All the benefits your product will provide to them.
  3. The match up. The most important “want” (whether it’s a desire to have something or a problem to be corrected) within your prospect determines the primary emotions your sales letter will target. You’re goal is to link product benefits to these emotions.

Sound confusing? It does take a lot of effort. You have to train yourself to think through this process. But you MUST do it. The success of your letter depends on it.

Take your time. Go slowly. Write everything down on paper.


“What is the most important thing my reader wants that will draw them to my copy?”

“What is the primary emotion I must target?”

Give her what she wants. Offer him what he desires.

Does your product fulfill a desire for wealth? Appeal to vanity? Promise protection against a certain fear? Propose to make life easier?

Write the answers down.

Now. How can you use these emotions in your sales letter? What secondary emotions can your copy appeal to? The more emotional buttons your benefits hit upon the better.

You must ask these questions. It takes effort but it’s soooooo worth it.

As you do this you’ll start thinking like a marketer… a seller. You’ll never look at commercials the same way again.

When you learn how to pack emotions in your sales letter those “junk”… er… direct mail packages you receive will become works of art to you.


You’ll recognize the time – – the effort – – the thinking – – that went into crafting some of them.

Ask, ask, and ask again…

  1. Does your prospect want relief from something? (freedom from anxiety)
  2. Are they afraid of something? (fear)
  3. Do they want to feel sexier? (vanity)
  4. Appear to be stronger? (pride)
  5. Have an unfulfilled hope of some kind? (longing for fulfillment)
  6. Are they insecure? About what?

Greed and fear are probably the most targeted emotions in direct mail. Read some ads and see if you can identify the emotions they target.

Is it fear? Fear of what? Loss? Of losing health? Fear of death? Fear of failure? Of just being average… of never amounting to anything? Fear of physical harm? (In order to target fear in your copy the fear has to be realistic… genuine… and specific.)

How about combining benevolence and guilt as emotions in your sales letter? “Who would do that,” you ask? Charity letters and fundraisers do it all the time.

Readers of fundraising letters often feel guilty about not doing enough to help those less fortunate than themselves.

How about insecurity? This emotion often lies underneath other emotions. People are often greedy because they’re insecure about themselves. (The things they buy and show off are really used to cover up an insecurity of some sort.)

There are many emotions. Sometimes it’s hard to know where one emotion stops and another begins.

The following are all potential emotions to stir in your sales letter:

Achieve comfort
Avoid embarrassment
Be among the leaders
Be recognized as an authority
Curiosity / satisfy curiosity
Enjoy health
Gain knowledge
Greed / make money
Insecurity / achieve security / protect future of your family
Laziness / avoid effort
Passion / attract the opposite sex
Pride / gain self-respect
Resist domination of others
Save money / frugality
Save time
Self-reliance / independence
Take advantage of opportunities
Vanity / be popular / social acceptance
Win acclaim

You obviously can’t put all these emotions in your sales letter. Most sales letters target one or two primary emotions and then appeal to one or two others. The more emotions you can blend into your copy though the more powerful your letter will be.

About the Author: Joe Farinaccio is a direct-response copywriter. Joe specializes in writing sales letters and direct mail packages for small and medium sized businesses. To find out how Joe can help you with your advertising, or to learn more about writing sales letters and direct mail packages visit his website at

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