Why Are Advertisers Raving About This Language Pattern?

by Lou

If you´ve studied copywriting and marketing, you´ve probably come across the advice of getting a prospect´s emotions involved. Unfortunately, many of these instructors don´t tell you how to do it.

There are several ways to get prospects’ emotions stirred. One way is to pile on benefit after benefit of your product, so your readers-listeners mouths start to water.

Another way is to create an emotion scenario. Here you describe in detail with lots of specifics what the prospects will get.. or you commiserate with them, describing the problems in their lives they are experiencing right now.

But there is also a language pattern that can get prospects emotionally excited…..

How (EMOTION) are you about (THEIR SITUATION)?

Some examples…

• “How upset are you about the current job situaton? ”
• “How concerned are you about the state of your carpets? ”
• “How angry are you about the federal government stealing so much tax from you? ”

As you can see, negative emotions have been used here. They tend to have a stronger impact.

This type of question is called a leading question because it leads the reader down the path of where you want them to go. It presupposes they they are experiencing the emotion. This is a powerful pattern. Use it ethically.

Unfortunately, major media stations aren´t so ethical. One time, when he was working at CNN, Lou Dobbs asked his viewers…¨How outraged are you about your government´s immigration policy?¨ Then he went to a commercial break (CNN seems to have many of them). Soon after, he started getting emails from people who were very angry. Clearly, he knew what he was doing.

How concerned are you about Lou Dobbs using this language pattern on his viewers? How outraged are you that CNN shows commercials every five minutes?

(Photo by Stefan Baudy)

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