Writing an ad or direct mail piece requires a balance between facts and emotions.

In writing to certain individuals, specific facts are needed or the sale/lead won’t be generated. Others will respond best to a highly emotional piece.

Some of the great fundraising pieces are heavy with emotion from start to finish. This audience is “conditioned” to respond to an emotional style of marketing. Of course, there are also facts and details integrated into the emotional copy.

Most promotions to engineers at their business address rely heavily on facts and much less on emotion, but a successful piece will include some emotional copy.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes business-to-business marketers make is not using enough emotion, even when they do follow the proper direct response techniques. Using graphs, drawings, specs and a data sheet will kill or cripple your response if the right amount of emotion usually found in key benefits is not properly used.

Here are some guidelines for the proper utilization of facts and emotions in your copy:

  1. Fact: We live in an age of information and skepticism. Any marketing piece today needs to use specifics and facts in back up its advertising claims. Here are some examples…

First, a business-to-business fact-based approach I used for Personnel Policy Review. Note its use of emotion integrated with facts:

All across the country, small and large employers alike are getting hit with higher and higher jury awards given to disgruntled employees. You’ve read the stories:

– $124 million award to a $93k/year financial officer for wrongful discharge by a Southwestern energy company…believed to be the largest wrongful discharge verdict for a single employee.

– $20.3 million awarded in Martin vs. Texaco for sex discrimination over a promotion.

– $465,000 awarded by a jury to an employee terminated because of her supervisor’s negative statements during her performance appraisal.

– $710,000 jury verdict in a sexual harassment case. The court found the employer knew or should have known of the supervisor’s abusive behavior.

Note how the specific examples make a powerful point.

So many campaigns have failed because this concept is not understood. Here is an example for a health consumer product:

Let me warn you of what may be the greatest unseen health danger facing the American public in decades. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), you have a shocking 51% chance of being misdiagnosed in a U.S. hospital today. Why? Doctors in these institutions often fail to treat the whole person. Instead, they frequently treat symptoms – causing a dangerous, even deadly domino effect.

You see, it is common to treat symptoms with powerful drugs. But if the diagnosis is wrong, you stand a good chance of getting an unnecessary, incorrect or even a dangerous drug. The wrong drug treatment can lead to other symptoms and health complications, which are treated with more drugs…and so on. This can lead to an endless cycle of frustration and pain…a problem so widespread it has its own name: iatrogenic disease – doctor or drug-induced disease.

This piece went on to be the client’s all-time best promotion.

  1. Theme: An ad or direct mail piece must have a key theme. The best promotions have one specific theme that drives the campaign. This theme runs through from beginning to end.

Facts, features and emotional benefits are used to build your theme.

I created a business-oriented piece for the Speech Recognition Newsletter, using the theme “5 Surprising Speech Recognition Developments: Forecasts, Breakthroughs, Warnings & Opportunities.”

This theme was underscored by subheads such as “You’ll be among the first to know the inside stories on the hottest products, issues, opportunities and breakthroughs,” and was reinforced throughout the body of the letter.

  1. Benefits: All features must be turned into benefits. If a feature is important and supports the theme, don’t let it dangle. Turn the feature into a benefit. Show how an important benefit is obtained from one specific feature. This creates emotion within your presentation.

Here’s an example I created for Sun Chlorella:

Increase your energy and reduce fatigue, with a 100% natural Sun Chlorella body tune-up.  

One of the greatest benefits of Sun Chlorella is that it can help increase your energy and ‘fine-tune’ your body. Just like a car needs a periodic tune-up, Sun Chlorella gives you a natural body tune-up. 

Remember, Sun Chlorella offers you a very high degree of nucleic acids (RNA and DNA). And RNA is vital for producing proteins, enzymes and energy.

Angela Miller of California puts it this way: I am 70 years old and am energetic and vigorous. I credit this to taking Sun Chlorella. Previously, I had trouble having the energy to do all there is for me to do , plus work four hours and be able to stay awake after dinner.

Now, that is all in the past.

When you take Sun Chlorella, you take the rich nucleic acids that are produced during the chlorella cell’s rapid multiplication, along with all the supplemental nutrients the cell contains.

You are harnessing the energizing power of this wonderful food.  

As these 3 guidelines show, the battle over facts vs. emotions is less than a battle over marketing philosophies and more of what style is appropriate to the target audience.

Most prospects will respond favorably if the presentation is both emotionally and intelligently presented.

No prospect is void of emotion – not even the most hardcore science-minded prospect. Some prospects just need that stimulus more than others. But all need these three guidelines to be fulfilled in order for you to maximize response.

If you’d like to discuss your copy approach, give me a call at (310)212-5727 or email Caleb at caleb@cdmginc.com.



Here are the rest of this week’s articles: