All buying decisions are made based on emotion. That’s the common sales wisdom, and from my experience, it’s true.


But “based on emotion” ain’t the same thing as “emotional.” A buying decision can FEEL cool, logical, and deliberative and yet still be ultimately determined by an emotional weighing of the facts, issues, etc.


So some purchases feel more emotional than others. This is important because copy that mirrors the felt emotional state of the buyer routinely outperforms copy that misses the mark. BoostCTR writers often see this with their ads for CafePress.


When a person is in search of a t-shirt that will self-identify them as a member of a group — well, that’s a purchase that feels emotional. So copy with a hefty emotional charge wins the day.


Then again, that’s a fashion purchase; would this still be a factor in something like a B2B or larger-scale, considered purchase? It’s an interesting question. Here’s the answer:


Yessiree, permit expediting for construction is a pretty substantive, B2B-style purchase. And yet — probably for the very reason that a lot IS on the line with the purchase — the person making that buying decision feels quite a bit of emotion around it.


So the more emotional copy wins, boosting CTR by 52% based on nothing more than the emotional charge of its copy.


So What’s the Rule of Thumb?


I wish I could tell you the general rule of thumb that would help you figure out the exact level of emotion to put into your ad copy, but that’s just not possible. The only rules of thumb on this are:


1) To be aware that the amount of emotional charge in your copy matters


2) To know that different products, contexts, and ads call for different levels of emotional charge, and…


3) To be willing to TEST based on emotional charge


Yes, Virginia, your ad copy matters. Optimizing ad copy matters. And testing ad variations based on emotional charge is just one more element to test and optimize.