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Episode 061 - Accessing Emotion Part 1

Published by: David Garfinkel on 06-18-2018

Direct marketers usually hate TV commercials, because they give a bad name to advertising as we see it. That is, they don’t truly sell.

But sometimes I like them – not as advertising, really, but as works of art. There’s a very intriguing commercial running right now for Alfa Romeo, the luxury Italian sports car. What intrigues me the most is their tagline. In Italian, it’s La Meccanica Delle Emozioni. And, it’s trademarked. A close translation of the phrase is: “The Mechanics of Emotion.”

Today we start our occasional series called Accessing Emotion. And for today’s show, I don’t want to step anywhere near Alfa’s trademarked phrase, but I’m inspired by it. So we’ll call what we’re going to talk about today: Emotional Action Sequences, Part 1.

Emotional Action Sequences are proven templates for adding sales-enhancing emotion to your copy. They’re easy to use and I’ll share some powerful ones with you today.

But first, and I hope I don’t get too emotional about this:

Copy is powerful. You’re responsible for how you use what you hear on this podcast. Most of the time, common sense is all you need. But if you make extreme claims… and/or if you’re writing copy for offers in highly regulated industries like health, finance, and business opportunity… you may want to get a legal review after you write and before you start using your copy. My larger clients do this all the time.

Emotional Action Sequences

What They Are

Templates for telling simple stories in your copy that lead your prospects through different defined and predetermined powerful emotions. They serve two purposes.

First, to get your prospects “out of their heads” and into their feelings. (Emotion: In music. In movies. To motivate anyone to do anything. Necessary in Buying.)

Second, these particular emotions, in these sequences, will not only get prospects into their emotions. They will get into particular emotions that make them much more likely to buy.

Their Origin

I developed these for my $5000-a-seat Breakthrough Copywriting seminar in Las Vegas. After I gave the people there a 10-year head start on the marketplace, I released them in my book Breakthrough Copywriting, which went on to be a #1 bestseller. People have told me they are so useful that I though I would share some of them on the podcast.

How You Can Find More Of Them

Available for about 12 bucks on Amazon, as a Kindle or a paperback.

Why You Need To Know Them

I critique copy for a wide variety of copywriters and business owners. Last year I did 5 to 10 critiques a month for GKIC. I work with Agora Financial. I also have individual mentoring and critique clients from all over the world.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, but one thing I’ve noticed nearly all copywriters have in common is not enough effective, believable emotion. Sometimes there’s nothing there at all – it’s too logical. Sometimes it’s so over the top that it’s not believable. And often it’s so sappy and contrived that it just doesn’t ring true. It ruins the magic of the rest of the copy.

The Emotional Action Sequences can help you make your copy more natural and believable, by using everyday situations in a very powerful way.

Today’s Selection: Three Breakthrough Copywriting Emotional Triggers

• Breakthrough Copywriting Emotional Trigger 1: “Anger to Envy to Offer”

The psychology of the trigger: Anger and jealousy are two of the most powerful motivators known on Earth. A therapist might tell you they are not healthy emotions, but nobody would argue that they are not widespread. And no matter how emotionally well-balanced we think we are as individuals, they are common to all of us.

Nathan, let’s say you and I had a business specializing in helping frustrated corporate refugees start there own businesses. We could use this trigger as part of our copy:

The company Terri worked for posted record profits this year, so it really stung when she was turned down for a raise for the third year in a row. She was steaming because the division she ran had brought in more money to the company than anyone else.

To rub salt in the wound, Wanda got a sizeable raise and a huge promotion. Terri suspected that was because Wanda spent a lot more time practicing office politics than she did producing for the company.

Terri called it The Wanda Insult. She was so mad at the unfair treatment that resolved to start her own business to make things right. And the first people she contacted was us, since we specialize in helping people who were superstars for someone else become superstars in their own business.

• Breakthrough Copywriting Emotional Trigger 2: “Appeal To People’s Sense of Larceny”

You might think good people don’t steal, and you might be right. But what people who have self-control actually do and what they really want to do are often not the same thing!

When I say “appeal to people’s sense of larceny,” I don’t mean sell them instructions on how to rob a bank. The psychology of this trigger has some much more socially acceptable names: “Getting good value for your money,” “Never paying retail,” even “getting something for free!”

Fact is, if you can show someone how they can get away with paying less, or even nothing at all, for something they want – in a story – you will stimulate powerful urges that can propel them to buy what you are selling.

Here’s an amusing example, I heard on the radio yesterday. It was an ad for, a home security company. It was for home security cameras. First they talked about no contracts, no wires – and then the announcer said,

“You can get three of our cameras for what the other guys charge for one. Plus, use this special code and we’ll give you a 15% discount.”

Selling burglar alarms by appealing to people’s sense of larceny. I think that’s ironic! But that’s exactly what they were doing.

• Breakthrough Copywriting Emotional Trigger 3: “Factual Format For Emotionally Provocative Language”

This is one of my favorites, because it is so convincing. You use the objective language of journalism to establish believability with facts, and you continue to present your information in the factual format of a newspaper article. But notice how the copy gradually transitions into a lot of emotion, which prepares the prospect to be receptive to your offer.

This could be for a diet information product:

A diet followed by everyday people in Europe for centuries is sweeping the United States like wildfire – and people who could never lose weight before are having some success with it.

Called the Mediterranean Diet, this traditional European way of eating has been keeping millions of people fit and healthy for generations with little fanfare. But Americans who have just discovered it are melting belly fat and dropping dress sizes in weeks. And they are shouting from the rooftops!

- Notice how it goes from facts in the first three sentences to highly emotional language in the last sentence

But Americans who have just discovered it are melting belly fat and dropping dress sizes in weeks. And they are shouting from the rooftops!

- But the factual format remains the same. Makes the wild claims more believable!


You need to provoke emotion to get people in a buying mood. What we talked about today provides an easy way to do that.

Three Emotional Action Sequences:

- Anger to Envy to Offer

- Appeal to People’s Sense of Larceny

- Factual Format for Emotionally Provocative Language

How to Get The Complete Set Of All 11 Breakthrough Copywriting Emotional Triggers

They’re all in Chapter 10 of Breakthrough Copywriting. 12 other chapters as well!

Keywords: emotionally driven copywriting people buy based on emotions

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