Is Your Product Sold With Emotion Or Intellect?

For all small business owners out there, I’d like to pose a primary question, “Is your product sold with emotion or intellect?”  Now some of you will think this a silly question and immediately answer, “Both!”.  It’s not so silly.


A cruise line needs you to imagine yourself having the time of your life on their cruise.  Everything they say and do uses an emotional (experience-based) appeal.  They show images of exotic ports of call, elegant dining, well-dressed, good-looking people dancing and families having a grand old time.  Other than price, which is downplayed, is anything mentioned to get you to make your decision on an intellectual basis.  All copy is directed to describing wonderful experiences, new friends, and everlasting memories.

Tools, on the other hand, are sold using a strictly intellectual (fact-based) approach.  You’ll read about the fine workmanship, excellent materials, lifetime “replace it if it breaks” guarantees, and testimonials from professionals and “do-it-yourselfers”.  You make your decision based on facts and how the tool fits the your needs.  No “imagining” necessary.


Let’s get a head start.  Below I list, as a guide, products that most often use emotional approaches and those that use intellectual approaches.

Does Your Product Fit The Emotional Or Intellectual Model?


  • Travel
  • Restaurants
  • Clothing
  • Beauty products
  • Wine and Spirits
  • Candy and Snacks
  • Soft Drinks
  • Fragrances
  • Entertainment
  • Books & Magazines



  • Home repair
  • Financial Services
  • Auto Repair
  • High-ticket technology
  • Appliances
  • Professional Services
  • Work Tools
  • Education

P.S. – There are notable products like automobiles or new homes that do use a two-tier approach.  First they use emotion to get people imagining themselves driving the car or living in the home, then use facts and figures to close the sale.

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Continually Educate Your Customers And Prospects

How many times have you heard about the importance of building a strong E-Mail Database?  You hear it so often because it has become an absolute essential for doing business.
Many go to great lengths to get valid e-mail addresses.  Being a marketing consultant in Arizona who also offers online copywriting services, I do it all the time.  I give away lots of free “How-To Tips”; you can get them by signing up on my website ( with your e-mail.  Then I send you more meaningful tips every few weeks.

My clients like this because it refreshes what they learned and prospects that haven’t done business with me yet report they get a lot out of them.
If you can educate both your customers and prospects in a non-threatening way, you will be on the top of their mind when they have need for what you provide.  And that, dear readers, is what marketing is all about.

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As a long-time marketing strategist and copywriter, I love sharing my marketing tips, insights and secrets.  Interested in learning more valuable stuff that could help improve your marketing life?  Go to

Be Believable Or Be Gone – Words and Numbers almost no one Believes

Whether you are writing a website, advertisement, or social media post – take care about the claims you make and the way you communicate them. Using the wrong words or numbers can turn your readers from “on” to “off” in a second.

As consumers, we have all been bombarded with meaningless claims such as “The Most Gigantic Sale In Our History” or “The Best For Less” or “The Rolls Royce Of Whatever-It-Is-We’re-Selling!” Our BS meters are always engaged when looking at advertising.


These types of meaningless claims arouse our suspicions because they are far too general and subjective. Buyers want promises but they want them to have teeth. The teeth come from being specific. What sounds better to you, “The Most Gigantic Sales In Our History” or “Our Biggest Sale In 7 Years. Save 32 – 61% on brands you love”?

The specificity of the latter claim supplies “believability”. Promises or claims that are believable are acted on far more often than puffery, platitudes and clichés.

Equally damaging to consumer response are numbers that no one takes seriously such as, “The #1 Store Of Its Kind In The Metroplex”, “50% less than competing brands”, “5-Star Service” or 1,000 Items To Choose From”.

Stop the bombast and get real! Try the following:

  • Rated #1 in the _____________ survey.
  • Our customers rate our service 4.88 out of 5 stars. (Awesome!)
  • 1,064 items in stock!
  • Save 34% on all Fishing Reels Tomorrow!

Starting to get the picture? Numbers are believable when they are perceived to be real. Stay away from round numbers like 50% or $10,000. Prospects perceive the round numbers as hype and ignore it. What’s more, they ignore you.

Use actual numbers. It’s far easier to believe a 48% discount than a 50% discount, or a rebate of $10,437 than one of $10,000. Why? Because you took the time and trouble to be specific and that shows you respect your audience. One caution though. Be prepared to back up your claim with facts – which should be fairly easy since you’re using “real numbers”.

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I’ve spent a good part of my career as a marketing consultant and freelance copywriter giving small businesses marketing strategy. I enjoy sharing my marketing tips, insights and secrets. To get more valuable tips that could help improve your marketing, go to

Don’t Copy The Mega-Marketers

SBOs (Small Business Owners) are unduly influenced by Mega-Marketers like Proctor and Gamble, Coca-Cola, GEICO and McDonald’s.  They read about them in books, magazines and blogs.  They study their advertisements and try to emulate them (“We should do something like that.”).  And they cause themselves untold grief.

These behemoths of marketing use a formula that, if copied by the average SBO can bring financial ruin.  Their formula is this:  Creativity + Repetition = Awareness.  Boiled down to its essence it says this, “To create Brand Awareness


1. “Grab attention using the most creative, unexpected and provocative images, statements and characters in your advertising
2. Repeat, repeat, and repeat!

When small businesses try to copy that formula they fail because they don’t have the money to carry it out.  C+R=A relies on putting your message in front of your prospect as many times and in as many places as you can.  They can afford the production costs, airtime, and mailing costs.  P&G will spend upwards of $1 Billion and six months to introduce a brand.

If you don’t have their budget, don’t copy their methods.

More Marketing Tips

As a long-time marketing consultant in Arizona, I love sharing my marketing tips, insights and secrets.  Interested in learning more valuable stuff that could help improve your marketing life?  Go to and follow me on Twitter @MA_TWIZDOMS