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  • How to write emotionally charged ad copy and improve ad performance

We know that emotions influence our purchases, it’s at the core of consumer decision making both online and offline. 

There is an increasing amount of research that shows emotive ad copy has a positive impact on performance. It increases Click Through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate and improves ad Quality Score. According to research from PsychologyToday, it’s the emotional part of an ad that people respond to most. Executed correctly (which is key) it can help your brand connect to your target audience better, whilst improving overall performance. 

An analysis of 1,400 successful ad campaigns found that those with purely emotional content performed nearly twice as better (31% vs. 16%) as those with non-emotive content. 

emotional-vs-rational (1)

(image from www.neurosciencemarketing.com)

The research makes sense. When we relate to something on an emotional level it captures our attention and makes us intrigued to find out more. This is why including emotive language should be considered for your ads, and all aspects of your online advertising.


4 key benefits of including emotions in ad copy 

1. Your ads will stand out against your competitors

See for yourself! Search for some of your keywords and it’s likely competitors will be using similar ad copy. By using emotions in your ads you will be able to stand out in the crowd.

2. Your overall ad performance will increase 

Better performing ads = more chance of being at the top of search engine results. 

3. Your brand becomes more memorable

When ads are different and send an emotive message they are more likely to be remembered by the searcher. There’s also a better connection between the brand and audience, building stronger customer relationships and brand loyalty overtime. 

4. Your ads become cheaper due to increased performance

As ad performance improves, your Quality Score will also increase bringing down the cost-per-click (CPC). Quality Score is based on the following attributes:

  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group.
  • Your click-through rate (CTR).
  • Landing page quality and relevance.
  • The relevance of your ad text.
  • Your historical Google Ads account performance.

The better the Quality Score of your ad, the lower the CPC will be!


What emotions should you use in your ads? 

It’s a good question.

On the surface it may seem wise to stick to positive emotions. However, it turns out both positive and negative emotions do a good job at improving the response to ads. 

The type of emotions you want to target will depend on your product, brand TOV and overall message you want to put out there. 

Firstly, your ad needs to serve its purpose. This is why your campaign structure is key. You want your ad and the emotions you try to tap into to feel relevant for the searcher, otherwise it won’t have the same positive impact. 

Only when you know your ads purpose, can you introduce copy that taps into one (or more) of the following 4 emotional states:

Fear (and The Fear Of Missing Out)

We know that fear forces us to choose between fight or flight for self-preservation, and this same emotion can be provoked through ad copy. It links to positive self-identity and encourages people to take action, this could be purchasing or signing up. 

You can also use the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). We’ve all seen FOMO used in a social context, but it also applies to consumerism, and the lengths people take to not miss out. 

An example of this would be a trend lead fashion consumer who fears missing out on the latest trends. Here are some examples of how you can use this in ads

  • Add a sense of urgency with messaging such as ‘Get it Or Regret It’ ‘Selling Out Fast, Don’t Miss Out’ or ‘Only One Space Left’
  • Mention how many people are already benefiting from it or have signed up
  • Make it a limited offer to where you are advertising, e.g. Facebook or Google

Instant Gratification 

Our need for instant gratification is increasing. Research by Entrepreneur shows it’s become expected in many contexts. Adding a sense of urgency in your ad copy e.g. ‘Only 24 Hours Left’ will encourage users to click through and purchase.


Research by Wordstream shows that affirmation, and positive emotional triggers in general have a positive impact on performance. Affirmations make the ad feel more personal, as though you have written it for an individual rather than a wider audience. 

The graph below shows how promotion and flattery copy including in ads generates the best CTR. By including a promotion alongside a positive affirmation you can increase performance and better connect with your audience.


(Image source: Wordstream)


It won’t be the right emotion to target for all brands, but capitalising on anger and the searchers feelings has been shown to increase CTR and Conversion Rate. Here’s some tips on how you can implement this effectively:

  • Let your audience know you’re on their side. 
  • Add a sense of urgency to resolve the situation that may be causing them anger.
  • Show how your product/ service can resolve anger and change it for the better.

Results show us that using emotions in ad copy has a positive impact on results, but it’s also important to think about whether the ad actually warrants emotion to perform. Sometimes it won’t make sense for a particular ad group or search area, so bear this in mind when thinking about incorporating emotional language into your ad copy.


How To Include Emotion In Ads (The Right Way!)

There’s a fine line when using emotions in ads. 

Depending on where you are advertising, you’re likely to have limited space to share your message, and every character counts! Although we know the benefits of using emotive language in ads, many advertisers still steer clear and play it safe, as it can be difficult to get right.

When it comes to creating great emotive ads you need to consider the following:

  1. The audience you are targeting 
  2. The product/ service you’re providing to them
  3. The emotions evoked without your product/ service

When creating ads and including emotion, always refer back to your audience and consider how the ad may be received. 

Remember it’s important to analyse and continue to test your ads efficacy. Emotions are subjective, so reviewing ad copy will be the best way to find out whether your audience is responding positively or negatively. 

Lastly, as with all ads it’s important to make sure your landing page will match your audience's expectations, and is relevant to the message in your ad. If your ad has a high CTR but a low Conversion rate, you may need to tweak your landing page to generate better results. 


Expert PPC Advice 

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