Appeal to Consumers' Five Senses Your copy should stimulate a sensory reaction that compels readers to buy.

By Susan Gunelius

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The key to writing effective copy is crafting compelling descriptions to make consumers think they can't live without the product being advertised. Copywriters use a wealth of adjectives and descriptive phrases to personalize a product and give it meaning. The most successful copywriting uses descriptors that appeal to consumers' five senses of smell, touch, taste, sight and sound.

Create the Consumer Experience
The reason copy must appeal to the five senses is simple. Consumers can hear or see what the product being advertised can do for them, but they can't experience it first-hand. The copywriter's job is to create the user experience for consumers by stimulating their five senses. In other words, effective copy allows consumers subconsciously to smell the product, touch it, taste it, see it and hear it as if they were actually using it at that moment.

Take a look at the following examples to better understand how copywriting that appeals to the five senses can create a sensory user experience.

Example 1: A Taste of Italy Restaurant creates delicious meals.


Example 2: At A Taste of Italy Restaurant, you'll indulge in mouth-watering entrees and decadent desserts.

The examples above demonstrate how using fairly common descriptive words can make a big difference in terms of tapping into consumers' sense of taste. While "delicious meals" certainly sounds nice, "mouth-watering entrees and decadent desserts" sounds too good to refuse. The copy could go on to describe the smells, sights and sounds at A Taste of Italy Restaurant to create a full sensory experience.

Let's look at another example.

Example 1: You'll get beautiful flowers at Blooms and More Florist.


Example 2: Fill your home with the fresh aroma and vibrant colors of a floral arrangement from Blooms and More Florist.

Again, by adding descriptive words that stimulate the senses of smell and sight, the copy in the second example creates a sensory experience and becomes more interesting, memorable and effective than the copy in the first example.

Bottom Line
Your copy needs to fill the gaps that the advertising medium can't reach. However, every ad or marketing piece doesn't need to appeal to all five senses. Consider the target audience, the medium and the goals for each specific ad, then select the senses that will drive the strongest results, and focus on those areas in your copy. Reduce the copy clutter by delivering only the best messages that create the most compelling sensory experiences for the target audience.

Susan Gunelius

Marketing, Branding, Copywriting, Email and Social Media Expert

Susan Gunelius is CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc., a marketing communications and strategic branding company. She has authored a dozen books about marketing, branding, social media, copywriting and technology and is the founder and editor in chief of, a blog for business women.

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