How To Tap Into Your Customers’ Subconscious Using Sensory Words

copywriting to the subconsciousThanks to guest blogger, Darren DeMatas

While readers make their way through your web copy, their subconscious minds are in the midst of deciding if they will buy from you.

I think we mistakenly believe that our prospects are purely rational, critical thinkers. But people make their purchase decisions based on thoughts they are not even aware of.

Copywriters have the difficult job of educating the rational brain and persuading people to take action at a subconscious level. When writing content, using sensory words can activate your client’s brain and keep him/her engaged in your copy.

Activating The Brain With Sensory Words

Whether you’re selling services, coaching programs or physical products, you need a persuasive product description. Our brains are wired to remember sensory information. Meaningless words like “high quality” or “state-of-the-art” send your reader’s brain into glazed state.

Sensory words trigger feelings associated with senses like sight, sound, and even smell; according to a study posted on, just reading the word “cinnamon” provokes an olfactory [scent] response.

Sensory words like “pliable” or “bumpy” are concrete, specific and memorable.

Here are three tips to help you discover sensory words for your product or service:

1. Think about your product and take note of how it applies to the 5 senses.
2. Observe where your product is used and note how it interacts with the senses.
3. Read Amazon book and product reviews and pay attention to sensory words.

Copywriting with Sensory Words

In the Crocs’ image above, you could reference the hard tile floor or sandy beaches to contrast the open aired, pliable material.

Sensory words can be powerfully persuasive, but only if they resonate with your ideal buyer.

It All Starts With Your Ideal Buyer

The first step is to know your buyer. Who are you trying to connect with? The more specific your persona is, the more persuasive your messaging will be.

According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and customer data.

No matter what product you are selling, the benefit to your customers is a better version of themselves. This is why it is so important to understand:

1. Who your ideal customers are.
2. What questions they have.
3. How you can help them.

You’ll be wasting your time, if you just jam sensory words into your copy. Your use of sensory words changes drastically based on the person you are writing for.

For example: Let’s say you sell racing tires for luxury vehicles. You want to make your copy more memorable so you add a sentence describing the “sweet smell of burning rubber.” Joe and Donna are in the market for new tires.

  • Joe, 35 years old and lives in Dallas, values performance.
  • Donna, 57 years old in New York City, values safety and style.

As they read your copy, the olfactory region of their brains light up. Joe subconsciously remembers the wonderful time he had at NASCAR as a kid. Donna remembers the car accident when she got whiplash.

Joe adds your product to his cart, likes you on Facebook and signs up for your newsletter. Donna bounces from your website.

Both of them made their decision unaware of those subconscious thoughts.

Are you making your copy persuasive and activating your prospects’ brains with sensory words? Which words have worked well for you? Please share your comments below because I’d love to hear from you. Here’s to your sweet success.

About guest blogger, Darren DeMatas: Darren is a self starter with an MBA in Internet Marketing. He hangs his hat on a decade of experience marketing global Fortune 500 companies and small one-person Ecommerce niche brands. You may follow him on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.