Hook tech readers with emotion

How to Hook Tech Readers With Emotion — Without Getting Emotional

Believe it or not, white papers evoke all sorts of emotions. Unfortunately, those emotions might be frustration or annoyance if your white paper doesn’t deliver on its promise.

But you can evoke emotions in your white paper that will bond the reader to the message and your brand. The formula is actually quite simple, and is a time-tested method for persuasive writing.

First, avoid the two things that drive white paper readers nuts: writing a product brochure disguised as a white paper or not focusing on a clear solution. Give white paper readers what they want, which is a fact-based discourse on a specific solution.

The Emotional Touch Point Is in the Business Challenge 

Use the time-tested problem-solution format for your white paper. Start by describing the problem and its symptoms, because it’s the symptoms that touch the emotions. It shouldn’t be too emotionally descriptive, because it could come across as manipulative. But if the problem being described causes people to be frustrated, stressed, overworked or overwhelmed — or anything else that people like to avoid — mention that. 

By simply mentioning the emotional aspect of a problem — the human element — along with the business or technical aspect of a problem, you show empathy for your audience, which helps build trust. When readers know your company feels their pain, they’ll have a positive emotional response to your empathy. That’s how you use emotion to hook the reader without being emotional.

In describing the solution, explain how the results alleviate the pain, which can raise emotions of hope for success, further bonding them to your message and brand.

Lastly, include a call to action so the reader knows how to take the next step. This way, you create a path to success for them, which is another emotional experience. A clear call to action is not salesy. It benefits the reader.

Emotion Makes Content Memorable

Not only does emotion hook readers, it makes the content of your white paper memorable. Brain research shows that without the emotional bond, your message will get lost. 

Researcher Dr. Paul Zak states, “Stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of the brain and are better remembered than simply stating a set of facts.”

Again, don’t get too descriptive with the emotional language. Keep it business casual. Simply by having empathy for the reader, you’ll cultivate a bond and stand a higher chance of capturing a profitable lead.


Need a white paper that resonates with your prospects and gets them to act? Contact Mark Brewer at mark@markbrewerwriter.com to get the conversation started. See Mark’s portfolio.