Don’t say it. Show it.
Put readers in the moment. Concrete imagery and details outshine blanket statements. Don’t tell a reader your resort is romantic; paint a picture with romantic sensory imagery.
The eyes represent only one-fifth of the sensory equation. Be liberal with visual imagery but also evoke sounds, smells, tastes, tactile experiences. And explore different facets of each sense.
Tactile elements may include temperature, texture, degree of pressure (‘a soft touch of her fingertip tracing the skin on the back of your neck’), among other angles. Visual facets include colour, shape, movement, etc. And senses very often run together – describing the taste of a cool glass of white wine can also involve elements of touch and smell.
Transport Your Readers
Hospitality and travel copywriting comes to life with rich sensory imagery. These are very experiential industries. Sell readers on the experience by momentarily transporting them there.
Restaurants are very experiential. So are food products. Sports equipment and fitness excel with a high degree of experiential writing mixed with performance benefits. Clothing, make-up and fragrances can be very experiential. Audio-visual equipment – from headphones to home theatre systems – are very much so. Cars? Why do you think they’re always zooming through curvy mountain roads?
Nearly every industry benefits from a multi-sensory approach to copywriting, and some industries (e.g. hotel copywriting, as mentioned above) practically demand it.
Multi-sensory writing also serves as a psych-ops tactic. If you want to hype up a reader, sensorially hype them up. If you want to put the reader at ease, you can do so through the senses – and accompanying phonetic legerdemain. (Want to know how to use phonetics as a copywriting tactic? Read this copywriting tip here.)
You might be selling the least experiential product in the market. Accounting software maybe? But multi-sensory writing will still allow you to manipulate the reader’s emotional and mental state.