Use Your Five Senses to Improve Your Copy

Use Your Five Senses To Bring Products To Life

Smelling Words
Smelling Words. Getty Images

Copywriting, when it's done right, conveys a message that persuades someone to do something. And when writing descriptive copy, using your five senses is a powerful way to persuade. 

But your customer’s five senses don’t work on paper, only in person. That’s why copywriters will often create a sensory experience through words. In order to see, hear, smell, taste, or feel a product, we have to be in the presence of that product.

All too often, when copywriters create descriptions, they leave a lot to be desired. There is no excitement, no interaction, no experience.

Effective descriptions should fill the gap of what customers would see, hear, smell, taste, or feel if they were standing in the presence of the product. Effective descriptions should draw customers in and create an actual event… as if they were able to be right there with you.

Making Cinnamon Rolls Irresistible

You are tasked to sell cinnamon rolls.

You wouldn’t want to describe them simply as “delicious” or say they “smell great.” Instead, you’d want to bring customers into the experience of enjoying these cinnamon rolls. Think of which of their five senses would be most in tune with the product and write to those. For example:

Definitely NOT grandma’s cinnamon rolls! Bake them fresh right in your own oven. As the aroma of these gourmet rolls begins to waft through the air, your nose will start to tingle and you’ll immediately know they are worth the wait.

The scents of freshly ground cinnamon and yeast begin to merge as the dough rises and the cinnamon, sugar and butter begin to bubble. Open your oven door to reveal one of the largest sweets you’ve ever seen.

Drizzle the homemade frosting over the top to complete your warm, gooey treasure. Your taste buds will praise you with every bite.


Bringing Jamaica To The Customer

If you are advertising private Jamaican beachfront condos for rent, you need to make your words paint a wonderful picture. Taking a basic route and falling back on the phrases “ocean view” and “sunsets are included” will leave your reader lacking a truly intriguing experience. Try this:

As your day begins, enjoy a gourmet breakfast prepared by your own private staff who is at your disposal 24 hours a day. A gorgeous view overlooking your own crystal blue freshwater pool welcomes you to another exciting adventure in Jamaica.

A morning stroll along your private, white sand beach is the perfect way to welcome the day. A fun-filled outing can consist of splashing in the surf, sunning on the beach or napping in an authentic hand-woven hammock that cuddles every curve of your body. At the end of the day, you’ll have sun-kissed shoulders, a glowing bronze tan, and a phenomenal appetite.

Unwind at the poolside gazebo as you prepare for a world-class dinner that rivals any five-star restaurant. Refreshing after-dinner cocktails are especially enjoyable when sipped on the terrace as nature provides an amazing display of sunsets and a soft, caressing breeze you won’t soon forget.

Let’s go! “Splashing in the surf, sunning on the beach, or napping in an authentic hand-woven hammock that cuddles every curve of your body.” Can you just imagine? How about “sun-kissed shoulders, a glowing bronze tan”? That really paints a picture.

Putting The Five Senses Into Action

Your customers aren’t there with you. They can’t see, hear, feel, taste, or smell what you can. You have to do the next best thing and vividly depict what their sensory experiences will be like so they’ll want to buy what you have or do what you’ve done.

When you write descriptive copy, choose the senses that are most appropriate and focus on them. If you’re describing food, of course you’ll want to think about what you’re tasting but also what you smell and see. (Presentation is just as important as taste.) If you’re writing travel copy, you’ll want to focus on sights and sounds plus feelings (relaxation, enjoyment, excitement, etc.).

Your goal is to have your readers close their eyes and genuinely, vividly imagine they are in the midst of the same experience you are. When you accomplish that, you’ll find your sales increase as will your bank account balance.


Karon Thackston provides search engine copywriting, catalog copywriting and many other types at Learn how to write your own SEO copy at