How to Give Your Readers a Squirt of Dopamine

Imagine writing so sticky that people hang on to every word, spend more time reading your copy – and How writing wordplay can give your readers a squirt of dopamineeven remember it later?

How?

Because every time they read your content, their brains are squirted with dopamine happy-juice.

Squirt

No, it’s not black magic.

In fact, coming up with smile-producing content is incredibly fun!

It’s all about the wordplay.

Let me explain.

My discovery (and “doh” moment)

Like a good marketer, I was checking out my article backlinks and saw someone linked to 14 SEO Copywriting Tips in Haiku. Cool.

When I checked out the backlink, the article discussed how haiku word play was popular.

NYC uses haiku street traffic signs:

Oncoming cars rush
Each, a three-ton bullet
And you, flesh and bone

Jonathan Schwartz, ex-CEO of Sun Microsystems tweeted a haiku to announce his resignation:

Financial crisis
Stalled too many customers
CEO no more

Why does haiku wordplay – especially around such serious topics – make us smile?

It’s all in our brains.

Enter neuromarketing research. Using words in unexpected ways makes our writing more persuasive, more easily remembered – and can even provide pleasure.

Yes, that’s right. Funny wordplay gives your readers’ brains a squirt of pleasure-enhancing dopamine. People want to hang on your every word because it makes them feel good.

How cool is that?

Was I aiming for a mass reader dopamine squirt when I wrote the blog post? Nope. It never even crossed my mind. Doh!

I wrote the post because it was fun to write. In a career universe full of meta description how-to guides (it’s a really great guide, but wow) and algorithms and RankBrain, you gotta shake it up somehow.

How you can light up your readers’ brains

Working with wordplay is fun. The key is thinking out of the box.

For instance…

I was driving behind an airport hotel shuttle with the slogan “Suite Ride” on the back. I laughed – but more importantly, I remember the brand (Marriott.)

Duluth Trading Company has a popular line of comfortable men’s work pants called Ballroom Jeans (I’ll let you figure out the wordplay.)

If haiku and unexpected word combinations aren’t your style, try textual metaphors like:

It was a hairy situation.

Learn to sell without feeling slimy.

Are you having a rough day?

Textural words like hairy, slimy and rough activate the sensory parts of our brains. While we’re reading the copy, our brains metaphorically feel slime, hairiness and roughness.

See? There are lots of ways to make your writing fun again.

Ready to play with wordplay?

What do you think of today’s post? Can you work some fun wordplay into your writing? Contact me and let me know (or leave a comment.) I’d love to hear from you!

It’s time to sign off
Enjoy playing with wordplay
Talk to you next week!

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2 replies
  1. Dylan
    Dylan says:

    Now I want to see a sales page that’s formed entirely by haikus.

    Alright, I suppose that wouldn’t work so well…

    Or would it?!

    “Acai berry
    Be super slim for summer
    Get your trial now!”

    I think I’m onto something here… 😉

    Reply

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