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How to Use Emotional Copywriting to Convert More Staffing Buyers

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I kicked off my copywriting career by creating sales copy for life coaching programs. This was lengthy, extremely emotional copy directed toward individuals with big dreams and even bigger roadblocks. When I joined Haley Marketing as a copywriter for the staffing industry, I assumed I’d need to check all those feelings at the door. 

Not the case. Not even a little bit.  

It turns out that in the Venn diagram between writing for coaching clients and writing for staffing buyers, the overlapping center is surprisingly wide. Because while staffing buyers are representatives of their companies, they’re still human. And most humans want to:  

  1. Be seen. 
  2. Be heard. 
  3. Believe their lives can improve. 
  4. Take action toward improving their lives.  

When your website copy treats the reader as a human being who wants the four things above, you can better connect with your audience and drive more conversions. And that’s as true for staffing as it is for any other industry. 

With that in mind, here’s a four-step emotional roadmap for your staffing and recruiting website copy.  

Identify your buyer.  

Audiences – yes, even business buyers – want to know that the product or service they’re interested in was created with them in mind. That’s why one of the first things website copy should do is clearly identify – and shamelessly flatter – your target buyer.  

Try calling out specific attributes that your ideal staffing buyer likely prides themselves on – the things that make them great at what they do. For maximum impact, be sure to include descriptions of how they feel.  

A light industrial staffing webpage directed toward C-level executives might say:  

As a leader of your organization, you’re a driven visionary who’s never satisfied with the status quo.  

If a buyer reads this copy and says, “Yes, that’s me,” they’re ready for step two.  

Remind the buyer of their problem.  

If you’ve worked in marketing or sales before, you’re probably familiar with the following quote from Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill; they want to buy a quarter-inch hole.”  

Translation: People don’t buy things for the sake of buying them. They buy things to solve a problem. 

In Levitt’s example, the problem is needing a quarter-inch hole where there isn’t one. And any marketer worth their salt knows that to gain more buyers, they need to sell the idea of the hole, not the thing that creates the hole.  

But a crucial step some marketers skip? Reminding the buyers just how terrible it is to not have the hole.  

This tactic works beautifully for business buyers. After all, what’s more frustrating than something that consistently gets in your way of doing your job well?  

So, the second step for emotion-driven copy in staffing websites is to bring up a specific pain point your buyer is likely experiencing in their role. Be sure to frame it as an obstacle that is directly preventing them from achieving success.  

To continue the example above, you might write:  

An unending labor shortage paired with inefficient hiring processes keep your team from meeting production goals – and make it all but impossible for you to create the lasting impact in your industry you know you’re capable of.  

This copy should make your target buyer jump up and say, “Thank you – this is the thing I keep telling people we need to fix!”  

Suggest a better future.  

While you want to twist the knife long enough to hold your buyer’s attention, don’t harp on the pain point for too long – now is the time to give the gift of hope.  

Raise your proverbial crystal ball and show your buyer how much better their life could be if the problem you identified were magically solved. Describe practical outcomes as well as personal and emotional ones.  

And the real secret to success here? Don’t mention your staffing services. (That comes later.) Right now, you’re making your buyer want something – you’re not telling them how to get it.  

Here’s what this might look like:  

Imagine you could outsource your hiring to a trusted team of experts who truly understand your company’s mission. How much more would you be able to accomplish and innovate?  

Deliver the answer.  

You’ve reminded your buyer where they are and invited them to imagine where they could be. The final step is to tell them how to progress from the former to the latter: by using your staffing services, of course!  

Be aware that this is the most crucial and challenging piece of the puzzle. If you pull off steps 1-3 gracefully and then devolve into tactics more generally associated with used car dealerships, your buyer will feel not only turned off from your services but personally betrayed. The way to avoid this? Continue focusing on the buyer – and their emotions – even as you introduce your services.  

Bookend each selling point with a description of how the buyer will personally benefit. For instance:

Our temporary staffing services come with a 30-day guarantee – so you won’t lose sleep over a poor employee fit.  

Continue highlighting the gap between the buyer’s frustrating present and the promise of a better future:  

Our recruiters have access to an extensive pool of qualified temporary employees who are ready to work. No more missed deadlines caused by crew members calling off – you’ll have a flexible workforce at your disposal.  

BONUS STEP: Make conversion simple.   

With the roadmap above, you can drive more conversions by appealing to your buyers’ emotions. But the best copy in the world won’t do your agency any good if your website doesn’t make it easy for your buyers to convert.  

When you book a free website review with Haley Marketing, a team of staffing industry experts will deliver actionable suggestions for improving your site’s speed, messaging, design, navigation, calls to action, and more – meaning your audience can convert as soon as they’re ready to. Sign up for your free review today! 

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