Never underestimate the importance of moving your reader emotionally. This is an important element if you want your readers to remember your work. Think about it. Which books, or more specifically novels, do you remember the best? Most likely the ones where you really got into the characters and vicariously felt what they were going through. For nonfiction, you’re most likely to remember the ones where you learned something and were thus stimulated intellectually.
I typically judge a story’s impact by whether it makes me laugh or cry. However, having strong imagery or a very original premise also grab my attention. However, my very favorite stories always go back to the “laugh or cry” criteria.
Did you know that there are neurons in your heart? You store memories there as well. Wouldn’t you like your readers to have your work in their heart as well as their head?