Tips to Increase Conversions Using Emotional Triggers
by Blair Strasser
Psychologists developed the term “emotional trigger” to describe a process within the mind and body when a person experiences a strong emotional response (usually negative) to a person, place, or event. This “trigger” can set off a myriad of cascading emotions or behaviors that are not necessarily related to the present moment, nor are they completely within the triggered person’s conscious control.
More recently, the term has been used in relation to addictive behaviors, as well as to the consumer’s thought-process.
For the purposes of this article, the term “emotional trigger” can be used to describe a subconscious decision making process that involves a strong emotional response that leads to a reactive behavior.
Listed below are some tips on how marketers can use these emotional triggers to increase conversions.
Keep It New
The human brain is wired toward novelty. In fact, the brain gets a fresh hit of dopamine every time it sees novel imagery. This brain reflex is closely related to learning and memory, but it can also create a strong positive feeling among consumers when they are presented with a new product.
This is one reason why Apple is constantly improving upon and releasing new versions of their phones, computers and software.
Keep Them Curious
Motor companies use the same tactic, but they take it a step further by labeling each new car model with a “make” year, automatically building in anticipation for the next year’s model.
Building anticipation keeps your customers curious. Make sure to release teasers, testers, and betas of new products or services. These little hints of what’s to come keep people guessing, and create a strong sense of desire.
Digital media companies use this technique often by offering pre-sales of new music and movies, cashing in on the complementary triggers of anticipation and instant gratification. The customer gets the instant satisfaction of owning something as well as the anticipation of the final delivery. It’s the best of both worlds!
Keep It Social
“No man is an island,” goes the famous poem by John Donne. We are social creatures, and as such, we are each born with certain innate emotional responses hardwired into our psyches. In fact, these emotional responses are so deeply ingrained within us that they are almost as predictable as the biological processes of hunger and respiration.
Build communities around your brand to take advantage of the human desire to belong. This can be done through social media or in the real world. With social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Tumblr, online communities are thriving. Not only do these communities foster customer loyalty, they also save your company time by outsourcing minor FAQ questions to your most knowledgeable customers.
One way to quickly develop a sense of community is to create a common enemy for your customers. This enemy doesn’t have to be a real person, but can be a type. For instance, Apple created the persona of Mac, who was cool, young, and creative. The perceived enemy, PC, was old, frumpy, and just like every other office drone.
Keep It Personal
Another way to build community is to offer real world experiences for your customers to interact with your brand or product. You can organize events, classes or seminars in order to provide a place for your customers to interact with the brand and with each other. The Woodinville Whiskey Company in Woodinville, WA, holds frequent bottling parties, inviting ordinary people to the distillery to help bottle, label, cork and pack their whiskey. What better way to make sure a customer becomes emotionally invested in your product than by allowing them a hand in its production?
Use Social Proof
Finally, it has been proven again and again that when it comes to purchasing recommendations, people are more likely to trust a friend or family member over a salesperson, advertisement or professional endorsement. If a friend or family member is not present during the purchasing decision, people will trust the opinion of anyone who is perceived to have the most in common with them, whether that be age, ethnicity, or gender, etc.
Because this emotional trigger has such deep roots in our collective consciousness, social proof is a long standing strategy to increase conversions.
Remember that while marketers cannot force a consumer to purchase a product or service, they can use emotions to start a subconscious decision making process that is likely to lead to conversion.
About the Author:
Born in Los Angeles, Blair Strasser is a business and marketing enthusiast that enjoys sharing his knowledge through his writing. He is also Founder and CEO of eMerchantBroker and passionate about technology. @BlairStrasser