Without Emotional Advertising, Your Landing Page Won’t Work. Here’s How to Get It Right.

Emotions guide nearly every facet of our lives.

And it’s no different when it comes to what we choose to buy.

Our purchasing decisions are largely guided by emotions rather than cold logic or stark objectivity.

Some experts even suggest that “90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.”

In other words, they’re based on emotions.

I think that one of the biggest mistakes marketers make with their landing pages is failing to make an emotional connection.

Sure, they present some facts, sprinkle in a bit of data, yada yada yada, but they just don’t connect on an emotional level.

Maybe this is why “only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”

It’s a serious problem.

From my experience, emotional advertising is by far the most critical component of a landing page.

It’s essential for getting the conversion rate you’re looking for.

I would now like to take a closer look at the science behind emotional advertising and explain how you can use certain principles to fully optimize your landing page.

Let’s dive in.

What science says

When I’m making marketing decisions, I like to use concrete data as my main guide.

One particular study that I found interesting was conducted by Martin Lindstrom who “was selected by Time Magazine as one of the ‘2009 Time 100’ for his work in the area of neuromarketing.”

In it, Martin uses the fMRT process, which is short for functional magnetic resonance imaging to “get a glimpse into the head of consumers.”

Here’s what he found:

  • “Our brains usually run on autopilot, despite making us believe we know what we are doing.”
  • “90 percent of all purchasing decisions are not made consciously.”
  • “Most purchasing decisions take as little as 2.5 seconds.”
  • “Brodmann Area 10 in the human brain’s frontal cortex is activated if someone ‘thinks a product is really cool’. This area is linked to self-awareness and emotions.”
  • “Brands and products that evoke our emotions, like Apple, Coca-Cola or Nivea, always win.”

According to Peter Noel Murray Ph.D.,

fMRI neuro-imagery shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences) rather than information (brand attributes, features and facts).

The bottom line here is that we’re far from being rational creatures with our purchasing decisions.

We’re quite the opposite, actually.

At the end of the day, we’re largely compelled to buy one product over another simply because it appeals more to our emotions.

But what drives these emotions?

Emotions are ultimately interconnected with our needs.

While each person’s specific needs can vary, all humans have virtually the same basic needs, and we are continually pursuing them.

This brings me to an old school psychological concept (from 1943) that I feel still carries just as much weight today as it did back then.

It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which looks like this:


This model shows our hierarchy of needs and breaks them down in terms of importance and priority.

Our most pressing need at the moment motivates our behavior.

Whether it’s as basic as buying bottled water when we’re thirsty or buying the latest model iPhone to gain the respect and admiration of our peers, we’re always looking to have our needs fulfilled.

Your job as a marketer

When you get right down to it, your job is quite simple and breaks down into three basic steps:

  1. Understand the needs of your audience
  2. Understand what their psychological drive is compelling them to seek
  3. Influence their behavior to appeal to their needs

Of course, there’s a lot involved with this. It’s a huge topic to tackle.

But here are the essentials of emotional advertising on your landing page.

Following these basic principles should point you in the right direction and can increase your overall conversion rate considerably.

Start with visuals

I think we can all agree that humans respond well to visuals.

In fact, I’ve written multiple articles on the power of images.

But there’s one particular type of image you’ll want to focus on with your landing page: pictures of people.


This is one of the most effective ways to evoke an emotion in a visitor.

In fact, there’s a term in psychology known as mirroring, where “one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern or attitude of another.”

It’s a scientific fact, ya’ll.

The trick here is to use images of people exhibiting the emotion you want your audience to feel.

Take this landing page from Lyft, for example:


Their goal was to show how easy and enjoyable it is to make money as a Lyft driver.

And here’s another little trick.

Using images as a guide to your CTA can have a powerful impact.

According to Talia Wolf of Unbounce,

60 percent of our brain is geared towards visual context, so the first thing we see is visual. It’s important to use the images on your page in order to guide user attention.

In other words, you should use your images as directional cues whenever possible.

For instance, you might have a person looking at your CTA.

Use the right color scheme

Next, there’s the issue of color.

Color is huge, and you don’t want to haphazardly construct a landing page without taking this factor into careful consideration.

How do you choose a color scheme?

Well, it starts with understanding colors as emotional triggers.

Here’s an illustration of a color wheel to show you what I mean:


The key is to match your color scheme with the emotion(s) you’re trying to draw out of your visitors.

I’ll give you an example.

Here is a screenshot of a landing page on NeilPatel.com:


Notice that I chose orange as my color scheme. This wasn’t by chance.

My goal was to connect with optimistic business owners hungry to grow their companies. I love connecting with eager, growth-driven people. Orange is the perfect color for that!

I also wanted to convey feelings of friendliness and approachability.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to follow the color wheel to a T, but you should definitely use it as a rough guide when determining which colors to use on your landing page.

That, right there, can have a tremendous impact.

Set their minds at ease

Let’s be honest.

Many of the leads visiting your landing page will be skeptical.

There are a lot of charlatans and snake oil salesmen out there who over-promise and under-deliver.

You need to make it a point to calm your visitors’ anxieties and alleviate any fears they may have.

Below is an example of a landing page that does this well.

It’s from H.Bloom, a luxury flower delivery service:


Notice how they clearly explain the three-step process of “design, schedule and enjoy.”

The page very simply highlights what people can expect if they choose to do business with H.Bloom.

Customers know that they won’t get sucked into some over-complicated service that’s only going to cause them stress.

There are several other areas you may want to address to set your leads’ minds at ease, which can include:

  • testimonials from satisfied customers
  • mentioning the number of customers you’ve served (e.g., over 100,000 customers have used our software)
  • Trust icons like the ones at the bottom of this Shopify landing page (being featured by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and so on immediately adds legitimacy)


Use language that reminds visitors of their pain

If you really want to grab someone’s attention, remind them of their primary pain point.

For instance, an acne removal product might remind visitors of the distress that severe pimples are causing them.

A company selling a knee brace might remind visitors of how difficult it is living with chronic knee pain.

You don’t want to go overboard, but a subtle reminder can serve as a strong motivator to buy your product/service.

I think LifeLock really nails it with this landing page:


In this case, they rouse your fear of being a victim of identity theft.

The point here is to present a specific pain point and show how your product/service will alleviate it.

Use emotionally-driven words

The last thing I’d like to discuss is the actual words you use in your copy.

Copywriting relies upon more than simply writing well.

For it to be effective and turn leads into customers, it must:

  • have a clearly defined purpose
  • target your core audience
  • be simple
  • be persuasive
  • lend credibility to your brand
  • motivate visitors to buy

I don’t have the time here to tackle copywriting in its entirety.

But I do have a simple tip that can help you effectively evoke the right emotions from your leads.

And that’s to use emotional words.

Here’s an example of words associated with pleasant feelings:


Check out this link for a more comprehensive list of emotional words. It also includes words associated with unpleasant

This list should help you decide on a few key words to include into your copy.

For a more exhaustive look at copywriting, I recommend reading The Definitive Guide to Copywriting that I co-authored.

It covers virtually everything you need to know.


Let’s recap.

Humans are emotional creatures, and most of our purchasing decisions are based primarily on emotion.

There’s just no getting around it.

Understanding this phenomenon is the first step to creating an airtight landing page.

By utilizing the right psychology-based strategies, such as visuals, colors, and so on, you can target key emotions and increase the odds of your leads responding favorably (making a purchase).

And the payoff is obvious: an increased conversion rate for maximum ROI.

If your landing page is lacking emotional advertising, you’ll want to address this issue right away.

Can you think of any other ways to target landing page visitors on an emotional level?


  1. David Oudiette :

    The cool thing about emotions, needs and desires is that not only you should use them to support your marketing, but they can be great prompts to go further and improve your product itself.

    When I look at landing pages, so many of them seem to completely miss any kind of connection with real, deep, universal human needs and desires (Maslow style). And yet that’s all products are! Things that satisfy bundles of desires.

    If you start looking deeper at the desires you want to satisfy with your product, that helps you broaden your vision, and in my experience, find much stronger ideas to base campaigns on.

  2. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for sharing this necessary and valuable post. I just love to read your articles and please keep writing.

  3. Anthony Miller :

    I’m just about to put forms and create some landing pages on my website and your posts helps a lot in all aspects of online business. Thank you.

  4. Bill @ wealth well done :

    Cool post. Love your stuff. You’re showing me new, fun, and exciting ways to combine my talents of sales and writing into an innovative skill called seo. Check out what I am doing over at wealth well done. Com peace brother.

  5. Very well sorted exactly what I want !! Thanks for such a valuable post. Creating user driven landing pages is such a tough job.

  6. Dude, these are truly great examples of all time that you have gathered and yes, colour plays very important role in conversions including the background of the page. Human beings are psychological and needs to talk emotional to get better outcome.

  7. I would say this is one of the best resources to read about emotional advertising basics. Besides it, I am always a fan of writing style of Neil. I really enjoy when I read your posts. Your writing is highly understandable and easy to read.

    God Bless. Keep sharing such useful resources with us.


  8. Hello Neil,
    Wonderful insight. Really helpful. Please can you write something exclusive on digital marketing in the B2B scenario.

  9. Very useful information Neil,
    In most of the examples you cited is containing header with links to other pages of the website. During my experiment with few client working on landing page for paid campaign, the pages without header is converting more as compare to one is having header links. What are your views on this?

  10. Kristo Tennosaar :

    Thank you Neil for very useful information!

  11. Do you think is it better to show pictures of the pain or the pleasure of the custumer?

    Thank you


  12. Neil, you always give your best when it comes to sharing knowledge. The way you go into detail and the way you explain each element of your content really makes learning so much easier.

    Every time I read your posts or tutorials I take away gold nuggets that spark that light bulb above my head.

    I’m currently redesigning a site and that emotional trigger color chart will come in very handy!

    Thanks a bunch,
    Warren W

  13. Hi Neil, Superb article. Human minds are really mystery. Even colors can trigger so many different emotions.
    Thanks for such amazing article. Really helpful to me.

  14. Does Blogging Increase our business? I mean, I’m an Expert in a few Digital Marketing Services, If I would start my blog and share my knowledge, Will that worth to me and Increase my business? If yes, How that it would be?

  15. Thank you for sharing wonderful tips for advertising.

  16. Wow amazing i saw the article with execution models you had posted. It was such informative. Really its a wonderful article. Thank you for sharing and please keep update like this type of article because i want to learn more relevant to this topic.

  17. this is really too useful and have more ideas from yours. keep sharing many techniques. eagerly waiting for your new blog and useful information. keep doing more.

  18. This is a very good article, in fact I Tweeted it, but that blatant page where you try to get me to join your email list is quite annoying. Look, I realize you have a very good blog, a very relevant message, your blog is very very popular and like all of us, you are only trying to build up your email list. I tweet your articles a lot, but that email page is slightly annoying. Please please please give me a way to clear it right away please.

    Other than that, I LOVE YOUR BLOG and will happily Tweet your articles for the next few decades 🙂

    • Firstly I appreciate the honest feedback. I have to test things from time to time so I can share that back for use on the site and of course the intention is to not be pushy 🙁

  19. Great post Neil! Very useful ideas and tips. Thanks!


  20. Very useful ideas

  21. Harshit Bhootra :

    Really Helpful. I chosen Green (for growth) on my private tuition business website. Btw I am a regular reader of your website and Its sad to see the comments which once used to be at 100-150 in number have now decreased to 30-50 after you have closed website urls in comments. But at last all comments are from Loyal readers 🙂

  22. Lovely Post.. Very Helpful..

  23. Hey Neil,

    This is a very useful content and information for digital marketers.

    we have also informative articles on http://digitalwebtraining.com/


  24. yes, you are right Neil without Emotional Advertising landing page not work.
    Thank you for sharing this information with us. http://ppctiger.com/best-seo-company-in-chandigarh.htm

  25. Upendra Gusain :

    If you want to convert leads into sales, emotions should be applied to your landing page otherwise you are just wasting your marketing budget.

    Thanks for sharing this article with us. Learned so much from it.

  26. Emotional marketing connects people to the brand and lets the brand be remembered.

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