How to Guide People’s Emotions to Drive Sales

Successful marketers know how to go the extra mile when promoting their brands, products, and services.

You need to understand what role psychology plays in the buying process. For example, different color schemes can impact sales on your website.

Those of you who want to take your marketing strategy to the next level need to understand the way your customers think. Use this information to your advantage.

People behave a certain way when specific emotions are triggered. I’m sure you can see this in your life as well.

Have you ever punched a wall or broken something when you’re upset? You wouldn’t normally do that, but you might behave that way as a result of a strong emotional response.

Don’t worry, we won’t to try to get your customers angry or play a game of psychological warfare with them.

Instead, I’m going to show you how you can trigger a variety of emotions with different marketing campaigns. As a result, you’ll be able to drive more sales.

Here’s what you need to know about guiding the emotions of your customers.

Leverage the power of fear

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions, which is why I want to use it to start our discussion. You can use fear as a sale tactic in many different ways.

For starters, try to create the fear of missing out on something, better known as FOMO.

In today’s age of social media, people feel FOMO more than ever. Take a look at these statistics from a recent study:

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More than half of social media users believe they need to constantly monitor their social profiles because they’re afraid they’ll miss out on something.

It’s becoming such a problem that people recognize the fear is affecting their behaviors. That’s why so many social media users consider taking a break from these platforms.

How can you leverage this emotion from a marketing perspective? Create ads for your website, email campaigns, and social profiles that are time-sensitive.

For example, you could run a flash sale offering 40% off everything on your website for the next six hours. This type of marketing strategy will cause users to act fast for the fear that they’ll miss out on the sale.

They are already interested in your products and have some items in mind they want to purchase. Taking advantage of a flash sale is the perfect time for them to act.

Depending on what kind of products or services you’re offering, there are other ways to create fear in the minds of your customers.

For example, let’s say your company sells home security systems. You could create an advertisement that shows how your products help prevent a burglary or home invasion.

This can create fear in the minds of prospective customers. They may think to themselves that their current security system wouldn’t protect them in the event of an emergency.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not trying to traumatize your customers here. There are more subtle ways to approach this.

Check out this example of fear-based copy used on the Farmers Insurance website:

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Someone shopping for home insurance can see why it’s important to have flood coverage. In the event of a natural disaster, the right insurance is there to protect you.

Come up with ways to market your product the same way. It’s applicable in nearly any industry, even if your company just sells clothes.

It’s going to be a cold winter, so you need to buy a sweatshirt.

Although this type of fear isn’t as powerful as a threat of burglary or natural disaster, it’s still effective.

Take advantage of greed

People are greedy by nature. Don’t think so?

Think about the first day of spring. Ice cream parlors all over the country offer promotions like a free cone or scoop.

Customers line up around the block waiting for an hour to get something free that would normally cost them only a couple of dollars. Why? They’re greedy.

There’s nothing wrong with this. But as a marketer, you can use this concept to your advantage when coming up with new promotions.

Offer items at a discounted rate, and then try to upsell to your customers.

Here’s a great example from the Best Buy website:

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BOGO. Buy one, get one.

If someone is shopping for a new smartphone, how can they turn down this offer? If they buy one smartphone, they’ll get another one free.

But this is a great marketing plan because the money isn’t made on the actual devices. Wireless providers make all their profits from their plans.

It’s worth it to give away something that’s worth a few hundred dollars. Now, instead of adding one device to the contract, the customer will add two and pay for two plans.

Try to come up with a way to apply the same concept to your marketing strategy.

Build trust

Typically, words such as fear and greed don’t have a positive connotation. But not every emotion needs to be negative.

Establishing trust with your customers is another powerful way to encourage sales. A great way to create trust is by implementing a customer loyalty program.

Loyal customers will spend more money. But you need to make sure all your offers are transparent if you want to be perceived as trustworthy.

Don’t surprise your customers with any hidden costs or fees when they’re making a transaction.

Anytime someone buys something from you, they trust you with their personal information, such as their credit card numbers.

Recent studies show that credit card fraud has become a growing concern in the United States.

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If one of your customers hasn’t been affected by fraud personally, I’m sure they know at least a few people close to them who have.

Customers won’t trust you with sensitive information if you can’t convince them your company is trustworthy. You need to take the proper steps to protect your customers’ information and understand the elements that add credibility to your website.

Offering a secure checkout process, free returns, and easy access to customer service will get you started in the right direction.

Add customer testimonials to your website as well.

Once people trust your brand, it will be much easier for you to get higher sales.

Create a sense of belonging

Use your brand to establish a community among your customers. There is a reason why people are buying from your company. All these people have something in common.

It’s your job to figure out what those commonalities are to establish a community based on them.

As a result, you’ll be able to trigger emotions that drive sales.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your company sells boxing equipment. Because it’s a niche industry, all your customers obviously have something in common.

They know what it’s like to get punched in the face, and they like to stay in great physical shape. You could create a forum or devote a section of your website to some other user-generated content.

Your customers can share stories with each other about their workout routines and even talk about recent victories or defeats in the boxing ring.

Here’s another example of this concept from Diet Bet:

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This website hosts a community of people who all share the common goal of losing weight.

Once you set up a place where your customers feel a sense of belonging, it will ultimately lead to more conversions and higher sales.

That’s because people will have a reason to visit your website more often. They may initially go online to write on a forum but might end up buying something as well.

Eliminate frustration

Frustration is not an emotion you want to have associated with your brand.

Let me quickly tell you a recent frustrating experience I had while trying to buy something online. I don’t want to call out the company, so I’ll leave their name out of this.

I saw something in a physical store location last week when I was walking around. I was interested but didn’t want to carry the product with me for the rest of the day, so I planned to order it online.

The sales associate took my name and email address and sent me the product information, which was supposed to make my life easier.

Well, a few days later I went to the email, clicked on the product, and attempted to check out online. I filled in all my billing and shipping information, and then I was told I needed to create an account to proceed.

Bummer. But I still created an account. Then the site prompted me to enter all my information again.

After entering my name, address, and billing info three different times on the website, I decided to pick up the phone and try to order that way. An automated system told me that all representatives were busy and then hung up the call.

Needless to say, I was so frustrated that I didn’t end up buying the product. This isn’t surprising since the majority of consumers want easy access to online support.

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Don’t be like the company I had this awful experience with.

Make sure you have easy navigation on your website and a smooth checkout process. The less friction your customers experience as they go through the process, the less frustrated they will be.

Share your core values

Obviously, every company wants to make high profits. But that’s not the only reason why everyone is in business.

There are certain brands that have other missions that act as the driving force behind their goals. If this sounds like you, make sure you share these values and beliefs with your customers.

For example, are you affiliated with any charities?

These types of core values can stimulate emotions within customers and ultimately lead to more sales. Here’s an example from the Warby Parker website:

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Warby Parker sells glasses. But that’s not all they do. Through their buy a pair, give a pair program, they have been able to donate more than three million pairs of glasses to people all over the world.

Not everyone can afford glasses. So this company does their part by helping those who don’t have the resources or access to eye care professionals.

This type of story can definitely help drive sales because of the emotional attachment to a purchase.

If their customers know their purchases will help someone in need, they will be more likely to buy from the company.

Stimulate desires

What do people desire?

Sex. Food. Sports cars, big houses, and beach vacations.

Incorporate these ideas into your marketing strategy. I’m not saying you need to tell people your product will help them get a new car. But you can still throw a fancy convertible into your ads to help grab someone’s attention.

Think about the last time you saw an advertisement for food on television. The camera zooms in on a cheeseburger and shows juices pouring down the bun.

Everything looks perfect, and it’s supposed to make you hungry. Your mouth might even start watering. Why? Because they are stimulating your desires.

Now you’re craving a cheeseburger, so you go out and buy one.

That’s how emotions of desires lead to sales.

Drive competitive energy

People are also competitive by nature. They are competing with their co-workers and friends, and are trying to “keep up with the Joneses” at home.

Apply this concept to your marketing campaigns.

For example, let’s say you’re selling lawn care products. You could create an ad that says something along the lines of, “Have a better lawn than your neighbor’s.”

Or if you’re selling sports equipment, you could explain how your products will give your customers an edge over the competition.

Here’s an example of how Nike uses this strategy to promote basketball sneakers on its website.

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They say these sneakers will help you dominate your opponents.

Such phrases can tap into the competitive nature of a customer. This emotional response can lead them to complete the purchase process.


Emotions are powerful.

As a marketer, you need to learn how to effectively stimulate emotions to encourage sales.

Use fear and greed to make your customers behave a certain way. Build trust with your customers, and create a community that establishes a sense of belonging.

Simplify the buying process to eliminate frustration. Share your core values, and proudly display any charitable donations.

Stimulate desires, and focus on the competitive nature of your customers.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be an expert at guiding people’s emotions to increase your sales revenue.

What emotional response does your marketing strategy generate?


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