Consumerism may be all pervading but conversion is still an art form. Getting someone to buy into what you’re offering has never been easy. The art of persuasion can be very elusive. This is especially true when you’re trying to create an overarching marketing strategy for your entire target audience. While you’ve come up with some shared traits in your target audience, you can’t rely on them solely to get through to every individual. The shared traits show you what your target audience is like. To persuade them, however, you need to tap into their emotional states. In other words, you need emotional sales triggers to get through to them.
Emotional Sales Triggers #1: Novelty and Uniqueness
Why is it that most start-ups fail and the majority of the surviving ones get mired in mediocrity? The reason is that they all conform to the established trends in their respective industries. They tow the collective line, so to speak. They do this despite scientific evidence against the contrary. According to various psychology and behavioural studies, novelty is something that people are attracted towards.
The science says that the region of the brain responsible for the regulation of the happiness hormone dopamine responds more to novelty than familiarity. The same region, incidentally, is also responsible for motivation in individuals. There is an undeniable connection between novelty and rewards for people. Emotional sales triggers like this require rebranding and considerable marketing acumen.
To utilise the impact of novelty, you’ll need to either develop new products at regular intervals or make tweaks to existing products and rebrand them at regular intervals. A good example of this trigger being used is the way smartphone companies release new models phones every few months or the way car manufacturers release new models every year.
Emotional Sales Triggers #2: Fear of Loss and Pain
Loss aversion is a fairly common weapon that marketers the world over use. This weapon is based on the Protection Motivation Theory that was postulated in 1975. According to the theory, people are motivated to protect themselves from external threats, which could be physical, psychological, or social. Emotional sales triggers based on this theory mainly revolve around the fear of missing out. Generally, the concept of scarcity in social psychology is combined with this theory.
Practically, this use comes in the form of offers for a limited time or products with limited stock. Therefore, in most cases, fear marketing tactics utilise people’s fears of losing out on an opportunity rather than conventional fears of disasters. The reason for this is that using fear of a negative outcome or disaster in marketing borders on being unethical. It often results in backlash from the public with accusations of insensitivity. This is why a business must be extra careful while using fear as an emotional trigger in marketing.
Emotional Sales Triggers #3: The Reason and the Rationale
Any and every claim made by a business is suspect in the modern marketing environment oversaturated with marketing messages. In fact, when faced with a good offer, most of us ask, “What’s the catch”. As our access to information increases, we’ve become hardened to marketing messages and have a developed an understanding of how businesses try to get us to spend our hard-earned money.
This environment makes it very difficult for businesses to get their point across without seeming pushy. However, there’s a loophole in all this newfound awareness in people. It is the ‘why’. As per research, if you explain the reason or the ‘why’ behind your marketing message, you’re bound to get more response from your target. While it always helps that the ‘why’ makes sense but, psychologically speaking, it isn’t mandatory. The research showed that even a nonsensical ‘why’ such as ‘I have to cut the line because I have to make copies’ has the same agreement rate as another more logical reason.
In marketing practice, the best way to use this emotional trigger is to simply explain the marketing message i.e. why they should buy, why they should buy now, why you’re giving this offer and any other ‘why’ that may be relevant.
Emotional Sales Triggers #4: Anticipation and Curiosity
Anticipation and curiosity are interconnected. You anticipate something when you’re looking forward to something. You could be looking for a big reveal or even how it feels to finally get what you’re looking for. Studies on curiosity have described the phenomenon as ‘the itch of curiosity’. According to the study, when we find a gap in our knowledge base, we develop this ‘mental itch’ that forces us to satisfy our curiosity so as to scratch that itch.
There is no dearth of how you can tap into anticipation and curiosity in your marketing strategy. The obvious way is to establish that something will be announced in the future (could be a discount or a new product) and then counting down for it with some well-worded marketing copy. The best methods combine curiosity with other emotional sales triggers such as loss aversion, recency, or even just fear. The desire to find out how your offers prevent them from losing out, what they recently missed out on, or even what can go wrong can be powerful.
Emotional Sales Triggers #5: Simplifying Effort
The principle of least effort permeates through multiple disciplines. It states that when faced with two or more options, every individual and system will choose the path of least resistance. In simpler words, people are lazy and do that which is the easiest. This is possibly the simplest psychological concept to use in your marketing strategy. The entire concept of conversion rate optimisation began with a book called ‘Don’t Make Me Think’. There are no prizes for guessing who the ‘me’ in the title is – it is the potential buyer.
The book is based on the principle of least effort in that it encourages marketers to make their marketing messages in a way that they don’t make consumers think. This is the best way of implementing this principle. If you can make your marketing message simple and simplify the action required as well, then you’ll get many more conversions and purchases.
Emotional Sales Triggers #6: The Sense of Belonging
Do you know what a new-born craves the most in the first few days of his life? It is a sense of belonging. Studies have shown that when parents give their new-born this sense of belonging, his mental, physical, and emotional development speeds up. With the sense of belonging, the child feels secure enough to stop focusing on survival and start focusing on growth. The sense of belonging is primaeval.
In marketing, the sense of belonging is usually presented in the form of social proof i.e. make the target audience think that others are doing what you’re encouraging them to do. You can do this in various ways but the most reliable and dependable method is to present them with reviews or testimonials. Displaying verifiable and impressive statistics such as the number of customers served or years being active can also be beneficial.
Virtually, every human tendency can be leveraged in one way or another to get people to perform a particular task. However, it all depends on how well you understand the psychological and emotional side of humans.