How to Leverage Emotions to Grow Sales

It’s undeniable that Paul Walker’s death (may he rest in peace) turned Fast and Furious 7 into a blockbuster. Not to take away from the high quality of the movie, but many people watched the movie mainly because of the tragic accident of the Hollywood Star.

If the movie had been released on its initial release date, July 11, 2014 (16 months earlier than it premiered), it wouldn’t have grossed $147.17M profit – $50M more than Fast and Furious 6 made.

Moral of the story? 

The success of the movie (to some extent) came from provoking the emotions of millions of people. And you can employ the same strategy for a similar ROI.

Psychology plays a significant role in the buying process. Consumers behave in a certain manner when their emotions are triggered. So, if you’ve tried all marketing strategies without achieving the results you wanted, maybe it’s time to pull at the heartstrings of your consumers.

Customers who are emotionally connected tend to be more loyal and have a higher customer lifetime value. But for many small businesses, building this connection is more of guesswork than science.

This is because they have little to no idea of how the concept works. However, it’s possible to target the feelings of customers using what we call emotional motivators.

This article is about these emotional motivators and how you can leverage them to grow conversions.

What are Emotional Motivators?

Identifying and explaining what emotional motivators are is a little bit complicated because customers themselves may not even be aware of them.

In the simplest terms, emotional motivators can be defined as the sentiments that drive customers to make their brand choices. They are the emotions that influence customers in their response to particular brands.

People rarely make purchasing decisions in a consistently sensible manner – the subconscious mind plays a major role in our actions. For example, if a store manager angers you, you may end up not buying from the store because of the way you feel.

Emotional motivators are not constant, and they vary according to brand and industry.

There are hundreds of emotional motivators that drive consumer behaviors.

Here are some of the most important ones:


What is the most common fear people have? The fear of failure.

Because fear is one of the most powerful emotions some companies choose to use it in their marketing.

But how can you achieve this?

By creating the sense that a customer will miss out if they don’t purchase from you; also known as FOMO – the fear of missing out. 

Look at today’s world, for instance. People are always monitoring their social media profiles because they are afraid that they’ll miss out on something important. 

This is FOMO.

A great example is with home security or road safety products. Show people that your home cameras can stop theft through the integrated monitoring processes.

This will prompt customers to want to purchase your products.

Note that the goal here isn‘t to instill fear in your customers but rather to show them the positive outcomes of using your product as opposed to the negative ones if they don’t.

Another real-life application of this is offering business owners to sell their products on Amazon – a good tactic is to tell them that if they won’t, they’ll miss out on some serious benefits.

It’s the same concept.

Utilize Trust

Fear doesn’t offer positivity to consumers. Trust does. And not every emotional motivator needs to be negative.

Building trust with your customers is another excellent way of leveraging emotions.

One effective way of building this trust is by implementing a customer loyalty program.

Supermarkets and stores already have them in play. They use a point system to encourage customer loyalty. Those points can be redeemed to get discounts, special access to promotions, and cash.

You can make a decision that for every dollar spent, customers get 5 or 10 or ‘X’ amount of loyalty points.

Also, ensure transparency and honesty throughout your offers. Avoid hidden fees or costs for customers when they make a transaction.

If you cannot convince customers that your small business is trustworthy, they won’t want to be associated with you let alone purchase your products. 

There are different methods to add credibility to your business. The basic ones include offering a secure checkout process, easy access to customer service, and free returns.

When people trust your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you.

Make People Belong to Something

Customers want to see your business as more than just another company. As a small business owner, you should create a community that people want to be part of.

People who buy your products have something in common; it‘s your responsibility to figure out what this similarity is and establish a community among them.

If your small business deals with fitness products, then your target audience will be people who work out. These are people who understand the importance of fitness and health. You can use this knowledge to create a community.

Start by devoting a section within your website, as a forum, for example, to monitor the daily challenges that this community faces. Here people will be able to share their personal stories, the problems they face, and how to overcome those challenges.

Another excellent example of a niche group can be tied to recycling products. Many people do their best to be environmentally conscious and “go green.” Let those people talk about the challenges they face trying to go green, and share some of the tips that have proven successful for them.

Such forums create a sense of belonging among your customers. They make them feel like a community that undergoes similar challenges. 

Such customers will want to visit your website more often. And although their initial aim might be to read and share their stories, they may eventually end up purchasing a product because they feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just them which leads to higher conversion rates and more sales.

Eliminate Frustration

Difficulty in accessing online services and slow internet. What do these two have in common? One, they are both first-world problems, two, they cause frustration.

Frustration is one emotion that you don’t want to be associated with as a business.

Once customers are frustrated with your services, they’re more likely to purchase their products from your competition.

What makes customers frustrated? Difficulty in accessing online support, slow response time from your website, and difficulty navigating a website are the most common reasons.

To help make customers more satisfied and less frustrated, ensure that your website is simple and accessible.

Online support should be easy to find, and the response time should also be fast. You can set up live support to answer and solve any problems customers may encounter.

Stimulate Desires

What is it you desire? For me, it’s a fancy automobile parked beside my humongous mansion. For others, it’s a bottle of the finest wine, an unending vacation, or even some quiet, peaceful time.

People tend to get distracted by the things they desire. Throwing in ads of the same can help grab your customers’ attention.

Think of when you come across a food advertisement on TV – chicken wings, fries, ketchup, and a bottle of soda. Everything looks so yummy that you begin to crave those exact foods.

You grab your phone and order some wings because it’s that easy.

The advertisement stimulated your desires and made you purchase the product.

That is how stimulating desires lead to sales.

Final Notes

The best strategies to trigger emotional motivators are to create fear, build trust, create a sense of belonging, eliminate frustration, and stimulate desire.

While these motivators should serve as an inspiration, they won’t all apply to your brand.

Emotional motivators vary greatly by industry and product category. Therefore, it’s up to you to conduct in-house research and determine what motivators affect your target audience.

Customers who are emotionally vested in a product are 52% more important than just ‘satisfied’ customers. This means 52% more in conversions and sales. So, if you’re looking to increase your sales by this margin, draw on some emotions!

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