Horizon Featured Article

Using Emotional Triggers to Engage with Your Target Audience

Connecting with Clients is one of Northsail's Specialties

Establishing a strong emotional connection with potential customers is absolutely critical to the long-term success of your business. At Northsail, we take the time to have in-depth conversations with all of our potential clients, before we ever consider starting a project.

We're committed to ensuring that we always finish projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget, which is why we offer a 6-month guarantee on every project. If we don't think we can finish it to our top-quality standards, we simply won't take it on.

From an emotional trigger perspective, you could say that we're leveraging the trust that our clients know they can have in us, because we always follow through and exceed expectations.

"What are emotional triggers?" You might be asking.

That's a great question, let's discuss it.

What are Emotional Triggers?

Every decision that we make as consumers is determined partially by our emotions. When we target marketing materials to invoke certain emotions from customers, you're targeting them using emotional triggers.

According to Plutchik's famous wheel of emotions, there are 8 elemental emotions that make up all of our feelings, and all supplementary emotions are made up of combinations of those 8 core emotions.

Emotional triggers may not always be obvious to us. Sometimes these emotional triggers are subconscious; brought on by ingrained behaviors and tendencies, which a substantial portion of customers have been shown to demonstrate.

There's no limit to the types of emotions you can draw on from your customers. The only caveat of your success is how effectively you can establish an emotional connection with your target market. Creating this emotional connection is crucial to driving engagement with your brand, and creating excitement for the products/services you're offering.

The emotions that you could use to your advantage aren't even always positive. In fact, fear and guilt are some of the biggest motivators you can utilize in your marketing campaigns - the real question is whether you want to associate those emotions with your brand image.

How Can Emotional Triggers Benefit Marketers?

Brand Marketing is a constant battle for any brand trying to establish itself within its marketplace.

Maintaining relevance against your competitors, earning positive word-of-mouth from your existing customers (through your online and in-store customer service), and establishing authority in the community of consumers within your industry - these are just some of the important marketing factors that small business owners need to juggle.

With all of this going on, it can be easy to let crucial considerations like using emotional triggers fall through the cracks. Don't let yourself be blinded by the big picture. Sometimes it's best to slow down and take a look at the little details making up your entire marketing campaigns.

Are you engaging with customers on more than a surface level? Do your marketing materials excite customers and drive them to take action?

You have to do more than simply show the usefulness of your products/services in today's world. More than ever, customers are choosing to support businesses that relate to them on a deep, emotional level. They want to see themselves in the brands that they choose to support.

This Brand Affinity is at the center of why emotional triggers are important. When potential customers believe that your business shares the same core values that they hold themselves, they're much more likely to choose your business over a competitor's.

Also, people are emotional creatures. Let's be fair, many of us would have a hard time saying that we haven't succumbed to impulse purchases in the past. Whether these were based on urgency, desire to be included, or a need to fulfill some other form of emotional satisfaction, almost everyone has done this at some point in their life.

Some Emotional Triggers Your Business Can Leverage:

Using emotional triggers isn't a new marketing technique, but it's overlooked surprisingly often when entrepreneurs are making business plans.

You don't have to scrap the ideas you're already working on. Just take the time to think about how the different aspects of your marketing campaigns are going to elicit reactions from your target audience.

Do you want to use fear to create urgency, or use elements of community to create a sense of belonging?

How you choose to frame your engagement with your customers can be the difference between creating strong Brand Loyalty, and the client choosing to go with a competitor.

Use Trust to Build a Connection

Whether you're just working on your first startup, or you've been a part of the market for years, establishing trust is the only way to maintain a successful business in the long-term.

There are a few different ways to build customer trust: consistently exceptional customer care, reliable quality, competitive Pricing Strategies.

One of the most efficient ways for building trust is using positive reviews and testimonials from customers to add credibility to your brand.

When you're running Email Marketing campaigns, designing website landing pages, or creating marketing materials for your next campaign, you should try including positive testimonials and reviews.

For customers who aren't familiar with your brand, or are still on the fence about whether to buy from you or one of your competitors, this can help encourage them to take action.

These endorsements straight from the mouths of your existing customers are much more relatable and believable to potential customers, than simply taking your business' claims at face value.

Fear is a Powerful Motivator

There's an old expression in the marketing world: FOMO - 'fear of missing out'.

Fear is an extremely powerful emotion, especially when combined with other emotions, such as jealousy or guilt.

In many cases, fear can cause us to make reactionary decisions, without taking the time to perform our normal checks and balances that we would make before finalizing a decision.

Used effectively, fear can be a great way to light a fire underneath your customer base. Create a sense of urgency by running limited time offers, or selling products in limited quantities.

These types of promotions trigger the emotional fear response, because no one wants to miss out on a potentially good deal - especially if it's for something that they could really use, or something they really want.

Just be careful never to use fear in a misleading way, because it will not only anger customers (no one likes being lied to), but it will hurt the entire credibility of your brand. That's the last thing you want.

Never Underestimate the Power of Instant Gratification

In today's fast-paced, digital world consumers expect everything to be available and deliverable instantly.

This demand for instant gratification has had a lot of negative impacts on the way that we run businesses. If you can't give customers what they want quickly and intuitively, you might have to rethink your business model.

The perfect example of this is Blockbuster Video. Video rental stores were all the rage in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Yet, when Netflix appeared, people could suddenly access so many of their favourite shows and movies anytime they want from the comfort of their couch. Rental stores like Blockbuster couldn’t sustain themselves, because they were no longer relevant or convenient.

So, if you've got a retail store, you can access instant gratification emotional triggers by ensuring that you offer ecommerce online shopping options. A place where customers can choose to 'Buy Now', and then pick up their purchases at your physical locations.

You can also leverage this as a way to help collect Customer Data, by using forms as a barrier to product or promotion access. This way, they just need to 'sign-up for instant access'.

It's a win-win situation for the customer. They get the instant gratification of access to whatever promotion or offer that you've made to them. You get to collect some valuable information, which you can use in your future marketing campaigns.

Invite Your Customer Base to Join a Like-Minded Community

Being invited into a group of peers is an extremely emotionally satisfying thing for many people, which is why using emotional triggers to make a customer feel like they belong is so effective.

One of the most common ways this is done is through creating loyalty programs, in order to establish Brand Loyalty.

If you push the exclusivity of the program, and ensure customers that they are going to receive benefits for joining the group that normal patrons won't be able to access, it creates excitement.

Sometimes the values of the community or group are the biggest draw for new customers - especially when it implies that they could improve their lives by joining. Gyms and spas are famous for using these types of marketing techniques to encourage customer engagement.

Be a gathering point for your customers. All of your existing customers have one thing in common - they support your business. Give them a place they can convene to discuss their similar interests, and you're sure to earn their loyalty.

Everyone wants to belong, to feel an emotional connection with our peers through the interests we share and products we use. Build your brand into becoming that bridge.

Establish Yourself as a Leader in Your Industry

It's a fact of nature that humans like to be led. That's why in times of crisis, we turn to our leaders to help us solve our problems.

When you set out to make yourself a leader in the industry of your choosing, you have to demonstrate in tangible ways how your business is leading the way in your chosen industry.

Think outside the box. Create partnerships with companion businesses that offer products that pair perfectly with the things your business provides. Set trends and try to offer new and exciting options that customers can’t get from your competition.

Get involved with the community that supports your business. Figure out what organizations mean the most to your customer base, and then go out of your way to get involved with them.

If you want your customers to connect with your brand emotionally, and see your business as a leader in your field, you need to do the work.

It takes a lot of time and effort to establish the kind of credibility necessary to earn the respect of a leader. But once you have it, your customers will use your brand as the pinnacle of what they expect from everyone in your industry.

They'll also likely start going out of their way to encourage other people looking for products/services in your domain to turn to you, because you've become their preference.

Those brand ambassadors can help expand the reach of your brand exponentially, which makes it easier to scale your business quickly and efficiently.

Sign-up for a Free Trial of Northsail's Newest Service - 'Horizon'

We Want to Hear What You Think

We've talked a lot about loyalty and connections in this article, which makes sense because emotional triggers help create both of those things - even if they aren't always positive.

We know that sometimes when you get feedback on new products and services, it isn't always all sunshine and rainbows, but that's okay. In fact, it's those constructive criticisms that help you improve your offerings, so that your business can get bigger and better.

With that in mind, Northsail wants to invite you to try out a free trial of our newest service 'Horizon'.

Horizon allows you to quickly create high-performance landing pages and microsites for your business. Plus, you can easily add valuable Customer Data Forms to any of your pages, all without the need for a developer's oversight!

All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think, once you've had a chance to try out Horizon. After all, that gives us the opportunity to continue improving our services, so we can continue being Ontario's #1 custom software developer.

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