9 Powerful Emotional Triggers That'll Skyrocket Sales

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9 Powerful Emotional Triggers That'll Skyrocket Sales

It doesn’t matter how well-written your sales copy is if it’s not designed to elicit a specific reaction from your prospects.

“Buy our great, innovative, cutting edge product” is a concise way to get your message across, but it doesn’t answer the biggest question – why should they buy it?

The question of “why” is best answered with an emotional appeal.

Instead of describing what your product or service is, you’ll show them what it can mean to them – or how you’ll solve their biggest problem.

Here are some emotional appeals to use in your sales copy.

1. Time

Time is often used as an emotional trigger in marketing.

Here’s an example: Save 15% on your order, but only if you buy today.

People want to save the money, and they feel a sense of urgency to complete that purchase.

People who have abandoned carts on your eCommerce website will be more likely to make the purchase when they know a limited time discount is going to go away in the blink of an eye.

You’ve probably experienced this firsthand.

Have you ever purchased a product during a flash sale or when a discount was close to expiring?

Prospects will feel the same sense of urgency that you felt when they make that purchase.

2. Remorse

Remorse, or guilt, is an emotional trigger often used by charitable organizations to inspire people to donate.

If your company donates a portion of your proceeds to a charitable organization, all you need to do is show the positive impact you’re having on people who really need the help.

Take Combat Flip Flops, for example. This is a company that employs people in tough economic climates to make their products. Women in Afghanistan are employed to make the company’s shemaghs and sarongs.

This employment empowers them, allowing them to have an income they may not have otherwise been able to have.

They lead with that information, and people recognize that they’re elevating the “have-nots” when they shop from the company.

3. Fear

Fear is most commonly used emotion to inspire customers to act before the chance becomes a missed opportunity.

It’s a strong motivator with limited-edition products, for example.

Beauty brands (such as Colourpop) do this often: They’ll collaborate with social influencers to produce a limited amount of collector’s makeup items, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Fear is a very powerful motivator, and it’s important to utilize that motivator in an ethical way.

Putting out false information or stretching the truth to use fear as a motivator can land your business in hot water. Prospects won’t come back once they’ve been burned.

4. Trust


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Consumers are a lot more skeptical than they used to be, because of the countless data breaches that seem to occur every day, for example.

It’s almost like you can’t turn on the news without seeing another company that mishandled information or failed to secure vulnerabilities on their website.

This leads to credit card information being intercepted by hackers, which is a consumer’s worst nightmare.

By aggressively securing your eCommerce website and implementing a strict privacy policy, you’re creating an environment that shoppers can trust.

Make sure they know that you aren’t taking a laissez-faire approach to cybersecurity. Display your seals and let them know how hard you work to protect them.

5. Sense of Belonging

PC or Mac? Android or iPhone? Ford or Chevy? Pepsi or Coke?

These dichotomies aren’t an accident. Both products could be great, but people always feel the need to remain loyal to one or the other. This is a result of branding done in direct competition.

When you set yourself apart from your competitors by thoroughly distinguishing your product or service and the way it triumphs over their product or service, you’re engaging people’s sense of belonging.

You’re inspiring them to become part of a team. They feel like they’ve joined you, rather than merely chosen to shop with you.

This makes customers loyal in the long term, inadvertently turning them into brand ambassadors.

6. Values

Values can come from many angles. Both perceived monetary value and intrinsic human values play a strong part in marketing.

If you create products aimed at families, for example, emphasizing the importance of family will speak to the people you want to become your customers.

Monetary value is different, but many consumers consider it to be equally important.

This is easy to emphasize if you’re able to provide a product that’s similar in quality to a competitor’s product, but priced more affordably. It also works if you offer more for the same price.

7. Personal Gratification


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People don’t like to wait. They want something they can get right now.

That’s exactly why Amazon Prime is so popular. Customers don’t have to wait a week for shipping when they have a guaranteed two-day delivery with no minimum purchase.

Would you be more likely to sign up for a smoothie loyalty program if your tenth drink was free, or if signing up got you a free juice right on the spot?

Give people something right away. It gets them excited.

8. Empathy

Empathy is best addressed through pain points, and it’s often used in infomercial marketing.

You see a person struggling to chop onions, and you know what they’re going through.

Then you see them take out their fancy new onion chopper, and you watch the problem being solved in real time.

You know what it feels like to be the person with tears in their stinging eyes, trying to dice that onion.

Use your marketing to show prospects what it’s like to be the person who doesn’t need to be worried about that problem anymore.

9. Greed

Greed sounds almost sinful, but we all love getting more than we paid for.

Nobody complains when they get free fries at the drive thru or see the incentive of a gift with purchase.

Customers are already paying for the item, but they’re effectively getting more than the value.

This is exactly why so many fragrance vendors use the technique of gifts with purchase.

Perfumes are a high cost item, and it can be hard to show someone the value of a smell.

When brands throw in a free tote bag, umbrella, or a pair of sunglasses, consumers feel as though you’ve increased the value. Customers get the item, plus a quick “gimme” bonus. What could be better than that?

Final Thoughts

Consider implementing the appropriate emotional appeal into your existing marketing copy and strategies.

You’ll build a deeper connection with your customers with relatively little effort, and you’re doing it by appealing to their human side.


Elizabeth Lee (1)

Elizabeth Lee is a marketing expert, blogger and avid coffee drinker, currently supporting PACK & SEND – experts in the fields of logistics and transportation. Elizabeth enjoys sharing her tips and strategies for business growth online, and often discusses best strategies with employers and business owners. Follow her on Twitter at @LElizabethLee86.

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