25 Consumer Emotions Your Content Cannot Fail to Neglect

Consumer emotions play a major role in decision-making processes.

For example…

When you’re stressed and selecting food for dinner, you opt for pizza.

When voting for political candidates, anger and frustration guide who you cast a ballot for.

And when making purchase decisions, the way sales copy influences and taps into your emotions causes you to buy immediately.

With 95% of our purchasing decisions made subconsciously, consumer emotions are a key driver in behavior (source).

That’s why when writing copy for your business, you must write in a way that emotionally grabs your prospects.

So how do you do it? Check out our top 25 consumer emotions to help you focus the messaging in your content.

Consider this list a handy resource, complete with various examples for how each emotion can be used to inspire effective, emotionally driven copy.

#1: Doubt

Your content should be doing two things at once:

  • Minimizing the doubt that your product/service will work
  • Increasing doubt in the other competitive offerings on the market

Acknowledging that your prospect’s doubt is present is the first step. From there, share information that supports the claims you make about your product and disproves claims made by your competitors to earn trust through your copy.

#2: Greed

“Greedy? Me? No way!”

Greed is often seen as a negative emotion, but there’s no denying the fact that we’d all like to have more time, money, luxury, and social connections. And that’s ok.

Make it clear that your business will give prospects more of what they seek, and you will stimulate and speak to these feelings.

Explain how you will give them what they are seeking, and what’s needed from them to make it happen–whether it be signing up for a webinar or purchasing a product.

#3: Curiosity

This Huffington Post article describes it best. “Humans are deeply curious beings. Our lives, economy, and society are shaped so strongly by a drive to obtain information that we are sometimes called informavores: creatures that search for and digest information, just like carnivores hunt and eat meat.”

Find ways to intrigue your prospects by…

  • Creating open loops in your copy–like a teaser at the beginning of a story.
  • Dropping hints in an email that makes people want to click through to a landing page.
  • Providing info that causes a paradigm shift in their thinking.
  • Using verbiage such as, “What if I told you,” “Consider the following,” and “Did you know?”

No matter which strategies you employ, make sure the information you provide is valuable and satisfies your prospect’s sense of curiosity.

Encouraging your prospects to continue reading and discover more about your offerings will move them closer towards conversion.

#4: Trust

As we described in emotion #1, it’s important to establish trust with your prospects to help them overcome their doubts about purchasing from you.

To do this, you’ll need to speak to their pain points and propose how your product or service will alleviate them.

Remember people are more likely to trust writing that feels more human–so opt for a personable tone rather than dry, bland business-speak.

Be sure to address:

  • What past customers think (this can come in the form of testimonials and reviews). This is a powerful trust builder!
  • The benefits of your product.
  • How your product works.
  • What knowledge or experience you have that can help them.
  • Clearly state any guarantees or your refund policy.

#5: Validation

“Yes, I WAS right!”

Great sales copy validates what somebody has been pondering all along.

Self-doubt is an emotion that many of us face, no matter how confident we may appear on the outside.

Having our beliefs, ideas, and needs validated strengthens bonds between prospects and brands–so use your copy as a way to confirm that your prospect’s ideas or suspicions were correct.

#6: Competition

There’s nothing like a healthy dose of competition to encourage prospects to take action.

Write copy that speaks to how your offering will enable customers to outshine their competitors–whether it be their ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend or their startup’s rival company.

Focus on the competitive advantages prospects will have once they purchase and use your product–and don’t forget to leverage the power of description to help them envision what that looks like in practice.

#7: Hope

Yes, there are emotions like fear and stress that are important to address and acknowledge in copywriting. But on the other end of the spectrum, you need to offer hope.

Paint a vivid picture of how your product has the power to transform a prospect’s negative experiences and emotions into positive ones.

See how Grammarly offers hope for “better conversations, remarkable accomplishments, and healthier relationships” to users in their email below…

Grammarly

Additionally, use real customer testimonials or case studies to help move your prospects closer to conversion.

#8: Pride

Achieving our goals and dreams gives us a sense of pride and confidence.

Focus your marketing message on how your product or service will give your prospects something to be proud of.

For example, let’s say you’re selling an outline course that certifies participants in a certain skill or knowledge base.

Play up the fact that upon completion of the course, they will receive, certificates, badges, or awards that they can show off and feel proud of.

Additionally, consider using case studies and feature testimonials showcasing how past customers now feel this sense of pride since purchasing your offerings.

#9: FOMO

Fear
Of
Missing
Out

If you notice that all of your friends suddenly own the newest iPhone, you might have that sudden “Hey, I want to join the club too!” feeling.

Stimulate these feelings in your prospects and demonstrate the popularity and preference for your products.

This can be accomplished by sharing…

  • News and media coverage your tech startup received.
  • Stats that support the rise in preference for the baby products you offer.
  • Pictures customers have posted on social media visiting your restaurant or bar.

Use these various content pieces to your advantage, and unleash the FOMO!

#10: Belonging

Even the most introverted people crave a sense of community and connection with others, whether it’s participating in a book club or signing up for a gym.

Reflect on how your product or service connects your customers to each other, whether it be physically, virtually, or ideologically.

Perhaps consider creating and promoting a private Facebook community where customers can connect and share advice and tips.

When you address the benefits you offer, make sure to emphasize these elements of connection.

#11: Love

Maybe it’s the love for a significant other. Or the love for a child, grandparent, or friend.

Whatever it may be, people are motivated based on love for other beings. It’s why we make purchase decisions based on keeping our loved ones safe, or showing them appreciation via gift-giving.

Don’t hesitate out of fear of sounding cheesy–show how your offerings fulfill the need to express and satisfy love.

#12: Comfort

Whether it’s making your prospects feel at home or reducing a burden in their lives, find ways to guide prospects into their comfort zones.

Minimize fears and anxieties by addressing common questions and concerns, and make sure you communicate availability from a customer service standpoint.

#13: Leadership

Perhaps your target demographic is C-level executives looking for a way to refine their leadership skills.

Or teachers looking for a new way to gain respect and attention in their classrooms.

Demonstrate how your product will transform their capabilities to become a leader with loyal followers. If you have a creation story behind your company that reflects your own leadership journey–share that as well!

#14: Nostalgia

That feeling when leaves change, the air becomes crisp, and fall has arrived.

Or remembering how you felt on your wedding day every time your anniversary rolls around.

People make certain purchase decisions purely due to nostalgia.

Using sensory descriptions (touch, taste, smell, etc.), paint a picture to transport your prospects back to these sentimental times while drawing the connection to your products and services.

#15: Stress

It’s always helpful to develop a customer avatar–a detailed profile of your target customer–in order to gain clarity on their opinions, preferences, and emotions.

For example, you can use an avatar to determine which stressors may be apparent in your prospects’ lives.

Maybe it’s a mother who is trying to raise three young children. Or an active teenager dealing with muscle pain after a sport-related injury.

Make sure the copy on your website, blogs, and social posts acknowledges and understands these stressors–then demonstrate how your offerings will counteract them.

#16: Desire

Take a minute to think about what might compel your prospect to purchase your products.

Perhaps it’s fitting into that pair of skinny jeans that would compel them to purchase your online fitness program.

Or winning compliments of admiration for cooking up a feast using your cooking utensils.

Once you’ve used a customer avatar to identify your prospect’s desires, you’ll be able to vividly describe how your product or service will help your prospect achieve them.

#17: Lack of Time

Time is a commodity in our fast-paced, overscheduled world. If your product or service decreases the typical amount of time needed to complete a task–don’t shy away from emphasizing that fact.

For example, if your target demographic is busy entrepreneurs, communicate that you understand the demands such as developing pitch decks, analyzing business plans, meeting with investors, and sourcing the right graphic and web designers.

Then describe how your solution will save them time (and money) so they can be more efficient in developing their businesses.

#18: Envy

Eggs with faces

Social status and approval motivate many of our actions and decisions.

Does your product elevate the status, ability, or appearance of your customers in a desirable way?

If so, show how. Be careful you don’t come right out and say that your product will create a sense of envy in a customer’s social circle–no one likes a show-off.

Instead, focus on playing up the benefits and features of your products–show, don’t tell.

#19: Instant Gratification

We live in a world of instant gratification. You can blame Amazon or social media, but one thing’s for sure: it’s here, and our desire for NOW is only growing stronger.

Does your product clear acne in a matter of days?

Does your coaching program make someone money in the first week?

Can someone get your course within seconds after purchase?

When it comes to writing copy that communicates instant gratification, showcase how quickly your product or service works or arrives, whatever the case.

And don’t hide it in the fine print. Make sure it’s loud and clear.

#20: Laziness

Showing how your offerings make life easier will go along way in moving the dial closer towards conversion.

Enter laziness. Or the desire to avoid doing something unpleasant. It’s is a strong motivator for some people.

If it makes sense for your customer avatar, communicate how purchasing your product will cut 20 hours out of their work week. Or save them from having to rinse the dishes. Or the thrill of never having to cut their lawn again.

If you can show how your solutions will cut out unnecessary hassle and time to get things done–the more compelling your offerings will be.

#21: Fear

This is a big one. As much as we try to stay positive, deep down we all have those fears–whether they be rejection, isolation, death, illness, humiliation, or failure.

Great copywriting compels action–but there’s a fine line when using fear. You don’t want to completely freak your customer out with scare tactics. Or turn them off.

Be subtle in how you address their fears, and swiftly offer the beacon of hope that your product will bring in by overcoming these fears.

#22: Inspiration

Inspiration is one consumer emotion we should all aspire to achieve.

Perhaps your product isn’t the kind of thing that will bring goosebumps or an accelerated heartbeat to your prospects–but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t necessarily inspirational.

Again, paint a picture of the “after.” Tell stories about how your product has made customers’ lives easier, more meaningful, or more fun.

#23: Disgust

Sometimes we are propelled to buy things because, as stated in the point above, we’re inspired.

On the other side of the token, people may be propelled to take action out of disgust–for a messy home, spoiled food, or unethical business practices.

If your product or service serves as a solution to disgust–don’t hesitate to share why.

#24: Guilt

There’s a fine line between motivating and turning your prospects off if you try to full-on guilt trip them into purchasing your products or services.

Instead, harness the feelings of guilt that your prospects may feel–perhaps about their eating habits, time spent with their family, or feelings of envy in their social circle–and present your product as a solution.

Express that you understand why they feel guilty–if you’ve been there, be sure to share that as well.

Follow it up with how your product or service will shift prospects out of these feelings so they can live happier lives.

#25: Flattery

Last but not least–everyone likes to be flattered from time to time.

Maybe it’s acknowledging the hard work, focus, and ambition required to be an entrepreneur. Or expressing gratitude and appreciation for the love and commitment that pet owners possess.

The more your prospects or subscribers see you as a source of affirmation, the closer they will feel to your brand and what you have to offer.

Don’t hesitate to leverage these emotions in your content marketing efforts–they will no doubt work to your advantage!

Found this article to be useful and want to share with colleagues and peers? Share it on LinkedIn!

michelle

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