When was the last time your website made you feel emotional?
If you’re having a hard time coming up with an answer, it may be because your website lacks the emotional triggers necessary to connect with your visitors and motivate them to action.
That’s bad news for you if, like most small and medium businesses, you depend on online sales and website conversions for a large part of your revenue.
If you want your website to be as effective as possible, you need to approach it from your customers’ point of view. What do they lie awake at night worrying about? What problems are they struggling with that brought them to your site? What solutions can you offer to make their lives better?
What feelings move them to act on your CTAs and convert to paying customers?
The sooner you understand which emotions drive your customers, the sooner you can tailor your website to appeal more deeply to them. And the more your site appeals to those emotions, the better your website conversion rates will be.
So keep reading, because, in this blog, we’re showing you exactly how to increase your website conversion rate by triggering specific emotions among your audience.
Emotion 1: Fear
For most people, fear is one of the biggest motivators they know.
It’s a remnant of our ancient survival instincts, passed down through our DNA for centuries.
We may sometimes be able to tune out or ignore our fear, but we can never completely escape it. Consciously or unconsciously, it’s always there for humans on some level.
In fact, most of the emotions we talk about in this blog post can be traced back to fear in some way.
Humans fear pain, which explains why we will do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. That same fear of pain (or injury, or death) drives consumers to purchase products that make them feel safe — something that companies like Subaru have banked on for years:
But pain doesn’t have to be physical for us to fear it. In fact, our modern vernacular has evolved to include a new term for a very real and highly motivating emotion: the fear of missing out, or FOMO.
Triggers: Danger and Scarcity/Urgency
Play to your audience’s fear of physical pain by calling attention to their existing discomfort and pointing out possible dangers.
For example, let’s say you own a local dentistry practice — an industry with more than its share of fearful consumers — and want to increase your website conversion rate by getting more patients to book appointments through your online scheduling tool.
Trigger your patients’ fear through blog posts explaining the dire consequences of habits you often see in your patients, like not flossing or chewing ice. Explain how things that some patients might ignore, like reddening gums, can lead to bigger problems like gum disease if left unchecked. Show them the dangers they’ll face if they don’t book an appointment with you right away.
If you’re not a dentist, you may find that the emotional pain of exclusion is more dominant among your audience. In this case, use scarcity and urgency to trigger their FOMO, like Udemy did here:
Their homepage header image urges visitors to act quickly to take advantage of special pricing before the sale ends, and the banner at the top of the screen gives an added push with a countdown timer. You can test a similar tactic on your own website to increase your conversion rate, or replace the countdown timer with the number of products or appointments still available.
Emotion 2: Trust
On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum from fear is trust. The latter is more difficult to invoke in your audience, but once it’s there, it can be a powerful force for your brand.
That’s because people only buy from companies they trust. If you want to earn their business, you must first earn their faith in your services and products.
The good news is you don’t have to have a prior relationship with your website visitors for them to trust you. You can build that trust out of thin air using social proof.
Trigger: Satisfied customers
When it comes to building trust, your previous customers are your biggest asset. And you don’t have to scroll through your social media feeds for very long to see that countless companies are starting to catch onto this idea — everywhere you look, another “influencer” is touting a new product they’ve tested and approved.
Happy customers breed more happy customers.
Capitalize on that happiness and ask your customers to write a review of your company that you can use on your website like BetterHelp did here:
Chances are your customers will be more than happy to talk you up online if they truly found your products or services to be valuable. You can then use those testimonials to convince new customers that you know what you’re doing and that you do it well. According to a study from BrightLocal,
- 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 72% of consumers will take some sort of action after reading a positive review
So if you haven’t done so already, spend some time collecting those reviews from your past clientele — they’ll go a long way toward your conversion rate optimization.
Emotion 3: Lust
If you’re like most people, when you hear the word “lust,” you probably think of sex. And while the old adage that “Sex sells” has proven to be true time and time again, that’s not exactly the kind of lust we’re talking about in this section.
We mean the other definition of lust — a passionate or overmastering desire or craving.
You want your website visitors to desperately crave your products so that they keep coming back and buying more. Someone who has already bought your products knows exactly what they want when they come to your website the next time around, so the more you can make that happen, the better your average website conversion rate will be.
But that intense desire has to start somewhere, even if it means you have to generate it yourself.
People buy outcomes, not products.
They buy more time in their schedule, not an email automation tool.
They buy clear skin, not an acne face wash.
They buy a healthier home, not a cleaning spray.
If you want your customers to desperately want your products — to need your products — you must show them the kind of life they could live if only they bought what you’re selling.
Before-and-after photos are a popular way to do this, especially for companies in the health and beauty industries. You can also publish case studies to showcase your clients that have gotten excellent results from your services, like we did after building Seequelle’s new website:
Lastly, you can also let your audience try out your product or service for a set period of time. Trial periods have become a popular solution for everything from freemium software to mail-order mattresses, as seen on Casper’s website here:
Note that Casper also promises their customers the trial period is “risk-free,” which helps assuage any fear (see section 1) they might have felt about making such a large purchase.
Turn your website into a conversion machine
Still not sure how to improve the conversion rate on your website? we can help. Our team here at Trajectory has a proven track record for taking underperforming and lackluster websites and turning them into beautiful, hardworking tools to help companies like yours excel in their industry. Ready to learn more? Check out our past work, or contact us to get started.