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5 Effective Emotional Triggers to Grab Your Audience

Apr 04, 2019 radiantmarketing View all posts by
small business marketing

How do you think an individual will feel when they read your marketing messages?

Feelings and emotion play a much bigger role in decision-making than many people realize.

Your messaging is pure gold if a potential patient sees your ad and thinks, "They are totally describing me" or "that's what I need!"

When creating your marketing messages, it’s important to tell a story that appeals to your audience’s emotions. As logical as we humans think we are, we make a lot of decisions based on how we feel.

Later on, we'll discuss how to create those types of messages using each of the more common emotional triggers.

But for now, think about a time you've heard a marketing message that really strikes a chord with your emotions. How did it affect your buying decisions or impression of that brand?

If you connected with the brand's message in a positive way, you probably felt the following:

  • You felt understood
  • You felt like finally someone was listening to you as a consumer
  • You felt like you weren't alone—and maybe even felt like you were part of a bigger community of like-minded people.

All human beings essentially have the same mental triggers that drive actions.

Studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than just information, to make buying decisions. Emotional responses to marketing actually influence an person’s decision to buy more than the content of an ad.

In fact, out of 1,400 successful advertising campaigns, those with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those with only rational content.

Once you identify the target audience for your marketing messages, consider which emotional triggers you can connect to those messages, whether to make potential patients feel something, or to make them act on those feelings and remember your brand because of them.

Here are 5 effective emotional triggers to tie into your marketing messages to increase your brand awareness and your sales:

Fear/Surprise—everyone is afraid of something. Fear and surprise makes us cling to what's comfortable and desire a quick solution. Take the approach of pointing out a fear that exists, empathize with that fear and then remove the threat with your solution. This encourages people to see your brand as the only "good thing" in a dark world, which in turn encourages brand loyalty.

Sadness/Empathy—sadness is a powerful emotion that can come in many forms. Marketers can use sadness or empathy in their strategies by turning it into a positive outcome. Nonprofit organizations use this tactic frequently: would you rather spend your money on a Starbucks coffee instead of using it to save a starving child? Are you going to just toss that water bottle in the garbage instead of helping the Earth by recycling? If using this emotional appeal, always be sure to tie into a positive solution or opportunity. Avoid turning it into a preachy lecture.

Trust/Comfort—trust is one of the most common and powerful emotions tapped by marketers to sell their services or products. Trust is the foundation of any relationship and key to building brand loyalty. If there isn't any trust, or it’s lost, there isn't a relationship. Make sure that your marketing campaign earns and keeps the trust of your audience.

Happiness/Belonging—human nature gives us the desire to belong to something or feel a part of a group. Make your audience feel as though you are part of the family or part of your team and develop messages that connects you with the beliefs or values of your audience.

Competitiveness/Passion—you've heard of ‘keeping up with the Jones’—it’s an old adage for a reason. Humans are affected by a competitive desire to feel equal to or better than their peers. Use a marketing message that elicits feelings of competition to get a viral response!

Building upon human emotions in your marketing messaging is a highly effective way to stick in the minds of potential patients and consumers.

And this doesn't just apply to advertisements: you can (and should) use the power of emotional triggers in all of your brand messaging, including content on your blog and website.

Download the free website optimization checklist below to make sure you're writing emotional content that converts on every page.

download the Wellness Website Checklist


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