Five tools to increase sales through psychology and emotional targeting

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People Don’t Buy Products; They Buy Possibilities

Think about what you sell. It’s probably not something people absolutely need to function in their everyday lives, is it? Instead, it’s something they want, or something that would make their lives more convenient or fuller in some way. And that’s totally ok. People don’t buy from your ecommerce store because they need the product – they buy it because they think using your product will help them become their better selves.

Emotional targeting means captivating your audience's’ interest by making them feel something about your product. It happens through telling stories they can relate to, or offering them a glimpse of how their life could improve. It’s not focusing on what you sell, it’s focusing on the why.

Rational Vs. Emotional Triggers

There are essentially two “triggers” you can use with your marketing to explain your products to potential customers. Rational triggers are those ads that go over each product, say its benefits and uses, and make your viewers think about the facts of why it’s a good idea to buy it.

Emotional triggers jump in differently, they make your viewer feel something right away by relating to what they see. Whether it’s hope, joy, heartache, nostalgia, anxiety, curiosity, or even a big “awww”; getting your viewer emotionally invested is what turns them into a customer.

In reality, of course, you need both. People justify an emotional purchase with facts, so the goal is to make someone fall in love with your store, then give them enough rational reasons to actually buy. Lucky for us, people are not snowflakes and often behave quite predictably. Understanding some basic psychology tactics can help us tap into our online viewers’ emotions.

Learn a few ways to tap into the “why” and get your potential customers engaged.

Make It Happen

Use these five concepts to help you be less afreud of behavioural marketing

Anchoring and Pricing

Anchoring is the idea that your customers will rely on the first piece of information they see, and compare other information to it. It’s how companies can charge for high end products by showing an even higher price first. We see this constantly in marketing – sales displays show a first price slashed by a second (even if the second price was the price all along), or limits on the number of purchases per person to drive up sales (even if that’s more purchases than a person would have made at first), adding an accessory item that is expensive as part of a package deal – but hey, it’s cheaper than the big ticket product so it seems like a great value. Anchoring is one of the basics of behavioural economics, and is used when determining or displaying prices.

A few quick and dirty tips to make the most of anchoring:

  • Add words such as “small” or “low” next to the word “fee”
  • Reframe the timeline – make your membership break down to $9 per month instead of $108 per year
  • Bundle your products into packages
  • Say your biggest seller is $30: Stick a bigger ticket item that’s somewhat similar and sells for $100 right next to it. 

Want more? Read about Apple’s pricing strategy that made them a game changer. Or, take a look at this playbook of price pages that successfully use anchoring. 

Loss Aversion and Urgency

One tactic is to convince your viewer that by not buying your product, they are missing out. A common way to do this is through creating a sense of urgency. Loss aversion flips the common narrative, and focuses on what your customer would be missing out on in their lives by not having your product, rather than the benefits they gain from having it. People hate losing and you should frame your copy to reflect that. 

A few quick and dirty tips to increase the sense of urgency 

  • Offer flash sales, and include a countdown timer until it ends

  • Offer limited edition lines or items, and tell your customer how many are left in stock (or how soon they won’t be in stock anymore)

  • Instead of messaging “This fluffy pillow makes you sleep better” try something like “You never had a good night’s sleep before this fluffy pillow came into your life” Focus on the loss first, and then introduce your product as the solution. 

Be careful, nobody likes to come to terms with their direct marketing. Even though you want to increase loss aversion and urgency, you don’t want to make it so obviously contrived that your viewers lose trust. 

See Your True Colours, Shining Through

Every decision about your logo, layout and website feel includes a colour choice. Colours can be used as a powerful tool that our brain responds to in different ways, more than just in making our site aesthetically pleasing or readable.

Choosing your colour scheme isn’t necessarily about what product you’re selling; it’s about the image you’re creating. You can sell toilet bowl cleaner and consider blues and purples to evoke serenity and wisdom. Ah yes, my toilet being clean means I will be relaxed and thinking wise thoughts while I am on the toilet. Hey, it could happen. 

Audience, Narrative and Continuity 

Stories rarely have universal appeal, but that’s ok. When you dig into your data you’ll find out more about your audience. Who is buying your product? Are they from a certain industry? A certain age? Who responded most to your last ad campaign?

When you know who you’re writing for, you can write stories for them. Narratives come in all forms (not just a long-winded blog post). They can be in your products themselves, and how each of your items goes with each other forming a set. They can be the models you use to display your products – what are they using your products for? Do your models look like your customers? Narratives are deeply embedded into tools like video marketing or marketing with Instagram. The copy on your store is of course a narrative. Does it flow? Does it guide the viewer into knowing what to click on next?

Continuity is key for emotional targeting. Think from the perspective of the user: You want your customer to hear your story, relate to it, and have a “next step” – buying your product and trusting your brand. Your customers will trust you more if what they are seeing is consistent, high quality, and well thought out. Keeping your branding consistent and your messaging clear is essential for this element. Here are some tips on creating content and choosing words based on emotion.

Your Products Are Value, Not Money

Of course, you’re looking at your profits and bottom line. But your customer is looking for your value. Market yourself as value-added based on emotions. For example, instead of messaging “These alien figurines are great on your mantlepiece” you could try “Open up another world. Alien figurines that bring your imagination to life”. The second option focuses on the value added to the person, rather than the value added to their home decor.

A few quick and dirty tips for showing off your added value

  • Make sure the benefits of your products are clear

  • Those benefits should revolve around “what will this do for my customer?”, and ideally “how should my products make my customer feel when they have it?”

  • Illustrate your product as the solution to a problem

What’s Next?

Learning how to market using emotional triggers and psychology is part intuition, part research into your own data, and part learning. Here are a few other resources you can check out to help you.

Are you interested in boosting your sales on your Shopify store? Elkfox is here to help. We can help you build an optimal Shopify store that hones in on emotional targeting for your audience. Contact us today to get started.