Why Emotional Motivators Are Key For CRO

By Rodney Laws | Business

Nov 24

The process of conversion rate optimisation (henceforth abbreviated as CRO) is of paramount importance in the world of online business. So much effort goes into the extended process of lead generation, after all: being found in the first place can be difficult enough given the level of competition on offer, and then there’s everything that must be done to find relevant leads.

If you succeed in that endeavour and bring in a significant number of decent prospects only to drop the ball by failing to convince them to convert, all that effort will go to waste. CRO is all about critically examining the conversion funnel and finding ways to make it better. Do it well, and the result will be significant: even a slight uplift in conversion rate can have a big impact.

There are many facets to good CRO, but in this piece we’re going to look specifically at emotional motivators. If you’re consistently failing to convert even highly-relevant leads, this could well be the offending area. What are they, and why are they so important? Let’s get to it.

What are emotional motivators?

When we shop online, we can fool ourselves into thinking we’re making entirely-rational choices. There’s certainly a rational thought process involved, of course: we line up products, read reviews, consider costs, and do what we can to make our resulting actions justifiable. But it isn’t the only process affecting the outcome, because we’re heavily driven by how we feel.

And though I’ve opted for a featured image depicting some common emotional states (worry, anger, happiness, and sadness), it isn’t as simple as charting the desired emotion at any given time. Every online business tries to make its customers happy in a broad sense through working on customer experience, hoping to minimise issues that can bring them to anger. If you want to do CRO properly, you need to go deeper.

That means digging into more complicated emotional motivators: the impulses, drives and often-unspoken desires that influence our actions. Here’s an example: the desire to be part of something. Humans naturally group up and look to their peers for guidance and inspiration, and it’s often possible to draw upon this to construct compelling marketing materials and push referral marketing efforts.

Notably, some emotional motivators are in clear opposition. While everyone wants to be part of something, they also want to be different from their peers. They want the benefits of going with the crowd and the benefits of taking their own path. You can’t often target such contrasting motivators simultaneously, but you can target them separately in distinct cases.

Why are they important for CRO?

This follows straightforwardly from what we’ve already covered. Because our emotional motivators work in the background to sway our decisions, often without our conscious awareness, they can prove significantly more influential than our efforts to make rational decisions. We can’t control them anywhere near as effectively — and when they come to the forefront, they ensure that we take action somehow.

A CRO strategy that concentrates entirely on making practical and logical marketing arguments will inevitably prove inadequate. If you can build your core points around key emotional motivators — while ensuring that the practical points are taken care of — then you can hold attention more effectively and markedly increase the likelihood of earning conversions.

How can you take advantage of them?

So, having been through what emotional motivators are and why they’re so important for CRO, how can you effectively draw upon them for your ecommerce store? Here are some core tips:

  • Work to understand your target audience. If you’re going to play upon the emotional motivators of your prospective customers, you need to understand them. Take note of where they spend their time online. Do they discuss things on Twitter, or Facebook, or Reddit? Follow their conversations and glean what you can about their lives. What are their most prominent emotional drives? Do they want to stand out or fit in? Are they looking for excitement or security? The more you can learn, the easier you’ll find it to target the right emotional motivators in ways that will prove compelling.
  • Consider all viable types of media. Depending on what point you’re trying to get across, you might benefit from different types of media. Text is obviously the default, but imagery can be extremely powerful for emotive cases. The desire to stand out, for instance, can be catered to with bold and vibrant images. Alternatively, the desire for security could be accommodated with reassuring trust signals (or guide videos).
  • Embrace a more informal tone. When you’re trying to play upon someone’s emotions, it isn’t the best idea to take a professional tone that can’t effectively carry emotion. If your copy comes across as bland and unfeeling, it’ll diminish the impact of emotional points. The more you can relax your tone and inject some more personality, the more easily you’ll be able to influence people’s actions.

Wrapping up, emotional motivators are essential considerations for CRO because they’re immensely important in the decision-making process (regardless of what products are being considered). Your marketing — whether on or off your site — needs to take them into account. If you’re not already doing that, make the change now.