Massage Those Emotions: How to Use Emotion to Grow Your Business

It’s time to talk about our emotions. Feeling uncomfortable yet?

Don’t go! We’re not talking about those kinds of emotions. We’re talking about the ones that inspire your customer to buy from you, participate in your community, and advocate for your brand without you having to bribe them.

You see, emotions are a powerful motivator. You may think that people buy because of logic. Nope. People buy because of their emotions and then they use logic to justify their purchase.

This is why.

Logic & Emotion

Think about the very last purchase you made. Let’s say it was a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Was it logical to spend two bucks on a cup of coffee that you could make at home for 25 cents? I don’t think Spock would approve. However, was the purchase motivated by emotion? You like the coffee house experience, you like the way the coffee tastes, you like how you look drinking it.

You use logic to justify the price: this place is convenient, it has a reputation for predictable service, I have the money.

But imagine if Starbucks used that same logic to get your business.

Come to Starbucks. You have the money.

There certainly wouldn’t be a Starbucks on every corner if they used pure logic to drive sales.

But this is the mistake a lot of businesses make when it comes to sales and marketing. They hone in on the logical side of why someone should buy their product, but they don’t appeal to the emotions that propel people to buy.

Here’s the hard truth: no one needs to buy your product. It’s nice to have or use, but it’s not a necessity, in the way that water, oxygen, food, and shelter are. In order to get people to buy your product, you’ve got to punch them in their emotional center. Here’s how to do that:

Start With the Why

Have you ever heard of Simon Sinek? He’s a bestselling author and speaker who originated the idea of the golden circle.

Image Courtesy of Simon Sinek, LinkedIn

The golden circle is a way of looking at the decision making part of your brain. You have the neocortex which dictates rational thinking. Next, you have the limbic part of the brain that is all emotion all the time. Finally, you have instincts that help you survive, react to danger, and move toward safety.

In Sinek’s model, rational thinking deals with the what (what are you selling, what is the purpose of it).

Emotional thinking goes deeper into the how (how will this product affect me, how will it make my life better).

Instinctual thinking is that gut feeling that can’t be articulated into words. It’s motivated by trust (can I trust you, why are you selling to me).

A lot of businesses only market to the rational, logical part of the brain, but as we discussed earlier, logic won’t move the needle. Just knowing that you’re selling something (and what you’re selling) isn’t going to propel your customer to action.

But, if you massage your customers’ emotions by targeting their pain points and explaining how your product will improve their lives, you’re much more likely to make the sale.

Now, if you want to achieve master level status, you need to reach the “why” part of the brain and get folks to trust you.

Trust is established when a customer believes that your brand’s core values align with their own. They’ll learn to trust you after multiple interactions with your brand (this is why content marketing is so crucial to growing your business). Trust is elusive and it doesn’t come without hard work, time, and effort.

Does that mean you have to wait until folks deeply trust you to make a sell?

Nope. You can start moving product immediately if you know how to reach your customers’ emotions. Let’s talk about how you do that.

Focus on Benefits Not Features

If you’re appealing to logic, you’ll just list the features of your product. This may be a list of what you offer or what your product does. It’s a matter of fact with no room for opinion.

While you should definitely include your product’s features on the sales page, you should take it one step further and explain how the product will benefit the customer.

Use your target customer’s pain points as your starting point.

Provide a Sense of Accomplishment

Give your customers a feeling of accomplishment when they deal with you. A transaction with your brand should feel like an instant win.

MailChimp is my favorite example of a brand that knows how to pat you on the back.

Despite its name, MailChimp is great at being human. Not only does it guide you step by step through the process of creating your own newsletter, you get a virtual high five when you’ve successfully completed a campaign.

Image Courtesy of MailChimp

That feeling of accomplishment puts a smile on your face and makes you want to return again, and even tell people about your experience.

Takeaway: Make your customers feel like they’ve accomplished something, and then acknowledge it. If they sign up for your email list, celebrate them. Don’t let the opportunity pass to put a smile on their face.

Provide a Sense of Beauty

Create a visual brand experience that makes people feel happy when they interact with you. Your visual branding goes beyond packaging. It’s also how your website looks and functions, and the way your blog reads (is it too word-heavy or is there a balance of text, images, and white space).

Remember that beauty doesn’t have to be over the top ornate. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

The team at Hunger Crunch created an incredible web design that draws you in immediately. It’s the combination of movement, animation, harmonious colors, and surprising elements that makes the whole brand attractive.

I’m also a big fan of Zen Habits. It’s completely stripped down. And this beautiful simplicity is exactly the experience the Zen Habits audience craves.

Takeaway: People are drawn to beautiful, harmonious design.

Provide A Sense of Community

Community can bond your audience with you and with each other. More importantly, it gives them a central meeting place to share their experiences with each other.

You probably do this on your Facebook business page already. You ask questions, post behind-the-scenes photos of your team hard at work, and respond to feedback.

For inspiration’s sake, both and Quora are masterful at this.

Let’s talk about for a second. is a community for and about marketing. We all know that marketing can be a bloodsport, but the people in this community provide helpful advice, share tips, and interact with each other in genuine tones.

The reason? Because community is nurtured immediately upon sign up. After signing up, you’ll receive an email that nudges you to sign up and shows you how to do it.

Image from my inbox

This invites you to be a part of the community.

Takeaway: Think of how you can use a welcome email to invite subscribers to be a part of your own community.

Provide a Sense of Validation

People love to be respected by others. They also love it when their decisions are validated. On your website, include testimonials of people who’ve used (and loved) your product. Highlight success stories in your email newsletters. Let your visitors know about any awards you’ve recently won.

Marie Forleo has created an amazing page filled with just testimonials. It’s one heck of a scroll to the bottom. The result? Visitors who may be on the fence about buying her product are bolstered by such a huge show of testimonials.

Image Courtesy of Marie Forleo

Takeaway: The more you can show that others like your company, the more popular you’ll get. Use testimonials to provide social proof.

The Write Stuff

Last, but certainly not least, use words to create an emotional connection with your audience.

Copywriting can explore pain points and persuade customers to buy from you.

Content marketing can educate your customers, help them see you as an authority, and build trust.

Use both types of writing to hit an emotional high note with your audience. If you want to sell your services and grow your business (who doesn’t?), you’ll need to use the power of words to reach the emotional core of your audience.

Takeaway: Use content to emotionally connect with your audience.

Over to You

Do you know a brand that connects with you emotionally? Name drop below.