Research suggests internet surfers need just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion of your company after landing on your website. If it doesn’t generate happiness or surprise, expect to be swiped, clicked, or tapped into oblivion.
We’ve become accustomed to making rapid decisions, especially online. Yet true to human nature, we still want emotional connections between us and the companies we support. Marketers must carefully plan to win engagement and attachment before users even know what they’re feeling.
Fine-tuning your customer’s heartstrings
Tugging at heartstrings from the get-go may sound impossible, but it’s not—as long as you involve your site designers and content creators from the beginning. Help them understand that you’re trying to generate empathy and trust. You want to elicit responses from customers’ innate senses the moment they open a browser. (LS Retail is working to accomplish this with its recently refreshed site.)
When a prospect reaches your site, they should feel like they belong. Everything from images to language should align with the viewer’s beliefs and needs, which reassures them. You should pepper the language with triggers that encourage action by including genuine pain (or pleasure) points.
No matter your level of brand recognition, you can still improve your emotional engagement with customers. You can’t expect emerging generations of consumers to behave like previous ones, so you should stay adaptable.
Try some of these science-backed, artful strategies to make an immediate and lasting impact on your audience.
- Walk a mile in prospects’ shoes.
You want a partnership with your prospects, but do they want one? Cultivate a long-term relationship by understanding what inspires them. Is it learning or counsel? Value and customer-centric focus beyond expectation? Use every tool at your disposal to find out what makes your targets tick, then deliver.
- Ditch manipulative storytelling.
Make your stories believable and rich with a dramatic, well-plotted story arc. Believable stories foster trust and feel-good emotions. They build stronger ties with prospects. To check if your stories are gathering momentum, look for social indicators such as organic, positive chatter about your company. If a story consistently gains zero traction, ditch it to avoid leaving a bad taste in prospects’ mouths.
- Encourage consumer participation.
Site designers and marketers need to remember communication isn’t a one-way street. Encourage some give-and-take with prospects by offering interactive content that gives them independence and respect. Allow visitors to drill down or explore your site multiple ways. This will help them see it as a place they belong.
- Back all approaches with data.
Designing a site for emotional appeal requires both artistry and facts. Use your data to constantly evaluate key performance indicators. For example, you may want to test the way your story is told or the content vehicles you implement. However, don’t fall into analysis paralysis. Ensure you’re moving toward—not away from—your goal.
Your audience may not realize it, but they crave a positive emotional response with your company. Give them what they want with a highly charged site filled with pleasurable, exciting, and thoughtful content.