Emotional Triggers in Website Design

31 October 2014

Emotional triggers are often forgotten when designing a website, which is a great shame as they can make a huge difference to your customer base.

There are many strategies available to get you more visitors on your website, lots of techniques concerning search engine optimisation and advertising. Whilst these are invaluable and absolutely necessary, you should also think along the lines of psychology too.

Left and Right Brain Theory

Have you heard about the left/ right brain theory? Have you ever wondered what it has to do with web design?

Human beings can be very easily convinced whether you’re being persuaded by a friend to accompany them on a night out, by the shop assistant to buy that pair of jeans you’re undecided on, or when purchasing something online. Emotional triggers persuade us to take actions.

  • The left brain – considered to be better at language, logic, critical thinking, numbers and reasoning.
  • The right brain – considered to be better at expressing and reading emotions, colour, images, creativity, intuition and music.

Our online presence is becoming more public, and a lot less private. A few decades ago it was the norm to use formal language on websites, now brands are getting more personality to appeal to their users, using a variety of appropriate emotional triggers.

We all use the left and right side of our brain to some extent, but we tend to use one side more than
the other. Thinking of this psychological theory when designing a website can really help you look at it from a more human perspective. You can ask yourself questions such as; how can I appeal to people logically and creatively? What would make the visitor trust us but also find us creative and modern?

Effective Emotional Triggers

When writing your web content, you should consider using emotional triggers to evoke the feelings of your website visitors. This concept will undoubtedly appeal to people’s feelings making you stand out from the crowd.

For example, ‘Belle Flower’ is an online fashion company. The following are examples of how they could use different emotional triggers to obtain more customers.

  • Doubt –  ‘Are you sure that you are dressing for your body shape?’ – Making the visitor uncertain can appeal to their inner fears;
  • Desire – ‘How to keep warm but look cool – just what you need this winter!’ – The desire to do better in life and improve is normal for everyone.
  •  Trust – ‘100% customer satisfaction rate, read our reviews here’ – People will only buy products with companies that they trust, using bold font to highlight trust  triggering messages will get through to your visitor.
  • Value – ‘Discount on all dresses exclusively online’ Letting the visitor know that if they purchase an item with you, it will be worth their investment
  • Leadership – ‘Be the first to see our vintage collection’ – It’s a big bonus if you can make people feel like they are the first to experience something
  • Lack of Time – ‘Looking for that perfect gift?  Save time with our hot picks’ – People are busy and will appreciate the feeling of quick service with little effort on their part.
  • Success – ‘How to make money in the fashion industry – see our new blog – If your customers see that your are educating them on how to make money, they will consider you as successful in return.
  • Scarcity – ‘Get your Little Black Dress now before stocks run out’ – The idea that a product won’t be around for long is very tempting for the consumer. Apple are particularly familiar with this method of advertising when releasing their products.

You can use these emotional triggers plus more, and apply it to all types of businesses. They all amount to persuasion in web design. A website is so much more than just looking good, using emotional triggers doesn’t need to be viscous, just persuasive.

What emotional triggers would you use for your business?

How do you want to make people feel when they come to your site? What will influence them to invest in your service/ product?

Persuasion is a skill that requires development, just like any other. The important thing to remember with emotional triggers is that; if people are not compelled, they will not invest time and money. This means less visitors and customers for you. You don’t want that. Be careful when you are writing to your customers via your website content, think about how you would talk to them in real life, and what you would say to convince them to buy your product/ service with emotional triggers in mind.

If you would like to find out how can make your website work harder for your website and increase your website’s performance take a look at our website audits.