While it may seem that rational thought plays the most important role in lead generation, emotion plays an equally important role. Humans are emotional by nature. Many decisions are made unconsciously rather than consciously and in many cases, the reasons behind decisions are not always as obvious as they may seem.

A potential lead may be influenced by a blog article that makes them feel excited. Another lead may feel an emotion such as hope or aspiration from another campaign that inspires them to make changes. You might get reactions such as fear or even anger. You may get aspirational thinking from campaigns designed to encourage leads to meet their goals. When you begin to factor in emotion, your lead generation campaigns have the potential to deepen into something that can connect to audiences on a far deeper level. The trick to making this approach work is to first understand the role that emotions play within lead generation and marketing. In this guide, we take a look at how you can use emotion to enhance your strategies.

Before we get started, let’s take a closer look at emotional marketing. This type of emotion is not new, although it is still not used as expansively as other types of marketing. Using emotion to encourage leads to remember, buy or share is a powerful way to encourage response. Along with singular emotions such as fear, happiness or sadness, there are many other emotions that exist on a broad spectrum Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions showcases this spectrum perfectly.

emotion in lead generation

Image: Plutchik’s Wheel of emotion

Emotional marketing takes these emotions into account when planning various campaigns. Rather than focusing purely on purchasing decisions, lead scoring, and other thought-based strategies, this strategy also uses emotion to influence decisions. As such, it can be an incredibly valuable addition to your overall lead nurturing campaigns.

Now that you have a better idea of how emotional marketing works, let’s see how it can be implemented within your campaigns.

How Emotion Affects Lead Generation

How do you go about using emotion within your lead generation campaigns? How exactly does emotion affect the decision-making process? There are a number of ways that you can speak to your audience’s emotions. Some of the most effective ways include:

  1. Images and video. Visuals can be extremely powerful in eliciting emotions. Even stock images can illustrate happiness, fear, sadness, confusion, excitement, stress, and many other emotions. Videos achieve this even more effectively. When you use images and video carefully, you can begin to trigger an emotional response.
  2. Stories. Storytelling remains an effective part of all marketing. For lead generation, storytelling does not only prompt emotion; it also inspires trust, builds rapport, and helps leads connect to your brand. When you use stories and choose words carefully rather than creating cold, impersonal content that does little to inspire, you have the chance to connect on a deeper level as you increase an emotional investment. This is also where emotional copywriting comes into play.
  3. Social proof. There is no doubt that humans long to be part of something. Social proof is a perfect example of this, illustrating the power that reviews, recommendations, testimonials, and other peer input can have over decisions. Using any of these can help leads take the next step along your sales funnel.

Using Emotion in Your Lead Generation Strategy

While these three focus areas will greatly help you begin to incorporate emotion into your lead generation strategy, you will need to go a bit further to truly see the benefits of this approach. These tips will help you apply the principles of emotional marketing into your campaigns to reach your audience more effectively.

Understand your audience

Before you can begin to use emotional marketing, you first need to understand your audience to know what type of content they will respond to and what emotions you will need to use within your various campaigns. You will need to know what your audience wants, you will need to know their pain points, their dreams, and anything else that helps you plan emotion-driven campaigns.

This means doing plenty of audience research. Creating lead profiles can help considerably. Lead forms can also be useful, provided they are done properly and not in a way that drives leads away. Even fun quizzes can be surprisingly effective in determining how your audience feels. The better you understand your audience, the better chance you have of planning emotion-based campaigns.

Cultivate a sense of happiness

Think about big brands such as Coca-Cola. When this brand comes to mind, the emotions you likely associate with the brand focus purely on happiness. Coca-Cola has long played into this emotion to create fun, happy campaigns that make people feel like kids again. Their campaigns make people laugh and smile, with plenty of shares, engagement, and positive reactions. Happiness is a strong motivator, making it an excellent emotion to use within your lead nurturing campaigns.

Create a community

Creating a community can also be very useful, especially if you are also able to create a movement for your brand in the process. Community campaigns tap into the emotions of belonging, acceptance, excitement, and other related feelings. People love feeling part of something and when they are also able to join a movement that stands for something, this feeling is intensified. If you can use your community to do some good, such as giving back or helping a non-profit, you will succeed even further.

Play on fear (carefully)

Fear can be a very strong motivator – for many actions. Although these should always be approached carefully and although fear-based campaigns do not always work for every type of brand, they can be very effective if done correctly. Essentially, scare tactics can prompt fast reactions while also creating a sense of urgency. The campaigns that work best with this emotion include drunk driving campaigns, anti-smoking campaigns, seatbelt campaigns, anti-speeding campaigns, recycling campaigns, baby monitor campaigns, home security campaigns, and any other campaign that requires audiences to act.

Encourage inspiration

When you inspire your audience, there is a far higher chance of your audience taking action. You can inspire a wide range of reactions – excitement, hope, joy, dreams or even motivation. By tapping into your audience’s goals and vision, you can help to position your service or product as a solution to meeting these goals. Another way that you can encourage inspiration is to tap into emotions that your audience wishes they could feel. This could be something as simple as a campaign that projects an aspirational lifestyle or products that will help people feel healthier, younger or stronger. It could also be a campaign designed to help people save or even a campaign aimed at taking out insurance. Projecting an ideal image and showing how your offering can make potential customers feel great is a good way to convince audiences to take action.

Emotion and Lead Generation

There is no doubt that emotions play a vital role in all areas of marketing, helping customers make decisions and establish rapport with the companies they support. While emotional marketing should always be included as part of a well-rounded multi-channel marketing strategy for best lead nurturing results, incorporating it into your lead generation strategy is an excellent way to tap into the power of emotion.

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