10 Crucial Ways Emotion Increases Sales

by Lindsey Winsemius - Posted 9 years ago

How do customers choose a product? Here’s the answer…

When you enter a store, why is it you leave with more than you planned on buying?

Because we make purchases based on emotion, not logic. Even important purchases, such as a vehicle, are often rooted in emotion – the desire to stand out, to impress others, to feel younger or older or more hip. 

We might try and convince ourselves that we use reason and logic to make our purchases but the truth is, we are all driven by emotion.

What does that mean for marketing? It is crucial to understand the emotional factors that lead your customers to make a purchase. When you understand your customer, you can learn how to appeal to their emotional side

Why Emotions are Crucial to Sales:

We process emotional responses 5 times faster than cognitive (logical) responses. Consumers make an emotional judgment before a rational one. 

Emotional response to an ad is more important than the ad’s content. When you are creating an advertising campaign, it is more important to consider the emotional impact of your ad. Are your images creating an emotional response? Is your word choice, and for print, your font choice, appealing to your audience or sending the message you want?

“Likeability” is the biggest predictor of advertising success. If people find your ad likable, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Consumer loyalty is directly related to how a consumer feels about a brand. Building a rapport with your customers, and responding positively to their feedback, will help increase customer loyalty. If you work at winning over angry or disgruntled customers, they are more likely to become a long-time customer. Great customer service is crucial.

Consumers perceive the same type of personality characteristics in brands as they do in other people. And just like with people, they are attracted more to some personality types than others – attractions which are emotion based, not rational. Brand personality is communicated by marketers through packaging, visual imagery, and the types of words used to describe the brand.

How do Emotions Increase Sales?


People are more likely to make a purchase or buy from a brand if they feel that company is doing good. When price and quality are the same, the biggest determining factor in making a purchase is Social Purpose. We all want to make a difference, particularly if the risk and cost to ourselves is low. New studies have also suggested that people will change brands because they prefer to buy from companies that have shared values. Does your brand have a special cause you support, or believe strongly in making a difference? Share it with your customers – they care! 

The Power of Purpose


Fear of loss is a powerful motivator. Fear of loss is the reasoning behind “limited time” offers. No one wants to lose out on a good deal. By creating scarcity or a time limit on products or services, you are giving your consumers a greater incentive to buy. 

Fear also causes bonding. In the absence of another person, consumers will feel more bonded to a brand when experiencing the emotion of fear.


No one wants to feel embarrassed. By reminding people of potential embarrassment, you can encourage them to see your product as the immediate solution to solve or avoid the embarrassing situation. Some commercials highlight women feeling embarrassed about body odor to sell deodorant, or facial hair to sell hair removers. 

Show your product or service as a solution to potential embarrassment to drive emotional buying.


We have insecurities – about our weight, our social status, our appearance… We make decisions to alleviate these uncomfortable feelings of insecurity. Women who are insecure about their weight might purchase a diet pill that highlights happy, thin women. We might be motivated to buy a new car or a brand name product, like an iPhone, because we feel insecure about are status. Brands that show their products as the solution to insecurity – you’ll fit in if you buy this, you’ll feel beautiful if you buy this – are more likely to make a sale.


Making people feel happy with your content means it is more likely to be shared. Studies found that happiness is the main driver for social shares of content.  We want to share things that make us smile or laugh. By creating content that inspires joy, you are more likely to have users share that content and build your brand

Happiness is also a reason people make purchases. Ads that show how happy a product or service makes people will allow a consumer to visualize themselves feeling the same joy when buying from that brand. 


Who doesn't like a “buy one, get one free” sale? Or a purchase that will save us money, like gas-efficient car or a more productive machine for our business. By showing consumers how your product or service is going to save them money (and time), you are appealing to their greedy side. We all want more money. Tell your consumers how you can help them save more or make more using your product / service.

Know Your Customers

Learning who your customers are is the first step in using emotion to drive sales. Are you targeting mothers? Babies would be a perfect choice for your marketing. Perhaps your audience is environmentally conscience individuals. You might want to talk about your green initiatives to promote social purpose buying. Know your audience, then plan a marketing campaign that will appeal to their emotional side.

Share your emotional buying experiences below. Or just share your thoughts.