Marketing Resources

Emotional Messaging: Can it Boost Conversions?

4 minutes

Carrie Tennick, senior digital content specialist, July 01, 2021

Connecting with your potential clients is key to convincing them to trust your firm. But how exactly do you connect?

It’s all fine and well presenting your services and how much they’ll cost a client on your website – that information is, of course, necessary. But is that enough to convince people that you’ll do a good job and get them the result they’re after?

What your site may benefit from is adding a layer of emotion to your content. Getting site visitors to feel something may help set you apart from other firms they’re considering. It could turn a site visitor into a lead and help to instil in them a sense of trust before they begin the legal process.

But it’s not just your website that this could boost. Your wider online presence, including marketing and paid advertising, could also perform better with some emotion mixed in.

Here’s what you should know about incorporating emotion into your messaging.

Why focus on emotion?

The USA’s James Madison University has named eight primary emotions, which are:

  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Interest
  • Joy
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Surprise

These can be broken down into more specific emotions, such as grief as a form of sadness or pride as joy, but these eight categories can be your starting point if you’re going to start looking at targeting emotions.

But why would you even want to start bringing more emotion into your online presence?

Every day, we are all exposed to countless adverts trying to persuade us to choose that product or service. But how many of these do we actually pay attention to? We’ve become so used to them that the majority fail to make any impression.

Those with an emotional context or message can connect with people on a subconscious level. This can then cut through, helping you stand out. So if you’re advertising on social media or search engines – or even in offline spaces – this is something to consider.

Embracing emotion can also lead to a higher conversion rate. Studies have found that emotional advertising performs better than rational advertising – at a rate of 31% reporting profit gains compared to 16% respectively. When the campaigns mixed emotion and rationality, the result stood at 26%.

Which emotions to focus on

Once you’ve decided to start introducing some more emotional content across your website, the harder work begins. What should you look including? How can you avoid going too far and coming across unprofessionally? How do you connect with people through your website?

Start by thinking about the kinds of emotions you want to focus on.

Research by landing page platform Unbounce found that legal industry websites feature more words relating to anger, disgust, fear and sadness than those in other industries. This is not surprising, given firms deal in obtaining justice for things that have gone wrong. But this has an impact on conversion rates.

Unbounce also found that website pages with more negative emotion correlate with lower conversion rates. Further, a 2010 study found that the most shared New York Times articles were emotional and positive.

So instead of going too far into the pain and suffering people have experienced, it could be advantageous to emphasise the benefits of taking action and the position your firm will help them into.

How to incorporate emotion

It doesn’t have to be jarring or seem contrived to incorporate a little more emotion in your web content. You likely already have the resources to do it.

For example, you’ll probably have case studies present on your site. These can be just what you need to emphasise the emotion that come with a PI claim. Speak to your call handlers and case managers. If a case has touched them, it will likely do the same for others, including those who have been similarly affected.

Thread these real-world examples through your site by featuring them on service pages in case your visitors don’t venture as far as the dedicated case studies page. And don’t forget to highlight the positive emotions that your work has inspired.

Meanwhile, imagery will play its part. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that negative images were less commonly found in viral content. But if these images also evoked surprise in the viewer, viral success was still possible. So think carefully about the images you use across your site and advertising.

Messaging that resonates

When it comes to emotional content, you already have a strong foundation. Your firm works with people who are often trying to turn the worst days of their lives into something positive.

When you’re in a position to help people achieve something that could potentially change their lives for the better, it’s the kind of message that can really resonate with others.

Leveraging the way you can make people feel could help you go on to help even more people.

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