Balancing Logic and Emotion in Online Marketing to Boost Conversions

Your company’s marketing campaigns are all about addressing needs. The messages conveyed by your Facebook ads, your site’s landing pages, your segmented marketing emails, all have this in common. They speak directly or indirectly to something that your prospective customer wants.

Any marketing message that doesn’t have this principle as its foundation will fail to generate, nurture, or convert a lead.

Whatever role you play in your company’s marketing, understanding what your customers want to know and feel is one of your biggest challenges. So is choosing the right language to address these wants. Conveying the right message in the right language at the right time is crucial to effective conversion.

There’s a lot to unpack in the above paragraph; too much to address in a single post. So, today, we’re going to focus only on one aspect of marketing messages: the importance of balancing logic and emotion in your website’s copy and visual content.

Empowering People to Assess and Feel

Here’s a quick note before we start delving deeper: while the main focus of this post will be primarily about your website’s messaging, the principles we discuss apply to other touchpoints also. It’s not only your site’s visitors that need to have their left and right brains engaged.

People who land on your website, people who have subscribed to your newsletters, people who see your site’s pages served as Google search results, people who interact with your Facebook Messenger chatbot… all of them have the need to do two things: assess and feel.

They need to make some kind of authentic emotional connection with your product. They need to be able to project themselves into a space where they feel how awesome it’s going to be when a specific problem is solved or when they’re enabled to finally take advantage of a new opportunity. Either way, you want to project feelings about things that will happen only after they’ve become your customer.

These emotions drive leads through your sales funnel. The feeling makes them invest in the possibility that a new, better life awaits them if they dedicate their time to your website. It can also make them do impulsive things, like click on the “Buy Now” button before doing any research at all.

But feeling isn’t everything. In most cases, a diligent customer needs some cold, hard data to help urge them towards a decision. Especially in the B2B world.

Diligent leads need to see details on how your product will improve their lives and businesses. They want a description of features, they want to make comparisons against your competitors, and they want to understand the logic behind your pricing.

They want to back up their emotions with facts. And it’s your job to give them the information they need to do this.

Distributing Emotional and Logical Messaging in Your Website

There’s no paint-by-numbers approach to message placement on your website. Leading with a message that evokes an emotion is a great way to trigger an early buy-in, but whether it’s always the most effective depends on many variables. The key questions to consider are:

  • Who are you selling to? Do you sell a B2B product that appeals to a broad target audience? If so, a single-person operated business could respond differently to an emotional message than someone doing procurement for an enterprise.
  • What is the visitor’s state of mind? Are they desperate for a solution and ready to try pretty much anything that has a decent set of features and at least one positive testimonial? Or are they cautious but optimistic that the right solution is out there as long as they’re diligent in their research?
  • What is your brand image? How will new or existing customers respond to strong emotional messages if your brand has a more restrained, professional reputation? In this case, should messages evoking feelings be used more sparingly and only towards the bottom end of the sales funnel?

The point here is that there’s no proven formula for when to shift the balance from emotion to logic and vice-versa. It comes down to how well you know your product, your target audience, and their respective needs.

Mapping out a customer journey along with detailed buyer personas is an excellent place to start when you strategize the tone of your website’s messaging. You’ll be building an understanding of who you’re selling to, and the thoughts and feelings that will most likely resonate with them as they navigate through your website.

It’s not an exact science. There are many entry points to your website, and often many routes a visitor can take through it. While there is definitely value in mapping out when and where to deploy an emotional message and when to hit a visitor with logic, don’t be too reliant on it.

Not all of your visitors will have the same journey through your sales funnel. A wise approach is to have a good blend of both emotion and logic throughout your site, rather than being overly strategic.

Examples of Good Emotional and Logical Balancing

I’m a big believer in using examples as a way of learning and triggering ideas. Many companies have the balance between emotion and logic nailed down, and studying their approach is often a good place to start when looking to achieve the same on your site.

Zoma Sports Mattresses – Leading with FOMO

The very first element on the Zoma homepage is a countdown timer – a ticking clock to when a discount code becomes inactive.

screenshot of the zoma homepage

While this timer isn’t the most visible aspect of the landing page, it certainly is noticeable. It doesn’t fight with the animated hero header, but once the visitor sees it, a powerful feeling is evoked: the fear of missing out.

As the visitor navigates through the site, engaging with its various messages, both logical and emotive, that fear remains in the back of their minds. “Am I going to be one of the suckers who pay full price for this mattress just because I can’t make a decision fast enough?”

Every single subsequent thought the visitor has for the remainder of their experience on the site will be seen through this lens.

The rest of the information on the website is a highly effective blend of logical and emotional language and visuals. The wording used when describing their flagship product evokes patriotism (“All-American Comfort –
Mattresses and pillows proudly made in the USA”) while also stimulating the reader’s left-brain with semi-technical terminology like “Sleep-Boosting Technology” and “Recovery-Enhancing Design.”

The phrases describing the mattresses’ unique selling points are an example of web copy that beautifully balances emotional and logical messaging.

Further down the page are credible testimonials that do a good job of evoking a feeling of confidence. Seeing professional athletes pose with their Zoma products and quotes from recognizable press further establishes trust in the brand – a very powerful emotion that plays an important role in conversion.

When presenting the company’s full product range, the site hits the need for logic hard. At this point, most of the site’s visitors will have plenty of their emotional boxes ticked, so Zoma uses emotive language sparingly here.

By focusing on the high-level technical features each product delivers, they appeal to a user’s need to assess and compare them against competing options.

Runner’s Athletics – Instant One-Two Punch of Emotion and Logic

What struck me about the Runner’s Athletics homepage is how the user won’t even need to scroll before having their need for feeling and assessment met.

The first thing you see when you land on the site is a highly impactful photograph of an athlete wearing their flagship pair of sunglasses. This is undoubtedly the first thing the site visitor will notice, and it triggers an instant feeling of aspiration.

screenshot of the runner's athletics homepage

The site designers obviously want the visitor to immediately think, “I could look this awesome while out running trails!” This emotion is triggered in a millisecond. There’s no need to absorb or understand any content before having this feeling.

What this header is exceptionally effective at doing is embedding a strong element of logic in the same element that evokes the emotional response. Directly below the main headline is a set of five icons presenting five unique selling points in a functional way.

The brand knows that by using “salesy” language here, they would overplay their hand and compromise the effectiveness of the header. The strong emotions evoked by the image are balanced out by the product’s technical specifications. It goes so far as to provide the exact weight and the precise UV protection-level.

Notice how these specifications aren’t positioned in terms of how they would benefit the runner. These are simply cold, hard facts. And that’s something the visitor needs to build trust in the brand.

Don’t miss our in-depth guide: How to Write Awesome Website Content!

SomniFix – Heavy on Logic but Tempered with a Smart, Lighthearted Headline

If you’re selling a rather unconventional product that needs a lot of positioning before customers buy into its validity, leading with logic is a great idea.

SomniFix manufactures mouth strips that reduce snoring and other unpleasant symptoms of sleeping with your mouth open, and they dive headlong into this approach. The company’s homepage is packed with facts and claims – and the scientific evidence to back them up.

screenshot of the SomniFix homepage

What SomniFix grasps is that snoring and morning cottonmouth are symptoms that people are probably pretty sheepish about discussing or hesitant to think about. Messaging that’s too heavy on emotion could be seen as making light of something quite sensitive.

The header image is stark and appropriately restrained. The copy is, on the whole, to the point and logical. Throughout the landing page, imagery and language are used in a very respectful way, as is appropriate for the product. But there’s one giant exception – the main headline.

SomniFix understands that hitting the visitor hard with logical messaging is critical to them buying into the need for their mouth strips. But the company also doesn’t want to run the risk of coming across as sterile. They also want the customer to have some kind of emotional response.

Hence the highly visible, extremely lighthearted headline: “Don’t Be A Mouth Breather.”

It’s a delicate balance and a bit of a gamble – but it works! There’s a literal interpretation – someone who actually breathes through their mouth when they sleep. But there’s also the figurative one – someone who isn’t open to new ideas.

No matter how logical the rest of the page’s messaging is, this lighthearted message sticks in the back of the visitor’s mind. Do they want to be the kind of person who isn’t willing to try a scientifically sound, albeit unconventional, solution to a serious problem?

It’s a message that holds up a mirror to the visitor. It makes them think about their capacity for listening to reason. And it’s a terrific way to balance out the rest of the page’s fact-based messaging.

Final Thoughts

It’s so easy to overlook or forget how important your website’s messaging is. The role it plays in creating, nurturing, and converting leads can’t be overstated.

It’s also easy to underestimate the amount of thought that goes into creating effective messages. Selling is about much more than listing product specs or unique product features. And it’s more than making the visitor feel like they’re going to be living the life of their dreams once they click the “Buy Now” button.

Selling is about knowing how to combine these two approaches intelligently. It’s about understanding the balance that will resonate with your target audience, and then expressing that balance appropriately.

Think carefully about your site’s messaging. Look at it from a new lead’s perspective. Ask yourself whether it makes you buy into the brand on an emotional level. Ask yourself whether it allows you to make a critical assessment and comparison against the competitors.

Sign off on web messaging only when you can answer “yes” to both of these questions. Don’t be satisfied with anything less, because your customers won’t be.

 

photo of the author, Karl Kangur

Karl Kangur is a digital marketing entrepreneur who started his first online business as a teenager. He loves overdelivering to his clients, and he recently began lifting weights again against the recommendation of his doctor.