10x Your Conversions Using Emotional Intelligence

Use emotional intelligence targeting to increase conversions - Zealous Social

Written by Kalleigh O'Togher

Kalleigh is the founder and CEO of Zealous Social and The Growth Fix. Her expertise in sales and marketing comes from 25 years of working with, and coaching, mid-size businesses in the trades, services and retail industries.

September 24, 2020

You’re not sure why your website, emails and landing pages aren’t working. Use emotional intelligence or human-centric messaging to increase your conversions.

This blog is for you if you want to feel more confident every time you create new marketing material that will resonate with your target audience, and they will take the steps you want them to. You want to speak directly to your audience using emotional intelligence to catch their attention, so they don’t bounce off, and you’ve lost them.

Have you optimized your website, emails and landing pages frequently with little to no results? When we first started out, we did the same thing, and so did our clients, so you’re not alone. We’ve all gone through it. 

We went back to the drawing board and evaluated everything we published to see exactly what worked and what didn’t. We came up with a process that now brings in 10x the conversions for us and our clients consistently. With the right conversion optimization strategy and framework, you can get the results and profits you’ve always wanted. With these strategies, you’ll be armed with the conversion skills that will optimize any page, website or email you design.

Let’s get started.

The biggest mistake in optimization is……

Using other people’s opinions in the following ways:

  1. Random guesswork – You ‘google’ for a solution and find blog posts to read. Many of them have headlines like “Increase your conversions by 3,000%,” which, honestly, are ridiculous, and they want you to click through to a course that says it will provide you with the sun, moon and stars using their process and you’ll be driving a Ferrari in 30 days and living in a mansion. Don’t buy into these. No one is going to get 3,000% conversions overnight. It doesn’t happen. These blogs are written strictly for SEO by people that don’t actually make a living doing real optimizations. 
  2. Best Practices – There is no such thing as best practices. These blog posts are written by people that have done a conversion on their website, page or email and found some success and then write that everyone should do the same. It’s based only on their particular business, not yours. They don’t have the experience of working with multiple companies in different industries. When you try to do the same thing on yours, it doesn’t work. You don’t get any results, and you’re left confused and frustrated why it didn’t.
  3. Copy Competitors – This is one optimization strategy that is loudly touted as the best way to optimize for your business. It’s not. It’s based on the assumption that our competitors know what they are doing, so if we copy them, we’ll get results as well. But where is that assumption based on fact? It’s not. Most competitors are doing the same thing you are: copying other competitors and trying things to see if they get results. So when you copy them, you’re just following their lead, whether it’s right or wrong. 
  4. Opinions – When we are unsure of something, we tend to ask the people we know their opinion, whether they are in the same field or have any experience. We feel good when a friend, co-worker or family member tells us how great something looks or sounds, but the reality is they aren’t qualified to give us an opinion that matters to our business.

You waste time doing random changes.

You make changes to your website, pages or emails randomly. You keep trying things with no clear strategy and without actual data to back up the reason for the changes. You know that something needs to be fixed, either with FB ads that are getting a lot of views but no conversions or your Google Analytics telling you traffic is landing on your website, but then they leave (bounce off) and don’t spend any time on your site or convert.

Have you randomly changed any of the following:

  1. The colour of your call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
  2. Font type
  3. Website colours
  4. Headline only – nothing else.
  5. Removed or added lines to your contact forms – you read you need more or less on it.
  6. Pop-up form – you read they are the best way to convert leads.
  7. Changed the layout – brought the information from the bottom of your website to the top
  8. Changed the pictures to illustrations or vice versa – someone told you that was the new ‘trend’ to follow.

Many times doing these changes doesn’t increase conversions at all and can actually decrease your conversions. The reason – they aren’t based on real, tangible strategies for your business.

For example, you run an A/B test on a green button vs. a red button on your ad. Your green button wins so far as you get more conversions from that ad than you did the red button. So now you go and change all your CTA to green. 

But the reality is that just because it worked on that one single A/B ad test doesn’t mean it will work for everything. It’s a false set of metrics. It may have worked because you had a photo on the ad that complimented the green button, and the overall ad look was more appealing to your audience. But you could change out the picture and use the red button, and now the red button may be the ad that converts better. You can’t base any of your optimizations on one ad test.

Changes and conversions that last and don’t peak after a week mean you need to run a meaningful test. You need to have real numbers to base your optimizations on. Not just randomly changing your CTA button colour or headline based on the best practices you read.

The goal of optimization is to get large returns. Not randomly, but consistently over a long period of time. 

To do proper A/B testing means you are going through the whole process analyzing, researching and understanding your audience’s pain points on that particular page, ad or email sequence. Why is the conversion problem happening? The “why” is the most important to answer.

When your traffic lands on your website, page or email and they leave (bounce off), it means that your messaging is not resonating with them, not the colour of your CTA button. They are not finding what they want. 

Using any of these strategies in doing your conversion strategies will never get you consistent results from your optimizations.

We consistently get, on average, a 140% increase in ROI for our clients. We deliver conversions and also increase retention rates.

When you run proper tests, you learn a lot about the messaging you should be using, the colours, the images, and you can translate that information to all departments in the company (sales, customer service, etc.). You can use the right messaging across all departments in your business.

Data-Driven Mistakes Perpetuated in the Marketing Industry

A lot of marketers will use generic terms like subscribers or traffic to describe your customers. We all focus our data on age, geography, sex (male/female), occupation, devices, browsers, etc. We hear everyone in the marketing industry tell you that we all have to be numbers-driven. That our data is ‘the only answer’ to our conversions, we should focus on.  You hear them say that if we can understand the numbers, we will convert like crazy and be super successful. We get so focused on our data tools, resources and budget we forget about the most crucial aspect – our actual, real customers. 

When we ask our clients, “who’s your customer?” We generally get responses back about how old they are, their geographical location, job (business owner) or the role (Mom or Dad), etc. 

Behind all that information is an actual person. What challenges are they facing? Why did they come to your site, page or email sequence to start with? What answers are they seeking? It’s not a number that needs your help; it’s a person. This is where so many fail. 

Don’t get focused on the wrong thing. I’m not saying data isn’t important. It is, but it’s not the only thing to focus on.

Our process focuses on people. We are firm believers that you have to focus on the human aspect of your marketing and sales cycles. High converting websites, pages and email sequences are crafted using the “human-first” approach to solve their problems.  

Emotional Intelligence (EI) Targeting Framework

Emotional intelligence targeting is a process that focuses on what impacts your target audience (real people) the most – their emotions. It’s about understanding how customers make their purchasing decisions. This methodology helps us tap into the customer’s inner emotional needs, intent or purpose to design websites, pages and email sequences that speak directly to them to convert them. This is the framework for conversions that most marketers don’t talk about. 

Our process is about getting to know your customers better, understand their emotional drivers and design your campaigns around that process.

Too many businesses focus on:

  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Shipping
  • Benefits
  • Awards
  • Their Brand Story
  • Products
  • Their Team
  • How good they are

This is not why people buy from you. If it were, you’d have every business like 7-Up telling you they were the #1 brand in the world, how long they’ve been around, how many bottles/cans they’ve sold, how much it costs, how many calories each bottle has. Have you ever seen an ad for 7-up that tells you any of that? The answer is NO. Same with Nike or L’Oreal or pretty much any other famous brand you can think of. 

When you see one of their ads, it’s about “you,” the consumer, and how their product will make you feel – with 7-Up it’s how refreshed you’ll feel drinking a 7-Up on a hot day. It doesn’t talk about the actual product ingredients. You’ll feel great if you drink their product. 

Dove is about empowering women to change the definition of beauty and make them feel more confident in themselves. They use real women in their ads that we all can relate to. They speak directly to you, the consumer, not at you. It’s not about their soap, the packaging or how much it costs. It’s about speaking directly to the issues that confront their customers on a daily basis.

Businesses Get This Wrong

Too many businesses, even large ones, get this wrong. Many companies state they are #1, or they are the best way and what their features and services are. All they focus on is the ‘what.’ To many companies, marketers included, believe that this is the right way to attract buyers. We convince ourselves that this is how we all make decisions – that all our decisions are based on rationalizing the pros and cons and then deciding. 

Yet studies have proven that we actually don’t make decisions this way. We make decisions based on emotions and rationalize the decision after purchasing.  We have to understand this fact if we want our marketing messages to speak directly to our target audience.

One of the worst assumptions businesses make is that consumers think in logical, linear ways to evaluate products. They don’t. For example, consumers don’t logically decide on purchasing a vehicle comparing feature by feature. They buy based on looks, prestige, happiness, etc. Someone doesn’t buy a Porsche or a Ferrari based on if it has air conditioning or GPS. Purchasing decisions are based on emotions first, logic second. They market to the consumers’ emotions – how great they’ll look in it, how cool they’ll be if they own one, speed, daringness, etc. 

Another assumption is that consumers can correctly interpret messaging in the way businesses or marketers expect them to. This is incorrect. Consumers interpret messages based on their beliefs and experiences. Not everyone will interpret a message the same way. This is why messages need to speak to the consumer’s emotions, not logic. 

Why Did You Make Your Last Purchase?

The last time you made a purchase, think about what made you buy it. Was it based on logic? Did you buy it because it was something you thought you needed to help you solve a problem or help you in your life, or did you logically think out all the pros and cons before buying? 

When I make a purchase, it’s because it speaks to me on an emotional level, then I use logic to justify the investment afterwards. I recently bought a grill because I love grilled sandwiches. I didn’t need the purchase; I wanted it because I love my sandwiches warm, and my cheese melted. It was purely an emotional purchase, not logical.

I buy Starbucks coffee. It’s not practical to spend $7 on a cup of coffee. So why do I do it? When I walk in and smell the coffee brewing, it’s a happy smell that I associate with pleasurable memories. It’s an emotional purchase for me. I justify it afterwards that it’s my “treat,” but that’s not the honest answer. Starbucks’ marketing to me that they have the best coffee beans isn’t going to resonate and tempt me to purchase based on that.

Mistakes Made

Some of the mistakes businesses and marketers make is confusing descriptive information with real insights, blurring data with genuine understanding, and focusing on the wrong elements of the consumer experience.

Let’s put this in simple terms:

  • Our emotions dictate our decisions. 
  • Our decisions dictate our purchases. 
  • Our purchases dictate your revenue.

People buy better versions of themselves. Your marketing message needs to speak to that psychology. Cater to your customer’s emotions.

Don’t list that your product is “easy to use” or “#1 in the marketplace”, the features that come with it and a video on using it. That isn’t showing value to your potential customers. It doesn’t speak to why they buy your product.

Speak To Me, Not At Me

Here’s an example of a well-known program that isn’t speaking to their audience. Can you spot the problem? Looking at the below picture of their home page, did it speak directly to you? I look at this picture and say, “So what?”. How is that going to help ME?

Do you care that 100,000 highly effective teams get work done with this program? What does that even mean? And how does that relate to your issues that led you to look at their program for the solution?

I want to see immediately what’s in it for me. Speak to my emotions or pain points.

I want to know if they will help me with my To-Do lists, get me organized, reduce my stress, give me back time due to my current inefficiencies and ensure mine and my team’s projects get tracked. I want to feel like a rockstar now that I use their program, my processes run smoother, and I’m not forgetting key details or missing deadlines.

3 Points For Crafting Your Messaging:

  1. Make it about your customer. It’s NOT about you, your business or your product/service.
  2. Ensure that everything on your website from your colours, images, videos and messaging make your customers feel an emotion when they see it. You want to drive home that you know them, understand what they are going through, what their intentions are, what is driving them, and YOU have the solutions to solve that for them.
  3. Test your strategies properly, not just a different CTA, Headline or Popup.

If you want to grow your business and have them keep coming back to you, you have to accept that all the hacks, guessing, best practices and analytics won’t accomplish that. Using emotional behaviour targeting in your messaging will.

Now What

You’re probably now saying, Ok Kalleigh but how do I do this? You have two options: 

You can do it alone and try to figure out precisely what your customers need from you. You can ‘Google’ this topic and learn from me and others in the industry how to do it. You can piece it all together and start implementing this strategy. I know that you can do it. But do you want to?


You can hire someone like us who’s marketing strategies focus on emotional behavioural targeting.

Whichever way you decide to go, you need to make those changes to see real, substantial growth in your business.

Here’s to your success!

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1 Comment

  1. Aimo H.

    I came upon your blog by Google. Great read. Thanks.


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