Let’s face it, 2020 was a rough one. From social distancing to quarantines to working remotely, we’ve all been missing a little human contact. People are craving real connections. Businesses that demonstrate empathy will increase trust and loyalty…and therefore sales.
Let’s Get Personal
How can a digital marketing strategy foster human connections?
In a time when people are having little interaction with each other and going through the stress of this environment, the last thing your customers want is to be inundated with impersonal automated marketing. Personalization is key to giving your audience a sense that a real live human is on the other end of that message. Your strategy has to go beyond the <FirstName> merge tag, however. While that is a piece of the puzzle, true personalization will come from understanding what your audience is going through and providing content tailored to their needs, interests, and desires.
This can be accomplished by combing the typical data sets of personas, surveys, and understanding behaviors as people interact with your brand. The twist is how you interpret the data and use it to inform your messaging. Traditionally companies have been monolithic robots spewing out cold-call style unwanted marketing. It’s been known for some time that this approach is ineffective and no longer relevant in today’s connected society. But now consumers want empathy from companies. They want to feel listened to and understood. They want to know that the company has human beings that care about other human beings and issues they may be facing.
We Understand You
Nothing promotes human connections more than empathy.
To appeal to new and existing customers alike, you need to truly understand them. The more you know about your customers, the more you can relate to them in a personal manner. This understanding cultivates loyal followers of your brand. When you really listen to your customers, you can turn that into action from a corporate level. Once you’ve made positive changes based on feedback from customers, you can center campaigns around this improvement, letting the customers know they’ve been heard.
Another way empathy plays a part in your strategy is to have such a deep understanding of your customers, you can anticipate their needs and how your product or service can be the best solution. Any good salesperson knows this, but increasingly there is a competitive advantage for any company that can demonstrate this at the brand level. An empathy mindset needs to be implemented from top to bottom. When this is done successfully, every interaction a customer has with your brand will be positive from customer service to product quality to delivery. Think about incorporating Live Chat, and even video chat now that we’re all used to it, on your website. This immediate response goes a long way to reinforce the human element, and you might be able to address their concerns or answer questions they may have about your product or service which keeps them engaged and not looking elsewhere.
It may sound cliché, but when it comes to empathy, don’t just talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.
We’re Emotional Beings
Other factors beyond personalization and empathy can contribute to that sense of connection.
Here are the 9 emotions that typically trigger maximum conversions through email:
- Fear (of missing out)
- Hope or Optimism
You can evoke these emotions through your design. Certain colors and imagery play into these emotions.
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” ~ Wassily Kandinsky
Cooler colors — blues, teals, greens — can convey a sense of calm and serenity. Reds can convey excitement, passion, or alarm. Yellows can draw attention without being as jarring as red. Here’s a great reference article on dribble about how to use color to convey emotion in your design.
Imagery is a little more obvious as it can be taken at its face value. Let’ say you promoting a sale, you’ll want to use an image of excited and/or happy people. For a charity campaign, you can use an image of hope or triumph.
The takeaway is that you can introduce colors and images to your brand to more effectively communicate to your audience, letting them know your company is in touch with the human condition.
By evoking emotions through design and the combination of personalized content and a poignant CTAs, you’ll see your conversions on the rise.
While increased sales a great, the main goal should be to increase your following. Empathetic companies that connect to customers on a personal level will create loyalty that will pay off with future repetitive conversions. They are also more likely to be a brand evangelist for you by recommending your product or service to others.
To summarize, after the year we’ve had, we could all use a little human compassion.