A handshake is one widely recognized form of greeting in many cultures. It's meant to be a warm, friendly gesture, asking for nothing more than welcome and acceptance. This subtle “feel good” approach can also be applied to your marketing initiatives—and can be highly effective in influencing your target audience. ¶ Humans are largely motivated by their emotions, with emotion stimulating the mind 3,000 times faster than rational thought. Recent published findings in neuroscience indicate it's emotion, not reason, that primarily drives customers' purchasing decisions. How your company makes a customer feel, how they believe your values align with theirs and your overall likability are all integral to creating clients who are highly favorable toward—and attached to—your business.
Making the extra effort to sincerely and relevantly show customers how much you care about them is not as difficult as one might think. It simply takes the form of a “soft sell,” by making them smile—maybe even laugh—and leaving them feeling valued, protected and informed with the information you send. Our company calls this “emotional marketing.”
A direct mail piece can, and sometimes should, do nothing more than simply say hello, like a handshake. It can let clients know you're thinking about them. Making your mailing reflective of your genuine care will put recipients at ease because there isn't a specific call to action. This emotional approach is effective for introducing a company, building brand recognition or reinforcing relationships. The objective is not making the sale today or even tomorrow. It's about engendering greater trust and positive associations with your business that cultivate truly engaged clients.
To employ emotional marketing, first tap into the emotions that strongly motivate your customer base. Picture your clients receiving your mailing when developing your creative, and work to put a smile on their faces. The next step is to construct your marketing strategy around these emotions with a look and message that resonates with your audience's main motivating factors. Rather than pushing price or product attributes, take a lighter, creative and more intuitive approach to crafting everything from graphics and overall design to copy, headlines and even formatting. It's important to remember less is more. How you handle the space in your creative can positively activate the recipient's imagination and interest.
Bonding is critical even in today's business world. While it may not be a fast sell, companies that take the time to include the benefits of a handshake in their marketing initiatives reap the rewards over time, as clients bring greater loyalty, satisfaction and positive referrals.
Frank Defino Jr. is VP-managing director at Tukaiz. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.