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You’re an emotional creature with a habit of rationalizing, not a rational creature. [Tweet It!]

You’re an emotional creature with a habit of rationalizing, not a rational creature.

It’s important to accept it and become more aware of how your emotions are impacting your decision-making. In doing so, you can truly understand how to use emotions to persuade visitors and increase your conversions.

While we focused on four pillars (sadness, anxiety, awe and anger), there are dozens of emotions on the spectrum. As with all elements of CRO, you’ll have to test to see which emotions drive your audience.

To start, try the following…

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Shanelle Mullin

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previously did content and growth at CXL. She's a jill-of-all-trades marketer with a 10-year background in growth and content marketing.

Hi, Shanelle! I’d just like to thank you for the huge and awesome work. I think it’s awesome that you combined and structured so much information on this topic. Mainly, it’s familiar, but it’s nice to have it at one place.

In fact, I know quite a bit about colors psychology and emotional design but very little about emotional copywriting. So, the article was great to read! It’s especially nice that you’re leaving so many references to other resources; I’ll check ’em out.

Thank you again! Looking forward to new articles!

Thanks for taking the time to read it, Flynn.

There are plenty of emotional design and email copywriting experts who have covered the topics (I’m sure you’ll really like the resources and people referenced throughout). I wanted to bring the two together and suggest, specifically, how the psychology of it all could be applied to CRO.

I hope I helped!

Great article. This information is common sense for some people with strong artistic backgrounds, but for engineers like myself – it is new knowledge.

I am looking for ways to drive more traffic to my site and I came across this article.

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Al. I’m glad I could help. Let me know if you have any questions about applying these theories to your landing page(s). If you want to learn more about emotional persuasion, follow Talia Wolf, Bart Schutz and Dan Ariely.

Also, we’ve written on it in the past…

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Splendid and exhausted article. Especially loved the examples. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks Veronika!

Another aspect of persuasion / psychology that I’m exploring right now is humor, and how it can be applied to CRO.

In your opening example of $10 vs. $13 for free. The $13 wasn’t free. It costs you to transfer $7 of cash to $7 worth of Amazon Dollars. Also, if you don’t have $7 of cash then the $13 is unavailable to you. Whereas the $10 is available regardless of you having a penny to your name.

Hey Jeremy! Thanks for reading. I pulled the example from Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational.

It was more of a theoretical exercise. He simply asked a sample (all of them had $7): “Suppose I offer you a choice between a free $10 Amazon gift certificate and a $20 gift certificate for $7.” He found, overwhelmingly, that they chose the $10 gift certificate because our brains prefer immediate gratification.

Hope this helps clarify!

Just what I am looking for! Superb examples on emotional persuation. What’s your take on using positive emotions other as the foundation building startups? Coz most of the time it’s the negative emotions that is commonly used. Will definitely wait for your update on Humor.

Thanks for reading! Glad you found the post helpful.

Many sites use negative emotions to highlight the need for their product or service. The problem makes you feel negative emotions, their solution makes you feel positive emotions.

However, positive emotions are being used as well. Think Coke, McDonalds and Geico.

I really admire Dollar Shave Club and Poopourri for their use of humor. Also, the urine-free wetsuit that sold for £8,999 a few years ago…

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Great topic!

Emotion is sometimes the driving force behind our attitudes and behavior. It plays a major role in how other people influence us and can be the determining factor in attempts to persuade us to change our attitudes and behavior.

In advertising or marketing, it is effective. This approach to selling has been taught in sales-training seminars for decades.

All in all, it’s very informative and useful. The different emotions shared and explained here give further information on how effective it is if used in certain strategies. I couldn’t agree more. Emotional persuasion is a must use line of attack in marketing.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. You’re totally right about sales training!

I’m curious to know whether you’ve used emotional persuasion in marketing before. (If so, how?)

Hey Shanelle,

This was a lot of helpful incite on how we all make decisions based on our emotions. I never thought of the 4 core emotions you mentioned here that makes an impact on our decision. But now that I think about it, They have worked for me. Especially with those ads that make me angry and anxious.

I’ve read a couple of post on color psychology, but I never really implemented them as I should have. I one who believes that no one should put all their eggs in one basket and adding colors to assist in conjuring up specific emotions can be helpful. From what I see it’s more indirect than it is direct like with other factors.

Writing good copy, especially within storytelling, does wonders. I’ve written posts that had these elements in it, and the turn out was pretty strong. Many of the people that come visit my blog were able to relate quite well to the stories I told which is also a great way to keep them longer on my blog.

Thanks for sharing this information here! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

You’re absolutely right. Changing one color probably won’t dramatically impact the emotions associated with your site. However, combined with other factors, it can. The important thing is that all of your emotional persuasion factors come together to tell a cohesive story.

Thanks for reading, Sherman!

Hi there,

Cool article! However I am not entirely sure I agree with some of the claims you make about the emotional rationalization of preferences. Especially the part where you talk about brand preferences and you use the Playstation vs Xbox choice. You give forth arguments as to why someone would choose Playstation over Xbox (better games/being able to play online for free). You then state that these are not rational arguments but actually emotional:

“So, while you think you’ve rationally decided that Playstation is better, you haven’t. You’ve emotionally decided that Playstation is better.”

I don’t understand that extrapolation. These seem like highly rational arguments. Can you explain what you mean?

Thanks in advance,


Hey Ali! Thanks for reading.

It’s an insight pulled from Bart Schutz’s CTA Conference presentation. Better games and being able to play online for free are rational arguments, you’re right. But by the time our brains get to that point, the decision has already been made emotionally.

Our brains subconsciously make emotional decisions and then use logic to rationalize those decisions.

I hope this helps clarify!

Hi Shanelle,

This is an awesome advanced guide! Many practical revelations on Emotional persuasion is made within! For the average internet marketer this is guide comes handy to appeal the emotions of prospects.

Understanding of the emotions of the visitors is fundamental in starting out to persuade them. The 8 tips shared come handy for the proactive marketer is keen on improving conversion.

The details on how colors, fonts, storytelling and headlines can be emotional applied in marketing are revealing. The best part is how the examples shared helped in making the details clearer!

Yes, its important for marketers to leverage on the emotions of visitors because every decision is influenced by emotions! I left the above comment in as well

Thanks Sunday!

Definitely. If you implement any of the concepts above, be sure to let me know how they work out for you.

This is a bombshell of a conversion guide. And still I find the thing that clicks most with me is the tagline: “Our brain is not rational. Our brain is rationalizing.”

Thanks for reading, Aaron! Really appreciate the kind words.

Incredible guide. I want to read it carefully to squeeze as much as possible. Thanks for these greats articles.

Thanks again, Santi. I also appreciate the tweet. Glad I could help!


Now this is one badass post.

I loved this… “Even the most analytical thinkers are predictably irrational; the really smart ones acknowledge and address their irrationalities.” ~Dan Ariely

The really smart ones do just that. They practice self-awareness and get to know themselves, what their emotions have to tell them, and how these things condition our minds, and make our decisions for us.

I did give thought into the color scheme in my own blog, and I knew what I wanted to convey to my visitors.

But I had never thought about font. Now I’m curious.

I found your blog through Sherman’s round up post. He sure knows how to pick them.

Thanks for such an interesting read. I truly enjoyed it. I’m adding this to my Pinterest board for easy reference.

Thanks Dana! I really appreciate the kind words.

I totally agree with you and I love this: “They practice self-awareness and get to know themselves, what their emotions have to tell them, and how these things condition our minds, and make our decisions for us.”

Let me know how it goes with font testing! I’d love to stay in touch (@shanelle_mullin).

Wow wow wow! Thanks Shanelle. You’ve done an amazing job here. Wanna definitely know more about what Conversion XL does now :)

Ah, thanks a lot, Jacques! Glad I could help.

You might like these other posts from different authors…

And, of course, there’s our agency site if you want to learn more about what we do!

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Thank you Shanelle, your article is great. Amazing guide and I will test it and study more my audience! Do you have more advice where to read or learn more the skill of conversions..ebooks, blogs, audio anything could help!

Thank you very much! Diego

I’m bias, but a genuinely great place to start is our free eBook. It’ll teach you how to master the essentials. Then, head back over here to the blog where we dive deeper into specific topics (copywriting, psychology, a/b testing, etc.)

Here’s the eBook (just enter your email)…

Thanks for reading, Diego!

AWESOME poetry of words.

Educational approach to content mastery. Your subject got break up by pictures. Interesting.

I’m a trader as well as a newbie into Internet marketing. I especially like the 4 emotional triggers which helps explain why we fk things up when we get emotionally involved (trading decision).

1. Which color to use on my logo? I’m using forex price action trading hack as my domain (seo sake) I’m stuck with a logo but I reckoned a logo would only make it worst as it is a very long word.

So I use the name instead. But what colors should I use? Can I use 3 colors on selected word like price (red) action (blue) hack (yellow)?

Would love to hear your recommendation?

Regards David

It really depends on what emotion(s) you’re trying to evoke. To me, it seems like establishing trust would be a big factor for you, so blue would be a good choice. Have you read this full color psychology guide…?

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I think you’ll find it very helpful.

Comments are closed.

Sharing the Evernote account with everyone in the company who wants access has encouraged ambient learning scenarios, in which people in all departments are browsing through our research and stumbling upon insights they never knew existed. As he was working on a new iOS interface, Stephen Martin , a designer in our MobileLab team, was curious which stats are most important to customers looking at campaign reports. He did a quick search in Evernote, and stumbled upon a chart from our 2013 survey sent to thousands of customers. He could see a clear ranking of the stats that customers use the most. He used this data to create a poster showing the hierarchy, which helped him make smarter design decisions driven by user research.

Now that everyone has access to the data, everyone is a researcher.

Even though the power of Connected UX is amazing, it’s easy for insights to languish in obscurity unless you’re regularly pulling them out and sharing them with your team.

Rather than wait for a project to provide this motivation, every other week we compose an email that goes to the entire company sharing interesting stats and broad trends. We rotate authorship to make sure many perspectives are represented. Each email concludes with an invitation to start contributing data—or simply browse out of curiosity.

We tried a lot of different solutions before landing on Evernote as our data hub. Wikis and custom databases always seemed too technical, and were bound to alienate some people who would love to contribute or just lurk. Your organization might find a simple Drupal install or a custom database works best. The storage tool really doesn’t matter, so long as it helps you adhere to these basic principles:

Any hindrance, no matter how small, preventing anyone from contributing or browsing data will kill the process. People shouldn’t have to learn new systems to be involved. Contributing data via email is perfect, because it requires no additional learning. Using a consumer software solution is also advantageous because many people will have experience with it. Eliminate all barriers to participation to get lots of people involved.

We all know that mobile devices are outselling PCs and extending the desktop experience into every part of our lives. By making your data accessible across multiple devices, you’ll find insights will happen more routinely—in the line at the grocery store, in meetings, or on the couch in the evening. Ubiquity of access makes ambient learning easier.

Give everyone in your company access to the data and diligently invite contributions. It’s important that the data is open and shared so teams are encouraged to collaborate. From this collaboration you’ll find the most mind-boggling insights you would’ve otherwise never discovered.

By connecting disparate data, you’ll discover trends in seemingly disconnected things. That’s exactly what has us so excited. We’re finding patterns between departments, and among customers. We’re breaking down the silos that separate data streams and the teams that manage them.

Contents » pointed toe ballerinas Black Sergio Rossi nFQKnyG
» New Relic Alerts » Reviewing Alert Incidents

When you acknowledge an Mens Symmons Trainers Black Boxfresh UuzwiN
in New Relic Alerts, this indicates you are taking ownership of it. This is useful, for example, for others who received the alert notification to know who has assumed responsibility for the details of a particular incident.

The Owner, Admins, and add-on managers can acknowledge an incident if they are Pijama silk trousers Miu Miu rF5sf2PIi
as a notification channel.

What "acknowledge" means

Follow your organization's guidelines for what responsibilities you are agreeing to own when you acknowledge an incident. By acknowledging the incident in New Relic Alerts, this simply flags your name and notifies others.

To provide a quick reference to your organization's standard operating procedures for handling an alert, you can include a Sneakers for Women On Sale in Outlet Black Suede leather 2017 25 Lanvin Black 0kiKs1M
for the alert policy. New Relic Alerts will include the runbook URL in pages and in email notifications as applicable.

Only one person can acknowledge an incident. Once you acknowledge it, you cannot undo it. If others try to acknowledge the same incident (for example, from their email notification), the incident's History page will appear, showing that the incident has been acknowledged.


The New Relic Alerts user interface allows you to view alert incidents and acknowledge them, either from the Incidents index or from the selected incident itself. The Incidents page provides details about the incident history so you can more easily analyze the chain of events and their timeline throughout an incident.

In this example, the first incident has not been acknowledged. To acknowledge it, select the icon. The second incident has been acknowledged and shows the user's avatar. (To find out the user's name, mouse over the gravatar.)

To acknowledge an incident from the user interface:

This automatically notifies everyone who has been set up to receive the alert notification. New Relic Alerts also automatically adds your name (or gravatar if applicable) to the incident's Acknowledge column.

To view the name associated with a gravatar in the column, mouse over the gravatar.

If you acknowledge an incident and new violations occur, the selected channel(s) will trigger an alert notification only about the new violations. Your incident rollup preference determines how New Relic Alerts will group the additional violations in the panelled laceup sneakers Grey Emporio Armani 31xL6

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Mar 12, 2018, 01.18 PM IST


LONDON: Not just upbringing and experience as you age, genes too decide the level of FOOTWEAR Courts Caf YIyOKAVKRO
in humans, a team led by an Indian-origin scientists has found. The study, led by University of Cambridge PhD student Varun Warrier, also said that women are, on average, more empathetic than men. However, this difference was not due to DNA as there were no differences in the genes that contribute to empathy in men and women. The research, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, builds on a previous study that also found that women are slightly more empathetic than men. "This is an important step towards understanding the small but important role that genetics plays in empathy. But keep in mind that only a tenth of individual differences in empathy in the population are due to genetics. It will be equally important to understand the non-genetic factors that explain the other 90 per cent," said. It also showed that, on average, autistic people score lower on the Empathy Quotient (EQ) -- a brief self-report measure of empathy -- and that this was because they struggle with cognitive empathy, even though their affective empathy may be intact. The new study found three important results. First, the team reported that a tenth of humans' degree of empathy is due to genetic factors -- confirming the previous research that examined empathy in identical versus non-identical twins. Secondly, it confirmed that women are on average more empathetic than men. "This implies that the sex difference in empathy is the result of other non-genetic biological factors, such as prenatal hormone influences, or non-biological factors such as socialisation, both of which also differ between the sexes," the study said. Finally, it found that genetic variants associated with lower empathy are also associated with higher risk for autism. According to Thomas Bourgeron of the Paris Diderot University, "this new study demonstrates a role for genes in empathy, but we have not yet identified the specific genes that are involved."
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