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Emotional Trigger Words: When Should You Use Them?

emotional trigger words
Updated: | Content Creation Aleksandar Radosevic

There are two ways to attract people's minds into action. 

Manipulation and Inspiration. 

Manipulation is excellent for a sprint success - usually used in a sales set of skills to achieve fast results. But the downside of the manipulation is creating a strong loyalty - in other words, building your brand on manipulation is almost impossible. 

Inspiration, on the other side, is a long term strategy that needs time to drive results. Also, it creates a loyal community in the long run. 

But what strategy do you need to utilize toward building a strong brand with an engaging community, relatively fast? 

The answer is both - Inspiration as a core of your business plan and Manipulation for closing sales and contracts. 

Manipulation best used is for describing a product/service answering a question - WHAT? 

Inspiration is for influencing your company's core values - answering a question - WHY? 

The best way to implement those strategies into your business plan and improve the efficiency of your client projects is by using emotional triggers words. 

When writing any content in which the main goal is to persuade someone into action - keep in mind that words are not just a part of the sentence. 

Words are cues. Words are emotional triggers.

What are the Emotional Triggers?

Emotional triggers are words that unconsciously motivate people to action. Trigger words are expressions or phrases that are short, concise, and, most importantly, arranged with emotional depth.

Emotional triggers acquire their power from both their knowledge and all of the positive connotations they develop inside of each individual.

How are Emotional Triggers Formed?

Sight, smell, sound, and written words are powerful elements when it comes to forming memories, primarily when associated with a positive or negative connotation. 

All decisions your customer/client makes consists of multiple conscious and subconscious emotions. An understanding of psychology and human behavior is the secret to success in every company.

We all have the same simple mental triggers and needs that drive behavior, including our consumer habits. When we understand these psychological causes, more successful commercial messages can be produced, and sales will go sky-high. 

There are 4 main emotional and psychological factors to increase your revenue.

#1 Belonging

Most people have a deep desire to belong to something: a community, family, or social group. Customers will often purchase goods and services to display and experience a sense of belonging to their beliefs, whether true or fake. They also follow some extremely inconsistent practices only to feel a part of a bigger picture. 

Keep in mind that we are not logical beings - emotions primarily drive our habits. 

The value of a sense of belonging can be traced back to infancy, where the interaction between babies and their parents. What studies have found is that a baby's developmental growth and self-recognition significantly improves when paired with a deep emotional commitment.

A sense of belonging also encourages a meaningful change in many other aspects of our lives during the remainder of our developmental years and life-cycle. 

Social skills, inspiration, and buying behaviors-are only a few of the 

many areas enhanced when we live with a sense of belonging.

Technology, accessibility and the social networks provided unparalleled incentives for marketers to meet the need for belonging. Creating a sense of belonging with customers satisfies their core psychological demands. Companies must aspire to create brand communities that will encourage consumers to feel like they belong to something, and can contribute. 

How to use Belonging emotion in marketing:

Appeals to belonging are useful when you intend to make people believe that you're bringing them together positively and beneficially.

Belonging Trigger Words:

Community, Join, Become a member, Mutual, We, Together, Love, Peace, Commitment, Faithful, Consistent, Common, Society, Safety, Neighborhood, Civil, Devotion, Inseparable

#2 Fear

Fear is a powerful emotion that usually overrides judgment processes and impacts reactions without conscious decision. It can be used as a reliable marketing technique to make consumers depend on a brand, a product, or a service.

Using emotions like fear as a marketing tactic is not an especially popular topic. In many cases, it's not the safest path to travel. But if executed ethically, its use can be beneficial.

How to use Fear emotion in marketing:

When you want to alarm your audience by specifying a severe threat to them in real-time. 

Fear Trigger Words:

Worry, Anxiety, Concern, Terror, Death, Toxic, Mistake, Embarrassed, Nightmare, Doubt, Phobia, Horrific, Disastrous, Plummet, Warning, Danger, Looming, Shattered

#3 Guilt

Guilt that most rigid of all our human emotions. Guilt emotion threatens to become a new-age emotional, social, and consumer pandemic. 

Marketing ads that successfully make the targeted audience feel guilty can be beneficial and also an excellent tactic for some marketing campaigns.  

Most charity organizations use this tactic in their marketing campaigns frequently. They use Guilt ads, creating negative emotions on self-centered actions. Unlike charities and non-profits organizations that trigger a guilt emotion, brands in other industries are just as guilty. 

Feelings of guilt are a part of everyday social life. Also, they are closely linked to various unconscious psychological issues that can result in high levels of self-destruction. Guilt is a complex bundle of emotions, actively connected with depression and other psychotic behaviors. 

Be aware and use guilt in your marketing campaigns ethically. Use this complex emotion wisely, and you can drive incredible marketing results.

How to use Guilt emotion in marketing:

Appealing to guilt is very useful when asking for donations and managing a charity or a non-profit organization.

Guilt trigger words for copywriters:

Goodwill, Humane, Disgrace, Shame, Disgusting, Charity, Donation, Mercy, Kindness, Empathy, Generosity, Compassion, Bleed for, Sympathize with, Feel for, Grief, Sorrow, Understand

#4 Trust

Trust is the emotion you need to focus on if you are building your business for the long run. When customers/clients genuinely trust you, they will frequently use your product or service with your minimal marketing engagement. 

But to achieve that, you need to convince them that your company is trustworthy. 

These days an economic uncertainty has created consumers who are very careful with spending their money. Concentrate on how you can demonstrate to your customers/clients that you can be trusted. You just can't fake this emotion. There must be a sincere intention when you present your product or service toward a targeted audience. 

Here is how you can build up trust with your marketing campaigns.

  • Be transparent
  • Display testimonials prominently
  • Reduce perceived risk
  • Display trusted and recognized brands 
  • Use the Blemishing Effect
  • Use specifics in your copy 
  • Be human

How to use Trust emotion in marketing:

You need to use a bundle of trust factors such as exact copy, reliable tone, consistent marketing output, high quality, social proof signals, building a good reputation. Also you need to add phrases and words that will complete your trust campaign along with these factors that drive brand loyalty.

Trust triggers words for copywriters:

Trusted, Trustworthy, Fair price, Caring, Fair treatment, Quality, Competency, Apologize, Sorry, Change, Never, Always, Privacy. 

The Price of Value

Perceived Benefit – Perceived Cost = Customer Value

Values are beliefs about how significant something is to us. Values are highly subjective opinions formed on our experiences. They can also be systems that help us make critical personal and business decisions. We can divide them on personal and career-oriented values. 

In general, values bind together personal insights and judgments, motivations, and ultimately actions.

People make consumer oriented decisions every day based on their own values and judgments. Those decisions can be conscious, but often we are not aware of how we construct them. Either way, our values guide us toward the best deal. 

But best on a personal level.

The Pleasure Principle

All human beings are believed to behave upon the "pleasure principle." 

The principle of pleasure is the driving force that motivates individuals to satisfy their needs, desires, and urges. These needs, desires, and urges can be as complex as the "need" to purchase a particular product or service. 

Pleasure Principle is often driven by advertising to fulfill our basic needs with expensive products.

"When we don't get fulfillment, our psychological response is anxiety or tension."

The point is that technology has made us faster - it sped up our decision-making process. Instant satisfaction is not only a desire but an anticipated need in many life circumstances.

To Sum Up

Using emotional trigger words in copywriting can be tricky. We need to adhere to ethical behavior. Driving a manipulated behavior is one side of a coin, and there must always be another side - strong positive emotional triggers as an inspiration toward customers and clients. 

To build a sustainable and trustworthy brand.

Aleksandar Radosevic

Productivity writer at Nifty, an innovative Monday alternative. My writing is focused on remote client management evolution and productivity hacks. Merging an innovative and data-driven content to optimize digital content performance and user experience.


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