How To Add Emotion To Your Website That Connects & Converts

In the race for attention online, many companies use flashy sales pitches and technical jargon to appeal to logic and reasoning.

And while we may like to think of ourselves as rational beings, the truth is that our emotions drive our decisions and actions.

95% of our purchase decisions take place unconsciously.

Gerald Zaltman, Harvard Business School professor

In this article, we explore emotional website design and its crucial role in creating a web experience that deeply connects with users, drives conversions and achieves business goals.

Websites Must Tap Into Core Emotions To Inspire Action.

Businesses must lead with emotion to capture attention, build connections and influence behavior. But how?

If your website is all facts and data about you and your products or services, you’re missing out on connecting with potential customers. You need to be empathetic to your customers’ needs and identify how you can help them.”

Beverly Virkler, Creative Director, Estland

Emotionally-Driven Website Design Creates A Call & Response.

When someone lands on your website, an emotional reaction occurs subconsciously. This is where the dance begins—a sort of “call and response” between your design and the viewer. With its thoughtfully selected elements, your website subtly encourages interaction and builds connections.

The viewer’s response, often driven by their emotional reaction, evolves into a relationship.

To create this call and response effectively, you need to understand your audience—your imaginary people—and their motivations.

  • Are they seeking to learn something new?
  • Do they want to get in touch with you?
  • Are they looking for a solution to a current problem they have?

Once you’ve defined these, ask yourself:

  • What value have you provided that has drawn them in?
  • How can you emphasize this value, making it obvious and immediate?

Create An Obvious Path For Action With A Minimalistic Design.

The moment someone lands on your page, your design should achieve two immediate goals: excitement and direction.

This is where intuitive navigation becomes essential. By building up a sense of anticipation or ‘pressure,’ you need to provide an easily recognizable pathway through your website.

Minimalism plays a vital role here. A simple, elegant and uncrowded layout removes distractions and highlights navigation pathways. Clutter only serves to confuse, overwhelm and frustrate users. By eliminating the unnecessary, you provide a clear path forward.

Use Imagery, Colors & Typography To Evoke Specific Emotions.

Video and photography are the ultimate tools in a website designer’s kit to evoke an emotional response. People respond to proximity, eye contact and facial expressions.

The right typography, colors and imagery can stir emotions, create connections and inspire actions.

Even if you offer something of immense value, it might go completely unnoticed without the right emotional packaging.

Ensure your value isn’t just observed but genuinely felt and responded to.

Include Interactive Elements To Keep A User’s Attention.

Interactive elements like buttons that react to mouse hovering, dropdown menus and animations all provide immediate feedback for users. These build excitement, reduce stress and create microinteractions that reward the user for engaging with your site’s content.

Remember, each element on your page affects the user’s attention span and emotions. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s simply in the way.

Beverly Virkler, Creative Director, Estland

Clarify Your Website Messaging To Connect & Convert Customers.

For those who intend to embark on this emotional journey, a great way to transform your website from dry to engaging is to adopt Donald Miller’s Storybrand Framework.

Estland uses this tool to clarify our clients’ most compelling messages and make them relatable and engaging to the target audience.

Always Place The Customer As The Hero.

One of the key principles of the Storybrand Framework is positioning the customer as the hero of the story on your website.

This is a paradigm shift from traditional marketing strategies where the business itself is often portrayed as the hero. In this framework, the customer is the star of the show, and their needs, wants and challenges are put front and center.

The idea is to empathize with the user’s goals and to make them feel understood and valued. This approach can lead to a deeper connection with the audience, as they can easily relate to the problems outlined and are more inclined to consider the solutions offered.

Examples Of Positioning The User As The Hero:
  • Financial Planner: Take Control Of Your Financial Future
  • Home Renovation Company: Make Your Dream Home A Reality
  • Orthodontist: Give Your Child A Smile They’ll Love
  • Health Care: Get The Care You Need, Right When You Need It
  • Propane Company: You Deserve A Safe And Reliable Fuel Source

Position Your Business As Their Guide (NOT The Hero).

If the customer is the hero, your company plays the crucial role of their guide.

Your business is there to help the hero navigate through their challenges and reach their goals. As the guide, you offer wisdom, tools and solutions that the hero needs to overcome their obstacles.

This role shift is empowering for the customer, as it places them in the driver’s seat and positions your company as a trusted advisor rather than a salesperson.

And because most people are averse to direct sales pitches, this customer-hero, company-guide approach to writing your website can significantly improve customer engagement and conversion rates.

Examples Of Positioning Your Business As The Guide:
  • Financial Planner: We Keep Up With Changing Tax Laws So You Don’t Have To
  • Home Renovation Company: Our Skilled Team Stays By Your Side From Consult To Completion
  • Orthodontist: Creating Bright Smiles Is What We Do Best
  • Health Care: We Prioritize Personalized Care For A Healthier, Happier You
  • Propane Company: Simplify Your Life With Our Online Payment Portal

Introduce A Common Problem & Tell Them How You’ll Solve It.

After positioning your website user as the hero and your company as the guide, the next steps involve:

  • Introducing a problem that the hero needs to solve,
  • Providing a clear plan to solve this problem and
  • Guiding the hero towards success.

This involves crafting compelling calls-to-action throughout your website that provoke an immediate response from the user.

Your imagery should paint a picture of what success looks like for the hero, essentially showcasing the positive outcomes they can achieve with your help.

It’s also important to hint at the potential pitfalls if the hero doesn’t take action, and create a sense of urgency for them.

Using these storytelling techniques on your website can create a more emotionally engaging experience that resonates with your audience and drives them toward conversion.

Don’t Just Tell, Show Too: Real Customer Examples Build Credibility More Than Words Alone.

Incorporating project examples and customer testimonials or stories on your website is a powerful tool for building trust and credibility with your audience. By showcasing real-life projects, you provide tangible evidence of your expertise, capabilities and the quality of your work.

95% of customers read online reviews before buying a product.

Global Newswire

Additionally, sharing customer testimonials or stories adds a human touch to your brand, demonstrating the positive experiences of previous clients and highlighting the value you’ve provided.

These authentic accounts serve as social proof, reassuring visitors that they can trust your business to fulfill their needs or solve their problems, differentiating your brand in a competitive market.

Estland Develops Websites That Convert Visitors Into Customers.

Your website is more than just an online business card. It’s your brand’s story, it’s your value proposition and it’s your direct line to your customers.

At Estland, we get this. Which is why we don’t just build websites; we create experiences—ones that are both functional and attractive, that resonate and convert.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to enhance your current site, our skilled team is confident we can deliver results that exceed your expectations. Drop us a line, and let’s start crafting your new and improved website together.

Let’s Use Emotions To Drive Revenue