Although we’d like to believe that our buying decisions are based on a rational comparison of suitable options, the truth is almost every purchase we make is driven by emotion. Hence, why nurturing the emotional bond between your brand and customer, is a logical route to increasing sales.

It’s widely accepted that the integral pillars to building these emotional connections include brand storytelling, surprise and delight moments and open communication channels.

Whilst these are crucial long-term strategies, there is another way of strengthening the bond that’ll yield real-time results on your sales. And the good news is, it doesn’t involve a fancy-pants marketing plan, or budget-blowing technology – but it does involve a bit of psychology.  

As your customer goes through their buying journey, they will experience emotional peaks that make them feel warm and fuzzy inside; it may be the seamless checkout process, or array of shipping options, or the hand-written note included with every order. If you can find out why your customer loves to shop with you and connect with them at these specific points…well then you’ve got the secret to effectively driving their behaviour.

The behaviour you chose to ‘encourage’ could be anything from subscribing to your newsletter, joining a loyalty program, or up-selling another product, but today we’re going to narrow it down to one action in particular – referrals.

As today’s ever-connected consumer spreads their product thoughts, opinions and preferences well beyond their social circles, increased emphasis is placed across the virtual marketplace upon referrals, testimonials, influencers and peer reviews.

Why? Because word of mouth has stood the test of time as a proven bottom line booster. As tools and technologies changed the way we shop, the channels we use to share our experiences has evolved, but the sales-smart power of recommendations certainly has not.

So let’s connect the dots…by strategically timing your referral, review and testimonials requests to hit your customer’s inbox at the moment when they are experiencing an emotional high point associated with your business, then they are more likely to take action on it – Psychology 101.

If you need some inspiration, here are the two most common emotional peaks experienced during the purchase process:

Upon point of sale

The customer is excited about their purchase and endorphins are high. Consequently, the transactional email sent to confirm the order should contain so much more than this functional message.

Instead, use this email to point out how great their decision to buy really was, the exponential benefit of this purchase and ask them to consider if they want their nearest and dearest to miss out?

Of course they don’t, so point them to an app such as ReferralCandy, offering an instant incentive or reward, in return for recommending your business. Super simple.

Upon delivery

As long as your shipping process is on-point, your customer is going to be elated when their purchase arrives – cue the second emotional high.

Immediately ask them to complete a review, satisfaction survey or testimonial and share on social. Waiting a day or two to follow up is not an option, by then the high is over and the opportunity to build your social proof has long gone.

Remember that the window may be finite, but the rewards are infinite.

Leveraging these emotional motivators to encourage referrals doesn’t require any extra marketing budget; these are transactional emails you’re already sending, it’s just about being in the right place at the right time and tweaking the message. After all if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Right?

The possibilities are endless, because the more emotional high points you can give your customers, the more opportune moments you’ll have to ask them to talk about your business and stronger your bond will become. And this is how you create real brand advocates, who will rave about your business to anyone and everyone who will listen. 

Shippit.com is the shipping engine for modern retail. Learn more about our how our software can save you time, money and keep your customers happy this festive season.

Author Elena Clarke

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