What It Really Takes to Emotionally Connect With Customers

by Neil Patel

Last updated on July 14th, 2017

I don’t like how people have downplayed the role of emotion. Emotions and decision-making go hand-in-hand. When it comes to marketing, you can’t neglect the role that emotions play.

Once you recognize this, however, it brings up an important question: How do you emotionally connect with your customers?

There are two features. It starts with discovery and is unleashed through content.

1. Discover the one thing that your customers love.

In order to create an emotional connect, you obviously need something that your customers will connect with.

Your task:  Figure out what it is.

I can’t tell you what that one thing is. I can tell you, however, that the world’s most loved brands have an overriding emphasis that drives the entire brand’s marketing approach. They sell one emotional connection, not a lot of different things.

Here are the three qualities of a successful emotional connection:

  1. It’s a feeling, not a feature. Pay special attention to the difference between a feeling and a feature. A feeling is an internal experience. A feature is an aspect of your product or service. What we’re discussing here is the feeling — a customer-focused and personal emotional experience.
  2. It’s something focused. Just as your product itself appeals only to a specific market audience, so your emotional selling point applies to only a slice of the general population. For example, you’re not just trying to sell “happiness.” Everyone wants happiness. Instead, you’re trying to sell a specific angle on happiness that will appeal to a specific group of people.
  3. It is something that appeals to a specific demographic. Not everyone is going to go crazy over a specific emotional connection. You need only to connect with one group of people.

Let me give you some examples.

The Calvin Klein fragrance, Euphoria, is selling this emotional connection.


Image source

All of the marketing features — coloring, videos, package design, photography, etc., — focus on the emotional connection point:  sexiness.

Listen to the product description:


There is no mistaking the emotional connection. Obviously, such overt product sexualization is not going to appeal to the market at large. Klein is targeting a specific demographic. The focus isn’t on the smell at all. It’s on the feeling.

A far different example comes from Zappos.

Zappos is a success story of connecting with customers. The reason they’re notable is because they’ve focused on one of the most direct routes to the emotional connection:  customer service.


The company tagline is “Powered by Service.” They have created an entire company culture that drives home this one thing.


Here’s how they describe it: 

We’ve been asked by a lot of people how we’ve grown so quickly, and the answer is actually really simple… We’ve aligned the entire organization around one mission: to provide the best customer service possible. Internally, we call this our WOW philosophy.

Another example is Apple. From its inception, Apple honed in on the innovation of technology, which they taglined with the popular “think different” slogan.


Image source

Even Apple’s promotion of diversity is driven by the passion for innovation.


Apple appeals to forward-thinking, early-adopting, simplicity-loving, ease-enjoying individuals. And they crave innovation, or at least the feeling of innovation that the products provide.


In spite of the company’s rocky past and the passing of its legend, Steve Jobs, they have managed to push the envelope on innovation…still.


Commenting on the company’s innovative stance, Tim Cook said this:

Everybody is trying to adopt Apple’s strategy. We’re not looking for external validation of our strategy, but I think it does suggest that there’s a lot of copying, kind of, on strategy and that people have recognized that importance.

That strategy? Innovation. Here’s what Cook said:

You have to keep innovating and that to not innovate is to die.

What’s the lesson here?

Jim Joseph in his Entrepreneur article, provides an example:

Say you run a restaurant. Your customers know they can get daily specials and good tasting food from you. But what can you offer them that they can’t get elsewhere? Is it a feeling of being at home, part of the neighborhood, and being comforted and nurtured?

The application he’s driving toward is this:  You must find an “emotional differentiator.” You need to provide some level of emotional connection that a customer can find in your product or service that she can’t find in another product or service.

If your customers love you, they will love you because of one critically important, indispensable, and powerful thing.

Find your one thing.

2. Make it all about the content.

As a die-hard proponent of writing and content marketing, I have seen the power of content in creating emotional connections.

Why is copy such a powerful feature in developing emotional connections? Because content speaks to people’s emotions.

Well-produced content can produce the kind of connection that affects cognition, behavior, understanding, and feelings.

One Copyblogger article pushes this philosophy, making the point that there are three integral connection points of emotional connection.

  • Emotional content must capture attention. Headlines, as I’ll discuss below, are a vital component of this strategy.
  • Emotional content must maintain interest. Your copy isn’t going to be as effective without some level of engagement.
  • Emotional content moves the user to take action. Successful websites use calls to action that are powerful and well-placed. Super successful website gain sky-high conversion rates from such CTAs. And the engine that drives such success? It’s emotional connection.

As Demian Farnworth put it, “We all need emotions to make decision [sic]. And we (content marketers) need emotions to persuade people.”

Ready for the secret to emotional copy?

It’s not as hard as you might think. It would be a mistake to think that you have to create some tear-jerking story or a few lines that managed to tug at the heartstrings of users. That’s emotionalism, but that’s not the same as emotional copy.

Here are the four essential ingredients.

  • You: Use the word “you.” It appeals to the individual.
  • Headline: Make the connection in the headline. People may not read your copy, but they will read your headlines.
  • User: Talk about the user or reader. Understand who they are, then identify them. Describe them in your copy with direct assertions or imperative statements.
  • Focus on feeling: You can create a feeling-focused phrase by simply describing a sensation, a pain, a pleasure, or some other experience. The masters of emotional connection know that the most powerful forms of decision-making don’t happen through analytical rigor, but through emotional persuasion. Feeling-focused phraseology is what flips this switch.
  • Image: Add relevant photos or imagery. These should reinforce the message.

This may seem a bit pie-in-the-sky. I’m going to take it out of the sky now with some actual real-life examples:


This is Aussie, the hair-care product company. The headline below fits each of the four ingredients:

  • The word “you” (your)
  • It’s the headline.
  • It speaks to the reader — a command to “get a strong hold.”
  • The word strong in this context helps connect to a male readership, many of whom are interested in a quality like This deep emotional awareness of strength is what makes the headline connect.
  • Photo: Smiling, confident, strong.

Here’s another approach from a SaaS product.


Again, we see the ingredients in action:

  • You-focused. The word appears twice in the headline and subheadline.
  • It’s a headline.
  • It appeals the professional’s desire to get stuff done efficiently.
  • It contains hints of feeling, driving towards accomplishment and success.
  • Photo: professional, happy, and competent.

These are the methods of putting the emotional connection to work. The key thing to remember is this:  It resides in the copy. You must have that underlying one thing, but the actual method of sharing this with your readers happens in the content and copy.

Under Armour produces athletic performance wear. They blend two emotional feelings — looking good and performing well. People who purchase from Under Armour are drawn by this emotional feeling of attractiveness and athleticism.

Here’s an example of such content in action on the website’s homepage.


The features:

  • The word “you” is in the subhead.
  • It is a headline.
  • It focuses on the user’s need for performance and visual appeal.
  • It emphasizes a feeling — the feeling of being protected and being “always on.”
  • The photo features model Gisele Bündchen, a model, which enhances the brand’s aesthetic selling point.

Taken together, the four qualities of content will push an emotional connection that compels


The secret of emotional connection is indispensable. Regardless of your product or service, you can find your emotional selling point, and promote it with your content.

Customers don’t necessarily remember what you do for them as much as they remember how you made them feel. There’s where you can uncover your emotional benefit.

How do you use emotion in your marketing?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Neil Patel.



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Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.


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  1. Layek says:
    December 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Wow! this is such a gigantic information on digital marketing. Thank you Neil Patel! You are awesome

  2. July 3, 2015 at 2:55 am

    I am finding a great idea for my sale blog. And i found!
    Thanks for your shared NEIL PATEL!

    • July 3, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Glad to hear it, Bill. Good luck with your blog.

  3. June 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I really liked this marketing approach Neil. Nice article

    • June 2, 2015 at 9:11 am

      It’s a good one, isn’t it, Chawki?

      • June 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        Yes Kathryn emotional marketing picture, video or text really influences customers. I especially see this approach in most TV channels and in newspapers. Why not we don’t use this approach in our website.

  4. June 1, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Pure Marketing Strategy. Nice artcile 😀

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