Let’s face it – the key to every successful business marketing is to persuade people they urgently need the stuff that they don’t need (at least not so urgently). It is not just that business owners know it, but customers are also aware of this (there has been a lot of anti-capitalistic activists to write about it). So, why do they go along? Because every business is a kind of a game, and every game is a way to escape from the dull everyday life.
But we all know that not all the games are tempting. If you’ve ever been a gamer (or have watched someone play) you know that there need to be some rewards along the way to make you keep playing. These rewards are purely emotional, but they’re far much stronger than material ones. Of course, your products and services can be rewarding themselves, but people will be able to realize that only after they purchase them. And the road to the sales funnel can be a pretty long one so you’ll need some emotional rewards to take them there.
Think of your website as a world that needs a very engaging gameplay. To ensure a maximum emotional playoff, you’re gonna need an impressive UI and UX design to turn your site into an interactive playground. Humans are the most spoiled beings on this planet, so everything except breathing is an effort to us and browsing the websites is not an exception. Here are 5 methods of emotional rewarding that will keep your customers playing all the way to your CTA buttons.
Ready, Player One
If there is somebody who knows what exactly the modern audience wants then it’s definitely Steven Spielberg – and with his latest film he’s shown clearly that escapism is a new religion. But the most important part is that people don’t want to escape alone. If there is Player one, there must also be Player two, three, four, and so on. It’s not a secret that people want to connect, familiarize and make friends. The evolution of technology has created a gap in the simple human interactions and this is proven by the increased number of furry friends now almost every household has. But the online space also offers a great opportunity for people to restore their sense of belonging, especially through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Social media can create some very introverted individuals, but it can also bring the world together. By creating social accounts for your company you’re turning your products and services into the means of bonding with other people. Enabling your customers to comment, like, and share is basically like you’ve added a multiplayer option and one of the biggest emotional rewards is to gain a place where you’re accepted and where you belong.
Now that you’ve gathered up your players it’s time to offer them some upgrade. That is the basic emotional reward of every game – every time a player gets a ‛level up’ it is like he has become more popular in a real world. And the best way to provide your customers with that upgrade is precisely through that social channels you’ve created. The whole game of business is based on customer feedback and responses and it’s very important that these things don’t remain unanswered. Right after the need to connect goes the need for the recognition. People are trying to become internet famous because they have a hard time gaining the recognition in the real world. If you find the time to let your users know how their comments and suggestions (but also complaints!) were very useful (even if they weren’t) they will not hesitate to share that with other people. So it is not just ‛level up’ for them, but also for your business whose visibility and rankings will increase.
The whole point of the multiplayer game is to have someone to play against. There is nothing that keeps people going more than a good competition. The very word versus has a Latin origin meaning ‛towards’. There isn’t a single person who doesn’t want to be a winner, and fictional worlds have always been the best place to achieve that ambition without anyone ending up hurt (at least not physically). Through social media contests, you can provide your users with a friendly way to compete with each other where the emotional reward isn’t reserved only for a winner but lies in the very act of interaction.
The Next Level
In this word of ever-growing competition, we are faced with numerous everyday obligations whose fulfillment only keeps things from falling apart, but it doesn’t lead anywhere particularly. In this kind of state, the concept of progress has become like some kind of old and forgotten myth. People have a strong need to have a certain goal and to have a sense of becoming near to it. That’s why every time we get to the next level of the game emotional reward follows. You can easily guide your users there by the simple use of progress bars in your UI design. The feeling of progress is always much more important than some big change in the gameplay.
Naturally, at one point, progress must take us to the achievement. Everybody is familiar with the surge of positive emotions we experience when we actually finish something. But don’t think that only achievement you have to offer is the one after they click on your CTA buttons. There should be other smaller ones along the road, showing that you recognize their effort at every step. They don’t need to be anything fancy, a simple ‛hurray!’ would be enough. Just keep in mind that people value achievements much more if the process wasn’t dull or boring and a small optimization of your forms can boost the whole experience.
As you can see, the recipe is quite simple. Give them a chance to pick their team, put some upgrades along the way and make sure the story evolves. Along the way, they’ll feel connected, appreciated and special. Isn’t that the reason why we play these games?