How to increase revenue using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Feb 27, 2014

Does your landing page fulfill your customer’s emotional needs?

Picture yourself watching a program on TV and the commercials that accompany it. While online ads show us pricings and the best phones for sale, TV ads try to make us feel something, inspire and excite us like this Orange ad below using basic emotional triggers like love and affinity in order to convince us to buy.

99.9% of these emotional triggers and emotional needs are used in offline campaigns such as TV & radio, but could be used vastly in the online world by understanding and studying them.  Using different emotional triggers we’ve proved time and time again that you can improve your website conversion rate dramatically.

One of the most famous men in the world to recognize the basics of emotional triggers and needs was Abraham Harold Maslow, an American psychologist who was best known for creating the Maslow hierarchy of needs: a theory of human motivation, psychological health and self-actualization.

As opposed to most psychologists who studied mentally ill patients, Maslow studied people such as Einshtien & Elinor Roosevelt. He used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence to describe human motivational needs and was able to establish a pyramid of human “needs”.

Malsow established that we have a hierarchy of needs and only once satisfied with one emotional need, would we move on to the next. First come the basics needs such as food, water and sleep and following these are important emotional triggers that can play an enormous role in a conversion optimization strategy.

Your Funnel


4 Human needs & emotions identified by Maslow & how you can use them for conversion optimisation:

2nd level – Securing a known environment

The second level following basic needs is “Safety: Security, Order, and Stability”. This step is important to the physical survival of the person. Providing reassurance to your users can increase the sense of security people are looking for in your product.

  1. Familiarity – Adding familiar security icons that symbolize your product’s stability can go a long way. A good example is the landing page we designed for Wix that contains the iconwix landing pages of well-known sites that use Wix’s service. Don’t forget to add a phone number if you have one, and if your funnel contains a payment process, adding an SSL security icon is extremely important.
  2. You’re not alone –Another way to establish stability and security. By adding previous client testimonials you increase your social assurance and use the emotional trigger – ‘choice supportive’, which attributes a positive perspective to purchasing your product.
  3. Emotional triggers- as I wrote in one of my previous posts, colors have a vast impact on emotions and by using them correctly you can help increase users reassurance. Images are usually the first thing a user sees on the site, which is why creating a known and supportive environment, presenting images and texts can increase stability and credibility to your product or service.

3rd level – We Belong

The third level of need is “Love and Belonging”, which are psychological needs; when we have taken care of ourselves physically, we’re ready to share ourselves with others, such as with family and friends.

  1. The mobile phone companies do some of the best jobs on this emotional need. Nokia’s ad is a fantastic feel good example of our need to connect with people. Watching a simple 1-minute ad can get us all emotional and remind us of our need for love and belonging.


4th level – Self Image

The fourth level is achieved when we feel comfortable with what we’ve accomplished until now. This is the “Esteem” level, the need to be competent and recognized, through status and level of success.

NIKE ad In past posts we’ve written about the importance of the self-image emotional trigger. We’ve used it in countless tests, demonstrating that with the help of different images and texts you can increase a persons self esteem and motivate them into action.

One of the best ads I’ve seen is by Nike (surprise surprise) which takes a young overweight kid, gives him a pair of NIKE shoes and tells him to aspire to more, to believe in greatness.

When we started our company (almost 5 years ago) we aimed to bring the offline traditional marketing into the online dynamic and technological world. Maslow’s pyramid is probably the most practical emotional layout we’ve been using to help us in the difficult task of converting a hasty user into a paying customer in less than 2 seconds.

So, does you landing page fulfill your customer’s emotional needs?


How to increase revenue using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 4.50/5 (90.00%) 8 votes
Talia helps businesses build and execute their conversion optimization strategies, using emotional targeting, consumer psychology and behavioral data to generate more revenues, leads, engagement and sales . Tweet to her at @taliagw