Anxiety Makes 2017 “The Year of Fear”

consumer trends 2017

In October 2016, anxiety ranked as the second-highest performing emotion in marketing campaigns. It wasn’t a surprise – the contentious U.S. Presidential Election was dominating the news. Though these events are in our rearview mirrors, anxiety is still front of mind. Studies have shown America is anxious and that anxiety has become the leading marketing trigger in 2017. The emotion dethroned achievement as the top driver of email campaign engagement across North America.

It’s time to call it: 2017 has been  the Year of Fear.

What does “anxiety was the top driver of engagement” mean?

Consumers clicked on emails, display ads, Facebook ads and other forms of marketing messages that utilized anxiety language. Think headlines like “Don’t freak out” or “ALERT!”

How do you know this?

Persado ran campaigns with 123 brands across all industries, including retail, travel and finance in 2017 and compared the results to 2016. Anxiety-driven emails were 6.5% more successful than 2016 while achievement fell by 8 percent. Persado’s advanced machine learning and marketing language insights are able to understand the specific emotional drivers of each campaign.

Why is this important?

Say one day your friend is riding high after completing a marathon but three months later is nervous about a job interview. Would you speak to her the same way? The same concept holds true for brands. The most successful brands view marketing communication as a way nurture relationships with consumers. This year’s emotional tilt from achievement to anxiety (and last year’s from gratitude to achievement) meant brands needed to adapt. Persado’s  platform helps some of the world’s top companies do so seamlessly. The machine-based learning noticed the trend and generated new, anxiety-driven subject lines that met consumers where they were emotionally.

An Important Note

Just because anxiety worked this year doesn’t meant that other “fear” based emotions will. It’s worth noting that urgency and guilt, two other “fear” based emotions ranked as some of the lowest performing emotions, which is consistent with industry trends. At the end of the day, it’s about striking the right emotional note in your marketing campaigns to communicate with consumers in a way that speaks to them.

No need to get anxious about consumers’ mood swings. Before closing the book on 2017, gift yourself a free demo to see how your brand can use Persado’s AI to keep your brand one step ahead.