If you’re like me, and you read a lot of evolutionary psychology books, you learn an odd fact:

People feel first, and use facts to back up their feelings.

We all sincerely hope that people vote, make career choices, and raise their children using facts and logic. Sadly, such is not the case.

People use emotion to make decisions, and retroactively justify their decisions with a handful of quickly accessible rules of thumb, larded with the occasional fact.

Now this may be bad if you have to live in a democracy where voters make poor, emotional decisions based on what people around them do.

If you’re a marketer, however, it’s awesome!

Because what it means is this: if you can create a genuine feeling — either with an ad, a website, or a billboard — it’s very hard NOT to feel that feeling. And people who align with that feeling, or who are already sympathetic to it, will be pulled even deeper into their curiosity about your and your product.

That’s a pretty good trick.

And this also means: if an knowledgeable outsider looks at your website and feels nothing, then you didn’t do your job as a marketer. You left your cards at the table. You brought your gun, but didn’t put any bullets in it.

Your home page is not a directory — it’s the first and best place to create emotion.

It’s easy to create emotion: a few big images and a little text is all you need, provided they are clear, understandable, and unique.

That’s why I always ask people in my category, and even people who have nothing to do with it, what they feel in the first 10 seconds of seeing my site.  That emotion will never quite go away, so be sure you’re creating a good one.

Create emotion — even a simple one — and you will be rewarded.

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