The Psychology of Fonts

The Psychology of Fonts

The fonts that you choose in your marketing can have an influence on how people connect with your content on an emotional level.

(In this post, am using the term “fonts” to describe fonts in general, including typefaces. However, technically typefaces are the letters, numbers, and symbols that share a certain design. Fonts are the different set of glyphs within a typeface. A typeface can have many font families within it.)

Why are fonts important? Think about the last ad that you saw. What caught your eye? Probably the colors, images, and words. But were the words easy to read? Were different fonts used in the same visual element? Did the font styles flow together, or did they contrast each other? You may not have consciously thought about these questions, but your subconscious mind was noticing. If you look at the history of font usage in marketing, you will notice a trend towards more simplistic, cleaner fonts. Gone are the days of complex, ornate fonts used in branding and visual content. Consider the difference between these three fonts:

Which of these is easiest for you to read? If you are like most of the general population, the first or second fonts are probably the easiest for your brain to understand. According to a study by MDG Advertising, decorative fonts are harder for people to read, particularly in large amounts. There is a reason that most word processing systems have Arial or Calibri as their default fonts. That does not mean that decorative fonts don’t have their place in marketing, but they should be used sparingly and not in large text areas.

How do you choose the right font for your purposes? You want to consider several factors when choosing the font (or fonts) to select for your creative:

  • Brand – refer to your brand guidelines and make sure you are incorporating your brand font appropriately. In most cases, you are not going to want to introduce many new fonts into your creative if you already have primary and secondary fonts as part of your brand guidelines.
  • Form – if you are creating an infographic, you may want the simplest font that is easier for the eye to read. If you are creating a website banner, you might want a bolder font that is in the same font family as your logo font.
  • Function – are you developing a creative piece that is meant for your audience to click on? You will want to make sure that font is large enough for people to read and click on with their mouse or finger (on mobile devices).
  • Intent – are you looking to make a splash with your creative? Perhaps an over-emphasized or unusual font style would be appropriate. (But do so sparingly.)
  • Channel – this is another area where accessibility standards are important. If you are creating a piece of content to be used on a digital platform such as your website, you will want to choose a font that can be interpreted correctly by most devices. If you are creating something for print, make sure that your fonts can withstand the print process without blurring or adjustments.
  • Environment – put together, different fonts can appear more or less cohesive. It is also important to pay attention to the other visual elements around the fonts.

It can take time to figure out the best font pairings for your marketing efforts. And it is another good reason why you should hire an experienced graphic designer. If your font pairings are not cohesive to the eye, it will interrupt the message getting through to the audience’s brains.

Content Inspiration – Quizzes

Content Inspiration – Quizzes

We tend to get stuck in the same routines, using the same tactics, formats, and channels. I am starting a series that will showcase examples of types of content that you might want to consider adding into your marketing mix.

This month, let’s focus on quizzes. They can be fun, educational, or functional. They also serve a dual purpose. Not only are they a good engagement tool, they provide you with information about your audience. Some examples of quizzes include:

  • Ask your audience to choose from a list of possible challenges to accomplishing a task.
  • Have your audience choose from 3 – 4 icons to identify their favorite item.
  • Take people through a personality quiz to determine which of your products would be best for them.
  • People love to show off their knowledge. Let them tell you how smart they are on a particular topic through a series of fun questions.

TIPS

  • Be clear that you are collecting their answers for marketing purposes.
  • Don’t have too many questions in your quiz. If it is too long, your audience will check out without completing it.
  • Make sure you have a call-to-action at the end of the quiz that takes your customer closer to a product purchase.
  • Provide people a way to share their results!

Check out these examples below 👇

Red Lobster created a quiz that encouraged users to discover their “Endless Shrimp flavor” and shared it on social media. This was visually appealing (and mouthwatering if you like shrimp) and fun for people to take.

People who are passionate about a topic usually want to show how much they know about that topic. The Chicago Bulls created a fun quiz where people could test their trivia knowledge about the team. The results were shared after answering each question and users could see if they were correct.

Beauty subscription brand Birchbox created a quiz where their audience could answer questions to find their makeup brand spirit animal. After the quiz was completed, Birchbox would recommend makeup for the user based on their answers.

Every data point is an opportunity

Every data point is an opportunity

As a marketer, you have a plethora of data at your fingertips. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is great because it helps you make better decisions. But it can also be overwhelming. Data from your website, from you social media posts, from your emails – what do you do with it all?

The first step: breathe.

The second step: make a plan.

Before you can understand what to do with the data, you need to know what data you have. Different distribution methods will produce different data. And not all data is created equal. Every metric tells a different story and will help you answer different questions. If you are looking for a way to collate all of that data, there are several ways you can do it. It could be as simple as a spreadsheet or as complex as a platform like Datorama or Domo to connect all your data in one view.

If you are just beginning to work with your data, here are some common metrics and what story they tell:

CHANNELDATA POINTWHAT IT TELLS YOU
WebAcquisitionHow did the people who visit your website find it? Acquisition can tell you where those visitors were before the landed on your website? Did they click on a link in a paid ad? Did they come from a social media site? Or did they come from organic search?
WebBounce rateA high bounce rate indicates that a large number of people who found themselves on your website did not find what they were looking for and left your site quickly. This means your content was not what they were expecting to find or not appealing to them.
WebConversion rateDepending on what type of conversion you are measuring (web form completions, purchase, newsletter subscriptions, etc), this metric will tell you what percentage of people who land on your website complete that action.
Social mediaEngagementThis is an umbrella term that covers several different metrics. In general, engagement measured how involved your followers are with your content. It encompasses likes, comments, shares, and clicks.
Social mediaAwarenessImpressions and reach are both included in determining awareness. These both tell the story of how many people were shown your content, either in their feed or through someone sharing it, as well as the potential that their connections might also see it.
EmailOpen rateMust as it sounds, this is the number of people who actually open your email. This data point might indicate that your subject line is not enticing enough for a subscriber to want to read the contents.
Paid searchCPC (cost per click)The cost that you paid from your planned budget based on the number of times your ad was actually clicked. You generally want a lower CPC.
VariousCTR (click thru rate)This metric is measured on several different channels and will tell you how frequently or how many times people have clicked a link that you have provided. You can publish all the content you want, but if people don’t eventually take action, you are not going to move them down the funnel towards purchase.

Once you have mastered the basics of collecting, reviewing, and understanding your data, you can get into more advanced measurement that will give you even more insights into your audience, how they interact with your content, and how that leads to sales.

Learn more about data points that that are not based in numbers here.

The details matter

The details matter

I use my phone for everything. It is probably not healthy, but I’m a big fan of anything that makes my life easier. I have the apps for all our favorite restaurants so that I can easily put our name on the wait list or order carry out. I have all of my travel apps so that I can easily scan my flight tickets or order my hotel room door with my phone. I have health apps, productivity apps, even apps to control appliances in my home.

Why am I telling you this? The other day, my husband was working around the house and needed more spackle. He asked if I could go to the hardware store and pick up some more. I live in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana and we have a lot of hardware store options around here. The big three are Menards, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Then there are some smaller ones like Ace hardware and True Value. So we have lots of options. But anytime I can, I choose The Home Depot. Why? Because their mobile app (and even their mobile site) is so very helpful.

To start off, they provide an option to either scan or take a photo of the item you need to find. As you can imagine, with hardware, not everything has a bar code. In this case, I was able to scan the pack of the bucket. Right away, the app displayed the item I was looking for as well as some very helpful information. It told me in which aisle the item was located. But not only that, it told me exactly which bin to look in. Most importantly, it told me that there were 47 of that particular item in stock. How many times have you gone to a store only to find that they item you were looking for was out of stock? This provided me peace of mind knowing that I would actually be able to purchase the item when I got to the store. When I got to the store, the app showed me exactly where in the store the item was located.

Inside the store, everything is clearly marked. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to find what I was looking for in the store. The only thing that slowed me down was that they didn’t have tap and pay. I had to dig in my wallet and get my credit card out and actually put it in the machine to pay.

What lessons can be learned by this?

  • Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about what your customers need from you. What are the barriers to them making a purchase? Get rid of those barriers.
  • KISS. Yes, that is Keep It Simple, Stupid. Make things as easy as possible for your customers.
  • Every touchpoint is an opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it is in the mobile app or in-store, the experience was easy for me, the customers.

Now think about your business. How can you make every touchpoint easier for your customers?

What’s in a name?

People occasionally ask me why I named my consulting business Hijinx so I figured I would write a blog post about it.

When I decided to start doing consulting, I wanted a name that had a little bit of sass and was unique.

“High jinks” is also known as its shorter form – hijinks. The definition is “boisterous fun”.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of symmetry and crisp creative design, which is why I changed the ‘ks’ to the letter X. Voila, uniqueness!