5 Types of Marketing Appeals to Use to Captivate Your Audience

There are essential marketing terms and best practices that we, as marketers, should be familiar with so that when we put our knowledge into application, our output is deliberate, meaningful, and captivating to our target audiences.  If you studied marketing in college, you will remember learning about these “appeals” in your basic marketing classes. And if you are now a marketer by way of another area of study originally, this blog post will serve as a great tool for you and should help you when preparing marketing assets whether written or visual.

The 5 Types of Marketing Appeals

Emotional Appeal

Anything that elicits an emotional response will likely resonate with people. Get emotional by using persuasive language and feelings vs. stating facts. Emotional appeals may include negative or positive feelings, including sadness, anger, hope, and pride.

Portrait of happy multi-generation family sitting at breakfast table in home

Fear Appeal

Using fear as a marketing tactic is the oldest trick in the book. With fear, you can lead your audience to focus on what could happen because of an action or inaction. Fresh produce marketers could use this tactic to create an immediate behavior change, such as eating healthier foods. To make this appeal effective, you must make the action/inaction specific and attainable, so that your audience feels as though they are able to move in the direction you have paved for them.

Good Health direction sign on sky background

Humor Appeal

When humor is used correctly and effectively, it enhances recollection for the audience. Humor works best with well-known products or services (consider how insurance companies like State Farm have used this form of appeal in their pandemic and post-pandemic advertising tactics). When using this tactic, proceed with caution.  You want to avoid using humor at the expense of other people. Take care not to be overbearing with your humor and cause the audience to resent the product, service, or even the brand or company.

Humor Appeal

Logical Appeal

Marketers present just the facts about the product or service, leading people to trust the information given to them. It also shows audiences the practicality and functionality of what you have to offer. Focus on sharing what your product/service does, the features, and the cost. This is best used in B2B marketing, so keep it in mind for working with your retail customers.


Bandwagon Appeal

Ever heard the term “FOMO?” It stands for exactly what this appeal is: Fear Of Missing Out. This addresses the need to fit in, belong, and not get left behind. Marketers can show or demonstrate their target audience enjoying the product or service to make it relatable and something their audience “has to have.”

Closeup headshot portrait unhappy scared anxious woman with glasses. Female biting nails looking with craving, envy for something worried isolated on white background. Human face expression emotions

So how do you determine when it’s appropriate to use certain appeals? The answer to this question starts with knowing your audience and the type of approach that might speak to them best to drive them to action.  Want to know more about what’s moving them now?  Let DMA assess your website or social media activity to help you get to know your customer and shopper better.