If you want to run an effective online marketing campaign, using marketing psychology to affect consumer behavior is essential. When we talk about marketing, we’re really talking about influencing the human brain. If you understand our precious hardware and how it works, you’ll realize that these techniques work extremely effectively.
But what are these techniques? How can we wield them successfully without going overboard? In this article, I’m going to list the most useful techniques that you can implement immediately to improve customer acquisition.
How can you influence your users’ behavior online?
Before we get there, though, you have to better understand how the brain is structured and the key factors that grab attention. If you want to go immediately to the techniques, skip this section.
The brain has 3 major parts — the crocodile brain, the middle brain, and the neocortex. (If you are a doctor, forgive me for the simplification. 🙏)
The crocodile brain (croc brain) is responsible for our basic emotions and feelings. Fear, interest, surprise, anger, etc. This is the most primitive part of our brain, so it can be affected by extremely simple messages or techniques.
The mid-brain affects our social interactions, or how we handle our relationships with others. It controls dopamine production and is responsible for memory, behavior, and attention.
And last but not least, the neocortex is responsible for our reasoning, complex thinking, and analytical skills.
When we scroll down a webpage, we perceive the information with our croc brain first. Then if something grabs our attention, the other parts of our brain join in.
Marketing psychology techniques
Let’s take a dive deep into some of the best and simplest marketing psychology tricks that you can use in dynamic ways to improve your digital presence.
Make them decide 👇👆
Make them choose from at least 2 choices on your website. Given two options, the brain usually picks one. For example, use twin CTAs (calls-to-action) on your landing page. The possibility of pushing a button will be higher if you use 2 buttons next to each other instead of 1.
The question won’t be whether the user should push a button or not, but which one they should push.
Make them curious about… 🕵🏻
If you see something that is not finished, you’re curious about the end of it. The beginning can be cliff hanger in a story, part 1 of a video or a blog post that finishes in a downloadable e-book.
If a user sees an unfinished piece of content, they are more likely to take action to chase after the end of it rather than if you just give it to them all at once.
Encourage trust 👍
Social proof is a powerful tool. By that, I’m referring to testimonials, positive reviews and those ‘100% money back guarantee’ badges. Social proof always build trust. Use it wisely and your conversion rate will grow.
Use anchor pricing ⚓
If your price is high, make it seem more reasonable by displaying an anchor price that is much higher than yours. Highlight similar software that costs thousands per month, while your offer is just $499.
Yeah, your price is still high, but compared with thousands of dollars, it’s not that bad.
FOMO is your friend 🕒
People respond to the fear of missing out on a deal. Booking.com is pretty good at it; while you browse hotels, you can see that some of the best options are already not available in your desired location. Instead of not displaying these options, Booking.com highlights their unavailability in an eye-catching font.
So you think you’d better hurry up and book before somebody else takes the best of what’s left before you do.
Label them 🏷
If you label your users, even with an artificial characteristic, they are more likely to act like their label.
Let’s say you bought something from an ecommerce site for the second time. You get an email that says: “Welcome to our frequent buyer program. Our customers at this stage usually apply for a buyer loyalty card to enjoy all the benefits of our special offers.”
You’ve been labelled as a frequent buyer and they tell you what others usually do at this stage. Because you want to behave accordingly, you are more likely to sign up for this program.
Make them feel indebted 🔁
If you give in life, you usually get. Reciprocity works really well even in online behavior. If you just give a coupon, a discount, a valuable e-book, a software tip collection, whatever, users may feel like they should give something back.
And in many cases, they’ll return the favor with a purchase or by contacting you.
One more thing…
Don’t forget to calibrate your first message carefully at that crucial window of opportunity when you catch your user’s attention span. This is the time frame when the user is paying close attention to a website, and if we don’t find it interesting enough, we drop off. And this timeframe is 8.25 seconds.
And guess what? The attention span of a human is shorter than that of a goldfish (9 sec). Yeah, you would have more time, in theory, to convince a goldfish about your product or service than a human. It’s weird, isn’t it?
You can always improve your site with better UX design, creative copywriting, high-quality visuals, and of course, these marketing psychology techniques that I listed above.