Top 3 Consumer Psychology Tactics to Increase Conversions
⏱ Reading Time: 7 minutes
Just as a tree falling with no one around to hear it make a sound, a blog not read, a newsletter not subscribed to – traffic not converted to sales means you’re not making much of an impact on your visitors. That’s because you haven’t yet figured out what is it, that makes them tick.
What will make them stick around and read that entire blog post?
How can you get them to opt-in to your emails?
What’s missing from making them actually buy?
Finding the answers to these questions and learning what will make your audience take action is the key to turning traffic into a profitable, sustainable customer base.
And while a company’s specific audience data has a lot to do with that, so does psychology.
If you really want to move your audience to take action, you have to tap into their motivations. You have to understand consumer psychology tactics that will get you there.
Not a psychology Ph.D.? Don’t worry; there’s no degree necessary. Below, we’re unveiling the most important consumer psychology tactics. For example, Convertica utilizes them in order to optimize customer sites for conversion.
Top 3 Consumer Psychology Tactics
1. Social Influence
As human beings, we feel pressure to seek approval and validation from others. We’re naturally social, and we want others to like us. We want them to accept us.
Just as this social aspect influences us in our interactions with friends and co-workers, it also affects the way we behave online. By tapping into the natural human desire for social compliance and acceptance, you can leverage a sale from someone who might otherwise pass.
Here’s what we mean with this consumer psychology tactic:
In one of the more classic experiments testing conformity, Dr. Solomon Asch asked his participants to look at two cards. The first card had just one line on it, while the second had three lines of various lengths. Then, he asked them to point out which line from the second card was the same length as the line from the first card.
Here’s where things got interesting. The participants were tested in a room with a few other individuals the participant thought were doing the study, too. In reality, those extra individuals were planted by Dr. Asch as a means of social influence.
In the first round, the plants gave the correct answer as to which line matched the first card. In the second round, the plants were instructed to give the incorrect answer. Would you like to guess what answer the participants gave? In both rounds, the participants were more likely to give the same answer as the plants – regardless of whether it was correct or very obviously the wrong answer.
There you have it. That’s just one example of how others can easily influence your decisions. Time and time again, research has supported and confirmed this theory.
Bringing this back to conversion, the concept of social influence can be used to strengthen your pitch and get more conversions. Here’s a concrete example of just how to do just that when speaking with customers:
Third-party proof: this is when you offer things like testimonials or past reviews to potential customers who are on the fence. Being able to share stories or show reviews from people like them is a great way to illustrate just how someone benefits from your product or service.
Picture 1. Paldesk review example
Using numbers: being able to illustrate in numbers just how many people are already using your services can initiate that desire to conform.
The power of a trade-off is a mysterious thing and our second consumer psychology tactic. Here’s what we mean:
In an experiment run by The Behavioral Insights, investment bankers were asked if they would like to donate a day’s worth of their salary to charity. When that’s all there was to the ask, they were hesitant to accept. Once they started handing the bankers a bag of candy just before asking the same question, the bankers became twice as likely to be willing to donate.
Was that bag of candy of equal value to an investment banker’s daily salary? Nowhere close.
Yet, when even a very small trade-off was proposed to the banker beforehand, they were more likely to oblige.
That’s the power of a trade-off.
As humans, we love to return favors. When someone does something for us, there’s a moral twinge of obligation to do something in return. Psychologists call this the reciprocity principle – and you can use it to convert customers you’re talking to.
So, try out these reciprocity tactics to apply the principle with your potential customers:
Free gift (before or after): A great way to warm leads up is by offering a free gift with purchase. You can also use the same tool after the sale has already been made to surprise and delight the guest. Seeing an extra (free!) item in your order confirmation as a thank you for your business is definitely a nice feeling.
For example, Huawei made had a great deal for its new Huawei P30 Pro and FreeBuds 3. You can see it in the photo below:
Picture 2. Huawei free gift example
Courtesy: When was the last time you contacted leads you haven’t heard from in a while just to check-in? Small courtesy calls or check-ins make a person feel important. And when you do nice things for them, they’re more likely to do nice things for you.
Content: Digital content is a wonderful way to offer something of value to someone you’re not with in-person. Sending valuable information via emails or newsletters regularly can reaffirm your expert status and keep you in their mind.
Last among consumer psychology tactics is trust. Just because the content is published on the internet does not confirm its accuracy. Consumers know this, and they’ve become extremely wary of marketing claims and shady business tactics. They only want to buy products or services from a company they actually trust. They’re done with buying something from just anywhere just because it might be more convenient. Instead, they want to feel good about their purchase and the company behind it.
Above all, customers do research. Moreover, they compare reviews and ask their friends and family for recommendations. They check Yelp or Google for bad customer service responses.
If you’re not doing your due diligence as a company to provide transparent, honest information online, consumers will smell it quickly. Then they’ll run.
Think of it this way: you’re in a relationship with your customers. And if this is a relationship you want to last, it has to be built upon a foundation of trust. It’s the only way.
If you’re not already, here are a few strategies to incorporate to raise the level of trust consumers have in your company and offerings:
- Know your customer: If you know your customers deeply, you’ll be able to speak to them in the way they’ll best respond. You can write marketing content and create messages that will speak to them. When someone feels seen, heard, and validated by a brand, they are much more likely to trust the person (or company!) that made them feel that way.
- Stay consistent: It’s crucial to remain consistent with your tone and messaging across the board. From marketing copy and brochures to blog posts and events, everything you say and do should be consistent for the brand you are. A study from the Online Marketing Institute shows it takes anywhere from 7-13 separate interactions with a brand for someone to actually be considered a lead. If you contradict yourself, or your messaging isn’t consistent all 13 times, you could lose them before you ever had a chance.
This Is Just the Beginning
To summarize, psychology offers a wealth of knowledge that you can take advantage of and apply to your marketing strategies. The three consumer psychology tactics mentioned above are just three ways to create authentic connections with your customers. By diving into the human psyche, you can develop better relationships with your potential customers. And you can nurture them towards the finish line, where they’ll become loyal customers for years ahead.
Kurt Philip is the founder and CEO of Convertica, a done-for-you conversion rate optimization agency. You can get the Convertica team to audit your site for FREE. Visit convertica.org for details.
More from our blog
In this article, we’ll go through the benefits of data analytics and give you nine ways to improve customer experience with big data. Check it out!
Find out how silos affect the company and customers.
Providing customer service via live chat is a perfect opportunity for sales promotion. If you’re not sure why, check out our tips.