How to Integrate Psychology Into Your Marketing

psychology

How do you market your company? You probably try to optimize your site for search engines, try some content and social media marketing, test out a few paid ad sources, and maybe even focus on conversion optimization.

Although those tactics can help you boost your sales, you shouldn’t focus all of your time on traffic generating strategies. One of the most effective ways you can boost your sales is to integrate psychology into your marketing.

But before I get into how you can leverage psychology, lets first define it:

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.

Now that we are all on the same page, here is how you can integrate psychology within your marketing:

Tactic #1: Get people to commit before committing

Let me explain what I mean here. There are two ways to think about a commitment within your online business. The obvious one is a customer buying your product or service. The less obvious one is to get the customer to be mentally prepared to buy from you.

If you get your visitors mentally prepared to make a purchase on your site, they are much more likely to complete the purchase. And the easiest way to do this is through your website copy.

A good example of this is Unleash Your Thin. Dr. Jonny Bowden uses this copy on his checkout page to get you to commit to the purchase:

unleash your thin

Jonny is really smart because not only is he getting you into the mindset of buying, he is also getting you to grasp that there is little to no risk committing because he will refund you your money if you are unhappy. Plus, he added a “check box” to give you the feeling that you’ve already checked the box and approved buying the product.

Unleash Your Thin isn’t the only company that is doing this. Gym Junkies used similar messaging with their software application and were able to increase sales by 16%.

Tactic #2: Future pace

The real estate industry is well known for future pacing their customers. Real estate agents will constantly drop lines like “when you have a BBQ in your new home, make sure you invite me”… even before you make an offer on a home.

What they are trying to do is to have you focus on the future outcome and not the purchase. Once you get hooked on all of the things that will happen if you go through with the purchase, you will be more likely to make the purchase.

You can also do this online with your marketing copy. Here’s a good example of how we do this at Crazy Egg:

crazy egg

By using the word “when”, we are assuming that you are already going to use Crazy Egg. If we didn’t want to future pace, we would have used the phrase“what do you get if you use Crazy Egg”. But by using future pacing within your copy we’ve found that it increases sales by 5% to 10%.

Tactic #3: Make people work for it

Just because you are selling something, it doesn’t mean anyone can have it. You can choose which customers you want to sell your products or services to by putting up roadblocks. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, in many cases it makes people work harder to buy your product or service.

mike 6 pack

If you look at the screenshot above, you’ll notice that Six Pack Shortcuts makes you go through a mini quiz to qualify you. What a lot of companies have learned is that if they make you work to buy their product, instead of just driving you to a page where you can add the product to your shopping cart, you are more likely to convert into a customer. Why? Because they made you feel that you are one of the lucky few who made it through.

The funny thing about this method is that I’ve seen it increase and drop conversions drastically. When I tested it out on sophisticated audiences like Quick Sprout, I saw an 18% drop in conversions.

quicksprout work

But when I tested it out in non-sophisticated markets, I’ve seen an increase in conversion rates by up to 31%.

Tactic #4: The Power of Why

What’s the one thing that all kids do? They ask a ton of questions, right? And if you don’t answer their question with a sufficient answer, what happens? They keep asking it, right?

Your visitors are the same way. The difference is, if you don’t answer their questions, they don’t ask them again. They just leave.

Psychology is about understanding your customers and how they think. If you can survey them, you can figure out the concerns and questions they have. Some of these questions may be as basic as:

  • Why is your product or service so great?
  • Why should I buy from you?
  • Why should I stay on your site?

Within your copy, you should focus on answering all of these “whys” your visitors have. But the responses you give them have to be really good because if they suck, people will just leave your site.

Let me give you an extreme example

“Stop taking two and three plates of food,” my mother said to me angrily.

I was at a wedding and seven years old. Back then, at a lot of the weddings we used to go to, the food would be pre-served on a plate. I could never get enough of those calorie-ridden platters. Waylaying different waiters, (so I would not be recognized), I’d polish 3-4 plates without blinking an eye.

Mom wasn’t impressed, and told me to stop and desist.

“Why?” I’d ask. Her stock reply was always, “It’s bad manners to do that.” This Dustbin Hoffman (yes, I do mean Dustbin and not Dustin) act obviously got her goat, but it left me unfazed. It must have bugged her more than I expected though, because in a short while Dad was peering down at my food-stuffed face.

My question remained unchanged. “WHY?”

“If you invite a hundred people to a wedding, how many would you cater for?” he asked. “A hundred,” I answered, proud of my analytical genius. “If you ate four plates,” he continued, “how many would remain?” He prompted quickly, “Ninety-six right?” I nodded vigorously. “That means some people don’t eat. If you’re so hungry, we can go out after the wedding and get something to eat, but don’t deprive others.”

In that example, the dad made sense. He made so much sense that the seven-year-old boy listened and didn’t have an issue with the answer.

If you don’t give a good explanation every time your customers ask “why”, they’ll just leave.

If you are looking for a good web-based example, check out how we answer the question of “why should I use Crazy Egg instead of Clicktale”.

clicktale

The response is so thorough that potential customers don’t ask us the question anymore.

Tactic #5: Build up anticipation

Would you rather go to a club that doesn’t have a line or one that has a line? The one with the line, right? Because if a club doesn’t have a long line, it can’t be that great.

Making people wait before you let them buy doesn’t just increase your chances of getting a sale, but it also lets you charge a premium for whatever you are selling. Just look at Apple: not only are their products expensive, but people wait in lines over night to buy their products.

There are a few strategies you can use to build up anticipation:

  • Time delay – don’t give people what they want right away. Make them wait days, weeks or months to buy from you. A good example of this is I Will Teach You To Be Rich site. Their subscribers are told about offers but typically don’t have access to buy them until the 30-day mark.
  • Applications – usually you are the one who is doing the selling, which, as you already know, doesn’t work too well. You can switch things around and build up anticipation by making people apply to buy your product or service. You’ll find that people will try to convince you to sell your product to them with this tactic.
  • Drop hints – Apple uses this strategy really well because you’ll see hints of what their products will look like or the features they will have, but you don’t know everything about the products until they want you to know about it.

Conclusion

You don’t have to make big changes to get big results. Making small adjustments to how you do your marketing, or how you portray your message, can have a positive effect on your sales.

As you learned above, replacing simple words like “if” with “when” can increase the number of sales you’re making from your site.

So, what do you think about integrating psychology into your marketing? Are their any other psychological tactics that we all should be using?

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Comments

  1. Have you seen that Insanity commercial about getting in shape in your living room in like 60 days? They make HUGE deal about the INSANITY shirt you get if and after you complete the program.

    Very clever!

    …just thought it was relevant :)

    • Totally agree about the tshirt thing :)

    • I believe a free T-shirt was also how that guy got all of those free actresses for that one movie. about the girls that went wild or something

    • Marvin, great example. They have created value out of the shirt. They want you to feel that the shirt will provide social proof for your accomplishment. It definitely is a great tactic!

      • that’s something I always say on my site (but elegantly as opposed to insanity):

        “The Health Divas top comes in size XS only. But it’s not for sale. You need to earn it.”

        And then you see me wearing it LoL

        I started a movement this way, my now beautiful, thin clients proudly wear their tiny HD tops at the club, people ask them about it, they give them my details :-)

        Now even my mother wants to earn one (aww bless her)

        Great post Neil, keep them coming!

  2. Great tips Neil. I like the way you bring substance to the tip you share through real examples. Excellent post once more!
    Cheers!
    Kumar

  3. Thanks Neil!

    Trying to sell on a website really involves informing the customer well. After reading this post, I’ve thought about anticipating the customer’s needs. What information would they want to know? That’s what I need to publish on my website .

    The great thing about these tips is that once I make these improvements to my copy, any effects will be long lasting, since it is something every visitor will see (unlike buying traffic for example).

    Thanks again Neil, I’m a big fan.

    • Kevin, great points. I think having a well informed user will create a well informed customer. When the customer finds value in your product they are more likely to keep the product or service going for a long time and they are more willing to be an upsell. Thanks for reading and providing your feedback :)

  4. Neil, another great post. I appreciate the copywriting tips. I think that a practical thing to keep in mind are the 5 elements of good online copy:

    1.) Perceived Value
    2.) Risk Reduction
    3.) Credibility
    4.) Call To Action
    5.) Qualifiers

    Your 450% ad has 4 of these, and I would expect it to be a good converting ad.

    • Hudson, love how you outlined these five points. You made it easier on me when I explain this blog post. I think the ad really does have 4 of those and explains them quite well. Thanks for taking the time to share :)

  5. Interesting post Neil.

    Psychology plays a very important role in understanding consumer purchasing behavior. By including this discipline in your marketing campaign you can effectively create a better copy which will lead to better conversions as illustrated in Neil’s blog post.

    • Damiso, great point. I think implementation is key. People often find great insights but fail to incorporate them into their web copy. That’s like finding a gold mine and just letting it rest under your bed without investing it.

  6. P.S. Also, you use the informative=trust tactic very well, though you didn’t write about it here. If you position yourself (and your online copy) as an authoritative source and people learn to trust your information, they’ll not only be loyal, but they’ll also consider your product good as gold.
    In fact, content curation for the best info is perhaps one of the best marketing strategies in today’s online world.

    • Hudson, I couldn’t agree more. People tend to trust authorities (as they should) because they have provided a tremendous track record for their accomplishments and testimonials as well. I think loyalty is a bigger driver for a lot of purchases made, whether it be brands or services.

  7. Totally agree with your in all these points but I love the “Let them work for it” one, When you that people feels like have chance to buy this product and if they wasn’t targeted they can’t buy it.

    Give to your product a high price is a good manner, people want to discover what this product offers more than other competitors, Also praise your product and give a testimonial that are lengthy and praise your product…

    Thank you Great Neil

    Regards,
    Mouad Boukil

    • Mouad, glad you enjoyed the article. I think making people work for it really allows them to find value in the product or service you are offering. You want to add value to your product or service or else no one else will. I think the point you made about pricing is on point!

  8. Neil. I love how your article on using psychology on marketing used psychology to make me want to buy your crazy egg product.

  9. Your analogy of dropping hints and taking the buyers in future by real estate agent is really good. The mind has been prepared before you make a purchase.

  10. Hey Neil, Great article… I daily read your articles which I receive in my mail…

  11. I’ve seen both explained-in-detail sales pages and anticipation build up convert so well.

    Cheers…

  12. Wow Neil,
    This is a killer article, I have been applying some psychology on my blog (not on marketing) and can tell it’s positive influence on my audience. Thanks for letting us know how it works for you.

  13. “Make people work for it” is great way to convert your visitor into customer.
    Awesome article Neil.

  14. Spot on! People WANT to know the why. It’s in our DNA, we must have clear definitive answers, yet so many businesses fail to recognize that just by answering the simple “why’s” they could increase conversions. Great post.

    • Jeremiah, spot on! If you answer the why you have already won half the battle. It’s all about creating a dialogue with your users and customers. Thanks for reading!

  15. Thanks for this post! I’ve gotten some great ideas to implement on my website.

  16. Mutuality is half destination! @Neil, you are a Rock Star!!

  17. Hi Neil,
    I ‘ve been reading your posts for a few months. These are real great and useful! Thanks a lot! I am making small changes in my artikles. It\s so earsy to follow you advice. Those make my posts cleaner and shorter. Best wishes!

  18. Neil, what kind of article is this, you mean you could write such!! Such!!! Hmmm great article.

    Top notch on the art of customer consumption

  19. Brilliantly and very thoughtfully layout Neil…I couldn’t resist me to see “why should I use Crazy Egg instead of Clicktale”

    I am still wait for your complete guide on Newsletter subject.

    • Swarn, glad you found the article helpful. I think the punchline should always be irresistible. I will let you know if there any updates on the newsletter guide and if I will be creating one. Thanks for reading!

  20. Hey Neil

    Getting your customer to commit mentally before committing financially is probably one of the most powerful psychological weapons in the marketers arsenal.

    When you are planting the seed into the persons head about what will happen after they use your service or product is a fantastic way to make the person think about your product/service and already accept it in their own mind.

    People need to justify their purchases to themselves and this way is pre-empting that need and helping the process along.

    I love that tick box idea – because when/if someone accepts that frame they are already being compliant to the request, and if they reject it then I guess they never would of been a customer anyway.

    This goes hand in hand with future pacing, which In my mind is a very subtle tool. If you overdo it you end up looking sleazy and lose all credibility, but when you are offering enough value people are very willing to accept the frame – the trick is putting out enough “credibility indicators” to make it work. That’s another way of saying having enough social proof and real substance behind your product or service.

    I think this is why CrazyEgg can pull this off easily while other companies might struggle.

    Loved this article – some very actionable and powerful tactics just about anyone can employ.

    Paul

    • You make a good point with credibility. A lot of people try psychological tricks to boost their conversion rate, but they forget about social proof. If you can’t show people that you are well known, or have a great product, your conversion rates will never be as great.

  21. Tactic number one is actually a “must” part of every conversion.

    I mean, compulsion to buy is somewhat almost there, but if you want your customers to commit to you and your product in a long term basis, you have to make them feel like buying from you isn’t just a moment’s feel, but a well thought of decision.

    I’ve read this post first on the IM social networking site, Kingged.com, where it was shared. Loved it!
    http://www.kingged.com/how-to-integrate-psychology-into-your-marketing/

    • Riza, great points. It’s all about creating that temptation and craving to buy. You really have to get your hands dirty to understand what your users’ core needs are then you can perform some research on how to convert them. Psychology really matters!

  22. Thanks Neil, this was a great article!

  23. Use of arrow pointing towards sign up or join button these are sofl call to action buttons and also leaves a great impact on user psychology and mostly brings conversions. This post will add more value to my knowledge.thank you Neil sir.

    • Rohan, glad I could help. I think you mentioned some great examples. Arrows really do the trick because the guide the eyes and the mind to the place you want your customers to go. Thanks for reading!

  24. Really a amazing Post. Replacing with “you” with “we” will hope do conversion.

    And 2WH will work mean Why, What and How these three most things important to tell about the products, it drive more conversion.

    IN that site iwillteachu2rich, “Don’t click here” button converts 75% but some of the afraid to click may be it spam. I tried one of my previous post at 49youtube tips.

    • Mathan, it’s surprising how a couple of small changes can really do the trick. You are right on point. Sometimes all you need is a little creativity. Let me know if you come up with any other examples. Thanks for reading!

  25. What about content marketing? How does that fit in?

    • Faisal, it fits in the same way. You want to make your writing within content marketing persuasive so people are more inclined to share and follow through with your calls to action.

  26. Qamar mahmood :

    Hey,
    Neil i hope you doing great. And buddy your writing style is awesome asusual. And could you please tell me one thing..? which i really want to know about you.where did you getter the new post idea..? it is simply “Amazing” and infect your previous topics was also awesome. And your Tactics which you are describe in this article that is really awesome. your post is like “White board Friday” because this post is publish before the end of Friday. Well thank for sharing this is great article.
    Good Bless you.

    • Glad you liked it Qamar. I get my posts ideas from things I experience, learn or go through myself. I’ve always wanted to discuss psychology, but I didn’t have the time. So I guess this is the start. :)

  27. Neil,

    To build further on the point you made about anticipation, I’ve found that in the real world when it comes to getting clients…letting calls go to voicemail and setting up meetings 1-2 weeks down the line even when you have availability sooner than that can increase your changes of closing the sale greatly.

    Good tips once again!

    ~Maks

    • Maks, great point. I have found that showing a sense of urgency and answering your leads questions immediately can really help you close sales. More often than not people hop on a call or lead too late and they are then uninterested.

  28. I absolutely love this article! So many good tactics that are actually based in years of research. I especially like the bit on the power of why.

    Thanks for sharing this, Neil!

    @michaelwithana

  29. Hey Neil good stuff. Lots to implement from this post. I have a question about the micro commitments tactic. How do you determine a “sophisticated market”. Do you mean the reader would have marketing knowledge? Or be Tech Savvy?

    Our market deals with pretty smart women but they are not necessarily tech or marketing savvy.

    Of course I will test but I wanted to see if you could go deeper on the sophistication of the market.

    • It is usually marketing or tech markets. It’s not about how smart they are… but marketing and tech markets are used to micro commitments, which the other industries are not. It can probably work really well for you.

  30. Hi Neil,

    Awesome tips mate.

    I use a tonne of your advise for my own blog and it kicks *ss.

    Cheers,
    Logan

  31. I always love to read your case studies that how you increased the traffic of specific websites and this article is something new for me and learned too much! Thanks for sharing man :D Enjoyed it!

    • Sohil, glad you enjoy the shares. I think case studies are the best representations of overall success. Let me know if you have any questions or feedback on any other posts :)

  32. I really enjoyed the projecting the future. In many of the businesses we market for there is a very low cost option. I tends to be underwhelming. I will use some of the projecting to help with this. Thanks for the information.

  33. Great post! Indeed.

    I have enjoyed reading it. Especially about the “The Power of Why” factor.

    Time to implement some of the above advices into my business.

    Thanks

  34. Hi Neil,

    Awesome!!!!!! I have a small blog , i tried all the techniques including seo to improve traffic, but no use . I am going to try this tips .

    • Helen, please let me know how it all works out. I would love to hear some feedback and to see how I can potential help you out :)

      • Thank you Neil For Your reply. Neil, i did all seo techniques like link building(social book marking,forum post, ads,pdf etc) ,social media etc But no use Neil. Traffic is increases every month but there is no increase in click rate. What to do ?

        • Give it some time. If you do it straight for 1 full year, you should see great results. In many cases things are always off to a slow start when it comes to blogging.

  35. hello Neil great article i have got lot of from this article and now the time of implementation, i love the way you write.
    thanks!!!

  36. Very clever post Neil. Landing pages are totally a psychology project than anything else.

  37. Psychology is a huge part of marketing. It’s not just about understanding what the consumer wants but it’s about understanding behavior about them that they don’t realize. Most of these things are so subtle that people barely notice but it all makes a difference.

    • Michael, great point. It’s all about the subtle queues that push people to do things you want them to do on your website. It goes without saying that psychology plays a major role in sales and marketing.

  38. Thanks for this information! I’ve been blogging for about 9 months building followers and a list. Now I’m ready to sell and this tips help me with ideas to implement on my sale copy. Thanks Neil for such a great content.

  39. Copy sometimes convert really well, As with the experience on the Facebook post and even one of your earlier posts about anatomy of Facebook post. We can see how if things presented nicely can convert really well.

  40. Utmost, thanks with the sort phrases. It’s really a a pair of approach block. My spouse and i discover a lot in the comments anyone men produce. I will be studying brand-new issues everyday.

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  41. Hi Neil,

    I enjoyed reading this article! I find physiology fascinating, but it works wonders when applied to marketing tactics! Reading this article also reminded me of this other sneaky tactic: pricing a product to make it appear cheaper, although it is by a few cents, but it persuades customers to purchase products more often.

    An example is the use of the popular number 9 applied in pricing, an example of this is: “…was sold for $100, now it is $99!”.
    I am assuming this is also dubbed as ‘charm pricing’?
    What I noticed is that it seems to work on a lot of customers.

    What is your take on this?

  42. Hey Neil,
    This is such a great post even as I redesign my site. I will execute on this and wait to see results as will also be including new products on sale. I think I will build anticipation for them particularly since they are niche products.
    Thanks for this awesome advice.

  43. This post is very enlightening! Thanks for creating it :)
    Yeah, answering the ‘WHYs’ in customers’ mind can help you make them a quick purchase of your product or service. Marketing is really about massaging people’s psychology.

    • Ela, great point. Understanding your target audiences’ psychological tendencies can really go a long way towards converting more customers. Asking and answering the why is definitely essential!

  44. Hey Neil, Thanks for sharing interesting tips….I love the way you put things in the articles….especially those practical examples (they make absolute sense)…thanks again!

  45. Great Tips Neil. You provide very interesting insight.

  46. Hi,
    Marcus here again. thanks for looking into the email issue. I’m now trying to remember my original elaborate post.
    I think the gist of it was, I’m in the process of completely redoing my website.
    In reference to the crazyegg site, I was curious
    1. who did the “flat design” graphics in the video? I’m looking for an excellent (and hopefully reasonably priced) “flat design” designer. So if you, or anyone else here reading this has someone to refer me to the matter, please send me a link.
    2. No doubt you’ve completed extensive testing for CrazyEgg. However, it is quite “long form” all on a single webpage with a lot of (very compelling) content/copy. I personally like to read a lot before I buy. But I know a great proportion of people with their natural short attentions would click away due to a “TL;DR” issue.
    I know it will be different for each site, but for CrazyEgg, how has such a “long form” page compared in conversions with a page broken up over several pages/areas, or a much smaller page, with the most prominent call to action/sign up close to the top (above the fold/within 2nd fold) vs right down the bottom of many pages like CrazyEgg does?
    Also, apart from conversions, what are your thoughts on how you think SEO is impacted by very long pages vs smaller average length(in terms of physical size/number of pages/scrolling required as well as word count) pages that are more single focused keyword wise. In my own SEO I tend to mathematically stick within the ranges that are already ranking well.
    Appreciate your thoughts.

    • Hey Marcus,

      1. We used Demo Duck to create the video design. I don’t remember the exact price, but it was somewhere in the low 5 figure range.
      2. I have done a lot of a/b testing and have found that the long form converts best. With Crazy Egg, people want as much information as possible. The call to actions at the bottom of the page work because the copy keeps the user interested throughout. Plus we have call to actions throughout just incase someone is ready to buy.
      3.As for the SEO aspect, don’t worry about the copy length. As long as it is really good, you can make it as long as you want. This is why sites like Wikipedia do well, they don’t care about the length, they go for quality… even if that means it is extra long.

  47. Great post! It’s never surprising to see the influence a little psychology can have on the conversion rate of a website. You’re completely correct – Too many people focus on getting the traffic to the site and not enough time on converting the traffic once it arrives.

    I like that you covered making customers wait and have to ‘qualify’. I think sometimes businesses can come across as desperate for sales and desperation isn’t an attractive quality to anyone!

    • Gemma, people often overlook the most important elements of conversion optimization. Psychology plays a major role in ensuring you get people to your site and that they perform the actions you want them to. As to your second point, I am glad you caught on to that. It’s very important for businesses large and small to create a need and not seem desperate. Thanks for reading and for your valuable feedback :)

  48. You might also find the association between evolutionary psychology and marketing valuable! I liked this post after reading it: http://bit.ly/15Qw5uO

  49. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips.

  50. Whats up! I simply want to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you might have right here on this post.
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