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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
“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”.
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.
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?