For a marketer to successfully do their job, they need to have a good understanding of what psychological factors trigger consumers into making a purchase, particularly if they’re looking for ways for the brand they’re representing to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
The good news is there are certain, proven psychological tactics that smart marketers can use to make their offers stand out and drive conversions and revenue.
In this article, we’ll look at some of those psychological tactics and take a look at a practical example of each tactic in action.
Let’s get started.
Many brands and companies use exclusivity in their sales, marketing, and digital marketing campaigns.
When someone is offered a product that’s exclusive, limited in number, or limited in the time that it’s available, they often feel that they’re being offered the chance to join a special, privileged club of individuals who own a particular product and are privy to a unique experience.
For example, what happens when Apple releases a new iPhone? Consumers queue for hours to get their hands on one of the first models, all to be one of the lucky, exclusive few who get to use and experience the product for the first time.
Brands of all sizes can use exclusivity in their marketing. Some practical ways of doing this include:
Use Waiting Lists
Waiting lists help to build hype and awareness among your audience, particularly in the build-up to a new product launch.
As a marketer, you can use waiting lists as a strategy to generate buzz, excitement, and awareness around a product or service you’re launching, even before the product or service is ready for launch. This works especially well for eCommerce businesses that want to generate excitement around their upcoming product.
For example, in the screenshot below, TeekTok gives visitors to their site the option of joining a waiting list so they can be the first ones to know when the product is released.
Once someone signs up for the waiting list TeekTok can use email marketing to send them regular updates about how the product is developing. If these emails are well written and contain engaging content, the subscribers to TeekTok’s waiting list will be excited to get their hands on the product.
If you’re running an event or running a promotion, a deadline helps create a sense of urgency and gives your audience extra push to act immediately.
For example, in the screenshot below, Amazon lets the buyer know that they can order the Echo Dot within a certain time frame to receive the product by a certain date.
If the buyer needs the product urgently or has a strong desire for the product, they will likely order the product before this deadline.
Set quantity limits
Similar to setting deadlines, setting quantity limits works well at creating a sense of exclusivity and scarcity among your audience.
You can introduce quantity limits when you’re promoting products, promoting an event, or running discounts for particular products or services.
For example, if you are hosting a webinar, promotional phrases such as ‘Limited space: 10 seats left for Wednesday’s webinar’ or ‘The first 25 people to register get 25% off the final price’ can work well at creating a sense of urgency among your audience and encourage them to act on your offer.
Other known phrases that can be used in your offers and marketing material include:
- Limited offer.
- Login required
- Membership now closed
- Become an insider
- Be one of the few
- Only available to subscribers
The practice of framing refers to the difference in how information is presented and how it is said.
Brands and marketers often use framing to cast a potential negative about their product or brand by spinning it into a positive.
For example, in the example below, Ford frames the fuel economy of the F-150 and the ‘best in class Fuel Economy.’ This sounds more impressive than ‘’22 miles per gallon’’, which could be interpreted by potential buyers as inadequate compared to other models.
Research also suggests that framing things in a certain way affects consumer behavior. A famous experiment carried out by Irwin P. Lewin, and Gary J Heath demonstrated how product characteristics and attributes influence purchasing decisions.
Consumers rated two samples of ground beef that were either labeled 75% lean or 25% fat. Consumers rated the 75% lean option as better tasting and less greasy than the beef labeled 25% fat, despite the two samples being made of the same beef.
#3 Sell benefits, not features
Whenever you’re launching a new product or service, you should always be thinking of what benefit a buyer or prospect will get from your product or service.
The benefits of a product are the outcomes or results that a user will experience when using that product.
If a prospect can’t tell what benefit they will get from your product right away, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.
For example, if you’re going to buy an umbrella, you probably don’t care that much about the type of cloth the umbrella is made of (a feature); you care about the umbrella keeping you dry (the benefit).
While plenty of buyers will be interested in the features of the product you’re selling; their primary concern will always be on the problem your product solves and the benefits your product will bring to them.
#4 Color psychology
Color psychology looks at how color influences behavior; in the world of marketing, colors can impact the way buyers behave and how they perceive a brand.
When buying a product, 93% of buyers focus on its visual appearance, while 84.7% of buyers claim that color is the primary draw factor.
To show the impact of color in marketing, HubSpot tested different colored CTA’s and found that the color red outperformed the color green by 21%. This shows that just by changing the color of a CTA or selecting the right colors for your small business website, marketers can unlock a powerful, cost-effective method to boost conversions.
Here’s an overview of what different colors are associated with:
- Red – the color red has been associated with appetite, which is why it’s commonly used in the fast-food industry. Red is also known to promote a sense of urgency, so don’t be afraid to use the color red when you’re trying to drive conversions.
- Blue – the color blue has been associated with providing a sense of security. Blue also represents strength, wisdom, and trust. Blue is most commonly used by conservative brands that focus on promoting trust in their products.
- Green – the color green stimulated harmony. Green is a color that’s relaxing and easy on the eye. Green is commonly used among brands that signal health, or brands that sell relaxation products.
- Orange – the color orange promotes enthusiasm and generates a feeling of warmth. Interestingly, orange is the color most consumers associate with ‘’cheap’’ items, so consider this if you’re positioning your product as an affordable item, or if you know your target customer has a tight budget.
- Purple – the color purple is associated with royalty. Purple is often used when brands want to position their products as luxurious. This is why you’ll often see brands that sell beauty and anti-aging products using purple in their branding.
#5 The foot in the door technique
The foot in the door originates from the days of door-to-door selling, and refers to the process of asking a prospect or a group of prospects to agree to a particular action.
The idea behind the foot in the door technique is that if a prospect complies with a small initial request, they are more likely to agree to a more significant request later on.
For example, a simple example of the foot in the door technique would be a brand getting a prospect to sign up for their email list in return for a software product’s free trial.
Once a prospect has signed up for the email list, the brand can send prospects a great welcome email and then follow up with prospects throughout their free trial to see if they want to sign up for the paid version.
Another example of the ‘foot in the door’ technique would be if a company is offering some kind of free consultation for their clients.
Usually, free consultations are associated with high-end products or services where the prospect may not be too sure if they require them or not and need some confirmation.
For example, in the below screenshot, law firm Roman & Gaynor offers a free consultation to potential clients to see if they have a case. If a prospect books a free consultation, Roman & Gaynor have successfully got the prospects ‘foot in the door,’ and the prospect is one step closer to becoming a paying client.
This works particularly well for companies that are selling more expensive services such as real estate, law services, or medical coverage for instance. In these cases, getting your client’s ‘virtual foot in the door’ is half the battle won.
Similar to Roman & Gaynor, Attorney Brian White & Associates also employs a free consultation method with the ability to simply call up and get a free consultation. The ease of access is what brings in interest from customers that may not normally consider an expensive service that easily. A live chat option also works well to bring in prospects.
The ‘foot in the door’ technique is a great way for bigger brands to fill up their sales pipeline with potential prospects.
#6 Scarcity and Urgency
Scarcity and urgency are two proven methods marketers can use to increase conversions. If you haven’t come across these two concepts before, it’s important to have an understanding of what they both mean.
Urgency – In marketing, urgency is the feeling a buyer gets when they know they need to act quickly.
For example, let’s say you’ve had your eye on a new TV for a couple of months, but the retail price of $1000 is too much for your current budget.
One day you receive an email from the company selling the TV informing you that they are offering the TV at 50% off for 48 hours. Realizing you may not be able to get the TV at this price again, you decide to make the purchase within the 48 hour time limit to qualify for the discount.
In this example, the store selling the TV has successfully used urgency to get you to make a purchase.
Scarcity – Scarcity refers to the feeling that a product or service is in short supply and will run out soon. Like we explained in the exclusivity example, we often want things that we can’t have or things we view as exclusive.
Scarcity works in a similar way; if there’s a product we desire or view as valuable, we’re likely to want to purchase it if it’s only going to be available for a limited period of time or if it’s going to run out.
Most of the time, scarcity is used in connection with a discount or a product that will only be available for a certain period of time.
#7 Social Proof
Humans, at their core, all have a desire to fit in. We all want to feel included, validated, and secure, particularly when it comes to our decision making. This behavior also applies to our purchasing behavior, and this is where social proof comes in.
At one time or another, we’ve all purchased a product based on the recommendation of a friend or family member; this is mainly because we view recommendations that friends or family members give us as genuine. This is an example of social proof.
Another example would be walking down a busy street and seeing a restaurant packed full of diners; seeing this, you’ll likely think that this restaurant serves high-quality food and is worth checking out.
Commons forms of social proof that marketers can utilize are online reviews, customer testimonials, case studies, and influencer endorsements.
For example, brands can use their case studies to show prospective customers how their product or service has helped a customer in a similar situation and how they’ve been successful.
Reviews and testimonials work well to give prospective customers trust and confidence in your product, while influencer endorsements work well at showing off a brand or product to a wider audience.
Pipefy does a great job of using testimonials to show their customers how their service can help them.
The company adds detailed reviews from previous customers that even include information on what service of Pipefy’s they had used. These testimonials help instil trust in potential customers and guide them to the next stage of the sales funnel.
Wrapping it up
As you can see from the seven tactics we’ve listed, marketers can use various psychological tactics and tricks to make the brands or products they are marketing more appealing to their existing and new potential customers. This will help companies make more money online and reach the widest audience possible.
By tapping into the power of the human mind and studying consumer behavior, marketers can begin to tap into some of the reasons consumers make certain purchasers and use this information to drive conversions and revenue.