Powerful marketing is all about using psychology. Here are five actionable implementations to get you started.
Successful marketers know how to ethically use psychological principles to understand their customers, in order to deliver exactly what those customers need and want.
Here are five of those powerful psychological hacks that will take your business to new levels.
1. Cater to curiosity: We have an insatiable sense of curiosity
Curiosity is really powerful. Without it, there would be no such thing as science, research, discovery, and exploration.
The definition of curiosity is “a strong desire to know or learn something.”
George Loewenstein, one of the foremost curiosity researchers describes it as “a critical motive that influences human behavior.”
Curiosity fuels the clickbait titles that simultaneously annoy and intrigue you. “OMG! What This 97-Year-Old Man Did With His Attic Gave Me Nightmares for Weeks! Wait Until You See Number 4!” (I made that up.)
Curious to see “Number 4″?
I don’t suggest that you try to mimic Viral Nova or Upworthy. I do suggest that you introduce a bit of curiosity into your copy, into your CTAs, and into your product messaging as a whole.
2. Make it simpler: Simplicity wins every time
Simple websites, simple copy, simple forms, simple checkouts, simple choices, simple signups–simple everything is better.
According to the law of Pragnanz, “people will perceive and interpret ambiguous or complex images as the simplest form(s) possible.” In other words, we’ll instinctually choose the safer way, which is often the simpler option.
This psychological principle is true not only for design, but also for web application development and mobile application development, for CTAs, for online checkout, and for writing copy. From personal experience, I drive more traffic and engagement to my blog when I write simple, direct, and clear articles.
People are wired for simplicity. Make things as simple as possible.
3. Reduce choices: Too many choices will lead to fewer sales
The more choices you give your customers, the fewer sales you’ll actually make. Reducing options will actually increase your conversions.
In a famous study by Columbia’s Sheena Iyengar and Stanford’s Mark Lepper, researchers tested jam sales based on six flavor choices versus 24 to 30 choices. The results of the study were mind-blowing. Jam sales based on fewer choices were 600 percent higher than sales based on more choices.
As you can see, having more choices is not better–it’s actually demotivating.
Barry Schwartz, a choice researcher, described the condition as “a problem that can paralyze.”
You might be losing sales if you offer too many choices.
4. Give them three options: Customers will pick the middle offer
There’s the low-cost/low-benefit solution, the high-cost/high-benefit solution, and the middle one. Most of the time, customers will choose the middle offer.
Paul Rodway, an experimental psychologist at the University of Chester, conducted a study on how people make choices. What he discovered was that, regardless of differences between study participants, they most commonly selected the middle choice.
In a parallel study, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, made the samediscovery regarding pricing. And an article from the Journal of Consumer Psychology released its research confirming the phenomenon, dubbed the “center-stage effect.” People choose the option in the middle.
Here’s the psychological bottom line for your business: Most customers will pick your middle offer. It makes sense, then, to make your middle offer the most financially rewarding.
5. Forget solutions, and give benefits: All we care about is benefits
What’s the best way to persuade your customers to buy your product?
For a long time, salespeople thought it was to offer a solution. That doesn’t work anymore. Customers already know the solution. Customers want benefits. Jeff Thull, CEO of Prime Resource Group, wrote, “If you’re still selling that way, you’re missing the boat.” When customers do buy solutions, “80 percent of them are dissatisfied with the value results.” A team of authors at Harvard Business Review wrote, “Customers don’t need you the way they used to” and announced “the end of solution sales.”
Customers already know the solution. Most of the time, they already know what price they want, too. What is it, psychologically, that will persuade them to buy your product?
It’s the benefits.
Since customers already know what they want, they have a very focused and targeted approach to their shopping endeavor. They are now in the market for benefits.
The more benefits you have, and the better you present those benefits, the more successful you’ll be.
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