Ever wondered why you always end up buying five or more items from Amazon when you only intended to buy some batteries, or how IKEA manages to turn shopping for a bathroom cabinet into an all-day activity?
The answer is psychology, and its principles are used by some of the most successful retailers and websites around. Want to use psychology in your own advertising to turn indifferent visitors into paying customers? Here’s how.
Use Visual Appeal
You probably already know that visuals are important in the world of advertising and marketing, but do you know just how crucial they are?
Consider that according to various surveys and studies:
- nearly 93 percent of people put the most importance on visual factors when purchasing products;
- color boosts brand recognition by as much as 80 percent; and
- people have an easier time remembering full-color images than black and white ones.
And these statistics are only those having to do with color — throw shapes, fonts, and symbolism into the mix and you have nearly limitless marketing possibilities.
So instead of settling for imagery that looks just “okay,” invest in hiring a skilled graphic designer for your marketing and advertising campaigns. With so many designers offering their services on affordable marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork, there’s no reason not to.
With so many brands and public figures competing for people’s attention, it takes some extra effort to stand out from the crowd.
That’s why using emotion in your marketing and advertising campaigns can be so helpful: By encouraging your audience to feel something, you’re going beyond simply letting them know your brand exists.
For instance, ads can inspire action by invoking feelings such as:
- fear (“If I don’t buy this product, I won’t be protected from fraud”);
- comfort (“This product reminds me of my childhood”);
- anger (“I can’t believe they’re getting away with this, I’d better donate to make a difference”);
- happiness (“Everyone who uses this product seems so happy, maybe I should too”); and
- humor (“That brand’s ad was so much funnier than the competitor’s”).
And most importantly, for advertisers and marketing, emotional campaigns work: One analysis of 1,400 case studies found that primarily emotional ad campaigns are twice as effective as their primarily rational counterparts.
That’s not to say that you should abandon all sense of reason and start running over-emotional ads, though. Your audience will see right through it, and they’re more likely to be repelled than attracted to your brand as a result.
Rather, the lesson is to remember that emotion is a powerful tool in advertising, so you’d be wise to implement it carefully and precisely in order to get better results.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Your audience members aren’t in a rush to part with their money, but you want them to make a purchase now. The solution? Create a sense of urgency so they want to take action sooner.
To do so, you can try:
- offering discounts that end on a certain date and time;
- notifying people if an item they’ve been looking at is low in stock;
- reminding shoppers when they’ve abandoned items in the shopping cart;
- announcing when there’s a limited supply of any given product or service; and
- emphasizing the benefits your audience will enjoy by purchasing your product or service.
You might just find that by fostering a sense of urgency, you’re able to drive much better results much faster.
When In Doubt, A/B Test
Having a knowledge of human psychology is all well and good, but the fact remains that everyone is different, both in terms of individual people and larger groups.
After all, a product that appeals to middle-aged mothers probably won’t be all that attractive to teenage boys.
So to make sure that the ads and marketing campaigns you’re creating are well-suited to the preferences of your unique audience, use A/B testing to get on the right track.
A/B testing, also known as split testing or bucket testing, is a technique that measures an audience’s reaction to two different versions of the same thing. The first unchanged version is called the control, while the new version is called the variation (or challenger, depending on who you ask):
From landing pages to color schemes to layouts to images to entire ad campaigns, the number of things you can A/B test is unlimited.
And by doing so, you’ll be able to obtain concrete data about your audience’s preferences and behavior, no speculation required.
Commit to Personalization
The importance of personalization in marketing, sales and lead conversion simply cannot be overstated. Whether you’re using personalized subject lines to supercharge your email marketing campaigns or using software like HubSpot to create personalized calls-to-action (CTAs), there are plenty of ways to make personalization work for you and the site you’re optimizing.
But just how effective is personalization, anyway? Let’s take a look at some statistics to find out.
- Personalized CTAs perform 202 percent better than basic ones.
- Emails with personalized subject lines have a 26 percent higher open rate than non-personalized ones.
- Over 65 percent of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
- A whopping 80 percent of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences.
- More than 90 percent of B2B marketers attribute revenue growth to personalization.
So no matter how you’re choosing to incorporate personalization into your marketing and advertising campaigns, just remember that in almost all cases, the more personalization, the better.
As long as you always respect your customers’ privacy and data sharing preferences, they’re sure to appreciate it (and make more purchases as a result).
Want to Boost Sales? Brush Up on Consumer Psychology
When we talk about using psychology to improve sales, it might sound like we’re suggesting you use magic to conjure money from thin air.
But in reality, psychology is a science, and science is all about understanding the world around us. So you don’t need to be Freud or Jung to understand that consumer psychology is far from hocus pocus — it’s simply taking the time to truly understand your audience and give them what they want. If you do, the results will surely speak for themselves.
Optimizely / accessed July 2022