Don’t you hate it when you get lots of traffic coming through to your site but no one really buys? It can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re putting the hard work into your social media, email, SEO and other marketing channels to build traffic to your website. However, with a few simple psychological triggers, you can get more of your audience to convert into customers and increase sales.
This article breaks down ten simple tactics that you can start using today to help you get started.
1. Availability and scarcity
When something is scarce, it’s perceived to be more valuable. This is no surprise, as people often want what they can’t have.
This is why scarcity tactics work in marketing – and eCommerce sites such as Amazon use these tactics all the time. If you’re shopping for an item on the site, you’ll probably notice that some items have noticed like ‘only 5 items left!’.
If the customers browsing your site see that there’s only limited availability, it can motivate them to get it then and there so that they don’t have the fear of missing out.
This is a great tactic for pushing low-stock items and will result in a higher checkout completion. However, if you’re going to try this out on your own site, make sure that you’re honest about how many items are left. Being dishonest in a bid to sell more is unethical and could lead to irreparable damage being done to your reputation.
Novelty can be a powerful psychological trigger, as it taps into the psychological principle of curiosity. The more unusual something is, the more likely it will spark our interest and intrigue us.
This psychological trigger can be really useful in B2C marketing, such as email marketing – if you want to get people clicking through your emails, using novelty can give you an advantage over others.
And it’s not just your marketing techniques where novelty can come in handy. The products you create can incorporate it, too. Just think about Elon Musk’s approach. Flame throwers and Cybertrucks are great examples of how he uses novelty to create a sense of desire around his products.
People tend to follow those who seem influential, as they subconsciously believe that if someone is considered an authority on something, then what they’re saying must be true.
This means that, in marketing, you should aim to be seen as a voice of authority on your subject. You can do this by creating and sharing in-depth content about your specialism to help educate your audience and demonstrate your expertise.
Of course, being seen as an authority doesn’t always mean that you’re sharing the right kind of information. So, from an ethical standpoint, you need to ensure that the content you share is reliable. Not only that but Google’s algorithms are built to provide the most accurate information to their users, which means a commitment to credibility will stand you in good stead to improve your rankings on the SERPs.
Creating a sense of urgency is a psychological trigger that works really well in the retail sector, where competing against other retailers is otherwise tough – especially during busy seasons.
A great example of how you can create urgency is delivery times. On sites like Amazon, they’ll say things like ‘buy by X time today and get it tomorrow’. This creates pressure to make a decision then and there in exchange for receiving the product earlier.
Other effective ways of creating urgency include limited-time offers. Black Friday is one of the most obvious examples of this. The short window of time to make a decision creates a sense of fear of missing out and nudges people into securing a great deal while they can.
5. Give a Reason why
Consumers are always looking for reasons to justify a purchase before they make it, and so there needs to be a good reason (your ‘why’) behind your product or service, and you need to explain what it is.
For example, if you’re solving a problem, what problem does it solve, what results can your audience expect, and how can it make someone’s life easier or better?
Another psychological trigger that could be applied to this is social proof – let customers know about your success stories, show them what other people think of your brand to demonstrate your product’s worth.
6. Use a common enemy
Making something out to be a villain can be an effective means of creating a collective sense of solidarity between you and your audience. This isn’t about picking on anyone. It’s about taking a concept or strategy that you can rally against.
The idea of the common enemy is a trigger that you’ll see being used widely in sectors such as the charity sector. Environmental charities will use the climate crisis as the enemy, while for animal charities the enemy would be animal cruelty.
But the concept you choose can be as specific as you like. For example, at KUB, one of the things that we speak out about a lot is how some developers take complete control of their clients’ sites. This is something that we’ve seen time and again, and it causes plenty of problems.
We see it as an unethical practice because a website is often a business’s most valuable marketing asset. If a business is not in control of its own site, there’s a big risk of them losing access to it completely if the relationship between the business and developers breaks down. This is why we always ensure it’s our clients who have complete control over the access, hosting, and DNS of their own site.
Creating an element of anticipation for your audience can be a really effective psychological trigger. This could happen by slowly drip-feeding content to create intrigue, which builds up to the launch of something new, or reveals some information that is relevant to them.
One brand that does this well is Apple. Before their latest product launch, they will post teasers that keep things simple and focus on their value proposition rather than releasing all the information about their latest product’s features.
But you can also do this on a smaller scale. If you have a loyal following on social media, you could even encourage them to guess what you’re releasing next to build engagement (you may need some form of incentive to do this successfully), and create a sense of anticipation through the collective excitement.
8. Social proof
Social psychological triggers are powerful because they tap into the desire to be liked and accepted and build trust. Social proof is one example that works really well across many vertices (not just eCommerce).
One of the best ways this can work for you is by writing case studies and getting customer testimonials, either live on your website or through social media. Your customers don’t want to be the first through the door and risk investing in a product or service that isn’t up to scratch.
Social proof gives them the reassurance they need, so the more you have, the better.
Significance as a psychological trigger is about what owning your product says about your audience or their values.
One of the most obvious examples of this is status symbols or exclusivity – after all, people don’t just buy a Rolex to tell the time or a Ferrari so they can get from A to B.
So, does your product make your audience look better or get perceived in a certain way that appeals to them? If so, lean into it with the line of messaging in your marketing.
The last tactic that you should be using is community. By creating a community, you can engage more of your audience, help people to grow, and introduce them to like-minded people going through the same thing.
Community is also extremely powerful for creating brand loyalty and driving more return purchases, as once people feel invested in it, they’ll be less likely to want to leave.
Facebook groups are a great example of this. You can find a group for pretty much any topic you’re interested in (hobbies, health conditions, local groups) and engage with other people about it. For brands, you could create a group that supports existing customers and lets them interact with one another so that they can share knowledge and grow together.
For b2b businesses, you could use webinar groups to create the same sense of cohesion in order to build a loyal following.
As you can see, psychological triggers are a great tool to have in your marketing arsenal as they help you to build trust, reach more customers, and drive more sales.
If you’d like to find out more about what tactics you could be implementing to grow your sales, get in touch.