Businesses these days are spending an awful lot of time generating leads. While most marketers have learned the ropes and are generating a lot of leads through their efforts, the conversion rates illustrate a different picture. A survey conducted in 2016 revealed that only 22% of marketers are satisfied with their conversion rates.
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These numbers are far from surprising as most small businesses are on a limited amount of budget, resources, and time. However, it is imperative that businesses realize that marketing done by spending a lot of money and dedicating numerous resources is not the only effective way of marketing. More efficient ways of marketing can be devised if marketers spend more time understanding the psychology of their customers.
All humans have certain mental triggers that drive our actions. Once a business understands what these triggers are, and how they can be used to influence the customers, converting leads becomes much easier. The best part is, using these triggers to drive sales is as easy as it’s effective. Without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into what these triggers are, and how they can be used by marketers to their advantage:
The twin-effectiveness of pain and pleasure
The primary driving force of all human behavior is to avoid pain and gain pleasure. In fact, even when we are doing something that might be painful in that very moment, the ultimate goal is to attain pleasure out of the situation.
A great example of this would be the gym. Most people dread going to the gym, lifting tens of pounds, running without reaching anywhere but they still get up every morning, drag themselves to the gym, and complete their daily workout. The reason is simple, they want to look better, feel better, and be better. The sense of accomplishment that is associated with every workout is the driving force that not only brings them to the gym but makes them pay for memberships as well.
This principle can be applied in your business as well. If in your marketing communications, you illustrate to your customers how you understand their pains, and how your product/service would alleviate this pain, they would come flocking to you with their money.
Keep in mind that out of the two, pain avoidance is much more effective. In fact, something called “negativity bias” in psychology explains perfectly how negativity is the strongest driving factor when it comes to the human brain.
This twin effectiveness of pain and pleasure has given birth to something called the A to Z marketing technique. The technique is simple, it states that your potential customers are all at point A, from which, their aim is to get to point Z. Now, this approach can be taken in two ways:
- The first way is to let your customers reach point Y for free. Let them experience some of the pleasure that comes with working with your business, and THEN ask them to pay. This was done beautifully by Dropbox when they started providing a free 2GB of space to all new customers. Their customer base jumped from 50 million to beyond 300 million because of this move and translated into 1.18 billion dollars in yearly revenue.
- While the first approach dealt with ‘pleasure’, this approach does the job by making the customers realize the pain associated with getting from point A to Z, and educating them how your product or service is the perfect way to alleviate this pain. An example of this can be seen on Admito’s landing page.
The rule of reciprocity
The rule of reciprocity says that if you receive, you are more likely to give. Dr. Robert Cialdini has explained this with a beautiful example in his book called ‘Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion’. The example is of a waiter that experienced a 3% hike in the tip when he left his guests with a mint along with the bill. Tips increased by 14% when the waiter left two mints, and by 23%, when he left the guests with one mint, and quickly returned to give them a second one.
However, for this principle to work it is important to deliver real value to your customers. A great example of this is giving out free trials if you are offering a service. Rankwatch, the online marketing software offers a free 14 day trial right on their landing page. Once their customers have experienced the advantages of their service, they are not hesitant to pay for them at the end of the trial. Similarly, Amazon offers free samples for all their ebooks available on Kindle. Customers can download these samples and read through 10% of the book before making a purchase. The sample stays with the customers for as long as they would like.
Learn more about how you can effectively use the principle of reciprocity for your brand here.
The fascination of “new”
Humans are naturally attracted to new things or novelty. Psychologists have found that the region of our brain that deals with motivation and reward-processing responds better to novelty that to something that is familiar. This system is also responsible for the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotional responses, identify rewards, and motivate us to move closer to these rewards.
Novelty or the fascination of new things is what drives many people. In fact, stagnancy and monotony are some of the most feared things among people. This undying attraction towards the new is what motivates car manufacturers to introduce new models every single year, even if the features remain almost the same. However, when generating fresh ideas about how to induce novelty in your offerings or marketing, keep in mind what drives your potential customers and what they like, otherwise your communication might get lost among the clutter of ads and other marketing collaterals that one comes across every day.
Social proof, in definition, is the influence that other’s actions or words have on our own behavior. The idea is simple, people feel the need to buy something or do something because others are doing it. Social proof has been an integral part of marketing strategies since before the birth of the internet. Used in form of celebrity endorsements, social proof today has taken many forms. Whether it is a mention of your services on an authority blog, or the good old testimonials, social proof works wonders when it comes to marketing.
For example, the Rankwatch website features a number of different forms of social proof. Check these out:
The website features a list of logos of other authority websites where Rankwatch has been featured. Such a list would help add a sense of credibility to your business, especially if the places you have been featured are iconic websites that would be easily recognized by your target audience.
Genuine testimonials or reviews work great as they provide proof of positive experiences of others that have used the product/service in the past.
Apart from these, there are many other forms of social proofs you can employ to drive conversions:
- Subscriber counts- If you are trying to get people to subscribe, let them know how many already have. This will positively reinforce the idea of subscribing in their head.
- Ratings and reviews- Don’t you personally like to read the reviews of an application on the App Store before downloading or purchasing it? When you think like your potential customer, you will realize the importance of reviews. Think about which websites your customers visit for reviews, and ask existing customers to review your business on those websites.
- Social connections- Social sharing buttons that display the number of likes or followers you already have also make a desirable impact on every visitor.
One of the most commonly used triggers in marketing, the effectiveness of scarcity has been proven numerous times throughout the history of advertising. One such instance was this experiment that saw people willing to pay 50% more for the same set of watches when they were labeled as “limited edition”.
The more difficult it is to get your hands on something, that is, the more scarce some is, the more we want it. Humans are programmed to feel anxious when they are deprived of something, which then interferes with our motivation, which causes us to become more open to suggestions and temptations towards getting the scarce object.
In marketing, scarcity can be utilized by creating “limited time only” offers, or countdown timers, early bird registrations to drive your audience to act. Great examples are Amazon’s deal of the day, or Groupon’s ‘limited time only’ offers that are featured along with a countdown timer under every “buy” button. Another more recent example would be the boost in gun sales in the USA right after there was a call for more restrictive gun laws around the country.
Keep in mind to not trick the customers and that might compromise with the perceived value of your product or service. On the contrary, real scarcity, of any form, will have customers become much more receptive and reactive to your communications.
Foot-in-the-door (FTID) technique
The foot-in-the-door technique dictates that it is easier to make someone agree to something (buying your product or service) once you have already made them agree to something smaller (downloading your free infographic, for instance).
FTID works because after agreeing to an initial request, the person feels a certain way about themselves. This feeling encourages them to make future decisions that are consistent with the decision made at the beginning.
The effectiveness of FTID was first proven by Stanford’s Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser in a series of experiments called “compliance without pressure”. In the first experiment, 156 housewives were divided into four groups. Three groups were given a call enquiring which household products they used before a second call, which was given three days later, to all four groups. This call was used to request the subjects to let a researcher come into their home and catalog the household products in their homes. This meant letting a stranger into their homes and explore parts of it that contain these household products. However, to no surprise, out of the three groups that were initially given a call about the same subject, 52.8% agreed to the visit against the 22.2% of the group which was being contacted for the first time. Similar results were seen in the second experiment and several others that followed in the coming years.
Answer the “why”
The world-famous Xerox experiment by psychologist Ellen Langer demonstrated that people are more likely to agree to your proposal if it is accompanied by a reason, even if the reason is arbitrary. For instance, in the experiment, more people let Ellen cut the line when provided with a reason, as compared to when she plainly requested to let her go first.
The human mind is extremely complex and responsive, but psychology in the recent years has helped shed some light on how it works. Using these triggers of the human mind, you will definitely see visible changes in your conversions. The key to real success, however, is to think of combinations, while knowing when you are overdoing it.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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Give what you want.
Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.
I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.
I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.
I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.
The more you give, the more you get.
The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.
I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.
My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:
- link to me on their blogs
- retweet my posts
- share my posts on Facebook
- share my posts on LinkedIn
- send my blog posts to their email list
That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.
Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.
How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs
I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.
I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.
Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.
You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends
Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.
But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.
As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:
- when you sleep
- when you travel
- when you spend time offline with family and friends
Sounds sweet, right?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
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