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.
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.
What Is Your Blog Post Publishing Frequency and Why?
From time to time, assess how frequently you publish blog posts. Ask yourself why? Sit. Wait for an honest answer.
I publish 4-5 blog posts daily. Sometimes I publish 6 posts. Why? I share oodles of helpful videos, podcasts and articles but on a deeper level, I intend to get my 124 eBooks in a billion hands or more. Yes; I wrote and self-published 124 bite-sized eBooks. Publishing 6 posts daily allows me to promote 6 different eBooks daily on my blog. I also publish 3 or more guest posts daily to share value and promote my eBooks in more spots. Note; that is 3 or more eBook promotions, in addition to all of my eBooks I promote on social media.
Promoting 124 eBooks daily is no joke. I needed to raise my vibe, practice writing and video and podcasting and get clear on upping my post frequency to drive traffic and business through an approach. I see my blog more as a high volume, blogging news portal, like CNN or Fox News, and less a blog for publishing weekly and leaving it at that. Hey; that is just me, though.
You may be different because all bloggers hold different intents and vibe at different frequencies. Imagine blogging once monthly. Today, you set an intent to publish 5 posts daily between videos, articles and podcasts. Seems foolish, right? Few humans make this quantum leap without putting in years of writing practice and also giving substantial attention and energy to energy management, or, mindset work. Never raise your blog post frequency from energies of fear and delusion; burnout and failure await.
But do bump up frequency if it feels fun, relaxing, prospering and generous to publish more frequently.
On the flip side, pull back on blog post frequency if your current schedule feels heavy, tiring, exhausting and overwhelming.
Only you know how frequently you post and why you post at that clip. You know the honest answer. Be straight with yourself.
Optimal Blog Post Frequency
Follow your fun and relaxation.
What feels really good and fun and relaxing, but maybe a bit uncomfortable, to you? Run with it. Daily? Awesome. Weekly? Cool. Twice daily? Great. One post, one day, and 3 posts, the following day? Why not? If readers enjoy your content they read your content, keeping up with what they can keep up with. Trust your gut.
I advise publishing at least weekly in most cases unless you publish a long form post monthly ranking well on Google, genuinely knocking folk’s socks off. Why? People forget you as you vanish from the stream for a month at a time. Blogs are news portals for your niche. News should not be published monthly. Weekly at a minimum works fine for news updates.
Making Money and Frequency
In my eBook:
I break down how you find buyers for your business online.
Pondering post frequency, money flows to frequent posters and less frequent posters. Everything money-wise depends on your clarity with receiving money and following your frequency strategy because your energy dictates your income. Feel good, and at peace, and relaxed, about your blog post frequency. Success will find you based on your money energy and life energy, independent of your blog post frequency.
Do the inner work and the outer results expand freely and easily over time.
Blogging Income Tip: How Do You Feel about Money?
As I promote my eBook:
I ponder one massive source of anxiety for most bloggers: money. Most of you grew up with money limiting beliefs. Money does not grow on trees. Money is not easy. Money is hard to get. Money is scarce. If you want money, get used to owning and facing each money fear because blogging full time requires you to work for free, generously, for a while, and no human with money fears works for free. All humans clinging to heavy money fears only work for pay. What is working for pay? Jobs. Working for someone allows you to get paid for every hour you work because being employees guarantees payment, per work, per your contract.
Guess what? Blogging is a different animal. Nobody gets paid to be an individual, business-owning blogger because blogging is a business. Business is about building something to boost skills and exposure to where your streams of income yield cash for you. Complete 180 from being an employee because you need face money fears, release fears, and proceed from a generous energy to gain skills and exposure enough to earn a full time income through your blog.
How do you feel about money? Does money feel scarce to you? Do you fear running out of money? Be honest guys. Being straight with yourself allows you to make money because before you make money through your blog, you need to face, feel and release money fears. Why? You never move into actions required to make money being burdened by the heavy fear of losing money, a yoke that saddles most of humanity.
I have noted how Gary Vaynerchuk did 2000 YouTube interviews before he began to get major media and TV coverage. He worked for free for 2000 interviews because he was not burdened by the terror of losing money, vibing abundance and generosity and trust. Most of humanity is so scared to lose all of their money that they never give one interview for free; these people work jobs to guarantee they get money for what they do work-wise, but sacrifice their fun and freedom in the process. You cannot live your dreams through blogging if you have no vision for the future and you cannot create a vision if you feel weighed down by the fear of money loss. How can you dream big dreams if you secretly feel terrified to lose it all? The fear of losing it all dominates your mind, body and actions so you will just work a job to get money and you will treat your blog casually, because your blog does not yield money, like your job.
Of course, your blog does not yield money because you vibe a poverty consciousness and poverty-vibing folks never do the generous giving – working for free, for a sustained period of time – to position themselves for success, a’la Gary Vee and his 2000 YouTube interviews. I have written and published nearly 1000 posts on Blogging Tips. Nobody paid me directly for writing and publishing these posts but the traffic and links and money I gained indirectly through these nearly 1000 posts helped me live a neat life. I began giving generously the moment I faced my money fears.
Expect to do the same if you want to live your dreams through blogging.
What Few Bloggers Understand
I live a pretty sexy life. I have circled the globe for the past eight years through blogging. Pretty cool, right?
But my blogging duties are seemingly mundane, not too sexy at all and in moments, quite boring. I genuinely love blogging. I have fun doing what I do. But I am also a human being experiencing a wide range of emotions on an hour to hour basis. Sometimes, I just want to go to sleep for a little bit because I feel tired and a bit bored with the blogging process. But if I intuitively know it is time to write a blog post I just write the blog post. In these moments, blogging feels boring and mundane and plain and not too sexy. But doing the seemingly mundane things in boring moments lays the foundation for living a spectacular dream life through blogging.
Few bloggers understand this basic fact of sometimes boring activities laying the foundation for a spectacular dream life. Most bloggers believe I do exciting, inspired and amazing things all day long to live an amazing life. This is 100% not true and nothing could be further from the fact. Blogging is fun for me most of the time but sometimes blogging feels boring. Even when blogging feels fun I am not doing anything earth-shattering or jaw-dropping anytime I write and publish blog posts and comment on blogs and promote one or all of my 100 plus ebooks. Does tapping a retweet button and sharing one of my eBooks on Twitter seem earth-shattering? Nope. Simple. East too. But few bloggers understand simple blogging activities lead to great blogging success.
Most bloggers believe you live your dreams through blogging by trying to knock the ball out of the park with viral blog posts and partnerships with the top bloggers on earth. Nope. You live your dreams by simply publishing helpful content, building friendships with top bloggers by being generous and asking for nothing, and by opening multiple streams of income from an abundant, trusting energy. Each of those steps is simple to put into action but sometimes taking each of those steps feel scary or highly uncomfortable. Nudge through the fear. Take the step. Simple, generous actions eventually lead to spectacular results because all meaningful blogging ventures begin with simple, generous actions. Do not believe top bloggers hit home runs everyday. We hit singles again and again and again and again for 10000 to 20000 hours until all those singles add up to something dazzling over the long haul.
Think in terms of tiny impressions made multiple times daily. I could have tried to write a viral guest post on this blog 3 years ago when I first published posts here. But I just chose to do a solid job writing a simple post some 900 times. Now I have written and published 900 + guest posts on this blog which means on a single blog alone I have 900 links or more, based on the ebooks of mine I link to as well. 900 + links leads up to something pretty sexy and spectacular but it was the simple, generous actions I took daily over 3 years of my life that led to the stunning long-term success. Blogging is doing simple things generously for hours daily for years of your life to build something special and meaningful.
Never believe that top bloggers hit home runs every day for a few weeks before they made it big. Anybody who makes it big does seemingly little things with love and generosity every single day over the course of years of their lives. Imagine 10000 to 20000 hours of doing simple things and you get an idea of what it takes to live a spectacular dream life through the medium of blogging.
Do you want to make money blogging?
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