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.
Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?
Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.
I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.
Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:
I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.
Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?
Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.
Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.
I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.
Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain
Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.
Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.
Write and ship.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger
possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.
For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.
I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.
Smart and Prospering Means Different
Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?
I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.
Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different
Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?
But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals
Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.
Why Should You Help Other Bloggers Succeed?
If you build it AND if you help other bloggers build it, then they will come.
We have all seen the famous line from Field of Dreams rehashed many times, regarding blogging. Building a blog solo ain’t good enough. Platitudes of content being king and networking queen get bandied about, and I do not disagree.
But I wanted to put a spin on the line; if you build your blog and help other bloggers build their blogs, THEN people will visit your blog, hire you, buy your stuff and endorse you.
A few moments ago, my friend and power house blogger Julie Syl Kalungi tagged me on Facebook with kind words. She mentioned a common mistake we both see often; bloggers pitch us content with nothing else to show for the pitch, other than mediocre or OK content from an unknown blogger. If it were that easy to get featured on Blogging From Paradise or on Julie’s blog, we would both place 5 to 10 to 20 guest posts daily, or a helluva lot more.
Of course, landing features on established blogs is not easy at all. But struggling, failing bloggers mistakenly believe it *is* as easy as tempting pros with a helpful post, or some other lukewarm incentive, and wonder why they never get featured on top blogs. Plus bloggers do the silly thing of offering a $1 or $3 bulk discount for 25 posts. Having a poverty consciousness makes you do silly things.
Anyway, these strategies NEVER work because the pitching bloggers are trying to build it – aka their blogs – before building other blogger’s blogs. Build your blog and other blogger’s blogs. Grow your friend network. Be genuine. Be generous. Help. Expect nothing. Ask for nothing. As you help other bloggers succeed and improve your writing skills, something neat happens; you befriend a bunch of skilled bloggers who boost your traffic and profits through endorsements, promotions, by buying your stuff and by hiring you.
This is why you should help other bloggers succeed. Make friends. Profit. 100 is better than 1.
100 Is Better than 1
I learned years ago the efforts of 100 blogging buddies beats my individual efforts. I am not super connected to 100 plus blogging buddies, but at least that many folks promote me or endorse me routinely across a wide range of channels. Imagine how much 100 bloggers can expand your reach, compared to your individual, singular efforts?
Why do 100 plus bloggers help me out? I have helped thousands of bloggers grow their traffic and profits over a decade online by commenting genuinely on their blogs, by promoting them on social media, by endorsing them, by promoting them on my blog, by inviting them to guest post on my blog and by guest posting for them.
I benefit too, of course. This marks my 6th guest post of the day. As I promote my 71% blogging course discount (use the discount code in the first paragraph) across a slew of these guest posts I gain profit potential and boost my blog traffic too. But I also drive free, passive traffic through each guest post. My 3 blogging buddies living in India who I guest post for wake up to free, passive traffic. I help them succeed. My blogging buddies help me succeed by giving me platforms for reaching their readers.
Do you see why building it and helping other bloggers build it makes you incredibly successful over the long term?
Julie became a wildly successful blogger by generously helping other top bloggers succeed. Now, her blogger friend network expands her reach far and wide.
Give What You Want
Do you want money? Help other bloggers make money. Promote them on your blog. Link to them. Buy and review their eBooks. The number of friends you make by being generous will astound you. As this loyal tribe grows in size and scope, and helps you make more and more money, you will be even more astounded.
Blogger Outreach Resource
Are you looking for bloggers to help? Buy my eBook:
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