So, we all know that improving conversions rates is essentially the key driver to making your business grow, and we have discussed at length some cool tactics and systems to help make this happen.
Now, while these tactics have proven benefits, there is something that we must not forget – and often businesses do – which is what drives a consumer during the buying process. This is essential knowledge for any inbound marketer, and it largely comes down to science.
Understanding the science behind customer behaviour and working it into your marketing strategy, is a surefire way to increase your conversion rate and boost your overall sales. It is simple; do you want to generate ok content, or persuasive content? Understanding the psychology behind consumer behaviour means you will have the tools to influence target audiences, and build lasting relationships with your product or service.
If we look at Dr Robert B. Cialdini book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” where he discusses his “Six Principles of Influence.”, we can see clear parallels within the digital marketing world and how they apply today
In a nutshell people tend to want to return favours, pay back debts and treat others in reflection of how they have been treated. Customers usually respond well when they are given something for free, without being asked for anything upfront.
How: Think about what it is you have to offer in terms of ebooks, whitepapers, consultations and samples and offer it at no cost to your audience. This small generous “gift” will generate a feeling of obligation with your audience who, as a result, will be more willing to sign up, buy or do business further down the line.
We, as humans, want to be seen as authentic and consistent – delivering on a promise and being true to our word. This is key to our self-image, therefore once we have publicly committed to something or someone, we are much more likely to follow it through.
How: Find a way to get potential customers to make an upfront public commitment to you and your brand. Perhaps, before they receive an offer or sample, the consumer must share their support to your brand on their social sites. Another way could be offering discounts for the length of a commitment, so if you have memberships, maybe lower the price or offer a rewards to those who sign up for six months instead of three. The longer the commitment, the harder it will be for a customer to back out.
Social proof is where people will take on the actions of others, for example, if everyone in the office is working late, we will be more inclined to stay late too. Social proof is a type of conformity; if they are doing it, so should I? When feeling uncertain, we are more likely to be influenced, especially if the people we are modelling our actions on are similar to us.
How: The power of social proof can drastically improve conversion rates of a website and there are several ways to incorporate it. Testimonials, reviews, feedback and social widgets (i.e. shares, likes, tweets) allow new customers to be influenced by the opinions of the masses. Of course, the same can be said for negative opinions, so understanding your reputation management is also vital.
The general public are more likely to be influenced or follow the lead of someone in a position of authority — CEO, director, doctor, a police officer, professor or government official. This is why the most influential type of spokesperson is the “Credible Communicator”. This person is seen as an expert in his or her field and demonstrates both knowledge and trustworthiness.
Action: You could get an external “expert” on board – an example would be if a pet food brand enlisted a veterinarian for reviews – to add authority to, and strengthen their brand. Or you work on positioning yourself to be an expert finding your strong suit and then getting reviews from satisfied customers, bloggers or even friends and family. Another way to develop trustworthiness, is by how you handle public complaints – by admitting to a shortcoming and offering a solution, your viewers will see your brand as fair, honest and “human”.
This holds great meaning, as it affects the chance of being influenced by that individual. Liking someone is usually based on sharing something such as an interest, common goal or value. Highlighting the parallels in you and your audience’s relationship is an effective way to further improve conversions.
Action: Be sure that your “About Us”, “Our Mission” or “Company Objectives” pages tell potential buyers about you, your company and what matters to you – this will highlight the similarities you share.
Demand and therefore action is usually higher when we believe that something is limited, and will no longer be available. Essentially, people tend to want more of something that is unavailable to them. For instance, we may purchase something immediately if we are told it is that last one or offer ending soon, ensuring we do not miss the opportunity later on.
Action: The language we use is an important driver when persuading a consumer to take action. “Only 2 Left at This Price”, “Offer ends in 2 hours” or “someone else is looking at this” are examples of phrases that focus on the rarity of the offer and encourage buyers to act with increased urgency. Try A/B Testing your landing pages or action buttons to see which phrases create more conversions.
With so much competition nowadays, and customers being inundated with information, it is important to understand the science behind consumer influence. When you want to influence your customers these six points will allow you to reach your audience on a deeper and more emotional level, which will lead to much higher conversion rates. However, misleading or not delivering on your promises will have detrimental affect on your brand, so ensure your strategy is as always authentic, honest and achievable.