Few days ago I ran out into this wonderful ebook Gregory Ciotti wrote on 10 Ways to Convert Customers Using Psychology, and I not only found it insightful, bus was also able to remember, almost at once, successful campaigns that were run by well known companies using these principles. Since not all of them are described in the book, I will give you an essence here, although I strongly recommend reading it when you have a bit of free time. It is totally worth it.
1) Set the minimum: "Would you like to donate?" vs "Would you like to donate? Every little will help". Apparently no difference, right? Wrong! According to the research, people were twice more likely to donate when the minimum was set. How can we apply it for online marketing? Easily: by setting the minimum or just "Every little helps". Wikipedia knows something about it.
2) Label: Or maybe I should say - label well. Research has shown that, generally speaking, people not only like being labeled but also are more likely to take action if they feel grouped and connected. So in the research the group randomly chosen was told that they were "politically active" - their turnout was 15% superior to the control group. Why? Well, it is the question of being consistent. People will tend to it even if it is artificial. Remember about it when setting up Gold and Platinum customers. Especially if it is a reward. Or is it not?
3) Understand how your customer buys: from neurological point of view, we buy till it hurts. There are different types of customers that are having their hurting point in different ranges. So we have the three types:
How to sell to all of them? For example, by reframing the value of the product. 1200 EUR is a huge amount, but 99EUR/month is much better. Looks better. Converts better. Actually, a "For as little as 3.3EUR/day" will do the job as well. Also, the life expectancy of the product shall be highlighted in order to sell effectively to the tightwads. 99/month yearly for something that will last 10 years for sure? Why not?
Reducing the number of individual purchases helps with the "pain" as well. We would rather buy a pack than multiple products, each with the individual price, cause the latter will multiply the pain. We can see how it works online with the plans versus micropayments (technically, micropayment for each service you might want seems better, yet somehow it is always in a pac with others...).
4) Admit your faults: The results of research on Predicting Stock Prices from Organizational Attributions has shown that investors were more likely to trust companies that admitted they made some bad strategis decisions (and they can do better) than these that prefered to state that there were external forces responsible for the bad output (not our fault). There is a potential in highlighting the strengths in this one which I would not miss.
5) Use urgency the smart way: If you would think that creating urgency is old and obsolete... well, you would be wrong. Scarcity is still the best influence, but it is important to give clear follow up instructions. Groupon in Spain knows how to deal with this one perfectly:
6) Know the power of instant gratification, and use it: apparently instant gratification is so powerful that being able to deal with it is considered as one of the keys to success. Customers need to be rewarded for doing business with you and fast. Actually, according to MRI studies, apparently the cortex is very active when waiting for something, and mid-brain lights up when receives something at once. So put the "instantly" into your selling dictionary instead of "free" and be rewarded.
7) If you want to make a cult, have an enemy: Associating with certain ideas while distancing from others is a good way of creating the feeling. Studies have shown that grouped people tend to have stronger feelings toward the aim and also, towards the "others". By saying what your brand is and what isn't, identifying the public and the outsiders, creating the scheme. So...wait a minute..are all these ones vs anothers commercials done on purpose? Well...
8) Include the ideals: People have to think that your brand stands for something, something they can relate to and feel connected with. People are not as loyal to companies as to what they stand for. So, communicate clearly what are the core values and philosophy of the company.
9) Be an advocate of the devil: Explain people why the product is not what someone may think before they even ask. When people have their decisions questioned, they tend to stand up for them even more.
10) Surprise them: Have you ever found 10 cents on the street? What about 1 EUR? Or 10? It is not the actual amount, but the surprise factor that works here. Having people on their toes and keep them surprised is a great deal. It is not about the value itself, but the fact that something positive happened to you. Received a sample of perfume in a local store? Bet you shall come back there when willing to buy.