Persuading completely rational people to make a rational decision or take a rational action would be easy. Unfortunately, you’re stuck dealing with irrational thinking, fueled by cognitive biases and emotions.
So, how do you persuade effectively when people are so heavily influenced by subjective (and contextual) factors?
You’d like to think that you’re a completely rational person making completely rational decisions, right? It’s nice to believe that you haven’t made major life decisions based on how you were feeling.
Well, you have. Many times.
More choice equals freedom, right?
Well, yes, but there’s a good body of evidence that the more choices presented to us, the less happy we are with the one we make.
What does that mean for conversions? Or retention? Or revenue?
It’s a cultural trope to “want what you can’t have,” but it’s also a principle based in decades of psychological research. That principle, scarcity, is incredibly powerful in marketing, persuasion, and conversion optimization—when done right.
If you want to get people to buy your stuff, you need to understand how consumers make purchasing decisions.
Designing your website requires a studied understanding of human behavior if you want to increase your conversions. Using psychological tactics in your design to appeal to potential customers can help do this, but you must first know how users’ decisions are made.
Daniel Kahneman presents two thought systems that can give marketers a framework for how to target their ideal clients through site design and get a major uplift in conversions.
According to research by Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, up to 95% of our purchase decisions are directed by subconscious mental processes.
As digital marketers, we know this intuitively. How many articles have you read that advised you to appeal to the emotional, irrational, subconscious part of the brain?
Despite this evidence, a majority of marketing efforts still focus on making logical appeals to a rational mind.
The best UX is the one you’re not aware of, the one you don’t even notice. That’s what makes a site truly intuitive.
Each time UX falls short of intuitive, cognitive load increases. As cognitive load increases, your conversion rate begins to suffer.
Every company wants their visitors (i.e. potential customers) and customers to leave their site with a lasting positive memory. Of course, that’s much easier said than done when you consider technical issues, copy confusion, price barriers and the like.
If you want to bring a smile to people’s faces when they hear your company name, you’ll need to understand how memory works and how you can design for it.
We want other people to like us. It’s a human desire.
We also want other people to like our websites. If, on our site, we come across as likable, we tend to become more profitable.
So, in conversion optimization, likability is an important and powerful psychological trigger.